The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jeffrey Epstein apology deprives accusers of day in court | BBC News

    An influential billionaire accused of sexually abusing dozens of young girls has deprived his alleged victims of the chance to testify against him for the first time, by settling a lawsuit.


    Financier Jeffrey Epstein reached a last-minute agreement on Tuesday in the civil case in Palm Beach, Florida.

    The lawsuit had pitted Epstein, 65, against a lawyer representing women who say the tycoon abused them as teens.

    Continued at

    Lawmakers: Probe Alexander Acosta’s ‘Shocking’ Plea Deal With Jeffrey Epstein | The Daily Beast

    Hours after Jeffrey Epstein’s trial ended in a plea deal, Florida lawmakers set their sights on Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s role in that deal.
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Roger Stone Invokes Fifth Amendment in Declining Senate Committee Document Request | Mediaite


    Roger Stone is not providing the Senate Judiciary Committee with documents requested, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

    In a letter made public by ranking member Dianne Feinstein, Stone’s attorney Grant Smith says, “The requests, as previously stated to staff, are far too overbroad, far too overreaching, far too wide-ranging both in their all-embracing list of persons to whom the request could relate with whom Mr. Stone has communicated over the past three years, and the ‘documents concerning’ imprecision of the requests.”

    The letter invokes his testimony to the House Intel Committee before saying he won’t “confirm the existence of, or produce the documents of the request, for the purpose of being used in secret proceedings.”

    It concludes with Smith writing that Stone invoking his Fifth Amendment rights “must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy.”

    Continued at
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member


    Trump Boys Raid Sister’s Closet For Sexy Clothes They Can Use To Seduce And Blackmail Robert Mueller | The Onion


    With each brother stretching a pair sheer tights over their arms before shimmying into evening gowns, the Trump boys reportedly raided their sister’s closet Tuesday for sexy clothes they could use to seduce and blackmail Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    “We can use Ivanka’s fancy dress-up stuff to disguise ourselves as a pretty lady for Mueller and then use our feminine willies [sic] to trick him and drive him crazy!” said Donald Trump Jr., who hobbled around his sister’s bedroom in a pair of high heels as Eric Trump wrapped a bra over his eyes while pretending to be a giant insect.

    “He’s gonna think we’re so sexy, and once we get him to fall in love, then we can reveal ourselves and make him drop the charges against Dad or else we’ll tell everyone what happened. Watch out, Mueller. Donalina and Ericalina are coming for you!”

    At press time, the sobbing Trump boys were reportedly spotted racing through the halls of the White House pursued by Ivanka Trump waving a ripped $5,000 designer gown.

  4. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    The Senate as a whole was not briefed, only a very small group.
    In the original briefing the CIA head Haspel wasnt present. Instead it was Mattis and Pompeo who equivocated about knowing who the guilty parties were and stressed the US Saudi friendship.
    Sen. Graham After CIA Briefing on Khashoggi: There's a 'Smoking Saw' Implicating MBS”
  5. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    It’s all laughter til the FBI is at the door.
    “Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. reportedly swallowed two sets of luggage keys Wednesday in case they went to jail in the near future and needed to escape. “”
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  6. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    “President Trump traversed a wide political chasm Tuesday evening when he personally welcomed George W. Bush, his occasional foil, to Blair House, the presidential guest quarters across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

    But the actual distance was just 250 yards — a route Trump and his wife Melania traveled in the presidential parade limousine, with a motorcade of at least seven other vehicles.“
  7. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Mueller Recommends No Jail for Flynn Because of His Help
    “Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should receive a lenient sentence that doesn’t include prison time because of his "substantial assistance to the government," Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a filing that blacked out most of the details of the nature of his cooperation over the last year, Bloomberg News reports.”
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Read: Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn | Vox


    Flynn will be sentenced by a Washington, DC judge on December 18. You can read the main memo below, or at this link.


    And you can read the partially redacted supplement below, or at this link.

    More at

    Mueller seeks no prison time for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing his ‘substantial assistance’ | The Washington Post
  9. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    North Carolina election for the House is still too close to call. Massive voting fraud discoveries are so bad that the House Democrats say they will not seat the Republican winner. A count is still underway and the election hasn’t been certified.

    “Unofficial ballot totals showed Republican Mark Harris ahead of Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the 9th Congressional District. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week in view of "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district.”
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Rudy Giuliani Blames Twitter For His Internet Ignorance | Hill Reporter


    Two days ago we did a story on a tweet that the President’s attorney Rudy Giuliani had made, which allowed someone to play quite an interesting prank on both Giuliani and Mr. Trump.

    Basically what happened was that Giuliani’s tweet had a typo in it, where he forgot to add an important space between two sentences. This caused the word “G-20”, a period (.), and the word “in” located in the following sentence to all run together, like this, “”.

    For those familiar with domain names, “.in” is a TLD (Top Level Domain) extension for the nation of India. Therefore Giuliani inadvertently created a url, which Twitter turned into a link. Some prankster then decided to register the domain name and throw up a message calling Trump a “traitor”. This made it appear as if the president’s attorney had linked to a website calling his client a traitor.

    After the story broke, instead of deleting the tweet to take responsibility for his error, Giuliani instead decided to use the incident as fuel for those on the right to continue the narrative that Twitter is anti-Trump and anti-conservative.

    “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE,” Giuliani tweeted last night.

    This tweet just goes further to prove that Mr. Giuliani is illiterate when it comes to social media and the internet in general. As you see above, he has claimed that he had made similar typos before, forgetting the space between two sentences, and his error never turned into a URL.

    While he may be right, his argument shows a clear misunderstanding of the internet. Unless the text after the period, in this case “in” is a known internet TLD, Twitter’s script will not change it to a URL. If someone typed ‘Trump.The’, Twitter’s script would ignore the error, but if someone instead typed ‘Trump.Org’, Twitter would of course turn the error into a URL as well.

    It’s one thing to question Twitter’s practice of banning users for breaking their terms of service, like many on the right have done, but it’s an entirely different matter to claim that Twitter is anti-Trump because your own carelessness caused you to literally type in a URL, which Twitter rightfully turned into a link.

