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Thread: The Trump Presidency

  1. #2026
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    The House Republicans have campaigned for months for the release by DoJ of The Comey Memos, his contemporaneous notes on his meetings with Trump. No one is quite sure what they hoped to achieve, and now that they've gotten their wish, everyone is even more confused. The memos reinforce Comey's earlier statements rather than reveal some alternative narrative. Less than an hour after being provided to Congress they leaked.



    A gift from the journalistic gods ... Adding to our unprecedented real-time visibility into this presidency, Capitol Hill last night leaked 15 pages of memos that fired FBI Director James Comey had written in real time about his contacts with the White House.

    • One of the newsier revelations ... President Trump had immediate doubts about his own national security adviser, Mike Flynn, who was later fired and is now cooperating with Mueller: "[T]he president pointed his fingers at his head and said 'the guy has serious judgment issues.'"

    Here's some of what the memos tell us about Trump:

    • Conversations can be mostly one-way exchanges:
    • "The president spoke an overwhelming majority of the time. He never asked me an open-ended question or left it to me to choose a topic of conversation."
    • He's obsessed with one particular passage in the dossier about his connections with Russia:
    • "I said, the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. He interjected: 'there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes.' He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn't need to 'go there' and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn't need to pay for sex.)"
    • "He said '2013' to himself as if trying to remember that period of time ... He said he always assumed that hotels he stayed in when he travels are wired in some way. I replied that I do as well."
    • "He then started talking about all the women who had falsely accused him of grabbing or touching them (with particular mention of a 'stripper" who said he grabbed her) ... "
    • "The President said 'the hookers thing' is nonsense but that Putin had told him 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.'"
    • "He said he thought maybe he should ask me to investigate the whole thing to prove it was a lie."
    • He eschews propriety, and traditional constraints of office:
    • "He touched on my future at various points."
    • "He [said] that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty. I did not reply, or even nod or change my facial expression, which he noted because we came back to it later."
    • Once he gets spun up, the obsession can last:
    • "[H]e returned to what he called the 'golden showers thing' ... He repeated that it was a complete fabrication and 'fake news.' ... He said it bothered him if his wife thought there was even a one percent chance it was true."
    • "The conversation then swerved into a long discussion of the email investigation ... He knew the sequence of events extremely well, breaking them down in his lexicon into Comey One, Comey Two, and Comey Three developments."
    • He speaks bluntly and likes gossip:
    • "[H]e asked me to compare [Obama's Attorney General Eric] Holder and AG [Loretta] Lynch."
    • He still uses "Art of the Deal" schmooze mode:
    • "As we got up, he said we should have my family back to dinner. When I didn't reply, he added, 'or a tour, whatever you think is appropriate."
    • He's preoccupied by press and leaks:
    • "He began by joking that I was getting more publicity than he. I replied that I hate it."
    • "He asked whether the FBI leaks and I answered ... of course."
    • “The president ... [returned] to the issue of finding leakers ... I said something about the value of putting a head on a pike as a message. He replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail. 'They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk.' I laughed."
    • He loves perks:
    • "[H]e talked about the inauguration and crowd size, the campaign and his effective use of free media ('earned media'), the extraordinary luxury of the White House (which he favorably compared to Mar-a-lago [sic]), his many activities during the day and week, his young son's height ... "

    Be smart: One of the biggest takeaways is how much presidential mindshare goes to grievances, distractions and worries about investigations:

    • Comey quotes the president as saying that he "is trying to do work for the country, visit with foreign leaders, and any cloud, even a little cloud gets in the way of that."

    See the memos.





    Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS," by Josh Gerstein: "Embattled attorney Michael Cohen has dropped a pair of much-touted libel suits against BuzzFeed and the private investigation firm Fusion GPS over publication of the so-called dossier detailing alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.


    "Cohen abandoned the suits late Wednesday as he continues to fight to recover documents and electronic files seized from his home, office and hotel room last week by federal authorities as part of what appears to be a broad criminal investigation into his conduct.


    "'The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one,' Cohen's attorney David Schwartz said. "We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen's rights was -- and still remains -- important. But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention, and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits.'" https://politi.co/2voeWkk





    WaPo

    Democratic Party files lawsuit alleging Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks conspired to disrupt the 2016 campaign
    The Democratic National Committee alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Donald Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Manhattan.
    The lawsuit echoes a similar legal tactic that the Democratic Party used during the Watergate scandal. In 1972, the DNC filed suit against former President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee seeking $1 million in damages for the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate building.
    Read more »
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  2. #2027
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Stormy's attorney Michael Avenatti issued a report today that claims, as yet unverified, that a Russian oligarch, now sanctioned, whose private plane was met by Mueller's people, paid $500K+ in an account set up by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in January 2017.


    As yet we don't know what the money was for. Could be something perfectly legal, but there's a lot of other circumstantial.


    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-avenatti-says


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  3. #2028
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Trumping Trump........






    He's making news on Twitter, building his social-media followers, teasing his announcements with reality-show theater, and is ubiquitous on cable TV.
    Using Trumpian tactics, Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, managed to push Iran and a big day of midterm primaries into prime time's background, with stunning charges in a "Project Sunlight" report he posted for reporters to feast on:

    • The Atlantic pointed out that Avenatti is "attempting to connect the dots between the Russia probe and the Michael Cohen investigation ... merging the two biggest scandals of Donald Trump’s presidency in a single tweet — and setting off a frenzy."

    The revelations:

    • N.Y. Times: "AT&T and an Oligarch ... A shell company that [Trump lawyer] Michael D. Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration. ... References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter ... by Michael Avenatti."
    • WashPost:"[C]onfirmation came after Michael Avenatti ... circulated on Twitter a document purporting to show a detailed accounting of wire transfers."
    • Wall Street Journal: "AT&T Inc. said it made payments to Mr. Cohen’s company in 2017 for 'insights' into the administration at a time when the telecommunications giant needed government approval for an $85 billion takeover of Time Warner ... The payments were revealed in a memo released through Twitter by Michael Avenatti."

