Trump enters the stage

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 21, 2019 8:06 pm

Rolling Stone
HOME
POLITICS
POLITICS NEWS
Trump Took Another Terrifying Step Toward Authoritarianism at His Rally in Pennsylvania
Jailing one’s political enemies doesn’t seem plausible in America — until it does

RYAN BORT
MAY 21, 2019 9:57AM EDT


President Donald Trump pumps his fist to the crowd after speaking to a campaign rally in Montoursville, PaTrump, Montoursville, USA - 20 May 2019
Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock
President Donald Trump traveled to Pennsylvania on Monday to stand in front of Air Force One and speak to a fired-up crowd of supporters. Some of his time onstage was spent hammering 2020 election talking points, like immigration (“We don’t want people coming up here! Our country is full!”); the rest was spent rambling about whatever happened to cross his mind. The president is expected to officially launch his reelection campaign next month, for instance, and he’s been wondering about a new slogan. “Do we want Keep America Great or Make America Great Again?” he said before asking the audience to judge each option with applause. Keep America Great won. Trump agreed: “I like it because we’ll sell many, many more hats that way.”


Related
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a campaign rally announcing her candidacy for president in Waikiki, in HonoluluElection 2020 Tulsi Gabbard, Honolulu, USA - 02 Feb 2019
We've Hit a New Low in Campaign Hit Pieces
Republican Congressman Destroys Arguments That Trump Didn't Obstruct Justice
Trump’s rallies are also where some of the president’s most dangerous impulses get fleshed out into the open, like earlier this month in Panama City Beach, Florida, when he joked about shooting migrants at the border. His appearance at the Williamsport Regional Airport on Monday was no exception, providing the latest, terrifying look into the president’s tendency toward authoritarianism, which is becoming less of a tendency and more of an full-throated embrace as he continues to bend the government to his will.

One of the hallmarks of authoritarianism is jailing one’s political enemies, an idea to which Trump is no stranger. He’s called for an investigation into Hillary Clinton for years now — especially at rallies, where he knows he can get the crowd lathered into a “Lock Her Up!” frenzy — but actually doing so seemed implausible, like something that couldn’t actually happen in America. This is no longer the case.

After Trump accused Democrats and the FBI of treason Monday night, he stepped away from the podium to bask in a “Lock Them Up!” chant. When he returned to the microphone, he reminded his supporters that Attorney General William Barr is in his pocket, and that the new, compliant head of the Justice Department is going to “give it a very fair look” to jailing of those involved in the Russia investigation for treason.




“@SpeakerPelosi @TeamPelosi I would be pleased to speak to you as an expert on how authoritarian regimes take hold, with this as a warning sign,” tweeted Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an authoritarianism historian at New York University. “This is scary to watch,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). Others, like former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub, likened the comments to something out of Nazi Germany. “Shades of 1937,” he wrote.

Barr has come under widespread scrutiny for his efforts to protect the president in the wake of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings, particularly those regarding obstruction of justice. Despite the Mueller report containing overwhelming evidence that the president sought to obstruct the inquiry, the attorney general took it upon himself to clear the president of any wrongdoing. On Saturday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) became the first Republican lawmaker to call out Barr’s handling of the report, alleging that he deliberately misrepresented the special counsel’s findings. Amash also wrote that the report makes clear that Trump deserves to be impeached. On Monday, he doubled down by dismantling several popular arguments that the president did not obstruct justice.

Last week, Barr took the offensive in his ostensible role as Trump’s unofficial personal attorney, ordering a U.S. attorney in Connecticut to begin investigating the origins of the Russia investigation. In other words, the “very fair look” is already underway.

Another hallmark of authoritarianism is refusing to give up power. Again, Trump is no stranger to entertaining the idea of hanging around the White House for longer than the Constitution stipulates. He has on several occasions “joked” about staying in office for more than two terms. This, too, seems like something that could never actually happen in America. As with jailing one’s political enemies, that’s only true until it isn’t.


“We’re going to have a second [term], and then we’re going to have another one,” Trump said Monday night. “We’ll drive them crazy. And maybe if we really like it a lot, and if things keep going like they are going, we’ll go and we’ll do what we have to do, and a three [terms] and a four, and a five.”


Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to come around to the idea of impeaching the president, she has expressed concern that he will not voluntarily give up power. This is why, she has said, she doesn’t want to get bogged down with impeachment proceedings, instead preferring to focus on winning 2020 by such a large margin that Trump won’t be able to contest the results. “We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” she told the New York Times earlier this month, speaking of the prospect that Trump will refuse to cede power should he lose. “He would poison the public mind,” she added of her thinking prior to the 2018 midterm election. “He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat these people. We had to win. Imagine if we hadn’t won — oh, don’t even imagine. So, as we go forward, we have to have the same approach.”

Two days after the Times ran Pelosi’s comments, Trump retweeted a frightening idea from Jerry Falwell, Jr., his most prominent supporter in the evangelical community. “I now support reparations,” he wrote. “Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”

It sounds like a joke. Don’t be fooled.





© 2019 PMC. All rights reserved.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the strategy

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 pm

Fox News





DONALD TRUMP

Published May 21, 2019

Last Update 3 hrs ago

Angry Dem says Trump ‘raping the country,’ as impeachment push nears critical mass

By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News





A rapid-fire string of developments has congressional Democrats putting increased pressure on party brass to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, with one rank-and-file lawmaker reportedly saying the president is “raping the country” and others indicating it's only a matter of time before leadership changes course on the politically fraught issue.

Amid the internal tensions, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a special meeting of House Democrats for Wednesday morning, where the impeachment issue and other battles are expected to be discussed.

Prior meetings involving Pelosi and top Democrats held Monday evening escalated into heated exchanges, with the party torn over how to address Trump controversies -- most recently, the decision to block the former White House counsel from testifying. Democratic leaders, who for the most part have not been publicly in favor of impeachment, are now finding it difficult to maintain their position as calls grow from the ranks to flip that switch.

HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN NADLER: TRUMP IS MAKING IT 'MORE DIFFICULT' NOT TO CONSIDER IMPEACHMENT 

A senior House Democrat told Fox News late Monday that Pelosi “isn’t going to be able to hold off on impeachment much longer,” and that the speaker may have to change her position “within the next two weeks.”



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., while saying Pelosi is working to bring the party together, suggested Tuesday that politics
------
------'
--------------
--------------------



The wall become symbol of conflicting parties pushed to the wall:


Pelosi:

"Under increased pressure from progressive members of the Democratic caucus and constituents to move more aggressively toward impeachment proceedings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday morning used her strongest language to date against President Donald Trump as she accused him of being “engaged in a cover-up.”

“We do believe that it is important to follow the facts,” Pelosi told reporters in the nation’s capitol following a closed-door meeting with House Democrats. “We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover up, in a cover up.”
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Genius?

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 24, 2019 1:24 am

POLITICO

'Extremely stable genius': Trump defends his mental fitness as he tears into Pelosi

The speaker says he needs 'an intervention.' The president says 'she's lost it.'

By QUINT FORGEY and DANIEL LIPPMAN

05/23/2019 04:47 PM EDT



Washington’s political chaos descended into farce on Thursday when the speaker of the House and the president of the United States accused one another of being mentally unwell.

Hijacking an afternoon White House event with American farmers and agriculture industry leaders, President Donald Trump began calling on his top aides to state for the public record that he was “calm” during a disastrous meeting with Democratic leaders the day before.



“I've been watching her. I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it,” Trump said of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, just moments after he announced $16 billion in federal aid to growers hammered by the U.S.-China trade conflict.

In a remarkable scene, the president proceeded to name-check senior White House staff and advisers in the Roosevelt Room whom he said had attended Wednesday’s session on infrastructure initiatives with top congressional Democrats — which Trump abandoned after declaring that the lawmakers could not simultaneously negotiate legislation while investigating and threatening to impeach him.

“Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday?” Trump asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

“Very calm. No tamper tantrum,” she replied before criticizing journalists’ coverage of the meeting, which Trump has complained portrayed him with a "rage narrative."

“The whole Democrat Party is very messed up. They have never recovered from the great election of 2016 — an election that I think you folks liked very much, right?” Trump said, addressing the farmers flanking his lectern. “Well, Nancy Pelosi was not happy about it, and she is a mess.”

Not even the leaders' families were spared from the sniping and accusations of poor physical well-being. Christine Pelosi, the speaker's daughter, sought to defend her mother on Twitter earlier Thursday, commenting on a Washington Post reportdetailing how a conservative Facebook page had posted a doctored video of the California Democrat in which she appears to drunkenly slur her words.

"Republicans and their conservative allies have been pumping this despicable fake meme for years! Now they are caught," Christine Pelosi wrote online. "#FactCheck: Madam Speaker doesn’t even drink alcohol!"

Pelosi herself on Thursday invoked the president's wife and children in appearing to question Trump's fitness for office, telling reporters in the Capitol: “I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”


At that same news conference, the speaker questioned whether Trump was truly in charge of his White House and seemed to jokingly reference the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows the Cabinet to remove a president from office if he can't perform his duties.

It was a reporter's question at the White House about Pelosi's "intervention" remark — which Trump dubbed "a nasty-type statement" — that put the president on the defensive Thursday. He began turning to aides such as Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications, and pressing them for first-hand accounts of his scuttled meeting with Democrats.

“You were very calm and you were very direct, and you sent a very firm message to the speaker and to the Democrats,” Schlapp said.

Next up was Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said the president’s conversation with Democrats was “much calmer than some of our trade meetings,” followed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who described the president’s demeanor as “very calm and straightforward and clear.”

But the greatest praise for the commander in chief came from Trump himself, who told the assembled members of the media during one non-sequitur: “I'm an extremely stable genius. OK?”

Minutes after the event concluded, Pelosi had already fired back a retort from the speaker's official Twitter account.

"When the 'extremely stable genius' starts acting more presidential," she wrote online, "I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues."

The bizarre exchange of insults between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue comes amid growing pressure on Speaker Pelosi to pursue an impeachment inquiry into the president's conduct.


At a closed-door meeting Thursday morning with her Democratic colleagues, Pelosi claimed that Trump "wants to be impeached" by the House so that he can notch a victory during a trial in the Senate, which is controlled by a healthy Republican majority.

Close associates and Republicans close to the president, interviewed in recent weeks, dispute the idea that Trump welcomes impeachment. But with impeachment talk increasingly in the air in Washington and Trump seeming to goad Democrats into moving in that direction, the president may be taking the threat more seriously now.

“In the past he’s always pooh-poohed the idea of impeachment and he always thought that they’re not really serious about it,” said a Republican close to the White House who has discussed the issue with Trump. “That this is sort of a game that they’re putting out there. Even the media, his view was, ‘They need me, I’m the biggest star they ever had and I’m helping the New York Times, MSNBC and CNN.’”

A former senior White House official said Trump doesn’t want to get impeached “in his heart of hearts,” but “the specter of [impeachment] creates that production value that’s so important to him.”

Drag-out fights with Democrats “creates the diametric choice between us and them,” the former official added. “That’s why he does those rallies. It is what motivates his base, it’s what motivates him and he’s 'producing' the presidency.”

Trump also sees impeachment as a political wedge he can wield against Pelosi's newly expanded caucus, this person said: "He thinks that this is just going to rip the Democrats apart because some want to [impeach] and some don’t."



© 2019 POLITICO LLC
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the A RIVAL MONSTER JURISPRUDENCE Trump’s J

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 27, 2019 5:16 pm

A RIVAL MONSTER
JURISPRUDENCE
Trump’s Judge Whisperer Promised to Take Our Laws Back to the 1930s
By JAMAL GREENE

MAY 27, 20198:30 AM
Leonard Leo.
Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo speaks to media at Trump Tower on Nov. 16, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
One week before the 1980 presidential election, toward the end of his lone debate against Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan stared into the camera and implored Americans to ask themselves, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The question is widely believed to have ended Carter’s presidency.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last week, the Washington Post published a profile of Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo, focusing in part on a speech he gave to the Council for National Policy in which he warmly predicted the Supreme Court would soon return to the pre–New Deal era of “limited, constitutional government.” Leo believes, in other words, that the court’s view of the Constitution was better off 85 years ago than it is today.

“I think we stand at the threshold of an exciting moment in our republic,” Leo told the council at a closed-door meeting in February, audio of which was obtained by the Post. “This is really, I think, at least in recent memory, a newfound embrace of limited constitutional government in our country. I don’t think this has really happened since probably before the New Deal.”


The average American doesn’t know who Leo is, but as the Post piece makes clear, he‘s one of the most influential lawyers in the country. A longtime leader within the Federalist Society, Leo has had Donald Trump’s ear on judicial appointments and has been the main curator of the president’s list of Supreme Court candidates. Two of Leo’s personal picks, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, have been elevated to the highest court in the country since Trump’s election. So when Leonard Leo says he wants to return to a pre–New Deal Constitution, you should listen. And you should be alarmed.

As Leo knows, constitutional law was very different in the 1930s from what it is today. And in a word, it sucked.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the 1930s, the courts were fully complicit in maintaining the country as a thoroughgoing ethnocracy, governed openly for the benefit of white men. Public schools in 21 states were racially segregated by law. “Separate but equal” schools had been affirmed by the Supreme Court as late as 1927, in a unanimous decision allowing Mississippi to kick a Chinese American girl out of her local “white” school for being a member of the “yellow” race. The outlawing of segregation is settled law in our country, and nobody would dare dream of returning to those antiquated judicial interpretations, you might say? Several of Trump’s judicial nominees have conspicuously, outrageously, refused to say whether they thought Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal school segregation in 1954, was correctly decided.

In the 1930s, through a combination of discriminatory literacy tests, poll taxes, “good character” requirements, and straight-up violence, less than 1 percent of black people in the Deep South—where they represented more than a third of the population—were registered to vote. The Supreme Court had blessed these intimidation practices for decades, ever since a 1903 decision in which the court said it couldn’t do anything about Alabama’s self-described effort “to establish white supremacy in this state” by refusing to register black voters. Discriminatory voting practices of this sort weren’t banned until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the most significant provision of which was gutted six years ago in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts (whom Leo also helped elevate to the court).

In the 1930s, women had no constitutional right to equality. They could legally be kept off of juries, given different work hours, paid less money, and imprisoned for using birth control. It would be another four decades before the Supreme Court struck down even a single law for discriminating against women. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch—again, both products of Leo’s vetting—recently dissented from the court’s temporary blocking of a Louisiana law that would have left the entire state with just a single doctor able to perform abortions.

ADVERTISEMENT
In the first half of the 20th century, the police could beat confessions out of arrestees. Poor defendants had no right to a lawyer. Evidence could be illegally seized and used in prosecutions. In 1944, for example, South Carolina executed a 14-year-old black boy named George Stinney for the murders of two white girls. He was questioned alone, without his parents or a lawyer present, and convicted by an all-white jury after a two-hour trial and 10 minutes of deliberation. He wasn’t allowed to appeal. He had to sit on books to fit into the headpiece of the electric chair. Only in 2014, 70 years too late, did a circuit court judge vacate the 14-year-old Stinney’s murder conviction. The Stinney case tells you all you need to know about criminal justice in the age Leo wants to bring back.

The 1930s was of course the decade of the Great Depression, when unemployment hit 25 percent and most Americans lived in poverty. The post–New Deal court decisions Leo wishes to repudiate are the ones that gave the government the power to enact minimum wage laws, to create unemployment insurance and Social Security, to provide health insurance to the aged and destitute, and to give workers collective bargaining rights. In the 1930s, those too old to work and too poor not to could often expect a quick but painful death. This is the human toll of “limited government.”

If we’re looking for Reagan’s shining city upon a hill, we won’t find it in America’s now-distant past. Not most of us, anyway. And if it’s what Leo is promising us, we can only hope it’s not in America’s future.


Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump History John Roberts Judiciary Law Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court
Reprints

All contents © 2019 The Slate Group LLC. All rights reserved.



Below the level of rationality , there exists the primal question, -what shadows follow is from the choice between the evil genius , or the managed one?

Can this, does this question signal some kind of doubly vested metaphor in the new schemal working of things, of deciding what route best describes
venturing into the proper road to peace, rather than war?

For the former describes a split between good and evil, while the later above it and beyond.


And now:




TheHill

CAMPAIGN
May 27, 2019 - 01:57 PM EDT
3 modelers predict Trump reelection: report



BY ZACK BUDRYK
TWEET SHARE EMAIL


Three modelers are predicting President Trump will win reelection in 2020 based on a combination of economic data and incumbent advantages, according to a column in The New York Times.

Steven Rattner wrote that Ray Fair of Yale favors Trump to win based on a model that combines incumbency and gross domestic product growth rates.

The model predicted Barack Obama's 2008 popular vote margin within a fraction of a percentage point and got within two-tenths of a point for his 2012 vote share, Rattner, who served as a counselor to the Treasury secretary during the Obama administration, added.

The model correctly predicting an electoral victory for Trump in 2016, but overestimated his popular vote share by about 5.5 points, which Rattner attributed to Trump's personal unfavorables.



"In other words, a more 'normal' Republican would likely have won the popular vote by a substantial margin (instead of losing it by three million votes)," Rattner wrote.

Trump's status as the incumbent also puts the odds in his favor for 2020, according to the Obama-era official.

Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics's chief economist, has also said Trump is poised to win based on an analysis of 12 models, while Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics made a similar prediction based on an Electoral College analysis, Rattner noted.


"So the question for 2020 may well be whether Mr. Trump can overcome the majority of voters' poor perception of him and use a good economy and incumbency to win re-election," he writes.

The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 20006 | 202-628-8500 tel | 202-628-8503 fax

The contents of this site are ©2019 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.

©



------------------------------------

International :



Unfit To Lead

Why Did UK Parliament Bar Trump Addressing Them?

By

 johnnyfreedom / Daily Kos (05/27/2019)

-



On the Quora UK website, Nate White–an articulate & witty writer–proffered this written response a couple months ago to the query “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?”  There’s a link to the website at the end of his response.

“A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a sniveling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”





























Daily dose of outrage at what is going on in Washington.

Contact us: contact@dailysoundandfury.com

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 27, 2019 8:50 pm

The. Problem with the Trump's transcendentalism is that it is predicated on objective criteria which he lacks.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 28, 2019 7:51 pm

The wall! Again!


BBC News

Trump supporters build US-Mexico barrier
The private group says it has begun construction on a US-Mexico border wall in New Mexico
A group of Trump supporters has begun building the first privately constructed US-Mexico border wall after a crowd-funding campaign.

US military veteran Brian Kolfage posted a picture of the steel fence going up in the state of New Mexico.

He said it was being erected with more than $22m (£17m) in donations he raised through an online campaign last year.

The fundraiser was launched as Congress refused President Donald Trump funding for his signature campaign promise.


Presentational white space
Mr Kolfage, an Air Force veteran, triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient, tweeted a series of videos and images showing the new barrier on Sunday.

"WE MADE HISTORY! The first crowdsource funded international border wall!" Mr Kolfage wrote on Twitter.

The barrier is being built through his nonprofit organisation WeBuildtheWall Inc, which he set up after organising a GoFundMe campaign in December entitled We The People Will Fund The Wall.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is chairman of WeBuildtheWall's advisory board.

Trump's border wall - in seven charts
Six things that could topple Donald Trump's border wall
Mr Bannon told CNN the new private barrier would link two 21-mile sections of existing fencing.


Kris Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state who is now general counsel for WeBuildtheWall, told CNN the privately built section would cost up to $8m.

The group has hired Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based contractor that Mr Trump had argued should be appointed to build the wall, according to the Washington Post.

Trump supporter Jeff Allen, 56, said the barrier is being built on land he co-owns in the city of Sunland Park, New Mexico, across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

He said the section, about half a mile long, would be finished by the end of the week.

Former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (left) giving tour of construction site
Image caption Founder Brian Kolfage tweeted a picture of former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (left) giving tours of the construction site
Mr Allen told AFP news agency: "This is Americans' way of saying, 'Congress, you're worthless, and we're fighting it. We're going to build [the wall] ourselves.'

"This is not Europe. This is America. We protect our borders."

He denied hating immigrants, saying he is married to a Mexican woman, and his daughter was born in Ciudad Juarez.

"This is not about racism," Mr Allen told AFP. "This is about me protecting myself, and America having a secure border.

"If people want to immigrate, they should go to a port of entry and apply."


WeBuildtheWall said it was just the beginning of its mission to secure the US southern border.

"Buckle up, we're just getting started!" the group wrote on Facebook.

US judge blocks funds for Trump border wall plan
Trump escalates migrant wall stand-off
US Customs and Border Protection told the BBC: "This project is not connected to our efforts.

"Please reach out to the company leading construction for any information related to their endeavour."

Last week a court blocked a plan by the Trump administration to channel defence department funds to build a border wall.

A federal judge granted the injunction against the use of $1bn in Arizona and Texas because it had not been approved by Congress.



Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 28, 2019 7:57 pm

Meno_ wrote:The wall! Again!