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    FBI Expert Suggests Michael Flynn May Have Worn a Wire in Conversations With Trump | Hill Reporter


    MSNBC’s Morning Joe called on Frank Figluzzi to come in and help explain the memo. Figluzzi was formerly an Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the FBI and is familiar with Robert Mueller’s methods.

    He began the segment by explaining that the extensive redactions meant that the info inside was sensitive. After stating that redactions are out of character for Mueller, Figluzzi said, “We saw lots of redaction. You do that in the FBI either when you have classified information or you are at such a sensitivity level that you cannot expose it.”

    Figluzzi also felt the light sentence and amount of redactions meant the investigation was aiming for convictions at the highest levels. He continued, “I think, in fact, that underneath these redactions, if we were to lift these black magic marker points out, we would see people with the last name Trump or Kushner.”

    Finally, Figluzzi ended the segment with a bombshell suggestion; Flynn may have worn a wire. He told the panel, “We see reference here to quick cooperation by Flynn. What does that mean? Did it happen in what we call the golden hour, where you could even wire somebody up and have him share communications in real time?”

    More at
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    See how Obamas, Clintons greeted (or didn't greet) Trump | CNN

    Washington mourns George HW Bush as Trump gives cold shoulder to Clintons | The Guardian


    It was a cold day in Washington. When Donald Trump walked in, the temperature plummeted a good deal lower.

    In the front pew of the National Cathedral at Wednesday’s state funeral of President George HW Bush, Bill Clinton had been chatting animatedly with Barack and Michelle Obama. Hillary Clinton had been in conversation with Jimmy Carter.

    Then came the Trumps. First Lady Melania stood and cordially shook hands with the Obamas and Bill Clinton, and a little wave to Hillary, as her husband took off his coat. Trump plopped down into the end seat before shaking hands with Barack Obama, who nodded formally, and Michelle, who forced a smile and “Good morning”. He did not greet Bill Clinton or his wife, Hillary, who was Trump’s rival in the rancorous 2016 presidential campaign.

    It was all in the body language. The Obamas and Clintons now sat staring ahead, visibly tense, their earlier banter quite gone. Barack Obama looked strangely self-conscious; Michelle wore a permanent grimace, Bill and Hillary had stiffened. Trump had deadened the atmosphere like a standing chill.

    The contrast was brutal a few minutes later when the Obamas greeted George W Bush with warm smiles. Bush handed Michelle a piece of candy, just as he did at Senator John McCain’s funeral earlier this year. Bush would later break down in grief at the end of a eulogy that was in turns poignant and funny.

    It was a rare gathering of five presidents including Trump, Bush and Clinton. It was also the first time that Trump come face to face with the Obamas and Clintons since his inauguration and dystopian first presidential speech, in January, 2017. Over the past two years their mutual antipathy has deepened. On Wednesday, Trump was the odd man out as Republicans and Democrats came together in, rare these days, bipartisan comity.


    Wednesday marked the first time since Lyndon Johnson’s death in 1973 that a sitting president was not asked to eulogise a late president.

    More at

    Trump Awkwardly Sat With The Obamas And The Clintons At George H.W. Bush's Funeral | BuzzFeed

    "No one looks happy to see one another."

    Trumps get frosty reception from Obamas, Clintons at George H.W. Bush funeral | ABC News

    Chris Wallace: 'A chill' descended on front row upon Trump arrival at Bush funeral | TheHill

    Silence, straight-ahead stares and candy mark rare full meeting of presidents' club at Bush funeral | USA TODAY
  13. Trump looks like the fat school bully that no one wants to be seen talking to and he's beginning to realise that .
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michael Flynn offered help in at least three cases. What are they?

    By Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post


    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s court filing on Michael Flynn provides plenty of intrigue, not the least of which concerns what cases are out there that might ensnare President Trump.

    “It’s clear that there are three matters that Flynn is getting credit for helping with,” former White House ethics counsel Norman Eisen tells me. “One is collusion; no surprise there because of the contacts with Russia that he lied about. The other two were blacked out in the memo, but the second is likely the special counsel’s other main focus: obstruction.” He explains: “Remember, it was Trump’s request to [then-FBI Director James B.] Comey to ‘see his way clear’ to letting Flynn go, that triggered the obstruction investigation. Flynn may well have a great deal to say about why Trump was so desperate and much more about the elements of obstruction.” (A useful analysis can be found in a report by Eisen, Barry H. Berke and Noah Bookbinder for the Brookings Institution.)

    But what about a third case, one that seems not to be under Mueller’s jurisdiction? Eisen says that one’s a “mystery.” He speculates that this might point to the Stormy Daniels campaign-finance case in the Southern District of New York, although we have seen “no previous indication of Flynn’s involvement in that.”

    Alternatively, such a case might involve other financial matters. Remember that prosecutors in New York have the cooperation of longtime Trump organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. It is possible that as a close confidant of the president who traveled with Trump during the campaign he would have some knowledge of Trump’s other financial dealings.

    Another possible line of inquiry could concern Flynn’s work for Turkey. The sentencing memorandum spends considerable time on Flynn’s failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) with regard to something Mueller dubs the “Turkey project.” That appears to concern the deportation of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who resides in the United States and whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed for instigating an attempted coup in 2016.

    The document explains:

    On election day in 2016, the defendant published an op-ed for the Turkey project that called for the removal of a cleric residing in the United States whom the President of Turkey blamed for the failed coup in that country. The cleric’s responsibility for the coup attempt was a subject of great debate, and the defendant’s op-ed about the cleric’s role was valuable to the Republic of Turkey’s efforts to shape public opinion. The defendant falsely represented in his FARA filings that the op-ed was written at his own initiative, as opposed to for the Turkey project and the Republic of Turkey, and thus again deprived the public of the very transparency FARA was designed to ensure. The defendant’s false statements impeded the ability of the public to learn about the Republic of Turkey’s efforts to influence public opinion about the failed coup, including its efforts to effectuate the removal of a person legally residing in the United States.

    Flynn’s possible attempt to arrange Gulen’s deportation might have involved other government officials. Again, we simply do not know.

