The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Justice Department expected to release redacted Mueller report Thursday

    By Laura Jarrett and Jeremy Herb, CNN, April 15, 2019


    Attorney General William Barr is expected to release special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on the Russia investigation to Congress and the public on Thursday morning, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.

    The plan to release the redacted report on Thursday means that all of Washington will be on edge this week anticipating the nearly 400-page report from the special counsel.

    The redacted report will provide more details into what was uncovered during the 22-month special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's team and Russia and possible obstruction of justice.


    Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have prepared to subpoena the Justice Department for the full report without redactions if they do not receive it this week.

    Barr told a Senate subcommittee last week that he's planning to color-code four types of redactions: grand jury information, classified information, material about ongoing information and material affecting peripheral third parties.

    But Barr's comments to the Senate panel that the Trump campaign was spied on have further eroded his standing with Democrats. Barr will testify before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees about the Mueller report on May 1 and 2.

    More at
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Five key moments in Nancy Pelosi’s 60 Minutes interview | Washington Post

    "From President Trump’s tax returns to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's interview on "60 Minutes" touched on a wide range of topics. Here are five of the most noteworthy moments."

    Pelosi: 'There's nobody in the country who knows better' than Trump 'that he should not be president' | TheHill

    Donald Trump has become obsessed with Nemesis Nancy

    By Daniel Cotter, Palmer Report, April 15, 2019


    Once upon a time in the United States, less than three years ago, the Executive Branch head – the President of the United States – used press releases and official means of communications for real things affecting our nation. Then “President” Donald Trump came to occupy the White House. He typically uses Twitter for the crap sandwiches he gives to the masses. Yesterday, with nothing better to do than watch television (along with any day ending with the letter “y”), he took to his favorite mode of looking like a buffoon.

    Trump’s tweet last night was about his nemesis, Nancy Pelosi. He tweeted: “Such a “puff piece” on Nancy Pelosi by @60minutes, yet her leadership has passed no meaningful Legislation. All they do is Investigate, as it turns out, crimes that they instigated & committed. The Mueller No Collusion decision wasn’t even discussed-and she was a disaster at W.H.”

    Donald Trump needs to stop watching the television set and research what Nemesis Nancy has accomplished. As Speaker, her achievements on the legislative front include the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. That is just a short list. Paul Ryan’s list: he passed a tax cut bill for the wealthy in 2017.

    In addition, various major media reports are saying that the Trump team is very troubled after being briefed about what’s in the Mueller Report about obstruction. Donald Trump is delusional as usual and his tweets over the last several days suggest a man who knows, as the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted this weekend, that something big is about to drop on Trump soon. His latest tweet about Nemesis Nancy is the latest proof he is running scared.

  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump attorneys warn accounting firm not to hand over financial records | POLITICO


    Trump attorneys William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino are urging Mazars USA not to comply with a subpoena that Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) plans to issue on Monday for Trump’s financial documents, calling it a politically motivated scheme to take down the president.

    “It is no secret that the Democrat Party has decided to use its new House majority to launch a flood of investigations into the president’s personal affairs in hopes of using anything they can find to damage him politically,” Consovoy and Passantino wrote to Jerry D. Bernstein, Mazars’ outside counsel.

    The attorneys said they were formally putting Mazars “on notice” — an implicit threat of legal action. They also urged Bernstein to hold off on providing the documents to Cummings until the subpoena can be litigated in court, suggesting that a protracted legal battle is likely to ensue.

    “The Democrats’ fervor has only intensified after the special counsel squelched their ‘Russia collusion’ narrative,” the attorneys continued, outlining a series of legal precedents that they argue prevents Mazars from complying with Cummings’ subpoena.

  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Thinks He Has 'Won' The Mueller Report | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "Donald Trump hasn't seen or read the Mueller report. But that won't stop him from claiming he 'won' it."

    Jail Cell Cold Open - SNL | Saturday Night Live

    "A group of prisoners (Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Michael Keaton, Kyle Mooney) discuss why they got arrested."

    Weekend Update: Julian Assange Arrested - SNL | Saturday Night Live

    "Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Trump threatening to funnel detained immigrants to sanctuary cities."
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Deutsche Bank Is Subpoenaed for Trump Records by House Democrats

    By Emily Flitter and David Enrich, The New York Times, April 15, 2019


    Congressional investigators on Monday intensified their pursuit of President Trump’s personal and business financial records by issuing a subpoena to his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank.

    The two committees that issued the subpoena, the House’s Intelligence and Financial Services committees, also demanded documents from numerous other financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, related to possible money-laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe, according to three people with knowledge of the investigation.

    “The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern,” Representative Maxine Waters, the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, said in a statement. She added that the panel was “exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible pursuant to its oversight authority, and will follow the facts wherever they may lead us.”


    Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s lawyer, said the company was weighing its options for potentially blocking Deutsche Bank from complying with the subpoena.

    Deutsche Bank’s longstanding relationship with Mr. Trump is a central element of the joint committee investigation. Over the past two decades, Deutsche Bank has been the only mainstream bank consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump, who has a long history of defaults and bankruptcies. The bank has lent him well over $2 billion, and Mr. Trump had more than $300 million in outstanding loans from Deutsche Bank by the time he took office, making the German bank the president’s biggest creditor.

    Kerrie McHugh, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, said the company was “engaged in a productive dialogue” with the committees. “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations,” she said.

    Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, described the subpoena to Deutsche Bank as “friendly” and said the German lender had been cooperative.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    House Judiciary Chairman Appears On Sunday TV And Hands Trump His Ass

    By Caleb Newton, Bipartisan Report, April 14, 2019

    Little seems sacred to President Donald Trump. In recent days, he’s turned 9/11 into a political weapon, tweeting a video that’s been viewed millions of times and counting that interspersed remarks from Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and footage from that day, seeming to implicate her in the attacks on account of her faith. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) responded to the president’s behavior this weekend, shredding the basis on which he put it. According to the Congressman, Trump quite simply has no basis to be acting as though he’s in a place to be speaking authoritatively about the 9/11 terror attacks.

