Trump enters the stage

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:06 pm

Copies of Trump’s fiscal year 2020 Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington Monday.

'Dead on arrival': Democrats dismiss Trump budget plan with $8.6bn for wall
President’s 2020 plan signals intent to reignite a political fight that has already led to a record 35-day partial government shutdown

David Smith in Washington

Donald Trump’s latest budget request, which demands billions of dollars for a border wall at the expense of social safety nets and environmental protections, was dismissed on Monday as “dead on arrival” and “breathtaking in its degree of cruelty”.

Fox News condemns host Jeanine Pirro's attack on Ilhan Omar – live

The president unveiled a 2020 plan that includes $8.6bn for a wall on the border with Mexico, signalling his intent to reignite a political fight that has already led to a record 35-day partial government shutdown.

Trump’s budget would also increase defence spending while cutting domestic programmes by 5%, or $2.7tn over 10 years: higher than any administration in history. This is intended to curb the national debt, currently more than $22tn, a record level.

Budgets released by the White House have little chance of passing intact and tend to be statements of intent, starting points for negotiations with Congress.

Democrats gave Trump’s plan short shrift. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said: “The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal is a gut-punch to the American middle class and a handout to the wealthiest few and powerful special interests that would worsen income inequality. Its proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, as well as numerous other middle-class programs, are devastating, but not surprising.”

Bernie Sanders, a member on the Senate budget committee and a Democratic candidate for president, said: “The Trump budget is breathtaking in its degree of cruelty and filled with broken promises.

“This is a budget for the military industrial complex, for corporate CEOs, for Wall Street and for the billionaire class. It is dead on arrival. We don’t need billions of dollars for a wall that no one wants. We need a budget that works for all Americans, not just Donald Trump and his billionaire friends at Mar-a-Lago.”

Titled A Budget for a Better America: Promises Kept, Taxpayers First, the plan contains $32.5bn for border security and immigration enforcement activities including $8.6bn for a border wall, a signature campaign promise by Trump – although he initially insisted Mexico would pay for it. There is also $478m to hire 1,750 Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Repeating administration talking points which experts have questioned, Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, told CNBC the “the border situation is deteriorating by the day” with “record numbers of apprehensions”.

Last month, Trump invoked an emergency declaration after Congress approved nearly $1.4bn for border barriers, far less than the $5.7bn he wanted. The emergency means he can potentially tap an additional $3.6bn from military accounts and shift it to building the wall.

But the Senate is poised this week to vote to terminate Trump’s declaration. The Democratic-led House already did so and a handful of Republican senators, uneasy over what they see as an overreach of executive power, are expected to help Democrats follow suit. Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump’s declaration but not enough to overturn a veto.

The budget also dedicates $750bn for defence, with priorities listed as strategic competition with Russia and China, countering regimes such as North Korea and Iran, defeating terrorist threats and consolidating gains in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some $330m is allocated to fight the opioid crisis and the proposal includes $1bn for a childcare fund that would seek to improve access to care for underserved populations, a one-time allocation championed by the president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump.

Trump promised during his election campaign not to cut the healthcare programmes Medicare or Medicaid. But his budget would would wipe billions off both, along with social security and other programmes on which many Americans depend, over the next decade. It would cut environmental protection by an estimated 31% next year and weaken the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ariel Moger, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, said: “Trump’s budget slashes programs that protect our environment, feed families and provide healthcare. The American people should not have to pay the price for Trump’s 2017 giant tax giveaway to billionaires and big oil.”

Trump border wall request will set up new budget fight, adviser says

The proposal “embodies fiscal responsibility”, Vought insisted, adding that the administration has “prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending” and shown “we can return to fiscal sanity”.

The White House claims the national debt is a threat to long-term prosperity and the plan puts the federal budget on a path to balance within 15 years, relying in part on an optimistic projection of 3.1% economic growth. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects growth to slow to 1.7% in coming years.

At the first White House press briefing for six weeks, on Monday, Vought pushed back at criticism of Trump.

“He’s not cutting Medicare in this budget,” he told reporters. “What we are doing is putting forward reforms that will lower drug prices and that, because Medicare pays a very large share of drug prices in this country, has the impact of finding savings. We’re also finding waste, fraud and abuse, but Medicare spending will go up every single year by healthy margins and there are no structural changes for Medicare beneficiaries.”

Vought claimed Trump’s past budgets would have reduced the deficit and blamed Congress for spurning them, warning that its refusal to make trade offs is unsustainable.

Congress will need to find agreement on spending levels to avoid another shutdown by 1 October.

Topics
Donald Trump


US politics


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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:32 pm

Politico 3/12\2019


Former House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday warned that President Donald Trump's reelection prospects could be in danger next year if he chooses to rely on his personality, rather than focus on policy, to win another four years in the White House.

Speaking at a lecture in Vero Beach, Fla., in some of his first public comments since leaving Congress two months ago, Ryan also bemoaned the political polarization that was a defining characteristic of his tenure as speaker, blaming the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus for derailing attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and blaming technology for deepening the political divide.



Note: it is incredible how strong his constituencie's support appears to be, increasingly digging in the very polarized veracity between parties.
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Re: Trump -are new airplanes safe?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:39 pm

President Donald Trump says airplanes are 'becoming far too complex to fly'
DAVID JACKSON AND BART JANSEN | USA TODAY | 1 hour ago


Airlines in Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and elsewhere grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner Monday after the second devastating crash of one of the planes in five months. (March 11)
AP
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump weighed in Tuesday on the crashes of a new Boeing jet model by claiming that "airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly" and may be too susceptible to crashes.


In a tweet two days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet made by Boeing, the second such accident in five months, Trump tweeted that "pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," and manufacturers are "always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better."

While not proposing any alternatives, Trump claimed that "complexity creates danger," and added: "I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!"

Boeing 737: UK becomes latest to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after Ethiopian Airlines crash

The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 passengers on Sunday has yet to be determined.


More than two dozen airlines around the world have grounded planes.

Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019
....needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, tweeted Tuesday that technology has made aviation safer through collaboration between manufacturers and crews. Nelson added that "mindless blurbs" from "someone who should know better don't help."

Aviation safety and security is our number one priority and mindless blurbs on Twitter from someone who should know better don’t help. Vigilance, training, collaboration . . . that’s what helps.

— Sara Nelson (@FlyingWithSara) March 12, 2019
Crash investigators in Ethiopia and Indonesia are studying two fatal crashes in five months involving a new version of Boeing’s 737 called the Max 8.

The design of the engines prompted Boeing to change software for how the plane behaves, which risks exacerbating a dive if pilots aren’t familiar with the change.