    A mysterious third case need not involve Trump directly, to be certain. Flynn worked closely with Jared Kushner (historian Douglas Brinkley calls them a “dog and pony team”) on foreign policy issues during the transition, raising questions as to whether they violated the Logan Act. It is noteworthy that the sentencing document references Flynn’s “false statements to the FBI about his prior interactions with the Russian government in December 2016 concerning a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.” That resolution concerned Israeli settlements. (Reuters reported about a year ago: “In the hours before the vote by the 15-member United Nations Security Council on Dec. 23 [2016], Flynn also phoned the U.N. missions of Uruguay and Malaysia, and Kushner spoke with Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States, according to diplomats familiar with the conversations, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The lobbying took place before Republican President Donald Trump, who was known for his pro-Israel campaign rhetoric, took office on Jan. 20.”)

    Continued at
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Saudi-funded lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at Trump’s hotel after 2016 election

    By David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell, The Washington Post


    Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of Trump’s election in 2016 — paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months, according to organizers of the trips and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

    At the time, these lobbyists were reserving large numbers of D.C.-area hotel rooms as part of an unorthodox campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington — then sent them to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, according to veterans and organizers.

    At first, Saudi lobbyists put the veterans up in Northern Virginia. Then, in December 2016, they switched most of their business to the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. In all, the lobbyists spent more than $270,000 to house six groups of visiting veterans at the Trump hotel, which Trump still owns.

    Those bookings have fueled a pair of federal lawsuits alleging Trump violated the Constitution by taking improper payments from foreign governments.

    During this period, records show, the average nightly rate at the hotel was $768. The lobbyists who ran the trips say they chose Trump’s hotel strictly because it offered a discount from that rate and had rooms available, not to curry favor with Trump.

    “Absolutely not. It had nothing to do with that. Not one bit,” said Michael Gibson, a Maryland-based political operative who helped organize the trips.

    Some of the veterans who stayed at Trump’s hotel say they were kept in the dark about the Saudis’ role in the trips. Now, they wonder if they were used twice over: not just to deliver someone else’s message to Congress, but also to deliver business to the Trump Organization.

    “It made all the sense in the world, when we found out that the Saudis had paid for it,” Henry Garcia, a Navy veteran from San Antonio who went on three trips. He said the organizers never said anything about Saudi Arabia when they invited him.

    He believed the trips were organized by other veterans, but that puzzled him, because this group spent money like no veterans group he’d ever worked with. There were private hotel rooms, open bars, free dinners. Then, Garcia said, one of the organizers who had been drinking minibar champagne mentioned a Saudi prince.

    “I said, ‘Oh, we were just used to give Trump money,’” Garcia said.

    Continued at
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  16. I seriously doubt your wishful thinking has any basis in reality.

    The president considers a nuclear strike

    The commander-in-chief’s power is clear: He or she has sole authority to use nuclear weapons.
    The top brass is brought in

    Before initiating military action, the president convenes a conference with military and civilian advisers in Washington and around the world to talk through options. In the White House, the call takes place in the Situation Room. If traveling, the president is patched in on a secure line. A key participant in the meeting: the Pentagon’s deputy director of operations, an officer in charge of the National Military Command Center, also known as the “war room.” This around-the-clock operations center is responsible for preparing and ultimately transmitting a launch order from the president. The head of all U.S. strategic nuclear forces at Strategic Command in Omaha would probably also be asked for a briefing on strike options.
    [Time elapsed: less than one minute]

    The consultation lasts as long as the president wishes, but if enemy missiles are heading toward the U.S. and the president must order a counterstrike, the consultation may last just 30 seconds. The tight time line raises the risk of launching hastily on a false warning.
    The president decides to launch

    Some advisers may try to change the president’s mind or resign in protest—but ultimately, the Pentagon must comply with the commander-in-chief’s order.
    The order is verified

    The senior officer in the Pentagon war room must formally authenticate that the person ordering the strike is indeed the president. The officer reads a “challenge code,” often two phonetic letters from the military alphabet, such as “Delta-Echo.” The president retrieves the “biscuit,” a laminated card the president or military aide carries at all times, and finds the matching response to the challenge code: “Charlie-Zulu,” for instance.
    The order goes out

    The war room prepares the launch order, a message that contains the chosen war plan, time to launch, authentication codes and codes needed to unlock the missiles before firing them. The encoded and encrypted message is only about 150 characters long, about the length of a tweet. It is broadcast to each worldwide command and directly to launch crews.
    [Time elapsed: two or three minutes]

    The submarine and ICBM crews receive the message within seconds of the broadcast. Just a few minutes have passed since the initial conference call.
    Launch crews take over

    Launch message in hand, the crews open locked safes to obtain sealed-authentication system (SAS) codes prepared by the National Security Agency and distributed throughout the military’s nuclear chain of command. They compare the SAS codes in the launch order with those in their safes.
    If the missiles are launched from a submarine:

    The captain, executive officer and two others authenticate the order. The launch message provides the combination to an on-board safe holding the “fire-control” key needed to deploy the missiles. Missiles are ready for launch about 15 minutes after receiving the order.
    If the missiles are launched from land:

    Five launch crews in various underground centers control a squadron of 50 missiles. Each crew consists of two officers. The individual teams are spread miles apart. Each receives the orders, opens safes and compares their SAS codes to those sent by the war room. If they match, the crews enter the message’s war plan number into their launch computers to re-target missiles from their peacetime targets in the ocean to their new targets. Using additional codes in the message, the crews enter a few more keystrokes to unlock the missiles before turning launch keys retrieved from their safe. At the designated launch time, the five crews turn their keys simultaneously, sending five “votes” to the missiles.
    Mutiny is unlikely

    It takes just two “votes” to launch the missiles. So even if three two-officer ICBM crews refuse to carry out the order, it won’t stop the launch.
    Missiles are launched

    About five minutes may elapse from the president’s decision until intercontinental ballistic missiles blast out of their silos, and about fifteen minutes until submarine missiles shoot out of their tubes. Once fired, the missiles and their warheads cannot be called back.
  17. A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct. U.S. military law requires obedience only to lawful orders.
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's Favorite Things! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody | Randy Rainbow

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  19. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    This will be known as “The Kavanaugh Decision”

    This Supreme Court Case Could Impact The Mueller Probe And Boost Trump's Pardon Power

  20. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Saying “We told you so” to trumps base will be ashes in our mouths
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump White House Has No Plan to Counter Mueller Report | The Atlantic

    Nervous aides expect the president to lead the way, tweet up a storm—and, Rudy Giuliani promises, fight back.