    Nadler told CNN’s State of the Union host Jake Tapper:

    ‘9/11 occurred in my district. I’m very familiar with it. I know people, a lot of people who suffered from it… The president, he wasn’t president then but Donald Trump actually took a $150,000 grant from the Bush administration. They let him take a $150,000 grant meant for small businesses for 40 Wall Street. He stole $150,000 from some small businessperson who could have used it to help rehabilitate himself… He has no moral authority to be talking about 9/11 at all.’

    Nadler is correct that Trump took advantage of a program meant to support small businesses in the aftermath of the attacks, even after he said that the building he took it for suffered no physical damage from the calamity. 40 Wall Street, which he still owns, is under a mile away from the World Trade Center site.

    Other major corporations in the area actually utilized the same program for their own local operations in the aftermath of the attack, utilizing a loophole in the distribution of the funds meant for small businesses. As Fortune has explained it, although according to no federal standard were businesses like the 40 Wall Street development “small,” the state agency that distributed the money didn’t adhere to those federal standards. The Empire State Development Corp. defined a small business at the time as one with less than 500 employees rather than the federal standard of a cap at $6 million in revenue. Thus, claiming economic hardship opened the door to cash for Trump and others — and in the time since, it’s only become abundantly more clear how easily the eventual president rushed to cooking his books. He stands credibly accused of bank, insurance, and tax fraud, and assessments he’s produced of his personal financial standing for potential partners that mischaracterize the actual situation — at best — have surfaced, providing tangible evidence.

    Nadler has actually taken on this issue before. During the 2016 election season, when Donald Trump was still just a presidential candidate, he wrote an open letter calling on him to return the money. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Trump did no such thing, and he didn’t do the alternative Nadler presented either of donating the money to a relevant charity.

    That hasn’t stopped Trump from moralizing about 9/11 all the same. The video that he tweeted tying Omar to the attacks has been seen by many as inciting violence against the Congresswoman, who has already faced serious threats multiple times from at least two different people who’ve now been arrested. It’s not clear if Trump cares.


    Anderson Cooper calls out Trump for his hypocrisy on Ilhan Omar | CNN

    "CNN's Anderson Cooper reacts to President Trump's tweet attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over comments she recently made about 9/11, emphasizing that Trump is conveniently ignoring his past of mistruths and Islamophobia."
  7. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Trump’s new Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, confirmed days ago, is now under investigation
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sarah Sanders Says Congress Is Not "Smart Enough" for Trump's Tax Returns: A Closer Look | Late Night with Seth Meyers

    "Seth takes a closer look at President Trump still resisting calls to release his tax returns while complaining about immigration laws."
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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anderson Cooper: If Trump's not worried, why is he tweeting? | CNN

    "CNN's Anderson Cooper discusses new reporting that current and former Trump administration officials are dreading the release of the Mueller report and worry that the President may "go bonkers.""

    Trump's Bad Advice For The Notre Dame Cathedral | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "As heartbroken Parisians looked up helplessly as Notre Dame Cathedral burned, President Trump proposed a bold solution via Twitter: water!"

    Bill Burr Thinks The Joe Biden Scandal Is A Total Overreaction - CONAN on TBS | Team Coco

    "As Bill puts it, "it’s not like he went for side boob.""
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Live: Mueller report is out | CNN


    The Department of Justice has released a redacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller's report. You can read the searchable report here.

    CNN is reviewing the report now, and we'll post highlights here.


    Read the full Mueller report | CNN

    Speed Read: Trump’s ‘I’m Fucked’ Explosion and Other ‘Crazy Shit’ From the Mueller Report | Daily Beast


    According to the report, the president had a near-meltdown after learning that Mueller had been appointed on May 17, 2017, to investigate his campaign’s potential ties with the Russian government — screaming that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had “let [him] down,” and that “you were supposed to protect me.”

    According to Sessions’ recollection, Trump “slumped back in his chair” and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”

    Trump then began lashing out at Sessions, asking “how could you let this happen?”

    “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump said, according to Sessions. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

    The president then told Sessions that he should resign, a demand to which Sessions originally agreed before backing off, the report says. According to former White House communications director Hope Hicks, the president was more despondent than she had seen at any other point than the publication of the Access Hollywood tape.


    Mueller Report Reveals Shocking New Details About Trump, Russia, Obstruction | Daily Beast

    Mueller cannot confidently state Trump didn’t obstruct justice | POLITICO

    These are the 10 episodes Mueller investigated for obstruction of justice | Vox
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller had everything he needed to charge Trump with obstruction, but didn't | CNN


    If Robert Mueller wanted to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction, he found all he needed to do it.

    And he found it on multiple fronts. But he didn't make a decision on whether to bring the case.

    Mueller's report Thursday walked through excruciating detail of evidence in the obstruction of justice investigation and legal analysis, hitting over and over again how prosecutors had enough to meet the legal threshold for a case against Trump.

    The special counsel examined multiple incidents for potential obstruction. It showed how Trump's actions crossed the threshold for a case when Trump confronted former FBI Director James Comey to "let" national security adviser Michael Flynn go; when Trump fired Comey; when Trump directed his former White House counsel Don McGahn to shut down Mueller; and when Trump tweeted about his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's charges as he headed to trial.

    In each of these situations, Mueller found evidence that Trump took steps to harm an investigation, had the ability to harm an investigation and had a personal motivation to harm the investigation.

    The decision not to charge Trump with a crime means the President and his allies can claim a clean victory following the nearly two-year probe, but the evidence Mueller gathered and that Congress can still investigate suggests that conclusions about the President's actions could still come.

    Continued at

    The Episodes of Potential Obstruction of Justice by Trump in the Mueller Report | The New York Times

    "Here are the key moments in the investigation into whether President Trump obstructed justice."
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Colbert Gets His Copy Of The Mueller Report | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "After two years of waiting (mostly) patiently, Stephen finally gets his hands on the Mueller report. And it was worth the wait."

    There's Some 'Crazy Shit' In The Mueller Report | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "Did Donald Trump obstruct justice from the White House? Well, according to the Mueller report, he certainly tried to."
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 19 hours ago
    “Donald Trump was being framed, he fought back. That is not Obstruction.” @JesseBWatters I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted. I chose not to. I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn’t!

    Donald J. Trump‏t @realDonaldTrump 17 hours ago
    Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President. He was told about it and did nothing! Most importantly, the vote was not affected.