Boeing issued additional instructions for dealing with the change after the Indonesia crash and repeated the warning after the Ethiopia crash Sunday.


Will the US ground Boeing 737 Max 8 jets: Questions following Ethiopian Airlines crash left unanswered

While the causes of both crashes remain under investigation, several countries have grounded the 737 Max 8, although not the United States.

Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called on the FAA to ground the Max 8 on Tuesday.

"Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes," tweeted Romney.


Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 12, 2019
Warren, in a statement, said while the causes of the crashes are unknown, "serious questions have been raised about whether these planes were pressed into service without additional pilot training in order to save money."

Trump's comments came shortly after the United Kingdom became the latest country to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, the U.S. company's hottest-selling model.

Trump's analysis of airplane problems drew ridicule from his critics.

"Hard to believe this guy bankrupted an airline," tweeted Cody Keenan, a speechwriter for President Barack Obama.

Hard to believe this guy bankrupted an airline https://t.co/dhez8PRQva

— Cody Keenan (@codykeenan) March 12, 2019
Originally Published 2 hours ago
Updated 1 hour ago

© Copyright Gannett 2019
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:31 pm

DONALD TRUMP
New York attorney general subpoenas banks about Trump projects
State investigators are seeking records from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank on Trump projects as a result of Michael Cohen's congressional testimony.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James delivers her speech, on Ellis Island in New York Harbor on Jan. 1, 2019.Richard Drew / AP file—
March 12, 2019, 2:06 PM ET / Updated
By Allan Smith
New York Attorney General Letitia James' office issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank late Monday night as part of an inquiry into a set of major Trump Organization projects and Donald Trump's effort to purchase the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 2014, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

Regarding Deutsche Bank, state investigators subpoenaed records including loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., Trump National Doral in South Florida and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the source said.


Additionally, investigators requested records from Deutsche Bank on Trump's failed bid to buy the Bills, as Trump provided the bank with limited personal financial information in 2014 when he tried to purchase the team. The Bills were ultimately sold to businessman Terry Pegula.

The New York attorney general also subpoenaed Investors Bank, a New Jersey-based financial institution, for records tied to Trump Park Avenue, a project it backed.

The New York Times first reported on the probe.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement, "We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations." Investors Bank and the Trump Organization did not immediately return requests for comment from NBC News.


Deutsche Bank has already found itself under the scrutiny of congressional investigators for its relationship with the president. For years, the Germany-based bank was one of the only major financial institutions to do business with Trump. Last year, the bank was examined by New York banking regulators, who ultimately did not take action.

The latest inquiry into the president's business dealings came as a result of congressional testimony provided by Michael Cohen, the president's former longtime attorney. Late last month, Cohen testified under oath to the House Oversight Committee that Trump inflated the worth of his assets in financial statements and provided Congress with copies of statements he said were sent to Deutsche Bank.

The latest probe by James' office is a civil investigation, as is the ongoing state probe that led to the dissolution of the Trump Foundation, the president's charity. New York law gives the attorney general broad authority to investigate businesses for fraud.

James, a Democrat, pledged to thoroughly examine the president as part of her campaign platform. After her victory, she told NBC News that her office "will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well."


Trump has taken issue with James and her predecessors, Barbara Underwood and Eric Schneiderman, who resigned last year amid allegations of abusing women. The office has led significant investigations into the president's charity as well as Trump University, his defunct real estate education venture.

On James, Trump tweeted in December that she "openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda."

"Will never be treated fairly by these people — a total double standard of 'justice,'" he added.

Allan Smith
Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.
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Re: Trump enters the stage World War 3 scenario

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:41 pm

World War 3 WARNING: US would be ‘wiped out’ by Russia and China reveal analysts
The war game simulation showed the US is lacking in military prowess

The war game simulation showed the US is lacking in military prowess
WORLD War 3 simulations conducted by an American nonprofit have revealed US forces would be completely “wiped out” when confronted with Chinese and Russian military.
By BRIAN MCGLEENON
PUBLISHED: 04:24, Tue, Mar 12, 2019


The RAND Corporation, who carried out the simulation, claimed US land, sea and air forces would be reduced to rubble in the outlandish scenario. Nonprofit research organization RAND Corporation reported the war-game showed US armed forces facing substantial losses, despite repeated attempts to overcome both Russia and China's military muscle. RAND analyst David Ochmanek said: "In our games when we fight Russia and China, the US gets its a** handed to it.

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"We lose a lot of people.

“We lose a lot of equipment.

“We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary."

The simulations showed the US see major setbacks in all five battlefield domains.

READ MORE: Former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort sentenced to prison


A Soviet WWII-era T-34 tank drives during a military parade (Image: GETTY)
The US were soundly beaten on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

US stealth fighters were often wiped out while still on the runway.

Former deputy secretary of defence and an experienced war-gamer Robert Work said: "F-35 rules the sky when it's in the sky, it gets killed on the ground in large numbers."

Other scenarios showed that US warships were sunk and US bases reduced to rubble.


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The aircraft carrier Liaoning of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy leaves a shipyard (Image: GETTY)
The US was seen to not have enough anti-air and missile defence capabilities to strike back in the event of a high-end conflict.

Both aircraft carriers and US Air Force bases were often targeted by long-range precision-guided missiles, and the US Army's tank brigades were pummeled by cruise missiles, drones and helicopters, officials stated.

Mr Ochmanek said: ”Things that rely on sophisticated base infrastructure like runways and fuel tanks are going to have a hard time."

When it comes to cyber warfare, Mr Ochmanek indicated that US satellites and wireless networks could become ineffective if Chinese military forces were to employ "system destruction warfare".

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Re: Trump - No climate change

Postby Meno_ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:08 am

Trump tweets climate change skeptic in latest denial of science
By Brandon Miller, CNN
Updated 3:13 PM EDT, Tue March 12, 2019


(CNN) President Donald Trump escalated his denial of global warming Tuesday, when he took to Twitter to quote a noted climate skeptic who claims that climate change is "fake science."

Trump cited the comments of Patrick Moore on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program, which identified him as the co-founder of the activist group Greenpeace.


According to Greenpeace, however, Moore is not a co-founder but rather "a paid spokesman for a variety of polluting industries for more than 30 years."

Moore, who is not a climate scientist but who has degrees in forest biology and ecology, played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years early in the organization's existence, according to Greenpeace's website, but he did not help found it.

"He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes," the group said in a statement in 2010.

But the incorrect facts about Moore's past and credentials pale in comparison to the incorrect facts in the quote the President chose to tweet.