BBC News




Fox News


RUSSIA INVESTIGATIONPublished May 29, 2019 Last Update 26 minutes ago
Dems ramp up calls for Trump impeachment after Mueller speaks out on Russia probe
By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News



Prominent Democrats are ramping up calls to impeach President Trump in the aftermath of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement on Wednesday recapping his investigation's findings and emphasizing his report did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER BREAKS SILENCE ON RUSSIA PROVE, SAYS CHARGING TRUMP WITH A CRIME WAS 'NOT AN OPTION'

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose committee would play a starring role in any impeachment effort, said during a New York City press conference on Wednesday afternoon, “With respect to [the] impeachment question, at this point all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out.”

Mueller's statement triggered an avalanche of calls from 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, and puts pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted calls so far from Democrats to pursue impeachment. During an event in California on Wednesday, Pelosi was non-commital but said, "Many constituents want to impeach the president. But we want to do what is right and what gets results."

Others, though, want to move ahead with impeachment now: Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted that there is a "legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately."

Continue Reading Below

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., described Mueller's statement as "an impeachment referral," and said that Congress should act on it.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also compared Mueller's remarks to an "impeachment referall," and said, "We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation."

Beto O'Rourke also weighed in, calling for "consequences, accountability, and justice," and saying impeachment was "the only way to ensure that."

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who is also running for president, said now that Mueller's job is done, "Impeachment hearings should begin tomorrow."

On the topic of obstruction of justice, Mueller stated that it would be unconstitutional to charge a sitting president with a crime, and he would not accuse someone of a crime without them being able to defend themselves in a court proceeding. At the same time, he said he was unable to exonerate the president either. This has added fuel to Democrats' desire to impeach Trump.

In an earlier statement, Nadler, the top Democrat on the committee, vowed that Congress would "respond."

"Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so," Nadler said in a statement. "No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law."

Nadler's statement specifically addressed obstruction of justice, saying that "the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable." Pelosi, in a statement, did not explicitly mention impeachment, but said, "The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power."

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a statement with a very different conclusion than Nadler.

"Special Counsel Mueller confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: there was no collusion and no obstruction," Collins said in a statement. "Relitigating the 2016 election and reinvestigating the special counsel's findings will only further divide our country."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also issued a statement, emphatically stating that it was time to move on from the investigation after Mueller's report did not find evidence of collusion with Russia, and the Justice Department determined there was insufficient evidence of obstruction.

"The report was clear---there was no collusion, no conspiracy---and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction," Sanders said. Special Counsel Mueller also sstated that Attorney General Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report. After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same."

GARY MELTZ: MUELLER SPEAKS -- IS IMPEACHMENT INEVITABLE? HERE'S HOW PELOSI CAN GET PROGRESSIVES TO BACK DOWN

Trump's 2020 campaign also addressed Mueller's statement.

"Special Counsel Robert Mueller's remarks today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusin between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and there was no case for obstruction," campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. " President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated. Mueller said his investigation is over. The case is now closed."

Parscale went on to address the investigation of "the origins of the Russia hoax," and why the Justice Department and FBI intiated their probe of the Trump campaign.

"Anyone who is for transparency, constitutional civil libterties, and the rule of law should want to know why human sources, wiretapping, and unmasking were used to infiltrate a presidential campaign," he said.


©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.rump supporters build US-Mexico barrier
The private group says it has begun construction on a US-Mexico border wall in New Mexico
A group of Trump supporters has begun building the first privately constructed US-Mexico border wall after a crowd-funding campaign.

US military veteran Brian Kolfage posted a picture of the steel fence going up in the state of New Mexico.

He said it was being erected with more than $22m (£17m) in donations he raised through an online campaign last year.

The fundraiser was launched as Congress refused President Donald Trump funding for his signature campaign promise.


Presentational white space
Mr Kolfage, an Air Force veteran, triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient, tweeted a series of videos and images showing the new barrier on Sunday.

"WE MADE HISTORY! The first crowdsource funded international border wall!" Mr Kolfage wrote on Twitter.

The barrier is being built through his nonprofit organisation WeBuildtheWall Inc, which he set up after organising a GoFundMe campaign in December entitled We The People Will Fund The Wall.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is chairman of WeBuildtheWall's advisory board.

Trump's border wall - in seven charts
Six things that could topple Donald Trump's border wall
Mr Bannon told CNN the new private barrier would link two 21-mile sections of existing fencing.


Kris Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state who is now general counsel for WeBuildtheWall, told CNN the privately built section would cost up to $8m.

The group has hired Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based contractor that Mr Trump had argued should be appointed to build the wall, according to the Washington Post.

Trump supporter Jeff Allen, 56, said the barrier is being built on land he co-owns in the city of Sunland Park, New Mexico, across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

He said the section, about half a mile long, would be finished by the end of the week.

Former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (left) giving tour of construction site
Image caption Founder Brian Kolfage tweeted a picture of former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (left) giving tours of the construction site
Mr Allen told AFP news agency: "This is Americans' way of saying, 'Congress, you're worthless, and we're fighting it. We're going to build [the wall] ourselves.'

"This is not Europe. This is America. We protect our borders."

He denied hating immigrants, saying he is married to a Mexican woman, and his daughter was born in Ciudad Juarez.

"This is not about racism," Mr Allen told AFP. "This is about me protecting myself, and America having a secure border.

"If people want to immigrate, they should go to a port of entry and apply."


WeBuildtheWall said it was just the beginning of its mission to secure the US southern border.

"Buckle up, we're just getting started!" the group wrote on Facebook.

US judge blocks funds for Trump border wall plan
Trump escalates migrant wall stand-off
US Customs and Border Protection told the BBC: "This project is not connected to our efforts.

"Please reach out to the company leading construction for any information related to their endeavour."

Last week a court blocked a plan by the Trump administration to channel defence department funds to build a border wall.

A federal judge granted the injunction against the use of $1bn in Arizona and Texas because it had not been approved by Congress.



Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.



https://youtu.be/YR5ApYxkU-U

Fox News


RUSSIA INVESTIGATIONPublished May 29, 2019 Last Update 26 minutes ago
Dems ramp up calls for Trump impeachment after Mueller speaks out on Russia probe
By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News




Prominent Democrats are ramping up calls to impeach President Trump in the aftermath of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement on Wednesday recapping his investigation's findings and emphasizing his report did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER BREAKS SILENCE ON RUSSIA PROVE, SAYS CHARGING TRUMP WITH A CRIME WAS 'NOT AN OPTION'

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose committee would play a starring role in any impeachment effort, said during a New York City press conference on Wednesday afternoon, “With respect to [the] impeachment question, at this point all options are on the table and nothing should be ruled out.”

Mueller's statement triggered an avalanche of calls from 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, and puts pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted calls so far from Democrats to pursue impeachment. During an event in California on Wednesday, Pelosi was non-commital but said, "Many constituents want to impeach the president. But we want to do what is right and what gets results."

Others, though, want to move ahead with impeachment now: Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted that there is a "legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately."

Continue Reading Below

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., described Mueller's statement as "an impeachment referral," and said that Congress should act on it.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also compared Mueller's remarks to an "impeachment referall," and said, "We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation."

Beto O'Rourke also weighed in, calling for "consequences, accountability, and justice," and saying impeachment was "the only way to ensure that."

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who is also running for president, said now that Mueller's job is done, "Impeachment hearings should begin tomorrow."

On the topic of obstruction of justice, Mueller stated that it would be unconstitutional to charge a sitting president with a crime, and he would not accuse someone of a crime without them being able to defend themselves in a court proceeding. At the same time, he said he was unable to exonerate the president either. This has added fuel to Democrats' desire to impeach Trump.

In an earlier statement, Nadler, the top Democrat on the committee, vowed that Congress would "respond."

"Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so," Nadler said in a statement. "No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law."

Nadler's statement specifically addressed obstruction of justice, saying that "the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable." Pelosi, in a statement, did not explicitly mention impeachment, but said, "The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power."

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a statement with a very different conclusion than Nadler.

"Special Counsel Mueller confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: there was no collusion and no obstruction," Collins said in a statement. "Relitigating the 2016 election and reinvestigating the special counsel's findings will only further divide our country."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also issued a statement, emphatically stating that it was time to move on from the investigation after Mueller's report did not find evidence of collusion with Russia, and the Justice Department determined there was insufficient evidence of obstruction.

"The report was clear---there was no collusion, no conspiracy---and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction," Sanders said. Special Counsel Mueller also sstated that Attorney General Barr acted in good faith in his handling of the report. After two years, the Special Counsel is moving on with his life, and everyone else should do the same."

GARY MELTZ: MUELLER SPEAKS -- IS IMPEACHMENT INEVITABLE? HERE'S HOW PELOSI CAN GET PROGRESSIVES TO BACK DOWN

Trump's 2020 campaign also addressed Mueller's statement.

"Special Counsel Robert Mueller's remarks today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusin between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and there was no case for obstruction," campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. " President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated. Mueller said his investigation is over. The case is now closed."

Parscale went on to address the investigation of "the origins of the Russia hoax," and why the Justice Department and FBI intiated their probe of the Trump campaign.

"Anyone who is for transparency, constitutional civil libterties, and the rule of law should want to know why human sources, wiretapping, and unmasking were used to infiltrate a presidential campaign," he said.


Fox News
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.

----------- ---------- ------------
----------- -----------
-----------
----------- ----------
----------- ------------ ------- zzz



POLITICS
White House Wanted USS John McCain ‘Out of Sight’ During Trump Japan Visit
U.S. military officials worked to ensure President Trump would not see the warship that bears the name of the late senator, a frequent target of the president’s ire
A tarp obscures the name of the USS John S. McCain ahead of President Trump's visit to Japan.
A tarp obscures the name of the USS John S. McCain ahead of President Trump's visit to Japan.



By Rebecca Ballhaus and Gordon Lubold
Updated May 29, 2019 11:00 p.m. ET
The White House wanted the U.S. Navy to move “out of sight” the warship USS John S. McCain ahead of President Trump’s visit to Japan, according to an email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The ship was named after the father and grandfather of the late senator—a war hero who became a frequent target of Mr. Trump’s ire—and the senator’s name was added to the ship in 2018.





The Wall Street Journal
Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.






???????? ????? ?????????



Professor: Dems need to impeach Trump to win 2020

Professor Allan Lichtman, who correctly predicted the last nine presidential election wins, says Democrats will only have a chance at winning in 2020 if they impeach President Donald Trump.

 

View on CNN



© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | AdChoices


Now what?





U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
Trump Attacks Mueller Probe - Inadvertently Confirms Russia Helped Elect Him
'And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected'

Haaretz

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted an attack on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation on Thursday and admitted for the first time that Russia "helped me to get elected" — while denying any involvement. Later in the day, Trump retracted the statement.




Trump tweeted: "Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax. ... And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist. So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media,....."

He continued in a second tweet: "....say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist, this horrendous false accusation, and he shouldn’t fight back, he should just sit back and take it. Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either. Presidential Harassment!"



Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
·
Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax...And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist. So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media,.....


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
....say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist, this horrendous false accusation, and he shouldn’t fight back, he should just sit back and take it. Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either. Presidential Harassment

Trump deletes tweet finally admitting Russia helped elect him
Trump deletes tweet finally admitting Russia helped elect him Screen shot / Twitter
Read more: Fox News senior analyst: Mueller said he would indict Trump if he weren't president | Even Netanyahu knows it’s over: Analysis


Trump has long contended that his 2016 presidential victory, which he often refers to as one of the greatest of all time, was in no way aided by the Russians. Trump on multiple occasions has falsely claimed that his 306-point electoral college win was the biggest since Ronald Reagan, despite former President Obama winning with 332 points in 2012.



White House adviser Kellyanne Conway regularly uses a talking point that the allegation that Russia helped Trump win is an insult. “The idea that any of us, and me as a campaign manager, would cheat, steal, lie, cut corners, talk to Russians, was an insult from the beginning,” Conway said last month while talking to reporters.


Fox News Senior Analyst: Mueller Said He Would Indict Trump if He Weren't President

Trump told reporters Thursday as he departed the White House, "Russia didn't help me at all." He said Russia would have preferred that Hillary Clinton be elected, not him.


Read more: 'Flurry of lies:' CNN banner blasts Trump's statements on Mueller probe

Trump claimed, "Nobody has been tougher" on Russia "than me."


Mueller said that charging Trump with a crime was "not an option" because of federal rules, but he used his first public remarks on the Russia investigation to emphasize that he did not exonerate the president.


"If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller declared on Wednesday.


Trump unleashes fury on Mueller
The special counsel's remarks stood as a pointed rebuttal to Trump's repeated claims that he was cleared and that the two-year inquiry was merely a "witch hunt." They also marked a counter to criticism, including by Attorney General William Barr, that Mueller should have reached a determination on whether the president illegally tried to obstruct the probe by taking actions such as firing his FBI director, James Comey.

Mueller made clear that his team never considered indicting Trump because the Justice Department prohibits the prosecution of a sitting president.

"Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider," Mueller said during a televised statement.

He said he believed such an action would be unconstitutional.

Mueller did not use the word "impeachment," but said it was the job of Congress, not the criminal justice system, to hold the president accountable for any wrongdoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report









In unprecedented circumstances, the unprecedented things, like indicting a sitting president, SHOULD BE DONE!
Vel Santic Chayon-Laufer 15:36 30.05.2019
@Vel Santic Chayon-Laufer@ It is because you do not understand the law. There was no underlying crime established, no collusion. On the obstruction side, there was insufficient evidence to proceed . Whatever evidence of obstruction was found would not be sufficient to win a case in a court of law. Trump skirted the borderline of obstruction, that much is clear but the criminality was never established. Thus cannot indict. It is exactly with the principals of Common


© Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd.
All Rights Reserved
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:58 am

Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:38 am

Brian Epstein committed suicide today.

Here is his connection to President Trump:


In 2002, in a profile about Epstein in New York Magazine, Trump was quoted as saying, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”


----- --- --------------'------


Trump again boosts a baseless conspiracy theory, this one about Jeffrey Epstein
Trump contradicted his own officials, retweeting a right-wing conspiracy about Epstein.

By Riley Beggin on August 11, 2019 10:20 am


Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
President Donald Trump retweeted a popular conspiracy theory about financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s death by suicide, elevating unsubstantiated claims that Epstein, who died in federal custody, was killed by Bill Clinton.


Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in Manhattan Saturday morning while he was awaiting trial for sex trafficking. He was accused of sex crimes against dozens of young girls, who he allegedly raped and molested over years at his luxury properties across the country.

The Bureau of Prisons — a law enforcement arm of Trump’s own Department of Justice, which was holding Epstein — said in a statement he had died by apparent suicide.

But rather than tweet a statement confirming his DOJ’s findings, Trump promoted a theory countering his administration’s statement by retweeting a video by a conservative personality who simultaneously pushed back against the conspiracy theory that Trump — who was at one time an associate of Epstein’s — killed the financier while pushing the conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton (who was also an Epstein associate) was responsible for the sex offender’s death.

The conservative personality captioned the tweet “we know who did this” and used the hashtags ClintonBodyCount (a reference to a long-running conspiracy theory that originated in the 1990s which claims Bill and Hillary Clinton secretly kill their enemies) and ClintonCrimeFamily.

Beyond the unsubstantiated claims of Bill Clinton’s involvement in Epstein’s death, the video also contains misinformation; for instance, it says that Epstein died while being monitored on suicide watch. Officials have said Epstein in fact was not on suicide watch when he died.

There is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that Epstein was murdered. But here’s why people are connecting him to Clinton (and to Trump) online, according to reporting by Vox’s Andrew Prokop:

In the years before Epstein’s 2007 guilty plea to solicitation of prostitution with a minor, he was known for “collecting” friendships with many noteworthy or influential people — including Clinton and Trump, who were social acquaintances. Clinton took international trips on Epstein’s plane in the early years of his post-presidency, including a trip to several African countries with Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker.

Trump, meanwhile, reportedly attended Epstein-hosted events in New York and Florida, as Epstein patronized the Mar-a-Lago Club. In 2002, Trump even gave a remarkable on-the-record comment about Epstein to a New York magazine journalist, calling him “terrific” and adding that he “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Epstein’s relationship with Clinton led to the revival of the Clinton Body Count conspiracy theory following his death. Vox’s Dylan Matthews traced the meme to its origins:

According to a history and debunking first published by Snopes in 1998, the body count meme originated in 1993 with Indianapolis lawyer and militia movement activist Linda Thompson, who compiled a list of 34 people connected to the Clintons who had passed away and titled it, “The Clinton Body Count: Coincidence or the Kiss of Death?” William Dannemeyer, a notoriously homophobic then-retired Congressman from Orange County, California, picked up the list, trimmed it to 24, and sent it Congressional leadership in 1994 as he ran for the US Senate.

Thompson provided — by her own admission — “no direct evidence” that the Clintons were responsible for any of the deaths, and Snopes provides a comprehensive account of each death, most of which were easily explained heart attacks, plane crashes, or suicides.

As Matthews writes, the conspiracy theory took off following the death by suicide of an official who was connected to a number of Clinton administration scandals. Many prominent conservatives — including members of Congress — rejected the idea that the official, Vince Foster, had died by suicide, arguing that he had been killed. These arguments further fed the Clinton Body Count conspiracy as did the easily explained deaths of other members of the Clinton administration and Democratic Party officials in the Clinton’s orbit.

After Epstein’s death Saturday morning, the competing #TrumpBodyCount popped up in response to the Clinton theories. Like Clinton, Trump has been linked to Epstein, and he faced an allegation that he’d raped a 13-year-old girl while at one of Epstein’s parties. Right-wing personalities, including Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., were quick to use the hashtag’s popularity to promote the claim that Twitter is biased against conservatives, something there is no evidence for.

As is the case with the Clinton Body Count conspiracy theory, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to suggest President Trump is was involved in Epstein’s death.

Trump is no stranger to spreading conspiracy theories, especially when they involve his political adversaries. He claimed in 2017 that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. And before that, he spent years promoting the baseless claim that Obama was born in Kenya.

He’s said, without evidence, that a million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and that Sen. Ted Cruz’s dad was connected to the man who killed former President John F. Kennedy.

It is therefore unsurprising that Trump would boost the conspiracy theory du jour, and given his Department of Justice said Epstein died by suicide, his retweet also follows a pattern of the president promoting ideas that contradict his administration’s experts.

Next Up In Politics & Policy
Where every 2020 candidate stands on guns
Border chief explains why there have been no ICE raids at Trump properties
The conspiracy theories about the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein’s death, explained
Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t on suicide watch when he died. Officials want to know why.
Jeffrey Epstein dies of suicide while awaiting a new sex trafficking trial
Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who was friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained


© 2019 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Interest rates, Bolton , Supreme court decision :

Trump tweets:

The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet....


Now doesen't this make sense?
After all China manipulates money to her advantage, and the debt soaring in the trillions, would a move like that cause lack of trust among investors in U.S. bonds, becoming detrimental instead of beneficial?


Bolton:


Is he pressured out, due to Trump's diminishing popularity census?


"Democrats emboldened by President "Trump's sinking poll numbers are playing hardball on spending and guns legislation, arguing they now have new leverage with Republicans and the White House" (New York Times, Sept 12, 2019)

On another front, a Trump win on illegal immigration from Central America:

NBC news :

The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

As a result, the government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving home but before coming here. The order means, for instance, that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn't first ask for it in Mexico.


Conflicting news, while the House is setting groundwork on Articles of Impeachment.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage - Iran

Postby Meno_ » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Here is an interesting question:

Is the Iran debacle last week , allegedly precipitated by Iran's Saudi invasion, a set up of any kind for geo political gain?

Not everything is obvious nowedays on it's face.

Some of the reasons for a set agenda being carried out, are based on such flimsy evidence , that for protagonists to point to conspiracy theories becomes trifle matters of inconspicuous play acting.

Is it possible that the whole dynamic was a set up of incongruous yet malleable elements, such as lagging oil prices, outcomes of Iran sanctions, the squeeze of which have necessitated a primal Iranian reaction?

Was such an accelerating squeeze applied to a depressed Iran, which sees a more important role for herself in Middle East politics, a trigger to be applied at a predictable moment?
And is this trigger somehow related to the equally depressed public awareness of Trumpian political ineffective policies?

Is not the time ripe for a minimal Saudi 'defensive' incursion , with voices already airing questions , such as is such a worth cause for our sons to die for?
For it certainly can not be denied that limited engagement is the way involvement usually is the way major wars begin.The most notorious example is the entry into the Vietnam Theatre.

It is obvious that limited engagement bites both ways, in essence it commands respect and consideration by planners, nut leaves open the idea ofmlatwr escalation, perhaps serving both: the variabilituy of Middle Eastern politics , and the equally changing political future of a president under fire?

The shifting sands can equally be applied, both : defensively and offensively, tying a Gordian knot around them . and in very Kantian terms muddle the current configured arena of national and international arenas.

Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post:

Democracy Dies in Darkness
Opinions
The escalating crisis with Iran is Trump’s self-inflicted wound

President Trump publicly discussed Iran three times on Sept. 16, saying "it's looking" the country was behind an attack on Saudi oil fields. (Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)
By David Ignatius
Columnist
September 19, 2019 at 6:19 PM EDT
It’s a good rule never to start a fight you’re not eager to finish. But the Trump administration and its Arab allies now seem caught in a version of that dilemma with Iran, which is proving to be a tougher adversary than Washington expected.