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 17 hours ago
    When there is not an underlying crime with regard to Collusion (in fact, the whole thing was a made up fraud), it is difficult to say that someone is obstructing something. There was no underlying crime.” @marthamaccallum @FoxNews

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 16 hours ago
    “If dozens of Federal prosecutors spent two years trying to charge you with a crime, and found they couldn’t, it would mean there wasn’t any evidence you did it - and that’s what happened here - that’s what we just learned from the Mueller Report.” @TuckerCarlson

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 16 hours ago
    “The Mueller Report is perhaps the single most humiliating thing that has ever happened to the White House Press in the history of this Country. They know they lied...Many reporters lied about Russia Collusion and so much more. Clapper & Brennan, all lies” @TuckerCarlson

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 5 hours ago
    Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called “notes,” when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 hours ago
    ...agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a...
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Nadler subpoenas DOJ for full version of the Mueller report | POLITICO


    House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Friday issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, in addition to the underlying grand jury evidence and testimony.

    The subpoena, which demands the material by May 1, escalates the House’s confrontation with Attorney General William Barr, whom Democrats have accused of whitewashing Mueller’s findings and misleading the public about the nature of the special counsel's conclusions in order to protect President Donald Trump.

    “My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice," Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. "Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates. It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”

    Mueller’s report, which Barr released Thursday with limited redactions, painted a devastating picture of Trump’s efforts to curtail or restrict Mueller’s investigation of Russian links to the Trump campaign in 2016. Mueller also found that despite numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russians — as well as a clearly established Russian effort to help elect Trump — the evidence didn’t prove that anyone in Trump’s orbit conspired with the Russian government.

    But Democrats say they need to see the fully unredacted report and underlying evidence for their own investigations. In some instances, Mueller reported that Trump satisfied all the elements of an obstruction crime but emphasized that he drew no “ultimate conclusion” about his conduct because of Justice Department constraints on indicting a sitting president. The Judiciary Committee is already investigating Trump for obstruction of justice and has requested documents.

    The committee initially authorized Nadler to issue the subpoena earlier this month after it became clear that Barr was not going to release the full, unredacted report and all of the underlying evidence. Democrats have called on Barr to ask a court to release the grand jury information, which is usually kept secret. Barr told lawmakers last week that he does not intent to seek that court order, but he invited Democrats to go to court themselves to get their hands on the information.

    The subpoena served on Friday came after Democrats say they exhausted all of their options to obtain the full report voluntarily. Nadler said last week that he wanted to “show the court that we’re making every effort to reach an accommodation ... because that strengthens the case for enforcement of the subpoena.”

    Continued at

    Nadler vows to hold 'major' hearings on Mueller findings | The Washington Post


    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., vowed Friday to hold "major" public hearings in the wake of the Mueller report. Speaking to WNYC radio in New York, Nadler indicated that besides hearing from Barr and Mueller, he is planning to summon several figures key to the report's findings.

    "We will have major hearings," Nadler said. "Barr and Mueller are just the first. We will call a lot of other people. We'll see who they are. We will get to the bottom of this."

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  15. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Mueller Witnesses Who Once Served in White House Now Fear Trump’s Ire

    I’m surprised at Corey and it would be delicious if trump spurns him.
    This is an interactive Venn diagram of witnesses.

    Attached Files:

  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders Accuses Media of Anti-Liar Bias

    By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, April 19, 2019


    Reacting to the journalist April Ryan’s call for her to be fired, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, on Friday, that she has been the victim of the media’s “widespread anti-liar bias.”

    “From their obsession with fact-checking to their relentless attacks on falsehoods, the media have made no secret of their bias,” Sanders said. “It’s open season on liars in America.”

    “This is media hypocrisy at its very worst,” she added. “The same journalists who advocate freedom of speech want to take that freedom away from anyone whose speech consists entirely of lies.”

    “This is nothing more or less than a direct attack on the lying life style,” she said. “You take away my right to lie and you take away my ability to earn a living.”

    Kellyanne Conway, the White House senior counsellor, spoke out in support of Sanders, telling reporters, “An attack on one liar is an attack on all liars.”

    “Our country has seen some dark days, from the Bowling Green Massacre to the bugging of the White House microwave,” she said. “But this might be the darkest.”


    Defiant Sarah Huckabee Sanders Claims She Doesn’t Know Where Voice Comes From When She Opens Mouth | The Onion


    Insisting she was not culpable for the inexplicable contents of her spoken communications, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defiantly claimed Friday that she doesn’t know where the voice comes from when she opens her mouth.

    “Listen, I don’t control where these words come from, okay? When I open my mouth, they just start pouring out of me automatically,” said a combative Huckabee Sanders, contending that she cannot be held responsible for the eerie, guttural rumbling that originates in her gut and slowly works its way up to her mouth, resulting in a disturbing oratory operating outside of her conscious awareness.

    “It’s detestable that the press would pin the words that come out of my mouth on me. Don’t you dare question my motives by blaming me for this mysterious force using my voice to communicate with the media. Is it a demon? A machine? Could it be a tiny woman living inside my vocal cords? I don’t have the answer. All I know is that when I open my mouth, the world goes dark and then I’ll come to later with no memory whatsoever of what just happened. I’m telling you — this isn’t me.”

    At press time, Huckabee Sanders expressed confusion at how she was managing to say any of this at all.

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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump, sons sue to block House Democrats from obtaining his financial records | CNN


    President Donald Trump is going to court to try to block a Democratically-controlled congressional committee from obtaining his financial records through a subpoena.

    The lawsuit is the first case where Trump has sued to try to stymie House Democrats' investigations into the President. But the court filing is only the first skirmish in what's likely to be a multi-front war between House Democrats and Trump, the White House and the President's businesses.

    Trump and the Trump Organization filed suit Monday to stop the House Oversight Committee -- chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland -- from obtaining financial records from Mazars, an accounting firm that Trump used to prepare financial statements. The committee subpoenaed for 10 years' worth of Trump's financial records after the firm requested a so-called "friendly subpoena."

    In Monday's court filing, Trump's lawyers accused House Democrats of being "singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically."

    Cummings dismissed the legal complaint as reading "more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief," and said it contains "a litany of inaccurate information."