    Mueller probe: Prosecutors given Friday deadline for sentencing memo on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen | USA TODAY

    A New York judge ordered Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday to provide sentencing memos for Michael Cohen by 5 p.m. Friday.

    Jared Kushner May Have Been Implicated in Michael Flynn's Testimony, Says Former Mueller Assistant | Newsweek

    How Trump’s approval rating has evolved, according to data scientist Donald Trump | The Washington Post

    Robert Mueller's Net Approval Rating Beats Donald Trump's by Wide Margin, Poll Shows | Newsweek

    In the last few weeks, President Donald Trump has ramped up his insults of the investigation carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller. A new poll released this week has shown, however, that Americans' net approval of the job Mueller has done easily outpaces Trump's net approval rating.

    Net approval rating is simply disapproval subtracted from approval. The new poll from The Economist and YouGov found that Mueller had a net approval of 7 percentage points. Trump, meanwhile, had a negative net approval rating of -5 percentage points.
  22. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller poised to reveal new details on Russia probe in Manafort, Cohen filings | CNN


    Special counsel Robert Mueller's team could reveal tantalizing new details in its investigation into possible Russian collusion on Friday thanks to a pair of court filing deadlines involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former lawyer Michael Cohen.

    Mueller's office has a Friday deadline to explain to the court why it accused Manafort of lying to investigators and breaking his cooperation deal. Separately, the special counsel's office and federal prosecutors in New York have to provide memos to recommend a sentence for Cohen -- filings that are expected to detail how he has cooperated in multiple investigations.

    The memos from Mueller come the same week that the special counsel's office said in court Tuesday that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn provided "substantial assistance" to the special counsel's office and should not receive jail time.

    In addition, former FBI Director James Comey is testifying behind closed doors on Friday before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees for a Republican-led probe into the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation. Also Friday, George Papadopoulos -- the first person to plead guilty in the Mueller probe -- is being released from prison after serving a two-week sentence.

    It all adds up to one of the busiest weeks in the 19-month Mueller investigation -- and potentially one of the most revealing.

    Continued at

    Inside the frantic decision to open a Trump obstruction probe before Mueller got the job | CNN


    In the hectic eight days after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and top FBI officials viewed Trump as a leader who needed to be reined in, according to two sources describing the sentiment at the time.

    They discussed a range of options, including the idea of Rosenstein wearing a wire while speaking with Trump, which Rosenstein later denied. Ultimately, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe took the extraordinary step of opening an obstruction of justice investigation even before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, the sources said. The obstruction probe was an idea the FBI had previously considered, but it didn't start until after Comey was fired. The justification went beyond Trump's firing of Comey, according to the sources, and also included the President's conversation with Comey in the Oval Office asking him to drop the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    The new details about the genesis of the obstruction case into Trump that became a key element of the Mueller probe shed light on the chaotic week following Comey's firing and the scramble to decide how best to respond. They also help to explain the origins of the Mueller investigation that has stretched across 19 months, consumed Trump's presidency and is building toward a dramatic day of courtroom filings on Friday.

    Continued at
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    From March 28, 2017:
    Trump expected to name Heather Nauert next UN ambassador, sources say | CNN


    President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be his new ambassador to the UN, positioning a relatively inexperienced newcomer in one of the most high-profile positions in US diplomacy, according to an administration official and a second source.

    The announcement is expected to come on Friday, two officials say.

    In an administration rife with internal conflict and deeply distrustful of the UN, Nauert's nomination would place a less senior person at the international agency than outspoken current ambassador Nikki Haley, who reportedly sparred with other administration officials.

    The former Fox News host's precipitous rise since arriving at the State Department in 2017 sets the stage for a potentially tough Senate confirmation hearing, where Democrats will likely grill Nauert on her qualifications for the position.

    The nomination was first reported by Bloomberg News.

    Loyalty above experience

    Experience matters less to the President, an avid fan of Fox News, than Nauert's loyalty to the White House, the fact that she's a woman and her ability to be a polished proxy on television, according to sources familiar with his thinking.

    While Nauert struggled during the tenure of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- so ostracized from his inner circle that she considered quitting -- she could now bring to the UN close ties to the White House and a good working relationship with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    During Pompeo's tenure, she has been able to travel on official trips -- something Tillerson blocked her from doing -- and rose to temporarily hold the position of acting under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.

    Despite Nauert's TV savvy, however, current and former colleagues wonder if she will be prepared or equipped to navigate the gritty behind the scenes work of UN negotiations.

    She would be taking the position amid a roster of thorny global challenges, ranging from North Korea's nuclear program to Yemen's famine and the growing divide between the US and its closest allies over the Iran nuclear deal, climate change and other issues.

    She would also pick up the baton amid a US retrenchment from the world body, with Washington pulling out of different agencies and cutting or reducing funding for others.

    Continued at
  25. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Miss universes gown has Trump/Kim handshake. It reminds me of Joy Villa
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 12 hours ago
    Does the Fake News Media ever mention the fact that Republicans, with the very important help of my campaign Rallies, WON THE UNITED STATES SENATE, 53 to 47? All I hear is that the Open Border Dems won the House. Senate alone approves judges & others. Big Republican Win!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 12 hours ago
    Statement from China: “The teams of both sides are now having smooth communications and good cooperation with each other. We are full of confidence that an agreement can be reached within the next 90 days.” I agree!

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 10 hours ago
    Jerome Corsi: ”This is not justice, this is not America. This is a political prosecution. The Special Prosecutor (Counsel), to get this plea deal, demanded I lie and violate the law. They’re the criminals.” He is not alone. 17 Angry Dems. People forced to lie. Sad! @Trish_Regan

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 10 hours ago
    Trish_Regan: “Did the FBI follow protocol to obtain the FISA warrant? I don’t think so. The Dossier was opposition research funded by opponents. Don’t use Government resources to take down political foes. Weaponizing Government for gain.” Is this really America? Witch Hunt!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 10 hours ago

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 9 hours ago
    Arizona, together with our Military and Border Patrol, is bracing for a massive surge at a NON-WALLED area. WE WILL NOT LET THEM THROUGH. Big danger. Nancy and Chuck must approve Boarder Security and the Wall!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest. And bye the way, wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of “legal” at the corrupt Clinton Foundation? A total Witch Hunt...