Iran’s alleged attack last Saturday on Saudi oil facilities caught U.S. analysts by surprise. It was a major strike, using a combined force of 25 Iranian ballistic missiles and drones, according to Saudi officials, against assets that were supposedly protected by U.S. and Saudi defensive weapons.

For U.S. officials, one message is that the Iranians are much more militant and risk-tolerant than American analysts had believed. Another is that the Iranians have correctly assessed that President Trump doesn’t want war and are taking advantage of that perceived weakness. The more Trump talks about his desire for a diplomatic solution, the more Iran seems ready to attack. That’s a dangerous dynamic.

The United States has enormous military power in the Persian Gulf, enough to obliterate Iran many times over. But the unpleasant fact is that Iran hasn’t been deterred by this force. That’s a situation strategic planners dread, because it can drive a nation toward conflict simply to demonstrate its credibility and avoid a larger battle.

U.S. officials describe Iran’s denials of responsibility for the Saudi strike as baldfaced lies. They say intelligence leaves no doubt the attacks originated inside Iran, though officials are wary of revealing publicly how much they know about Iranian operations. Col. Turki al-Malki, a Saudi military spokesman, said bluntly Wednesday, in displaying fragments of Iranian munitions: “The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”

The attack on the Saudi refinery at Abqaiq was a potential game changer for oil markets. It showed the vulnerability of energy infrastructure — not just in Saudi Arabia but also among its gulf neighbors: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. These countries have made huge investments in U.S. military systems that, it turns out, leave them vulnerable.

President Trump is shown during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on Monday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Energy analysts must assume that such an attack could happen again, against multiple targets, unless the United States launches retaliatory strikes that would themselves pose big risks for gulf energy shipments. Thus, upward pressure on oil prices could continue for months and maybe years — not the message Trump wants as he prepares for an election year.

But for Trump, this is a self-inflicted wound. As the confrontation escalates, it’s important to remember that it was entirely unnecessary.

Trump chose to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, against the advice of most of his allies and many of his senior aides, and despite Iran’s compliance with the deal. He apparently wanted a bigger, better deal that would outdo President Barack Obama’s version. And he seemed certain that if he applied “maximum pressure” through economic sanctions, Iran would come to the table.

Instead, starting in May, Iran launched an escalating campaign against Saudi and UAE oil targets. With Trump’s blessing, the United States adopted a low-key response. Even after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in June, Trump personally decided against a military response.

Some national security officials worried that this reticence might weaken deterrence, but Trump wanted to avoid war. He understood that another major conflict in the Middle East would be a political disaster, especially in defense of a Saudi Arabia that’s unpopular with many in Congress.

Trump has continued to seek talks with Iran, despite warnings from some analysts that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would refuse. Trump encouraged mediation efforts by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron, but those were spurned by Tehran, as was Trump’s suggestion of a meeting this month in New York with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Against a cocky Iran, the Trump administration continues its relatively soft line. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that last Saturday’s attacks were an “act of war.” But Thursday, he blandly countered Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s threat of “all-out war” against any retaliation with the assurance that his goal was “achieving peace and peaceful resolution.”

The Iran confrontation converges on three painful realities: Iran is now a full-fledged menace to security and oil shipments in the region; any military action against Iran must include some Saudi forces for it to be politically acceptable in the United States; Saudis and Emiratis, seeing anew their vulnerability, are wary of open conflict.

This dangerous chain of events was predictable — and indeed, predicted. Now Trump must decide whether to fight a war he and the country don’t want, or to accommodate an Iran whose truculence he helped create. Welcome to the Middle East, Mr. President.




Read more:

Max Boot: In his showdown with Iran, Trump blinks

The Post’s View: Trump has dug himself into a hole with Iran

Jason Rezaian: The Saudi-Iran rivalry isn’t new, but it’s getting riskier by the hour

Kenneth M. Pollack: How Trump played himself and gave Iran’s hard-liners what they wanted

David Ignatius: Trump’s Iran sanctions could backfire



David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs column. Follow
washingtonpost.com
© 1996-2019 The Washington Post
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage -new election fraud with Ukraine

Postby Meno_ » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:07 pm

Live TV
Ukraine drama could give Democrats no choice but to impeach Trump
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 6:56 AM EDT, Mon September 23, 2019


(CNN) The Ukraine scandal raging around Donald Trump is forcing Democrats to confront a fateful choice on impeachment that will not just shape the 2020 election but will echo down the ages.

The facts of whether the President pressured Ukraine to investigate his potential Democratic general election opponent Joe Biden while a US military aid package was on the table are still obscured.

Trump supporters say there is so far no evidence that he offered a quid pro quo to the Ukrainians and note that an intelligence community whistleblower who raised the alarm was operating with a second-hand knowledge of Trump's conversations.

What's going on with Trump and Biden and Ukraine
What's going on with Trump and Biden and Ukraine

But if Trump used his power to try to coerce a foreign leader into influencing US elections, it could precipitate the worst political crisis of a presidency that has been mired in notoriety from its first hours.

It would amount to a situation in which Trump's team, which according to the Mueller Report expected to benefit from Russian election meddling in 2016, is now using the power of the presidency to incite collusion ahead of the 2020 election.

That possibility seemed to unlock a shift Sunday in the Democratic position on impeachment. House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said on CNN that Trump may have "crossed the Rubicon." And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- who has been loath to contemplate an impeachment drama -- warned that events might necessitate a "new stage of investigation."

Republican senators who have strongly supported Trump were largely silent but Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted Sunday "it would be troubling in the extreme" if Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden and that it is "critical for the facts to come out."

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son Hunter. The then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko said in May that Burisma Holdings, a major energy company, did not violate Ukrainian law by having Hunter Biden on its board and paying him.

Trump's claims that Biden pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor because he investigated a business for which his son served as a board member have previously been found to be false. The prosecutor was seen as corrupt by multiple governments and international institutions, not just the former vice president.

Why pressure by Trump on Ukrainians would matter
Presidents are expected to act in the interests of all Americans and not to use their vast discretion in foreign policy to pursue political vendettas or subvert US democracy. The Founders saw the presidency as a public trust, meaning that its incumbents should not put their personal interests over the national interest. The Ukraine story is so significant because it may have the potential to fall into such grave constitutional territory and could represent an abuse of presidential power.

Trump and his team seemed at odds Sunday over whether to publish the transcript of his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

And they went on offense in typical fashion, bending facts and spinning conspiracy theories, obfuscation and hypocrisy.

Trump insisted that he said "absolutely nothing wrong" in the call with the Ukrainian president. "It was perfect," he said. Trump often gives the impression that he believes he is not constrained by norms on the limits of power observed by past presidents. In July for instance, he said, falsely, that Article 2 of the Constitution "allows me to do whatever I want as President."

Past scrapes like the 2016 Russian election meddling scandal -- and multiple controversies ranging from his insulting behavior toward the late Sen. John McCain to his payments to women who claimed they had affairs with him -- have failed to bring him down. His emergence from each may have taught him a lesson.

Trump says he spoke to Ukrainian President about Biden
Trump on Sunday appeared to add new context to the Ukraine story when he said that he did indeed discuss Biden with Ukraine's president at a time when Kiev was awaiting a $250 million military aid package from the United States. The call with Zelensky took place on July 25. Congress passed the bill in August and the White House lifted a hold on the money in September.

"The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine," Trump said.

CNN has reported that Trump urged Zelensky to investigate Biden's son in a call on July 25, but did not discuss a pending aid package at the time, indicating there may not have been an explicit quid pro quo outlined in the conversation.

The latest developments highlighted Pelosi's reluctance to trigger impeachment proceedings against Trump amid fears of a political backlash. But Schiff, a Pelosi ally, suggested things may be about to change.

"This would be an extraordinary remedy, a remedy of last resort and not first resort," Schiff said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

"But if the President is essentially withholding military aid at the same time he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit, providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is co-equal to the evil that that conduct represents."

Pelosi and Schiff were in close coordination throughout the weekend talking about the Ukraine whistleblower story and coordinating strategy, a leadership aide confirmed to CNN.

The way that events could force the hands of Democratic leaders became even clearer later on Sunday.

Pelosi hinted at a change of strategy in a message to Democratic colleagues, over half of whom had already backed the idea of impeachment.

"If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation," Pelosi wrote on Sunday.

Democratic reluctance on impeachment
Pelosi has been reluctant to embrace impeachment since Senate Republicans are unlikely to vote to convict the President. There is also no desire to set Trump's political base alight as Democrats try to keep their House majority in 2020.

If Trump's behavior is exposed as corrupt, Democrats may be forced into impeachment hearings -- whatever the long-term political cost.

To do nothing would be to accept that a President can abuse his power by seeking foreign interference in American democracy. Trump would feel validated and emboldened.

The balance between Congress and the Presidency will have been fundamentally altered and there will be few checks and balances left capable of constraining Trump and future presidents.

Inaction might also be politically unsustainable since Democrats might see their own leaders as willing to use the power of a House majority to defend their own presidential front-runner.

Trump allies hit back
Seeking to fog such questions, Trump's lieutenants went on the offensive on Sunday talk shows using a familiar playbook.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revived debunked questions about Biden's conduct.

"I do think if Vice President Biden behaved inappropriately, if he was protecting his son and intervened with the Ukrainian leadership in a way that was corrupt, I do think we need to get to the bottom of that," Pompeo said on ABC's "This Week."

"America cannot have our elections interfered with, and if that's what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know."

For the administration to make an argument about electoral interference seems somewhat rich, given that Trump has long rejected evidence that Russia intervened in 2016 to help him.

On "State of the Union," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there was no reason to believe Trump pressured Ukraine, though admitted he wasn't on the call in question.

And he argued that Biden's son should not have been allowed to do business in Ukraine while his father was vice president. Asked by Jake Tapper Sunday about the glaring inconsistency in this statement since Trump's children continue to work globally on a business from which the President has not fully divested, Mnuchin dodged.

"I don't really want to go into more of these details," Mnuchin said.

Both Mnuchin and Pompeo opposed releasing transcripts of Trump's calls, arguing that a President has a right to confidentiality in conversations with foreign leaders.

The administration's efforts to stop acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from releasing the whistleblower report to Congress, and its opposition to releasing a transcript, are only fueling speculation the White House has something to hide. If there was wrongdoing such conduct could equal obstruction of justice, historically an impeachable offense.

Trump, however, said that he hoped they would release the transcript.

Biden, meanwhile, spent the weekend defending himself and trying to turn the scandal to his own advantage in a tight primary race.

"Trump is doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and he is using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me," Biden said.

CNN's Marshall Cohen, David Shortell, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez. Nathan Hodge and Dana Bash contributed to this report.
View on CNN
©
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:29 pm

The New York Times



Opinion

Why a Trump Impeachment Should Terrify You

What’s just and what’s wise aren’t always the same.



By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

Sept. 25, 2019


Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.CreditJim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock







This article is adapted from Frank Bruni’s free weekly newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it every Wednesday.

President Trump deserves to be impeached. But the prospect terrifies me, and it should terrify you, too.

That’s not to say that it’s the wrong move. Arguably, it’s the only move, at least in terms of fidelity to the Constitution and to basic decency. From the moment that Trump stepped into the office of the presidency, he has degraded it — with words that a president has no business speaking (or tweeting); with ceaseless lies; with infantile and often unhinged behavior; with raging conflicts of interest; with managerial ineptitude; with a rapacious ego that’s never sated; and with foreign dealings that compromise America’s values, independence and interests. How can principled lawmakers not tell him, in the most emphatic manner available, that enough is enough?

But there’s no way to say what happens now that a formal impeachment inquiry is being opened. None. You’re going to hear a lot in coming days and weeks about Bill Clinton, but using the example of his impeachment in late 1998 is a bit ridiculous: He was a very different president accused of very different offenses at a very different time. Besides which, political analysts who do cite it don’t agree on the lessons. So a pundit making confident predictions about the political fallout from the impeachment of Trump is a pundit far out on a slender limb.




Any scenario is possible, including one in which impeachment redounds to Trump’s benefit and increases the chances of his re-election, because he paints himself a martyr, eludes conviction in the Senate, frames that as exoneration and watches his fans mobilize and turn out as never before. And a second Trump term wouldn’t just be the sadly suboptimal byproduct of a noble stand; it would be disastrous. Morally as well as practically, limiting this unfit, amoral, unsteady man’s time in the presidency takes precedence over any small cluster of sentences written centuries ago.

But while an impeachment’s impact on November 2020 is unknowable, its effect on us as a nation is almost certain. A dangerously polarized and often viciously partisan country would grow more so, with people on opposing sides hunkering down deeper in their camps and clinging harder to their chosen narratives as the president — concerned only with himself — ratcheted up his insistence that truth itself was subjective and up for grabs.

That’s not a reason to blink, but it’s a reality to brace for. At a juncture when we so desperately need to rediscover common ground, we’d be widening the fault lines. Bringing the country together afterward would call for more than a talented politician; it would demand a miracle worker. None of the Democratic presidential candidates qualify.

Impeachment should terrify you because it would mean a continued, relentless, overwhelming focus on Trump’s lawlessness, antics, fictions and inane tweets. He would win in the short term — and all Americans would lose — because as long as most of the oxygen in Washington is consumed by the ghastly carnival of this barker, there’s too little left for the nation’s very real problems and for scrutiny of his substantive inadequacy in addressing them.



From the House Republicans’ persecution of Hillary Clinton through the permanent hysteria of House Democrats under Trump, Washington has devolved ever further into a place where process muscles out progress, grandstanding eclipses governing and noise muffles any meaningful signal. To be engaged in politics is to be engaged in battle — and that shouldn’t and needn’t always be so.

Where’s the infrastructure plan that we’re — oh — a quarter-century late in implementing? Where are the fixes to a health care system whose problems go far beyond the tens of millions of Americans still uninsured? What about education? Impeachment would shove all of those issues even further to the margins than they already are.

During the Democratic primary and then the general election, the Trump melodrama and the Trump spectacle would overshadow all else. And many Americans’ estrangement from Washington — their cynicism about its ability to improve their lives even a whit — would intensify.

That could be all the more true on account of their confusion. If you’re favorably disposed toward Trump and receptive to his claims of persecution, you’ve watched the meticulous and drawn-out work of Robert Mueller, you’ve noticed a seemingly nonstop schedule of Capitol Hill hearings and of star witnesses (Michael Cohen, Mueller, Bill Barr, Corey Lewandowski), and you thought that the House Judiciary Committee was already doing an impeachment inquiry. The latest developments strike you as “Groundhog Day” on the Potomac.



If you’re horribly offended and utterly exhausted by Trump, you’re tempted to cheer impeachment as long-sought justice and prayed-for release and forget that it’s just the prelude to the main act, which is a trial in the Senate. That chamber is controlled by Republicans, who, based on current conditions, are as likely to convict Trump as they are to co-sponsor Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. So Trump’s supporters would wind up furious that he was put through what they regarded as an overwrought exercise with a foregone conclusion, while the frustration of Trump’s detractors would be exponentially multiplied. Let the healing begin!

And would impeachment proceedings effectively lay bare — and force Americans to focus on — sins of Trump’s that are being ignored? That’s long been one of Democrats’ arguments for impeachment, but I wonder. For starters, some of the hearings to date — Lewandowski’s in particular — raise questions about their ability to pry loose what they want from witnesses and isolate the damning evidence amid the ambient vitriol. But more than that, there has been such saturation coverage of Trump that many voters may not be able to stomach it any more, and today’s political tribalism doesn’t allow for all that much in the way of epiphanies and transformations. Trump’s true colors were conspicuous from the start. You either saw a perverse rainbow or you stared into darkness.

Meanwhile, Trump. How vulnerable will drawn-out impeachment proceedings make him feel? How impotent? How desperate? To flex his power, vent his fury or distract the audience, what would he do? He’s untethered by scruple. He’s capable of anything. Maybe it’s not just a culture war that he’d whip up. Maybe it’s the real thing.

Certainly he’d do all he could to persuade Americans of the nefariousness of Democrats, and absolutely his strategy would be to smear the people, the procedures and the institutions arrayed against him as utterly unworthy of trust. If holding on to power meant ruling over rubble, so be it. Trump is beholden only to Trump, and he’d simply declare the rubble gold dust.

TRUMP AND IMPEACHMENT

Opinion | Frank Bruni: The Corey Lewandowski Trap

Sept. 21, 2019

Opinion | John Yoo: Beware of Impeaching Trump. It Could Hurt the Presidency.

Sept. 24, 2019

Opinion | Ross Douthat: Does Donald Trump Want to Be Impeached?

Sept. 24, 2019







CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Jamelle Bouie

Trump Wants to Party Like It’s 2016

Sept. 25, 2019

Noah Bookbinder

The Zelensky Memo Is All the Proof Needed to Impeach Trump

Sept. 25, 2019

Roger Cohen

Trump and Johnson on the Brink

Sept. 25, 2019









© 2019 The New York Times Company


If you have followed this forum , I would like to throw out an idea.

What of Trump was subscribed to the role of Chief Executive unwillingly. to pay off his dents or be foreclosed?

What of the contradiction implicit in MWO politics is such, that the contradiction has to be supported.

Further, what if, such acting skills may invigorate Trump's failure on many fronts, including his less then notable performance on the 'Apprentice'?

What is, and this is the final of, what if, a new model of world politics requires a world sourced procedure which requires a univsrsallly debated primary US election?

Is this very far fetched in light of the astounding place US politicking has changed in only a few years?
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

Meno_ wrote:The New York Times



Opinion

Why a Trump Impeachment Should Terrify You

What’s just and what’s wise aren’t always the same.



By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

Sept. 25, 2019


Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.CreditJim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock







This article is adapted from Frank Bruni’s free weekly newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it every Wednesday.

President Trump deserves to be impeached. But the prospect terrifies me, and it should terrify you, too.

That’s not to say that it’s the wrong move. Arguably, it’s the only move, at least in terms of fidelity to the Constitution and to basic decency. From the moment that Trump stepped into the office of the presidency, he has degraded it — with words that a president has no business speaking (or tweeting); with ceaseless lies; with infantile and often unhinged behavior; with raging conflicts of interest; with managerial ineptitude; with a rapacious ego that’s never sated; and with foreign dealings that compromise America’s values, independence and interests. How can principled lawmakers not tell him, in the most emphatic manner available, that enough is enough?

But there’s no way to say what happens now that a formal impeachment inquiry is being opened. None. You’re going to hear a lot in coming days and weeks about Bill Clinton, but using the example of his impeachment in late 1998 is a bit ridiculous: He was a very different president accused of very different offenses at a very different time. Besides which, political analysts who do cite it don’t agree on the lessons. So a pundit making confident predictions about the political fallout from the impeachment of Trump is a pundit far out on a slender limb.




Any scenario is possible, including one in which impeachment redounds to Trump’s benefit and increases the chances of his re-election, because he paints himself a martyr, eludes conviction in the Senate, frames that as exoneration and watches his fans mobilize and turn out as never before. And a second Trump term wouldn’t just be the sadly suboptimal byproduct of a noble stand; it would be disastrous. Morally as well as practically, limiting this unfit, amoral, unsteady man’s time in the presidency takes precedence over any small cluster of sentences written centuries ago.

But while an impeachment’s impact on November 2020 is unknowable, its effect on us as a nation is almost certain. A dangerously polarized and often viciously partisan country would grow more so, with people on opposing sides hunkering down deeper in their camps and clinging harder to their chosen narratives as the president — concerned only with himself — ratcheted up his insistence that truth itself was subjective and up for grabs.

That’s not a reason to blink, but it’s a reality to brace for. At a juncture when we so desperately need to rediscover common ground, we’d be widening the fault lines. Bringing the country together afterward would call for more than a talented politician; it would demand a miracle worker. None of the Democratic presidential candidates qualify.

Impeachment should terrify you because it would mean a continued, relentless, overwhelming focus on Trump’s lawlessness, antics, fictions and inane tweets. He would win in the short term — and all Americans would lose — because as long as most of the oxygen in Washington is consumed by the ghastly carnival of this barker, there’s too little left for the nation’s very real problems and for scrutiny of his substantive inadequacy in addressing them.



From the House Republicans’ persecution of Hillary Clinton through the permanent hysteria of House Democrats under Trump, Washington has devolved ever further into a place where process muscles out progress, grandstanding eclipses governing and noise muffles any meaningful signal. To be engaged in politics is to be engaged in battle — and that shouldn’t and needn’t always be so.

Where’s the infrastructure plan that we’re — oh — a quarter-century late in implementing? Where are the fixes to a health care system whose problems go far beyond the tens of millions of Americans still uninsured? What about education? Impeachment would shove all of those issues even further to the margins than they already are.

During the Democratic primary and then the general election, the Trump melodrama and the Trump spectacle would overshadow all else. And many Americans’ estrangement from Washington — their cynicism about its ability to improve their lives even a whit — would intensify.