    "The President has a long history of trying to use baseless lawsuits to attack his adversaries, but there is simply no valid legal basis to interfere with this duly authorized subpoena from Congress," Cummings said. "The White House is engaged in unprecedented stonewalling on all fronts, and they have refused to produce a single document or witness to the Oversight Committee during this entire year."

    Trump has claimed that Mueller's report that was released last week exonerated him on both the investigations into collusion and obstruction of justice. But the end of the Mueller investigation has also kicked the Democratic-led investigations into Trump, his administration and his businesses into high gear -- giving Democrats both a road map as well as a better sense of what areas are ripe for additional investigation.

    Following the release of the partially-redacted Mueller report, Democrats have turned up the heat on their investigations into the President's finances,which received little mention in the special counsel's report.

    In addition to the House Oversight Committee subpoena to Mazars, the House Intelligence and Financial Services panels have subpoenaed nine financial institutions as part of an investigation into Trump's finances. The President's personal lawyers have reacted by sending letters to companies and the Treasury Department to argue they should not be handing over the information.

    A separate panel, the House Judiciary Committee, has issued a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report and underlying evidence, and chairman Jerry Nadler of New York has said he will go to court to obtain those records.

    And House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, who has requested six years' worth of the President's personal and business tax returns, is gearing up for a prolonged legal battle for the tax information if the Department of Treasury does not comply by the April 23 deadline.

    Continued at

    Trump and His Businesses Sue House Democrats to Hide Accounting Records | The New York Times


    On Monday, a spokeswoman for Mazars declined to comment on the suit but said the company would “respect this process and will comply with all legal obligations.”

    More at
  18. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    About Jacob Wohl, a perennial Trump fanboy until banned from twitter. He went to Minneapolis in a bullet-proof vest because Minneapolis is so dangerous because Muslims. He wanted to prove that Rep Omar-D married her own brother. He faked death threats against himself and gave them to police.One of the threats came from one of Jacobs false twitter accounts, previously identified as one of Jacobs false twitter accounts. The activist who arranged the trip and went to the police with Jacob now says ““I don’t know what’s going to happen, but man, it doesn’t involve me, and I’m pretty excited about that”
    Wiki article on Jacob A095C2A1-8759-4C28-A784-33B099383A16.png
  19. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    House panel issues subpoena to former White House counsel McGahn | CNN


    The House Judiciary Committee has served former White House counsel Don McGahn with a subpoena as part of its investigation into obstruction of justice, a move to bring in a key player with direct knowledge about President Donald Trump's efforts to undermine the Russia probe.

    The Democratic-led panel authorized subpoenas earlier this month for McGahn and four other White House officials as part of its sweeping investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power. But it waited until Monday to issue the subpoena to McGahn, seeking documents and testimony from the former White House counsel.

    The subpoena asks McGahn testify before the committee on May 21 and provide documents on three-dozen topics by May 7.

    The move is the clearest indication yet that Nadler's committee is plotting an extensive examination into the President's actions outlined in the Mueller report. The committee has already served the Justice Department with a subpoena for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence, demanding the documents by May 1.

    Continued at
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    New York State obtains Donald Trump's financial records

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, April 24, 2019


    Last month, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters appeared on MSNBC and revealed that Deutsche Bank had already begun giving her Donald Trump’s financial records. This subtly made clear that Trump’s financial crimes will play a key role in any impeachment process brought against him. But Trump can’t be indicted and arrested on a federal level until he’s out of office, right? Now he has an entirely different problem: New York State.

    Deutsche Bank has now begun turning over Donald Trump’s financial records to New York Attorney General Tish James, according to reports today from CNN and other major news outlets. This is a big deal for a few reasons. It means that Congress and New York State are going to be working with the same evidence at the same time.

    If impeachment hearings expose that Trump committed a certain financial crime that’s particularly egregious, such as taking money from Russia and lying about it – which is entirely feasible considering the history that Trump and Deutsche Bank both have with money laundering and Vladimir Putin – New York State can go ahead and act on it immediately. That could mean New York seizing Trump’s ill-gotten assets while he’s still in office. It could even mean New York criminally indicting Trump on state charges while he’s still in office, if James wants to try going there.

    At the least, it means that New York can have state level indictments lined up against Donald Trump for the minute he’s no longer in office. If the Feds at the SDNY don’t immediately arrest Trump after he exits office, New York State will – and no future president can pardon state charges. Also, if Donald Trump’s banking records reveal that other people in the Trump Organization have committed crimes, New York State can easily indict and arrest them while Trump is still in office.


    Deutsche Bank begins process of providing Trump financial records to New York's Attorney General | CNN
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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump sent 3 tweets on the Mueller probe this morning. He got (at least) 6 facts wrong.

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN, April 25, 2019


    President Donald Trump has been, even by his own lofty standards, on a bit of a Twitter bender over the last week or so -- simultaneously rejoicing in the fact that he was not charged in the Mueller report and angry at all of his critics for their unwillingness to drop the so-called "witch hunt."

    On Thursday morning, Trump launched a three-part Twitter rant about the Mueller, his former White House counsel Don McGahn and, well, all sorts of other things. By my count -- with a big assist from CNN Russia expert Marshall Cohen -- Trump got six facts wrong in just three tweets.

    Let's start with the primary source here. Here's the full tripartite Trump tweet:

    "As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn't need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself. Nevertheless Mueller was NOT fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what I, and many others, say was an illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater who was highly conflicted, and a group of 18 VERY ANGRY Democrats. DRAIN THE SWAMP! Despite the fact that the Mueller Report was "composed" by Trump Haters and Angry Democrats, who had unlimited funds and human resources, the end result was No Collusion, No Obstruction. Amazing!"

    Oh, it's amazing, all right.

    Now, for the facts.

    1.The Mueller report made clear that not only did Trump tell McGahn to get rid of Mueller but, when The New York Times broke that news, he called McGahn into his office again to ask him to issue a statement denying that the incident had occurred. McGahn refused. McGahn spent more than 30 hours in interviews with the special counsel's office as did numerous other members of McGahn's office and Trump's team. Now, did Trump tell McGahn to "fire" Mueller, or simply to get rid of him? Trump may be trying to hang his hat on the specific word "fire" but that's a distinction without a difference.

