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

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 8 minutes ago
    The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he know about Crooked Dems is....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 3 minutes ago shattering. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!
  2. DeathHamster Member

    Hasn't anyone told him how to switch his account over to 280 character tweets yet?

  3. Sshhhh. ;)
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

  5. The Wrong Guy Member


    Donald Trump Jr.‏ @DonaldJTrumpJr 52 minutes ago
    I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to early to teach her about socialism.

    Donald J. Drumpf‏ @RealDonalDrumpf 20 minutes ago
    Donald J. Drumpf Retweeted Donald Trump Jr.
    I'm going to take $1.5 trillion from Social Security & Medicaid & give it to greedy rich fuckers like you! #winning

    The Daily Edge‏ @TheDailyEdge 7 minutes ago
    The Daily Edge Retweeted Donald Trump Jr.
    Why don't you teach her that some parents work full-time at Walmart & still qualify for Food Stamps you dumb asshole
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Soon her costume will be ironic.
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump Jr.'s Bizarre Halloween 'Lesson' Backfires Spectacularly | HuffPost

    By Ed Mazza


    Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t seem to know how Halloween works.

    The whole point of trick-or-treating, of course, is that children get candy ― free ― from friendly neighbors.

    But in a tweet Tuesday, the eldest son of President Donald Trump indicated that he would take half of his daughter’s Halloween haul and give it away to teach her about socialism.


    The tweet quickly backfired, with more than 30,000 comments. Many of them looked a lot like these:

    More at

    Donald Trump Jr schooled on Twitter after Halloween 'socialism' tweet | The Guardian

    President’s son criticised for using three-year-old daughter to make political point as users say trick-or-treat analogy is way off the mark
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 4
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Papadopoulos Monologue-opoulos | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Stephen is still "muell"-ing over the three Trump campaign operatives facing indictments from Robert Mueller, especially the one who might have been wearing a wire, George Papadopoulos.

    Chris Matthews Says Trump Can't Fire Mueller | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    'Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit' author Chris Matthews explains why firing Robert Mueller would essentially be Trump's admission of guilt.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Unfollowed: Escaping Trump's Tweets | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    In honor of Halloween, Desi Lydic reveals what it's like to be haunted by President Trump's Twitter feed.
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    “You Can’t Go Any Lower”: Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment

    After Monday’s indictments, the president blamed Jared Kushner in a call to Steve Bannon, while others are urging him to take off the gloves with Robert Mueller.

    By Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair


    Until now, Robert Mueller has haunted Donald Trump’s White House as a hovering, mostly unseen menace. But by securing indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and a surprise guilty plea from foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, Mueller announced loudly that the Russia investigation poses an existential threat to the president. “Here’s what Manafort’s indictment tells me: Mueller is going to go over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization,” said former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. “Trump is at 33 percent in Gallup. You can’t go any lower. He’s fucked.”

    The first charges in the Mueller probe have kindled talk of what the endgame for Trump looks like, according to conversations with a half-dozen advisers and friends of the president. For the first time since the investigation began, the prospect of impeachment is being considered as a realistic outcome and not just a liberal fever dream. According to a source, advisers in the West Wing are on edge and doing whatever they can not to be ensnared. One person close to Dina Powell and Gary Cohn said they’re making sure to leave rooms if the subject of Russia comes up.

    The consensus among the advisers I spoke to is that Trump faces few good options to thwart Mueller. For one, firing Mueller would cross a red line, analogous to Nixon’s firing of Archibald Cox during Watergate, pushing establishment Republicans to entertain the possibility of impeachment. “His options are limited, and his instinct is to come out swinging, which won’t help things,” said a prominent Republican close to the White House.

    Trump, meanwhile, has reacted to the deteriorating situation by lashing out on Twitter and venting in private to friends. He’s frustrated that the investigation seems to have no end in sight. “Trump wants to be critical of Mueller,” one person who’s been briefed on Trump’s thinking says. “He thinks it’s unfair criticism. Clinton hasn’t gotten anything like this. And what about Tony Podesta? Trump is like, When is that going to end?” According to two sources, Trump has complained to advisers about his legal team for letting the Mueller probe progress this far. Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller’s appointment, according to a source briefed on the call. When Roger Stone recently told Trump that Kushner was giving him bad political advice, Trump agreed, according to someone familiar with the conversation. “Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” Nunberg said. “I’m only saying publicly what everyone says behind the scenes at Fox News, in conservative media, and the Senate and Congress.”

    Continued at
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hackers Compromised the Trump Organization 4 Years Ago — and the Company Never Noticed

    The perpetrators have possible ties to Russia.

    By David Corn and AJ Vicens, Mother Jones


    Four years ago, the Trump Organization experienced a major cyber breach that could have allowed the perpetrator (or perpetrators) to mount malware attacks from the company’s web domains and may have enabled the intruders to gain access to the company’s computer network. Up until this week, this penetration had gone undetected by President Donald Trump’s company, according to several internet security researchers.

    In 2013, a hacker (or hackers) apparently obtained access to the Trump Organization’s domain registration account and created at least 250 website subdomains that cybersecurity experts refer to as “shadow” subdomains. Each one of these shadow Trump subdomains pointed to a Russian IP address, meaning that they were hosted at these Russian addresses. (Every website domain is associated with one or more IP addresses. These addresses allow the internet to find the server that hosts the website. Authentic Trump Organization domains point to IP addresses that are hosted in the United States or countries where the company operates.) The creation of these shadow subdomains within the Trump Organization network was visible in the publicly available records of the company’s domains.

