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Thread: Trumpian threads

  1. #31
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    Default Navarmorrow

    1. The following are excerpts from a news report by Mikio Sugeno, Nikkei Washington bureau chief, posted on December 22, 2018 under the headline "China is trying to steal our future: Navarro" and the subheading "Hard-line White House adviser says trade agreement in 90 days will be difficult".

    (Begin excerpts)
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's trade adviser told Nikkei that it would be "difficult" for the U.S. and China to arrive at an agreement after the 90-day period of talks unless Beijing was prepared for a full overhaul of its trade and industrial practices.

    In an extensive interview at the White House on Thursday, Peter Navarro, an assistant to the president as director of trade and industrial policy, said there are "no half-measures," and that China has to address all of America's concerns for the two sides to come to terms. Those include forced technology transfers, cyber intrusions into business networks, state-directed investments, tariffs and nontariff barriers.

    "China is basically trying to steal the future of Japan, the U.S. and Europe, by going after our technology," the adviser said.

    On Beijing's "Made in China 2025" initiative, a blueprint for pivoting the country into a leading position in areas such as artificial intelligence and fifth-generation wireless communication, Navarro called it a "label for a Chinese strategy to achieve dominance in the industries of the future."...

    Pointing to a panel listing 53 examples of China's economic aggression, including items such as "consolidating of state-owned enterprises into national champions," "debt-trap financing to developing countries," and "dumping below cost into foreign markets," Navarro said, "Virtually everything on here is against the rules of the World Trade Organization," and that China would have to address all of the issues "if we are going to have a negotiation that results in success."

    The hawkish adviser...said that intellectual property theft was part of China's culture as a communist state. "It goes back to the communist system, where there are no property rights. If there are no property rights, you can't steal property, right?" he said.

    Navarro said that smartphones manufactured by China's Huawei Technologies pose a clear risk in that "those phones can be used to spy on our citizens or our government." He said that the constant software updates were the main source of concern.... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trad...future-Navarro

    2. According to https://www.reference.com/science/pl...c1925c6659b13e

    (Begin excerpts)
    There are two opposing forces that determine the orbit of a planet: planetary inertia and the gravitational pull of the Sun. In order to create a stable orbit, these forces must remain perfectly balanced. The Sun is the most massive object in the solar system, and it has the strongest gravitational pull. Without the Sun's gravity, the forward momentum of the planets would carry them into deep space, just as their sideways momentum keeps the planets from falling inward and being consumed by the Sun. (End excerpts)

    3(a) As explained in the above passage, "Without the Sun's gravity, the forward momentum of the planets would carry them into deep space". Hence if the two opposing forces are out of equilibrium one day, the earth will go off course into deep space. From then onwards, earthlings will wake up without seeing sunrise as the whole world will be in eternal darkness. If Navarro is still around on that doomsday, he will definitely accuse China of stealing the future of the US and other countries.

    With regard to Navarro's phobia about no future, I call that day "without tomorrow or future" by the name of "navarmorrow".

    3(b) If Archimedes could be resurrected, he might find a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it to move the world away from the sun.

    3(c) That doomsday scenario is also possible if a gigantic hand of a Super Being suddenly stretches out from nowhere to strike planet Earth off course into deep space. No country is capable of making such a gigantic hand. Hence if anyone still raves day and night about his country's future being stolen by others, that fellow must be talking with his head in the cloud and his mouth at his very bottom.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/archimedes_101761
    Last edited by reedak; 23-12-2018 at 06:29 PM.
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  2. #32
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    Default A little but significant drama

    The South China Morning Post reported on 21 November, 2018 that Peter Navarro would be excluded from the high-stakes US-Sino dinner meeting in Argentina. About one week later, however, it reported that he was back on the guest list.

    The following “intelligent guesses” of mine may offer some insights into the events leading up to the Huawei CFO's arrest and Navarro's attendance in the Buenos Aires dinner meeting.

    (a) Navarro’s initial exclusion from the guest list may be just a display of his tantrum and displeasure to Trump over their disagreement on the US-Sino dinner meeting.

    (b) Just like an active volcano's occasional eruptions, it may be his way of highlighting his importance in the Trump team.

    (c) Although many people may dismiss the event as a little drama with no significance, it can turn up to be something more sinister in view of the perfect coincidence between the Huawei CFO's arrest and the dinner meeting on the same day of December 1.

    Peter Navarro's initial exclusion but eventual inclusion in the Buenos Aires dinner meeting will forever remain a historical mystery. Anyone may guess or speculate whatever he likes about the "apparent farce" over Navarro's dinner attendance. In the final analysis, only Navarro and Trump hold the key to the historical mystery.

    In my opinion, Navarro might have decided not to attend the dinner meeting as a protest to Trump’s disagreement to arrest the Huawei CFO as both events happened to fall on the same day. As the day of the dinner meeting drew nearer, he might have even threatened to resign. As Trump regarded him as his favourite, he finally acceded to his demand to arrest the Huawei CFO on the same day of the dinner meeting. Knowing that his plan would be carried out, Navarro not only had the mood but the appetite to attend the dinner meeting. All this while, he must be laughing secretly at the opposite side and eyeing them hungrily like a bird of prey with his "eagle's eyes” across the table.

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-e...ded-xi-jinping

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-e...ner-guest-list
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  3. #33
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    Default Trumpian joke

    While it was reported that a US government delegation will travel to Beijing in the week of January 7 to hold trade talks with Chinese officials, there was another report that Donald Trump is considering an executive order in the new year to declare a national emergency that would bar US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE.