    The art of the tease ... During a marathon appearance as election returns scrolled below him, Avenatti told CNN's Anderson Cooper:

    • "We certainly have next steps planned out."
    • '"I hope the president goes on 'Fox & Friends' tomorrow, and then I hope that Rudy Giuliani makes the rounds on Fox."
    • "There are more bombshells coming. There's more evidence. There's more information."
    • [B]"ecause we're so out front on this, people send us information. People want to help our cause."

    If you missed that, you could catch Avenatti on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell."

    • Afterward, Avenatti tweeted to his 345,000 followers: "We are not changing. Especially because the strategy is working perfectly. Period."

    Screenshot from CNN








    ABOUT COHEN'S ESSENTIAL CONSULTING ... CNN'S KARA SCANNELL and SHIMON PROKUPECZ: "Mueller's team questions Russian oligarch about payments to Cohen":"Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company's U.S. affiliate made to President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference.


    "The purpose of the payments, which predate the sanctions, and the nature of the business relationship between Vekselberg and Cohen is unclear. ... Investigators also asked Vekselberg about donations the head of his U.S. affiliate made to Trump's inaugural fund and campaign funds, sources said." https://cnn.it/2jJMpgr


    -- MORE FROM THE NYT'S MIKE MCINTIRE, BEN PROTESS and JIM RUTENBERG: "Among the other payments to Mr. Cohen's company described in the financial records were four for $99,980 each between October and January by Novartis Investments S.A.R.L., a subsidiary of Novartis, the multinational pharmaceutical giant based in Switzerland.


    "Novartis - whose chief executive was among 15 business leaders invited to dinner with Mr. Trump at the World Economic Forum in January - spent more than $10 million on lobbying in Washington last year and frequently seeks approvals from federal drug regulators. Novartis said in a statement that its agreement with Essential Consultants had expired.

    "In addition, Korea Aerospace Industries paid Mr. Cohen's company $150,000 last November, according to the records. The company, an aircraft manufacturer, has teamed with the American defense contractor Lockheed Martin in competing for a multibillion-dollar contract to provide trainer jets for the United States Air Force that is expected to be awarded this year. A representative for Korea Aerospace declined to comment." https://nyti.ms/2ImMR2p


    -- HMM: "AT&T confirms it paid Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's company," by CNN's Brian Stelter and Hadas Gold: "AT&T confirmed Tuesday evening that it paid President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen in 2017 for 'insights into understanding the new administration.' The payments were revealed in a document published by Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti Tuesday afternoon.

    "Avenatti alleged that Essential Consultants, a shell company set up by Cohen before the election to pay Daniels, was paid by several corporations, including AT&T. At the time, AT&T was seeking government approval for its acquisition of Time Warner, CNN's parent company. A document released by Avenatti stated that 'Essential received $200,000 in four separate payments of $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 from AT&T.'" https://cnnmon.ie/2woOk3c

    SO IT SEEMS THAT, in part, Cohen was running a Trump political intelligence shop, of some sort ... plus a lot more.

    -- "Michael Cohen Puts Up Family Apartment Against Bank Debts," by Bloomberg's Caleb Melby and Shahien Nasiripour: "Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney for President Donald Trump who has been drawn into a potentially costly legal battle, has put up his family's Manhattan apartment as collateral for millions of dollars in loans to his troubled taxi business. ... Cohen and his wife have now pledged their apartment in the Trump Park Avenue -- a 10th-floor spread combining three units -- as additional collateral to the bank, which valued it at $9 million, according to filings of the April 22 transaction." https://bloom.bg/2K5vXSR



    THE INVESTIGATIONS -- "Mueller team questioned Novartis last year over Michael Cohen payments," by Lorraine Woellert: "In November, lawyers from Mueller's office asked for information about the company's relationship with Essential Consultants, a shell company created by Cohen. Novartis revealed its contact with Mueller's office after the company was named in a document distributed by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer representing porn film actress Stormy Daniels. ...
    "'In February 2017, Novartis entered into a one year agreement with Essential Consultants shortly after the election of President Trump focused on U.S. healthcare policy matters,' Novartis' [spokeswoman Sofina] Mirza-Reid said. 'The terms were consistent with the market. The agreement expired in February 2018.'" https://politi.co/2I2jAe3


    -- NOVARTIS STATEMENT: "The agreement was for a term of one year, and paid Essential Consultants 100,000 USD per month. In March 2017, Novartis had its first meeting with Michael Cohen under this agreement. Following this initial meeting, Novartis determined that Michael Cohen and Essential Consultants would be unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters and the decision was taken not to engage further. As the contract unfortunately could only be terminated for cause, payments continued to be made until the contract expired by its own terms in February 2018." (via CNBC https://cnb.cx/2KQmxvY)


    -- IN OTHER WORDS ...
    Cohen got $1.2 million for one meeting!


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #2029
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    The Michael Cohen avalanche

    Michael Cohen is potentially more perilous to President Trump than anybody else.

    • Why he matters, per Jonathan Swan ... The saga has it all: a history of shadowy business deals, ties to organized crime figures connected to Russian mafia, hush money payments to an untold number of women, payments from a U.S. company linked to a Russian oligarch — and, now, Mueller's team is investigating how Cohen monetized his access to Trump.


    Key point:
    Bob Mueller has known about the payments to Cohen for months.

    • AT&T statement: "When we were contacted by the Special Counsel’s office regarding Michael Cohen, we cooperated fully, providing all information requested in November and December of 2017."