    Here is a list of a shadow Trump Organization subdomains.

    The subdomains and their associated Russian IP addresses have repeatedly been linked to possible malware campaigns, having been flagged in well-known research databases as potentially associated with malware. The vast majority of the shadow subdomains remained active until this week, indicating that the Trump Organization had taken no steps to disable them. This suggests that the company for the past four years was unaware of the breach. Had the infiltration been caught by the Trump Organization, the firm should have immediately decommissioned the shadow subdomains, according to cybersecurity experts contacted by Mother Jones.

    The existence of these shadow subdomains suggests a possible security compromise within Trump’s business network that created the potential for unknown actors using these Trump Organization subdomains — to launch attacks that could trick computer users anywhere into handing over sensitive information and unknowingly allow the attackers access to their computers and network. In fact, the IP addresses associated with the fake subdomains are linked to an IP address for at least one domain previously used by hackers to deploy malware known as an “exploit kit,” which can allow an attacker to gain a computer user’s passwords and logins or to take over another computer and gain access to the files within it.

    Two weeks ago, a computer security expert, who wishes to remain unidentified, contacted Mother Jones and provided the list of the shadow Trump Organization subdomains. He explained what he believed had happened. Some hacker — or group — had gained access to the Trump Organization’s GoDaddy domain registration account. Like many companies, the Trump Organization has registered a long list of domain names, many of which it has never put to use. Some examples:,,,, and

    For each of over a hundred of these Trump domains, the intruder created two shadow subdomains, with the names of these subdomains generally following a pattern: three to seven seemingly random letters placed before the real domain name. Here are examples from the list: and; and; and; and; and and

    The available historical data for these shadow subdomains indicate most of them were created in August 2013. When they first were set up, the shadow subdomains were aimed at one of 17 IP addresses on a network that was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and they were hosted on servers owned by a company called the Petersburg Internet Network, a server provider with a reputation for hosting nefarious actors.

    In a January 2015 blog post about fraudulent IP routing and malware, Doug Madory, the director of internet analysis at Dyn, called the Petersburg Internet Network “perhaps the leading contender for being named the Mos Eisley of the Internet,” a reference to the wild and seedy spaceport city on the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars movies. Currently, the IP addresses for these shadow Trump subdomains are registered to a different entity in Russia. According to several cybersecurity experts, the fact that the IP addresses point to Russia does not mean the Trump Organization breach originated there.

    The shadow Trump Organization subdomains point to IP addresses in the range between and — and these addresses are part of a larger network. In October 2013, a security researcher identified a website called deploying an exploit kit that was intended to pilfer passwords and other information from targeted computers and noted it was associated with this IP address: That IP address is within the same network as the IP addresses used for the shadow Trump Organization subdomains — an indication that these subdomains might have been part of a network used to deploy malware against other computers.

    This week, a researcher named C. Shawn Eib wrote a blog post highlighting the existence of the shadow subdomains, which had been referenced in a Twitter thread several weeks ago. Eib noted that “more than 250 subdomains of domains registered to the Trump Organization redirect traffic to computers in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

    Another computer security expert, who also asked not to be named, notes that this network of shadow subdomains may have been established by a criminal enterprise looking to use the Trump Organization’s computer system as the launching pad for various cyberattacks on other individuals or entities. But, he adds, this breach also could be exploited by state or nonstate actors attempting to infiltrate the Trump Organization. “At the least,” he remarks, “it shows the Trump Organization has been badly run.”

    In his blog post, Eib notes, “With an organization of this size, and with the added security concerns and scrutiny that a presidential campaign and victory would entail, it would be inexcusable for this to not have been discovered by their IT department. Any basic security audit would show the existence of these subdomains, and what servers they’re leading to. This is sloppy at best, and potentially criminally negligent at worst, depending on the traffic that is being run through these servers.”

    All of the legitimate Trump Organization domains and the suspected subdomains were registered through GoDaddy. The creation of the shadow subdomains suggests that the hacker (or hackers) compromised the company’s GoDaddy account and, depending on how the account was penetrated, the intruders could have obtained passwords and access to other computers in the Trump Organization network.


    The security expert who first alerted Mother Jones to the Trump-related shadow subdomains noted that as soon as the Trump Organization responded for this story, records related to the subdomains began disappearing.

    More at
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Court Pick Rated ‘Not Qualified’ Sits Through Humiliating Senate Hearing

    You’re the first Circuit Court nominee since 2006 to get this awful ABA rating? Yep, says Leonard Steven Grasz.

    By Jennifer Bendery, HuffPost


    Two days after the American Bar Association rated Leonard Steven Grasz “not qualified” to be a judge, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing Wednesday for Grasz’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. It was brutal.

    With Grasz sitting in front of the committee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) read aloud passages from the ABA’s eight-page statement outlining why Grasz earned such a terrible and rarely designated rating by the nation’s premier legal society.

    “I assume you’re keenly aware that you are the first Circuit Court nominee since 2006 to receive a unanimous ‘not qualified’ rating from the ABA?” Whitehouse asked Grasz. “And that the last nominee who had such a rating was withdrawn?”