    I coin the term "Trumpian joke" for such contradictory actions which are akin to an offer of handshake with one hand but a thrust at the heart with a dagger in the other hand. Another example is offering someone a seat but removing it stealthily when he is at the point of sitting down.

    If you are a political leader, you must be on the alert if Donald Trump suddenly calls you for a peace or trade dialogue as it would give rise to apprehensions that something evil or mischievous is afoot.

    Sources as listed below:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...y-jan-jq5ns3wy

    https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/tec...-zte-purchases
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  4. #34
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    Default Disastrous 2019 predicted for Donald Trump

    1. The following are excerpts from a 27 December 2018 AP news report headlined "Iraqi lawmakers demand U.S. withdrawal after Trump visit".

    (Begin excerpts)
    BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers Thursday demanded U.S. forces leave the country in the wake of a surprise visit by President Donald Trump that politicians denounced as arrogant and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

    Politicians from both blocs of Iraq’s divided Parliament called for a vote to expel U.S. troops and promised to schedule an extraordinary session to debate the matter.

    “Parliament must clearly and urgently express its view about the ongoing American violations of Iraqi sovereignty,” said Salam al-Shimiri, a lawmaker loyal to the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr....

    Containing foreign influence has become a hot-button issue in a year that saw al-Sadr supporters win the largest share of votes in May elections. Al-Sadr has called for curbing U.S. and Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs....

    Qais Khazali, the head of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia that fought key battles against IS in north Iraq, promised on Twitter that Parliament would vote to expel U.S. forces from Iraq, or the militia and others would force them out by “other means.”....

    Trump spent three hours at a U.S. air base meeting with American troops during his visit....

    He left without meeting any Iraqi officials, though he spoke to Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi by phone....

    Al-Shimiri said Trump’s visit “violated several diplomatic norms.” (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...-trump-1076363

    2. Donald Trump tweeted on 28 December 2018:

    ".....close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border......"

    Source: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...34025412116480

    3. In view of his violation of diplomatic norms in Iraq and several other countries, plus his obsession in building a "big, beautiful wall" all the way across the US-Mexico border, Donald Trump’s erratic behaviours could be early signs of brain trauma as predicted by Baba Vanga, the "Nostradamus of the Balkans".

    4. Below is a brief summary of the famous blind Bulgarian mystic Baba Vanga's life:

    Baba Vanga, (31 January 1911 – 11 August 1996), born Vangeliya Pandeva Dimitrova, known after her marriage as Vangelia Gushterova, was a blind Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant and herbalist, who spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains in Bulgaria. Known as the “Nostradamus of the Balkans", she had already developed a noted reputation in her home country of Bulgaria by the time of her death in 1996 aged 85.

    She mysteriously lost her eyesight at the age of 12 during a massive storm. Her family allegedly found her several days later on death's door – with her eyes sealed shut and covered with dirt. She later claimed to have experienced her first vision when she was missing and believed she had been given the power to predict the future and heal others.

    She reportedly made hundreds of predictions in her 50-year career, many of which were never written down. She shot to prominence worldwide after accurately predicting the sinking of the Kursk in 2000.

    In 1979, Vanga - who reportedly had an 85 per cent success rate with her predictions - told writer Valentin Sidorov that Russia would become "lord of the world" after Europe became a "wasteland". "All will thaw, as if ice, only one remains untouched – Vladimir's glory, glory of Russia," she reportedly said.

    Among her many worldwide gloomy predictions for 2019, she predicted that Donald Trump will succumb to an unexplained illness that will cause him nausea, tinnitus, brain trauma and hearing loss, and a member of his family will be involved in a car crash.

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world...cid=spartandhp

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...mp-Europe.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Vanga

    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  5. #35
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    Default Trumpwall

    1. Donald Trump tweeted on 28 December 2018:

    ".....close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border......"

    Source: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...34025412116480

    2. Why wasting an astronomical sum (between $12 billion and $15 billion) to repeat something that had been done in China more than 2,300 years ago? It seems that the only Chinese thing that can fascinate Donald Trump is the Great Wall of China.

    In view of his obsession in building a "big, beautiful wall" all the way across the US-Mexico border, I humorously coin the term "trumpwall" to mean the following.

    (i) To "make tremendous progress in doing something, especially high technology (as though breaking a wall or barrier to, into, towards, up, etc)".

    (ii) To "advance (as though breaking a wall or barrier to, into, towards, etc) another stage or position".

    The following are examples of the use of the new term:

    (a) If India succeeds in its first manned space mission “Gaganyaan” to send 3 astronauts to the space, it will trumpwall into an exclusive club of countries (Russia, the US and China) capable of independent human space travel.

    (b) China trumpwalled up another rank in its space programme after its Chang'e-4 space probe made the first-ever soft landing on the dark side of the moon.

    (c) In the late 1970s, Pham Van Dong, who served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976 and, following unification, as Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1976 until he retired in 1987, told a visitor that "waging a war is simple, but running a country is very difficult". It remains to be seen whether Vietnam can trumpwall into the league of developed nations in the future.

    (d) If you think backward countries are content to dig coal or build border walls, then you're mistaken. On the contrary, they aspire to trumpwall into the fourth industrial revolution.