That could be all the more true on account of their confusion. If you’re favorably disposed toward Trump and receptive to his claims of persecution, you’ve watched the meticulous and drawn-out work of Robert Mueller, you’ve noticed a seemingly nonstop schedule of Capitol Hill hearings and of star witnesses (Michael Cohen, Mueller, Bill Barr, Corey Lewandowski), and you thought that the House Judiciary Committee was already doing an impeachment inquiry. The latest developments strike you as “Groundhog Day” on the Potomac.



If you’re horribly offended and utterly exhausted by Trump, you’re tempted to cheer impeachment as long-sought justice and prayed-for release and forget that it’s just the prelude to the main act, which is a trial in the Senate. That chamber is controlled by Republicans, who, based on current conditions, are as likely to convict Trump as they are to co-sponsor Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax. So Trump’s supporters would wind up furious that he was put through what they regarded as an overwrought exercise with a foregone conclusion, while the frustration of Trump’s detractors would be exponentially multiplied. Let the healing begin!

And would impeachment proceedings effectively lay bare — and force Americans to focus on — sins of Trump’s that are being ignored? That’s long been one of Democrats’ arguments for impeachment, but I wonder. For starters, some of the hearings to date — Lewandowski’s in particular — raise questions about their ability to pry loose what they want from witnesses and isolate the damning evidence amid the ambient vitriol. But more than that, there has been such saturation coverage of Trump that many voters may not be able to stomach it any more, and today’s political tribalism doesn’t allow for all that much in the way of epiphanies and transformations. Trump’s true colors were conspicuous from the start. You either saw a perverse rainbow or you stared into darkness.

Meanwhile, Trump. How vulnerable will drawn-out impeachment proceedings make him feel? How impotent? How desperate? To flex his power, vent his fury or distract the audience, what would he do? He’s untethered by scruple. He’s capable of anything. Maybe it’s not just a culture war that he’d whip up. Maybe it’s the real thing.

Certainly he’d do all he could to persuade Americans of the nefariousness of Democrats, and absolutely his strategy would be to smear the people, the procedures and the institutions arrayed against him as utterly unworthy of trust. If holding on to power meant ruling over rubble, so be it. Trump is beholden only to Trump, and he’d simply declare the rubble gold dust.

TRUMP AND IMPEACHMENT

Opinion | Frank Bruni: The Corey Lewandowski Trap

Sept. 21, 2019

Opinion | John Yoo: Beware of Impeaching Trump. It Could Hurt the Presidency.

Sept. 24, 2019

Opinion | Ross Douthat: Does Donald Trump Want to Be Impeached?

Sept. 24, 2019







CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Jamelle Bouie

Trump Wants to Party Like It’s 2016

Sept. 25, 2019

Noah Bookbinder

The Zelensky Memo Is All the Proof Needed to Impeach Trump

Sept. 25, 2019

Roger Cohen

Trump and Johnson on the Brink

Sept. 25, 2019









© 2019 The New York Times Company


If you have followed this forum , I would like to throw out an idea.

What of Trump was subscribed to the role of Chief Executive unwillingly. to pay off his dents or be foreclosed?

What of the contradiction implicit in MWO politics is such, that the contradiction has to be supported.

Further, what if, such acting skills may invigorate Trump's failure on many fronts, including his less then notable performance on the 'Apprentice'?

What is, and this is the final of, what if, a new model of world politics requires a world sourced procedure which requires a univsrsallly debated primary US election?

Is this very far fetched in light of the astounding place US politicking has changed in only a few years?
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:57 pm

sorry. double post.


But is this even conceivably possible?

I would argue yes. How would you feel about it?
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Mowk » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:36 am

Media hype isn't enough to bring on an impeachment. I've never liked the Speaker Nancy. I would have preferred her replaced with someone younger.

Gotta have a smoking gun, without it Nancy and the Dems are dead in the water and shouldn't proceed. I'd rather see Trump voted out of office than impeached. Seems like the Reps have the more level head. I mean sure, the party line and all, and they all swallow their disgust because Trump is after all the President and the office itself does deserve some respect.

He's been harsh on the environment, ain't doing Mother Earth any favors. Harsh on Brazile, but won't contribute to our own piece of lungs for the planet. The oil will run out, and you can only store the coal dust from the scrubbers for so long. The miners wanted their jobs back regardless. A bit of forward thinking in that regard would be appreciated. The economy is strong but I haven't seen much evidence that the poor or middle class are getting any greater share of the profit for doing the work. Seems it's still more of the same old same old.

If we got any brainwashing going on its taken place with "our" representatives in office. All talk.
Last edited by Mowk on Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mowk
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1356
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:17 pm

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:12 pm

Exactly and that is the way politics is done within the circles of lawyers who know how to drive awareness of correctness and transparency of insight to the hilt to line their self esteem and pocket book.
It echoes all through the chambers and used transcendentally to lower the reality of over subscribed elitists' expectations verging on narcissism by representatives.
So while Trump was ad hoc diagnosed as consistent with Narcissistim, even approaching borderline illness, he had to be accepted by now ; he's been in the saddle for a term, and that time is irrevocable.
The China syndrome is a fair indicator , and so is the economic indexes, but a worrisome sign is remvoking the Paris agreement , by fiat.
I think this forum is still worth of pursuing through the upcoming elections and through the middle of the next, if he gets elected ; in order to get a deeper feel of his position in all that has taken place, and how his act ultimately fits into the larger picture.


Are the pieces starting to add up?



Such rhetoric from Trump is now so common that it hardly seems noteworthy. Hyperbole and bombast from partisans in this sense is like a drug that must be used in ever-larger dosages to be effective, or akin to a person who uses so much salt that he no longer remotely tastes the actual food underneath.

The deeper change is that most Americans no longer respect the institutions of Washington, and many believe at some fundamental level they are not on the level. The Gallup polling organization has been measuring this trend for decades. Back in the 1970s, when my mother and most Americans no matter their partisan affiliation were shocked by Nixon’s lawbreaking, the presidency, Congress and the media all commanded majority or near-majority support when people were asked whether they had high “confidence” in the institutions. These days, none of these institutions is even close to majority support, and only 11 percent of people say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress.

This trend may be a solemn development — but don’t expect it to receive a lot of solemnity.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage - The hyperbole increases

Postby Meno_ » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:05 pm

How can politics become merely the product of left wing imagination? It has gotten to the point where the man on main street may wonder if the current state of affairs is really a coup against conservative values , or, the start of an impending conspiracy of undermining democracy.
How long can this process of disbelief continue without some indication of a limitation?



OCTOBER 1, 2019



By David Leonhardt

Opinion Columnist

The president of the United States accused one of his congressional critics of treason yesterday morning and said that the critic should be arrested. And yet it might not even have been the most outrageous thing that the country learned about President Trump yesterday.

That distinction could also belong to the news, broken by Times reporters, that during a phone call with the prime minister of Australia, Trump pressured him to produce information discrediting Robert Mueller’s recent investigation. White House aides took the unusual step of restricting access to the transcript of the phone call, in a sign they believed it was problematic. It was the same step they had taken after Trump’s July call with Ukraine’s president.

The Australia call is part of the Trump administration’s attempt to shift attention away from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, on Trump’s behalf, and instead to suggest that American intelligence agencies did something wrong by investigating Russia. Alarmingly, William Barr, the attorney general, appears to be overseeing the effort, meeting with foreign officials to ask for help.

The mere fact that the Justice Department has asked for foreign help with an investigation isn’t the problem. That’s routine, as some conservatives pointed out. In this case, however, the attorney general is involving himself, personally, to an unusual degree — and he’s doing so to advance a farcical idea meant to sully American intelligence agencies, all on behalf of Trump.





As The Washington Post reported: “Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in re-examining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct.”

On its own, either the “treason” accusation or the conspiracy mongering is an impeachable offense. One involves baselessly accusing a political rival of a crime punishable by death. The other involves sublimating American foreign policy to the president’s personal interests.

Last week, I compiled a list of 40 significant ways that Trump has behaved like no other modern president. Yesterday, Trump added two more potential items. It’s frightening stuff. The only good news is that Trump seems to be unable to control himself, which increases the chances that Senate Republicans will finally abandon him or that the American public will reject him in 2020.

For more …

Susan Hennessey, Lawfare: “Among the more alarming implications of this story is that the Attorney General is a fully-committed Fox News conspiracy theorist.”





Sam Vinograd, CNN: “Would any intel official (in a democracy) share anything of import with Barr at this point? Intelligence is not supposed to be used for political retribution.”

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty on the treason lie: “It has become so easy to dismiss such comments as hyperbole and bluster — just Trump being Trump — that we risk losing sight of how dangerous, how fundamentally un-American they are.”

Jeff Flake, the former Republican senator from Arizona: “My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. Whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve re-election. Our country will have more presidents. But principles, well, we get just one crack at those. For those who want to put America first, it is critically important at this moment in the life of our country that we all, here and now, do just that.”

William Kristol, in The Times: “We may not yet know whether removal from the office to which President Trump was elected is warranted. But surely we know enough to judge that Mr. Trump does not deserve renomination for that office for an additional four years.”

Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic: “The Republicans working to keep him in power could have Vice President Mike Pence take over within weeks if they so chose. They prefer this moral abomination. May history remember them as men and women who watched a president falsely accuse a sitting member of Congress of treason, and did nothing.”
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:26 pm

To this political observer
the truth is beginning to glean through all the mud slinging, is the appearance of the under lying contradiction, that Democracy as defined by appearances, has become unaffordable even through the currency of Freudian economies supplanted into the ID ; that the bottom of the barrel exact the porno economy of simulated warfare, wherein rests the Marxian deliberation with the principle of progressive diminishment of returns.
The NWO is unstable as a conceived and sustainable model , except by the introduction of a nationally fabricated social capital production.
The capital of the ID is fed through simulated effects of production, and the interest is waining strongly , inversely proportional to the hyperkinetic theater of bombast of advertisement. It glamorizes the product's proclivity to indulge in pre set models .
The value's transparent actuality has crossed quality's demise at least a generation or two ago, and is at a cross haired struggle to maintain the stasis necessary to balance production with consumption.
What is next? I fear to imagine if the contradiction of the the cross hairs do not line up exactly as predicated.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Arcturus Descending » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:10 pm

I laughed out loud when I heard that Rudy Giuliani hired his own lawyer to represent him in Trump's possible impeachment.
Perhaps it does not mean much, perhaps it does mean much, perhaps he is just being really wise and covering his own _ _ _.

How do we come to see the future? Possibly, by backpedaling and doing a whole lot of investigating into someone's background....
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
User avatar
Arcturus Descending
Consciousness Seeker
 
Posts: 15544
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: A state of unknowing

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:22 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:I laughed out loud when I heard that Rudy Giuliani hired his own lawyer to represent him in Trump's possible impeachment.
Perhaps it does not mean much, perhaps it does mean much, perhaps he is just being really wise and covering his own _ _ _.

How do we come to see the future? Possibly, by backpedaling and doing a whole lot of investigating into someone's background....


Hello Arcturus,


Sure. But backpedaling is drought with inaccuracies, since a lot of revision is going on as we speak , not to mention getting rid of tangible evidence supporting reality by shredding all that's inconvenient, of revelations about cleaning the swamp.

Maybe Juliani's lawyer's lawyer may need a lawyer when all comes up before this is all finished.

But something insidious is hiding there, and before we know it Trump may become either a victim or hero.Nothing is surprising nowadays.
The talk of the town is that of he can have his way , he will abolish term limits , and seek a third term like Roosevelt did, and that's scary because that model President is associated with War.
There is nothing like a national emergency to cover a bad reputation, suddenly , a Commander in Chief becomes the Man.

That would be an act not to supersede! But only me talking head of the inconceivable.
I operate by self revealing the most basic fears. Now feeling better that it's out in the open.


The irony of it all:


TheHill



October 02, 2019 - 04:22 PM EDT

Trump approval climbs to highest level of 2019 amid
Impeachment
Inquery
President Trump's approval ticked up to 49 percent - its highest mark this year, according to a new Hill-HarrisX survey released on Wednesday.

The figure marks a 2-point increase from a Sept. 11-12 poll, but a 2-point decrease from its previous peak of 51 percentlast August. 

Trump's disapproval rating, meanwhile, dropped to 51 percent, which marks his lowest level so far this year. 

The nationwide survey was conducted on Sept. 28 and 29, less than a week after House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over concerns raised in a whistleblower's complaint about the president's communications with Ukraine. 

House Democrats threatened Wednesday morning to subpoena the White House for documents related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine as part of their impeachment inquiry.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a memo that House committees have repeatedly tried to obtain voluntary compliance from Trump officials, but the White House has "refused to engage with - or even respond to - the Committees."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) held a joint news conference later that morning, warning that attempts by the White House to "stonewall" the impeachment inquiry and "conceal facts" would be considered an obstruction of justice.

President Trump, meanwhile, has warned about the implications of a potential impeachment, and claimed that Democrats are just trying to hurt the country.

"The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone's time and energy on BULLSHIT," Trump tweeted following the news conference.

HarrisX researchers surveyed 1,000 registered voters. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

-Tess Bonn


The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 20006 | 202-628-8500 tel | 202-628-8503 fa



Developing strategies of the wall:



Irony is dead: The Trump sons are doing everything possible to make corruption a major 2020 issue

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump really should sit this Hunter Biden thing out.

By Aaron Rupar 

on October 3, 2019 3:10 pm

 



Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump at a UFC event in Newark in August 2019.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A central tenet of Trumpism is never to pass up an opportunity to attack your political foes, but if there’s one situation the president’s children really should stay out of it’s the one unfurling over Joe Biden’s son’s business ties.

To be clear, there’s no doubt that Hunter Biden leveraged his family name into positions he was otherwise unqualified for — like the $50,000-a-month gig on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma that President Donald Trump and his enablers are now desperately trying to spin into a scandal.

But if anyone should sit out trying to exploit the situation it is the Trump children, who would not be as rich or as famous as they are if it weren’t for their father. And yet on Wednesday night, both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. went on Fox News and tried to exploit it anyway.

The hypocrisy and irony of clips like the one below — pushed by an arm of the Trump campaign despite Eric and Don Jr.’s (broken) promise to stay out of politics so conflicts of interest could be avoided between their father and the family business they now manage on his behalf — is truly staggering:

The implication of the conspiracy theory Eric Trump pushed on The Ingraham Angle and Don Jr. on Hannity is that Hunter Biden’s international business dealings created conflicts of interest for the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

Leaving aside the dubiousness of the specific numbers Eric and Don Jr. throw out about the amount of money Hunter Biden made in Ukraine and China, and the fact there’s absolutely no evidence that Obama’s foreign policies were influenced by corrupt motives, even if the Trumps’ point is granted, they themselves are guilty of everything they’re accusing the Bidens of — and then some.

Since Trump’s inauguration, Don Jr. and Eric have been responsible for the Trump Organization, which sprawls across more than 30 countries, about 500 business entitles, and according to Trumpgenerated about $9.5 billion in revenue before he took office. And they certainly haven’t put things on pause during their father’s term in office.

Just hours before the Trumps’ Fox News appearances, Forbes reported that Eric and Don Jr. have sold more than $100 million of the family’s real estate since the January 2017 inauguration — including a $3.2 million deal in the Dominican Republic last year that is “the clearest violation of their father’s pledge to do no new foreign deals while in office.” Foreign money has also poured into the Trump International Hotel, located just blocks from the White House, which the president’s most recent financial disclosure indicated made him $41 million last year alone.

In addition to Ukraine, the Trumps have also accused Hunter Biden of cashing in in China. But as the New York Times detailed in August, a $1.7 billion Trump Organization project in Indonesia received a $500 billion infusion from a state-owned Chinese construction company. And it’s not just Eric and Don Jr.; Ivanka Trump, despite working in the White House, continues to do business in China as well.

And last year, Ivanka’s husband, White House official Jared Kushner, received a massive cash infusion from Qatar.

But none of this seems to give the Trump sons pause. Donald Trump Jr. has attacked Democrats for alleged sexual misconduct, despite the fact that his father has been accused of misconduct by more than 20 women. He has attacked Bernie Sanders for receiving support from Russians in 2016, despite the central role he played in the Trump campaign’s efforts to solicit Russian help. In back-to-back tweetsposted last Thursday, Eric Trump bashed Hunter Biden for his alleged profiteering from corruption, but then in his very next post bragged about a new Trump Organization development in Scotland.

In short, the Trumps are totally shameless — to the extent that the first president in recent history to not divest himself from his personal businesses is doing everything possible to turn corruption into a central 2020 issue. In fact, to hear Don Jr. tell it, the Trump family deserves credit for not being even more corrupt.

“We could have kept doing deals,” he said during a recent trip to Indonesia to hype the aforementioned Trump Organization project there, as though his family business hadn’t shattered the bogus promise it made to stop them in the first place. “The media is never going to give us credit.”

The news moves fast. To stay updated, followAaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox’s policy and politics coverage.

Next Up In Politics & Policy

This 2016 letter proves that GOP attacks on Biden over Ukraine are nonsense

The past 24 hours in Trump impeachment inquiry news, explained

Trump encouraged 2 countries to interfere in the 2020 election — on camera

The US wants to collect DNA from immigrant detainees for a criminal database

Warren just released the most ambitious labor reform platform of the 2020 campaign

The absurd whiteness of America’s court system, in 2 charts

Back to top ↑

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

© 2019 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:56 am

Meno_ wrote:
Arcturus Descending wrote:I laughed out loud when I heard that Rudy Giuliani hired his own lawyer to represent him in Trump's possible impeachment.
Perhaps it does not mean much, perhaps it does mean much, perhaps he is just being really wise and covering his own _ _ _.

How do we come to see the future? Possibly, by backpedaling and doing a whole lot of investigating into someone's background....


Hello Arcturus,


Sure. But backpedaling is drought with inaccuracies, since a lot of revision is going on as we speak , not to mention getting rid of tangible evidence supporting reality by shredding all that's inconvenient, of revelations about cleaning the swamp.

Maybe Juliani's lawyer's lawyer may need a lawyer when all comes up before this is all finished.

But something insidious is hiding there, and before we know it Trump may become either a victim or hero.Nothing is surprising nowadays.
The talk of the town is that of he can have his way , he will abolish term limits , and seek a third term like Roosevelt did, and that's scary because that model President is associated with War.
There is nothing like a national emergency to cover a bad reputation, suddenly , a Commander in Chief becomes the Man.

That would be an act not to supersede! But only me talking head of the inconceivable.
I operate by self revealing the most basic fears. Now feeling better that it's out in the open.


The irony of it all:


TheHill



October 02, 2019 - 04:22 PM EDT

Trump approval climbs to highest level of 2019 amid
Impeachment
Inquery
President Trump's approval ticked up to 49 percent - its highest mark this year, according to a new Hill-HarrisX survey released on Wednesday.

The figure marks a 2-point increase from a Sept. 11-12 poll, but a 2-point decrease from its previous peak of 51 percentlast August. 

Trump's disapproval rating, meanwhile, dropped to 51 percent, which marks his lowest level so far this year. 

The nationwide survey was conducted on Sept. 28 and 29, less than a week after House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over concerns raised in a whistleblower's complaint about the president's communications with Ukraine. 

House Democrats threatened Wednesday morning to subpoena the White House for documents related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine as part of their impeachment inquiry.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a memo that House committees have repeatedly tried to obtain voluntary compliance from Trump officials, but the White House has "refused to engage with - or even respond to - the Committees."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) held a joint news conference later that morning, warning that attempts by the White House to "stonewall" the impeachment inquiry and "conceal facts" would be considered an obstruction of justice.

President Trump, meanwhile, has warned about the implications of a potential impeachment, and claimed that Democrats are just trying to hurt the country.

"The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone's time and energy on BULLSHIT," Trump tweeted following the news conference.

HarrisX researchers surveyed 1,000 registered voters. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

-Tess Bonn


The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 20006 | 202-628-8500 tel | 202-628-8503 fa



Developing strategies of the wall:



Irony is dead: The Trump sons are doing everything possible to make corruption a major 2020 issue

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump really should sit this Hunter Biden thing out.

By Aaron Rupar 

on October 3, 2019 3:10 pm

 



Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump at a UFC event in Newark in August 2019.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A central tenet of Trumpism is never to pass up an opportunity to attack your political foes, but if there’s one situation the president’s children really should stay out of it’s the one unfurling over Joe Biden’s son’s business ties.

To be clear, there’s no doubt that Hunter Biden leveraged his family name into positions he was otherwise unqualified for — like the $50,000-a-month gig on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma that President Donald Trump and his enablers are now desperately trying to spin into a scandal.

But if anyone should sit out trying to exploit the situation it is the Trump children, who would not be as rich or as famous as they are if it weren’t for their father. And yet on Wednesday night, both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. went on Fox News and tried to exploit it anyway.

The hypocrisy and irony of clips like the one below — pushed by an arm of the Trump campaign despite Eric and Don Jr.’s (broken) promise to stay out of politics so conflicts of interest could be avoided between their father and the family business they now manage on his behalf — is truly staggering:

The implication of the conspiracy theory Eric Trump pushed on The Ingraham Angle and Don Jr. on Hannity is that Hunter Biden’s international business dealings created conflicts of interest for the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

Leaving aside the dubiousness of the specific numbers Eric and Don Jr. throw out about the amount of money Hunter Biden made in Ukraine and China, and the fact there’s absolutely no evidence that Obama’s foreign policies were influenced by corrupt motives, even if the Trumps’ point is granted, they themselves are guilty of everything they’re accusing the Bidens of — and then some.