'There is no climate crisis'
According to Moore, "there is no climate crisis."

But according to Trump's own government's report from November, "the impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country."

The National Climate Assessment, which was a collaboration of 13 federal agencies and over 300 leading scientists, found that the US economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century because of climate change.

Here's how climate change will impact the US
"There is nothing fake about the climate crisis we face today," said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist from Texas Tech University who was one of the lead authors of the report.

"The science behind climate change has been understood since the 1850s. We cannot afford to have politically motivated people spin the issue any longer," Hayhoe said of Moore's comments.

'There's weather and climate all around the world'
Although Moore is correct that weather and climate occur all over the world, that obvious statement does not in any way counter the facts that climate is changing and that human activities are the cause.

According to a special report last year from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C (1.8°F) of global warming above pre-industrial levels (from 1850-1900)."

That report also projected that the planet could reach dangerous levels of warming by 2030, which would include more heat waves, greater sea level rise, worse droughts and rainfall extremes.

The effects of climate change on the world
Fossil fuels still comprise the largest source of energy consumed worldwide, coal being the worst CO2-emitter of all. Carbon dioxide emissions are closely tied to climate change, and its effects are already at our doorstep.

Scroll through the gallery to see how communities around the world are being affected
1 of 15


Hide Caption















And although extreme weather has always occurred, the warming climate is worsening many types of extreme weather -- and even causing some of it.

US government scientists have pointed to the role that climate change has played in what have been the costliest back-to-back years in weather-related disaster costs, totaling well over $350 billion in 2017 and 2018.

"Climate change is playing an increasing role, amplifying the frequency and intensity of certain types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar disasters," said Adam Smith, lead researcher at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

'Carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life'
Carbon dioxide is not one of the six elements generally considered the chemical building blocks of life -- but its components, carbon and oxygen, are (along with hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus).

According to NASA, "carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels."

The carbon dioxide data (red curve) measured on Mauna Loa is the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere.
And thanks to ever-increasing emissions of it worldwide, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher than at any point in the past 800,000 years.

Earth's temperature is very closely coupled to carbon dioxide, and "even a very small amount of it can have a profound warming impact," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Moore's sentiment that carbon dioxide is essential to life on Earth is correct, but too much of it is certainly not a good thing.

Mann had an offer for Moore: "If he wants proof, I'm sure I can raise funds for his one-way trip to Venus."

Vl
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:23 pm

46 seconds ago
News > World > Americas > US politics
Trump news - latest: President launches 6.50am Twitter tirade over impeachment remarks ahead of Manafort sentencing
Follow the latest from Washington

Joe Sommerlad
29 seconds ago



Donald Trump has again denounced the “Witch Hunt Hoax” against him in a flurry of tweets, saying potential impeachment proceedings overlook “the minor fact I never did anything wrong” on the day his ex-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, comes before a judge for sentencing for a second time.

The president tweeted thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her opposition to impeachment, which she considers “too divisive”, and took aim at New York’s state’s governor Andrew Cuomo, new attorney-general Letitia James and her predecessor, Eric Schneiderman for issuing subpoenas related to his business dealings.


Manafort was last week given 47 months in jail by a court in Virginia after pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud and this time faces up to 10 years behind bars for conspiracy against the US and obstruction of justice.


KEY POINTS
Trump says impeachment talk overlooks 'minor fact I never did anything wrong'
President rages against New York officials on Twitter over subpoenas
Paul Manafort facing 10 years in prison ahead of new sentencing
Democrats disagree with Nancy Pelosi on impeachment
12 minutes ago
One man widely-tipped to ignore Lara Trump's advice is popular Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who ran a close race for the Senate against the might of Ted Cruz in the Lone Star State back in November's midterms.

Mr O'Rourke, a native of El Paso, won national admiration for his outspoken campaign last autumn and is all set to "push the button" on a 2020 presidential run this week, according to insiders.
Joe Sommerlad
13 March 2019 11:42
27 minutes ago
Daughter-in-law Lara Trump, wife of Eric, has a handy tip for prospective 2020 presidential candidates: save it for 2024, you'll lose no matter what.

Here's Clark Mindock.

Trump’s daughter-in-law warns 2020 rivals to wait until 2024
Lara Trump says that running in 2020 is a waste of money because she thinks her father-in-law will win no matter what

He's now taking his old enemies in California to task for halting death penalty executions.

Remember the state resoundingly snubbed him at the polls in 2016 and is leading a 16-state legal challenge against his national emergency declaration in support of his US-Mexico border wall
Here come the rallying cries.

Hang on. Does America still need to be made great again or has he definitely already succeeded in that aim and is advocating consolidating the status quo? Which is it Don?

1 hour ago
Now the president is hitting out at satire at his expense, not naming NBC's Saturday Night Live or late night hosts like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers but presumably alluding to their constant jokes about him and his administration.

He's here referring to an interview former Tonight Show host Jay Leno gave to Al Roker on NBC in which he said he did not miss his old gig: "No, it’s different. I don’t miss it. You know, everything now is, if people don’t like your politics, they - everyone has to know your politics."

"I kind of used Johnny’s model. People couldn’t figure out. 'Well, you and your Republican friends' or 'Well, Mr Leno, you and your Democratic buddies.' And I would get hate mail from both sides equally," he said, referring to his celebrated predecessor Johnny Carson.

"But when people see you as one-sided, it just makes it tough," Mr Leno continued. "And plus, I did it when, you know, [Bill] Clinton was horny and [George W] Bush was dumb, and it was just a little easier.

"Now it’s all very serious. I’d just like to see a bit of civility come back to it, you know? People say, 'Oh, it must be easy to do jokes with Trump.' No, it’s actually harder because the punch line of the joke used to be 'That’s like the president with a porn star.' Well, now the president is with a porn star. Where do you go with that? How do you get more outrageous than that?"

One man who thinks the president is headed for impeachment is David Bossie, a former deputy Trump campaign manager.

In fact he said precisely that on ABC's The Investigation podcast: "I see that's where these Democrats are headed... We are headed to impeachment."

Asked whether he thought the White House was prepared for a possible onslaught of investigations from House Democrats.
"I would say you're never ready enough... Do I think the White House is ready? From a staff standpoint - I would say no, today. Do I believe they are in the process of getting ready? Y
A reminder of the comments made by House speaker Nancy Pelosi to which the president is referring.

Speaking to The Washington Post on Monday, she said: "I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before", she said.

"But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.
The president is up and talking impeachment.
In case you missed it, George W Bush's former vice-president Dick Cheney yesterday took his successor Mike Pence to task over the Trump administration's approach to foreign policy.