    (e) An American missionary was killed by a flurry of arrows from an isolated endangered tribe on a remote island in the Indian Ocean shortly after he was illegally ferried there by fishermen. North Sentinel Island, off-bounds to visitors, is home to the Sentinelese tribe who violently reject all visitors from the outside world. Survival International, an advocacy group for remote communities, urges people to leave the Sentinelese alone: “If not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity”. Estimates say the Sentinelese, who are totally cut off from civilisation, number only between 50 and 150.

    When can the Sentinelese trumpwall towards modernity?

    (f) That old man always throws tantrums as though he has never trumpwalled from adolescence to manhood.

    P.S. Donald Trump demands $5.7 billion taxpayer money to build his proposed "solid concrete wall". However, that amount is only sufficient for building separate stretches of fence or barrier dotted along the US-Mexico border. There will be more government shutdowns when Trump demands for more funds to join up all the fences if he could be reelected on November 3, 2020.

    https://www.khaleejtimes.com/interna...-space-mission

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/india...hMkvMoFTO.html

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/...021309507.html

    https://nypost.com/2019/01/03/chines...e-of-the-moon/

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/200...dianobituaries

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...-of-china.html

    https://www.businessinsider.sg/how-m...7-1/?r=US&IR=T

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth...ial_Revolution

    https://nationalpost.com/news/dems-t...to-2nd-weekend

    https://www.thestreet.com/politics/t...order-14825102

    https://www.vox.com/2019/1/2/1816501...ing-incoherent

    https://www.businessinsider.sg/gover...-12/?r=US&IR=T

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a7663996.html
    Last edited by reedak; 09-01-2019 at 07:16 AM.
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  6. #36
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    Default Moditrumpry

    1. The following are excerpts from an AFP news report dated 3 January 2019 under the headline "Trump mocks Indian PM Narendra Modi over funding for a library in Afghanistan".

    (Begin excerpts)
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Jan 2) mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use....

    While stating that he got along with Modi, Trump said the Indian leader was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan."

    "You know what that is? That's like five hours of what we spend," Trump said.

    "And we're supposed to say, 'Oh, thank you for the library.' I don't know who's using it in Afghanistan," Trump said..... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/trump...nistan.594774/

    2. With reference to Donald Trump mocking Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use, I coin the term "moditrumpry" to mean "deride or criticise someone or something (as, for, etc) by a hypocrite. The following are examples of the use of the new term:

    (a) Although Trump has slapped steep tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods from major trading partners, he moditrumpried India as a "tariff king".

    (b) Although his wall has been derided as just one big joke or a political circus, Trump moditrumpried Modi's library funding in Afghanistan as a useless project.

    (c) Tom is moditrumpried for smoking by his nicotine-addicted parents every day.

    (d) Despite having bankrupting four companies prior to his presidency, the new president moditrumpried his predecessor for failing to improve the economy.

    (e) Although he was notorious for playing truant during his school days, Robert moditrumpries his own children for their mediocre performance in school and demands them to write pages of composition as punishment.

    http://www.mareonline.nl/archive/201...s-one-big-joke

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/4...er-wall-demand
    Last edited by reedak; 06-01-2019 at 01:30 AM.
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  7. #37
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    Default Wallwheel

    1. The following are excerpts from a news report dated 3 January, 2019 under the headline "‘Could be a while’: Trump refuses to budge in shutdown standoff".

    (Begin excerpts)
    ...The new Congress will gavel into session on Thursday, with Democrats taking over the majority in the House of Representatives. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has sworn that Trump will “never” get money for the wall, while the most likely new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) repeatedly denounced Trump’s wall as “immoral, ineffective and expensive.”

    Trump has countered by arguing that the wheel is an ancient technology as well, pointing out that if walls didn’t work, former President Barack Obama wouldn’t have one around his home. He also dismissed Democrat arguments for a more high-tech solution as not enough.

    “The wheel, the wall, some things never get old,” he said on Wednesday.... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.rt.com/usa/447959-trump-...wall-shutdown/

    2. With reference to Trump's quote "The wheel, the wall, some things never get old", I coin the term "wallwheel" as a noun to mean "eternal youth" and as a verb to mean "to keep oneself young”. The idea is that the wheel of time comes to a standstill after hitting a wall. The following joke shows the use of the new term.

    One day, Tommy met someone whom he thought was his childhood friend. He greeted his supposed friend: "Hi, my great friend Robin! There is not much change in your look since our last meeting 30 years ago. You seem to have discovered the key to wallwheel."

    His supposed friend replied: "I don't have any secret to wallwheel myself. I am not Robin but his son Jack. Uncle Tommy, have you forgotten about me? You used to come to my house to play chess with my father when I was a child. Despite your wrinkles and white hair, the big birthmarks on the left side of your face are instantly recognisable."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_time
    Last edited by reedak; 08-01-2019 at 08:49 AM.
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  8. #38
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    Default Climbing over the Trump Wall

    1. Manu Raju is a senior congressional correspondent at CNN, covering Capitol Hill and campaign politics. The following are excerpts from a December 12, 2018 news report by Manu Raju and Caroline Kelly (CNN breaking news reporter) under the headline "Pelosi questions Trump's manhood, compares him to skunk after border wall meeting".

    (Begin excerpts)
    (CNN)House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi privately questioned President Donald Trump's "manhood" after a contentious meeting Tuesday about funding his wall at the southern border.

    "It's like a manhood thing for him," Pelosi told Democratic members at a closed meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee on Capitol Hill, according to an aide in the room. "As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing."

    Pelosi, in a feisty mood after the heated exchange with the President, also compared the President to a skunk.

