The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

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  1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Now Recalls Rejecting Russia Trip For George Papadopoulos | MSNBC

    Jeff Sessions In BIG Trouble?
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Ex-Putin adviser: Putin 'believed' he elected Trump | TheHill


    A former top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Putin takes credit for President Trump's victory in the 2016 election.

    In an interview on PBS's "Frontline," former Kremlin adviser Gleb Pavlovsky said he wasn't sure how much influence Putin had over the Kremlin's disinformation campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but said he thinks Putin believes he helped elect Trump.

    "It’s really difficult to understand what was the level of Putin’s involvement or blessing in that," Pavlovsky said of election meddling. "After November, after Trump was elected, the situation changed. Now Putin understands, or he believed at least, that he was strong. I don’t know who believed in America that Putin elected Trump, but Putin believed that. Putin believed that, and that has become a political factor."

    Pavlovsky said that while Putin thought Clinton would win the election, he aimed at bolstering her opponents regardless of the outcome, for his own political gain.

    "He [Putin] most probably thought that Clinton would be the winning candidate, and he tried to build his propaganda accordingly. Why not help her adversaries? They will be helpful, most probably, if he gives them a helping hand," Pavlovsky told PBS.

    Pavlovsky emphasized that he can't be sure of Putin's role in Russian interference in the 2016 election, but added that Putin "for sure he has allowed something to be done," pointing to Russia's extensive propaganda effort in the United States.

    Continued at
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime

    Trump’s former campaign manager didn’t just do business with accused gangsters. One of them transferred millions into a Manafort account, allegedly used for money laundering.

    By Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast


    Buried deep in Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort is a new link between Donald Trump’s former campaign and Russian organized crime.

    The indictment (PDF), unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort’s byzantine financial dealings. In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States.

    The Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited, in turn, reportedly received millions of dollars from a businessman and Ukrainian parliamentarian named Ivan Fursin, who is closely linked to one of Russia’s most notorious criminals: Semion Mogilevich.

    Mogilevich is frequently described as “the most dangerous mobster in the world.” Currently believed to be safe in Moscow, he is, according to the FBI, responsible for weapons trafficking, contract killings, and international prostitution. In 2009, he made the bureau’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

    “Ivan Fursin was a senior figure in the Mogilevich criminal organization,” Taras Kuzio, a non-resident fellow at Johns Hopkins-SAIS’ Center for Transatlantic Relations and a specialist on the region told The Daily Beast.

    Martin Sheil, a retired criminal investigator for the IRS, said the indictment, with its connections to Fursin, helps illuminate the murky world Manafort operated in before taking the reins of Trump’s presidential bid.

    “This indictment strongly indicates the existence of a previously unknown relationship between an alleged Russian organized crime leader and Mr. Manafort,” Sheil told The Daily Beast.

    According to the indictment, Manafort and his former business partner, Rick Gates, used Lucicle to avoid paying taxes on money which they then spent on a variety of pricey items: clothes, antiques, and at least one Mercedes-Benz.

    Continued at
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Says He’s ‘Very Frustrated’ He Can’t Order DOJ, FBI To Go After Hillary Clinton

    “The saddest thing is that because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI.”

    By Ed Mazza, HuffPost


    President Donald Trump said he would “love” to send the Justice Department and FBI after former rival Hillary Clinton, and is “very frustrated” that he can’t.

    During an interview on Thursday, conservative radio host Larry O’Connor of WMAL in Washington told Trump that his callers wanted to see an investigation into the 7-year-old Uranium One deal. Back in 2010, when Clinton was secretary of state, a Russian nuclear energy firm bought a controlling interest in Uranium One. Since then, the deal has become a major talking point in conservative media.

    Trump lamented:

    “But you know the saddest thing is that because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I’m very frustrated by it.”

    Trump also questioned why the DOJ wasn’t investigating Clinton’s behavior during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    “I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department. Why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with the dossier, and the kind of money?” Trump said. “I don’t know, is it possible that they paid $12.4 million for the dossier? And how was it ― which is total phony, fake ― and how was it used?”

    Trump called the whole situation “very discouraging” and said he was “very unhappy” that it seemed like the Justice Department wasn’t investigating Clinton. He also said the president isn’t supposed to be involved in such a process, then added, “but hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we’re going to all have it out.”

    Listen to the full interview below.

    Continued at

    Twitter employee 'deactivated' Trump account on last day

    [IMG]Image copyrightTWITTERImage captionFor a short time visitors could only see a message that read: "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!"
    US President Donald Trump's Twitter account briefly vanished on Thursday but has since been restored, the social media company said.
    An employee deactivated the @realdonaldtrump account, it said, clarifying that it had been their last day in the job.
    The account was down for 11 minutes and Twitter is now investigating.
    Tweets from Mr Trump, who has 41.7 million followers, have frequently caused controversy.
    The latest incident has sparked debate about the security of the president's account, given the potential consequences of posts falsely attributed to Mr Trump being published.
    However, @POTUS, the official account of the US president, was unaffected.
    'Last day'

    On Thursday evening, visitors to Mr Trump's page for a short time could only see a message that read "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!"
    [IMG]Image copyrightTWITTERImage captionDonald Trump has been actively using Twitter to promote his policies and attack his opponents
    After the account was restored, Mr Trump's first tweet was about the Republican Party's tax cuts plan.
    Twitter said it was investigating the problem and taking steps to avoid it happening again.
    It later said: "Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day. We are conducting a full internal review."
    Skip Twitter post by @TwitterGov

    Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review. …
    2:00 AM - Nov 3, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post by @TwitterGov
    'Bing, bing, bing'

    Mr Trump joined Twitter in March 2009 and he has tweeted more than 36,000 times.
    He has been actively using the social media platform to promote his policies and also attack his political opponents both during the presidential campaign in 2016 and since taking office in January.
    In one interview he said that when someone said something about him, he was able to go "bing, bing, bing on Twitter" - and take care of it.
    After he appeared to directly threaten North Korea with destruction in a tweet in September, Twitter was forced to justify allowing the post to stand.
    Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

    Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
    3:08 AM - Sep 24, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump
    It said that Mr Trump's tweet was "newsworthy".
    In some of his other most controversial tweets:
    Skip Twitter post 2 by @realDonaldTrump

    Just out report: "United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror." Not good, we must keep America safe!
    10:31 AM - Oct 20, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post 2 by @realDonaldTrump
    • He taunted FBI chief James Comey days before sacking him in May
    Skip Twitter post 3 by @realDonaldTrump

    James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
    12:26 PM - May 12, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post 3 by @realDonaldTrump
    Skip Twitter post 4 by @realDonaldTrump

    With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea...
    4:54 PM - Jun 22, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post 4 by @realDonaldTrump
    Skip Twitter post 5 by @realDonaldTrump
    Replying to @realDonaldTrump

    ...whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
    4:55 PM - Jun 22, 2017
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    End of Twitter post 5 by @realDonaldTrump
    Mr Trump's allies have also got into hot water over their use of Twitter.
    Roger Stone, who advised him during his election campaign, was suspended from the network after he used abusive and homophobic language to target journalists, including a gay CNN presenter, Don Lemon.
    He said he had been told by Twitter that he had violated its rules.
    Mr Stone said he would sue Twitter for blocking his account.
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    President Trump Committed Another Impeachable Offense on Friday

    He’s racking them up.

    By Frank Bowman, Slate


    On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Richard M. Nixon. The second article charged that President Nixon abused the powers of the presidency either by using or trying to use federal investigative agencies against his political enemies or by interfering or trying to interfere with lawful investigations by those agencies into his own wrongdoing or that of his subordinates. He tried to get dirt on his opponents through the IRS. He ordered the FBI to conduct investigations of actual or suspected enemies in and outside of the government. He sought to suppress investigations into the growing Watergate scandal. As the fifth specification in the articles of impeachment put it:

    In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division, and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, of the Department of Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

    In short, the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon because he sought to turn the immense power of the Justice Department and federal criminal investigative agencies against his political adversaries. Although these articles of impeachment were never approved by the full House of Representatives because Nixon resigned before a vote could be taken, it received more votes in committee than any other proposed article. No respectable scholar of the Constitution doubts that directing the criminal justice and intelligence systems of the United States against political opponents, for purposes unrelated to the impartial enforcement of the law or preservation of legitimate national security interests, is among the impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” of Article II, Section 4.