    2. Trump's claim that he could have fired Mueller if he had wanted to isn't exactly accurate. First of all, Trump wouldn't be the one directly doing the firing -- that would fall to the Justice Department, where Mueller was technically an employee. Second, Department of Justice regulations make clear that a special counsel can only be removed for "good cause," like misconduct, medical reasons, or violating internal policies. And Attorney General William Barr, in his confirmation hearings, made clear that he would resign rather than remove Mueller without good cause.

    3. The Mueller probe wasn't illegal. Trump repeats this over and over again based on a spurious claim: That the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation was begun because of the opposition research document put together by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele. But that's not the full picture. The counter-intelligence probe started because Australian officials warned their US counterparts that a Trump aide -- George Papadopoulos -- had been bragging that he knew the Russians had dirt on Clinton. When WikiLeaks began releasing hacked DNC emails, the Australians got in touch with the Americans. And then there's the fact that multiple judges upheld Mueller's appointment, his authority, and the prosecutorial decisions he's made throughout the process.

    4. There's zero evidence that Mueller was "conflicted" much less "highly conflicted," as Trump claims. Trump's entire premise is based on the fact that Mueller once was a member of his golf club in Virginia and, when he left, there was a debate over dues owed. (As Mueller explained in his report, the decision was based on the fact that his family lived in Washington and rarely was able to use the Virginia club.) In May 2017, the Department of Justice confirmed that Mueller had no ethical issues that would keep him from carrying out the investigation fairly. "(W)e can confirm that the department ethics experts have reviewed the matters and determined that Mr. Mueller's participation in the matters assigned to him is appropriate," said a DOJ release at the time. And, according to the Mueller report, McGahn, Trump's own top lawyer, explained to Trump that Mueller wasn't "conflicted."

    5. Trump's claim that he "respectfully" let Mueller do his job is laughable. Put aside the near-constant Twitter attacks about the probe's illegality and the alleged biases of the investigators and you are still left with a series of episodes in which Trump seemed set on disrupting the probe. As documented in the Mueller report, Trump sought to have Mueller removed, tried to limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to only future election interference, tried to force then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself in the investigation and pressured several aides to issue public denials about incidents he knew to be true. That's a funny way of showing respect.

    6. The idea that Mueller found Trump had committed "no obstruction" is disputed by the text of the report itself. Wrote Mueller and his team: "(I)f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. ... Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." In the report, Mueller also makes clear that one of the reasons he did not recommend Trump be charged with obstruction is because under Justice Department guidelines a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime. Therefore, Mueller didn't even consider it.

    There's one other thing to keep in mind as Trump seeks to edit (or abolish) the established facts in the Mueller investigation: The President had the opportunity to sit down with Mueller and explain everything, and he chose not to do so. His lawyers resisted repeated pleas by Mueller for an in-person interview, eventually only submitting written answers. Why? Well, Trump's lawyers have complained of possible "perjury trap." You can't lie during interviews with investigators. It's a federal crime. (Just ask former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.) If Trump had repeated some of these lies to Mueller, we could be in a very different place right now.

    Trump is actively working to mold the Mueller report and its findings to fit his own narrative. But as Thursday morning's tweetstorm proves, the President's narrative falls way short on facts.

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Joe Biden For President: America Is An Idea | Joe Biden


    It's time for respected leadership on the world stage — and dignified leadership at home. It's time for equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. It's time for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work. It's time for a president who will stand up for all of us.

    Join our campaign:

    Joe Biden Kicks Off 2020 Campaign With Brutal Attack on Trump
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    Trump did protect Florida waters from the beginning.
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison on conspiracy charge | CNN


    A federal judge sentenced Russia national Maria Butina to 18 months in prison on Friday, after she pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate conservative political circles and promote Russian interests before and after the 2016 presidential election.

    She is the first Russian citizen convicted of crimes relating to the 2016 election, though her efforts to infiltrate Republican circles appeared to be separate from the Kremlin's sweeping election-meddling campaign detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
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    Here is Trump at his best racist dog whistle
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    Happy Birthday Melania
    This is the official photograph. Got to wonder who chose this one. Trump will freak.
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    “On Jan. 25, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley issued a shocking advisory alleging that 95,000 noncitizens were on the state’s voter rolls, 58,000 of whom had cast at least one ballot. Whitley, a Republican, directed county registrars to commence an immediate purge of these noncitizens using lists he would provide. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, also a Republican, promptly tweeted a “VOTER FRAUD ALERT” summarizing Whitley’s findings, and President Donald Trump repeated Whitley’s claims two days later. By that point, counties had already begun notifying targeted voters that they would be purged from the rolls.”

    “...The factual basis of Paxton and Trump’s tweets has been not just undermined, but fully revoked. Friday’s settlement is a good reminder to be incredibly skeptical of government officials who make eye-popping claims of voter fraud and whose partisan interests are at stake. Over and over and over again, these claims are later proved to be extremely dubious—if not outright false.”
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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump has made 10,000 untrue claims as president, factcheckers say | The Guardian

    President’s 10,000th false claim came on Friday when he discussed the Charlottesville protests, the Washington Post reports


    Donald Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims since he became president in January 2017, according to a count by factcheckers at the Washington Post.

    Trump’s strike rate of “alternative facts” – a phrase made infamous by senior adviser Kellyanne Conway – has increased rapidly in recent months, the paper said on Monday.

    Whereas it took Trump 601 days to make 5,000 false and misleading claims, equivalent to eight a day, it was only another 226 days before he smashed the 10,000 barrier, an average of nearly 23 claims a day, the Post reported.

    The distinct worsening of the problem coincided with the publication of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, a partial government shutdown over border wall funding and a series of freewheeling campaign rallies during the midterm elections.

    Trump’s frequent tweets and interviews with Fox News are also rich wells of misinformation. About one-fifth of his false or misleading claims are about immigration, the Post said.

    His most repeated assertion is that the border wall is already being built. It is not.

    Starting with his inaugural address, Trump averaged less than five false claims a day in his first 100 days in office, Post factchecker Glenn Kessler and colleagues wrote, “but the tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger. As of 27 April, including the president’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin [on Saturday night], the tally in our database stands at 10,111 claims in 828 days.”