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    ....Will Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report. Will Andrew Weissman’s horrible and vicious prosecutorial past be listed in the Report. He wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies, only to be........

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    .....overturned, 9-0, in the United States Supreme Court. Doing same thing to people now. Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 47 minutes ago
    ....Foundation be listed at the top of the Report? Will the scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey, by the man in charge of the case, Rod Rosenstein (who also signed the FISA Warrant), be a big part of the Report? Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted? Will all of....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 25 minutes ago
    ...the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?..And so much more!
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  27. Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 9 hours ago
    Arizona, together with our Military and Border Patrol, is bracing for a massive surge at a NON-WALLED area. WE WILL NOT LET THEM THROUGH. Big danger. Nancy and Chuck must approve Boarder Security and the Wall!

    Boarder Security?

    Spell checker ffs.
  28. Disambiguation Global Moderator


    Trump’s staff

    Trump 75C00779-7BD5-426C-B98D-4DA48815CD68.gif
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 hours ago
    It has been incorrectly reported that Rudy Giuliani and others will not be doing a counter to the Mueller Report. That is Fake News. Already 87 pages done, but obviously cannot complete until we see the final Witch Hunt Report.

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 3 hours ago
    We will be doing a major Counter Report to the Mueller Report. This should never again be allowed to happen to a future President of the United States!

    More: Hunt Trump&tbm=isch
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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Rex Tillerson just exposed Donald Trump's greatest weakness | CNN


    Since being fired by President Donald Trump as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson has kept a very low profile. But on Thursday night in Houston, Tillerson broke that silence in a big way.

    Here's how he described the "why" behind the breakdown of his relationship with the President, according to the Houston Chronicle:

    "So often, the President would say here's what I want to do and here's how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law."

    Um, what???

    The President of the United States would tell the secretary of state how he wanted things done and the secretary of state would have to tell him it couldn't be done the way he wanted because that was illegal?

    This is all fine!

    What's scary about Tillerson's admission? A few things.

    1) Trump either doesn't know the law or doesn't care about the law.

    2) This isn't the first time we've heard of this sort of I-am-the-law, Judge Dredd-like behavior from the President.

    On that second point, remember that former FBI director James Comey has testified -- under oath -- that Trump, in a one-on-one meeting, asked him to put aside the Justice Department investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The President publicly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take up an investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server. (Clinton was not charged in a previous FBI investigation.)

    Time and time again -- particularly in his interactions with the Justice Department -- Trump has shown that he has zero understanding of the limits of his job.

    Tillerson described Trump as "a man who's undisciplined, doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing reports, doesn't like to get into the details of a lot of things but rather says 'this is what I believe.'"

    That approach is broadly in keeping with Trump's experience in the private sector. In business, he largely did what he wanted -- rules (and consequences) be damned. If things went bad, the penalty, usually, was bankruptcy -- and Trump believed he could just deal and talk his way out of that sort of thing.

    Trump has never understood the distinctions between being the head (figurehead, some would say) of a company and being the President of the United States. In his dealings with Sessions -- and Tillerson -- Trump's assumption is that they will do whatever he tells them to do because, well, he's the boss.

    The idea that Tillerson, Sessions and the rest of the administration ultimately serve a) the people of the country and b) the rule of law is seemingly lost on Trump.

    Need more evidence? Trump never forgave Sessions for recusing himself from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Why? "Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the President," Trump told The New York Times in July 2017. "It's extremely unfair -- and that's a mild word -- to the President."

    That Sessions recused himself to prevent any perception of bias in the investigation -- you know, for the good of the country and all that -- was totally lost on Trump. His only reaction to the situation was: This is bad for me, and so Sessions shouldn't have done it.

    Which, really, says it all.

    Trump's total ignorance of the law -- whether willful or just from sheer obtuseness -- is, at this point, a defining characteristic of his presidency. He simply doesn't get that there are limits on his power, limits put in place to preserve the office of the presidency -- and the broader institutions of our democracy.

    We have a President who, according to his one-time FBI director and his first secretary of state, repeatedly proposed ideas that were in violation of established laws. Sit with that for a minute.

    Continued at

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 39 minutes ago
    Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!

    Philip Rucker‏ @PhilipRucker 12 minutes ago
    Two years ago, Rex Tillerson was chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the most powerful industry titans in the world.

    Today, after being recruited to leave Exxon and join the government, he is being tweet-mocked by the president of the United States as "dumb as a rock."
    • Like Like x 1
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    President Trump Melts Down on Twitter Twice Over Robert Mueller's Russia Probe as Paul Manafort Information Drop Looms

    "He doth protest too much" just doesn't do it justice anymore.

    By Jack Holmes. Esquire


    Would you like to hear about last night's presidential meltdown, or this morning's? Yes, these are the questions we now face in The World's Greatest Democracy. It seems there are some downsides to electing a guy who Tells It Like It Is—at least when it turns out he's ushered in an era of entirely shameless corruption, total incompetence, and relentless lying.

    Donald Trump, American president, perhaps knows something the rest of us are about to find out. Maybe it has to do with the further details Special Counsel Robert Mueller is slated to release Friday about former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen—who pled guilty to still more charges last week—and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who also pled guilty to some charges of his own, and who's subsequently been found in violation of his plea agreement because he repeatedly lied to investigators. Manafort, who formerly worked on behalf of any dictator or oligarch who would pay the bills, apparently just loves to do crimes.

    Whatever's coming, it may be why President Good Brain was typing up a storm as he perched himself on the royal commode this morning. For added effect, we will present this Message from the President in the stream-of-consciousness format in which it was undoubtedly born:

    Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest. And bye the way, wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of “legal” at the corrupt Clinton Foundation? A total Witch Hunt.......Will Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report. Will Andrew Weissman’s horrible and vicious prosecutorial past be listed in the Report. He wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies, only to be.............overturned, 9-0, in the United States Supreme Court. Doing same thing to people now. Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton........Foundation be listed at the top of the Report? Will the scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey, by the man in charge of the case, Rod Rosenstein (who also signed the FISA Warrant), be a big part of the Report? Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted? Will all of.......the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?..And so much more!