Calling out the decision to remove troops from Syria and keep a distance from Nato, Mr Cheney reportedly said: "It's a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan."

Here's Sarah Harvard.

Cheney roasts Pence over Trump’s foreign policy in leaked transcript
The man credited for orchestrating the bloody and costly Iraq War criticised the president for his decision to pull troops from Syria
Joe Sommerlad

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's own attorney, Michael Monico, sent a letter to the head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee yesterday clarifying his client's testimony that he never sought a pardon from the president, as accusations persist Cohen has lied to Congress again.

Cohen declared under oath on 27 February that "I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump."

That statement, with millions of people watching on television, set off a firestorm that culminated on Friday with Donald Trump calling Cohen a liar in a tweet and alleging he had "directly asked" for a pardon. Cohen responded in kind.

Lawyer Michael Monico told Representative Elijah Cummings in the letter that Cohen had asked a previous lawyer to explore the possibility of a pardon before he subsequently left a joint-defence agreement and turned against Donald Trump last June. Cohen hasn't done so since, Mr Monico said.

Mr Monico denied Mr Trump's claim that Cohen had personally asked him for a pardon.

Cohen's public committee testimony last month "could have been clearer and more complete" when it came to pardons, Monico conceded in the letter. His remarks about not seeking a pardon pertained to the time after his split from Mr Trump, he said.

Cohen had made the initial inquiry about a possible pardon after an FBI raid on his New York City home, office and hotel room in April 2018, according to Mr Monico, because Trump had "publicly dangled the possibility of pardons when commenting about ongoing investigations."

Nothing ever came of that effort, he said.

Congressional investigators appear to be zeroing in on the president's pardoning power as Democrats embark on a series of sweeping investigations into Trump's political and personal dealings.

The possibility he could pardon Paul Manafort after today's sentencing remains in the ai
The president also took inspiration from Fox News to take on climate change.

“The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life,” he wrote, apparently a direct quote from Greenpeace "co-founder" Patrick Moore.

A surprising source, until you hear Greenpeace's thoughts about the man in question.

“Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental ‘expert’ or even an ‘environmentalist,’ while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance,” the group said in a statement.

“He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”

Trump repeats false claim there is no climate change crisis as he brands science 'fake'
President once again tweets false claim while seemingly watching Fox News


MIT responds to bizarre Trump tweet about its scientists flying planes
President claimed that planes are too 'complicated' for pilots to fly and that computer scientists were required
Last night's tweets were fairly standard for the "new normal" of Trumpland but yesterday's posts on the complexity of modern aircraft was something to behold.

In the wake of the tragic Boeing 737 crash in Ethiopia at the weekend, the president tweeted: "Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT... I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”

Here's Chris Riotta.

Trump launches extraordinary attack on planes which have become 'too complicated to fly'
‘Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly’, president says

Here's Tom Embury-Dennis on the president's suggestion his supporters are "fleeing" the Big Apple in disgust at the investigations surrounding him.

Trump says people are so angry about investigations into him they are 'fleeing' New York
'All part of the Witch Hunt Hoax,' president tweets after state launches hotel probe

Democrats have so far broadly disagreed with Speaker Pelosi on the question of impeaching President Trump.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler told Manu Raju of CNN he was not "shutting the door" on the option.

"We're a long way from facing that. We have, we have to know all the facts," the New Yorker said. "Once we know all the facts, then we'll have to make judgments."

California representative Brad Sherman told the same channel's Jake Tapper: "The fact is, you don't have to wait until you can identify all the felonies a president has committed in order to impeach for all the felonies that are on the record."

"The felonies are there. Whether we have public opinion on our side, I don't think we are there yet, but we reached the legal standard long ago," he said.

Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib meanwhile told reporters yesterday: "It's important that there is a transparent process. No one, not even the president, should be above the law."

Paul Manafort will appear in the Washington courtroom of Judge Amy Berman Jackson today for sentencing, less than a week after Judge TS Ellis III of Virginia caused uproar by handing him just 47 months in jail for financial crimes and declaring he had "lived an otherwise blameless life".

Manafort could get a maximum of 10 years behind bars as the two charges he has plead guilty to - conspiracy against the US and obstruction of justice - carry five-year penalties.

Judge Jackson, a Barack Obama appointee, has found that Manafort infringed the terms of a plea deal with FBI special counsel Robert Mueller by lying to his prosecutors, the FBI and the grand jury, thereby freeing her from any obligation to recommend a reduced sentence.

The hearing may offer a window into tantalising allegations that aren't part of the criminal cases against Manafort but have nonetheless surfaced in recent court filings - that he shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate the US says has ties to Russian intelligence, and that the two men met secretly during the campaign in an encounter that prosecutors say cuts "to the heart" of their investigation.

CNN's Stephen Collinson suggests, depending on the outcome, House speaker Nancy Pelosi will struggle to keep a lid on demands from her fellow Democrats that the president face impeachment proceedings. Ms Pelosi told The Washington Post on Monday she fears the process would be "too divisive" for America and that Donald Trump was "now worth it".

Following the first sentencing last Thursday, the president said he felt "very badly" for Manafort and cited the matter as yet more evidence of the "Witch Hoax" against him.

"The judge said there was no collusion with Russia," he told reporters on the White House lawn. This was incorrect. Judge Ellis merely said Manafort had not been accused of it in this instance.

Mr Trump has not ruled out the possibility of issuing a presidential pardon to his old ally and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders deflected a question on the matter at a rare briefing on Monday.
Joe Sommerlad
The president was also busily retweeting friendly Republican congressman Jim Jordan, who was critical of House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, and positive employment statistics on women in the workforce from his beloved Ivanka.

He also boasted loudly of his own economic stewardship, describing the latest data as, "A beautiful thing to watch!"

And there was this meme of Uncle Sam praying in church for America's deliverance from its oppressors - first posted on 9 November 2016, the day of his election - which is just plain crackers.
Donald Trump evidently had a late one last night, posting a flurry of tweets attacking the "Witch Hunt Hoax" against him ahead of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort's second appearance before a US district judge for sentencing.

The president's ire was this time trained on New York, his old stomping ground, hitting out first at governor Andrew Cuomo...
...Then at new attorney-general Letitia James and her predecessor, Eric Schneiderman.

The attack comes after Ms James, who was previously referred to him as an "illegitimate president", issued subpoenas to two banks for documents related to Trump hotel projects in Washington, Chicago and Miami as well as his attempted purchase of the Buffalo Bills American football team, according to The New York Times.