    "I was trying to be the mom," the California Democrat said, according to the aide. "I can't explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: You get into a tickle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you."....

    "The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his," she said to applause, according to the aide. "That was an accomplishment.".... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/11/p...ood/index.html

    2. In William Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet", Romeo climbed the wall into the orchard garden and arrived under a balcony where he found Juliet alone at her window. There the two lovers promised love to each other and decided to have a secret wedding the following day.

    With regard to Pelosi mocking Trump’s fragile masculinity, I humorously coin the expression "climbing over the Trump Wall" to mean "reaching adulthood". The climber may meet his Juliet or her Romeo at the opposite side of the wall. The following examples show the use of the new expression.

    (a) In Greek mythology, the mountain Pelion was held to be the home of the centaurs. When the twins Otus and Ephialtes waged war against the Olympian gods, they tried to pile Mount Pelion upon Mount Ossa in order to storm heaven itself. Had they climbed over the Trump Wall, their attempt would have been successful, but Apollo destroyed them before their beards began to grow.

    (b) Having gone through their trials and tribulations, one should not question those who had survived the Vietnam War (whether they had been captured or seriously injured) that they had yet to climb over the Trump Wall.

    (c) If the Trump Wall could ever be built, don't arrest or fire at those Latin Americans who try to climb over it every year because it is just a once-in-a-lifetime ritual for them climb from adolescence over the Trump Wall.

    To deport those who have climbed over Trump Wall is an act against God or Nature, that is, to turn the clock back to adolescence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloadae

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelion

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...e-vietnam-war/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.1b7626aa16ef

    https://upolitics.com/news/nancy-pel...ment-shutdown/

    https://bipartisanreport.com/2018/12...ssive-meeting/

    http://www.itiscannizzaro.net/ianni/...quesanswer.htm

    https://www.sparknotes.com/nofear/sh...liet/page_120/
    Last edited by reedak; 06-01-2019 at 10:41 AM.
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

  9. #39
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    Default Great Scum Flood, junk trade and trash rule

    1. The following are excerpts from a March 25, 2018 news report headlined "American Trash Talk -- After Trade War, Now U.S. Hopes Can Still Dump ‘Garbage’ In China".

    (Begin excerpts)
    ....In actuality, Trump’s tariffs have nothing to do with China being unfair. Instead, it has everything to do with the rising of China powerhouse – both economically and militarily – so strong and influential that the Middle Kingdom could overtake United States as the world’s new leader. So, the U.S. has no choice but to cripple China to ensure Americans’ continuous supremacy....

    Amusingly, on Friday, just a day after President Donald Trump flashed his domestic rules to penalize China with tariffs on up to US$60 billion in imports, the Yankees asked the Chinese not to proceed with its ban on the import of “foreign garbage.” This time, however, the U.S. saw it fit to complain to the WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods about China’s refusal to import trash from America....

    After Beijing notified the World Trade Organization last July, China started enforcing its new “National Sword” policy effective January 1, 2018 – banning 24 types of solid waste, including various plastics and unsorted mixed papers. Essentially, the Asian powerhouse is telling the world that it would no longer act as the world’s trash dump – but the U.S. isn’t happy.

    The U.S. is the top producer of waste, according to the World Bank, and Americans have been doing a pretty good job at throwing stuff away. The country exported US$16.5 billion in scrap in 2016, more than any other country. Paper and plastic constituted about US$3.9 billion of that. Every day, nearly 4,000 shipping containers full of recyclables would leave U.S. ports bound for China.

    Over two-thirds of America’s wastepaper exports ended up in China in 2016. Paper and plastic scrap exports to mainland China topped US$2.2 billion – more than U.S.’ exports to China of wheat, rice, corn, meat, dairy and vegetables combined. In the same year, U.S. shipped more than 16 million metric tons of scrap commodities to China worth more than US$5.6 billion.

    ...Based on International Solid Waste Association, 56% of global waste plastic is exported to China. Three months into the ban, the U.S. doesn’t like the idea of China going clean.

    Although the U.S. claimed to recognise China’s environmental concerns, a U.S. representative complained at the WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods on Friday – “China’s import restrictions on recycled commodities have caused a fundamental disruption in global supply chains for scrap materials, directing them away from productive reuse and towards disposal.”

    Heck, the U.S. even lectured China about breaching its WTO obligations, saying – “We request that China immediately halt implementation and revise these measures in a manner consistent with existing international standards for trade-in scrap materials, which provide a global framework for transparent and environmentally sound trade-in recycled commodities.”...

    Can’t the Yankees look at emerging markets elsewhere such as India, Pakistan or Southeast Asia to solve their problems? They can but it would be more expensive than shipping waste to China. Sending “American garbage” to China is cheaper because they are placed on ships that would “otherwise be empty” when they return to the Middle Kingdom after delivering consumer goods.

    There’s another problem. Even if third world countries are willing to become America new dumping site, they couldn’t fill China’s gigantic shoes since “processing capacity doesn’t develop overnight.” Perhaps trying to mock Trump administration, a Chinese spokesman lectured the U.S. representative at the WTO meeting about American trash issues.

    The Chinese representative said it’s “only fair” that nations must individually shoulder the responsibility to dispose of their own waste in an environmentally-acceptable manner. With genius Donald Trump’s declaration of trade war with China, the Americans might need to live with what the Chinese call “yang laji (foreign garbage)”, at least for now. (End excerpts)

    Source: http://www.financetwitter.com/2018/0...-in-china.html

    2. The following are excerpts from a March 26, 2018 news report headlined "US demands China reconsider ‘catastrophic’ ban on importing foreign garbage & recyclables".