    Well gee, I'm convinced!

    The rule of thumb, as usual, is to assume Trump is already doing whatever he's accusing others of. Conflicts of interest? It's the de facto business model of his administration. A crooked foundation? Trump's is under investigation, and the treasurer, Allen Weisselberg—also the CFO of the Trump Organization—has been granted immunity by prosecutors. Lyin' James Comey? Last week Trump made 91 false claims in public, an astounding figure that turns out to be just the 11th-worst week of his tenure. On a one-day trip to Mississippi, he made 44 false claims. He is averaging 8.9 false claims per day in 2018. But yeah, I'm sure the rant above is totally accurate.

    There's also the essential weirdness at work here. Seemingly every time Trump mentions "Bruce Ohr"—surprisingly often—he mentions his wife, "Molly," with some kind of suggestive superlative. Very Cool, especially considering her actual name is Nellie and their role in the Russia investigation has been relentlessly warped by right-wing conspiracy theorizing. And, according to journalist Marcy Wheeler, the Andrew Weissman section of the rant is referencing his "horrible and vicious" prosecution of...Enron. You know, the company that has since become synonymous in the public consciousness with corporate fraud. Maybe Trump wants to slap his name on that title, too.

    Certainly, if his former Secretary of State's word is anything to go on, he hasn't been doing too much reading on what Enron was up to—or anything else! Yay!

    Tillerson on Trump: He “doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things.”
    — Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) December 7, 2018

    But this was just one of the recent diatribes. To be frank, it is the more thematically cohesive, in that it almost entirely concerns itself with spreading nonsense conspiracies about Robert Mueller's team on the day they're set to release a report. Stick to the Mueller Lynch Mob!

    (It's here that we might remember that the former Big Dick Toilet-peddler whom Trump appointed acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, is still in the job. Whitaker got into this current racket by going on CNN to defend Trump against the Russia probe, which Whitaker is now overseeing. That included promoting an article that referred to Mueller's team of federal investigators as a "lynch mob." Trump has since essentially admitted he installed Whitaker over the probe. It now appears the president will nominate William Barr, who served as attorney general under George H.W. Bush and has quite a record of his own on special prosecutions, to replace Whitaker permanently. Barr will need to be confirmed by the Senate, and in the meantime, Whitaker will continue in an acting capacity.)

    The scattergun yelps Trump emitted last night, on the other hand, betrayed an even more palpable desperation, as the American president tried breathlessly to get any folks watching focused on various shiny objects he pulled out of the nether regions.

    First, there was The Victor's Lament:

    Does the Fake News Media ever mention the fact that Republicans, with the very important help of my campaign Rallies, WON THE UNITED STATES SENATE, 53 to 47? All I hear is that the Open Border Dems won the House. Senate alone approves judges & others. Big Republican Win!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

    It's not really worth engaging here, but the reason Republicans held onto the Senate so handily was that they were working off a very friendly map. Democrats were defending more than twice as many seats, including many in red states that Trump won handily, and would have had to win statewide elections in places like Texas and Tennessee to take the Senate. In the House, on the other hand, Democrats won 53 percent of the national vote to Republicans' 45 percent. They got 8.8 million more votes. And, after a concession yesterday, have now gained 40 seats, the biggest swing since Watergate. The election was a major victory for Democrats, though Trump is right that Republican control of the Senate will allow him to continue pumping the federal judiciary full of extremists.

    Wow, was that a waste of time. After a brief aside on China that passed as a reasonably normal presidential communication, it was back to business:

    Jerome Corsi: ”This is not justice, this is not America. This is a political prosecution. The Special Prosecutor (Counsel), to get this plea deal, demanded I lie and violate the law. They’re the criminals.” He is not alone. 17 Angry Dems. People forced to lie. Sad! @Trish_Regan
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

    Jerome Corsi, whom you might have noticed Trump claimed not to know in this morning's tweetpocalypse, is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who's gotten himself all tangled up in the Russia probe. Last month, Corsi announced he'd rejected a plea agreement from Mueller's team, saying he was "not going to sign a lie." Time will tell whether that was his way of signaling he's ready for his pardon.

    According to Vox, the suspicion is that Corsi "might have had inside information on the hacking and leak of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails. And Corsi may have shared that information longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone." Corsi, who knew about the emails—which we now know were hacked by the Russians and passed to Wikileaks—before they were public, may have been a go-between for Wikileaks and Trumpworld during the campaign. That is, if there was a conspiracy, he might have been an unlikely key player.

    That thread continued with the President of the United States forwarding idle speculation from a Fox News anchor:

    Trish_Regan: “Did the FBI follow protocol to obtain the FISA warrant? I don’t think so. The Dossier was opposition research funded by opponents. Don’t use Government resources to take down political foes. Weaponizing Government for gain.” Is this really America? Witch Hunt!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

    And then there was this:

    Arizona, together with our Military and Border Patrol, is bracing for a massive surge at a NON-WALLED area. WE WILL NOT LET THEM THROUGH. Big danger. Nancy and Chuck must approve Boarder Security and the Wall!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

    Is this a remake of The Caravan (2018)? They're cranking out these reboots like it's Spider-Man. Needless to say, there's no evidence this newest invasion exists. Throw that on the Lie Pile. It's looking like we're adding to the Seven Peaks.

    But perhaps all that paled in comparison to the president's piece de resistance, his latest wild-eyed all-caps screamfest that, thanks to surely unrelated events last night, took on a whole new sheen:

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

    The unrelated event, of course, was the bomb threat called into CNN, the president's most frequently cited and maligned Media Nemesis, "shortly after 10 p.m." It's impossible, at this point, to draw any connection. What's not reasonable is to any longer deny that the president is fostering a climate of vitriol against the press that is increasingly turning dangerous. It was just in October that a Trump supporter mailed pipe bombs to CNN and prominent Democrats—which Trump lamented was distracting people from his midterm propaganda campaign about The Caravan. And it was just a few months ago that a mass murderer who had a longtime beef with a Maryland newspaper walked into the newsroom and shot five journalists to death.