The state's actions follow Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress, in which he alleged Mr Trump had inflated the value of his assets to secure loans from Deutsche Bank.
Joe Sommerlad
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Re: Trump and Pelosi

Postby Meno_ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:25 pm

Nancy Pelosi has come out again and again saying that impeachment is not on the table, setting up an intra conflixtual sentiment inside the Democratic party.

A few months ago she said that at that point , it was unwise, because it may play out negatively against a new backdrop within which the Mueller inveatigation may play a large part.

Now, with a crisis like situation interpreted by Mueller's appearing appearent delay in bringing forth his report, all of Washington DC is full of gossip and imbroglio, opinion downshifting any great expectations of monumental revelation.

Pelosi's argument rests on the fear of backfiring the reality from the expectation, as well as coming to terms with the reality that the politocal interparty conflict may in fact garner a politically bad result.

Maybe the Mueller report will parallel the wider political consideration of party politics and international ramifications as well. The upcoming 2020 elections are being factored in pro and con, in terms of political interpretations relating to media considerations, as well as abiding by the machine of D.C. behind the door handshakes.




DONALD TRUMP
Trump says he 'greatly appreciates' Pelosi's impeachment comments
The president added in a Wednesday tweet that "everyone must remember the minor fact that I never did anything wrong."

SHARE THIS —
March 13, 2019, 7:37 AM ET
By Allan Smith
President Donald Trump thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday morning for comments she made to The Washington Post about the possibility of his impeachment.

Trump said he "greatly appreciated" her remarks, adding that "everyone must remember the minor fact that I never did anything wrong."



In an interview with The Post published Monday, Pelosi said, "I'm not for impeachment," adding that Trump is "just not worth it."


"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country," she said. "And he's just not worth it."

Pelosi added she does not believe Trump is "fit" to be president.

"I mean, ethically unfit," she said. "Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don't think he's fit to be president of the United States," she said.

Possible impeachment proceedings would have to begin in the House Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., last week made document requests of 81 people and entities tied to the president.


"Impeachment is a long way down the road," Nadler told ABC News "This Week" earlier this month. "We don’t have the facts yet, but we’re going to initiate proper investigations." He added that it's Congress' "job to protect the rule of law."

"That’s our core function," he added. "And to do that we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power ... into corruption and into obstruction of justice."


Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News


Bad bad day for Mr. President



Live TV
Explosive revelations in Russia saga add up to a bad day for Trump
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 1:09 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2019


(CNN) It would be hard to think of a more damaging day for a President than one on which his former campaign chairman disappeared behind bars for years to come. But Paul Manafort's new sentence was the least of Donald Trump's worries Wednesday as his Russia investigation nightmare took yet another turn for the worse.

New suspicions about dangled pardons, conflicting congressional testimony, implicit pleas for clemency and fresh suggestions of inappropriate presidential behavior delivered a new twist to the drama with Washington already on edge in anticipation of special counsel Robert Mueller's final report.

A new firestorm erupted over disputed assertions that ex-acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker did not deny in a closed congressional meeting that he had spoken with President Donald Trump about a case involving Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen.


CNN reported explosive new revelations involving Cohen's allegation that a pardon had been dangled in exchange for him staying loyal to the President, in which he was purportedly told he could be sure he had "friends in high places."

Both new angles on the Russia intrigue came on the day that a judge added to the prison sentence of Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, after he was snared in Mueller's investigation. He faces a total of 7.5 years in prison.

For the second time in a week, a Manafort attorney emerged from a sentencing hearing and appeared to twist a judge's words in a way that raised suspicions he was bolstering Trump's claims that there was "no collusion" in return for a pardon for his client.

View this interactive content on CNN.com
Trump did little to stem speculation he might act in such a manner by saying he felt "very badly" for Manafort, while making the barely believable assertion that the thought of springing Manafort from jail after his convictions for tax and financial fraud, obstruction and witness tampering had never entered his mind.

Those comments came two days after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders appeared to imply Trump had at least thought about freeing Manafort by saying, "He'll make a decision when he is ready."

As is often the case in the Russia investigation and associated cases, vital details remain unknown and there is a sense that the information available to the public is only scratching the surface of what might really have happened.

But equally there is no proven direct evidence of collusion by the President from any of the multiple investigations that are swirling around his White House and are now digging deep into his personal and business affairs as well as the 2016 campaign.

Still, a day of frenetic activity and foreboding claims and counterclaims raised new questions about the appropriateness of the President's past behavior and whether he will try to absolve his former associates with his pardon power -- one of the most compelling questions in Washington in early 2019.

Wednesday's developments underscored once more the peril the President potentially faces from the new investigative powers of the freshly elected Democratic-led House.

The politics raging around the investigations also suggested yet again how hard it will be for the nation to eventually coalesce around an outcome that offers a sense of closure after the uproar of the 2016 election.

The new developments could also prompt a discussion of whether Mueller has more work to do at a moment when he had appeared to be close to filing the report on his investigation with the attorney general.

Whitaker back on the hot seat
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler demonstrated the Democrats' capacity to break open new seams of the Russia controversy when he emerged from a closed-door meeting with Whitaker to talk to reporters.

The New York Democrat said that unlike in a previous open congressional hearing, Whitaker did not deny that Trump had called him to discuss the Cohen case,

"He did not deny it," Nadler said. "He did not say no."

The issue could be significant because it raises the possibility that the President spoke to the then-top Justice Department official about a case linked to his personal and business affairs involving his former fixer.

At best, such a conversation would appear inappropriate and unethical since the President is the country's top law enforcement officer. At worst it could again raise suggestions that Trump may have obstructed justice, in addition to possible past examples of such behavior being investigated by Mueller.

Nadler also said Whitaker had indicated that he was involved in conversations about the recusal of Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, in the Cohen case.

The former acting attorney general also said he was involved in discussions over whether Berman's prosecutors had gone too far in a campaign finance case in which Trump was effectively referred to as an unindicted co-conspirator.

It would not be unusual for a President to discuss personnel matters with an attorney general or even specific cases.

But if the officials in question were involved in investigations of the commander in chief, it would look highly suspicious.

Like most of the developments in the Russia investigation, the new revelations were difficult to fit into a wider picture since the top Republican on the committee provided a contrary version of events in the meeting with Whitaker.

"In fact, he had said he did not talk with the President about Mr. Cohen at all," said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia. "And then no conversation with the Southern District of New York at all, either."

'Friends in high places'
There was another case Wednesday of conflicting narratives involving Cohen -- who is headed to jail in May for offenses including lying to Congress.