    (Begin excerpts)
    ...China is by far the biggest importer of US recyclables. Banning US junk imports will have a catastrophic impact on the US labor market and will drive up waste management costs. According to the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), in 2016 alone American scrap exports to China totaled $5.6 billion and provided the industry with 155,000 jobs. While the Chinese representative at the meeting in Geneva on Friday agreed to relate the US-voiced concerns to Beijing, the envoy still noted that, ultimately, individual countries are responsible for their own waste.

    If the Asian giant closes off its waste management market, recycling centers across the US will be faced with a hard choice. They can either hire a much more expensive workforce which would raise prices for their services, require households to sort their own waste or be forced to use more landfills across all fifty US states... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.rt.com/news/422255-us-ch...lables-import/

    3. Very little is known that China is the world's dumping ground especially for US recycled materials. If Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart were to switch roles, he would be screaming at the top of his lungs that his "great friend" is trying to bury all his people under mountains of garbage.

    If Peter Navarro were Chinese, he would write a book entitled "Death by America" about US plots to kill all Chinese by polluting and poisoning China’s environment. In the role reversal, he might even make a documentary showing a bread knife with the words “Made in USA” plunging into a map of China and animated blood runs out, trickling into the title: “Death by America.”

    (a) Trump always brags that he has the upper hand in everything. For instance, he said: “I really believe they want to make a deal. The tariffs have absolutely hurt China very badly.” However, for those who know the shocking and amusing news that the US is dumping rubbish in China all this while, it is obvious that the garbage problem is America's Achilles heel in the trade war. The ban on the "illegal foreign garbage” influx into China will "absolutely hurt the US very badly". I coin the term "Great Scum Flood" for the catastrophe caused by the "great flood of trash” that will overwhelm the US sooner or later after the Chinese ban.

    (b) I coin the term "junk trade" to mean "free, fair and reciprocal trade" which Trump is seeking with China and other countries. Will Trump be "free, fair and reciprocal" in accepting trash imports from other countries?

    (c) I coin the term "trash rule" for the “one-sided rule of keeping one’s environment pollution-free by dumping pollutants onto others".

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trad...ciprocal-trade
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default The Stocks of Wilbur Ross

    Jack Holmes is Associate Editor for News & Politics at Esquire.com, where he writes daily and edits the Politics Blog with Charles P. Pierce. He also does a dash of sports and some feature writing. His work has appeared in New York magazine and The Daily Beast.

    The following are excerpts from his December 21, 2018 article headlined "Shocker: Grift King Wilbur Ross Did Not Tell the Truth About Selling His Stocks" with the subheading "Wilbur Ross doesn't get enough attention as the most shameless operator in Donald Trump's orbit."

    (Begin excerpts)
    We know now that Donald Trump's election to the American presidency was a Bat Signal to every shameless grifter this fine country has to offer. Confidence men and scam artists from sea to shining sea swarmed towards Our Nation's Capital, clambering over one another to make a murky home for themselves in the newly remodeled Swamp. Some of them are in the president's own family. All of them know they've stumbled into the jewelry store, and the clock is ticking. Smash the glass and grab everything you can.

    One of the most consistently underrated cartoon oligarchs now plaguing our national government is Wilbur Ross. The Secretary of Commerce is a Businessman with a long and storied career making Business Deals. Also, he allegedly stole $120 million from his various business partners over the years, which caused the godless socialists at Forbes magazine to announce he "could rank among the biggest grifters in American history." We spent all that time chasing Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, but the Grift King was right in front of us this whole time.

    Naturally, this public servant has brought a viper's nest of conflicts-of-interest and ethics issues into office....

    ...Ross has blatantly lied about whether he still owns a stock which presents a conflict of interest in his role as Commerce Secretary....

    Like pretty much everyone else in this president's orbit, Ross is a wannabe oligarch using his time in putative public service to further enrich himself. He just flies under the radar because he's an old codger who's always falling asleep in public—not, say, an acting attorney general who used to peddle Big Dick Toilets.

    Like Trump, Ross also has flashes of amazing incompetence. He has apparently managed to lose millions mid-grift. But more than that, he's a narcissist in the Trumpian mold: a year before he was nominated to the position, he was listed on the Forbes 400 with $2.9 billion in assets. He called up the magazine to insist he was actually worth $3.7 billion. But a year later, as part of the confirmation process when he came greasing into public life, Ross had to submit a financial disclosure form—one that listed his assets at $700 million. The magazine set about removing him from the billionaires list entirely on the basis that he is not a billionaire....

    Never mind the obvious corruption this would entail. Incoming government officials should not be permitted to "transfer" funds they really still control, then pretend those assets aren't theirs. Look at what happened when the president did it!...

    This is almost exactly what Trump did to ensure he could kick around the Forbes lists year after year. Except our president would call under an assumed name—John Barron—and rant about how rich Donald Trump was. Imagine how deranged you have to be to possess hundreds of millions of dollars, but still feel the need to call up strangers at a magazine and tell them you have twice as much money. Imagine how deeply you'd require the admiration of others to risk an ethics violation to lie your way onto a magazine list.