Since Trump’s inauguration, Don Jr. and Eric have been responsible for the Trump Organization, which sprawls across more than 30 countries, about 500 business entitles, and according to Trumpgenerated about $9.5 billion in revenue before he took office. And they certainly haven’t put things on pause during their father’s term in office.

Just hours before the Trumps’ Fox News appearances, Forbes reported that Eric and Don Jr. have sold more than $100 million of the family’s real estate since the January 2017 inauguration — including a $3.2 million deal in the Dominican Republic last year that is “the clearest violation of their father’s pledge to do no new foreign deals while in office.” Foreign money has also poured into the Trump International Hotel, located just blocks from the White House, which the president’s most recent financial disclosure indicated made him $41 million last year alone.

In addition to Ukraine, the Trumps have also accused Hunter Biden of cashing in in China. But as the New York Times detailed in August, a $1.7 billion Trump Organization project in Indonesia received a $500 billion infusion from a state-owned Chinese construction company. And it’s not just Eric and Don Jr.; Ivanka Trump, despite working in the White House, continues to do business in China as well.

And last year, Ivanka’s husband, White House official Jared Kushner, received a massive cash infusion from Qatar.

But none of this seems to give the Trump sons pause. Donald Trump Jr. has attacked Democrats for alleged sexual misconduct, despite the fact that his father has been accused of misconduct by more than 20 women. He has attacked Bernie Sanders for receiving support from Russians in 2016, despite the central role he played in the Trump campaign’s efforts to solicit Russian help. In back-to-back tweetsposted last Thursday, Eric Trump bashed Hunter Biden for his alleged profiteering from corruption, but then in his very next post bragged about a new Trump Organization development in Scotland.

In short, the Trumps are totally shameless — to the extent that the first president in recent history to not divest himself from his personal businesses is doing everything possible to turn corruption into a central 2020 issue. In fact, to hear Don Jr. tell it, the Trump family deserves credit for not being even more corrupt.

“We could have kept doing deals,” he said during a recent trip to Indonesia to hype the aforementioned Trump Organization project there, as though his family business hadn’t shattered the bogus promise it made to stop them in the first place. “The media is never going to give us credit.”

The news moves fast. To stay updated, followAaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox’s policy and politics coverage.

Next Up In Politics & Policy

This 2016 letter proves that GOP attacks on Biden over Ukraine are nonsense

The past 24 hours in Trump impeachment inquiry news, explained

Trump encouraged 2 countries to interfere in the 2020 election — on camera

The US wants to collect DNA from immigrant detainees for a criminal database

Warren just released the most ambitious labor reform platform of the 2020 campaign

The absurd whiteness of America’s court system, in 2 charts



Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

© 2019 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved




Continuing mess:





The New York Times

Impeachment War Room? Trump Does It All Himself, and That Worries Republicans





President Trump has long believed that he is the best communicator in the White House.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

By Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni

Oct. 2, 2019

WASHINGTON — President Trump was watching television in the White House on Wednesday morning when cable news channels started airing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warning at a news conference that any attempts by the president to stonewall their impeachment investigation would be viewed as obstruction.

Mr. Trump did not wait for Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schiff to finish before responding. First he attacked Ms. Pelosi on Twitter, saying she was neglecting the work of Congress “and trying to win an election through impeachment.” Then he tweeted again, sharing a campaign video that accused Democrats of trying to undo the results of the 2016 election.

He continued those attacks later in the afternoon, both before and after a meeting with Sauli Niinisto, the president of Finland, and became increasingly angry as he went on.

Mr. Trump has long believed that he is the best communicator in the White House, but as the presidential campaign picks up its pace and the prospect of his impeachment becomes more real, he seems to be its only empowered communicator, a one-man war room responding to developments almost hour by hour. And that is making many Republicans anxious.



For now, the White House has no organized response to impeachment, little guidance for surrogates to spread a consistent message even if it had developed one, and minimal coordination between the president’s legal advisers and his political ones. And West Wing aides are divided on everything from who is in charge to whether, after two years of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, impeachment even poses a serious political threat to the president.

“This is a very different animal than the Mueller investigation,” said Josh Holmes, a former top aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader. “It’s a political question, not a legal one. They need to persuade Republicans in the House and the Senate of a bunch of really good arguments to have the partywide insulation the president is going to prefer going into this fight.”

And the White House has a narrow runway to adjust and tighten its response, with just over a week until the congressional recess ends. At that point, Republicans will return from their home districts and face questions about Mr. Trump’s tweets and condemnation of the whistle-blower — questions they might have difficulty answering.

“At this point, the president can hold his own,” Mr. Holmes added. “But I think they should be concerned with how Republicans handle it when they get back and for that, it probably does take a little bit of structure.”



For weeks, the most visible defender of the president has been Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, who is himself a central figure in the allegations that Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to find dirt on Democrats, leading several of the president’s advisers to warn that Mr. Giuliani’s freelance television appearances do him more harm than good.

But Mr. Trump has told them that he is pleased with the performances, and spent part of Saturday giving Mr. Giuliani talking points for the Sunday show circuit.

Others have urged the president to tone down his language, including his repeated use of the word “treason.” But Mr. Trump, who has frequently abandoned norms and paid little in terms of personal political consequences for doing so, has not changed his behavior. That has led some advisers, like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, to settle into a hands-off approach. Mr. Mulvaney told associates he spent part of Sunday on a golf course outside Washington.

What’s left is Mr. Trump acting alone, and poised to live-tweet his own impeachment, complete with all-caps obscenities, alarming accusations of treason and warnings that impeachment is really a “coup.”



During his public appearances with Mr. Niinisto on Wednesday, Mr. Trump seemed as riled up as he has at any point in his presidency, railing against his opponents, mangling the facts to fit his preferred narrative and making allegations without evidence. Flush with anger and gesturing sharply, he spent most of his time on offense attacking his critics using words like “lowlife,” “dishonest,” “corrupt,” “shifty” and “fraud.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. Trump has seesawed from projecting confidence that there is a political benefit from the impeachment fight to lashing out at aides, blaming them for the fact that he is entangled by it in the first place.


Some Trump aides would like to see the return of Emmet T. Flood, the White House lawyer who oversaw the administration’s response to the special counsel’s investigation.CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images

In an email, the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, rejected questions about the West Wing’s approach to the impeachment inquiry.



“We have stated this several times,” she said. “There has not been any effort to put together a war room. The president did nothing wrong and we are still working over here.”

The confusion in the White House is leaving conservatives who want to help support Mr. Trump without a clear road map for how to do so. At a meeting on Wednesday morning with conservatives and Capitol Hill aides, White House officials were still taking the temperature on the potential political fallout of impeachment, rather than offering any instructions about their path going forward.

Paul Teller, an aide in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, quizzed the group about whether it thought a long or short impeachment process would play better with the president’s base. Mr. Teller also told the group that he believed Mr. Trump would want to see Mr. McConnell bring impeachment to a vote on the Senate floor, where Mr. Trump would be acquitted, rather than move to simply dismiss the charges.

Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s main domestic policy adviser, also briefly attended the meeting, but observed more than he spoke, according to a person familiar with what took place.



In the West Wing, aides who have seen Mr. Trump survive potentially debilitating scandals like the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape a month before the 2016 election, and the appointment of a special counsel with wide-ranging powers to investigate him, are shrugging off impeachment as just another bump in the road.

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, is not pushing for the creation of any sort of official “war room,” and has told colleagues he is comfortable with the current structure supporting the president — one that also gives him freewheeling power.

Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor and one of Mr. Trump’s longest-serving aides, has told reporters that Trump supporters will not leave him because of impeachment. She joins a group that includes Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers, and other aides and allies, who believe that anything resembling a White House “war room” is needless and would make them look as if they were under siege.

“We won the Mueller probe,” Mr. Sekulow said on his afternoon radio show on Monday. “I tell you what. If Mueller was a war, this is a skirmish.”



But on Wednesday night, one White House official was anticipating changes with some staff members focused on the inquiry.

Other aides privately conceded that they did not know how the politics of the impeachment process would play out, and would like to see the White House Counsel’s Office bring back someone like Emmet T. Flood, the White House lawyer who oversaw the administration’s response to the special counsel’s investigation and worked on President Bill Clinton’s legal team during his impeachment.

Mr. Flood left the administration in June.

Some are also starting to notice small public cracks in Republican support.

“Starting to encounter Republicans who wonder if maybe the President should step aside for Pence,” Erick Erickson, the conservative blogger and radio host, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “They’re absolutely in the minority on the GOP side, but there does seem to be a fatigue setting in — tired of always fighting and always having to defend.”



While Mr. Trump has been focused in recent days on defending himself, his advisers have continued the assault on Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the former vice president and current presidential candidate, hoping it will cut through the impeachment noise. Mr. Kushner, who has been overseeing campaign messaging on impeachment, also personally signed off on a new round of campaign ads attacking Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Mr. Trump insisted on Wednesday that he was not trying to damage Mr. Biden in order to knock him out of the race — even while he attacked him.

“I’d rather run against Biden than almost any of those candidates,” he told reporters. “And I think they’re all weak, but I think Biden has never been a smart guy and he’s less smart now than he ever was.”



‘We’re Not Fooling Around’: House Democrats Vow to Subpoena White HouseOCT. 2, 2019False ‘Coup’ Claims by Trump Echo as Unifying Theme Against ImpeachmentOCT. 2, 2019As Impeachment Moves Forward, Trump’s Language Turns Darker

Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigations

Oct. 3, 2019

Trump Publicly Urges China to Investigate the Bidens



© 2019 The New York Times Company

A scarring synopsis:

MSNBC

Quid pro quo: Newly released texts take Trump scandal to a new level



There's a striking simplicity to the scandal that will almost certainly lead to Donald Trump's impeachment: he used his office to try to coerce a foreign government into helping his re-election campaign. The evidence is unambiguous. More information continues to come to light, but few fair-minded observers believe the president's guilt is in doubt.

There's been no explicit need for Trump's detractors to prove that his scheme included a quid pro quo -- the United States would trade something of value to a foreign country in exchange for its participation in the Republican's gambit -- since Trump's effort was itself scandalous.

But as of this morning, the quid pro quo has nevertheless been established, thanks to a series of text messages that were released overnight. NBC News reported this morning:

Text messages given to Congress show U.S. ambassadors working to persuade Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating President Donald Trump's political opponents and explicitly linking the inquiry to whether Ukraine's president would be granted an official White House visit.

The two ambassadors, both Trump picks, went so far as to draft language for what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy should say, the texts indicate. The messages, released Thursday by House Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry, show the ambassadors coordinating with both Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and a top Zelenskiy aide.

One text shows Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador in Ukraine, asking, "Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?" Apparently reluctant to acknowledge criminal wrongdoing in print, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland replied, "Call me."

In a subsequent message, Taylor added, "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

Just as astonishing was a message Kurt Volker, the former special U.S. envoy to Ukraine, sent to a Zelenskiy adviser shortly before the now-infamous Trump/Zelenskiy phone call. The message was clear about the White House's political expectations, and how a presidential meeting was contingent on the Ukrainian president's cooperation with the larger scheme.

"Heard from White House," Volker wrote, "assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington."

The House Foreign Affairs Committee published the texts online here (pdf).


A Washington Post analysis added that the newly released messages not only document the quid-pro-quo element of the scandal, they also offer "a strong suggestion that military aid was used as leverage -- and hints at an attempt to hide that."

For two weeks, Trump's Republican allies have argued that in order for this to be a real scandal, it would have to include a quid pro quo. That posture has long been wrong: the effort to coerce Ukraine was itself indefensible.

But what will these same GOP voices say now that the evidence has taken the scandal to the next level, meeting the one standard Republicans said had to be met.
©2019 NBC UNIVERSAL


Show
Down







LIVE UPDATES

The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
By Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN
Updated 12:31 PM ET, Fri October 4, 2019


The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry What we're covering here
The latest: Text messages released yesterday between US diplomats and a senior Ukrainian aide show how a potential Ukrainian investigation into the 2016 election was linked to a desired meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Trump.
How Trump is reacting: The President tweeted last night that he has the "absolute right" as president to ask other countries to investigate "corruption."

2:12 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Kurt Volker is expected to resign from McCain Institute

From CNN's Kylie Atwood

Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, is expected to resign today as the executive director of the McCain Institute, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The source said it is an effort to make sure that the institute is not effected by all to the Ukraine controversy. Volker initially did not want to resign but has concluded it was the best thing for the institute.

About Volker: He was the first witness to appear before three congressional committees and to be deposed on the whistleblower complaint, which alleges that President Trump tried to pressure Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
2:09 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019

What Republican House members are saying about the intelligence inspector general's briefing
From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Kristen Holmes
Reps. John Ratcliffe and Chris Stewart, both Republicans, just came out of the closed-door House Intelligence Committee briefing with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

Sticking to the Republican talking points, both members attacked House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and his handling of the whistleblower process.

Ratcliff said Schiff, "should be disqualified from running an investigation where his committee, members or staff, are fact witnesses about contact with the whistleblower, and the whistleblower process".

Stewart added that everything being discussed today comes down to "one sentence, in one phone call."

1:59 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
How the impeachment investigation will likely play out

From CNN's Marshall Cohen
Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are barreling toward historic impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The first step in the lengthly process is the investigation. Here's what you need to know:

It has already started: House Democrats have been conducting multiple investigations through six separate committees, but the impeachment inquiry will now focus on the Ukraine affair. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading that probe, told CNN last week that there will be a "busy couple weeks" coming up despite a scheduled congressional recess, and that he expects subpoenas and witness interviews to take place "as expeditiously as possible."
The key interviews: Critical to the investigation will be an interview with the whistleblower who filed the complaint, as well as other potential witnesses from the White House and possibly from Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who spearheaded the Ukrainian efforts. The whistleblower has requested anonymity, so security measures will also have to be worked out.
The articles of impeachment: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initially indicated that she wants the Democratic-run committees to wrap up their probes and submit their most compelling evidence of wrongdoing to the House Judiciary Committee. That panel is traditionally tasked with writing formal articles of impeachment.
Once the articles of impeachment are drawn up, it'll be time for some key votes in the House. You can read more about next phases here.

12:56 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Here's how the House could enforce subpoenas against key Ukraine witnesses
From CNN legal analyst Elie Honig

Earlier this week, Democrats told the White House to expect subpoenas related to the Ukraine matter. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have already received subpoenas as part of the ongoing impeachment investigation.
What can the House do to enforce its subpoenas if and when witnesses like Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo refuse to comply?
The House has three traditional legal avenues, all of them problematic.

First, the House theoretically has its own inherent enforcement power, but that has essentially gone dormant after nearly a century of non-use. The House does not have a police force capable of making arrests — the sergeant-at-arms is primarily a security force — or a functioning jail facility.
Second, the House can refer a contempt case for criminal prosecution. But that referral would go to Barr's Justice Department, and it is very unlikely he would bring criminal charges given his established pattern of protecting Trump and those around him.
Third, the House can file a civil lawsuit in court. But this will take months to resolve, and the House simply does not have the luxury of time to litigate.
But the House is getting creative — and tough. Schiff has notified subpoena recipients that he will draw an "adverse inference" if they do not comply.
In other words, he will assume their non-response means the testimony would have been damaging to those accused.

Second, the House has the ability to bring an article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress; indeed, one of the draft articles of impeachment against Nixon was for obstruction of Congress.
Read more impeachment questions and ask your own here.


12:41 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Pelosi to call a vote on impeachment

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, put out a statement today calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call a vote on impeachment.

“We need a ‘John Hancock Moment’ from House Democrats before moving forward on impeachment," Graham said.
He added that he'd like to see Democratic House members put their votes on the record so "history can evaluate their actions."

More on this: Earlier today, CNN reported that President Trump will send a letter to Pelosi demanding a full house vote on impeachment before the White House turns over documents.
12:40 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Volker: Trump said Ukraine "tried to take me down"
From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Former US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s explained in his opening statement to Congress that he connected President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani with Ukraine’s leadership in an effort to convince Giuliani — and through him the President — there was new leadership in Ukraine that could be trusted.

In Volker’s statement, which was delivered during his closed-door testimony Thursday and obtained by CNN, the US diplomat portrays himself as someone who was seeking to divert Giuliani’s influence on the President and help Trump see that the new government was serious about reform.

Volker said Trump was “skeptical” of Ukraine’s leadership, which he said was understandable given the country’s history of corruption, but he also added that the President suggested that Ukraine “tried to take me down,” a reference to the unproven allegations that Ukraine was involved in the 2016 election meddling.

“He said that 'Ukraine was a corrupt country, full of ‘terrible people,’” Volker said of Trump. “He said they ‘tried to take me down.’" In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani. It was clear to me that despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new President, President Trump had a deeply rooted negative view on Ukraine rooted in the past. He was clearly receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view.”
Volker also said that he was not aware of any effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — and he made a point to distinguish investigations into Biden with investigations into Burisma, the energy company where Hunter Biden was hired as a board member. But he added he was not aware that Biden was mentioned on the July 25 call until the transcript was released.

Volker testified that he became aware that the foreign aid to Ukraine was being held up but at the same time that he was connecting Ukrainian leadership aides with Giuliani, but he said he “did not perceive these issues to be linked in any way.”

Volker also warned Ukraine to tread carefully so as not to influence US election.

“Moreover, as I was aware of public accusations about the Vice President, several times I cautioned the Ukrainians to distinguish between highlighting their own efforts to fight corruption domestically, including investigating Ukrainian individuals (something we support as a matter of US policy), and doing anything that could be seen as impacting US elections (which is in neither the United States’ nor Ukraine’s own interests),” he said in his statement.
12:33 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Mitt Romney: Trump's appeals to Ukraine and China are "wrong and appalling"
From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted today that President Trump's appeals to Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden are "wrong and appalling."

"When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated," wrote Romney.
"By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling," Romney continued.

Romney is one of few Congressional Republicans who have criticized the President's actions.

12:22 p.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Trump claims Hunter Biden is getting "a billion and a half dollars out of China." That's a misrepresentation of his role.
From CNN's Tara Subramaniam
Evan Vucci/AP
Speaking to reporters at the White House, President Trump said that Joe Biden's son, Hunter, took out "a billion and a half dollars out of China."

"Biden is corrupt, his son is corrupt," Trump said. "His son takes out billions of dollars, billions, and he has no experience."

Trump has repeatedly accused both Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, of corruption involving China and Ukraine. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden or his son Hunter.
Here's what we know about Hunter Biden and China: According to the New York Times, Biden's son Hunter has a 10% interest in BHR Partners, a private-equity fund that the Chinese government-owned Bank of China has invested in.
As of May 2019, both The New York Times and the Washington Post reported that Hunter had not received any money from the fund or in connection with his role as an unpaid advisory board member.

You can read more from the fact check here.
11:51 a.m. ET, October 4, 2019
Trump says he's not sure if White House will comply with subpoenas
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump was asked if the White House will comply with the House's impeachment inquiry. He said he wasn't sure.

"That's up to the lawyers," Trump told reporters.

Some background on this: House Democrats have said they plan to subpoena the White House today for a host of documents as part of the impeachment inquiry. They have warned the White House and Trump's administration against interfering with the probe.
So what can the House do if officials refuse to comply with the subpoenas? CNN legal analyst Elie Honig says there are three traditional legal avenues — and all of them problematic.
The House theoretically has its own inherent enforcement power, but that has essentially gone dormant after nearly a century of non-use. The House does not have a police force capable of making arrests — the sergeant-at-arms is primarily a security force — or a functioning jail facility.
The House can refer a contempt case for criminal prosecution. But that referral would go to Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department, and it is very unlikely he would bring criminal charges given his established pattern of protecting Trump and those around him.
The House can file a civil lawsuit in court. But this will take months to resolve, and the House simply does not have the luxury of time to litigate.

© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



https://youtu.be/IYhqlOQ1vHY



The New York Times



2nd Official Is Weighing Whether to Blow the Whistle on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings

The official, a member of the intelligence community, was interviewed by the inspector general to corroborate the original whistle-blower’
President Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during a phone call.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

By Michael S. Schmidt and Adam Goldman

Oct. 4, 2019

WASHINGTON — A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said.

The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, briefed lawmakersprivately on Friday about how he substantiated the whistle-blower’s account. It was not clear whether he told lawmakers that the second official was considering filing a complaint.



A new complaint, particularly from someone closer to the events, would potentially add further credibility to the account of the first whistle-blower, a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to the National Security Council at one point. He said that he relied on information from more than a half-dozen American officials to compile his allegations about Mr. Trump’s campaign to solicit foreign election interference that could benefit him politically.



Oct. 4, 2019

Other evidence has emerged to back the whistle-blower’s claim. A reconstructed transcript of a July callbetween Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky released by the White House also showed Mr. Trump pressuring Ukraine. Mr. Trump appeared to believe that its release would quell the push for impeachment, but it only emboldened House Democrats.