    According to the Post’s own count, Trump’s 10,000th false or misleading claim came on Friday when, speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump returned to the controversial subject of far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

    At the rally in Green Bay, held in apparent opposition to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, Trump offered a particularly shocking example of his art. Trying to score political points against Democratic Wisconsin governor Tony Evers, he made the false claim that mothers and doctors have the option to “execute” babies.

    Earlier this year Trump disparaged factcheckers, telling supporters at a rally in El Paso, Texas: “Some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called ‘factcheckers’.”

  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump goes after Biden — and against advisers' advice

    By Jeremy Diamond, CNN, April 29, 2019


    President Donald Trump appeared unnerved as Joe Biden secured the endorsement of the top firefighters' union, issuing Monday a string of four tweets targeting the Democratic presidential candidate and union leaders.

    That's exactly the behavior several of the President's political advisers have been warning him against, wary that Trump will elevate a potentially formidable rival, two sources familiar with the discussions told CNN.

    "Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the Great State of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn't know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history," Trump tweeted. "The Dues Sucking firefighters leadership will always support Democrats, even though the membership wants me. Some things never change!"

    Within hours, the former vice president fired back, showing just why Trump's advisers might be concerned.

    "I'm sick of this President badmouthing unions. Labor built the middle class in this country. Minimum wage, overtime pay, the 40-hour week: they exist for all of us because unions fought for those rights. We need a President who honors them and their work," Biden tweeted, engaging in the mano a mano Twitter fight many of his rivals would relish.

    The President has been advised in recent weeks not to get sucked into a one-on-one verbal brawl with any of the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, mindful that squaring off with any of the contenders at this early stage could help elevate them in the eyes of Democratic voters and give them more oxygen to rise above the crowded pack. Those advisers, though, knew it was only a matter of time before Trump would do just that.

    That advice has been especially true for taking aim at Biden, whom many Republican operatives -- and Trump himself -- believe would pose a significant threat to the President should he win the Democratic nomination.

    Trump campaign operatives have been cautious not to weigh in on which candidate concerns them most as a general election nominee. And with Democratic candidates eager to prove that they are best positioned to beat Trump, several of the President's political advisers have cautioned him not to play into their hands by responding to their attacks at this early stage.

    While the Trump campaign has released statements knocking top contenders as they entered the race, aides have said the campaign doesn't plan to go after specific candidates as their primary unfolds. Campaign aides also acknowledge that the President is the campaign's ultimate top strategist and if the President decides he wants to switch gears, the campaign will follow suit.

    Trump, who has privately been unnerved at the prospect of a Biden candidacy, has struggled to resist getting drawn in by Biden's allure and his attacks since the former vice president officially entered the presidential race last week.

    After Biden launched his campaign by focusing on the President's response to white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump added fuel to the fire by defending his response once again -- this time saying he answered "perfectly" and reigniting a debate about his response, which prompted criticism even from fellow Republicans.

    "If you look at what I said you will see that that question was answered perfectly," Trump told reporters Friday, before praising the former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as "one of the great generals."

    And then came Monday's string of tweets.

    Continued at
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    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, submits resignation letter to Trump
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigns | CNN

    "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, submitted his resignation letter to the White House Monday. It is effective May 11."

    Rod Rosenstein, MAGA Punching Bag and Mueller Defender, Kisses Trump’s Ass on His Way Out the Door | Vanity Fair

    "The Deputy A.G. praised the “courtesy and humor” of a man who once retweeted a photo of him behind bars."
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump team sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One to keep them from turning over financial records to Congress

    By Cristina Alesci, CNN, April 30, 2019


    President Donald Trump; his children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka; and his business are suing two banks to block them from turning over financial records to congressional committees that have issued subpoenas for the information. It's the second attempt in court that Trump has made this month to thwart the Democratic-led House of Representatives from investigating his financial history.

    The legal action, filed in New York's Southern District, is against Deutsche Bank, one of Trump's lenders, and Capital One. Both banks "have long provided business and personal banking services to Plaintiffs," Trump's attorneys said.

    "The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage. No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one," Trump's attorneys wrote in the complaint filed late Monday.

    The lawsuit is the latest salvo by the President in efforts to hold off Democratic scrutiny of his business and personal finances, and is similar in legal strategy to actions brought last week against an accounting firm and a congressional chairman.

    But Monday's lawsuit had a slight difference from the suit last week, in that neither the House itself nor House members are being sued. The other lawsuit, in federal court in Washington against the accounting firm Mazars USA and the House Oversight Committee, is also attempting to prevent the House from getting Trump's financial records.

    The lawsuit in New York claims that the subpoenas the House Intelligence Committee and House Financial Services Committee sent to Deutsche Bank and Capital One aren't valid because they violate banking privacy law and they are not for shaping legislation. Yet at least one other court has said previously that claims like those can't stop congressional subpoenas.

    In this new case, Trump's team says it couldn't get access to details of the subpoenas through the House committees and instead learned about them through Deutsche Bank on April 17.

    Trump's attorneys say the chairs of the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees -- Reps. Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters, both of whom are California Democrats -- confirmed two banks received subpoenas from their committees for information related to Trump's finances but have refused to provide copies of the subpoenas.

    The banks described the subpoenas to Trump's attorneys, according the lawsuit.

    Based on those conversations, Trump's attorneys claim that the committees are seeking all banking and financial records "not just concerning the individual Plaintiffs, but also their own family members," including children and in some cases grandchildren, according to the lawsuit.

    Trump's attorneys -- Will Consovoy, Patrick Strawbridge and Marc Mukasey -- said the lawsuit is meant to protect Trump, his family and his business.

    "The subpoenas issued to Deutsche Bank and Capital One by Chairpersons Schiff and Waters are unlawful and illegitimate," the statement read. "They seek information going back decades from anyone with even a tangential connection to the President, including children, minors and spouses. Every citizen should be concerned about this sweeping, lawless, invasion of privacy. We look forward to vindicating our clients' rights in this matter."

    Deutsche Bank said in a statement it will comply with all subpoenas and court orders.

    "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations," the statement read.