    Friday morning, President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets in which he explicitly urged the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party for a grab bag of supposed offenses—emails deleted from then–Secretary of State Clinton’s private server, the Russia-uranium kerfluffle, activities by Tony Podesta (lobbyist and brother of Secretary Clinton’s campaign manager), and the allegation that officials at the Democratic National Committee worked with Clinton’s campaign to give it a boost over Sen. Bernie Sanders’.

    The Trump tweet-string included these gems:

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 14h
    Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn't looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems..

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 13h
    ....People are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!

    Trump followed up these tweets with statements to the press in which he said he is “disappointed” with the Justice Department and would not rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions if Sessions won’t investigate Democrats. In my view, Trump’s tweets tiptoed right up to the line of an impeachable offense. His subsequent statements to the press stepped firmly over it.

    Using the Nixon precedent as a template in order to show that Trump’s behavior is impeachable, several requirements must be met:

    First, he must be seeking to employ the criminal investigative powers of the federal government against his political opponents. That is unquestionably the case.

    Second, he must be acting, in the words of the Nixon impeachment articles, “for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office.” Although his most devoted adherents may claim otherwise, it is impossible to divine any legitimate nonpolitical purpose in his call for action by the Justice Department. His specific accusations don’t hold up to any kind of scrutiny:

    • Although it is doubtless a matter of intense interest for members of the Democratic Party, whether the DNC did or didn’t favor Clinton can by no stretch be translated into a violation of law, and still less a fit subject for a criminal investigation by a Justice Department controlled by the opposing party.
    • The Clinton email matter has already been investigated by the Justice Department, even if Republican partisans may not have liked the outcome.
    • Tony Podesta’s activities are already a subject of inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller, which is why Podesta just resigned from his own lobbying firm. So Trump’s inclusion of Podesta in his broadside manifested either a scarcely credible ignorance of the state of play in an investigation with which Trump is plainly obsessed, or a willful attempt to deflect attention from Mueller’s focus on Trump campaign affiliates.
    • And, as multiple credible observers have explained, the Russia-uranium-Clinton connection is an invented nonstory. Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear materials and nonproliferation expert, observed in Newsweek, “I have to say that this is one of those things where reasonable people cannot disagree: There just aren’t two sides.”

    In short, every item on the laundry list of things for which Trump wants the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents is either not a crime, has already been or is being investigated—or in the case of the Clinton-uranium “scandal,” is an invented storyline promoted by Trump and his supporters to divert attention from Robert Mueller’s investigation.

    Third, it is not necessary to establish impeachable misconduct that a president succeed in bending law enforcement agencies to his corrupting purpose. While some of the law enforcement and intelligence officials Nixon tried to enlist in his illegal schemes cooperated, many refused or ignored his orders, the IRS, the CIA, and important elements of the FBI among them. His failed attempts to misuse federal agencies were nonetheless integral components of the impeachment case against him.

This is a key point in the present case. If pressed, Trump will no doubt claim that he didn’t order anybody to do anything and that his tweets are, at worst, expressions of dismay at the established norm that bars presidents from direct involvement in Justice Department decisions. This is, of course, transparent eyewash. When a president of the United States publicly proclaims that he wants an executive branch agency to do something and will be deeply displeased if it doesn’t, that’s tantamount to an order.

    Even if it were not, Trump took the next and fateful step Friday morning when he expressed disappointment in the Justice Department for its inaction and held open the option of firing the attorney general if his wishes were not honored. That is as close to a direct order as a president can give without putting it in writing. Any way you slice it, Trump is telling the Justice Department and the FBI that he wants them to engage in legally baseless, politically motivated criminal investigations.

    Finally, it is not, cannot be, an excuse if Trump were to say, Well, even though the uranium story and all the rest prove to be baseless, I didn’t know that. As I so often do, I was just responding to what ‘people are saying.' As the Nixon articles of impeachment observed, a president has the solemn constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws shall be faithfully executed.” If this duty means anything in the criminal justice setting, it means that presidents shoulder an obligation even more binding than that assumed by their subordinates not to unleash on any citizen the intrusive, life-altering power of federal investigative agencies absent credible evidence that a real crime may have been committed.

    Let me be absolutely clear here: No matter how far Trump has warped our collective sense of what is normal or even minimally acceptable in an American president, it is not acceptable for a president either to employ, or threaten to employ, the agents and ministers of the criminal law of the United States against his enemies for political gain. A president who does so engages in precisely the class of misconduct perilous to the maintenance of government for which the founders designed the remedy of impeachment.

    When and if the political season is ever ripe for enumerating Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” in articles of impeachment, his attempts to corrupt the American justice system should be among those articles.

    This article first appeared on the blog Impeachable Offenses.

  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016 | The New York Times


    Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, met Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip he took to Moscow, according to testimony he gave on Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee.

    Shortly after the trip, Mr. Page sent an email to at least one Trump campaign aide describing insights he had after conversations with government officials, legislators and business executives during his time in Moscow, according to one person familiar with the contents of the message. The email was read aloud during the closed-door testimony.

    The new details of the trip present a different picture than the account Mr. Page has given during numerous appearances in the news media in recent months and are yet another example of a Trump adviser meeting with Russians officials during the 2016 campaign. In multiple interviews with The New York Times, he had either denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the July 2016 visit or sidestepped the question, saying he met with “mostly scholars.”

    Mr. Page confirmed the meetings in an interview on Friday evening, but played down their significance.
    “I had a very brief hello to a couple of people. That was it,” he said. He said one of the people he met was a “senior person,” but would not confirm the person’s identity.

    He confirmed that an email he had written to the campaign after that trip to Moscow was presented to him during Thursday’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee.

    Mr. Page acknowledged his meeting with Russian government officials during sharp questioning by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, according to a congressional official familiar with the exchange.

    During another part of the testimony, Mr. Page was questioned about a trip to Budapest, although it was not immediately clear why. Mr. Page told The Times earlier this year that he had taken that trip around Labor Day weekend last year, but he said he had not met with any Russians.

    “It was a short four-day trip over a long holiday weekend at the end of the summer,” Mr. Page said at the time. “I had a nice trip up the Danube, to the Visegrad castle, did a lot of sightseeing and went to a jazz club. Not much to report.”

    Court records unsealed on Monday revealed that another campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, met with Russian officials in 2016 and was offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The court records were released by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the presidential election last year and whether any of President Trump’s associates helped in that effort.

    Mr. Page was questioned by the F.B.I. earlier this year and has also appeared before the grand jury as part of the special counsel’s inquiry.

    The House Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional investigations that are also examining these issues.

    Mr. Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016 was never a secret, and during the trip, he gave a speech at a graduation ceremony at the New Economic School, a university there. But the trip was one of the triggers of a counterintelligence investigation begun by the F.B.I. later that month.

    In his talk at the university, Mr. Page criticized American policy toward Russia in terms that echoed the position of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change,” Mr. Page said.

    His remarks accorded with Mr. Trump’s positive view of the Russian president, which had prompted speculation about what Mr. Trump saw in Mr. Putin — more commonly denounced in the United States as a ruthless, anti-Western autocrat.

    Mr. Page left the Trump campaign not long after the trip, and since then, Mr. Trump’s advisers tried to distance the campaign from Mr. Page.

    During another trip to Moscow, in December 2016, after Mr. Page had left the Trump campaign, he said he planned to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.” At the time, a Kremlin spokesman said that no government officials planned to meet Mr. Page and that the Kremlin had never had any contact with him.

    “We have learned about this from the press,” the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told the news agency Interfax.
    A former Navy officer and Annapolis graduate, Mr. Page was unknown in Washington foreign policy circles when Mr. Trump announced him as a member of his team of advisers in March 2016.

    But his Russian experience was real, as Mr. Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007 while working as a junior investment banker for Merrill Lynch.

    Mr. Page subsequently started his own investment firm, Global Energy Capital, and teamed up on some deals with a Russian businessman, Sergey Yatsenko. Mr. Yatsenko had been deputy chief financial officer for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the government and has close ties to Mr. Putin.

    Continued at

    Carter Page's entire interview with Jake Tapper | CNN

    Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page sits down with CNN's Jake Tapper.
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Longtime Trump bodyguard to face questions about 2013 Moscow trip | The Washington Post


    One of President Trump’s most trusted confidants, a security chief who served as his sounding board for nearly two decades, will face questions from congressional investigators next week about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow, according to people familiar with their plans.

    The excursion is at the center of some of the most salacious allegations contained in a now-famous dossier, which contains unverified charges that Trump has vehemently disputed.