Because the second official has met with Mr. Atkinson’s office, it was unclear whether he needs to file a complaint to gain the legal protections offered to intelligence community whistle-blowers. Witnesses who speak with inspectors general are protected by federal law that outlaws reprisals against officials who cooperate with an inspector general.

Whistle-blowers have created a new threat for Mr. Trump. Though the White House has stonewalled Democrats in Congress investigating allegations from the special counsel’s report, the president has little similar ability to stymie whistle-blowers from speaking to Congress.



The Trump administration had blocked Mr. Atkinson from sharing the whistle-blower complaint with lawmakers but later relented.

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Oct. 4, 2019

Mr. Trump and his allies have taken aim at the credibility of the original whistle-blower by noting that he had secondhand knowledge. The president has also singled out his sources, saying that they were “close to a spy.”

“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Mr. Trump told staff members at the United States Mission to the United Nations. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”



Mr. Atkinson has identified some indications of “arguable political bias” that the whistle-blower had in favor of a rival candidate. But the inspector general said that the existence of that bias did not alter his conclusion that the complaint was credible.

Still, testimony from someone with more direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s efforts to use American foreign policy for potential political gain would most likely undermine conservatives’ attacks on the C.I.A. officer’s credibility.

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

The House Intelligence Committee has taken the lead on the investigation into the whistle-blower’s claims as part of the impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump abused his powers by using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal interests. Committee aides had sought to interview the whistle-blower last week but have yet to sit down with him, and it was unclear how soon they could.



Democrats looking to keep up the momentum of their impeachment inquiry are seeing more results than they have in their examination of the findings of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russia’s election interference and Mr. Trump’s efforts to impede investigators. Though Mr. Mueller laid out stark examples of Mr. Trump trying to interfere with the inquiry, the White House has fought Democrats’ pursuit of eyewitness testimony.

House Democrats have moved more quickly in scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s use of power to solicit potential foreign help in his 2020 re-election campaign.

Late Thursday, they released explosive texts exchanged by State Department officials and Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani about pressuring the Ukrainians to commit to conducting the investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically.

In one exchange, the Americans sought to have Mr. Zelensky issue a statement promising to investigate a Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., sat on the board.



But the top American diplomat in Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., raised concerns about the White House’s decision to freeze $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine, tying it directly to the campaign to pressure the Ukrainians to develop dirt on the president’s political opponents.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Mr. Taylor wrote on Sept. 9 to Kurt D. Volker, the State Department’s former special envoy for Ukraine, and Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union.

The texts show a dispute among the men about whether the president was trying to use the security aid or a White House meeting with Mr. Zelensky as leverage — a charge at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump has denied that he held up the aid as a quid pro quo. “Listen to this: There is no pro quo,” he told reporters on Friday on the South Lawn of the White House in response to questions about the texts.

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

Trump Denies Quid Pro Quo for Ukraine, but Envoys Had Their Doubts

Oct. 4, 2019

Impeachment Investigators Subpoena White House and Ask Pence for Documents on Ukraine

Oct. 4, 2019

White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call With Ukraine Leader

Sept. 26, 2019



Sept. 24, 2019

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

Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. from Washington and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. 




CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Impeachment Investigators Subpoena White House and Ask Pence for Documents on Ukraine

Oct. 4, 2019

Trump Denies Quid Pro Quo for Ukraine, but Envoys Had Their Doubts







© 2019 The New York Times Company




Fox News. descriptive reaction to impeachment :


TRUMP IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Published October 05, 2019



Matt Gaetz: Democrats' impeachment inquiry 'politically illegitimate' -- and public will see that

By Charles Creitz | Fox News


The American people will recognize Democrats' effort to impeach President Trump as a "politically illegitimate exercise," according to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

Democrats have decided to be less transparent in their latest endeavor against Trump because past congressional hearings didn't pan out as planned, Gaetz claimed Friday on "Hannity."

"The radical left and their allies in the fake news media have been uncontent to just disagree with him, and so they have been trying to delegitimize his election," he said. "They're going to rush to an impeachment and the American people will see it as the politically illegitimate exercise that it is."

"They're going to rush to an impeachment and the American people will see it as the politically illegitimate exercise that it is."

— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

WASHINGTON POST AWARDS ADAM SCHIFF 'FOUR PINOCCHIOS' FOR FALSE COMMENTS ABOUT WHISTLEBLOWER



Gaetz, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, also claimed that House hearings featuring former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Corey Lewandowskibackfired for Democrats.

"They're not interested in developing the evidence -- they're not actually interested in holding hearings and bringing people forward," he said, calling the three hearings "disaster[s] for Democrats."



Some inside government 'hell-bent on destroying this president,' Hogan Gidley says

Rudy Giuliani slams Barack Obama, saying ex-president could have stopped any potential Biden-Ukraine 'conflict'

He called the Russia investigation a "hoax" and said Democrats pushing forward with the Trump impeachment inquiry are not getting routine participation from all members of Congress.

Gaetz questioned why Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., remains chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee despite a claim about the Ukraine whistleblower that earned him four "Pinocchio's" from the Washington Post.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

The Post he hadn't told the truth about his knowledge of the Ukraine whistleblower. Schiff has played a leading role in investigating the Trump-Ukraine scandal but hasn’t been truthful in the process, according to Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

“Schiff’s answers are especially interesting in the wake of reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post that the whistleblower approached a House Intelligence Committee staff member for guidance before filing a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general,” Kessler wrote.

On "Hannity," Gaetz claimed Schiff, "lied to the American people for two and a half years."

"How is Adam Schiff even the chairman of a committee in the Congress right now?" he asked. "That guy should be gone."


Fox News I


redistributed. ©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Impeachment developments as of Oc

Postby Meno_ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:26 am

ADMINISTRATION

October 05, 2019 - 03:51 PM EDT

Trump calls for Romney's impeachment



President Trump called for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to be impeached Saturday and argued that Republican voters in the state made a "mistake" nominating Romney for the Senate.

In a pair of tweets, the president argued that the Utah Republican should be removed from office and that former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another frequent Trump critic, was "better" than Romney.

"I'm hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY," Trump tweeted.

"No Kevin, Jeff Flake is better!" he added, responding to Fox News reporter Kevin Corke's tweet questioning whether Romney was "the new #JeffFlake."

Senators cannot be impeached but can face recall votes in some states. Utah does not have any provisions in state law for recalling a sitting senator.

Romney, who was elected to the Senate last year, faced the highest disapproval rating of Utah's congressional delegation, according to a poll taken in July.

His office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.



Trump told House Republicans that he made Ukraine call because of Perry: Report

Trump compares his impeachment to Clinton email server

Trump accuses Democrats of 'interfering' with 2020 election and 'continuing to interfere' with 2016

Defense chief on Ukraine: 'My aim is to keep the department apolitical'

Trump rails against whistleblower, impeachment inquiery


 


 



The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 2006





The New York Times


Biden Faced His Biggest Challenge, and Struggled to Form a Response





WASHINGTON — Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign was under attack, and he and his advisers were torn over what to do.

For more than a week, President Trump had been hurling unfounded accusations about Mr. Biden, his son Hunter and their dealings in Ukraine. Mr. Biden and his advisers debated whether to mount a fierce counterattack or to stick to a set of policy arguments he had been planning to roll out. Bad news loomed in the background: Mr. Biden’s poll numbers had already grown wobbly, his fund-raising was uneven, and cable news was flashing chyrons by the hour showing Mr. Trump’s wild claims.

Mr. Biden himself was equivocating: He wanted to defend and protect his son, but he also believed the president was baiting him into a dirty fight. And as a lifelong adherent to congressional tradition, Mr. Biden was wary of acting hastily as an impeachment inquiry was getting underway.



The strain grew so acute that some of Mr. Biden’s advisers lashed out at their own party, taking the unusual step of urging campaign surrogates to criticize the Democratic National Committee — a neutral body in the primary — for not doing more to defend Mr. Biden, while the Republican National Committee was running TV ads attacking him. Frustrated, D.N.C. officials informed the Biden camp that it would continue denouncing Mr. Trump but would not run ads for Mr. Biden or any other candidate.

The Biden campaign’s tense deliberations reached a climax last weekend when Mr. Biden agreed to give a scorching rebuttal to Mr. Trump in a speech on Wednesday in Reno, Nev. But he delivered it well into the evening on the East Coast, and it was mostly lost amid another long day of Trumpian eruptions.

To some Biden allies, it seemed too little too late: a case study in political indecision. Now Mr. Biden looks more vulnerable than at any point since he entered the campaign. Facing one of the greatest challenges of his candidacy, Mr. Biden has plainly struggled to meet the moment, or fully reconcile his own cautious instincts with his protectiveness of his family’s privacy and his preference for taking the moral high road against Mr. Trump.

June 14, 2019


Interviews with more than 50 Democratic strategists, lawmakers and lobbyists provide a portrait of a candidacy facing challenges on all sides, and one at risk of losing its core argument that Mr. Biden is the Democrat best able to defeat Mr. Trump in a general election.

There is no evidence behind Mr. Trump’s claim that Mr. Biden intervened inappropriately with Ukraine to help his son, but Democrats have been unnerved by the president’s onslaught and Mr. Biden’s halting response.

Mr. Biden has argued that he is the Democrat best able to assemble a wide coalition of supporters and defeat Mr. Trump.CreditTiffany Brown Anderson for The New York Times

In addition to the attacks from Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden’s top rivals, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, each out-raised him in the third quarter by about $10 million. And as Ms. Warren has emerged as Mr. Biden’s most formidable competition, Mr. Sanders, her main challenger for progressive support, just had a heart attack, casting uncertainty over whether he could siphon votes from Ms. Warren, as the Biden camp had hoped.



Even before last week, Mr. Biden’s advisers were acknowledging to donors that he may well lose both of the leadoff nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

His communications aides contend that most voters were more focused on what Mr. Trump did to prompt the impeachment inquiry than on the false claims themselves. And they pointed to the former vice president’s forceful attacks on Mr. Trump at a news conference Friday to argue that he was now ready to do battle with the president.

“This guy like all bullies is a coward,” Mr. Biden said. “He does not want to run against me.”


Oct. 5, 2019

On Thursday, Mr. Biden, whose inner monologue rarely remains repressed, gave voice to the tension he is struggling with as he spoke at a fund-raiser in Palo Alto, Calif.


Recalling the difficulty Hillary Clinton had in confronting Mr. Trump’s campaign style, Mr. Biden worried about being “sucked into the trap of the stuff that Trump was laying. He wants you in a mud fight.”

“But when you respond to that,” he continued, “it brings you back down into that.”

Mr. Biden was even blunter, and angrier, in private after news first emerged that Mr. Trump had exhorted the Ukrainian government to investigate him and his son.

“I can’t believe this guy is going after my family like this,” he told Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, as the two campaigned in Iowa, Mr. Coons recalled.


Leading Democrats have been pleading privately with Mr. Biden and his top aides to aggressively confront Mr. Trump, and expressing impatience with them for not seizing this opportunity to engage him in a two-man race. After all, Mr. Biden had spent months framing his candidacy as a singular crusade to oust an aberrant president.

“It’s time to really respond so everybody hears it,” said Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a campaign co-chairman. “If someone says something enough, people will start to believe it, and this president gets in his zone of telling a lie over and over again. You have to make sure people don’t believe in it.”

David Plouffe, former President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, was mystified. Mr. Biden “should use this moment and become Trump’s opponent,” Mr. Plouffe said. “I don’t understand it.”

But Mr. Biden is confronting an almost unimaginable situation: the president he hopes to challenge is facing impeachment for urging another country to help smear him. What’s more, the House inquiry centers on what Mr. Biden values most in his private and public life: protecting his family and honoring institutional norms.



Several Democrats close to Mr. Biden say he did not take on Mr. Trump sooner in large part because of his reverence for congressional prerogatives — he did not want to immediately insert himself into the House’s jurisdiction. But Mr. Biden also sought to address the attacks on his son on his own terms rather than sit for hastily arranged television interviews that would have forced him to answer questions about Hunter Biden’s work that few of his own aides dared pose.

Now, just as his monthslong lead in the primary is eroding, he faces an opponent who’s threatening his son, the political system he dedicated his adult life to and, as he approaches his 77th birthday, his last chance to become president.



Mr. Trump has hurled unfounded accusations about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter and their dealings with Ukraine.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Worried about his family

For Mr. Biden’s campaign, no attack could have been more difficult to deal with than one involving the candidate’s son.



Mr. Biden nearly did not run for president because of the effect it would have on his family — and particularly on Hunter Biden and his children, according to multiple advisers to the former vice president. Hunter Biden has struggled for years with substance addiction and had recently gone through a very public divorce from his first wife.

In separate interviews, Mr. Coons and his fellow senator from Delaware, Tom Carper, both said they had warned Mr. Biden that the president would target his family.

“He expected his family to be attacked,” Mr. Carper said, adding that Mr. Biden assured him he was braced for “the onslaught.’’

Mr. Biden’s family, including his son, encouraged him to enter the race, knowing the attacks were inevitable. But as Anita Dunn, one of Mr. Biden’s closest advisers, put it: “When it happens, it still feels pretty lousy.”



The Biden campaign has attempted to handle the candidate’s son with great sensitivity. Mr. Biden made clear at the outset that Hunter, a lawyer who had long advised his father on his campaigns, should not be made to feel excluded, people who spoke with him said. One adviser to Mr. Biden recently telephoned his son to solicit advice on the upcoming debate in Ohio.

But to most of Mr. Biden’s aides, Hunter Biden has been a spectral presence. He is living in Los Angeles and stayed away from Mr. Biden’s campaign launch in Philadelphia. Hunter Biden quietly attended the last two debates and appeared with his new wife, Melissa Cohen, at a July fund-raiser in Pasadena, Calif.

Still, Mr. Biden’s advisers are aware that Hunter Biden carries political vulnerabilities. His business career has intersected repeatedly with his father’s political power, through roles he had held in banking, lobbying and international finance. Working for a Ukrainian energy company beginning in 2014, he was paid as much as $50,000 a month while his father was vice president, and some of Mr. Biden’s admirers worry that, while Mr. Trump’s accusations are without merit, voters may view Hunter Biden’s actions as problematic.

Even one of Mr. Biden’s Democratic rivals, Beto O’Rourke, said on Saturday that he would not allow “anyone in my cabinet to have a family member to work in a position like that.”


In the past, Mr. Biden has bristled at questions about whether his family had benefited financially from his political career. He did so again on Friday when he was asked whether his son’s work in Ukraine represented a conflict of interest. Pointing a finger at the questioner he said: “Let’s focus on the problem. Focus on this man, what he’s doing, that no president has ever done. No president!” The Trump campaign was soon circulating a clip of the episode.

For his allies, it is both poignant and painful that Mr. Biden’s family is again at the heart of his public identity. He lost his first wife and daughter, and nearly lost his two sons, in a car accident in the weeks after he was elected to the Senate in 1972. His final years as vice president, as well as his hopes to run for president in 2016, were overwhelmed by his elder son Beau’s death from brain cancer.

Jim Mowrer, a former Democratic congressional candidate from Iowa who served with Beau Biden in the military, said he spoke to Hunter Biden early this year and got the impression he was trying to focus on personal matters rather than the campaign. Mr. Mowrer said he saw the elder Mr. Biden in Iowa last month and they discussed not Hunter but his other son, Beau.



“Beau’s death is very, very fresh in his mind, and so now these attacks on Hunter are even more unsettling,” Mr. Mowrer said.

A big bet on South Carolina

The politics of Ukraine and impeachment have been so costly for Mr. Biden, in part, because he is confronting so many other challenges in the Democratic race: a struggle to excite liberal primary voters, an ascendant rival in Ms. Warren and a decline in fund-raising that has forced him to spend even more time appealing to donors in cities hundreds of miles from the early primary states.

Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz, acknowledged some of those problems in a briefing for Democratic donors at Morgan Stanley’s New York office last month. Mr. Schultz assured the group that they had a path to the nomination that depended on winning South Carolina — the fourth primary state — and then scoring big victories in the Super Tuesday primaries in March.

In South Carolina, where Mr. Biden’s support appears strongest among the early-voting states, some of his supporters are discussing a trip to Iowa before Thanksgiving — to vouch for the former vice president, and to emphasize his ability to appeal to minority constituencies, like African-Americans.


“We probably know Joe Biden a lot better than they do,” said State Senator Dick Harpootlian of South Carolina, a Biden supporter.

Mr. Schultz acknowledged at the briefing that Mr. Biden had been uneven at times during debates and on the stump. Still, he predicted Mr. Biden would maintain an advantage over Ms. Warren, saying she would struggle to overcome the persistent competition on the left from Mr. Sanders

Mr. Biden’s monthslong lead in the primary has been eroding as progressive candidates have gained support and surpassed him in fund-raising. CreditTiffany Brown Anderson for The New York Times

But Ms. Warren has recently pulled well ahead of Mr. Sanders. Now, even Mr. Biden’s own campaign aides privately acknowledge that South Carolina may not be much of a political firewall if Ms. Warren rolls through Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

As he finds his way forward, Mr. Biden is relying on a circle of advisers, some formal and others less so, but there is no chief strategist. Mike Donilon, who wrote much of the Reno speech, may be the closest person to playing that role. Democrats who know Mr. Biden well say the campaign is mostly in his hands — and he makes the final calls.

While Mr. Biden’s team has done little polling in the race, he is expected to conduct a survey of Iowa Democrats next week on the Ukraine issue ahead of a new advertising push in the state.

Mr. Biden has begun to escalate his attacks on the president, and his campaign began airing a commercial hitting back at the president for trying to “pick his opponent and face only the candidates he thinks he can beat.” Still, there is no final consensus, in Mr. Biden’s camp, about how consistently he should confront Mr. Trump.

“He’s never gone negative,” said William M. Daley, the former White House chief of staff, who worked on Mr. Biden’s 1988 campaign. “That’s not him, that’s the charm of Joe.”

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Los Angeles.


Trump Denies Quid Pro Quo for Ukraine, but Envoys Had Their Doubts

Oct. 4, 2019


Biden’s Strategy for Managing the Ukraine Story



For Joe Biden, Trump Impeachment Inquiry Brings a Long-Expected Test

Sept. 24, 2019

Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent. He has reported on a range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election and several state and congressional races, while also writing for Sports, Food and the Book Review. He is also a CNN political analyst. @jmartnyt

Alexander Burns is a national political correspondent, covering elections and political power across the country, including Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Before coming to The Times in 2015, he covered the 2012 presidential election for Politico. @alexburnsNYT



Kurt Volker, Ukraine and a Turbulent End in the Trump Administration

Oct. 5, 2019

Oct. 5, 2019

2nd Official Is Weighing Whether to Blow the Whistle on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings




© 2019 The New York Times Company





POLITICO

Susan Collins: Trump made 'big mistake' in asking China to probe Biden



Sen. Susan Collins speaks during annual remembrance ceremonies on Saturday at firefighters memorial in Augusta, Maine. | Joe Phelan/The Kennebec Journal via AP

10/05/2019 06:03 PM EDT



Susan Collins on Saturday became the latest Republican senator to criticize President Donald Trump for calling on foreign countries to investigate a political rival, saying he made a "big mistake."

“I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent,” Collins said at a press gaggle in her home state of Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News. “It’s completely inappropriate.”



Collins is the third Republican senator to voice criticism of Trump for the ongoing Ukraine scandal at the heart of the House's impeachment proceedings, joining Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse.

During a press gaggle on Thursday, Trump called on China to investigate political rival and presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine," Trump said.

Saying that the House likely will pass articles of impeachment on Trump, Collins said she would not comment "on the evidence on both sides coming forth every day."

“Should the articles of impeachment come to the Senate — and right now I’m going to guess that they will — I will be acting as a juror as I did in the Clinton impeachment trial,” Collins said.

Collins also joined in Republican criticism of House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff's description of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the testimony of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire last week.

Collins said Schiff “misrepresented and misled people about what was in the transcript in the call."



 




© 2019 POLITICO LLC







Trump seized on a conspiracy theory called the 'insurance policy.' Now, it's at the center of an impeachment investigation.

Published 7 Hours AgoNBC. News

President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. has issued new sanctions on Iran's central bank at the "highest level" while speaking in the Oval Office on September 20, 2019 in Washington, DC.

An anonymous post from March 2017 on the far-right 4chan message board teased a conspiracy theory that would eventually make its way to the White House.

"Russia could not have been the source of leaked Democrat emails released by Wikileaks," the post teased, not citing any evidence for the assertion.

The post baselessly insinuated that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm that worked with the Democratic National Committee and had been contracted to investigate a hack of its servers, fabricated a forensics report to frame Russia for election interference. The 4chan post was published three days before then-FBI Director James Comey testified before Congressabout Russian interference in the 2016 election.



Back home, battleground Democrats encounter support — but not hunger — for impeachment
CIA's top lawyer made 'criminal referral' on complaint about Trump Ukraine call
GOP senator says diplomat told him Trump was withholding aid to ensure investigations

And that was how it started. That post is the first known written evidence of this unfounded conspiracy theory to exonerate Russia from meddling in the 2016 election, which more than two years later would make its way into the telephone call that may get President Donald Trump impeached. (Federal law enforcement officials have repeatedly made it clear that Russia unquestionably did meddle in the election.)