    Last week, CNN reported that the bank was complying with a subpoena from New York Attorney General Letitia James for documents related to loans made to Trump and his business. The bank is in the process of turning over documents, including emails and loan documents, related to Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC; the Trump National Doral Miami; the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; and the unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

    CNN has reached out to Capital One for comment.

    In a statement, Waters and Schiff called the lawsuit "meritless."

    "This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible," Waters and Schiff said. "Trump has already said publicly that he is fighting all of the subpoenas from Congress, and that he does not respect Congress' role as a coequal branch of government. This unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better."

    CNN reported the committees issued joint subpoenas for the records early this month. Although the full scope of the subpoenas couldn't be determined, the one to Deutsche Bank is for information about loans the bank made to Trump and the Trump Organization, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.

    By declining to provide the copies of the subpoenas to Trump's legal team, the Democrat-led committees are preventing the President and his team "from even knowing, let alone negotiating, the subpoenas' scope or breadth," according to the complaint.

    The lawsuit comes one week after Trump sued the Chairman Elijah Cummings, of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, over his panel's subpoena to an accounting firm that prepared several years' worth of Trump's financial statements.

    The congressional lawsuits are more evidence that Trump is making good on his promise to aggressively fight or stall Democratic investigations into his personal finances and business. Last week, the Treasury Department missed a deadline to turn over six years of the President's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller expressed misgivings to Barr about report summary | CNN

    "Special counsel Robert Mueller expressed concerns in a letter to Attorney General William Barr that Barr's four-page letter to Congress summarizing the "principal conclusions" of Mueller's findings didn't fully capture his 448-page report, according to a source with knowledge of Mueller's letter. CNN's Pamela Brown reports."

    Trump Russia: Attorney General William Barr is in deep trouble over the Mueller report

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN, May 1, 2019


    Attorney General William Barr did two strange things between the time he received special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and when he released it to Congress and the public.

    The first came on March 24 when, two days after receiving the Mueller report, Barr released a four-page summary letter in which he made clear his conclusion that the report found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians and that Mueller hadn't made any recommendation as to whether President Donald Trump should be charged with obstructing justice.

    The second came on the morning of April 18 when Barr, with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by his side, held a press conference to reiterate those findings -- in remarkably Trumpian language -- 90 minutes before actually making a redcated version of the report public.

    On Tuesday night, those two moves came into far sharper -- and more troubling -- focus when it was revealed that Mueller sent a letter to Barr on March 27 expressing concern about the ways in which Barr's summary document described the evidence surrounding obstructive behavior. Mueller did not make issue with any of the factual statements in Barr's four-page letter but rather the lack of nuance on obstruction -- and the resultant media coverage, according to CNN's Laura Jarrett's reporting.

    That revelation creates a series of problems for Barr -- most notably that he appeared to be, at best, misleading in his answers about Mueller's feelings about his summary of the report.

    On April 9, in a House hearing, Barr seemed entirely unaware of Mueller's issues with his summary report. Here's the key exchange between Barr and Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist:

    CRIST: Reports have emerged recently, general, that members of the special counsel's team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24 letter, that it does not adequately or accurately portray the report's findings. Do you know what they are referencing with that?

    BARR: No, I don't.

    In an April 10 appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee, this exchange happened between Barr and Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen:

    VAN HOLLEN: Did -- did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?

    BARR: I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.

    What Barr quite clearly knew at that point -- and had known for the better part of two weeks -- was that Mueller had issues with the way in which he presented the conclusions of the report in the four-page letter.

    Now, you can argue that Barr technically didn't lie there. He knew that Mueller wasn't thrilled with the way he summarized the broader report but that didn't mean that Mueller opposed the conclusions. Again, that is technically possible. But, in the real world, it sure as hell seems like Barr was purposely obfuscating when it came to Mueller's view of the report so as to downplay any sense that a) he didn't present a full picture of the report and b) there was any rift between the two men.

    And, given all of what he knew about Mueller's opinion of his summary letter, Barr's decision to hold a press conference more than an hour before the release of the actual report is even more concerning.

    At the time -- even without the knowledge we now possess about the Mueller letter of March 27 -- it seemed odd. The attorney general holding a press conference about a report that he had seen but no one in the media had been given -- and wouldn't be for another 90 minutes? It seemed, even before Barr began speaking, to be a relatively transparent attempt by the AG to frame the soon-arriving Mueller report -- to set the terms of the conversation for both Congress and the American public.

    Within minutes, it became clear that was exactly Barr's intent. Here's just a piece of what Barr said that day:

    "So that is the bottom line. After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes."

    As I noted at the time, Barr's language was strikingly similar to how Trump himself had long described the Mueller probe. But, that language from Barr seems far more damning for the attorney general in light of what he knew about both the repeated incidents of seemingly obstructive behavior in the Mueller report and also Mueller's own concerns about the language Barr had used to describe the finding in his March 24 summary letter.

    Barr is set to sit to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. He's got a lot to answer for.


    Here comes Robert Mueller's dramatic grand finale

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, April 30, 2019


    When the news broke this evening that Robert Mueller had written a letter to William Barr accusing him of having misrepresented the Mueller report, Palmer Report pointed out that this leak could only have happened at Mueller’s behest or with Mueller’s blessing. Now another leak has surfaced tonight that also surely came from Mueller’s own corner, and it helps put something in context that was announced earlier today.

    After the New York Times and Washington Post each revealed the existence of Robert Mueller’s letter, House Democrats revealed to the Daily Beast that Mueller wants to testify before Congress, and that Barr’s DOJ is trying to block it. You only need one guess to figure out who told House Democrats that Mueller wants to testify, and the source’s name surely rhymes with “Bobert Schmuller.” It’s becoming clear what Mueller is trying to do here, and it’s also clear what’s about to happen next.

    Earlier today, Robert Mueller’s office made the odd announcement that Mueller is still technically the Special Counsel, meaning he’s still a Department of Justice employee. Why would Mueller still be on the job, now that his job is done? It sure sounds like William Barr is refusing to let Mueller’s employment end, as a way of preventing Mueller from being able to freely testify. But Mueller’s office also stated that there will be news about Mueller’s employment status in the “coming days.”