Two emails provided to Congress by the President's former attorney reopened the controversy over his claims that Trump had dangled a pardon -- an accusation that the President and his allies have vigorously denied.

Exclusive: Lawyer said Michael Cohen could 'sleep well tonight' after speaking to Rudy Giuliani
An attorney who said he had been speaking with Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani reassured Cohen in an April 2018 email that Cohen could "sleep well tonight" because he had "friends in high places." CNN's Gloria Borger reported.

That and another email obtained by CNN and dated the same day do not specifically mention a pardon.

The attorney who wrote them, Robert Costello, told CNN that Cohen's interpretation of events is "utter nonsense." Costello said Cohen had asked him to raise the issue of a pardon with Giuliani.

A source with knowledge of Cohen's thinking at the time disputes Costello's version of events and says it was Costello who was pushing his relationship with Giuliani. Another source familiar with the emails said Trump's legal team had been trying to keep Cohen in the fold as a way to keep him quiet, hinting that a pardon could be in the mix at some point.

Trump twists a judge's words -- again
Before she sentenced Manafort in a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson took pains to try to ensure the substance of the case could not be willfully misinterpreted by anyone outside the courtroom -- perhaps even the President.

Trump had seized on out-of-context comments emerging from Manafort's case in Virginia last week to claim that the judge had effectively absolved his 2016 campaign of colluding with Russia's election interference effort.

Jackson clearly said the question of collusion was "not resolved" in this case, "one way or another," and was part of an ongoing investigation.

That did not stop Trump from misinterpreting her remarks in the service of his ongoing effort to brand the Russia investigation a "witch hunt": "Today, again, no collusion. The other day, no collusion."

Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing emerged after sentencing to voice a message that could have been written by Trump himself and was widely seen as a direct appeal to Trump on behalf of his aging client.

"So that makes two courts," Downing said. "Two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with the Russians."

The sense that the Manafort saga is one of the most politicized in recent memory deepened when Manhattan's district attorney -- shortly after Jackson handed down her sentence -- unveiled new state charges against Manafort including mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy.

Though the indictment was exhaustive, the move has political implications since it could be interpreted as a warning to Trump that if he pardons Manafort for his federal convictions, the ex-lobbyist could still face years in jail on state charges that are beyond the President's reach.

Several leading Democrats also left the impression that the judicial process -- which resulted in two credible cases against Manafort in separate jurisdictions -- risked being tainted by political considerations.

Commenting on Manafort's sentence of 47 months in Virginia, which was below federal guidelines, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff argued that "those who are well represented get one kind of sentence, and those who are not get a different kind of sentence." The California Democrat spoke before Jackson delivered her verdict.

After Manafort's second sentence, which could see the almost 70-year-old spend most of the rest of his life behind bars, Sen. Cory Booker, who's running for president, was asked by CNN's Manu Raju whether it was sufficient.

"No," the New Jersey Democrat said.

CNN's Gloria Borger, Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Katelyn Polantz and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.

© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage will National emergency pass toda

Postby Meno_ » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:41 pm

Mild rebuke or open revolt? Border wall emergency vote a test of Trump's strength
JOHN FRITZE AND ELIZA COLLINS | USA TODAY | 33 minutes ago


President Donald Trump says many other presidents have declared national emergencies. But the presidents he has cited did not use emergency powers to pay for projects that Congress wouldn't support. (Feb. 15)
AP
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump faces a rare defeat Thursday in the GOP-controlled Senate when lawmakers will decide whether to uphold his controversial national emergency to build his proposed border wall, or knock it down.


The prognosis doesn't look great for Trump.

Trump declared the emergency in February to free up more than $6 billion for the wall – most of it from the Pentagon. Five Senate Republicans have already said they will side with Democrats to support a resolution to rescind it, forcing Trump to sign his first veto.

The president, in a Thursday morning tweet, threatened to veto the resolution should it pass.

"A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!," he said.

A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
More: Who are the Republican senators planning to vote against Trump's border emergency?

White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have scrambled behind the scenes to limit defections. A last-ditch effort by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to ease some GOP concerns about the emergency collapsed Wednesday after the White House rejected it.


Here’s a look at how to read Thursday’s vote in the Senate in terms of how many Republicans buck Trump, and what the final count could mean for the president:

0-3 defectors: Victory for Trump
If the White House flips even one of the Republicans who have announced their opposition, it would represent a significant achievement. It would also signal that congressional Republicans see their reelection as being tied to the border wall as much as Trump does.

The GOP lawmakers who have signaled their opposition to the emergency are Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and, as of Wednesday, Lee. Critics say they agree with Trump that the border needs more resources but they say Trump's emergency declaration steps on the nation's founding principle of the separation of powers.

"My concern is really about the institution of the Congress," Murkowski said recently. "The power of the purse rests with the Congress."


President Trump speaks during an inspection of border wall prototypes in San Diego March 13, 2018.
MANDEL NGAN, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
4-7 defectors: Rebuke
Democrats need four Republican votes to rescind Trump’s emergency – and they currently have those votes. Because the Democratic-led House has already approved the resolution, a Senate vote could send the measure to the president’s desk.

Under the National Emergencies Act, Congress can rescind a presidential emergency with a simple majority. But Trump can veto the resolution, and the White House has already said he will in this case. It’s unlikely opponents of the emergency would be able to garner enough support to overturn a veto.

Roughly a dozen Senate Republicans remain on the fence, adding to the drama. Some, such as Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, have pushed Trump to take another course. Lee had proposed a compromise to tighten the rules around future emergencies.

But the concept struggled to gain support from the White House or Republicans opposed to Trump's emergency.


Collins told reporters that the Lee proposal did "not address the current problem that we have, where the president, in my judgment, is usurping congressional authority."

A White House spokesman did not respond to questions about the Lee proposal.

"It is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution because, after the American Revolution against a king, our founders chose not to create a chief executive with the power to tax the people and spend their money any way he chooses," Alexander said recently.

View | 16 Photos
President Donald Trump visits US-Mexico border
More than 8 defectors: GOP revolt
The closer the tally of Republican defectors gets to double digits, the bigger problem Trump could have in explaining his expected veto.

Trump insists he is using the emergency powers available to him under the law, and correctly notes that past presidents have signed dozens of emergency declarations. But critics say Trump’s emergency declaration, by contrast, is a response to his inability to convince Congress of the need for billions in wall funding.


And that is unusual. The emergency declaration is already the subject of several lawsuits.

Trump declared the emergency after Congress included only $1.375 billion for the border wall in their most recent government funding measure. The amount was far short of the $5.7 billion Trump initially insisted on during the 35-day government shutdown that ended in January only after he relented.