    What's new:


    • "As Trump’s Gatekeeper, Fixer Made Millions," per N.Y. Times: "Most of the arrangements remained a secret until Tuesday. ... Novartis, the Swiss drug maker, said it had paid Mr. Cohen $1.2 million after he approached the company early last year promising insights into Mr. Trump’s views on health care. AT&T ... said it had paid him $600,000 for advice on regulatory matters."
    • WashPost: "He showed photos of himself with Trump and mentioned how frequently they spoke, even asking people to share news articles describing him as the president’s 'fixer.' 'I’m crushing it,' he said, according to an associate who spoke to him in the summer of 2017."


    P.S. "The Treasury Department
    has opened an investigation into whether bank records belonging to President Trump's private lawyer were illegally leaked to a lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels." (USA Today)
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  5. #2030
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    GOP has few takers for 2020 convention

    Cities across the country are turning down the opportunity to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, where President Trump is expected to be nominated for a second term.

    The cities that have rejected hosting duties insist Trump and today’s divisive politics are not factors in their decisions. They instead cite high security costs and disruptions in the normal flow of business and traffic.

    But Trump is almost certainly a factor in some cities’ decisions to opt out.
    Read the full story here





    WaPo.......
    AT&T CEO: Hiring Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was ‘a big mistake’
    Seeking advice from Cohen on the Trump administration was a “serious misjudgment,” AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson told employees Friday in a company-wide internal email. Stephenson said he takes responsibility for failing to vet Cohen fully.
    In a supplemental document linked from the email, Stephenson explained that Cohen approached the company offering insight on the administration’s “key players, their priorities and how they think.”
    Read more »
    Novartis payments to Cohen were excessive even by D.C. standards
    STAT reports that there "weren’t any contracts under which an individual company paid a single lobbying firm [as much as] $1.2 million in 2017," the amount the Swiss drug maker paid Michael Cohen.

    • "The record-setter was PricewaterhouseCoopers, which brought in $950,000 to represent the Alliance for Competitive Taxation in 2017, according to a Politico analysis of 2017 filings."
    President Trump isn't afraid to punch on foreign turf, even after getting the red carpet.
    As the White House prepares for the summit with North Korea in Singapore on June 12 ("a once unimaginable encounter," the N.Y. Times calls it), Axios' Jonathan Swan has rich new reporting about how President Trump handles foreign leaders when the doors are closed:

    • Trump wound up U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer and let him go to town in Beijing when meeting with President Xi Jinping and a whole bunch of Chinese representatives in November.
    • In fact, Trump egged Lighthizer on. POTUS asked Lighthizer leading questions at the table in the bilateral meeting, which included Xi and the U.S. and Chinese delegations.
    • Trump: "Bob, why don't you walk them all through what our trade deficit is and [how] all these dialogues have produced nothing? ... Take them through the history." Lighthizer was all too happy to do it.

    Trump likes to walk into a meeting with a head of state and throw out the protocol, which he believes throws rivals off balance.

    • Trump operates almost purely on gut instinct. "He never wanted to be briefed all that much before these foreign leader meetings," a former senior administration official said. "He was annoyed when [former national security adviser H.R.] McMaster would come in and say here’s what we need to do and give him note cards and all the information."
    • "Trump lives by improvisation," said another source who has seen Trump at close quarters in foreign leader meetings. "He believes he doesn’t need to prepare, that he performs best when he flies by the seat of his pants and stays flexible. He believes this approach has always worked for him in business and so far at least, politics."

    Trump will get awkwardly tough with leaders after showering them with praise in public only hours earlier:

    • That happened in his recent meeting with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. Trump took him to task on trade and was very aggressive, said a source with direct knowledge of the meeting.
    • "He just has no aversion to awkwardness," said another source who's sat with Trump in meetings with foreign leaders. "Most people, even if they wanted to make a point, they’d do it in a way that the other person isn’t flailing out there."





    The conversation
    The N.Y. Times surely caused a few readers to choke on their quinoa flakes with the headline, "President Trump a Nobel Laureate? It’s a Possibility":

    • "[T]he idea of his 2019 nomination, ... heartily endorsed by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, has started to take root among his supporters."
    • Trump said with a laugh on Wednesday when asked if he deserved the prize: “Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it."

    The idea is "being met by smirks and eye rolls in Europe," AP's Jill Colvin reports:

    • "As a member of the European Parliament, [the U.K.'s right-wing Nigel] Farage is among those who can nominate people for the prize, and said he would be setting up a petition to bolster Trump."
    • "Nominations can come from university professors, directors of peace research and international affairs institutes, and former recipients, as well as members of national assemblies and national governments."

    Be smart: Let's have the summit, first.
    Wouldn't it be a gas if the prize was awarded to Kim?



    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  6. #2031
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    Trump Salvo by Daniels’s Lawyer Forces Global Damage Control
    Erik Larson reports on the scramble by companies from South Korea to Switzerland to justify how they came to deposit money in the account of Trump's lawyer and long-time fixer, Michael Cohen.





    One thing is true of all major political scandals: What we know in the moment is but a tiny, obscured, partial view of the full story later revealed by investigators.

    • That’s what makes the Trump-Russia drama all the more remarkable.
    • Forget all we don’t know. The known facts that even Trump’s closest friends don’t deny tell a damning tale that would sink most leaders.