In the years that followed the original 4chan post, at least three different but related conspiracy theories would warp and combine on the fringes of the internet, eventually coalescing around Ukraine's supposed role in helping Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Ukraine wasn't originally part of the theory, but in July, Trump floated CrowdStrike's nameduring a call with the president of Ukraine as just one piece of a convoluted conspiracy accusation. That phone call is now at the center of a congressional investigation and impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his power for political gain.

"I would like to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … " Trump said on the call, according to a White House summary. "I guess you have one of your wealthy people. ... The server, they say Ukraine has it."

To even people who have followed these theories closely, Trump's call felt detached from any sense of logic.

"It's a whole new mountain of nonsense," said Duncan Campbell, a British digital forensics expert who investigated the original claim about CrowdStrike.

This omnibus conspiracy theory has been frequently referred to on far-right blogs, Fox News and recently by the president as the Democrats' "insurance policy," a reference to the supposed setup as a way to impeach the president if Trump were to win the election.

Though all the individual theories have been debunked, each has contributed elements that have been cited by the president, as well as his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Beginning months after Trump's inauguration, conspiracy theorists have pushed this fanciful and unsubstantiated narrative in which the Democratic National Committee framed Russia for its election interference in 2016 and later covered up its false accusation with help from then-Vice President Joe Biden and officials in Ukraine.

In the conspiracy theory, impeachment proceedings recently pursued by House Democrats were always the DNC's endgame, effectively a cash-out on the "insurance policy."

Trump has repeatedly referred to the "insurance policy" by name in tweets and in remarks on the White House's South Lawn.

"This is a study of Russia. Why didn't they invest in the insurance policy? In other words, should Hillary Clinton lose, we've got an insurance policy," Trump said in front of the White House on May 30. "Guess what? What we're in right now is the insurance policy."

Although Trump has often brought up various conspiracy theories, there had been little indication that the president had taken aggressive action on them. That changed last month, when the White House released the summary of a call with Ukraine. The subsequent release of a whistleblower complaint further confirmed that the ardently pro-Trump conspiracy theories that have percolated on the far right for years had reached the highest echelons of power — and influenced the decision-making of the president.

NBC News tracked these various threads in an attempt to understand how they evolved and how they eventually reached the president.

CrowdStrike

Campbell, the digital forensics expert, helped debunk the theory that CrowdStrike framed Russia for the DNC in 2018. He analyzed the data and the origin of documents that had been published on a blog two months after the 4chan post, which purported to contain proof that Russia couldn't have hacked the DNC.

Campbell investigated the claims and found that the documents were fake, with metadata on the files offering proof that they were illegitimate. Campbell also tracked the source of the documents to a 39-year-old British internet troll working under a fake name who had frequently pushed pro-Russian conspiracy theories under various aliases.

But the fake documents proved effective in perpetuating the CrowdStrike theory. The fake documents found their way to a group of former intelligence officials called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity led by William Binney, a whistleblower who used to work at the National Security Agency. Binney pushed the conspiracy theory several times on Fox News and, at the request of Trump, met with then-CIA Director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the theory. Binney has since disavowed the veracity of the documents after viewing the files' metadata.

Two years later, in June, former Trump adviser Roger Stone revived the debunked CrowdStrike conspiracy theory as part of his defense. Stone has been charged with witness tampering and five counts of making false statements to the special counsel.

One month and 11 days after that, Trump brought up CrowdStrike in a call with Ukraine's president.

Even after months of investigating the origins of the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory, Campbell said he doesn't believe even the president has a full grasp of what the theory is meant to insinuate.

Campbell also said that CrowdStrike examined many servers as part of its investigation into how the DNC was hacked, whereas the president wondered on the phone with Ukraine's president if a single server might be in Ukraine. The company also recently clarified that it had taken no servers into its possession as part of its DNC investigation.

Campbell said Trump may have mixed up even another conspiracy theory in a news conference last week, conflating Hillary Clinton's email server with the DNC servers examined by CrowdStrike.

At Trump's direction, the State Department has recently reignited a probe to find the contents of a private email server Clinton held when she was secretary of state. When asked by a reporter if he believes some of Clinton's deleted emails could be in Ukraine, Trump replied, "I think they could be."

"Trump's comments seem to me to be incoherent, even in the context of this conspiracy theory," Campbell said.

Steve Marcus | Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden responds to a question during a forum held by gun safety organizations the Giffords group and March For Our Lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2, 2019.

Nina Jankowicz, a former advisor to Ukraine's foreign ministry, also said she was surprised when Trump mentioned CrowdStrike in conjunction with Ukraine.

"I was in Ukraine when the first conspiracies about 'Ukrainian collusion' was coming about," Jankowicz said. "It was all this murky narrative about how maybe the Ukrainians wanted Hillary."

Jankowicz said that while various conspiracy theories had swirled around Ukraine, none to her knowledge had touched on CrowdStrike. That company was part of a separate conspiracy theory that posited that the location of Clinton emails were hidden as part of a cover-up.

"Never was there any mention in 2016 of the DNC servers being in Ukraine," said Jankowicz, who is now a fellow at the Wilson Center studying disinformation. "The whole CrowdStrike thing blows my mind."

Thoeries Collide

Conspiracy theorists were eager to tie CrowdStrike to yet another theory focused on one of the president's political rivals: Joe Biden.

In March, John Solomon, a conservative opinion contributor to the politics-focused news website The Hill, began to gain traction with conservative media publications for a series of articles insinuating that the Biden family had been involved with a cover-up that included the vice president pressuring Ukraine's president to fire a prosecutor who wanted to investigate the Biden family's business connections in the country.

The theory has been widely debunked. While Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, did work with a Ukrainian energy company, an investigation into his business relationships was later closed, and the investigator who was fired was the focus of international pressure due to a lack of corruption enforcement.

But the notion of a Biden-led cover-up dovetailed nicely with what Trump and many conspiracy theorists were working to prove — that Russia hadn't hacked the election.

While it's not clear how the CrowdStrike portion of the conspiracy theory reached Trump, outside of Binney's meeting years before, Giuliani seized on the Ukraine thread publicly, while privately beginning to pursue an investigation.

In April, Masha Yovanovitch, then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was recalled to Washington. Yovanovitch had been mentioned by Solomon in his articles as denigrating Trump to Ukrainian officials, a claim that was echoed on Fox News.

"The idea was to make it look like Ambassador Yovanovich was doing Clinton and Obama's bidding," Jankowicz said.

Looking to combine the two theories, online conspiracy theorists began pushing baseless rumors that CrowdStrike's chief technology officer and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is Russian-American, was simultaneously working for Ukraine. There is no evidence to support that claim.

The conspiracy theory about Biden wound up being repeated three times in Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president. The Hill's columns were later explicitly mentioned in the whistleblower complaint about Trump's interactions with Ukraine's president that was released to Congress last week.

The Ukraine element fit particularly well with the "insurance policy" narrative that suggested any attempt to investigate the president was actually part of a Democratic conspiracy.

The phrase refers to a text sent from then-FBI agent Peter Strzok to FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair. Strzok, who was investigating Russia's interference into the 2016 election for the FBI, was texting with Page about internal debates about how publicized and prioritized the probe, which had not yet been made public, should be.



Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, defended himself Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" from accusations lodged by a former White House official that he has trafficked unfounded theories about foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40," Strzok wrote in a text, referring to the investigation. Transcripts of 16 months of texts between Strzok and Page were released by the Justice Department in December 2017.

Trump and conservative media have since taken the text to mean Strzok and members of what the president termed the "deep state" at the FBI were part of what he called a "coup" to remove him from office, even before he was elected.

For this conspiracy theory, Jankowicz said, the more anecdotes, the better — even if they don't make sense when they're all put together.

"That's all the proof that any conspiracy theorist needs. Don't look at the timeline at all. You just need a simple narrative to stick to," Jankowicz said. "The more complicated you make it, the harder it is to figure out. And sometimes that's the point."

The Hill and Fox News

On March 23, Giuliani's Twitter account hit "like" on a tweet featuring a video clip from Sean Hannity's Fox News primetime show. In it, frequent guest commentator Joe DiGenova alleged that Ukrainian officials tried to help Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. elections, referring to one of Solomon's articles in The Hill.

That "like" by Giuliani is the earliest known public evidence of how this conspiracy theory reached the president's personal lawyer, according to records of Giuliani's social media activity preserved by NBC News.

In the six months since the Twitter interaction, Giuliani has tweeted numerous times in reference to the Ukraine theory, including falsely stating in April that "now Ukraine is investigating Hillary campaign and DNC conspiracy with foreign operatives including Ukrainian and others to affect 2016 election." Ukraine is not investigating the Clinton campaign.

Other members of Trump's inner circle have also promoted various accusations leveled against Biden that coincided with Giuliani's efforts to dig up dirt on him. Legitimate concerns about Biden's son and his business deal with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma have been folded into the conspiracy theory, conflating real-life conflict of interest questions with allegations of a fantastical conspiracy by a global cabal.

On Monday, Giuliani was subpoenaed for his involvement in the White House effort to dig up incriminating evidence on Biden; the article that was mentioned in the Fox News segment ended up as a part of a whistleblower complaintfiled against the president; and Solomon's main source has walked back some of the claims that helped fuel the article that reached Fox News.

The president now faces an impeachment inquiry into whether his attempts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate the conspiracy theory constitutes an abuse of power and if the president's staff then tried to cover up the president's action





© 2019 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal











Trump’s Latest Excuse: Rick Perry Made Me Do. It


This might be Donald Trump’s most comedic excuse yet for betraying his oath of office as president of the United States.

We all knew Trump couldn’t withstand the heat of an impeachment inquiry by Congress without throwing someone under the bus. In fact, he’s already blurted out the vice president’s involvement, practically ensuring that lawmakers take a hard look at Mike Pence.



But it also appears that just a day after Energy Secretary Rick Perry tried to tiptoe out the back door, Trump threw a proverbial ax at the center of his back. Unfortunately, no one feels the least bit sorry about any of this, true or not.

Three sources told Politico on Thursday that Perry was expected to resign from the Trump administration by the end of November. This news followed reports that Democrats are seeking information from Perry about his travels to Ukraine last May to attend President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration.

According to a whistleblower complaint that prompted the impeachment inquiry of Trump, Pence was supposed to have attended Zelensky’s inauguration. But around the time of the trip, it was “made clear” that Trump didn’t want to interact with Zelensky until he saw how the Ukrainian president “chose to act” in office, according to a letterSenate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez sent Perry as part of the investigation.


So, Perry made the trip and conducted high-level meetings with Ukrainian officials instead.

Now, Axios is reporting that Trump claimed on Friday that he didn’t even want to have the phone conversationwith Zelensky. This is the call at the center of the whistleblower complaint that Trump continuously characterizes as “perfect.” Trump only made the call because Perry had urged him to, the presidents claimed.

According to the news site, Trump made this claim during a conference call with Republican members of the House. Three sources who were on the call told Axios that Trump had blamed Perry.



Axios noted:

Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was “perfect” and he did nothing wrong.

But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president’s comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection.


As Axios pointed out, several text messages made public this week seem to indicate that the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is largely responsible for advocating for that phone call, not Perry. But we’ll see.

On Friday’s call with Trump were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and other GOP leaders, Axios said. We’ll see what they say on Sunday. 


Good Riddance to Rick Perry, the Latest Official to Be Embroiled in the Impeachment Inquiry

Report: Trump Enlisted Mike Pence to Try to Influence Ukraine

Trump Extremely on His 'BULLSHIT' Today

House Democrats Subpoena White House as Part of Impeachment Inquiry

Here's the Whistleblower Complaint at the Heart of Trump's Ukraine Scandal

The Case Is Really Really Really Not Closed





© 2019 G/O Media Inc

Jared Kushner to lead Trump’s impeachment defense — and Twitter asks what could possibly go wrong

By DAVE GOLDINER

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

OCT 05, 2019 | 6:51 PM



Jared Kushner is taking on another task for his father-in-law, President Trump. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Jared Kushner is taking the reins of President Trump’s impeachment defense — and even the #MAGA army has to be asking why.

The presidential son-in-law has so far failed in high-profile assignments to bring peace to the Middle East, come up with a grand compromise on immigration and get America to kick its opioid habit.



He also famously advised Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey, leading to the Russia collusion investigation that crippled most of the president’s first three years in office.

So now he’s going to lead the White House “don’t call it a war room” impeachment fightback as Democrats move closer than ever to removing Trump from office.

Some say President Mike Pence might want to start measuring the drapes in the White House.

[More Politics] GOP Sen. Susan Collins slams ‘completely inappropriate’ Trump for asking China for dirt on Biden »

“I mean, since he solved the Middle East Peace question and the opioid crisis, Jared’s been a little under-occupied,” wrote Republican operative Rick Wilson, a frequent Trump critic.

There’s little doubt that Trump could certainly use a more organized strategy as the impeachment storm gathers.

He has so far struggled to come up with a coherent message and has dug himself deeper into trouble by venting his rage at the attacks aimed at him.

[More Politics] Trump points finger at Rick Perry for damning call to Ukraine president: report »

Trump has sought to attack the intelligence whistleblower’s credibility but that strategy has fallen flat as virtually all of his claims have been verified by documents or Trump himself.

Trump has likewise lashed out at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), but it’s unclear what difference it makes whether the impeachment leader stumbled or misled reporters about some aspects of the handling of the complaint.

Worst of all, Trump has more or less confirmed some of the most damaging claims made against him by insisting he did nothing wrong by demanding that foreign leaders help him by investigating Democratic rival Joe Biden.



1

Donald Trump in the White House

It’s unclear that Kushner, who will work alongside White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, has the skill set to turn things around.



Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka, is still a Beltway neophyte whose political instincts are mocked by allies and opponents alike.

Kushner has been famously handed a laundry list of responsibilities but few have resulted in any notable successes. His Mideast peace plan, for example, is considered so dead on arrival that it has never even been released for fear it could do more harm than good.

[More Politics] Trump points finger at Rick Perry for damning call to Ukraine president: report »

The one major achievement he can boast is passing a modest criminal justice reform plan with the help of celebrity friends like Kim Kardashian.

Kushner is notably camera shy and does not relish taking the hour-by-hour fight to Trump’s opponents on cable TV shout fests like White House attack dog Stephen Miller. He also has an unfortunate habit of being out of town or on vacation with his photogenic family when crisis comes calling.


Copyright © 2019, New York Daily News


The Ukraine Connection
---------
-----
----
--
.

POLITICO

What Putin Got From the Trump-Zelensky Phone Call
The biggest beneficiary of the Ukraine scandal is, sure enough, the Kremlin.

By MOLLY K. MCKEW

10/06/2019 06:50 AM EDT

Molly K. McKew is a writer and lecturer on Russian influence and information warfare. She advised the Georgian president and national security council from 2009 to 2013 and former Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat in 2014 and 2015.



Facebook Twitter Email Print
A year ago, I was in Kiev when a young Ukrainian soldier was killed. Olesya Baklanova, 19, enlisted in the Ukrainian Armed Forces as soon as she was eligible and fought to be assigned a combat post. Deployed to the front lines of her country’s war against Russia, she was killed during the night while manning an observation post, shot by a sniper stationed among the Russian and proxy forces dug in a few hundred meters way. She was one of four Ukrainian soldiers killed at their post that night — one of the estimated 13,000 soldiers, fighters and civilians killed in eastern Ukraine in the past five years.

Her story was a concise reminder of the realities of Ukraine’s forgotten war. Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in early 2014; weeks later, Russia formally annexed the territory. This was an important strategic goal for President Vladimir Putin. To ensure that no one had time to do anything about it — and to further destabilize Ukraine — Russia then launched a war in eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas region, using nominal separatists with Russian backing.




Five years on, it’s still a hot war, with Russia constantly pushing forward the line of occupation. Some 1.5 million people have been displaced. The shifting mass of regular and irregular Russian troops in eastern Ukraine — soldiers and mercenaries; “separatist” proxies and militias; a lot of guys with pseudonyms using advanced Russian weaponry that Russia claims must have been bought at the local corner shop (note: it is supplied from Russia) — constantly test and adapt new capabilities, especially electronic warfare capabilities, on the battlefield.

Ukrainian forces, with Western support, have steadily developed new measures to counter whatever is thrown at them. The Ukrainian war effort is defined both by this ingenuity and by sacrifice. The army, left gutted by former President Viktor Yanukovych, was rebuilt entirely in wartime. New units are rotated through areas of heavy fighting to increase their combat experience — a wartime readiness strategy that contributes to spikes in casualties, but which has been enormously successful. The average age of Ukrainian recruits is officially around 36, though anecdotally it’s over 40 at the front, as the generation that remembers life before independence now leads the fight to keep it.

The dirty, confusing, irregular conflict in Ukraine is part of a broader political war waged by the Kremlin. In countless ways, this is the inevitable evolution of Russia’s aggression against its neighbors after Putin paid so little price for invading Georgia in 2008. I worked as an adviser to the Georgian government in the years after that war, and we watched as almost everyone normalized Putin’s behavior, emboldening him to press forward. Now, Russia’s army sniper school has been transferred to the Ukrainian front, training the next generation of elite Russian marksmen by having them pick off Ukrainian soldiers. Soldiers like Baklanova.

This is the necessary context in which Americans should understand the gravity of President Donald Trump’s attempt to strong-arm Ukraine into becoming a subsidiary of his reelection campaign. In one gesture, Trump reduced the survival of Ukraine to a bargaining chip in an utterly petty pursuit; embroiled Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, in scandal and undercut his ability to defend the interests of his nation; and weakened the clout of U.S. leadership on Ukraine, the region and beyond.

The biggest beneficiary of this latest Trump-derived scandal is the Kremlin. This isn’t some theoretical future calculus. It has an immediate impact on U.S. security and our strategic outlook. And it enhances the ability of the Kremlin to keep stirring chaos inside the United States.

Trump is bargaining away U.S. security for conspiracy theories about Ukraine and the Bidens that he hopes will not only strengthen his position for his reelection, but will also erase the evidence that Kremlin intervention helped to elect him president. It’s actually hard to know which part of all this makes the Kremlin most happy.

***

Since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a lot of speculation about Putin’s long-term goals for Ukraine and the region, be it rebuilding a kind of Russian empire or disrupting what he views as another empire moving toward his borders. But in the near term, Putin knows that pushing for a pro-Kremlin alignment in Ukrainian politics — especially with the war still on — is a waste of effort. Far better to hope for what has succeeded elsewhere along the Russian rim, and in Europe, and in the United States: the sense that it would be nice to get along better with Russia, because it’s exhausting to live under a constant existential threat.



The caveat to this is that Russia doesn’t actually want to get along. Putin needed Crimea, as he detailed in a March 2014 speech marking its annexation, because it was where Prince Vladimir, ruler of the medieval federation known as the Kievan Rus, was baptized into Orthodox Christianity more than a thousand years ago — the starting point of the arc of Russian history that has culminated in Vladimir Putin. Annexing Crimea into Russia did away with the inconvenient fact that the Russian empire was born in Ukraine. Putin spent years telling people that Crimea was Russia. And then, suddenly, it was.

A lot of what Putin has done since 2014 is about keeping Crimea. An important component of achieving that is ensuring that Ukraine remains a nation governed by a fractious elite awash in Russian money and highly subject to Kremlin manipulations. This helps keep Ukraine in limbo between Russia and the West.

Because if Russia can’t have Ukraine, neither can anyone else. Right now, the Kremlin’s de facto veto on Ukraine’s westward integration is the war. In the simplest terms, a country not in control of its own territory isn’t an ideal alliance partner — it’s the same card the Kremlin played to keep Georgia out of NATO. The ongoing conflict can also be used to disrupt the politics, society and economy of Ukraine. In exchange for agreeing to end the war, the Kremlin wants a new form of the veto — a permanent “special status” guarantee for Ukraine’s eastern provinces, which will allow the Kremlin to maintain political control over territories within Ukraine through local Russian proxies. It would be the end of Ukraine’s post-independence geopolitical aspirations, preventing it from ever integrating fully into NATO or the European Union.

The Kremlin wants you to believe Ukraine has only two choices: Ukrainians can keep fighting and dying to defend their sovereignty, or they can accept a proxy occupation designed to disrupt their governance and national unity. The only chance for a third option is unwavering Western support — which requires unwavering American support — for the Ukrainian people’s desire to live in a reformed, secure, democratic nation at peace within its recognized borders and working toward integration into Western institutions. The Kremlin’s propaganda works to make Americans believe that this third option is just some unicorn dream — that a corrupt, divided, Nazi-infested Ukraine is utterly unsupported by the distracted, feckless, immoral West (that’s Kremlin terminology, not my own).

Since 2014, the propaganda on this has become pretty stale and formulaic. The Trump-Zelensky spectacle — a play about American fecklessness and Ukrainian corruption in one “perfect” act — was a gift to the Kremlin to refresh the tired themes.