    These are the people running the country. Lost souls pouring dollar bills into the bottomless pit within, hoping enough will pile up to make them feel whole. (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.esquire.com/news-politic...nterest-grift/
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default Trump's border wall speech detached from reality

    1. The following are excerpts from Jack Holmes' January 9, 2019 article headlined "The Media Is Dangerously Unequipped to Deal with Tonight's Trumpian Propaganda Circus" with the subheading "The president's speech on the border ‘crisis’ and The Wall will likely be completely detached from reality. We're not up to the challenge of covering it live."

    (Begin excerpts)
    ...Donald Trump is not playing soccer. He probably never has. The president does not believe in the concept of truth—the idea that there are things we can empirically learn about the world through observation and the scientific method, and that these facts come together to form a framework known as objective reality. For Trump, the truth is whatever you can get enough people to believe. What he wants people to believe is whatever is most useful to him right now. When called on this, he fights back hard—never producing evidence—or abandons the claim and pretends it never happened. Never does he admit there is a reality we all inhabit whose contours he can't mold to his personal benefit.

    On The Apprentice, he would occasionally fire the week's best-performing contestant because he didn't much know what was going on and didn't care. The show's producers would then have to reverse-engineer reality to accommodate this new conclusion. The same happens each day in the White House, as aides scramble to explain some evidence-free nonsense he's tweeted—a conclusion in search of jerry-rigged justification. For his whole life in privately held business, Trump was above accountability because his minions would simply make his visions real—until, of course, the business went bankrupt. There were no voters or shareholders to answer to. And even in those lowest moments, he would always personally skate by, inventing new worlds for himself to escape into.

    ....White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Sunday that many of the 4,000 terrorist suspects—a loose term in the first place—captured trying to enter the United States illegally were found at the southern border. According to Customs and Border Protection, the number is 6.

    .....The Wall will not stop the significant share of undocumented immigrants who arrive at airports and overstay their visas. Planes go over The Wall. No one serious believes it will stop the flow of drugs. It will be a legal and logistical nightmare to build, requiring the government to seize private land—and reservation land from Native Americans—and disrupt local ecosystems and wildlife habitats. It will be extremely expensive (even the $5.7 billion Trump would get in his dreams is not nearly enough to finish it) and, again, not particularly effective—except as a monument to White America's resentment of the changing world outside....

    Now, Trump has floated declaring a state of emergency, an action that grants the executive vast powers which he and his lackeys believe include seizing taxpayer money that has not been appropriated by Congress to build a wall. This appears nakedly unconstitutional, and would almost certainly face a court challenge.

    But more to the point, declaring a state of emergency to respond to an entirely fabricated crisis is dangerously authoritarian behavior. Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen went to Congress yesterday evening to get Republicans there on board with this treacherous scam....

    .....The president is exploiting the corporate profit motive to glorious effect, knowing full well no TV producer worth his salt—or, more importantly, whose job security depends on ratings—will turn down a chance to air this nonsense extravaganza. They'll go wall-to-wall, with a pregame panel and a postgame panel and analysis and commentary and questions like, How Will Democrats Respond? Does Nancy Pelosi Have to Come to the Table? Meanwhile, the fact that this entire thing is built on a foundation of complete and utter bullshit will rarely go mentioned.

    It's a new game now. You can pick up the ball! What, isn't that handball? Let's just run with it. (End excerpts)

    P.S. As expected, Trump's speech is detached from reality.

    Source: https://www.esquire.com/news-politic...paganda-media/
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default The Great American Heist

    The following are excerpts from Jack Holmes' December 5, 2018 article headlined "The Trump Family Is Strangling the American Republic With Conflicts of Interest" with the subheading "Junior's hydroponic lettuce venture ensures the Great American Heist rolls on."

    (Begin excerpts)
    ....The President of the United States ... has overseen a festival of corruption since entering the White House. Many of our nation's least scrupulous citizens seem to have seen his improbable election as an invitation to smash the glass and grab everything they could. That includes, of course, The Kids.

    ....the Trump family has mixed their private business interests with public "service," a habit that continually presents conflicts-of-interest and prompts questions about whether American policy is being made to benefit Americans or the Trumps.

    The most infamous recent example is "The Moscow Project," which former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to lying about under oath last week. The Trump Organization pursued a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow through June 2016, not January as Cohen initially lied, and Donald Trump received regular updates on those efforts as he pursued the Republican nomination. This, of course, raises the question of whether Trump's relentless public support for Russia and President Vladimir Putin—who was reportedly set to receive the $50 million penthouse in the new tower, his kickback for supporting the deal—was tied to anything other than putting more money in his own pocket. The Kids were reportedly involved in this one, too. Ivanka Trump recommended an architect.

    Ivanka herself has earned some headlines recently for committing the same sins as Hillary Clinton when it comes to email protocol—the kind of rank hypocrisy which no longer resonates at all in our politics. But she also harbors a viper's nest of conflicts-of-interest in her dual role as senior adviser to the president and private businesswoman. Ivanka made $3.9 million off the family's D.C. hotel in 2017, the same hotel that has become the shining beacon of the New Swamp. Foreign dignitaries stay there—and spend their money there—to curry favor with the regime, which is controlled by the hotel's proprietors. In return, these foreign entities hope that American policy is crafted with their interests in mind.

    One of the groups spending an awful lot of money at Trump properties is the Saudis. Their relationship goes way back: "In Trump's hard times, a Saudi prince bought a superyacht and hotel from him," according to The Chicago Tribune, and the Saudi government bought $4.5 million apartment from Trump in 2001—but has taken on a new sheen after his election. That same Tribune article tracked how Trump's hotels in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. all saw a significant uptick in Saudi business since he entered the White House. That's just the surface of his dealings with the House of Saud, an arrangement he used to trumpet: "I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."....