    In other words, Robert Mueller is about to make his big dramatic exit. If William Barr is continuing to drag out Mueller’s employment, look for Mueller to announce his resignation. After that, it’ll be much harder for Barr to find a way to stop Mueller from testifying before Congress. Mueller wouldn’t be making rumblings right now about wanting to testify, unless he’s planning to swiftly put himself in a position to be able to testify.


    Mueller’s Willing to Testify, but Trump DOJ Is Holding It Up: Dems | Daily Beast
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    The economy is booming, but Donald Trump can't stop talking about Russia

    By Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 4, 2019


    Probably only President Donald Trump could simultaneously preside over the best economy in half a century and bring the nation closer to a constitutional crisis than it has been for almost as long.

    Only Trump could spend days accusing President Barack Obama of doing nothing to stop Russian election meddling and then call the operation a "hoax" after talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man who engineered it.

    Only Trump could have a 56% approval rating on the economy — often the most important barometer of presidential popularity — but an across-the-board rating that is 10-12 points lower.

    And only Trump could claim he's a paragon of transparency while suing multiple entities to prevent scrutiny of his affairs and obstructing congressional oversight on multiple fronts.

    These head-snapping events help explain why the country is so deeply divided and why the 2020 election this far out is impossible to call -- despite an economy that, against all odds, goes from strength to strength.

    Orchestrating the disruption this week, as always, was the President -- inciting outrage, tearing at governing norms and demanding credit for wins real and imagined.

    Always on the attack

    In the eyes of Trump supporters, the chaos and the confrontation and the shattering of governing traditions is exactly why they sent the President to Washington in the first place.

    But it is also why many Washington watchers fear that this presidency is doing irrevocable damage to the fabric of American democracy as well as its reputation as a global leader.

    The political and personal choices that the President makes from the center of the storm also mean he doesn't get the credit he and his fans think he deserves for a new age of economic affluence.

    He finds it impossible to just stick to a message about jobs and rising wages, as a more conventional president might. That's partly because he cannot turn his cheek from even minor provocations. All-out attack is his default mode.

    Trump has built his political viability on the bedrock of an inflamed Republican base. The fights he wages in Washington, on immigration and accountability, are vital to keeping that connection energized.

    It's also the reason why the President unleashes graphic falsehoods on issues like abortion, as he did at a rally in Wisconsin last Saturday night.

    "The baby is born," Trump said. "The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don't think so."

    Such rhetoric might rock his rally crowds. But it makes it hard for Trump to find common ground with more moderate voters, even though he's also talking about a $2 trillion infrastructure package, mooted in talks with congressional Democrats this week.

    Tactics that alienate non-supporters also mean that Trump does not have the option to point to the economy and declare "It's Morning in America" as Ronald Reagan did in cruising to re-election in 1984.

    The vitriol adds context to polling that shows Trump losing to almost every major 2020 Democrat, despite marshaling the most fervent base of any modern president.

    Continued at
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump criticizes Facebook for banning Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and other far-right agitators | CNN


    Facebook barred seven users from its services earlier this week, citing its policies against "dangerous individuals and organizations." Now President Donald Trump is siding with the people who were banned and railing against social media "censorship" -- all while using one of his favorite social sites.

    The president shared more than a dozen tweets about the subject on Friday night and Saturday morning. And he conveniently avoided the fact that some of the banned users are extremists who make a living by deceiving their fans.

    His posts were a rallying cry, full of resentment toward Big Tech. He said "It's getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!"

    But Facebook (FB) executives say this has nothing to do with ideology or political party -- it's about safety.

    "We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business when the bans were put into effect on Thursday.

    The action affected Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who's notorious for using anti-Semitic language; Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018; and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

    Jones and his media outlet InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Jones and InfoWars have now been evicted from Instagram as well, although there are questions about how thoroughly the ban is being applied.

    The other banned individuals are the fringe right-wing media personalities Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer.

    The president is showing particular support for Watson, an InfoWars personality notorious for spreading misinformation. (In the past, Watson has peddled conspiracy theories about the unsolved murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and so-called "chemtrails.")

    On Friday night Trump tweeted about Watson's ban, and on Saturday morning he retweeted a video Watson made criticizing Facebook about it.

    He also retweeted a bizarre video about Islam from a user named "Deep State Exposed." And he called out Twitter, on Twitter, for blocking actor and right-wing personality James Woods' account.

    A Twitter (TWTR) spokesman confirmed that Woods' account will be restored if he deletes a flagged tweet that violated the site's rules.

    For the president and his allies, all of this contributes to a familiar storyline. Republican leaders and right-wing media outlets have been loudly accusing social media giants of bias and censorship at the same time that the companies have been taking steps to reduce toxic content on their sites.

    The president has repeatedly cherry-picked examples to make his case against the sites. On Friday night he claimed that "Diamond and Silk," a pro-Trump duo, have been "treated so horribly by Facebook" and "we're looking into" it.

    "I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms," Trump said in a separate tweet. "This is the United States of America — and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!"

    I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what's known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

    Users do not have government-protected freedom of speech on privately-owned platforms like Facebook.

    The president recently invited Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to the White House for a meeting that touched on Twitter's rules and other topics.

    Hours before the April 23 sit-down, Trump complained (on Twitter) that the site is "very discriminatory" and does not "treat me well as a Republican." He accused the company of "constantly taking people off list" -- an apparent reference to Twitter's efforts to weed out bots and other fake followers platform-wide that artificially inflate follower counts of users, including the president's.

    Claims of Big Tech censorship have also made their way to Congress. Lawmakers have held various hearings this year on the so-called practice of "social media filtering." At the hearings, Republicans like Steve King of Iowa have cited articles from far-right media outlets like the Gateway Pundit to accuse social media companies of bias against conservatives. At one hearing last year, the "Diamond & Silk" duo was even invited to testify.

    The politicians that advance these complaints understand that the narrative resonates with -- and whips up -- the conservative base.

    That's what the president's Twitter feed looked like on Friday night and Saturday morning. After retweeting lots of critics of Big Tech, he asked when media outlets will "apologize to me for knowingly getting the Russia Collusion Delusion story so wrong?"

    Then he suggested he likes the idea of some social media bans -- if they affected the sources he can't stand.

    He asked: "Why is @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @CNN, @MSNBC allowed to be on Twitter & Facebook. Much of what they do is FAKE NEWS!"

    Continued at

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