***

This whole tent revival is a spinoff of a longer play, the script of which is ribboned with conspiracy narrative actively hawked and amped by the Kremlin’s disinformation machinery. In this drama, of course, poor Russia — despite documentation of their operations by U.S. and Dutch intelligence; financial records, personnel and travel records; lists of accounts and content archived from social media; high-level sources inside the Kremlin; and more — is a blameless bystander in the 2016 attacks on American election systems and the aggressive information operations that targeted and polarized American society. And the actual villain, totally conveniently, happens to be Ukraine, the nation the Kremlin has been working to smear and dismantle since 2013.

It is a tedious and clunky story that weaves in and out of other bonkers, far-right disinformation conspiracies — Seth Rich, QAnon, everything a secret plot and ANY DAY NOW the real truth is gonna come out — that has been amply documented as false by very smart and patient researchers and journalists. But the once-respected Rudy Giuliani has become a well-oiled cog in the machine nonetheless. You can spend time trying to unravel his 52-dimensional chess explanations of how he has uncovered a Clinton/Soros/Ukraine plot, but honestly, don’t. It’s unclear whether he actually understands that virtually all of it is made up by malign actors who are just here to watch it all burn. But listening to his self-narrative about being the hero of the story is a sign that he’s an easy mark for anyone who understands how to work this psychology.



The waters were so heavily chummed for sharks like Giuliani — how could he not take the bait and run after the irresistible story that solves all problems?

Maybe Giuliani explained the story to Trump in a way that made sense: It could exonerate Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, muddle the narrative, Febreze away the stink of the Mueller report from Trump himself forever. Or maybe the sales pitch was all about the Biden thing. Regardless, Trump unleashed Giuliani, apparently with the support of U.S. diplomats, to undercut U.S. interests and policy — because, again, Trump just doesn’t care if Ukraine, a nation of 44 million people is sentenced to purgatory because of his actions. It is a crippling indictment of his judgment, his leadership, his fitness for office and his grasp on reality.

False equivalencies are the lifeblood of Russian propaganda, an easy tool to exploit bias and distort perception. They are also a tactic that Trump deploys nearly instinctually. “Fake Ukraine collusion 2020” as the new “fake Russia collusion 2016” is an extraordinarily powerful false equivalency — to minimize the significance of the support the Kremlin levied to help get Trump elected, to erase the importance of the Mueller investigation, and to create problems for the new Ukrainian president and his country.

By embroiling Ukraine in scandal, by politicizing support of Ukraine among the American audience, by linking Ukraine to the conspiracy nexus that underlies all thinking in Trump world — and by minimizing the existential threat that Ukraine and Ukrainians face every day from the Russian assault on their nation — Trump is advancing core Kremlin objectives. He has made the president of Ukraine an accomplice in that effort, or maybe just a companion in the same trap.

***

And this isn’t just about Ukraine. There is a systematic Russian effort to gain similar concessions on Moldova and Georgia — to force acceptance of a Russian veto of those countries' determination to be nations aligned with Western values. The United States should be leading a political and diplomatic effort to expose what Russia is doing and explain what those Russian efforts mean. We should be leading to counter the advance of illiberal ideals in the world.

Instead we look inward at the circus. Faith in who we are and what defines us is eroding, while the geostrategic landscape of the world is remade around us — and not by anyone who believes that the will of the people is going to be a thing that matters in the future.

Trump has sent clear signals that Ukraine might not have his support — go ahead, make your own deal with Putin #shrug. Diplomatic resources that should have been focused on crafting a policy to counter Russian aggression were diverted to chase down rumors and personal vendettas instead.



It’s easy to ignore the details of Russia’s war in Ukraine. It’s easy to get lost in the smoke-and-mirrors fiction that what the Kremlin is doing isn’t actually what it is doing — a dance at which the West has become quite adept since Russia’s cyberattack on Estonia in 2007 and invasion of Georgia in 2008.

We watch what the Kremlin does to its neighbors, to us, to Europe, to the Middle East, to Afghanistan — and we blink. Hackers, cyberattacks, disinformation, invasion, annexation, devastation, mercenaries, terrorists, giant arms expos — and we blink.

Ukraine is now the front line, the place where we have the best chance to act, and to stop ignoring the reality of what we face.

There’s a reason Congress has consistently, and in a bipartisan fashion, approved military assistance for Ukraine so it can defend itself against Russian invasion and aggression. With limited but targeted resources and support, America and other NATO allies have quietly done a lot to bolster Ukraine. It’s a vast, sweeping success story. A story that almost no one talks about for fear that the president will interfere.

We don’t offer this support on some fantastical whim anchored in Cold War nostalgia, but because it is in our vital contemporary interest, in countless respects, to limit the further expansion of Russia’s hold on the Black Sea region, which the Kremlin uses to stage its war in Syria and to project power into the Middle East and Africa, across the Mediterranean on up to the western Arctic, and beyond. It is a pattern of activity that has degraded the security environment in which we and our alliances operate, and it has contributed to the sense of political instability and unrest, of churn and upheaval, that has plagued Europe since the financial crisis, the migration crisis, and Brexit, and that has defined the Middle East since the Islamic State and Bashar Assad became twin pillars of decay.

Using the Black Sea as an operational base, the Kremlin works against the United States and our interests, consistently choosing confrontation over cooperation. Russian forces attack U.S. ships, troops and planes with electronic warfare, mercenaries and air assets, toeing the line about what is defined as activity “below the line of conflict.” They have not pivoted from a zero-sum view of relations with the United States. And not seeing how far the line has moved since 2008 — we now accept borders being changed by force, and the deployment of Russian forces to new ports and bases, and the fact that Russia arms the Taliban as they target American soldiers in Afghanistan, and ongoing, overt political interference in our domestic politics — is still a crazy, blind weakness of the West.

This is why remembering Olysea Baklanova is so important. America might be looking inward, waving our arms about whatever horrific violation Trump has tweeted that day — but we can’t define what Trump did to Ukraine from the perspective of our sad, fleabag circus.

Every time Trump guts an institution, diverts money to his personality projects, labels an internal enemy, violates a norm, secures a job for a corrupt and unqualified appointee, ignores the law, asks a foreign leader to “do him a favor” — every time he breaks a rule and pays no price, he provides illustration for Putin’s expanding primer on “the hoax” of democracy and “the people.”



Putin believes that all democracy is farce, and he has worked tirelessly to make sure that Western democracies believe this too. His propaganda machinery has supported Trump and the Brexiteers, faux-democrats like Hungarian President Viktor Orban and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, because their self-dealing motivations amplify the firehose of cynicism that now spreads anti-democratic derision across the West.

Ukrainians have bled during a five-plus year war that they haven’t lost to Russia. They fight this war at the border of Europe to defend their democracy and the right to pursue a future of their choosing. They fight this war because they know that someone has to, and because they know what it will cost them if they don’t.

It will cost us, too. Trump recently called Ukraine “a big, wide, beautiful wall” between Russia and Europe. In reality, it is the thinnest of shields. For Ukrainians, that shield holds the line between the future they want and the past they won’t go back to. For Americans, in more than a symbolic way, the thin shield of Ukraine stands between the America we think we are, and the America we might actually be, in a world where the terms are dictated by autocrats and our power is greatly diminished.

Ukrainians deserve American support — far less cynical American support — not because we decide this-or-that president or prime minister is a guy we like, but because the people of Ukraine have died to have what we have, and to become equal members of alliances that are the architecture of American prosperity, security and power in the world. Trump talks constantly about how none of our allies are paying enough for security. Well, the Ukrainians have paid. They’ve paid a lot. Their commitment, and vibrancy, and innovative spirit will help reinforce and reinvigorate our alliances. It is of material benefit to the United States of America to have a thriving, secure, democratic Ukraine — and Georgia, and Moldova — integrated into that architecture.

And maybe if we can help them get there, it will begin to counter the corrosion of that architecture that has occurred under President Trump.


© 2019 POLITICO LLC



And latest controversies:





LIVE UPDATES

The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN 

Updated 8:48 AM ET, Sun October 6, 2019



 

What we're covering here

The latest: President Trump called for Sen. Mitt Romney to be "impeached" in a tweet Saturday after the Republican from Utah criticized the President for urging Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Senators and members of Congress can’t be “impeached," according to the US Constitution.

Vice President slams impeachment inquiry:Vice President Mike Pence criticized Democrats in Congress during a speech Saturday for launching “a partisan impeachment inquiry in a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the American people."

White House subpoenaed: House Democrats subpoenaed the White House Friday as part of the impeachment investigation into Trump. The White House said the "subpoena changes nothing — just more document requests, wasted time, and taxpayer dollars that will ultimately show the President did nothing wrong." (You can read the subpoena here.)



 

Johnson said the president “vehemently, angrily denied it” and said “I’d never do that,” when Johnson asked Trump about the implication that Ukraine’s military aid was linked to an investigation into Hunter Biden.



 

Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh, a longshot candidate for the Republican nomination for president, on Sunday called President Trump a "traitor" for asking Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, despite their being no evidence of wrongdoing.

Walsh argued that Trump should be impeached for asking other countries to "interfere in our election."
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage litigidygation

Postby Meno_ » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:11 pm

The Latest: Trump warns Turkey over Syria, threatens economy

on October 7, 2019



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria (all times local):

12:06 p.m.

President Donald Trump is threatening to destroy the economy of Turkey if it does not watch over captured Islamic State fighters and their families detained in Syria.

In a tweet Monday, Trump said: "If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey."

Trump defended his sudden decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish military invasion against Kurdish forces. They were backed by the U.S., but Turkey views them as terrorists and a threat to the country.

Democrats and Republicans warn that a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, who are holding thousands of captured IS fighters and their families.

__

11:20 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top Republican ally of President Donald Trump, is threatening legislation to impose economic sanctions on Turkey if it invades Syria. Graham has Democratic allies and warned that any congressional vote would be overwhelming.

Trump decided to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat the Islamic State.

His announcement immediately drew pushback from Republican lawmakers.

Graham said Monday that Trump's moves are a "disaster in the making" that would empower IS and Syria. He said he's already spoken to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen about drafting the sanctions legislation. Graham said on Twitter that "sanctions against Turkey - if necessary - would be veto-proof."

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney also weighed in, saying Trump's "decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal."

___

9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat the Islamic State.

The move drew immediate outrage from some of the Republican president's closest allies in Congress, with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calling the decision "a disaster."

Syria's Kurds accuse the U.S. of turning its back on its allies and risking gains made in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Trump defended the move in a series of tweets, acknowledging that "The Kurds fought with us" but claiming they "were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so."



 



 



Hearst Newspapers© Copyright 2019 Hearst Communications, Inc.




Trump loses NY federal court fight to keep tax returns secret from Manhattan DA probe

Dan Mangan

Jacob Pramuk

Published 3 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour AgoCNBC.com

A federal judge dismisses President Trump's lawsuit seeking to block the release of his personal and corporate tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney.

DA Cyrus Vance Jr. is eyeing how the Trump Organization accounted for hush money payments made to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.

Trump's lawyers immediately appeal the ruling.



A federal judge on Monday dismissed President Donald Trump's lawsuit seeking to block the release of his personal and corporate tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney, who is conducting a criminal investigation related to the president's company.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero's ruling flatly rejected what he called the "extraordinary claim" by Trump that while president he is immune not only from criminal prosecution but also from being criminally investigated by a state prosecutor or anyone else.

Marrero said that under Trump's theory, not only his behavior would be immune from an investigation, but so would suspected "misconduct of any other person, business affiliate, associate or relative who may have collaborated with the President in committing purportedly unlawful acts."

"This Court finds aspects of such a doctrine repugnant to the nation's governmental structure and constitutional values," Marrero wrote in his 75-page decision in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Marrero said if Trump's argument was allowed, it could "frustrate the administration of justice" in regard to a president's conduct.

Trump's lawyers immediately appealed the ruling.

Less than two hours later, the U.S. Circuit Court for the Second Circuit granted a temporary stay of enforcement of a grand jury subpoena for eight years of Trump's tax returns from his accoutants, Mazars USA, pending an expedited review a a panel of that court's judges.



Trump, in reaction to the ruling, suggested that congressional Democrats are in cahoots with DA Cyrus Vance Jr. to try to bring him down. "The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump," he tweeted.

Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told NBC News, "We are very pleased that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay of the subpoena issued by New York District Attorney Cy Vance."

A spokesman for Vance declined to comment.

Vance's office had objected to a federal court becoming involved in the dispute. Prosecutors also had accused Trump's legal team of trying to delay execution of the subpoena so that the statute of limitations for potential crimes that Vance is investigating would expire.

Vance's investigation includes an inquiry into whether the Trump Organization violated the law in how it accounted for hush money payments to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, ahead of the 2016 election.

Both women were paid to keep them quiet about their claims of sexual affairs with Trump years earlier.

Trump denies having sex with either woman, but his then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels for her silence, and the Trump-friendly tabloid The National Enquirer paid off McDougal.

The judge's ruling came right before a 9 a.m. deadline that Trump's lawyers had set.

The lawyers had told the judge that they would ask the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to handle the dispute if Marrero did not issue his ruling by then.

Trump has repeatedly fought efforts by prosecutors and lawmakers to release his tax returns, breaking a decades-long tradition of presidential candidates.



— CNBC's Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report





© 2019 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal



https://youtu.be/IYhqlOQ1vHY
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage antic l Imax or showdown at ok co

Postby Meno_ » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:40 pm

The New York Time
|
LOG IN
Trump Throws Middle East Policy Into Turmoil Over Syria



Oct. 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — President Trump threw Middle East policy into turmoil with a series of conflicting signals on Monday as his vow to withdraw American forces from the region touched off an uprising among congressional Republicans and protests by America’s allies.

Defending his decision to clear the way for a Turkish military operation against America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, Mr. Trump said it was “time for us to get out” and let others “figure the situation out.” But after Republican allies condemned the move, he pivoted sharply and said he would restrain Turkey.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” the president wrote on Twitter, without explaining what exactly he would consider off limits.

Even after Mr. Trump walked back his decision, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, warned him against “a precipitous withdrawal” that would benefit Russia, Iran, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the Islamic State. Mr. McConnell sharply urged the president to “exercise American leadership.”

ADVERTISEMENT
A Defense Department official said that the president’s threat to destroy the Turkish economy should remove any ambiguity about whether Mr. Trump had endorsed a Turkish attack on the Kurds. “The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey — as did the president — that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria,” Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. “The U.S. armed forces will not support, or be involved in any operation.”

The herky-jerky policy pronouncements kept supporters, foreign leaders, military officers and his own aides off balance as they tried to interpret Mr. Trump’s meaning and anticipate its consequences. The president has long agitated to get the United States out of what he considers fruitless overseas wars only to be pulled back to some extent by the national security establishment and congressional allies.

In this case, Mr. Trump seemed to be responding instinctively to a comment by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey near the end of a telephone call on Sunday. Rather than hold back Mr. Erdogan anymore, Mr. Trump promptly announced late that night that he would pull out American troops near the border who have served as a trip wire deterring Turkey from sending forces into Syria against Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.

By Monday morning, he was bombarded with complaints from both Republicans and Democrats, who charged that such a move would abandon some of United States’ most loyal and effective allies in the region, while emboldening some of America’s most threatening enemies.



“If I didn’t see Donald Trump’s name on the tweet, I thought it was Obama’s rationale for getting out of Iraq,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and usually one of the president’s most vocal backers, said on Fox News.

As with President Barack Obama’s decision to pull out American troops from Iraq in 2011, Mr. Graham said, Mr. Trump’s withdrawal would create a vacuum for remnants of the Islamic State, Mr. Assad and others to surge forward again.

“This is a big win for Iran and Assad, a big win for ISIS,” Mr. Graham said, using another term for the Islamic State. “I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey if they step one foot in northeastern Syria. That will sever my relationship with Turkey. I think most of the Congress feels that way.”

Mr. Graham said he would also introduce a nonbinding resolution asking Mr. Trump to reconsider his move, which he called “shortsighted and irresponsible.” The president’s assertion that the Islamic State has been defeated is “the biggest lie being told by the administration,” Mr. Graham added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the House Republican leadership, called withdrawing United States forces from northern Syria “a catastrophic mistake.” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said it would be “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”

Nikki R. Haley, Mr. Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, joined the chorus. “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she tweeted. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend.”

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, shared a tweet from Mr. Graham and added his own thoughts. “The President’s decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal,” he wrote. “It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Left virtually on his own, Mr. Trump found support on Capitol Hill from Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and one of the president’s staunchest defenders. Mr. Trump “once again fulfills his promises to stop our endless wars and have a true America First foreign policy,” Mr. Paul tweeted.

Image
Senator Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill in July. “This is a big win for Iran and Assad, a big win for ISIS,” Mr. Graham said.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times
Mr. Trump came to office promising to get the country out of overseas wars, contending that the military’s involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had largely been a waste of lives and money, with little to show for it.

A similarly sudden decision last winter to pull American troops out of Syria prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign, and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, accelerated his own planned departure in protest.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Senate, led by Mr. McConnell, relayed its displeasure in January by voting overwhelmingly to rebuke Mr. Trump over his planned withdrawal of military forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump later walked back his decision in Syria to some extent, but has been frustrated not to be doing more to extricate the United States from entanglements in the region. His supporters said the latest move should therefore not be a surprise and the Kurds had fair warning.

The Kurdish forces in the area, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., have been the most reliable American ally in the region for years, a critical element in recapturing territory once controlled by the Islamic State. But Turkey has long considered the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists and has lobbied the United States to abandon support for them.

ADVERTISEMENT
“The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday. “We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight.” Now, he said, it is time to leave.

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Mr. Trump wrote. “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.”

He offered little sympathy for the fate of America’s Kurdish allies: “The Kurds fought with us,” he wrote, “but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

Mr. Trump has been particularly irritated that the United States continues to pay to detain thousands of Islamic State fighters. For months, he has tried to pressure European states and others to take those fighters who originated from there, only to run into strong resistance.


“Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA!” Mr. Trump wrote. “I said ‘NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.’ They again said ‘NO,’ thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the ‘sucker,’ on NATO, on Trade, on everything.”

But if Turkey moves against the Kurds, the S.D.F. could abandon camps to fight the Turks, potentially allowing some 10,000 captured Islamic State fighters, including 2,000 foreigners, to escape. United States military officers were trying to reassure the S.D.F. in hopes of avoiding such a scenario.

The United States has suspended longstanding efforts to create a safe zone in Syria near the Turkish border that would have kept Turkish forces and Syrian fighters at a distance from each other. But one State Department official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity under administration ground rules said that the United States was now controlling the air space over northeast Syria in part to prevent Turkish aggression.

The prospect that an American withdrawal would lead to a Turkish incursion alarmed European allies. The French and Germans issued statements expressing deep concern. A State Department official said the international reaction to a possible Turkish operation had been “devastating” and acknowledged it would destabilize the region.

ADVERTISEMENT
For now at least, the Syrian Defense Forces leadership has told American officials that it will continue to detain the Islamic State fighters and their families in makeshift camps in northern Syria. But a State Department official acknowledged that the best-trained guards could be pulled away in the event of conflict with Turkey.

Most of the camps are farther south than where the Turkish forces have indicated they might go in Syria, outside the boundary of even the broadest safe zone that has been discussed. If the Kurdish guards flee advancing Turkish forces, the official said, then the administration expects the Turks to take over the detention centers.

American counterterrorism specialists said on Monday that transferring counterterrorism responsibilities to a Turkish military force that has proved ill -trained and ill equipped to conduct such operations in their own country would be disastrous and potentially reverse important victories by American troops and their Kurdish partners on the ground.

“It’s hard to imagine Turkey has the capacity to handle securely and appropriately the detainees long held by the Syrian Kurds — and that’s if Turkey even genuinely intends to try,” said Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council under Mr. Obama.

“The release or escape of such detainees,” he added, “would instantly energize ISIS’s efforts, already underway, to regroup and surge again.”





© 2019 The New York Times Compan




Now it's notable that two contradictory processes are going on simulteniously, the US withdrawal against which even Mitch Mc'Onell is voicing his objections, and the impeachment.

Deep level conservatives may even skirt the idea of an intentional parallel here, of tail wagging .

What politi cal and military stategists are saying is that a bloodbath will follow, and Turks joining the Iran-Russia-China axis.

Throwing the Kurds under the bus, has salient features, never the less, of pulling our boys back from a veritable abyss.

Let's see how it will play out.

The proposition of the military involvement was massaged by the Democratic summons of higher up Pentagon generals.


OR:

Is this an incredibly daring sideshow, where an old guard perfectly insulated by the idea of an irresistibly powerful US, can bend pre and perceptions, where revision will certainly be plausible within a span of a certain amount of time's passage?

There is the theory of combinations , or partially derived propositions which can not defy the cliche of time healing all wounds.

Perhaps the strategy compels politics to become a handmaiden of slam assurance of a reality that can not possibly change .

Beyond guilt and innoscence , all's well in love and war.


Trump's move: Are you kidding me?
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade slams President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria.



Now the Dems, his own media are bashing him. How can he St and it?
Well, he is a.good soldier. That's how!
He is only sticking to his guns!
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5308
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

PreviousNext

Return to Society, Government, and Economics



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot]