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The Seal that killed osama bin laudin calls Trumps parade “third world bullshit”
Rob Porter is accused of domestic violence by his two ex wives. The FBI was investigating Porter for a security clearance when the wives testified. Porter didn't get the security clearance and has been working with a temporary clearance, seemingly the norm for Trumps White House team.
Porter is dating Hope Hicks, Trumps favorite aide at this time. She drafted the first White House response to the abuse allegations which was a full support for Porter. Trump didn't get to approve that one. Kelly is also on Trumps shit list because Kelly didn't tell trump about the problem before it was disclosed.
"He was fucking pissed"
As President Donald Trump continues to bluster and tweet his way through a chaotic presidency, the Middle East is simmering dangerously close to a boiling point. Wars in Yemen and Syria are still burning hard, the feud between Qatar and the so-called Quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain trundles on with no apparent end in sight, Iran continues to flex its military muscles, and both Iraq and Egypt struggle to contain terrorist attacks.
Once again, all but forgotten are the Palestinians.
Israel, buoyed by Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, continues, in flagrant disregard of international law and UN resolutions, to build settlements in the West Bank. And Trump threatens to cut off US aid because the Palestinians refused to meet his Vice President Mike Pence after the president had provocatively named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"They disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them," he said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president said he was prepared to withhold "hundreds of millions" of dollars in aid, adding "That money is on the table and that money's not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace".
The peace proposal that Trump likes best - and that his son-in-law and special Middle East adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly pursuing together with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - looks remarkably like a real estate transaction. Unsurprising, given that the 36-year-old Kushner has no previous experience in diplomacy, but an awful lot of it in wheeling and dealing in the high-stakes world of New York property ventures.
Palestinians are watching Saudi Arabia closely
Adnan Abu Amer
by Adnan Abu Amer
It has been called "the sanctuary plan". It involves the Palestinians surrendering some 50 percent of the West Bank to Israel. Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank that are encircled by Israeli settlement projects would fall under the administrative control of Jordan. For their part, the Egyptians would agree to cede North Sinai to a new Palestinian entity contiguous with Gaza. The capital of this strange agglomeration would become a Palestinian town on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Abu Dis. Jerusalem whole and undivided would then become the capital of Israel.
It is, of course, a madness. What would cause the Palestinians to give up their rights in the West Bank in return for a piece of Egypt riddled with terrorism? Why would Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi turn over more of his land, having already been roundly attacked for giving up two small islands in the Red Sea to the Saudis?
But if one year of the Trump presidency has taught us anything, it is that the most extreme and ludicrous of positions can morph quickly into a crude and ugly reality.
Now two stories are helping to nudge the sanctuary narrative along. The first was broken by the New York Times on February 3 about military support the Israelis have been providing Egypt in its fight against Ansar Beit al Maqdis (ABM), an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) on the Sinai Peninsula. In 2014 ABM pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed ISIL caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The peninsula was declared Wilayat Sinai, the Sinai Province of ISIL.
Over the years, the Egyptians have lost hundreds of police and soldiers in battling the terrorists in Sinai. In November 2017, the ISIL affiliate carried out an attack on a Sufi mosque that left more than 300 people dead. It was the single worst terrorist atrocity in Egypt's recent history.
According to the New York Times, what it called a "secret alliance" has enabled the Israelis to carry out more than 100 air raids inside Egypt against the ABM over the past two years. The Egyptians have denied the claim, but crucially the Israelis have neither confirmed nor denied it. Using unmarked drones and fighter jets with their markings concealed, the Israelis have been trying to degrade the fighters' military capability, something that the Egyptian army has not been successful in doing.
To return to the analogy of a real estate deal, if you are Jared Kushner and you want to evict problem tenants from a highly desired property with as little awkwardness as possible, you have to offer them something in return, and that something can't be a property overrun with heavily armed gangsters. So the Israelis are doing their bit to help secure the neighbourhood.
For his part, President el-Sisi desperately needs to keep both the Saudis and the Israelis on side as he struggles with a sluggish economy and growing disenchantment with his heavy-handed rule. Saudi cash to the tune of several hundreds of millions of dollars will help keep the economy and el-Sisi afloat. For the Egyptian president, giving up a troublesome North Sinai may seem a small price to pay.
For Mohammed bin Salman, a solution to the Palestinian "problem" that he helps to bring about, one that is very favourable to Israel, means that he can then draw on the Israelis - who after all have nuclear arms - to stand up to Iran in the struggle for regional hegemony. The US, grateful too, will put their military might into confronting Iran. And the Egyptians now living in North Sinai? Well, that is a question to be sorted out down the road presumably.
Meanwhile, the forced relocation of large numbers of people is an uncomfortable scenario for the Israelis to contemplate, given the horrific fate of Jews in the Holocaust. What better way to soften Israeli public opinion to a mass eviction of Palestinians than to first launch the deportation of undocumented African immigrants? Some 35,000 are facing precisely that plight.
The Netanyahu government has vowed to forcibly repatriate these desperate economic migrants with a take it or leave it offer: $3,500 and a one-way ticket back to Africa, or jail.
Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz, in denouncing the forced repatriation project, wrote recently about what he called "far-reaching plans that only the extreme right talks about for now".
With commendable clarity, he lays out what will come next should the government proceed with its efforts to remove the Africans:
"If this mini-expulsion succeeds, expect more to come: prepare for a population transfer. If the first operation is successful, it will buoy hopes for additional expulsions. Israel will learn it can do it; that no one will stop it."
So while the world sits back and watches, those who will be expelled from what is left of their land will be the Palestinians.
Trump's desire to pull off the "biggest deal ever" coupled with Saudi money, Israeli backing and Egyptian connivance could see this ugly dream become a reality, one that yet again excludes the Palestinians from having any meaningful say. It is, to put it simply, a nightmare that should never be allowed to see the light of day.
"Trump's desire to pull off the "biggest deal ever" coupled with Saudi money, Israeli backing and Egyptian connivance could see this ugly dream become a reality, one that yet again excludes the Palestinians from having any meaningful say. It is, to put it simply, a nightmare that should never be allowed to see the light of day."
That's what typifies Trump, expanding his empire.
OK So for those generally confused about WTF is going on with Israel and the USA. Trump came down squarely for the most conservitave Jewish organizations in the US by moving the capital to Jerusalem.
Yay the US supports Israel.
Now there have been shots fired, drones sent and an Israeli plane shot down in the first Iran-Israel conflict. Netanyahu thinks the the US is Israel's strongest ally however after a "Israel has the right to defend its borders" tweet, Trump has returned to twitter to sulk about sexual assault and slither around the Democrat's memo.
Donald Trump: Lives are being 'destroyed' by allegations
President Donald Trump says lives are being "destroyed by mere allegation" after two White House aides quit amid accusations of domestic abuse.
"There is no recovery for someone falsely accused," Mr Trump tweeted.
This week saw the departure of White House speechwriter David Sorensen and staff secretary Rob Porter.
The White House has been criticised for its handling of the allegations and Mr Trump's comments quickly drew scorn.
White House regret over abuse claims
No longer all the president's men
His remarks also come amid a worldwide debate over sexual harassment and the abuse of power.
In his tweet, Mr Trump did not mention either man, but warned allegations could result in a person's "life and career gone".
Among those to react with anger was Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who responded by saying that women's lives were affected every day by sexual violence and harassment.
"I'm going to keep standing with them, and trusting them, even if the president won't," she said.
Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier tweeted that Mr Trump's comments were "offensive".
Some commentators objected to his reference to due process, for example pointing to his promotion of a conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama's nationality.
Mr Sorensen has been accused by his former wife of being violent and emotionally abusive, while Mr Porter faces allegations of domestic abuse involving two ex-wives.
Both men deny the allegations.