Trump's job approval remains high within the GOP, a factor that could limit defections. But while a majority of Republicans back the emergency declaration, some two-thirds of Americans overall opposed it, according to several polls earlier this year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not answer when a reporter asked him Wednesday if passage of the resolution would represent a rebuke of the president.

“I think everybody in my conference is in favor of the president's position on the wall and on border security," the characteristically understated GOP leader said. "It is no secret that the use of the national emergency law has generated a good deal of discussion."

Border wall risks: Trump's national emergency carries big risks, rewards

Warning ignored: Senate leaders warned a wall emergency would divide GOP

Polls: Donald Trump's base sticking with him despite after shutdown cave

Contributing: Deborah Berry

Originally Published 1 hour ago
Updated 33 minutes







© Copyright Gannett 2019



DONALD TRUMP
Trump vows to veto resolution terminating his national emergency declaration
Hours before the crucial vote, the president tweeted, "The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!"

President Trump at a briefing Wednesday on drug trafficking on the southern border.Win McNamee / Getty Images
SHARE THIS —
March 14, 2019, 7:46 AM ET / Updated March 14, 2019, 8:05 AM ET
By Allan Smith and Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday pledged to veto a resolution that would terminate his national emergency declaration just hours before the Senate is set for a showdown vote on the measure.

"A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction)," Trump wrote. "I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!"

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Wednesday became the fifth Republican to declare support for the House-passed Democratic resolution to cancel Trump's national emergency declaration — which the president wants to use to pay for a border wall Congress has refused to fund.

Trump tweeted again later Thursday morning, urging GOP lawmakers to stick with him.

"Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress," Trump said on Twitter. "If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!"

After four GOP senators announced that they would back the resolution — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week conceded that it would pass.

Debate started on the resolution around 10 a.m. ET, with the final vote expected in the afternoon.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a frequent Trump critic, announced in a statement ahead of the vote Thursday that he would vote in favor of the resolution.

"I will vote today for the resolution of disapproval," Romney said. "This is a vote for the constitution and for the balance of powers that is at its core. For the executive branch to override a law passed by Congress would make it the ultimate power rather than a balancing power. This is not a vote against border security. In fact, I agree that a physical barrier is urgently needed to help ease the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, and the administration already has $4.5 billion available within existing authority to fund a barrier — even without an emergency declaration."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., also announced on the Senate floor that he would join Democrats and support the measure, calling the declaration that Trump issued a "dangerous precedent."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., slammed for declaring an emergency "because he lost with Congress."

"He had to trample on the Constitution to continue his fight," Schumer said.

Should Trump veto the measure, it is unlikely that Congress would be able to overturn it.

Trump declared the national emergency weeks after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, lasting more than a month, which followed Congress' refusal to acquiesce to his demand for more than $5 billion in funding to build a massive wall along the southern border with Mexico. Trump used the emergency declaration in hopes of redirecting billions of federal dollars to build the wall without congressional approval.

Trump on Thursday labeled the Democratic lawmakers opposed to his emergency declaration "'Border Deniers.'"

"They refuse to see or acknowledge the Death, Crime, Drugs and Human Trafficking at our Southern Border!" he tweeted.


Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.

Rebecca Shabad
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington



Here is an opinion that I beg God not to be even as pointless as it appears to be, of colluding personality with what is going on in the world stage, filled with loopholes: England's Need it referendum in disarray, Kim's personality and duplicity bursting at the seams, Vemezuela's reticence to put it mildly and on and on

The partisan politics reflective of.public confidence, distrust of the judiciary and the Senate, these are not merely basis for fox.news.talking points:

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




The Trump Impeachment
CongressImpeachmentOpinionTrump-Russia
Donald Trump STILL doesn’t get it. Let’s hope that continues.
By Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy / PolitiZoom - March 13, 2019258



Please, just keep yappin’, you dumbass. Donald Trump has long been reputed to be a master magician of the media, getting them to follow the bright, shiny objects, but it turns out that he isn’t too hard to mesmerize himself.

Personally, I hope that the Mueller probe goes on for at least another six months. Because, as long as it does, Trump’s attention span is pretty much monolithic. And it can be summed by two simple words, the ones most often to come out of the mouth of, or off of the fat, short Twitter thumbs of, Donald John Trump. “No collusion!”Donald Trump’s ego is about to kill him, and it may just take his kids future down with him. Everybody already knows that Der Gropinfuror is a cheap, corrupt, morally bankrupt little man. That’s baked into the cake. But the one thing that Trump can’t tolerate is anybody thinking that his presidential victory was illegitimate, that he had Russian help. In other words, that he’s a loser!



This indulgence of his over sized ego colors everything he does. That’s why he leads off every statement or comment, no matter what the subject, with the words “There was no collusion!” And that single minded obsession isn’t just going to ultimately land him in prison, it’s going to break him.

Pretend that you’re a detective for just a moment. You’re looking at somebody for having committed a murder. You don’t find enough evidence that he committed the murder to charge him, but you find ample evidence that he’s a world class loan shark. Do you just slap the file folder shut and mutter, “Shit! I thought for sure he did it!”, or do you turn that nice, fat file full of evidence over to prosecutors to nail him for extortion and loan sharking?

That is exactly what is going on here. Trump is in such a frenzy about proving his legitimacy as President, that he’s ignoring the fact that the barbarians are at the gate. The NY State tax authorities are investigating him for tax fraud, as well as tax avoidance on his parents tax scam to funnel inheritance money to him and his sister by illegal means. The New York Attorney General is investigating his financial dealings with at least two banks for inflating his assets to fraudulently get loans and lower insurance premiums, plus possible fraudulent claims, and does anybody think that using his real estate business for money laundering, quite possibly Russian money, can be far behind? And call me kooky, but I highly doubt that the Manhattan District Attorney is going to stop with Paul Manafort. It’s open season in New York State right now, and Donald Trump is the only one not wearing an orange vest while he stomps around in the woods.

Ask yourself this. If Robert Mueller totally crucifies Trump in his report, what’s the worst that can happen? They impeach him, and he gets bounced from the White House, either pardoning himself on the way out, or resigning in return from a pardon from Pence. He goes back to running his company. And on’t kid yourself, the only thing that Donald Trump has ever cared about is the money. But Trump becoming President started people looking at all kinds of shit that they never bothered with before, because, as Nancy Pelosi so eloquently put it, “He just isn’t worth it.”