    The House Intelligence Committee has called former longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller to appear for an interview Tuesday as part of its probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Investigators plan to press Schiller about allegations in the 35-page dossier that Russian officials obtained compromising information about Trump’s personal behavior when he visited Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, according to people familiar with the investigation.

    The document, produced by a former British spy working for a firm hired by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is a compilation of claims about coordination between Russian nationals and the Trump campaign amid a Kremlin-directed effort to tip the election in Trump’s favor.

    Among them is the assertion that Russian officials had obtained “kompromat” to hold over Trump — including evidence that Trump hired prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.


    Schiller will likely be questioned about the specifics in the dossier, as well as whether he or Trump came into contact with any Russian individuals that might have given the Russian government potentially compromising information about the future president.

    “He can expect to be asked about any interaction with Russians, with or without Trump” during that 2013 excursion and throughout his tenure with the Trump Organization, according to a U.S. official familiar with the inquiry who requested anonymity to discuss the investigation.

    More at
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Rosie O'Donnell Tells the Origin Story of Her Feud with Donald Trump | Late Night with Seth Meyers

    Rosie O'Donnell explains the origins of her long-running feud with Donald Trump and her plans to get a Robert Mueller tattoo.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    George H.W. Bush labels Trump a 'blowhard' in new book | CNN


    Former President George H.W. Bush has a blunt assessment of Donald Trump: "He's a blowhard." And his son, former President George W. Bush, has harsh words for his Republican successor as well: "This guy doesn't know what it means to be president."

    Those stinging comments mark the first time the former presidents are speaking out about Trump in such stark terms, as part of a new book about the father and son by historian Mark Updegrove, titled "The Last Republicans."

    Both men went on the record to give Updegrove their candid assessment of Trump, as well as rare insight into their thoughts on the 2016 presidential race as the drama unfolded.

    The most critical comments about Trump came from the elder Bush, now 93, who told Updegrove in May 2016, "I don't like him. I don't know much about him, but I know he's a blowhard. And I'm not too excited about him being a leader."

    The author went on to ask George H.W. Bush what he thought Trump was seeking in running for president, and the former Navy war hero responded by saying that Trump had "a certain ego." Though George H.W. Bush told the author he thought Trump could unite the country, he said it would require "humility," which the former President told Updegrove was a challenge for Trump.

    "If you look at the Bush family, it makes perfect sense. Donald Trump is everything that the Bush family is not," Updegrove told CNN's Jamie Gangel. "George Bush grew up thinking about the greater good. Donald Trump is manifestly narcissistic. It's part of his brand. And that brand is the antithesis of the Bush brand."

    George W. Bush echoed his father's sentiments when he told Updegrove, "As you know from looking at my family, (humility) is a certain heritage. That's what they expect, and we're not seeing that (in Trump)."

    Updegrove told CNN: "When Donald Trump said, 'I am my own adviser,' Bush thought -- and this is a quote -- 'Wow, this guy doesn't know what it means to be president.'"

    Continued at
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Alec Baldwin Gives a Reading of His Parody Donald Trump Memoir | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Alec Baldwin impersonates Donald Trump as he reads an excerpt from his book You Can't Spell America Without Me, a memoir he wrote entirely in the president's voice.
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tom Steyer On His Campaign To Impeach President Donald Trump | MSNBC

    California businessman Tom Steyer is putting some of his billions into an ad campaign calling for Donald Trump to be impeached, along with petition for impeachment that now has over 1.5 million signatures.

    Fox Yanks Steyer's Impeachment Ad After Trump Complains | NewsHounds

    The snowflakes at Fox News and in the White House were so triggered by billionaire Tom Steyer’s ad calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment that the network reneged on its contract and pulled the ads.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sally Yates @SallyQYates 6 hours ago
    DOJ not a tool for POTUS to use to go after his enemies and protect his friends. Respect rule of law and DOJ professionals. This must stop.

    A brief history of Trump's calls for Clinton to be investigated | TheHill


    President Trump raised eyebrows and concerns this week when he publicly pressured the Department of Justice to investigate his former 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton in what critics think looks like an effort to deflect attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's deepening probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling.

    Trump began calling for Clinton to be investigated and jailed for her use of a private email server as secretary of State in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. But critics warn that he is abusing his power as president if he continues to do so.

    Trump's already critical rhetoric toward his own attorney general and Justice Department has increased since he took office. He has referred to the Justice Department as a "laughing stock" and a "joke." Much of his criticism seems to stem from his belief the department is not focusing its investigations.

    Chants of "Lock her up" were welcomed by Trump and his surrogates during the campaign, and became a regular occurrence at his raucous rallies.

    Here's a look back at some of the moments Trump supported calls for an investigation of Clinton.

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

    Protests return to Thomas Paine Plaza; this time against Trump/Pence not Rizzo |

    The scene: Philadelphia’s Thomas Paine Plaza, where the attention Friday had been on the controversial statue of former mayor and police commissioner, Frank L. Rizzo, which Mayor Kenney announced he wants moved.

    But Saturday afternoon, the focus of the 200 or so who convened there, outside the Municipal Services Building across from City Hall, was “the Trump/Pence regime,” as the activists from put it.

    Making a return visit to the plaza was the “Trump Rat,” a 15-foot inflatable caricature of the president – with bouffant hair, a red tie, and Confederate flag-style cuff links – that first appeared by the Rizzo statue on Oct. 23, the 97th birthday anniversary of the city’s late divisive leader.

    Anti-Trump protesters rally in downtown L.A. as part of nationwide demonstrations | LA Times

    Dozens of protesters took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, nearly one year after the election of Donald Trump as president spurred massive demonstrations across the U.S.

    The group Refuse Fascism called for protests against the Trump administration in several major cities on Saturday, including Los Angeles.

    Hawaiian protestors greeted Trump with "Welcome To Kenya" signs for the most fantastic reason |

    You'll remember that Trump was once one of the figureheads of the 'birther' conspiracy theory, who claimed that the Hawaii-born Barack Obama was in fact from Kenya, and would therefore not have any right to hold the Presidential position. And you can bet that the Hawaii locals did not forget this.
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump wins permission for 70 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago | Palm Beach Post


    Like other Palm Beach County employers who staff their clubs with foreign workers, President Donald Trump is boosting the number of employees he’s bringing from overseas this winter.

    Trump won permission to hire 70 maids, cooks and servers at the Mar-a-Lago Club for the 2017-18 tourist season, according to newly released data from the U.S. Labor Department. In 2016-17, Trump hired 64 foreign workers at the Palm Beach property.


    During a March 2016 presidential debate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Trump for bringing in workers from overseas, saying American citizens could fill the jobs. Trump defended his hiring of foreign workers.

    “It’s very, very hard to get people,” Trump said. “Other hotels do the exact same thing.”


    CareerSource Palm Beach County, a nonprofit job placement agency, says it knows plenty of American citizens willing to work at Mar-a-Lago.

    "We currently have 5,136 qualified candidates in Palm Beach County for various hospitality positions listed in the Employ Florida state jobs database," CareerSource spokesman Tom Veenstra said Friday.

    While Mar-a-Lago asks the federal government for dozens of H-2B visas every tourist season, the private club rarely asks CareerSource for help finding a local employee, Veenstra said. Mar-a-Lago in 2015 put in a request for a single banquet server.

    In addition to the 70 visas at Mar-a-Lago, Trump also won permission to hire foreign workers at other properties that bear his name. He landed visas for 10 waiters and waitresses and six cooks at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, plus eight waiters and waitresses at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

    More at
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘There’s a lot more there’: Mueller ups the stakes in Trump-Russia inquiry

    Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted on financial charges, but George Papadopoulos was the surprise as the Russia inquiry enveloped the capital

    By David Smith, The Guardian


    For a moment in court, the mask slipped. Paul Manafort glanced at his lawyer and smirked, like a TV mafia boss with reasons to be confident. It was the look of a man who, after decades of work as a lobbyist for murderous dictators in Africa and Asia, was not about to be rattled by the prospect of house arrest.

    But less than a mile away, another man displayed rather less equanimity. Donald Trump woke before dawn on Monday and, instead of heading to the Oval Office, lingered in the White House residence. “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,” the Washington Post reported.

    Until that moment, the justice department investigation into his election campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia had seemed somewhat theoretical, dismissable by Trump as a “hoax” and “witch hunt”. But here was the concrete of the courthouse, the accused escorted in by marshals, standing before a robed judge, swearing on oath and pleading for liberty. Suddenly Trump understood the five-month investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller – probing whether the American president has been compromised by a foreign power – had entered a new and dangerous phase.

    “Overall this week what we learned is that Bob Mueller knows a lot more about what happened during the presidential campaign than anyone on the outside thought he did,” said Matthew Miller, a partner at strategic advisory firm Vianovo and former director of public affairs at the justice department. “We have an incomplete picture and we don’t know what the final picture might look like.”

    Manafort, who served Trump’s campaign for five months – as its chairman, and his business associate Rick Gates, who also played a role in the campaign, were indicted on 12 counts including conspiracy against the US, conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, making false statements and failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts.

    There was a silver lining for the president: the indictment did not reference the Trump campaign or coordination with Russia. But it did allege a criminal conspiracy was continuing into February this year, after Trump had taken office, and that the pair funneled payments through foreign companies and bank accounts as part of their work for Ukraine’s pro-Russia former president Viktor Yanukovych.

    Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, told MSNBC: “If you look at this through a counterintelligence lens, you see the fingerprints of the Russian government here ... He [Manafort] got a primer on how the Russians can influence a campaign when he represented the Ukrainian candidate [Yanukovych] and he saw what Russia could do to influence a campaign. And he liked it.”

    Appearing in a tense courtroom on Monday before a packed public gallery, Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty and were released on multimillion dollar bonds but confined to their homes. Lawyers for Manafort – also among the participants of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked lawyer after Donald Trump Jr was promised “dirt” on rival Hillary Clinton – defended him in a court filing on Thursday as a “successful, international political consultant” who was necessarily involved in foreign financial transactions. US district judge Amy Berman Jackson has set a possible date of 7 May for the trial.

    Continued at

    Paul Manafort Offers Up Trump Tower Apartment In Bid To Get Off House Arrest | HuffPost


    Manafort is set to appear in court again on Monday morning for a hearing on the conditions of his release following his arrest last week on 12 federal counts, including conspiracy and money laundering. He and his business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought forward by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.


    Manafort is currently on house arrest under electronic monitoring and a $10 million unsecured bond. He’s seeking less onerous conditions of release. To guarantee his future court appearances, his attorney said Manafort would be willing to pledge a $3 million Trump Tower apartment in New York City, another $3.5 million home in New York, a $1.5 million home in Palm Beach, Florida, and a “combination of life insurance policies held in trust and/or in his or his wife’s name” and valued at approximately $4.5 million ― for a total of more than $12 million.

    Although Manafort has not yet reached an agreement with prosecutors over the conditions of his release, his lawyers wrote that he would agree to limit his travel to Florida, Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C. Prosecutors with Mueller’s office are expected to file their response to the Manafort filing on Sunday.

    On Thursday, Jackson seemed open to lifting Manafort’s house arrest but skeptical of removing his electronic monitoring.

    More at

    Mueller vs. Trump: Papadopoulos Is “The Big One," Not Manafort, Ex CIA Director Michael Hayden Says

    By Jeff Stein, Newsweek


    It’s the greatest covert influence program in history,” Hayden said. “If their goal was to make our society more dysfunctional, to exploit the dysfunction in American society, they succeeded.” If their goal was “to foster the notion that there are fundamentally no differences between their system and our system, they succeeded.”

    But Putin’s influence campaign backfired in other ways, Hayden told me. “If their plan was to get someone into office who would warm relations between us and Moscow, that was a disaster.” The scandal not only handcuffed Trump from acting on his oft-stated desire to have closer relations with Moscow, but also prompted Congress to pass more sanctions against Russia and some of its leading officials and businessmen. Seen from that angle, Putin’s triumph looks self-defeating, says Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international relations at the New School in New York City and the great-granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. “I am not sure he is a big winner, actually — maybe in a small, tactical way,” she says. “It was a dream of all Soviets before him — to embarrass and undermine the U.S., so he proved his point.”

    To Putin and his circle, “Russia's relationship with the West is a zero-sum game,” the Russian-born journalist Leonid Bershidsky observed earlier this year. If America is succeeding, then Russia must be losing. Thus, Putin has tried to stoke political disarray in the United States with a variety of ploys, ranging from compromising Trump’s aides with Kremlin meetings to flooding Facebook and Twitter with fake news fanning racial divisions.

    But he may come to regret it, Khrushcheva argues. “He needs U.S. power. He needs cooperation in so many areas across the globe,” she says. “[Putin] can't possibly think that taking down the U.S. fully is good for him or the world.”

    That’s why Papadopoulos, a 2009 college graduate who listed his participation with the Model U.N. as foreign policy experience on his résumé, may pose a threat to both Russia and Trump. His cooperation with the feds — perhaps for several months — gave Mueller a pipeline into much of what Trump and his advisers were saying and doing about the Russians in private.

    A hint of those conversations has already emerged, in the form of an email Papadopoulos sent to his Kremlin-linked contact in July, which Bloomberg News discovered in an FBI affidavit supporting the charges against the young man. Papadopoulos wrote that a meeting between “my national chairman and maybe one other foreign policy adviser” with the Russians “has been approved by our side.” Manafort was not named in the email, but he was Trump’s national campaign chairman at the time. The candidate’s top foreign policy advisers then were Sessions and Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency chief who had developed ties with Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S. and its state-backed Russia Today TV channel.

    It’s unclear if Papadopoulos’s account in that email was correct, but his cooperation with the feds appears to incinerate over a year’s worth of assertions by the president that he had “nothing to do with the Russians.”

    “Indeed, when the history books are written on the Trump-Russia investigation, it’s quite likely that the plea deal between special counsel Robert Mueller and...George Papadopoulos may be seen as the crucial moment,” Boston Globe columnist Michael Cohen wrote. “This is the first piece of [official] evidence that there was an ongoing effort within the Trump campaign to collude with the Russian government.”

    More at
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jared Kushner Doesn't Read, Calls His Father 'Daddy,' Former Employee Says

    By Harriet Sinclair, Newsweek


    A former employee of Jared Kushner has claimed the senior adviser doesn’t read and calls his father “daddy.” Kyle Pope, who worked as an editor for the New York Observer while Kushner was publisher, described his time working for Kushner in a tell-all article for the Columbia Journalism Review, where he is currently editor-in-chief and publisher.

    Despite Kushner being responsible for the publication, Pope said he did not take much interest in actually reading the paper — or any other publication. “Most weeks, Kushner not only didn’t read the Observer, he didn’t appear to read anything else, either. I never knew him to discuss a book, a play, or anything else that was in the Observer’s cultural wheelhouse,” Pope wrote, also stating he could see where the first strains of anti-media sentiment began.

    “You can hear echoes of Kushner’s attitudes toward the press in Trump’s obsession with the 'failing' New York Times, a notion that is inaccurate but that echoes Kushner’s singular focus on the Observer’s bottom line, often to the detriment of the quality and integrity of the paper he was supposed to be shepherding,” Pope added.

    Kushner, who is known to be close with his father-in-law, was given an official role within the White House, as a senior adviser to the president, and is reportedly also close to his own father. Discussing Kushner’s relationship with his dad, Charles, who was sent to prison for tax evasion and witness tampering, among other things, Pope said the pair were close.

    “Charles, whom Jared talked to frequently while the father was imprisoned in Alabama, popped in often during my meetings with Jared on Fifth Avenue. I remember this because Jared would refer to him as 'daddy,' which I found strange,” Pope wrote.

    Continued at
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    plural noun: kleptocrats
    a ruler who uses political power to steal his or her country's resources.

    Trump is Leading the Most Corrupt Administration in U.S. History, One of First-Class Kleptocrats

    By Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek


    ...according to the presidential historian Robert Dallek, no American leader has acted with more unadulterated self-interest as Trump. Dallek says that in terms of outright corruption, Trump is worse than both Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, presidents who oversaw the most flagrant instances of graft in American political history. Grant’s stellar reputation as a Civil War general is tarnished in part by the Whiskey Ring scandal, in which Treasury Department officials stole taxes from alcohol distillers; members of Harding’s administration plundered oil reserves in Teapot Dome, a rock outcropping in Wyoming that has lent its name to the most notorious example of government corruption in American political history. In both cases, the fault of the president was in his lack of oversight. As far as Dallek is concerned, something more nefarious is at work in the White House of Donald Trump.

    “What makes this different,” Dallek says, “is that the president can’t seem to speak the truth about a host of things.” Trump isn’t just allowing corruption, in Dallek’s view, but encouraging it. "The fish rots from the head," he reminds.

    Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, puts the matter even more bluntly: "I've never seen anything like this."

    Disgusting Displays of Wealth

    On June 29, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin sent a memorandum to top managers in his department. In the memo, “Essential Employee Travel,” Shulkin outlined a new process by which travel would be approved and documented. “I expect this will result in decreased employee travel and generate savings,” he wrote.

    Two weeks later, Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, got on a plane and flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Copenhagen. With them were three VA staffers and one staffer’s husband. There was also a six-person security detail. “The 10-day trip was not entirely a vacation,” reported The Washington Post. But it wasn’t a three-day conference in Tulsa, either. Shulkin planned the trip so that it began with meetings in Denmark and ended about a week later with meetings in London. In between, there was watching tennis at Wimbledon, visiting medieval castles, touring and shopping. A tourist from Madison, Wisconsin, told the Post she spotted Shulkin and company “whisked to the front of the line” at an attraction in Copenhagen. One of Shulkin’s taxpayer-funded security guards, she said, was hauling a “large number of shopping bags.”

    The Post noted that American taxpayers reimbursed Bari for her expenses during the trip, which may have been as high as $3,600 per day. Although some of the other members of the party paid for their travel, taxpayers nevertheless incurred significant costs associated with flights and security. Perhaps it is naïve to expect a Cabinet head to Skype into international gatherings, but the previous VA head, Robert A. McDonald, had not needed to take a single trip abroad to do his work.

    Shulkin is one of six Trump Cabinet members being investigated for (or at the very least, being asked uncomfortable questions about) travel or security expenses:

    >>>The inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating its administrator, Scott Pruitt, for what The Washington Post says are “at least four noncommercial and military flights” in the past eight months, these having cost the government more than $58,000. Pruitt has also built himself a $25,000 soundproof booth in his office, for reasons that remain unclear. Pruitt’s personal security detail includes high-ranking EPA investigators who are supposed to be tracking environmental violations.

    >>>Steven T. Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs banker who now runs the Treasury Department, faced an inquiry from his agency's inspector general for allegedly commandeering a government jet so that he and his wife, Scottish actress Louise Linton, could see the Great American Eclipse in Lexington, Kentucky. That trip came to light after Linton engaged in a social media spat with an Oregon woman who was disgusted by the couple’s displays of wealth. The inspector general eventually concluded that Mnuchin had not travelled to Kentucky solely to see the eclipse, but the episode was embarrassing all the same.

    That same month, Mnuchin took a U.S. Air Force C-37 jet from New York to Washington. The trip cost taxpayers $25,000, and while use of military planes by government officials is common, there are dozens of commercial flights daily that cover the same route. Timothy F. Geithner, who was President Barack Obama’s secretary of the treasury, frequently flew coach when he made that trip.

    >>>Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, is being investigated for travel expenses that include a $12,375 chartered flight to Montana from Las Vegas, where he had attended an event for a hockey team owned by one of his benefactors. Zinke is being investigated for two other chartered flights as well.

    >>>Elaine L. Chao, who heads the Transportation Department, has used government planes on at least seven occasions, according to The Washington Post. She is also facing questions about her ownership of stock in Vulcan Materials, a building company that would likely benefit from a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Trump has touted.

    >>>Rick Perry, the energy secretary, took a private plane to visit “a uranium facility in Piketon, Ohio,” in late September, according to Reuters. He once also, the same outlet reported, flew into “a private airport in Kansas that was within a 45-minute drive of Kansas City International Airport.”

    >>>Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, pays for her private flights (she is a billionaire), but she uses security from the U.S. Marshals Service, a highly unusual move that will cost the American taxpayer about $1 million per month. She is the first education secretary to have such extensive protection in recent history.

    Chiding chatter about the Trump administration’s high-flying ways began when Politico reporters Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan got a tip that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was using private planes to jet around the globe, infuriating already-demoralized HHS employees back home with grating dispatches from Switzerland, Liberia and elsewhere. As Diamond and Pradhan wrote, the “notoriously secretive Cabinet secretary” had not been forthcoming about his travel records, in keeping with the Trump administration’s broader aversion to releasing records unless forced to. Their shoe-leather reporting included waiting at the charter terminal at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, hoping to see Price entering or leaving a private jet.

    Diamond and Pradhan published their initial story on Price’s private-jet travel on September 19, their details dredged from the very swamp Trump promised to drain: costly chartered flights to Philadelphia, when Amtrak would have sufficed, as well as a trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival, a potent symbol of the elitism Trump had denounced during the campaign.

    Trump was furious, and Price resigned at the end of the month, after offering to pay back $52,000 of his travel costs. The total cost of his taxpayer-funded jaunts is estimated to be $1 million.

    This behavior is outrageous—but also puzzling, since Trump’s Cabinet has been estimated to be worth at least $4 billion, making this White House the wealthiest in American history. These were people, we’d been told, who were sacrificing lucrative private-sector posts to work in the service of the American people. Now, those very same “forgotten Americans” were paying for Mnuchin, worth as much as $500 million, because he apparently didn’t want to go through airport security. In his Cabinet are many people who went to Ivy League universities, worked for Fortune 500 corporations. They had to know better. And if they didn’t, how can we trust them?

    More at
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Paul Manafort's House Cold Open | Saturday Night Live

    President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) checks in on Paul Manafort (Alex Moffat) and sends Melania Trump (Cecily Strong) to Asia in his place.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Greatest Trump Impersonator on Earth | VICE

    John Di Domenico has been impersonating Trump for more than a decade, a job that's gotten seriously demanding since the election. VICE met up with the actor for a competition between the world's leading Trump impersonators at LA's Laugh Factory, where he showed off his routine and explained what it's like to act like the president for a living.
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent

    A new leak of confidential records reveals the financial hideaways of iconic brands and power brokers across the political spectrum.

    By the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 5, 2017


    A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

    The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

    One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.

    The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.

    The promise of tax havens is secrecy – offshore locales create and oversee companies that often are difficult, or impossible, to trace back to their owners. While having an offshore entity is often legal, the built-in secrecy attracts money launderers, drug traffickers, kleptocrats and others who want to operate in the shadows. Offshore companies, often “shells” with no employees or office space, are also used in complex tax-avoidance structures that drain billions from national treasuries.

    The offshore industry makes “the poor poorer” and is “deepening wealth inequality,” said Brooke Harrington, a certified wealth manager and Copenhagen Business School professor who is the author of ‘Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent.’

    “There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose,” Harrington said. These people “live the dream” of enjoying “the benefits of society without being subject to any of its constraints.”

    The records expand on the revelations from the leak of offshore documents that spawned the 2016 Panama Papers investigation by ICIJ and its media partners. The new files shine a light on a different cast of underexplored island havens, including some with cleaner reputations and higher price tags, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

    The most detailed revelations emerge in decades of corporate records from the white-shoe offshore law firm Appleby and corporate services provider Estera, two businesses that operated together under the Appleby name until Estera became independent in 2016.

    At least 31,000 of the individual and corporate clients included in Appleby’s records are U.S. citizens or have U.S. addresses, more than from any other country. Appleby also counted clients from the United Kingdom, China and Canada among its biggest sources of business.

    Nearly 7 million records from Appleby and affiliates cover the period from 1950 to 2016 and include emails, billion-dollar loan agreements and bank statements involving at least 25,000 entities connected to people in 180 countries. Appleby is a member of the “Offshore Magic Circle,” an informal clique of the planet’s leading offshore law practices. The firm was founded Bermuda and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and other offshore centers.

    Appleby has a well-guarded 100-year reputation and has avoided public scrapes through a mixture of discretion and expensive client monitoring.

    In contrast to Appleby’s public image, the files reveal a company that has provided services to risky clients from Iran, Russia and Libya, failed government audits that identified gaps in anti-money-laundering procedures and been fined in secret by the Bermuda financial regulator. Appleby did not reply to ICIJ’s detailed questions but released an online statement saying it had investigated ICIJ’s questions and is “satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.”

    The firm said it is “subject to frequent regulatory checks, and we are committed to achieving the high standards set by our regulators.”

    The leaked cache of documents includes more than half a million files from Asiaciti Trust, a family-run offshore specialist that is headquartered in Singapore and has satellite offices from Samoa in the South Pacific to Nevis in the Caribbean.

    The leaked files also include documents from government business registries in some of the world’s most secretive corporate havens in the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe, such as Antigua and Barbuda, the Cook Islands and Malta. One-fifth of the world’s busiest secrecy jurisdictions are represented in these databases.

    Taken as a whole, the leaks reveal offshore traces of spy planes purchased by the United Arab Emirates, the Barbados explosives company of a Canadian engineer who tried to build a “super gun” for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Bermuda company of the late Marcial Maciel Degollado, the influential Mexican priest who founded the Catholic religious order the Legionaries of Christ and whose legacy was marred by allegations of child sexual abuse.

    Queen Elizabeth II has invested millions of dollars in medical and consumer loan companies, Appleby’s files show. While the Queen’s private estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, provides some details of its investments in U.K. property, such as commercial buildings scattered across southern England, it has never disclosed details of its offshore investments.

    “Yes, the Duchy was aware that the Jubilee Absolute Return Fund was run offshore,” said Chris Addock, chief finance officer of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    The records show that as of 2007, the queen’s private estate invested in a Cayman Islands fund that in turn invested in a private equity company that controlled BrightHouse, a U.K. rent-to-own firm criticized by consumer watchdogs and members of Parliament for selling household goods to cash-strapped Britons on payment plans with interest rates as high as 99.9 percent.

    Other royals and politicians with newly disclosed offshore ties include Queen Noor of Jordan, who was listed as the beneficiary of two trusts on the island of Jersey, including one that held her sprawling British estate; Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign minister and a former U.N. General Assembly president, who set up an offshore trust in the Seychelles to manage his personal wealth; Brazil’s finance minister, Henrique de Campos Meirelles, who created a foundation in Bermuda “for charitable purposes”; and Antanas Guoga, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament and professional poker player, who held a stake in an Isle of Man company whose other shareholders included a gambling mogul who settled a fraud lawsuit in the United States.

    Wesley Clark, a one-time Democratic presidential hopeful and a retired four-star U.S. Army general who served as NATO’s supreme commander in Europe , was a director of an online gambling company with offshore subsidiaries, the files show.

    A spokesman for Queen Elizabeth II told ICIJ partner The Guardian that the Duchy has an ongoing investment in the Cayman Island fund and was not aware of the investment in BrightHouse. The Queen voluntarily pays tax on income from the Duchy and its investments, the spokesman said.

    Queen Noor told ICIJ that “all the bequests made to her and to her children by [the late King Hussein] have always been administered according to the highest ethical, legal and regulatory standards.”

    Brazil’s Meirelles said the foundation he created does not benefit him personally and will support education charities after his death.

    Guoga said he declared his investment in the Isle of Man company to authorities and sold the last of his shares in 2014.

    “I thought you could avoid, not evade, taxes but I found it was not practical,” Kutesa told ICIJ’s media partner The Daily Monitor. He said he did nothing with the company. “ I told Appleby to close it many years ago.”

    Clark did not reply to requests for comment.

    In addition to disclosures about politicians and corporations, the files reveal details about the financial lives of the rich and famous – and the unknown. They include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s yacht and submarines, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Cayman Island investment vehicle, and music star Madonna’s shares in a medical supplies company. Pop singer and social justice activist Bono – listed under his full name, Paul Hewson – owned shares in a company registered in Malta that invested in shopping center in Lithuania, company records show. Other clients listed their occupations as dog groomer, plumber and wakeboard instructor.

    Madonna and Allen did not reply to requests for comment. Omidyar, whose Omidyar Network donates to ICIJ, discloses his investment to tax authorities, a spokeswoman said. Bono was a “passive, minority investor” in the Malta company that closed down in 2015, a spokeswoman said.

    Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump

    Wealthy people across the political spectrum use the offshore system.

    The files reveal that Stephen Bronfman, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s adviser and close friend, teamed up with Liberal Party stalwart Leo Kolber and Kolber’s son to quietly move millions of dollars to a Cayman trust. The offshore maneuvers may have avoided taxes in Canada, the United States and Israel, according to experts who reviewed some of the 3,000-plus files detailing the trust’s activities.

    As the offshore riches grew, lawyers for Bronfman, the Kolbers and other wealthy interests lobbied Canada’s Parliament to fight legislative proposals to tax income from offshore trusts.

    Bronfman remains a key fundraiser for Trudeau, who has championed openness in government and promised a crackdown on offshore tax dodging. In September, Trudeau told the U.N. General Assembly: “Right now, we have a system that encourages wealthy Canadians to use private corporations to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. That’s not fair and we’re going to fix it.”

    Kolber’s lawyers said in a letter to ICIJ’s partner CBC that “none of the transactions or entities at issue were effected or established to evade or even avoid taxation.” They added that the trusts “were always in full conformity with all applicable laws and requirements,” and said that no further comment would be provided by Stephen Bronfman. Trudeau’s office declined to comment.

    In the United States, the files reveal personal or corporate offshore ties of key Trump associates who are charged with helping to put “America First.”

    The Appleby files show how Ross, Trump’s commerce secretary, has used a chain of Cayman Islands entities to maintain a financial stake in Navigator Holdings, a shipping company whose top clients include the Kremlin-linked energy firm Sibur. Among Sibur’s key owners are Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law, and Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire the U.S. government sanctioned in 2014 because of his links to Putin. Sibur is a major customer of Navigator, paying the company more than $23 million in 2016.

    When he joined Trump’s Cabinet, Ross divested his interests in 80 companies. But he kept stakes in nine companies, including the four that connect him to Navigator and its Russian clients.

    These revelations come against a backdrop of growing concerns about hidden Russian involvement in U.S. political affairs.

    Sibur is “a company with crony connections,” said Daniel Fried, a Russia expert who has served in senior State Department posts in Republican and Democratic administrations. “Why would any officer of the U.S. government have any relationship with a Putin crony?”

    A spokesman for Ross said that the Commerce Secretary never met Putin’s son-in-law or Sibur’s other owners and that he was not on the board of Navigator when it initiated its relationship with Sibur.

    Ross recuses himself from matters that relate to international shipping, his spokesman said, and “has been generally supportive of the administration’s sanctions” against Russian entities.

    The leaked files also led to other discoveries about U.S.-Russian business ties.

    A document in the new cache of records helped steer ICIJ and its media partners to public documents and Panama Papers files that illuminate links between a pair of Kremlin-owned financial firms and major investments in Twitter and Facebook.

    In 2011, the investment fund run by tech mogul Yuri Milner received $191 million from one of the Russian government firms, VTB Bank, and quietly invested that money in Twitter. Documents also show that a financial subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom funded a shell company that invested in a Milner-affiliated company that held roughly $1 billion in Facebook shares shortly before the social network’s 2012 initial public offering.

    More recently, Milner invested $850,000 in Cadre, a real estate firm co-founded by Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

    Milner is a Russian citizen who lives in Silicon Valley. His ties to Twitter, Facebook and Kushner’s firm have been previously disclosed. But his links to the Kremlin financial institutions weren’t known.

    VTB confirmed that it had used Milner’s fund to make an investment in Twitter. Facebook and Twitter said they had properly reviewed Milner’s investments.

    In an interview, Milner said he was unaware of any possible involvement by the Gazprom subsidiary in any of his deals and that none of his many investments have been related to politics. He said he used his own money in the Kushner investment.

    On the other side of the U.S. political divide, Ross’ predecessor as secretary of commerce, Penny Pritzker, pledged to sell investments to avoid conflicts of interest after she assumed her post in Democratic President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. The files show that soon after she received Senate confirmation in June 2013, Pritzker transferred her interests in two Bermuda companies to a firm that used the same mailing address as her private investment firm in Chicago. The company was “owned by trusts that are for the benefit of Penny Pritzker’s children,” according to Appleby’s files. These transfers may have fallen short of federal ethics standards for divestment, according to ethics expert Lawrence Noble.

    Republican and Democratic donors alike appear in offshore records, including Randal Quarles, a GOP-leaning donor and the new Wall Street watchdog at the Federal Reserve. Quarles was an officer of two Cayman Island companies, including one that was involved in a loan deal with a Bermudan bank, N.T. Butterfield & Son. Until recently, Quarles held an indirect interest in the bank, which is under investigation by U.S. authorities for possible tax evasion by its American account holders. Private equity funds controlled by Democratic mega-donor George Soros, a hedge fund billionaire, use Appleby to help manage a web of offshore entities, including an investment in one company engaged in reinsurance, or insurance for insurers. His charitable organization, the Open Society Foundations, is a donor to ICIJ.

    A spokesperson at the Federal Reserve said Quarles divested his indirect interest in the Bermudan bank after he was confirmed for the government post. Soros declined to comment. Pritzker did not respond to requests for comment.

    Boardroom secrets

    When Appleby is not serving the interests of some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, it provides nuts-and-bolts legal help to corporations that seek to reduce their taxes in the countries where they do business. Appleby is not a tax adviser, but the firm plays a role in tax programs used by companies across the world.

    In addition to top-flight international banks such as Barclays, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas, other elite Appleby clients have included the founder of one of the Middle East’s largest construction conglomerates, the Saad Group, and the Japanese company operating the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

    The files reveal that America’s most profitable company, Apple Inc., shopped around Europe and the Caribbean for a new island tax shelter after a U.S. Senate inquiry found that the tech giant had avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by shifting profits into Irish subsidiaries.

    In one email exchange, Apple’s lawyers asked Appleby to confirm that a possible move to one of six offshore tax havens would allow an Irish subsidiary to “conduct management activities . . . without being subject to taxation in these jurisdictions.” Apple declined to comment on details of the corporate reorganization but told ICIJ that it explained the new arrangements to government authorities and that the changes did not reduce its tax payments.

    Continued at

    Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross benefits from business ties to Putin’s inner circle

    By the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, November 5, 2017

  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's Government of One

    "Just do it": Trump urged tribal leaders to ignore federal law

    By Jonathan Swan, Axios


    In late June, President Trump hosted a group of Native American tribal leaders at the White House and urged them to "just do it" and extract whatever they want from the land they control.

    The exchange turned out to be an unusually vivid window into the almost kingly power that Trump sees himself as holding, and which he has begun describing with increasing bluntness. The scene was recounted by a source in the room and confirmed by another. The White House didn't dispute the story.

    The chiefs explained to Trump that there were regulatory barriers preventing them from getting at their energy. Trump replied: "But now it's me. The government's different now. Obama's gone; and we're doing things differently here."

    There was a pause in the room and the tribal leaders looked at each other.

    "Chief, chief," Trump continued, addressing one of the tribal leaders, "what are they going to do? Once you get it out of the ground are they going to make you put it back in there? I mean, once it's out of the ground it can't go back in there. You've just got to do it. I'm telling you, chief, you've just got to do it."

    The tribal leader looked back at one of the White House officials in the room — perhaps somebody from the White House Counsel's office — and he said "can we just do that?" The official equivocated, saying the administration is making progress and has a plan to roll back various regulations.

    Trump interjected again: "Guys, I feel like you're not hearing me right now. We've just got to do it. I feel like we've got no choice; other countries are just doing it. China is not asking questions about all of this stuff. They're just doing it. And guys, we've just got to do it."
    • A second source in the room objects vehemently to the suggestion that Trump was asking the chiefs to just start drilling and break federal law. The source said it was unremarkable "Trump speak" and what he meant by "just do it" was he was pushing for removing burdensome regulations from the Obama era.
    • The same source added the context that, at the time, Trump was getting briefed on all manner of regulations impeding his top priorities including energy production and infrastructure development.
    This might seem like an extraordinary account for a U.S. president. But it's increasingly the norm: Trump considers himself above the traditions, limits and laws of the presidency — even when he's not, as in this case — and this trend is intensifying the longer he's in office.
    • This past week he claimed sole credit for soaring stock prices.
    • This past week he publicly moaned about limits on his ability to direct the FBI /Justice Department — and then went on to bully the department for not investigating "Crooked Hillary & the Dems."
    • This past week he told Fox's Laura Ingraham "I'm the only one that matters" when it comes to State Department policy and personnel.
    Be smart:This impatient and improvisational billionaire — who spent a lifetime cutting deals, grabbing what he wanted, and steamrolling anybody in his path as the boss of his own company — has no interest in adapting to the ways of Washington. It wasn't just campaign rhetoric; Trump still really believes, even after the humiliating failure to repeal Obamacare, that he can bend this city to his will.
    • His clashes with Congress will likely worsen in the months ahead, as some of the most challenging legislative items wend their way through the dysfunctional Capitol.
    • He'll take every opportunity to rail against institutionalists like Mitch McConnell and he'll try to blow up laws, norms, and rules GOP leaders consider sacred — like the legislative filibuster. Expect to see Trump issue more executive orders as his frustrations boil over; and expect more intense shocks to parts of the governmental system you've never had to think about.
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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation

    By Julia Ainsley, Carol E. Lee and Ken Dilanian, NBC News


    Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia's intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

    Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

    Mueller is applying renewed pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

    The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn's lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

    Mueller's team is also examining whether Flynn attempted to orchestrate the removal of a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, two officials said.

    A spokesperson for the special counsel had no comment.

    Flynn's son, Michael G. Flynn, who worked closely with his father, accompanied him during the campaign and briefly worked on the presidential transition, could be indicted separately or at the same time as his father, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

    If the elder Flynn is willing to cooperate with investigators in order to help his son, two of the sources said, it could also change his own fate, potentially limiting any legal consequences.

    The pressure on Flynn is the latest signal that Mueller is moving at a rapid and steady pace in his investigation. Last week, investigators unsealed indictments of Manafort and Manafort's business partner Rick Gates. They pleaded not guilty.

    Investigators also revealed Monday that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials and had been cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

    If the senior Flynn is charged, he would be the first current or former Trump administration official formally accused of criminal wrongdoing by the Mueller team.

    So far, the probe has only ensnared campaign officials, and the White House has argued that the connection to the president is minimal. An indictment of the president's former national security adviser and his son would scramble that dynamic.

    Continued at
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump names customers at private clubs to top jobs

    By Fredreka Schouten, Brad Heath and Steve Reilly, USA TODAY


    When President Trump this week tapped Florida insurance executive Robin Bernstein to serve as the nation’s next ambassador to the Dominican Republic, he wasn’t just giving a business associate and longtime supporter a plum Caribbean assignment.

    Bernstein also is a founding member of his private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.

    A USA TODAY review finds that Trump has installed at least five people who have been members of his clubs to senior roles in his administration, ranging from Bernstein and Callista Gingrich, the nation’s new ambassador to the Vatican, to Adolfo Marzol, a member of the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Washington, who serves as a senior adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Presidents often name campaign donors and close allies to administration posts, particularly prized diplomatic postings in cosmopolitan European capitals, such as Paris and London, and the tourist playgrounds of the West Indies.

    But never in modern history has a president awarded government posts to people who pay money to his own companies.

    Most of the appointees are longtime members of Trump's clubs, and there's no indication that they joined to secure an administration job.

    “You can appoint your personal valet (to an ambassadorship) if you like,” said Jan Baran, a former State Department official who is a top GOP ethics lawyer at Wiley Rein. He said it’s up to the Senate confirmation process to determine whether nominees for top diplomatic posts are qualified.

    Adolfo Marzol, appointed in May to be a senior adviser to Housing Secretary Ben Carson, is a member of Trump's golf club in northern Virginia. Marzol declined an interview request, but a spokesman for the department, Jerry Brown, said Marzol joined the club before Trump bought it 2009, and that it had no bearing on his job.

    "The department is not concerned about health clubs or golfing clubs people have belonged to for 20 years," he said. "We consider that to be their private business."

    Members of Trump clubs can pay initiation fees that top $100,000, plus thousands more each year in annual dues to his companies, held in a trust for his benefit.

    The clubs are among his must lucrative businesses. His U.S. golf clubs alone brought in about $600 million in 2015 and 2016, according to his financial disclosure reports. It is unknown how much of that is profit because, unlike other recent presidents, Trump has not released his tax returns.

    Continued at
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Begs Japanese Automakers to Build Their Cars in America, Which They Already Do

    By Jordan Weissmann, Slate


    Donald Trump is apparently using his trip to Tokyo as yet another opportunity to whinge about the U.S. trade deficit while raising questions about his familiarity with basic facts about the American economy.

    Speaking before a group of business executives on Monday, the president criticized Japan for taking advantage of the U.S. on trade, particularly when it comes to cars. This was itself nothing new. Trump has long complained about the fact that while Japan’s automakers sell millions of cars in the U.S. every year, Detroit’s big three are essentially shut out of Japan, where just 15,000 American vehicles were sold last year.

    Then, because this is 2017, things got dumb. According to Bloomberg, the president of the United States started begging Japan’s car companies to consider making their vehicles on American shores—something they’ve been doing since the 1980s. “Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask,” Trump said. “Is that rude to ask?”

    I mean, it’s not rude. It’s just strange—because Japanese car companies already build an enormous number of vehicles stateside. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and their brethren have dozens of manufacturing plants across the country, and according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, 75 percent of Japanese brand vehicle sold stateside were assembled in North America. (Some percentage of those come from Mexico, which wouldn’t exactly satisfy Trump, but you get the idea.)

    It’s not as if this is a recent development, either. Usually, the knock on Trump’s understanding of Washington-Tokyo relations is that they’re locked in the 1980s, when Japan was considered the rising threat to U.S. manufacturing supremacy. But the country’s automakers started setting up shop here back in the 1980s, after President Reagan strong-armed Japan’s government into limiting its car exports. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the trend back in 1985:

    Instead of flooding America with cars made at home, and risking new protectionist measures, the Japanese are ”going native” - opening up American plants and moving quickly toward the day when they will be, collectively, the nation’s fourth major auto maker, ranking with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

    Trump presumably understands that Japan’s car-makers have some manufacturing presence in the United States—he bragged on Twitter when Toyota and Mazda announced they would build a joint plant here and thanked Toyota for investing $1.3 billion in a Kentucky facility. But it’s not at all clear he understands the extent of the production that happens in the U.S. Back in 2015, he suggested to the Detroit News that he’d essentially browbeat the Japanese into manufacturing cars here, as if they weren’t already. “Until you open your markets, you’re not selling any more cars over here,” Trump said. “That’s going to force people to build in the United States.”

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  27. [IMG]

    Linkage to the database;

    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists joins all the dots so you don't have to!


    • Like Like x 2
  29. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Mueller does everything strategicly. First off he is scaring the pants off of everyone in Trumpland who talked to Russia. Trump immediately distanced himself from Manafort and Papadapaulos so small fry now know they will be left on their own. Bigger fish like Flynn are scared but I think Flynn has something big on Trump because Trump already asked the FBI to leave Flynn alone. Any bets on Flynns untimely death? You just know Trump has discussed that with someone.
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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Leak Exposes Ross Stake In Putin-Tied Company | MSNBC

    Richard Engel explores the details of Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross's business connections to a company tied to Vladimir Putin, as exposed by the newly leaked Paradise Papers.

    Robert Mueller’s Russia Probe Closing In On Michael Flynn | MSNBC

    Nick Ackerman, former Watergate prosecutor, joins MTP Daily to discuss the news that federal investigators have enough evidence to bring charges to Michael Flynn in the Russia probe.
  31. Robert Swan Mueller III

    Plays chess when the white house is playing tic tac toe


    Videos of the Anti Trump projection artist who was vacationing in Japan when Trump arrived.
    Glorious bastard
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump SoHo: A Shiny Hotel Wrapped In Glass, But Hiding Mysteries | NPR


    In December 2006, workers broke cold ground in lower Manhattan, preparing the way for a glass-clad, towering hotel, to be called Trump SoHo.

    There, just west of the South of Houston Street neighborhood, the backhoes dug down.

    They hit hundreds of bones: human skulls, femurs and forearms.

    Turns out, the site had once held the 19th-century burial vault of a church known for its abolitionist stance and inclusion of African-Americans. The hotel developers — including a little-known company called Bayrock Group — suddenly owned an American historic site.

    Church archivist David Pultz says Bayrock officials stalled DNA testing for years. "My suspicion was they were trying to avoid controversy" that might bring more scrutiny, he said.

    A hotel behind veils

    In fact, at Trump SoHo, a lot remains unknown, including the project's true source of funding.

    But now the man whose name brands the hotel — Donald Trump — lives in the White House. And his financial ties reportedly are being investigated by Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller in connection with a larger probe into possible ties between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials.

    Note this: In a lawsuit, Bayrock's former finance director Jody Kriss portrays the firm as a money-laundering operation, used to conceal transfers of illicit funds and disguise them as legitimate real estate transactions. He also alleges that cash infusions from overseas were fraudulently portrayed as loans to help the firm's principals evade taxes.

    "Tax evasion and money laundering are the core of Bayrock's business model," the lawsuit alleges. And the Trump SoHo building, it said, was "a monument to spectacularly corrupt money-laundering and tax evasion."

    Bayrock has denied money-laundering allegations; the company's spokeswoman declined to comment for this story. The White House referred all questions about Trump SoHo to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to multiple inquiries.

    Mueller's team reportedly is specifically looking into money laundering in New York City real estate. That investigation — along with the discovery process of various lawsuits — may help uncover information about the business back story of the man whom Americans have elected president.

    And the NPR podcast Embedded also has been digging around, trying to understand more about one Trump signature project. Here's what the reporters learned.

    Continued at

    Here are some of the 16 previous posts in this thread that mention the Trump SoHo:

    Donald Trump Dealt With Members of Organized Crime | Wall Street Journal

    Trump's business network reached alleged Russian mobsters | USA TODAY

    Video: Protesters Beam Message From Vladimir Putin Onto Trump SoHo Hotel | Gothamist

    Trump SoHo’s Developers Screwed Their Employees, So They Sued For Racketeering | Washington Journal

    Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud | WNYC
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sean Hannity got in trouble with British regulators. There is a lesson here for Trump.

    By Callum Borchers, The Washington Post


    President Trump said during his campaign for the White House that he wants the United States to adopt the libel standards of England, where protections for journalists are weaker. More recently, he floated the idea of reinstating the principles of the Fairness Doctrine, scrapped three decades ago by Ronald Reagan's administration but still enforced in Great Britain and the rest of the United Kingdom.

    Perhaps Trump will reconsider the wisdom of emulating the British system after the U.K. regulatory agency Ofcom on Monday cited two of the president's biggest boosters, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson of Fox News, for violating standards of fairness.

    Ofcom ruled that a January episode of Hannity's show and a May episode of Carlson's show failed to satisfy three legal requirements, excerpted below:
    • “Alternative viewpoints must be adequately represented.”
    • “Due impartiality must be preserved on matters of major political and industrial controversy.”
    • “Views and facts must not be misrepresented.”
    From a practical standpoint, Ofcom's ruling doesn't mean much. Fox News's parent company stopped airing the channel in the United Kingdom in August, citing low viewership.

    Yet the Hannity and Carlson citations are instructive, as examples of the adverse side effects Trump might experience if he were to get serious about further regulations on the media. When the president says, as he did last month, that “it's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it,” he seems to imagine a crackdown on negative coverage of his White House without considering what might happen to one-sided reporting in his favor.

    Continued at
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  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 15 hours ago
    Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia. He’s weak on crime, weak on our GREAT VETS, Anti-Second Amendment....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 15 hours ago
    ....and has been horrible on Virginia economy. Vote @EdWGillespie today!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 14 hours ago
    .@EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone. Vote today, ASAP!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 33 minutes ago
    Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!

    Democrat Northam wins Virginia governor’s race | TheHill


    Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is projected to win the Virginia governor’s race, fending off a potential gut punch for his party and giving Democrats a jolt of momentum ahead of the 2018 midterms.

    Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in the race to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), in what has become the only competitive statewide race of the year. Northam’s win gives Democrats their first major victory since President Trump took office after a string of high-profile special election defeats in GOP districts earlier this year.

    Northam, a former Army physician and pediatric neurologist, went into the general election with a consistent single-digit lead in a state that has been shifting more to the left. Democrats have won every statewide race in Virginia since 2009, including the 2016 presidential race, when Trump lost the state by 5 points.

    Trump’s underwater approval rating in Virginia also added to the better political environment for Democrats.

    But Northam’s lead started to deteriorate in the final month of the race, when the tone of the race started to shift. Gillespie kept his distance from Trump, but adopted his campaign playbook and focused on identity politics and hot-button issues like immigration that helped tighten the race.

    Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, ran ads about his support for protecting Confederate monuments in the wake of violent clashes over a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. He also knocked Northam over sanctuary cities, arguing that his position helped pave the way for violence by the MS-13 gang.

    Northam called Gillespie’s campaign “divisive” and “fear-mongering,” and countered with ads seeking to link him to Trump, particularly in northern Virginia.

    Continued at

    Donald Trump was the big loser in Virginia | CNN

    The race for Virginia governor on Tuesday night wasn't very close. And Republicans have Donald Trump to blame for it.

    Ralph Northam Wins Virginia Gov Race – Delivering a Rebuke to Trump in the Process

    The Anti-Trump Wave Has Come, And Republicans Can’t Stop It | New York Magazine

    Virginia shows that anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats still have a pulse | The Washington Post
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