    “That is my understanding, senator,” replied Grasz.

    Awkward! It only got worse.

    “Do you think that this is a matter as to which the committee should have no concern?” asked Whitehouse.

    “I have great respect for the amount of time and effort the American Bar Association put into the process,” said Grasz. “I respectfully disagree with the result.”

    The Rhode Island senator noted that the ABA rated Grasz “not qualified’ in a unanimous 14-0 vote. He asked Grasz if he knew that was the tally.

    “I’m not keenly aware of that,” said Grasz. “I believe there was one abstention.”

    “That’s why it’s 14,” Whitehouse replied. “There are 15 of them.... It’s the full panel of 14 non-abstaining lawyers.”

    The ABA interviewed several colleagues of Grasz, who was Nebraska’s chief deputy attorney general for 11 years, as part of its evaluation of his fitness to be a judge. Some described him as “gratuitously rude.” Others expressed an “unusual fear” of consequences if they said anything bad about him because of his “deep connection and allegiance” to powerful politicians in Nebraska.

    ABA members also raised concerns that Grasz would be “unable to separate his role as an advocate from that of a judge,” given his record on such issues as abortion. Among other things, he defended Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion, and, in a 1999 article, he argued that lower courts should be able to overrule Supreme Court decisions on abortion rights because “abortion jurisprudence is, to a significant extent, a word game.”

    “In sum, the evaluators and the Committee found that temperament issues, particularly bias and lack of open-mindedness, were problematic,” reads the statement submitted by Pam Bresnahan, the chair of the ABA’s standing committee that reviews nominees. “The evaluators found that the people interviewed believed that the nominee’s bias and the lens through which he viewed his role as a judge colored his ability to judge fairly.”

    White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley defended Grasz’s nomination.


    It’s up to the White House to decide if it wants to plow ahead with Grasz. If the president doesn’t withdraw his nomination, the Judiciary Committee could vote to advance him to the full Senate in a matter of weeks.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee, said Wednesday that he invited ABA representatives to testify at a Nov. 15 hearing about their Grasz rating. They accepted, he said, so that hearing will happen before Grasz is scheduled for his committee vote.

    More at
  15. It's always someone else's fault. Trump the egoist.
  16. This is one of the seminal articles on Trump's White House. Another was the article from the NYT describing Trump in his bathrobe,a TV flying thru a window and White House meetings in the dark because they couldn't figure how to turn on the lights. You can smell the stink of fear.
  17. Piece by piece it will all come tumbling down like the house of cards it is!

    Can't wait to watch Trump being further humiliated.
  18. Trump theory is blame anyone, blame everyone including your son in law, but never blame yourself for your own failures.
  19. White Tara Global Moderator

    Well to be fair, he is right in some regard, Jared, Ivanka, Donald Jr are all totally blameworthy, but he is captain fuckup so they can all go together, happily knowing that Trumps all carry the same stain of incompetence equally.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Prosecutors Weigh Charges in DNC Hacking Case | The Daily Beast


    Prosecutors at the Department of Justice have identified at least six members of the Russian government who were involved in hacking computers at the Democratic National Committee. The suspects allegedly grabbed sensitive information and then publicized it during the 2016 election, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. Now, agents and prosecutors could bring charges against those six officials as early as 2018. Such a case would provide the clearest picture to-date of the hacking that arguably swayed the election toward President Trump.


  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Russian hackers targeted thousands worldwide, beyond U.S. election | The Associated Press


    The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election had ambitions well beyond Hillary Clinton's campaign, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defence contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press.

    The list provides the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government, exposing an operation that stretched back years and tried to break into the inboxes of 4,700 Gmail users across the globe — from the pope's representative in Kyiv to the punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow.

    "It's a wish list of who you'd want to target to further Russian interests," said Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, and one of five outside experts who reviewed the AP's findings. He said the data was "a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence."

    The AP findings draw on a database of 19,000 malicious links collected by cybersecurity firm Secureworks, dozens of rogue emails, and interviews with more than 100 hacking targets.

    Secureworks stumbled upon the data after a hacking group known as Fancy Bear accidentally exposed part of its phishing operation to the internet. The list revealed a direct line between the hackers and the leaks that rocked the presidential contest in its final stages, most notably the private emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    The issue of who hacked the Democrats is back in the national spotlight following the revelation Monday that a Donald Trump campaign official, George Papadopoulos, was briefed early last year that the Russians had "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of emails."

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the notion that Russia interfered "unfounded." But the list examined by AP provides powerful evidence that the Kremlin did just that.

    "This is the Kremlin and the general staff," said Andras Racz, a specialist in Russian security policy at Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Hungary, as he examined the data. "I have no doubts."


    Secureworks' list covers the period between March 2015 and May 2016. Most of the identified targets were in the United States, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Syria.

    In the United States, which was Russia's Cold War rival, Fancy Bear tried to pry open at least 573 inboxes belonging to those in the top echelons of the country's diplomatic and security services: then-Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-NATO Supreme Commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, and one of his predecessors, U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark.

    The list skewed toward workers for defence contractors such as Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin or senior intelligence figures, prominent Russia watchers and — especially — Democrats. More than 130 party workers, campaign staffers and supporters of the party were targeted, including Podesta and other members of Clinton's inner circle.

    The AP also found a handful of Republican targets.

    Podesta, Powell, Breedlove and more than a dozen Democratic targets besides Podesta would soon find their private correspondence dumped to the web. The AP has determined that all had been targeted by Fancy Bear, most of them three to seven months before the leaks.

    "They got two years of email," Powell recently told AP. He said that while he couldn't know for sure who was responsible, "I always suspected some Russian connection."

    In Ukraine, which is fighting a grinding war against Russia-backed separatists, Fancy Bear attempted to break into at least 545 accounts, including those of President Petro Poroshenko and his son Alexei, half a dozen current and former ministers such as Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and as many as two dozen current and former lawmakers.

    The list includes Serhiy Leshchenko, an opposition parliamentarian who helped uncover the off-the-books payments allegedly made to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — whose indictment was unsealed Monday in Washington.

    In Russia, Fancy Bear focused on government opponents and dozens of journalists. Among the targets were oil tycoon-turned-Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in prison and now lives in exile, and Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina. Along with them were 100 more civil society figures, including anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and his lieutenants.

    "Everything on this list fits," said Vasily Gatov, a Russian media analyst who was himself among the targets. He said Russian authorities would have been particularly interested in Navalny, one of the few opposition leaders with a national following.

    Many of the targets have little in common except that they would have been crossing the Kremlin's radar: an environmental activist in the remote Russian port city of Murmansk; a small political magazine in Armenia; the Vatican's representative in Kyiv; an adult education organization in Kazakhstan.

    "It's simply hard to see how any other country would be particularly interested in their activities," said Michael Kofman, an expert on Russian military affairs at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington. He was also on the list.

    "If you're not Russia," he said, "hacking these people is a colossal waste of time."


    Even if only a small fraction of the 4,700 Gmail accounts targeted by Fancy Bear were hacked successfully, the data drawn from them could run into terabytes — easily rivaling the biggest known leaks in journalistic history.

    For the hackers to have made sense of that mountain of messages — in English, Ukrainian, Russian, Georgian, Arabic and many other languages — they would have needed a substantial team of analysts and translators. Merely identifying and sorting the targets took six AP reporters eight weeks of work.

    More at
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    With investors under fire for financing white nationalism, Robert Mercer resigns from hedge fund

    The move comes just two weeks after ThinkProgress exposed Mercer as the link between 12 wealthy institutions and white nationalism.

    By Danielle McLean, ThinkProgress


    Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to the New York Times. Mercer’s resignation came just two weeks after ThinkProgress revealed 12 nonprofits, universities, and public retirement funds had invested millions of dollars into the hedge fund, noting that their investments were helping fund white nationalism.

    Mercer also plans to sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughter Rebekah, who shares his political views.

    In a statement, Robert Mercer also repudiated Milo Yiannopoulos, who laundered white nationalist propaganda, saying he has severed all ties.
    [ From ]

    Mercer sent a letter investors and pension advisors on Thursday morning informing them of his plans to step down from his post at Renaissance Technologies at the end of the year but said he would remain active on the research side of the company, the New York Times reported.

    The ThinkProgress story sparked large public outcry, with thousands of people tweeting and messaging those institutions to divest. Michigan State University was targeted by student groups and an activist group that launched a successful campaign to stop Breitbart advertising called Sleeping Giants.

    Mercer’s political views run contrast to Renaissance Technologies’ founder James Simons, a historically large donor of Democrat causes and campaigns.


    Read the full letter conservative mega-donor Bob Mercer wrote slamming Milo and distancing himself from Steve Bannon
    • Robert Mercer announced he was stepping down at co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.
    • He expounded on his political views at length, distancing himself from some of the far-right individuals he has been suspected of bankrolling.
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    New reporting deals another big blow to Trump’s dangerous Russia spin | The Washington Post


    We all need to do a better job stating clearly what President Trump’s position on the Russia probes really is and what it really means. When Trump dismisses discussion of Russian interference in the 2016 election as a hoax, he isn’t merely saying the charge of collusion with that meddling is a hoax. He’s also saying that the alleged Russian sabotage itself, irrespective of whether his campaign colluded with it, definitively never happened at all and, by extension, doesn’t merit any inquiry or discussion.

    Some new reporting out this morning underscores in a fresh way just how reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous to our democracy this stance has become.

    The Associated Press reports that the Russian effort to swing the election to Trump may have been much broader than previously known. The AP reports on extensive new data collected by a cybersecurity firm — which accessed it via a misstep by hackers — that experts say leaves little doubt of direct Russian involvement in the hacking and reveals a much broader set of targets for it than previous reporting had indicated. One key revelation concerns how many Democratic Party officials were hit by the hacks, per the AP: “More than 130 party workers, campaign staffers and supporters of the party were targeted, including [campaign chair John] Podesta and other members of [Hillary] Clinton’s inner circle.”

    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department has identified “more than six members of the Russian government” who were allegedly behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee. If charges are filed, the Journal notes, “the case would provide the clearest picture yet of the actors behind the DNC intrusion.”

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe is tasked, first and foremost, with investigating “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” in addition to looking at any “coordination” with U.S. campaign officials. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s charge is similar. But Trump has repeatedly dismissed the very idea that there was any Russian interference at all as a hoax. To be fair, at times, he has acknowledged it may have happened and that we need to investigate the details, but far more often, his stance has been to dismiss the whole story as a “big Dem HOAX” and an “excuse for losing the election.”

    This undermines efforts to develop a full accounting of that interference — which, in turn, undermines efforts to prevent it from happening again, something U.S. intelligence services have warned is likely. The new AP reporting, by revealing just how ambitious that interference appeared to be, underscores how much is riding on developing this full accounting, and it should prompt us to revisit just how destructive Trump’s blithe dismissals threaten to be.

    The new reporting is also cause to revisit the posture of Republican lawmakers toward the Russian meddling efforts during the 2016 election. As The Post has reported, Obama administration officials privately asked senior congressional officials in both parties to show a united front against Russian sabotage, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused, claiming (in The Post’s words) that “he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

    Former CIA director John Brennan has delivered new public remarks about this that deserve attention. Brennan told “Frontline” the following about this meeting:

    “In those briefings of Congress, some of the individuals expressed concern that this was motivated by partisan interests on the part of the [Obama] administration. And I took offense to that. I told them that this is an intelligence assessment; that this is an intelligence matter.”

    The key here is that we don’t know just how extensive a case for Russian meddling was presented to these lawmakers. It is plausible that it was quite extensive. And as Brennan notes, it was backed up by U.S. intelligence and represented a request for a non-partisan, bi-partisan response. Yet McConnell killed this effort at bi-partisanship by claiming he would cast any public warnings as “partisan.”

    To be clear, if Trump wants to say that the Russian sabotage has not been fully verified and that we don’t know the full story; that the Obama administration didn’t do enough on its own to counter the meddling; and that collusion has not been proven — well, all of that is defensible and true. But Trump is going a lot further than that. He’s saying definitively that the meddling itself never happened. The true nature of his position keeps getting lost in a fog of charges and countercharges around whether collusion happened. But we shouldn’t let that happen.

    REPUBLICANS WORK TO KEEP TRUMP IN GOOD SPIRITS: Trump called the New York Times to insist he’s “not angry” over the Russia probes, which is almost certainly nonsense, but this is more interesting:

    In the interview, Mr. Trump added that he was buoyed by fresh polling he said he had seen from swing states, supplied to him by the Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel, earlier on Wednesday. “I just got fantastic poll numbers,” the president said, listing what he saw as his biggest accomplishments, including a focus on deregulation and low unemployment rates. He did not cite any specific polls or reveal any numbers from Ms. McDaniel.

    Yep, just keep feeding that presidential ego and hope for the best, guys.

    Continued at

  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    The other huge scandal Mueller brought to light this week

    By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post


    Robert Mueller brought to light a huge scandal this week, and it has nothing to do with Russia.

    He has introduced the world to Sam Clovis.

    Clovis, we now know, was the Trump campaign official who oversaw George Papadopoulos and encouraged his efforts to meet with Russian officials. But what’s more interesting than what Clovis is is what Clovis isn’t.

    For those who had not heard of Clovis before (which is pretty much everybody), he has been nominated to be the chief scientist at the Agriculture Department, a position that by law must go to “distinguished scientists,” even though he is, well, not a scientist. He is a talk-radio host, economics professor (though not actually an economist, either) and, most importantly, a Trump campaign adviser.

    President Trump promised to “hire the best people.” And, as scientists go, Clovis is an excellent talk-show host. Among his scientific breakthroughs: being “extremely skeptical” of climate change, calling homosexuality “a choice,” suggesting gay rights would lead to legalized pedophilia, pushing the Obama birther allegation, and calling Eric Holder a “racist bigot” and Tom Perez a “racist Latino.”

    Trump may want “extreme vetting” of immigrants, but he’s rather more lenient with his appointees. On Wednesday, he named Robin Bernstein to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Bernstein speaks only “basic Spanish” (it’s so hard to find Americans who speak Spanish), but she does have this — membership at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

    A group called American Oversight had the foresight to make records requests for résumés of those hired by the Trump administration, and the group searched for those who worked on the Trump campaign. Among the “best” Trump hires American Oversight found:

    ●Sid Bowdidge, assistant to the secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Before working for the Trump campaign, Bowdidge, from 2013 to 2015, was manager of the Meineke Car Care branch in Seabrook, N.H. He previously was service and branch manager for tire shops. I don’t know what qualified Bowdidge for his position, but I do know this: He is not going to pay a lot for that muffler. (He had to hit the road, losing his job after it was discovered he had called Muslims “maggots.”)

    ●Victoria Barton, congressional relations for Regions II, V and VI, Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to working for the Trump campaign, Barton was an office manager and, between 2013 and 2015, a “bartender/bar manager.” The expertise in housing policy possessed by Barton is no doubt invaluable to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, a retired brain surgeon.

    ●Christopher Hagan, a confidential assistant at the Agriculture Department. Before working on the Trump campaign, he was, between 2009 and 2015, a “cabana attendant” at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y. According to his résumé, he “identified and addressed customer’s needs in a timely and orderly manner.”

    This is important, because you never know when somebody at the USDA is going to need a towel.

    ●Nick Brusky, also a confidential assistant at the USDA. The Trump campaign worker previously drove a truck. He was a trustee in Butler Township, Ohio, at the same time, and, as Politico noted, his résumé lists coursework but no degree.

    ●David Matthews, yet another confidential assistant at the Agriculture Department, developed scented candles while also serving as a “legal receptionist” before joining the Trump campaign.

    Some of the other “best” people Trump has hired are well known. Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator, previously arranged Trump golf tournaments and arranged Eric Trump’s wedding, among other things. Callista Gingrich, just confirmed as ambassador to the Vatican, prepared for this by writing children’s books, singing in a church choir — and being married to Trump ally Newt Gingrich.

    Others now in high office are less known: an office page, the author of an anti-Clinton book, a Christian-school librarian, a couple of real estate brokers and a landscaper. Many don’t appear to meet the educational qualifications for their positions.

    Continued at

    Trump's 'alarming' death penalty call threatens suspect's chance of fair trial, experts warn
    • President calls for execution of Sayfullo Saipov, suspect in New York attack
    • Legal experts say president’s comments could pollute jury pool

    Trump renewed his call for the death penalty on Thursday. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

    Joanna Walters, Jessica Glenza and agencies
    Thursday 2 November 2017 17.57 GMTFirst published on Thursday 2 November 2017 06.39 GMT
    Donald Trump’s decision to call for the death penalty for the suspect in this week’s terrorist attack in New York could threaten his chance of a fair trial, legal experts have warned.
    A bike ride, smiles and a peace sign: footage shows Argentinians before truck attack

    Read more
    The president first called for the execution of Sayfullo Saipov on Wednesday and renewed his call on Thursday morning.
    “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” Trumptweeted on Wednesday night.
    On Thursday morning he followed up by appearing to rule out sending Saipov to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, something he had mooted on Wednesday.
    “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system,” the president tweeted. “There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”
    Saipov, 29, has been charged with causing the deaths of eight people and providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization – Islamic State. He is accused of driving the truck down a bike path on Manhattan’s west side, and was hospitalized after being shot by a police officer and arrested.
    He told investigators he had been inspired by watching Islamic State videos and began planning Tuesday’s attack a year ago, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
    “Making a broad statement that he deserves the death penalty before he has stood trial is something that absolutely influences jurors – this is coming from the most powerful person in the United States,” said Anna Cominsky, a law professor at New York Law School.
    She added: “What happened here was a horrible tragedy, but our constitution says no matter how egregious a crime, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty and in effect the president has already said the person is guilty. It’s very disappointing and it’s not how the system works. I think the legal community is surprised and it’s this particular comment that’s alarming.”
    Gannon Coens, a defence attorney at Bodiford Law in Tallahassee, Florida, said Trump was “a very divisive person”.
    “If I was defending this client I certainly would not be pleased. It does not help in any way and it would make my job more difficult.”
    Coens said the comments might not make it impossible to pick a jury, but would probably slow the process down. The selection process, during which potential jurors are asked if they have heard or seen things that might make them biased in a case, can take weeks or even months in high profile cases.
    One legal expert, who asked not to be named, said: “Comments like this could pollute the jury pool. It was inappropriate.”
    The judge in the case of army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is waiting to be sentenced for walking off his post in Afghanistan, said recently that his punishment might end up being lighter because of harsh comments made about the soldier by Trump on the campaign trail.
    The chances of Saipov receiving the death penalty on federal charges in a court in New York are slim. The last time a federal case tried in New York ended in an execution was 1954. In the most recent case, Ronnell Wilson, who was sentenced to death for murdering two undercover detectives in 2003, had his death sentence overturned based on his reduced mental capacity.
    Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said: “No one is on federal death row in the US for a crime committed in New York state.” There have only been three federal executions since 1963.
    New York attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov charged with terrorism

    Read more
    Vehicle assaults similar to the New York attack took place in Spain in August and in France and Germany last year, claiming dozens of lives. Saipov told authorities he made a trial run with a rental truck on 22 October to practise turning the vehicle and “stated that he felt good about what he had done” after the attack, the complaint alleged.
    The 10-page charging document said Saipov waived his rights to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination in agreeing to speak to investigators without an attorney present from his bed at Bellevue hospital center in Manhattan.
    The complaint said Saipov had requested permission to display the Islamic State flag in his hospital room.

    Eight people killed after truck drives on to New York bike path – video report
    It said he was particularly motivated by seeing a video in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – who led the campaign by Isis to seize territory for a self-proclaimed caliphate within Iraq and Syria – exhorted Muslims in the US and elsewhere to support the group’s cause.
    Investigators found thousands of Isis-related propaganda images and videos on a cellphone belonging to Saipov, including video clips showing Isis prisoners being beheaded, run over by a tank and shot in the face, the complaint said.