    Here's a guide that Jim VandeHei and I put together to the known knowns of Russia:

    • We know Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair, has been indicted on 32 counts, including conspiracy and money laundering. We know he made millions off shady Russians and changed the Republican platform to the benefit of Russia.
    • We know that the U.S. intelligence community concluded, in a report released in January 2017, that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton and with “a clear preference for ... Trump.”
    • We know that in May 2016, Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat Russia had political dirt on Hillary. "About three weeks earlier," according to the N.Y. Times, "Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton."
    • We know that in June 2016, Trump’s closest aides and family members met at Trump Tower with a shady group or Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary. The meeting was billed as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
    • We know the Russian lawyer who helped set it up concealed her close ties to Putin government.
    • We know that in July 2016, Trump said: "“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary] emails that are missing,” and urged their publication.
    • We know that on Air Force One a year later, Trump helped his son, Don Jr., prepare a misleading statement about the meeting. We know top aides freaked out about this.
    • We know Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting.
    • We know Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and close campaign aide, lied to Vice President Pence and FBI about his Russia-related chats. We know he’s now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. We know Trump initially tried to protect Flynn with loyalty and fervency rarely shown by Trump to others.
    • We know that during the transition, Jared Kushner spoke with the Russian ambassador "about establishing a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow." We know Kushner omitted previous contacts with Russians on his disclosure forms.
    • We know Trump initially lied about why he fired James Comey, later admitting he was canned because of the “Russia thing.”
    • We know Michael Cohen was a close adviser and lawyer, the fixer and secret-keeper. We know Trump seethed when the FBI raidedCohen's office.
    • We know that in January 2016, just before Republicans began voting, Michael Cohen tried to restart a Trump Tower project in Moscow.
    • We know Mueller questioned a Russian oligarch who made payments to Cohen who used the money to pay off a porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump.
    • We know that oligarch was a bad enough dude that the Trump administration sanctioned him.

    Be smart: The undisputed known knowns about Trump, Russia and his associates are damning and possibly actionable. But the known unknowns of how much more Robert Mueller knows that is publicly unknown is what spooks Trump allies most.

    • Remember: No one in the media saw Mueller’s indictments of Russian oligarchs coming until the second they were announced, and no one knew until this week that Mueller’s team questioned AT&T five months ago about its payments to Cohen.
    • Mueller has every incentive to keep the public and Trump himself in suspense.




    Russian ads focused overwhelmingly on race
    George Petras/USA Today (Used by permission)
    "We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Their dominant strategy: Sowing racial discord" — USA Today's Nick Penzenstadler, Brad Heath and Jessica Guynn:

    • "Of the roughly 3,500 ads published this week [by the House Intelligence Committee], more than half — about 1,950 — made express references to race. Those accounted for 25 million ad impressions — a measure of how many times the spot was pulled from a server for transmission to a device."
    • "At least 25% of the ads centered on issues involving crime and policing, often with a racial connotation. Separate ads, launched simultaneously, would stoke suspicion about how police treat black people in one ad, while another encouraged support for pro-police groups."
    • "Divisive racial ad buys averaged about 44 per month from 2015 through the summer of 2016 before seeing a significant increase in the run-up to Election Day."
    • This is interesting: "An additional 900 [race-related spots] were posted after the November election through May 2017."
    • "Only about 100 of the ads overtly mentioned support for Donald Trump or opposition to Hillary Clinton."
    • Go deeper.





    -- "Mueller Asked Ford for Records After It Rejected Michael Cohen Consulting Overture,"
    by WSJ's Peter Nicholas and Christina Rogers: "Michael Cohen, who has served as President Donald Trump's personal attorney, made an overture to provide consulting services to Ford Motor Co. in January 2017 but was quickly rebuffed, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Cohen, touting his proximity to the president, contacted Ford's office in Washington, D.C.—an approach that Special Counsel Robert Mueller learned about in the course of his investigation ...


    "Mr. Mueller's team has since requested information
    from Ford about the outreach, including emails and records, and has interviewed Ford's head of government affairs, Ziad Ojakli ... The pitch was made in an informal phone call and the exchange was short. Mr. Ojakli rejected the offer and had no further conversations about it." https://on.wsj.com/2wzRQYB









    Here's a good synopsis of what happened this week in Spanky's world.


    "Swamp Diary: Avenatti Strips Cohen to His Bare Essentials," by Jack Shafer at Politico





    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...d-greed-218361


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  7. #2032
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    THE INVESTIGATIONS -- "'Buckle up': As Mueller probe enters second year, Trump and allies go on war footing," by WaPo's Ashley Parker, Phil Rucker, Tom Hamburger, Bob Costa and Matt Zapotosky: "The investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, which hits its one-year mark Thursday, has formed the cloudy backdrop of Donald Trump's presidency — a rolling fog of controversy, much of it self-inflicted, that is a near-constant distraction for the commander in chief.The Mueller operation, like the former Marine Corps platoon commander who leads it, is secretive and methodical. Ten blocks west in the White House, President Trump combats the probe with bluster, disarray and defiance as he scrambles for survival.


    "The president vents to associates about the FBI raids on his personal attorney Michael Cohen — as often as '20 times a day,' in the estimation of one confidant — and they frequently listen in silence, knowing little they say will soothe him. Trump gripes that he needs better 'TV lawyers' to defend him on cable news and is impatient to halt the 'witch hunt' that he says undermines his legitimacy as president. And he plots his battle plans with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, his new legal consigliere." https://wapo.st/2KVeXQx


    MICHAEL COHEN'S PITCH -- "Michael Cohen's D.C. Consulting Career: Scattershot, With Mixed Success," by WSJ's Rebecca Ballhaus, Peter Nicholas, Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo: "When Michael Cohen came knocking after the 2016 election, touting himself as the president's lawyer, a man who could decipher the new administration, Ford Motor Co. said no. So did Uber Technologies Inc. ... Mr. Cohen's pitch was blunt. He would tell prospective clients -- large corporations worried about their lack of connections to President Donald Trump's administration -- that he didn't know who was advising them, but that the companies 'should fire them all,' a person familiar with Mr. Cohen's approach said.


    "'I have the best relationship with the president on the outside, and you need to hire me,' Mr. Cohen told them, according to this person. Mr. Cohen repeatedly pitched Uber, which said no, citing Mr. Cohen's ownership of New York taxi medallions as a potential conflict of interest with the ride-hailing firm ... He modified his pitch in response those objections, reminding the company he was 'the president's lawyer,' this person said. The company, this person said, was 'bemused.'" https://on.wsj.com/2KWrcwi


    BEN WHITE
    and NANCY COOK, "Kudlow brings kill 'em with kindness approach to White House": "Larry Kudlow thinks he can steer Donald Trump's chaotic White House away from economic disaster by being the nicest guy in the West Wing. Unlike Gary Cohn, his hard-charging predecessor at the helm of the National Economic Council, Kudlow doesn't yell. He doesn't have a reputation for knifing policy opponents in the press or badmouthing them to colleagues, as do many aides in the fractious administration. 'I have opinions, which I will share with the president,' Kudlow, an avowed free-trade supporter in a mostly protectionist White House, said in an interview Friday in his office on the second floor of the West Wing.


    "'But I don't keep people out of meetings.
    It's not my style. So, I guess you might say I'm lower-keyed. I'm quite respectful of disagreements.' Instead, he's trying to avoid the collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a bitter trade war with China — both of which could scramble the world's economic power map — by seeking consensus with colleagues who are inclined to impose stricter trade barriers, staying close to his boss and wooing members of Congress." https://politi.co/2wAC5AY


    TRUMP'S MONDAY --
    The president is having lunch with VP Mike Pence.


    EVAN OSNOS
    in the New Yorker's Political Issue, "Only The Best People: Donald Trump's war on the 'deep state' (online headline: "Trump vs. the 'Deep State': How the Administration's loyalists are quietly reshaping American governance": "In one agency after another, I encountered a pattern: on controversial issues, the Administration is often not writing down potentially damaging information. After members of Congress requested details on [Ben] Carson's decorating expenses, Marcus Smallwood, the departmental-records officer at HUD, wrote an open letter to Carson, saying, 'I do not have confidence that HUD can truthfully provide the evidence being... requested by the House Oversight Committee because there has been a concerted effort to stop email traffic regarding these matters.'


    "At the Department of the Interior,
    the Inspector General's office investigated [Ryan] Zinke's travel expenses but was stymied by 'absent or incomplete documentation' that would 'distinguish between personal, political, and official travel.'" http://bit.ly/2GezhJ8



    OLIVIA NUZZI
    in NYMag, "Donald Trump and Sean Hannity Like to Talk Before Bedtime: Life inside the bunker of Fox News' resident Trumplegänger": "Their chats begin casually, with How are yous and What's going ons. On some days, they speak multiple times, with one calling the other to inform him of the latest developments. White House staff are aware that the calls happen, thanks to the president entering a room and announcing, 'I just hung up with Hannity,' or referring to what Hannity said during their conversations, or even ringing Hannity up from his desk in their presence. ...


    "On the phone, he and the president alternate between the 'witch hunt!'
    and gabbing like old girlfriends about media gossip and whose show sucks and who's getting killed in the ratings and who's winning (Hannity, and therefore Trump) and sports and Kanye West, all of it sprinkled with a staccato ******* ... f***ing ... f***ed ... f***er. 'He's not a systematic thinker at all. He's not an ideologue,' one person who knows both men said of Hannity. 'He gives tactical advice versus strategic advice.'" https://nym.ag/2L0oHsU


    SCOOP - "White House Aide's Plan to Stop Leaks: Spy on His Co-Workers,"
    by the Daily Beast's Spencer Ackerman: "A former National Security Council official now working for Attorney General Jeff Sessions explored ways to surreptitiously monitor the communications of White House staff for leaks or perceived political disloyalty to Donald Trump, according to three former Trump NSC officials familiar with the effort.


    "Ezra Cohen-Watnick, whom former national security adviser
    Michael Flynn brought onto the NSC as senior director for intelligence, sought technical solutions in early 2017 for collecting and analyzing phone and other data on White House colleagues for interactions with reporters.


    "He portrayed his desired leak hunt as an 'insider threat' detection effort
    , according to the ex-officials. ... Some staffers considered Cohen-Watnick's insider-threat focus ironic, considering that Cohen-Watnick himself reportedly played a role in a Trump White House effort to leak intelligence reports to Devin Nunes, the House intelligence committee chairman."https://thebea.st/2wNl9r5


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  8. #2033
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Why did Spanky reverse course,? He says it was at the behest of Mr.Xi, on the sanctioned Chinese tech company ZTE, whose products are banned from US military instillations because of fears they can be manipulated to spy?


    Was it because Chinese government owned companies have committed to invest $500M in a Trump resort project, hotels, golf course, in Indonesia?
    ,
    http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southe...-belt-and-road



    Did Trump blink on China to help ZTE, or his own business?


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  9. #2034
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  10. #2035
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    MORE COHEN FALLOUT -- "Novartis Lawyer Departs in Relation to Cohen Payments," by WSJ's Max Bernhard: "Novartis AG said Wednesday its general counsel is retiring from the company in connection with its $1.2 million payments to a company owned by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, as the Swiss drugmaker battles to contain the fallout from the arrangement. ... 'Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error,' general counsel Felix Ehrat, who is a co-signatory of the agreement, said in a statement Wednesday." https://on.wsj.com/2IKtVKQ

    THE INVESTIGATIONS ...

    -- "Tantalizing Testimony From a Top Trump Aide Sets Off a Search for Proof," by NYT's Nick Fandos and Michael Schmidt: "Testifying behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in late March, the official, John K. Mashburn, said he remembered the email coming from George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign who was approached by a Russian agent, sometime before the party conventions — and well before WikiLeaks began publishing messages stolen in hackings from Democrats....

    "But two months after Mr. Mashburn testified, investigators for the Senate Judiciary Committee have not found any such message. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was also searching for similar emails, according to a person familiar with a request for documents that his investigators sent to the Trump campaign. The campaign, which has examined its emails and other documents, also cannot find the message, and officials do not believe it exists." https://nyti.ms/2wJs44h

    -- "Federal judge rejects Manafort's bid to dismiss Mueller indictment," by Josh Gerstein: "In a blow to [Paul] Manafort's defense,U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Mueller's prosecution of the longtime political consultant on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine was 'squarely' within the authority that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted to Mueller last May." https://politi.co/2KtpS34

    -- NYT'S MATT ROSENBERG and NICK CONFESSORE: "Justice Department and F.B.I. Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica": "The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry." https://nyti.ms/2wNd85g


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  11. #2036
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    NPR.........

    The federal ethics office flagged the disclosure in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.



    WaPo..........


    Russia favored Trump in 2016 election, Senate Intelligence Committee says, breaking with House GOP
    The Senate Intelligence Committee says the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections with the aim of helping Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.
    The determination sets up a clash within the GOP over which record of events is most accurate, a dispute that could complicate the party’s messaging surrounding the Russia investigations as it heads into the 2018 election season.
    Read more »

    Click the blue box to read more.
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  12. #2037
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    MASSIVE NYT STORY ... ON A1, BY MATT APUZZO, ADAM GOLDSTEIN and NICK FANDOS: "How F.B.I. Embarked, With Strictest Secrecy, On Trump Team's Trail ... 'Crossfire Hurricane' Review Produced Roots of Special Counsel's Inquiry": "Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.


    "Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump's advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.
    "The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

    "The name, a reference to the Rolling Stones lyric 'I was born in a crossfire hurricane,'
    was an apt prediction of a political storm that continues to tear shingles off the bureau. Days after they closed their investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, agents began scrutinizing the campaign of her Republican rival. The two cases have become inextricably linked in one of the most consequential periods in the history of the F.B.I." https://nyti.ms/2LayTPo



    COHEN FILES -- RONAN FARROW on NewYorker.com, "Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen's Financial Records: A law-enforcement official released the documents after finding that additional suspicious transactions did not appear in a government database": http://bit.ly/2k1BjDJ

    -- @shaneharris:
    "This is a remarkable story. I've never heard of SARs reports going missing. Some plausible explanations are spelled out in the story, but these are clearly rare. And that a U.S. official was concerned enough to leak, and then admit to leaking to draw attention to this, says a lot."


    -- @AriMelber:
    "NEW: Ethics office sending letter to Rod Rosenstein stating that Michael Cohen's payment on behalf of Trump was a debt and may be relevant to 'any inquiry' Rosenstein may be pursuing." http://bit.ly/2IM290J


    -- RYAN GRIM in The Intercept, "Qatari Investor: Michael Cohen Asked Me for A Million Dollars":
    Ahmed "al-Rumaihi ... was educated in the U.S. and served as the No. 2 in the Qatar embassy in Washington from 2008 until 2013 ... In several conversations with The Intercept since March, al-Rumaihi [the former head of a $100 billion part of the Qatar Investment Authority] talked about an encounter he had with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in December 2016.


    "Al-Rumaihi said Cohen asked him for an upfront fee of $1 million
    for his services in the midst of their conversation about a potential Qatari investment in U.S. infrastructure. Cohen said it was 'untrue' that he had sought payment from al-Rumaihi. 'These falsehoods and gross inaccuracies are only being written in the hopes of maligning me for sensationalistic purposes. The truth will prevail and will ultimately be proven in court and not by pundits,' Cohen said in a text message." http://bit.ly/2rLG0G6


    -- "FBI agents said to be probing Michael Cohen's deal with Korean firm,"
    by WaPo's Shawn Boburg and Aaron C. Davis: "A California man who says he served as a translator last year for Michael Cohen and a South Korean aerospace firm that paid Cohen's company $150,000 said Tuesday that FBI agents recently interviewed him. Mark Ko said in an email to The Washington Post that he spoke with the FBI about the arrangement 'a few weeks ago.'" https://wapo.st/2rPTIH4

    -- "'I'm Not Going to Just Roll Over': Behind the Scenes, After Another Week in the Spotlight, Michael Cohen Oscillates Between Fighting Back and Frustration," by Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox: "As he watched the news unfold in his hotel room in Philadelphia over the weekend, he evidenced some exasperation. He has confided in friends, 'I just can't take this anymore.'" http://bit.ly/2Gr4dWH

    RUDY'S LATEST DECLARATION -- "Mueller Won't Indict Trump if He Finds Wrongdoing, Giuliani Says,"
    by NYT's Mike Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Charlie Savage: "The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, will not indict President Trump if he finds wrongdoing in his investigation of Trump campaign links to Russia, according to the president's lawyers. They said Wednesday that Mr. Mueller's investigators told them that he would adhere to the Justice Department's view that the Constitution bars prosecuting sitting presidents.

    "The disclosure provides the greatest clarity to date about how Mr. Mueller, who is also investigating whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry itself, may proceed. If he concludes that he has evidence that the president broke the law, experts say, he now has only two main options while Mr. Trump remains in office: He could write a report about the president's conduct that Congress might use as part of any impeachment proceedings, or he could deem the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in court documents." https://nyti.ms/2IocVLn

    -- JOSH GERSTEIN: "Inside Mueller's FBI team"
    https://politi.co/2L9nSOr


    TRUMP INC. -- "Sources, new documents reveal depth of Trump's 2013 Moscow push," by McClatchy's Kevin Hall and Ben Wieder: "The Trump Organization's pursuit in 2013 of a tower in Moscow bearing the Trump name was much farther along than previously disclosed, with a memorandum of understanding signed and financing arranged, according to new documents released to the public and information obtained by McClatchy. President Donald Trump and his children have described a possible Moscow hotel deal in only the broadest of terms, calling it something that grew out of the Miss Universe contest held in Moscow that year.

    "Sources tell McClatchy, however, that by then talks
    had been under way for months and architectural drawings had been submitted. One of the sources of planned financing was the Sapir family, which had backed the now-failed Trump Soho project in Manhattan years earlier. 'I think it was a fairly far along deal,' said a person with direct knowledge of the deal." http://bit.ly/2IojkWX



    THE RESISTANCE -- "Preet Bharara being drafted for war on Trump:
    The fired U.S. attorney doesn't like politics, but his admirers are pressing him to wage a campaign to succeed Eric Schneiderman," by Isaac Dovere and Jimmy Vielkind: "Preet Bharara is seeing all the texts, phone calls and DMs urging him to run for New York attorney general, including from some top operatives and Democratic donors. He's hearing it from people coming up to him on the street.


    "And though Bharara is leaning against making a play for the job,
    according to three people close to him, the onetime powerhouse U.S. attorney fired by Donald Trump pointedly hasn't said no, either. He wants to see how the next few weeks play out. Among the people who've reached out, the sources said, are Mike Bloomberg consigliere Howard Wolfson and independent-minded GOP consultant John Weaver, along with a host of top Democratic operatives, donors and fundraisers." https://politi.co/2rSQnay


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  13. #2038
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Spanky says......


    "'Bigger than Watergate': Trump joins push by allies to expose role of an FBI source," by WaPo's Phil Rucker, Bob Costa, Carol Leonnig and Josh Dawsey: "President Trump's allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. The effort reached new heights Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be 'bigger than Watergate!'The extraordinary push begun by a cadre of Trump boosters on Capitol Hill now has champions across the GOP and throughout conservative media — and, as of Thursday, the first anniversary of Robert S. Mueller III's appointment as special counsel, bears the imprimatur of the president.


    "The dispute pits Trump and the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee against the Justice Department and intelligence agencies, whose leaders warn that publicly identifying the confidential source would put lives in danger and imperil other operations.The stakes are so high that the FBI has been working over the past two weeks to mitigate the potential damage if the source's identity is revealed, according to several people familiar with the matter. The bureau is taking steps to protect other live investigations that the person has worked on, and trying to lessen any danger to associates if the informant's identity becomes known, said these people." https://wapo.st/2GvLzwO


    -- "Manafort's former son-in-law cuts plea deal, to cooperate with government - sources," by Reuters' Nathan Layne: "The former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign, has cut a plea deal with the Justice Department that requires [Jeffrey Yohai] to cooperate with other criminal probes, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The guilty plea agreement, which is under seal and has not been previously reported, could add to the legal pressure on Manafort." https://reut.rs/2IRWGFy

    DEEP DIVE -- "The Crazy True Story of Trump Moscow: The Definitive Story Of How Trump's Team Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign,"
    by BuzzFeed's Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold: "All through the hot summer campaign of 2016, as Donald Trump and his aides dismissed talk of unseemly ties to Moscow, two of his key business partners were working furiously on a secret track: negotiations to build what would have been the tallest building in Europe and an icon of the Trump empire — the Trump World Tower Moscow. ...


    "The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan,
    well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself. ... Michael Cohen, the president's embattled personal fixer, and Felix Sater, who helped negotiate deals around the world for Trump, led the effort. Working quietly behind the scenes, they tried to arrange a sit-down between Trump and Putin, the documents show." https://bzfd.it/2ILRqn5


    WHAT STEPHEN MILLER IS READING -- "Trump's ICE Is Increasingly Arresting Immigrants Without Criminal Convictions,"
    by HuffPost's Elise Foley: "About two-thirds of those arrested by ICE from October 2017 to the end of March had no criminal convictions — up from 21 percent during the same period the year before and only 13 percent the year before that. ICE officials noted that some of the arrested immigrants had been charged with a crime but not convicted." http://bit.ly/2rTaiXx



    Year 2 of Mueller begins: "Bigger than Watergate"?
    "Trump’s allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source," the WashPost reports.

    • Trump tweets: "Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.' Andrew McCarthy says, 'There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

    Be smart: A CBS News poll this month shows that "Trump’s frequent attacks seem to be eroding confidence in the Mueller probe among Republicans," the L.A. Times notes.
    The history ... "How Mueller’s First Year Compares To Watergate, Iran-Contra And Whitewater," by FiveThirtyEight's Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux:

    • "In terms of the number of charges he’s been able to file, Mueller is moving quickly. At one year after the formal appointment of a special or independent counsel, only the Watergate special prosecution force had obtained more indictments and guilty pleas."
    • Key fact: "Watergate, Iran-Contra and Whitewater all had one thing in common: They lasted at least four years."

    "Rip them apart" ... Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump's legal team, to Fox's Laura Ingraham on what he thinks Mueller's timeline should be:

    • "They should do it today. ... I think that they have the facts from which they can write their report. If you’re going to write a fair report, fine, write it. If you’re going to write an unfair report, write it and we will combat it."
    • "We’re ready to rip to it apart, and we’re ready to rip them apart, if that’s what they want. We would rather peacefully settle this and get it over with."
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  14. #2039
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Last week Paul Manafort's recent ex son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai copped a plea to fraud charges unrelated to campaign matters. A condition of the deal is that he help the feds with other investigations..........


    This week Michael Cohen's business partner, Russian immigrant and NYC taxi king, Evgeny (Gene) Friedmam, owner of 800+ taxi medallions valued at $1B+ in the pre Uber/Lyft days got himself a very sweet deal.


    Currently in bankruptcy, medallions now worth less than $100M, missed a $40M repayment, facing four counts of fraud and tax evasion carrying 25 years each, got himself a deal where he will do no time and pay greatly reduced fines. In return he will co-operate with you know who, on matters concerning you know who......nuff said.......He's expected to sing......



    THE BIG STORY ... DON JR. BACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS -- NYT'S MARK MAZZETTI, RONEN BERGMAN
    and DAVID KIRKPATRICK: "Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election": "Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.


    "The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team,
    and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump's first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.


    "Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater,
    arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company's ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump. ...


    "The meetings, which have not been reported previously,
    are the first indication that countries other than Russia may have offered assistance to the Trump campaign in the months before the presidential election. The interactions are a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III." https://nyti.ms/2k9pBqL


    -- WSJ'S BYRON TAU
    and REBECCA BALLHAUS: "The work of two of Mr. Zamel's companies -- Wikistrat and the Psy Group -- has increasingly drawn the interest of the special counsel as part of the continuing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Little is known publicly about the work of the Psy Group. According to a person familiar with the firm's operations, it did mainly private intelligence gathering work. ...


    "According to the firm's marketing materials reviewed by the Journal,
    Psy-Group offered clients an array of services—including 'honey traps,' a term used by spy agencies for an intelligence-gathering tactic using romantic or sexual relationships to extract information." https://on.wsj.com/2IO5psD ... The marketing materials https://on.wsj.com/2KFF5Ow






    "The pace of new voter registrations among young people in crucial states is accelerating, a signal that school shootings this year ... may prove to be more than ephemeral displays of activism, the N.Y. Times' Michael Tackett and Rachel Shorey report:

    • What's happening: "Voter data for March and April show that young registrants represented a higher portion of new voters in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, among other states.
    • "In Florida, voters under 26 jumped from less than 20 percent of new registrants in January and February to nearly 30 percent by March, the month of the gun control rallies. That ticked down to about 25 percent in April, as the demonstrations subsided, but registration of young voters remained above the pace" before the Parkland shooting.
    • "In North Carolina, voters under 25 represented around 30 percent of new registrations in January and February; in March and April, they were around 40 percent."
    • Why it matters: "If voters in their teens and 20s vote [in midterms] in greater numbers than usual, ... the groundswell could affect close races in key states like Arizona and Florida, where there will be competitive races for governor, the Senate and a number of House districts in November."


    Organizers help:


    • "NextGen America, a group funded by the activist billionaire Tom Steyer, is targeting voters ages 18 to 35 in 10 traditional battleground states.
    • "Inspire U.S. ... has been concentrating on registering high school students in their classrooms [and] uses a texting app to remind users to vote."
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  15. #2040
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Today is the Memorial Day holiday in the US, to remember those who died, as distinct from Remembrance Day 11/11 which remembers those who served........


    Today is the 17th Memorial Day since 9/11. Since then, 6,940 U.S. military service members have died for America.

    • Every part of the country has lost soldiers to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • Average age: 26½.
    • Go deeper: Use the interactive map.



    The losses aren't distributed evenly. Axios' Harry Stevens — specializing in stories, code and graphics — found as he built the data for this map (some of it by hand) that death rates tend to be highest in the Bible Belt and the Rust Belt.

    • Some counties in the Mountain West also have very high death rates, but that's a function of very small populations that skew the data.
    • Several parishes in southern Louisiana have suffered a disproportionate number of soldiers lost. Of the five places with the most military deaths per population, three — Tangipahoa Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, and Calcasieu Parish — are in Louisiana. (The others are Mineral County, Colo, and Garfield County, Mont.)
    • Many of the dead came from big cities, including 167 from Los Angeles County, the most of any county.
    • Of all U.S. counties, remote Mineral County, Colo., had the highest rate of service members killed in proportion to population — one. The Rocky Mountain county was home to Sgt. Clinton Wayne Ahlquist, who was killed in Ramadi, Iraq, on Feb. 20, 2007, at age 23.
    • The state with the highest rate of service members killed was Vermont — the state lost 26 troops out of a population of about 624,000. The state with the lowest rate was nearby Connecticut.



    Most of the fallen — 5,019 men and women — served in the Army. 1,484 were in the Marines, 248 were in the Navy, and 189 were in the Air Force.


    • 98% of the fallen were men: 6,772, with 168 women.

    Why it matters: All were Americans — someone's neighbor, child, parent, mentor, buddy.




    Arlington Cemetery, nearly full, may become more exclusive
    Soldiers from the Old Guard (formally U.S. Army Third Infantry Regiment) hold "Flags In" at Arlington National Cemetery last week. A flag is placed in front of each white marble headstone in advance of Memorial Day. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    "To preserve space for future war heroes in the country’s premier national cemetery, the Army is considering new rules that would turn away many currently eligible veterans," potentially denying it to nearly all veterans who are living today — N.Y. Times' Dave Philipps:

    • "The solemn ritual of a burial with military honors is repeated dozens of times a day, in foul weather or fair, at Arlington National Cemetery, honoring service members from privates to presidents."
    • "But ... Arlington is running out of room. Already the final resting place for more that 420,000 veterans and their relatives, the cemetery has been adding about 7,000 more each year. At that rate, even if the last rinds of open ground around its edges are put to use, the cemetery will be completely full in about 25 years."
    • "The Army wants to keep Arlington going for at least another 150 years, but with no room to grow — the grounds are hemmed in by highways and development — the only way to do so is to significantly tighten the rules for who can be buried there."
    • "The strictest proposal the Army is considering would allow burials only for service members killed in action or awarded the military’s highest decoration for heroism, the Medal of Honor."
    • "The Army is conducting a survey of public opinion on the question through the summer, and expects to make formal recommendations in the fall."
    • The photos by Damon Winter are worthy of your time.

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a former Army infantry officer who led combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in between was a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery:

    • “Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, as communities and families decorated the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers. The tradition continues today across our land, with flags and flowers adorning patriot graves ... Their stories inspire our souls and give us all a renewed attachment to the noble country whose flag they wore in their final moments."

    P.S. At L.A. National Cemetery, Scouts placed 90,000 flags on veterans’ graves. (L.A. Times)
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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