Mr Trump, who paid tribute to Mr Porter on Friday during a press conference in which he told people to "remember that he said that he's innocent", has himself been accused of sexual misconduct, something he has strongly denied.
The president has also supported others who have faced abuse allegations, including Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate.
Donald is more worried about his own reputation than anything else, not forgetting the fragrant Melania has appeared a teensy weensy bit frosty toward him of late.
That's not the face of a happy man!
Prostitute for the White House?
"Sick of being a nurse maid to a 71 year old"
Consumer Protection Borough
It dropped a lawsuit against a lender who charged 950% interest
Life's a bitch
Trump wants to sell off a couple of airports, a couple of parkways- highways that could become tollways- and two power authorities. Can you imagine letting some handling power ? TVA and Bonneville power authorities means rate will be set by a for-profit company and they will also own dams and power lines.
Edward Snowden: I got a security clearance faster than half of Trump White House staffers
Damn right wing cencorship: here is it again:
"Omarosa: Americans 'would be begging for days of Trump back' if Pence replaced him"
She's claiming that Trump's lawyer voided the non-disclosure agreement and wants to talk. Heh heh heh
"“The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent — and possibly upheaval — through 2018,” Coats wrote."
"Coats also observed that worsening air pollution is causing unrest in countries like India, water scarcity is driving tensions between nations, and ecosystems threatened by rising temperatures could jeopardize “critical human systems.”
This assessment follows testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who earlier this month told lawmakers that climate change is an integral part of military planning."
Bannon met with Mueller for over 20 hours. Ruh rho.
The White House won't release the official photo of Trump reversing mental illness safeguards against gun ownership enacted by Obama because a picture is worth 1000 words.
"White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly responded to CBS News in April after a dozen requests for the photo, saying, “We don't plan to release the picture at this time."
Top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller | CNN
Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case.
Gates has already spoken to Mueller's team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He's had what criminal lawyers call a "Queen for a Day" interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors' team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed.
Gates' cooperation could be another building block for Mueller in a possible case against President Donald Trump or key members of his team.
Once a plea deal is in place, Gates would become the third known cooperator in Mueller's sprawling probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It would also increase the pressure to cooperate on Gates' co-defendant Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, who has pleaded not guilty to Mueller's indictment and is preparing for a trial on alleged financial crimes unrelated to the campaign. Gates pleaded not guilty on October 30 alongside Manafort.
Continued at https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/politics/rick-gates-plea-deal-mueller-russia-investigation/
'Dress for Succes'
My God she has poor taste.
"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!"
"It charges that as early as 2014, Russian nationals physically entered the U.S., and, hiding their true identities, gathered intelligence, organized political rallies — and even paid Americans to assist their alleged political sabotage. The Russians allegedly paid one American in Florida to dress up as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform and another to build a cage to "imprison" the Clinton impersonator at a Florida rally."
"Unwitting" being the important word
Robert Mueller just made it impossible for Trump to call the special counsel probe a 'total hoax' | CNN
On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department announced that special counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russian nationals for their roles in attempted meddling in the 2016 election.
Most of these people do not live in the United States, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Russia won't be extraditing them any time soon. But that's not the point.
The point is this: The indictments of a baker's dozen of Russians gives us a very clear window into not only the depth and breadth of the Mueller investigation, but also makes crystal clear what the Russians wanted in the 2016 election and the elaborate measures they undertook to make it happen.
This paragraph stands out:
"Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."
OK. So what we know from that paragraph of the charging documents, which you can read in full here, is this:
By "early to mid-2016," Russians had decided to use whatever means at their disposal to help Donald Trump win.
The Russians bought political ads on social media sites and organized political rallies to achieve those goals.
Russians, disguising their identities, "communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign" in an attempt to "coordinate political activities."
None of that is a smoking gun of collusion.
"Unwitting" members of Trumpworld working with Russians, who didn't identify themselves as Russians, is not the same as a willful effort on behalf of members of the Trump campaign to actively collude with the Russian government.
But what this latest set of indictments proves beyond a shadow of a doubt is that, yes, Russia staged an aggressive and elaborate effort to influence the 2016 election.
This was a multi-pronged campaign -- social media, in-person meetings, political rallies -- by the Russians to beat Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump. It employed hundreds of people.
That analysis, of course, jibes with the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community in 2017 that Russia actively sought to influence the 2016 election in support of Trump.
What it runs directly counter to is Trump's ongoing -- and persistent -- attempts to cast the entire special counsel investigation as nothing more than a politically motivated sideshow.
Continued at https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/politics/mueller-indictments-special-counsel/
Russia investigation: Live updates | CNN
Donald Trump, the Playboy Model Karen McDougal, and a System for Concealing Infidelity | The New Yorker
Melania Trump arrives solo to air base as first couple heads to Florida | CNN
Special counsel court filing reveals new bank fraud allegations against Manafort | CNN
Special counsel Robert Mueller's office dropped more potentially damning details -- from an allegation of "additional criminal conduct" to personal financial troubles -- in a response to Paul Manafort's request to change his bail proposal on Friday.
The newly discovered alleged criminal conduct "includes a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies," a filing from the special counsel's office said on Friday night.
No new charges have been filed in open court against Manafort since he pleaded not guilty to nine counts of money laundering and making false statements about his business on October 30. But CNN has reported that additional indictments against the former Trump campaign chairman are being prepared.
In their filing Friday, prosecutors allege Manafort received a $9 million mortgage on a house of his in Fairfax, Virginia, by giving the Federal Savings Bank doctored business statements that overstated his wealth. The special counsel's office said it could show the court evidence of this bank fraud "and other bank frauds and conspiracies" at its next hearing, which has not yet been set.
Manafort proposed the house in Fairfax as one of four properties that could secure his bail. Another is an apartment he owns in Trump Tower in New York, which is at risk of foreclosure, the prosecutors said.
The prosecutors also noted that Manafort has "questioned his ability to maintain the payments on all his mortgages" and that members of his family aren't "willing to assume the risk" of helping him.
Manafort earned a judge's approval to be released from house arrest two months ago, if he showed proper documentation and could secure a $10 million bail with assets and properties. He has not been able to clear the judge's hurdles, and proposed a different approach to securing his bail Friday afternoon.
There is a pattern in Trump appointees I guess.
So his boss had to leave too, for the same thing- anti Muslim and racist comments.Birds of a feather and all that. Trump's group must think that appointments with volunteer services can sneak by. Good job CNN. Good job to the agency too, both of these guys got fired as soon as the anti Muslim speech was uncovered.
Giant Trump chicken attacks Alcatraz
Trump blames the school shooting on the Russian Probe. No. really.
“Trump, Inc.” is a production of WNYC Studios and ProPublica. Support our work by visiting donate.propublica.org or by becoming a supporting member of WNYC. Subscribe here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Just months before Donald Trump announced his bid for president in 2015, federal regulators announced they were slapping one of his longtime Atlantic City casinos with a record-setting $10 million fine for lack of controls around money laundering.
The problems went back years. The penalty was actually the second record-setting fine for the Trump Taj Mahal involving money-laundering oversight.
What exactly did the Taj fail to do? Casino officials admitted to “willful and repeated” violations of the Bank Secrecy Act: As federal authorities put it in a settlement:
Trump Taj Mahal admitted that it failed to implement and maintain an effective AML [anti-money laundering] program; failed to report suspicious transactions; failed to properly file required currency transaction reports; and failed to keep appropriate records as required.
In this episode of “Trump, Inc.,” our podcast with WNYC, we dig into the now-bankrupt and shuttered Trump Taj Mahal, once one of the biggest and glitziest casinos in the world. It’s a story of chaotic operations, massive debt, and a tendency to treat rules as more like suggestions. Ring a bell?
Even before a searing report put the job of Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin at risk, some White House staffers were pushing a health care agenda at odds with his. The infighting has left vets frustrated, Congress confused — and a key piece of legislation stalemated.
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