    What seems to be developing in the United States isn't that far afield. The president's Cabinet is full of savory characters like Wilbur Ross, who stands accused of stealing $120 million from his business partners over the years. Or there's the various private-jet aficionados like Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of Interior—a department lobbied by Junior's lettuce outfit—who also accused a sitting congressman of being an alcoholic last week and using $50,000 in taxpayer funds to cover it up....

    It's the Great American Heist, folks. All that's left to steal is the republic.... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.esquire.com/news-politic...t-of-interest/
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default Trump's suspect tax schemes

    1. David Barstow, a senior writer at The New York Times, is a winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.

    Susanne Craig is an investigative reporter who writes about the intersection of politics, money and government. She has covered Wall Street for The Times and has served as Albany bureau chief. Previously, Ms. Craig was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal and worked at The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper.

    Russ Buettner is an investigative reporter for The New York Times’s Metro Desk. He has been reporting on the New York City region since 1992. He joined the The Times in 2006 after working on investigations teams at the New York Daily News and New York Newsday.

    2. The following are excerpts from an article by David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner, dated October 2, 2018, under the headline "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father".

    (Begin excerpts)
    The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

    President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

    Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.

    But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.

    Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

    These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances....

    The Times’s findings raise new questions about Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents....

    The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records — bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks. Most notably, the documents include more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. While the records do not include the president’s personal tax returns and reveal little about his recent business dealings at home and abroad, dozens of corporate, partnership and trust tax returns offer the first public accounting of the income he received for decades from various family enterprises.

    What emerges from this body of evidence is a financial biography of the 45th president fundamentally at odds with the story Mr. Trump has sold in his books, his TV shows and his political life. In Mr. Trump’s version of how he got rich, he was the master dealmaker who broke free of his father’s “tiny” outer-borough operation and parlayed a single $1 million loan from his father (“I had to pay him back with interest!”) into a $10 billion empire that would slap the Trump name on hotels, high-rises, casinos, airlines and golf courses the world over. In Mr. Trump’s version, it was always his guts and gumption that overcame setbacks. Fred Trump was simply a cheerleader....

    But The Times’s investigation of the Trump family’s finances is unprecedented in scope and precision, offering the first comprehensive look at the inherited fortune and tax dodges that guaranteed Donald J. Trump a gilded life. The reporting makes clear that in every era of Mr. Trump’s life, his finances were deeply intertwined with, and dependent on, his father’s wealth....

    The line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion is often murky, and it is constantly being stretched by inventive tax lawyers. There is no shortage of clever tax avoidance tricks that have been blessed by either the courts or the I.R.S. itself. The richest Americans almost never pay anything close to full freight. But tax experts briefed on The Times’s findings said the Trumps appeared to have done more than exploit legal loopholes. They said the conduct described here represented a pattern of deception and obfuscation, particularly about the value of Fred Trump’s real estate, that repeatedly prevented the I.R.S. from taxing large transfers of wealth to his children....

    The manipulation of values to evade taxes was central to one of the most important financial events in Donald Trump’s life. In an episode never before revealed, Mr. Trump and his siblings gained ownership of most of their father’s empire on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and a half before Fred Trump’s death. Critical to the complex transaction was the value put on the real estate. The lower its value, the lower the gift taxes. The Trumps dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by submitting tax returns that grossly undervalued the properties, claiming they were worth just $41.4 million....

    The most overt fraud was All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company formed by the Trump family in 1992. All County’s ostensible purpose was to be the purchasing agent for Fred Trump’s buildings, buying everything from boilers to cleaning supplies. It did no such thing, records and interviews show. Instead All County siphoned millions of dollars from Fred Trump’s empire by simply marking up purchases already made by his employees. Those millions, effectively untaxed gifts, then flowed to All County’s owners — Donald Trump, his siblings and a cousin. Fred Trump then used the padded All County receipts to justify bigger rent increases for thousands of tenants....

    During the 1980s, Donald Trump became notorious for leaking word that he was taking positions in stocks, hinting of a possible takeover, and then either selling on the run-up or trying to extract lucrative concessions from the target company to make him go away. It was a form of stock manipulation with an unsavory label: “greenmailing.” The Times unearthed evidence that Mr. Trump enlisted his father as his greenmailing wingman.

    On Jan. 26, 1989, Fred Trump bought 8,600 shares of Time Inc. for $934,854, his tax returns show. Seven days later, Dan Dorfman, a financial columnist known to be chatty with Donald Trump, broke the news that the younger Trump had “taken a sizable stake” in Time. Sure enough, Time’s shares jumped, allowing Fred Trump to make a $41,614 profit in two weeks.

    Later that year, Fred Trump bought $5 million worth of American Airlines stock. Based on the share price — $81.74 — it appears he made the purchase shortly before Mr. Dorfman reported that Donald Trump was taking a stake in the company. Within weeks, the stock was over $100 a share. Had Fred Trump sold then, he would have made a quick $1.3 million. But he didn’t, and the stock sank amid skepticism about his son’s history of hyped takeover attempts that fizzled. Fred Trump sold his shares for a $1.7 million loss in January 1990. A week later, Mr. Dorfman reported that Donald Trump had sold, too...