    As one of their coworkers suggested while remembering one of them on Twitter, there was something about the present moment that drove the shooter to action after five years of simmering resentment:

    6. We don't know what set him off yet. After years of silence. What finally pushed him far enough that he loaded his shotgun, drove the 40 minutes from Laurel, parked his car, walked through the busy lobby, barricaded our back exit, blasted the simple fragile glass door.
    — Joshua McKerrow (@joshuamckerrow) December 7, 2018

    And it was just last month that the president released a grotesque statement waving away the Saudi government's gruesome murder of a dissident, American-resident journalist. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 75 journalists and media workers have been killed worldwide so far in 2018. In 57 of those cases, their work was confirmed as the motivating factor for their murderers.

    What is further clear is that none of this fazes the President of the United States in the least. He is now just trying to lie his way to the end of each day, lashing out wildly as the walls close in on him after decades of lawless behavior without a single consequence. If some journalists, or others, have to die to save his skin, so be it. If the country or the world suffer the kind of damage even future generations will struggle to fix, so what? He won't be here. The president's solipsism is engulfing us all now. We may soon learn whether he's willing to throw his own kids under the bus to protect the only true idol, the object of all his worship and affection: Donald J. Trump.

    The world's most powerful man cannot call on a single shred of ethics. He struggles to empathize with other human beings. And he is getting more and more desperate. We all ought to fear what he might be capable of.

    • Like Like x 2
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Prosecutors: Michael Cohen acted at Trump's direction when he broke the law | CNN


    Federal prosecutors said for the first time Friday that Michael Cohen acted at the direction of Donald Trump when Cohen committed two election-related crimes in 2016, as special counsel Robert Mueller outlined new contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals.

    Those revelations came in a set of court filings in which federal prosecutors in New York said Cohen should receive a "substantial" prison sentence of roughly four years for tax fraud and campaign finance crimes, and as Mueller's office accused the President's former attorney of lying about his contacts with Russia.

    Mueller also revealed that a Russian national who claimed to be well-connected in Moscow spoke with Cohen in 2015 and offered "political synergy" with the Trump campaign.

    The pair of memos from two sets of prosecutors reflect their views of Cohen's criminality and utility to the federal investigations ahead of his scheduled sentencing on December 12.

    In their filing, prosecutors from the Manhattan US Attorney's office knocked Cohen's "rose-colored view of the seriousness of his crimes," noting his years-long willingness to break the law. "He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends," the filing said.

    In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes after being charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors. Those include tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-presidential candidate. Trump has denied those claims.

    Cohen was subsequently charged last week by Mueller's office with one count of lying to Congress.

    "After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the Presidential election, Cohen's decision to plead guilty -- rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes -- does not make him a hero," prosecutors for the southern district wrote.

    The filings on Cohen, and a submission from Mueller about Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, appear to further tighten the net that Mueller is gathering around the President and his inner circle.

    They come at a time when Trump appears to be increasingly worried and furious about the investigation, following a searing tweet storm aimed at the special counsel on Friday.

    Mueller's sentencing memo lays out how the Trump Tower Moscow project is relevant to Russia's election meddling during the 2016 campaign.

    The special counsel memo states that Cohen's false statements to investigators about the Trump Tower Moscow project "obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government."

    Mueller's office said the fact that Cohen continued to work on the Trump Tower Moscow project -- and discuss it with Trump -- was material to both the ongoing congressional and special counsel investigations, noting in particular that "it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election."

    Mueller argues that the false timeline that Cohen laid out publicly and in his testimony — that the Trump Tower Moscow discussions ended in January 2016 — was a deliberate effort to limit the investigations into Russia's election interference.

    Continued at

    Michael Cohen Got $60,000 ‘Bonus’ After Stormy Daniels Payout | The Daily Beast


    The Trump Organization paid Michael Cohen a $60,000 “bonus” after he handled Donald Trump’s alleged mistress problem with a hush money payout to porn star Stormy Daniels. Now he’s paying for that bonus and much more as he stares down a possible three-year prison sentence for campaign finance violations, cheating the IRS out of his luxury handbag profits, and lying about Trump’s would-be Russian real estate empire, among other charges. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Special counsel Robert Mueller have both filed sentencing memos on Cohen and boy do they not look good for him.

    Continued at

    Court filings directly implicate Trump in efforts to buy women’s silence, reveal new contact between inner circle and Russian | The Washington Post


    Federal prosecutors filed new court papers Friday directly implicating President Trump in plans to buy women’s silence as far back as 2014 and offering new evidence of Russian efforts to forge a political alliance with Trump before he became president — disclosures that show the deepening political and legal morass enveloping the administration.

    The separate filings came from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and federal prosecutors in New York ahead of Wednesday’s sentencing of Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

    Taken together, the documents suggest that the president’s legal woes are far from over and reveal a previously unreported contact from a Russian to Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. But the documents do not answer the central question at the heart of Mueller’s work — whether the president or those around him conspired with the Kremlin.

    The documents offer a scathing portrait of his former lawyer as a criminal who deserves little sympathy or mercy because he held back from telling the FBI everything he knew. For that reason, prosecutors said, he should be sentenced to “substantial” prison time, suggesting possibly 3½ years.

    Trump immediately declared that he was vindicated. “Totally clears the president. Thank you!” he tweeted. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Cohen filings “tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known.”

    The special counsel’s office said Cohen had provided “useful information” about its ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as “relevant information” about his contacts with people connected to the White House between 2017 and 2018.

    Mueller revealed that Cohen told prosecutors about what seemed to be a previously unknown November 2015 contact with a Russian national, who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation offering the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”

    Cohen told investigators that the person, who was not identified, repeatedly proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact, “not only in political but in a business dimension as well,” the special counsel’s office wrote.

    Cohen, though, did not follow up on the invitation, because he was already working on a Trump project in Moscow through a different person he believed to have Russian government connections, the special counsel’s office wrote.

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

    5 Big Things That Robert Mueller Just Told Us About The Russia Investigation

    The sentencing memo that special counsel Robert Mueller filed in Michael Cohen's case said a lot about his ongoing Russia investigation.

    By Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed News


    On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a brief sentencing memorandum in response to Michael Cohen's guilty plea for lying to Congress.

    In those seven pages, however, the tight-lipped prosecutor revealed significant information about his investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election that Trump won.