    Argentina mourns New York victims: businessmen, architects and lifelong friends

    Read more
    US law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, said Saipov had been in contact with Kadirov and another person of interest in the investigation, though they did not elaborate.
    Tuesday’s assault was the deadliest in New York City since 9/11, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people.
    Of those killed, five were Argentinian tourists, who were among a group of friends visiting New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, one was a Belgian citizen, one was a New York resident and one lived in New Jersey.
    Saipov allegedly used a pickup truck rented from a New Jersey Home Depot store to run down pedestrians and cyclists along a 20-block stretch of the bike path beside the Hudson river before slamming into a school bus.
    According to authorities, he then left his vehicle shouting “Allahu Akbar” and brandishing what turned out to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun before a police officer shot him in the abdomen.
    Saipov, seated in a wheelchair, appeared for a brief hearing in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday evening. Saipov did not ask for bail and was remanded to federal custody. It was not immediately clear where he would be held.
    Saipov lived in Paterson, New Jersey, a one-time industrial hub about 25 miles (40km) north-west of lower Manhattan.
    On Wednesday there people reacted with terror, disbelief and shock that a neighbor may have perpetrated such an act. But one reaction appeared common: a desire to stay out of the spotlight.
    Hilmi, a 56-year-old man who refused to give his last name, said he had seen Saipov once or twice at Omar Mosque, “but he’s not like a member”.
    Multiple neighbors confirmed that Saipov had two daughters and a young son, but few were able to describe him beyond that.
    Hilmi said he saw Saipov, “take the kids from the van,” but that Saipov had only lived there about six months.
    Saipov lived in an immigrant neighborhood. His immediate neighbors were from Morocco and Macedonia. Workers at the nearby recycling plant are Polish.
    The city clearly had jitters. “It’s terrifying,” said Maria Rivas, a 32-year-old mother who lives a few streets from the suspect.
    She said she had left work because she was so scared. “It’s really close to home,” she said.
    Reuters contributed to this report

    Trump aide Sam Clovis pulls out of consideration for job

    [IMG]Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    An ex-Trump aide has withdrawn from consideration for an administration post amid scrutiny of his credentials and connection to the Russian inquiry.
    Sam Clovis was a candidate to become chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture, but critics said he was devoid of experience for the job.
    Mr Clovis has been linked to another former Trump adviser who lied to the FBI about his Russian interactions.
    US justice officials are probing claims Trump aides colluded with Moscow.
    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday: "We respect Mr Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination."
    In a letter sent to the president, Mr Clovis - an early and vocal Trump supporter - wrote: "The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position.
    "The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day."
    He had been due to face a congressional hearing next week on his appointment as undersecretary.

    Media captionGeorge Papadopoulos: The Trump adviser who lied to the FBI
    A Democrat said Mr Clovis' nomination was only withdrawn because he would have faced questions under oath about the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia.
    Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, a member of the chamber's agriculture committee, also said Mr Clovis was "a comically bad nominee, even for this administration".
    Some 3,100 scientists signed a letter last month to the panel arguing that Mr Clovis was "completely devoid of relevant scientific experience".
    The nominee conceded last month in a questionnaire from the committee that he had no background in hard sciences.
    He is a former Trump campaign co-chairman and Iowa radio host with a background in political science.
    [IMG]Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionPaul Manafort arrives at the federal courthouse with his lawyer on Thursday
    But Mr Clovis told senators his career in Iowa politics had required some knowledge of agricultural science.
    Mr Clovis has previously been criticised for rejecting the scientific consensus that human-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change as "not proven", and for arguing that gay marriage could lead to the legalisation of paedophilia.
    This week he cropped up in a criminal indictment against a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.
    Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his conversations with Russian nationals.
    Mr Clovis' lawyer says his client is the "campaign supervisor" in the charge-sheet who encouraged Papadopoulos, a junior aide, to pursue back channel contacts with Kremlin-connected officials.
    Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a business associate were back in court on Thursday.
    They were charged this week with tax fraud by the Department of Justice investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections.
    Their charges do not state any direct connections to the Trump campaign or allegations of collusion.
    The Kremlin has repeatedly denied interfering, while President Trump has depicted suggestions his associates co-operated with Russia as a witch hunt.
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why is Trump so obsessed with Russia? We’re finally going to find out.

    By Joe Scarborough, The Washington Post


    I don’t get it, and I never have. Why has President Trump kowtowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin since the beginning of his presidential campaign? I’ve asked this question on the air, and off, to those close to the president and to the president himself. No one has a good answer. The man has insulted everyone from war heroes to the pope, and yet his admiration of the Russian dictator remains intact.

    During my Dec. 18, 2015, “Morning Joe” interview with Trump, I tried throwing some cold water on the then-candidate’s adoration of the Russian leader.

    “He kills journalists, political opponents and . . . ”

    “Invades countries,” co-anchor Willie Geist helpfully added.

    “ . . . and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?” I asked.

    Any other candidate would have hit this softball out of the park. But not Trump.

    “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

    I tried slowing down for emphasis.

    “But, again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him.”

    “Well,” Trump weakly argued, “I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.”

    To this day, Trump has been steadfast in his defense of an autocrat who views the Soviet Union’s collapse as a tragedy and the United States as an enemy. Why? Soon I may not have to speculate. This week’s news out of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office suggests that what has long been opaque will soon become clear.

    Here’s some of what we know so far. It seems to be enough to make any self-aware president panic.

    June 16, 2015: Trump announces he’s running for president.

    October 2015 to January 2016: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen tries to make a deal with Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

    Dec. 10, 2015: Top Trump ally Michael Flynn is seated beside Putin to celebrate the Kremlin propaganda outlet Russia Today.

    March 21, 2016: Trump tells The Post that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos are key members of his foreign policy team.

    April 26, 2016: Kremlin-connected professor Joseph Mifsud tells Papadopoulos that Moscow has “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”

    • April 27, 2016: Despite insisting throughout the campaign that they had never met with Russian officials, Trump and Jeff Sessions greet Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at an event at the Mayflower Hotel.