    With every passing year, the actuarial odds increased that Fred Trump would die owning apartment buildings worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, all of it exposed to the 55 percent estate tax. Just as exposed was the mountain of cash he was sitting on. His buildings, well maintained and carrying little debt, consistently produced millions of dollars a year in profits....

    Simply put, without immediate action, Fred Trump’s heirs faced the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars to estate taxes....

    The Trumps’ plan, executed over the next decade, blended traditional techniques — such as rewriting Fred Trump’s will to maximize tax avoidance — with unorthodox strategies that tax experts told The Times were legally dubious and, in some cases, appeared to be fraudulent. As a result, the Trump children would gain ownership of virtually all of their father’s buildings without having to pay a penny of their own. They would turn the mountain of cash into a molehill of cash. And hundreds of millions of dollars that otherwise would have gone to the United States Treasury would instead go to Fred Trump’s children....

    The bulk of Fred Trump’s empire was nowhere to be found on his estate tax return. And yet Donald Trump and his siblings were not done. Recycling the legally dubious techniques they had mastered with the GRATs, they dodged tens of millions of dollars in estate taxes on the remnants of empire that Fred Trump still owned when he died, The Times found....

    Money is at the core of the brand Mr. Trump has so successfully sold to the world. Yet essential to that mythmaking has been keeping the truth of his money — how much of it he actually has, where and whom it came from — hidden or obscured. Across the decades, aided and abetted by less-than-aggressive journalism, Mr. Trump has made sure his financial history would be sensationalized far more than seen.... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...red-trump.html
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default FBI probe of Trump

    1. Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. for The New York Times and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for national reporting on Russia’s meddling in the presidential election. Previously, he covered national security for The Washington Post and worked on the investigative team at The Associated Press, where he and his colleagues revealed the New York Police Department’s Muslim spying programs.

    Michael S. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent for The Times who covers national security and federal investigations. He was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018 — one for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues and the other for coverage of President Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia.

    Nicholas Fandos is a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, covering Congress.

    2. The following are excerpts from an article by Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos, dated January 11, 2019, under the headline "F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia".

    (Begin excerpts)
    WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

    The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

    Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said...

    The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters....

    The F.B.I. conducts two types of inquiries, criminal and counterintelligence investigations. Unlike criminal investigations, which are typically aimed at solving a crime and can result in arrests and convictions, counterintelligence inquiries are generally fact-finding missions to understand what a foreign power is doing and to stop any anti-American activity, like thefts of United States government secrets or covert efforts to influence policy. In most cases, the investigations are carried out quietly, sometimes for years. Often, they result in no arrests.

    Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

    Other factors fueled the F.B.I.’s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.

    In the months before the 2016 election, the F.B.I. was also already investigating four of Mr. Trump’s associates over their ties to Russia. The constellation of events disquieted F.B.I. officials who were simultaneously watching as Russia’s campaign unfolded to undermine the presidential election by exploiting existing divisions among Americans.... (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/u...a-inquiry.html
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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    Default Trump Conceals Details of his Meetings with Putin

    Greg Miller is a national security correspondent for The Washington Post and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of a book on Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential race and the fallout under the Trump administration.

    The following are excerpts from his January 13, 2019 article headlined "Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration".

    (Begin excerpts)
    President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi*mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

    Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

    The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

    As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is thought to be in the final stages of an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The new details about Trump’s continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president....

    Former U.S. officials said that Trump’s behavior is at odds with the known practices of previous presidents, who have relied on senior aides to witness meetings and take comprehensive notes then shared with other officials and departments.

    Trump’s secrecy surrounding Putin “is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state now at the Brookings Institution, who participated in more than a dozen meetings between President Bill Clinton and then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. “It handicaps the U.S. government — the experts and advisers and Cabinet officers who are there to serve [the president] — and it certainly gives Putin much more scope to manipulate Trump.”....

    The meeting in Hamburg happened several months after The Washington Post and other news organizations revealed details about what Trump had told senior Russian officials during a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office. Trump disclosed classified information about a terrorism plot, called former FBI director James B. Comey a “nut job” and said that firing Comey had removed “great pressure” on his relationship with Russia....

    The concerns have been compounded by actions and positions Trump has taken as president that are seen as favorable to the Kremlin. He has dismissed Russia’s election interference as a “hoax,” suggested that Russia was entitled to annex Crimea, repeatedly attacked NATO allies, resisted efforts to impose sanctions on Moscow, and begun to pull U.S. forces out of Syria — a move that critics see as effectively ceding ground to Russia....

    It is not clear whether Trump has taken notes from interpreters on other occasions, but several officials said they were never able to get a reliable readout of the president’s two-hour meeting in Helsinki. Unlike in Hamburg, Trump allowed no Cabinet officials or any aides to be in the room for that conversation…..

    Senior Trump administration officials said that White House officials including then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster were never able to obtain a comprehensive account of the meeting, even from Tillerson.

    “We were frustrated because we didn’t get a readout,” a former senior administration official said. “The State Department and [National Security Council] were never comfortable” with Trump’s interactions with Putin, the official said. “God only knows what they were going to talk about or agree to.”….. (End excerpts)

    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.75ac93de8cf8
    Donald Trump's infamous Hitler-style rabble-rousing chants: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

    "What happens when you're confronted with a politician (Trump) who is utterly without shame? You can reveal where he's lied, explain all the facts, and try as hard as you can to inoculate the public against his falsehoods. But by the time you've done that, he has already told 10 more lies." -- Paul Waldman

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