    Unlike his office's other filings this week, none of the information in Cohen's case was redacted.
    Here's what we learned:

    1. Mueller sees a connection between the Trump Tower Moscow project and the core of his investigation into election interference.


    2. As such, Mueller appears to see Cohen's false statements to Congress about the project as part of his obstruction of justice investigation and hints at the possibility that Cohen had help in preparing his statements.


    3. Mueller has evidence that those with Trump connections and those claiming connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin were both interested in arranging a Trump-Putin meeting before a single vote was cast in the 2016 election.


    4. Cohen has given Mueller information about key "Russia-related matters" that Cohen knew about because of his close contact with Trump Organization executives.


    5. Finally, Mueller has determined that information Cohen provided about his contact with people connected to the Trump White House is "relevant and useful" to Mueller's investigation.


    More at

    Friday was a very, very bad day for Donald Trump

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN


    Consider what we learned from the filings from Mueller and the Southern District of New York on Friday:

    1. Trump directed Cohen to pay off both porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, both of whom have alleged they had affairs with the President in the mid 2000s, during the 2016 campaign. Cohen had already pleaded guilty to purposely circumventing campaign finance law to make the payments -- and said he did so at the direction of and coordinated with Trump. Trump has denied that he knew where the money was coming from and that he had anything to do with the decision to pay off the women.

    2. In November 2015, a Russian national spoke with Cohen and attempted to offer "political synergy" with the Trump campaign (Mueller's office said Cohen didn't pursue the outreach).

    3. Cohen lied to Congress about the nature and extent of his involvement in trying to cut a deal on Trump Tower Moscow with the Russians to hide "the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government."

    4. Manafort lied about the extent of his contacts with a Russian -- named Konstantin Kilimnik -- who has ties to the Russian military intelligence agency accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee's servers, which led to the publishing of emails via the site WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

    5. Manafort continued to stay in touch with White House officials long past the point we knew prior. CNN's Katelyn Polantz and Marshall Cohen write: "The document also contains the stunning disclosure that Mueller can show, including with text messages, that Manafort was in contact with Trump administration officials early this year -- even after he was indicted in late 2017."

    More at
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Chris Cuomo: Trump is playing you for a sucker | CNN

    "CNN's Chris Cuomo discusses President Donald Trump's reaction to prosecutors filing sentencing documents against Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen."

    President Trump's Own DOJ Implicated Trump In A Felony In New Court Docs | MSNBC

    "December 7 proved to be a hugely consequential day in the Trump presidency as stunning details are revealed in the Cohen sentencing documents released by investigators. Peter Baker, Joyce Vance, Frank Figliuzzi, & Jeremy Bash all join."
    • Like Like x 1
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  36. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    John Kelly Out As White House Chief Of Staff By End Of Year
    At last, the guy can stop enabling treason and get a good nights sleep.
  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 11 hours ago

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 8 hours ago
    “This is collusion illusion, there is no smoking gun here. At this late date, after all that we have gone through, after millions have been spent, we have no Russian Collusion. There is nothing impeachable here.” @GeraldoRivera Time for the Witch Hunt to END!

    Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings | CNN


    President Donald Trump said Saturday that court filings in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases showed no collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

    "We're very happy with what we're reading because there was no collusion whatsoever," Trump told reporters Saturday at the White House before boarding Marine One for the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

    Trump told reporters he has not read the court filings, which detail alleged lies Cohen and Manafort told publicly and to investigators.

    In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes after being charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors. Those included tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign-finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-presidential candidate.

    On Friday, prosecutors from the Manhattan US attorney's office wrote: "In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1." Individual-1 is the term prosecutors have been using to refer to the President.

    Trump has denied those claims. Asked Saturday if he directed Cohen to commit election-related crimes, Trump firmly said, "No."

    Trump called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation a "very one-sided situation."

    The President also argued that the "last thing I wanted is help from Russia on the campaign" and pivoted to attacking Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He pointed to the role the law firm working for Clinton's campaign played in funding Fusion GPS for opposition research on him. Fusion GPS is the research firm that hired the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who compiled the Russian dossier on Trump, as a subcontractor.

    Trump tweeted earlier Saturday morning that it was "time for the Witch Hunt to END," referring to Mueller's investigation.

    He also quoted Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, saying "this is collusion illusion" and "there is nothing impeachable here."

    Rivera, who made the comments Saturday morning on Fox News, has called Trump a friend and appeared on his hit reality TV show, "Celebrity Apprentice."

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

    Ex-FBI Director James Comey exasperated after closed-door interview on Capitol Hill | CNN


    Former FBI Director James Comey, after facing aggressive questioning from members of Congress on Friday, expressed exasperation that he had been dragged to a private setting on Capitol Hill to be asked questions about the Hillary Clinton email investigation that ended more than two years ago.

    "After a full day of questioning, two things are clear to me: One, we could have done this in (an) open setting," said Comey in a news conference with reporters. "And two: When you read the transcript, you will see that we are talking again about Hillary Clinton's emails, for heaven's sakes."

    "So I'm not sure we need to do this at all, but I'm trying to respect the institution and to answer questions in a respectful way," he added.

    Comey left the meeting just after 4:30 p.m. ET and said he'd agreed to come back to speak with Congress on December 17.

    Continued at

    House Republicans release Comey interview transcript| CNN


    The House Judiciary and Oversight committees have released a transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's closed-door interview with the committees on Friday.

    Lawmakers and Comey said that the interview was tense and that Republicans were frustrated by instructions from a Justice Department attorney telling Comey not to answer certain questions about the Russia investigation. Comey and House Democrats said the interview was a waste of time consumed with questions about Hillary Clinton's emails.

    The transcript was released as part of a compromise struck by Comey and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, who had initially subpoenaed Comey to appear behind closed doors.

    Comey fought the subpoena in court, saying he would only testify if the proceedings were held in public. But he later backed down, agreeing to appear behind closed doors on the conditions that the transcript would be released as soon as possible and he would be free to speak about the interview afterward.

    Comey was interviewed as part of the Republican-led investigation into FBI's investigations into Clinton and Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. Republicans are preparing a report detailing their findings before Democrats take control of the House in January.

    • Like Like x 1
  39. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Attorney for two alleged Trump National Golf Club undocumented workers calls for investigation
  40. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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