    June 9, 2016: Donald Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner meet with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Kremlin insider Rinat Akhmetshin to gain information that would allegedly incriminate Clinton and her dealings with Russia. In an email setting up the meeting, Trump Jr. expresses excitement about receiving Russian intelligence about the Democratic nominee.

    July 7, 2016: Manafort offers to provide briefings to a Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire.

    July 18, 2016: Trump campaign members succeed in pressuring Republicans to remove a platform plank in support of providing arms to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression.

    July 27, 2016: Trump makes a direct appeal to the Kremlin during a news conference. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    Sept. 16, 2016: After admitting that he had been in contact with WikiLeaks — and later revealing that he had contact with a hacker connected to Russia — Trump associate Roger Stone tells Boston Herald Radio that WikiLeaks will soon “drop a payload of new documents on Hillary on a weekly basis” that will damage the Clinton campaign.

    Oct. 7, 2016: The “Access Hollywood” tape is released. About a half-hour later, WikiLeaks begins to publish Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.

    Dec. 1: Kushner meets with Kislyak in an attempt to create a “channel” for sensitive communications between the transition team and the Russian government, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

    Dec. 29, 2016: Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn calls Kislyak to discuss sanctions placed on Russia by President Barack Obama.

    Jan. 11: At his first news conference as president-elect, Trump said, “If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That’s called an asset, not a liability. Now, I don’t know that I’m gonna get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do.” He also tweets, “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

    Feb. 13: Flynn resigns after he reportedly lied to Vice President Pence about his contacts with Kislyak.

    May 9: Trump fires FBI Director James B. Comey.

    May 10: Trump meets in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kislyak, bragging that the firing of “nut job” Comey will ease pressure from the investigation. Trump barred U.S. reporters from the meeting and revealed classified information to the Russian officials.

    May 11: In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump reveals that he had asked Comey whether he was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia.

    June 7: Comey releases a memo recalling his interactions with Trump, who he said asked for an oath of loyalty from him.

    July 7: Trump meets with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany. A second dinner meeting was undisclosed.

    Oct. 5: Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation agreement with Mueller.

    Oct. 30: Mueller’s office indicts Manafort and associate Rick Gates on charges of conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

    I’m starting to think that the answers to our burning questions about Trump’s strange obsession with Russia are revealing themselves in a slow and painful way for the president and all of his men and women. Will the next big reveal in this reality show spectacle come when one of his closest confidants surprises him in the final episode, not with a rose, but with a wire? The ratings would be yuge. Believe me. Yuge.


    Donald Trump's business ties to Russia: A history

    By David Ignatius, The Washington Post
  29. Trump's twitter feed went down for 11 minutes, done by a twitter employee on their last day. Twitter went nuts. This is my favorite
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    GOP Unveils Tax Plan, Trump Lashes Out After Terror Attack: A Closer Look

    Seth takes a closer look at how an increasingly authoritarian-sounding Trump is flailing as Republicans squabble over his signature piece of legislation, his tax cut plan.
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump’s Twitter account was temporarily deleted by a disgruntled company employee

    By Kurt Wagner and Kara Swisher, Recode


    President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account was temporarily removed on Thursday after a Twitter employee purposefully deactivated the account.

    Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account went down for 11 minutes Thursday afternoon, and it was originally unclear why. Twitter later tweeted that it was because of “human error,” and that the company was investigating further.

    In a tweet Thursday night, Twitter confirmed that the account was deactivated “by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”

    The fact that a single Twitter employee can remove the account of the most power Twitter user on the planet is startling, to say the least. Two sources familiar with the company said that employees on Twitter’s Trust and Safety team have the ability to suspend or remove accounts, but a second source said that this is limited.

    This source added that Twitter once considered a safeguard in which it would require two employees to remove important, notable Twitter accounts, but that it has never been implemented.

    Another source said that Twitter’s top employees, including the CEO, could not automatically delete an account, which are monitored via what are essentially dashboards at the company.

    That said, another source said that someone internally with tech skills could certainly figure out a way to go around the system.

    What is not clear is whether Twitter had a special plan in place for Trump’s account, which is undoubtedly the most high-profile one on the platform, either to protect it or suspend it if he or those who tweet for him did anything to violate terms of service.

    A company spokesperson declined to comment on Twitter’s safety and security operations for “security reasons.” But, given the controversy this situation will attract, it will have to have a lot more answers and quick.

    Trump will no doubt be frustrated with what happened, and we might hear from him in the morning via his Twitter account, which is back up and running and presumably being watched over more carefully now by Twitter.

    More importantly, it is a definite black eye for tech, which is already under siege in Washington, D.C., where Twitter, Facebook and Google had a rough week. The trio testified at three Congressional hearings about their platforms being used by Russia to create divisiveness in the U.S. around the 2016 elections. Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the tech giants for lacking oversight of their operations.

    This deletion of the Trump account proves that point. In addition, it is already the perception of some — especially conservatives — that the Silicon Valley tech industry is predominantly anti-Trump. The fact that a company employee removed the U.S. President’s Twitter account certainly won’t change that perception and will, in fact, reinforce it.


    Many on Twitter had a field day with Trump’s temporary ban. The silver lining for Twitter: This generated a lot of funny tweets.

    More at
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