But now, because the investigation into possible Russian interference and obstruction of justice have uncovered collateral damage, not only federal investigators, but NY State investigators are looking into his financial dealings, and deeply. What if investigators find not only criminal conduct, but a long standing pattern of criminal conduct involving wire fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud, and money laundering that fits together well enough for New York to charge his business under the states own version of the RICO statute? Not only would Trump end his life in prison, but prosecutors coud literally suck his company dry, as well as seizing any personal assets that were purchased with “illicit money.” That’s the kind of justice I’m looking for here. And either nobody has told him yet, or he just refuses to understand, that a Presidential pardon can’t save him from state charges.

The moral of this story is to be careful what you wish for. Donald Trump never wanted to actually be the President, he just wanted to be richer and more famous. But there’s a thin line between fame and infamy, and it’s starting to look like Donald Trump is about to jump over that line with both feet.










Yup, the state charges are the icing on the “downfall of trump” cake, when the criminal activity removes his illegally obtained “wealth”, (whatever that actually is), and the infamy of his pathetic excuse for a presidency is outshone by the criminality of his entire business life





Daily Sound and Fury


A Russian view of a different kind of national emergency that may be an under lying factor in the said collusion:, possible but uncertain interesting to weigh in :



Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog
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Greg Hunter 5 years ago Categories: Political Analysis
Collapse and Systemic Failure at All Levels Coming to U.S.-Dmitry Orlov
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian blogger who writes about the parallel between the U.S and the USSR. Orlov lived through the financial collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, and he thinks the U.S. is on the same trajectory. Orlov contends, “The trajectory is defined by this sort of incompetent militarism where more and more money results in bigger and bigger military fiascos around the world and less and less of actual foreign policy that can be pursued or articulated. There are massive levels of corruption. The amount of money that is being stolen by the U.S. Government and its various appropriations processes is now in the trillions of dollars a year. Runaway debt, the United States now has a level of debt that is un-repayable. All we’re waiting for is interest rates to go across the magic threshold of 3% and the entire budget of the country explodes. There are also all types of other tendencies that point in the direction of collapse and systemic failure at all levels.”

So, how close are we to collapse or system failure? Orlov contends, “I am pretty sure that anyone who makes a prediction when the collapse will happen is wrong. Nobody can say when it will happen. It’s the same as saying a bridge that is structurally deficient; you don’t know when a truck is going to fall through into the river below. . . . You can be chronically sick for a long time, and then one day, you go into a coma or your heart stops. You cannot predict what day that will happen. Orlov does say, “The United States right now, from my point of view and the point of view from observers from around the world, is on suicide watch. It’s a country that is going to self-destruct at some point in the near future.”

On the Ukraine crisis, Orlov thinks, “The Crimea referendum was the first legal way to find out what the people wanted to do. The turnout was remarkable, and they voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, to become part of Russia once again. The interesting thing here is it was not just the Russians that voted to join Russia but the Ukrainians in Crimea, which makes a sizable part of the population voted to join Russia. . . Ukraine is composed of sort of a no man’s land in the West and then Russian territories in the East. . . . If that trend holds, you are basically left with this insolvent nugget of nothingness, and it will be up to the international community to decide what to do with these people. They are right now marching around Kiev with baseball bats and going into government offices and beating up members of local government and installing their own members. They are basically running amok. They don’t even have the support of the Ukrainian military at this point. So, it will be a mop-up operation against these neo-fascists that are running amok.” Orlov goes on to say, “In Washington, in the Obama Administration and in the Kerry State Department, we have absolutely breathtaking levels of incompetence. These people really don’t know what they’re doing and are dangerous at any speed; and everywhere else, we have this follow the incompetent leader thing taking place, and it’s really, really frightening because the incompetents are leading the world to a really dangerous place.”

Orlov goes on to say, “What are these people doing trash talking the Russians? What would these people do without Russia? How would they get out of earth’s orbit and visit the international space station? Who would negotiate international deals with Syria and Iran because all they can do is blunder and lose face.” Russia doesn’t need the United States for anything. The United States is the most dispensable country on earth.”

On possible war between Ukraine and Russia, Orlov contends, “They are not going to fight because the Ukraine military is part of the Russian military. There really isn’t any opposition. The Ukrainian military will decide what to do in a few days, and then they will inform the Russians, and after that, maybe they will inform their own government. Maybe they will just go into the government offices and just round them up. Last I heard, 60% of Ukrainian military accepted Russian passports already. The remaining parts are being shipped out to the mainland. That is happening peacefully. So, there isn’t going to be any fight. The really important point is the Ukrainian military all over Ukraine does not support the government in Kiev. They are withholding support, and what they really want is to join the Russian military. . . . The best thing Russia can do is sit back and relax and let this work out. I don’t think the government in Kiev has any legs.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Dmitry Orlov of ClubOrlov.com coming from Central America.




After the Interview:
Dmitry Orlov is currently working on a new book that will be out later this year. Orlov says, “The new book is about communities and what makes them resistant to adverse events such as financial collapse.” Orlov adds, “The U.S., as a whole, is not resistant to shocks, but some parts of America are.” You can find Dmitry Orlov at ClubOrlov.com.
Weekly News Wrap-Up 3.21.14 » « Putin Has Nuclear Economic Bomb-Jim Sinclair
Greg Hunter :Greg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site’s slogan is “analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what’s really going on.” The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.




Deep State Goals
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Re: Trump enters the stage President's declaration for Natio

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:15 am

BREAKING


Mar 14

Mar 14
A dozen GOP senators join Dems to reject Trump's national emergency declaration for border security
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Senate rejects Trump's emergency declaration for border security in shocking vote
By MARIAM KHAN
Mar 14, 2019, 3:53 PM ET

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 14, 2019.PlayJim Young/Reuters Senate rejects Trump's emergency declaration for border security in shocking vote
In a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump, 12 Republicans joined Democrats as the Senate voted to reject his decision to declare a national emergency in order to build a border wall -- a striking blow to his agenda and a clear warning to Trump about presidential overreach.

The final vote was 59-41.

PHOTO: An image made from video shows politicians and staff on the floor of the U.S. Senate and the vote tally for terminating President Donald Trumps border emergency declaration, in Washington, March 14, 2019.
An image made from video shows politicians and staff on the floor of the U.S. Senate and the vote tally for terminating President Donald Trump's border emergency declaration, in Washington, March 14, 2019.more +
All told, twelve Republicans voted with all 47 Democrats in support of the resolution to terminate his emergency declaration. Trump has now been forced into the embarrassing position of having to likely issue his first veto -- of a measure that garnered so much GOP backing. The House voted to terminate the declaration last month.

Just after the vote, Trump made his intentions clear with a one-word tweet: "VETO!"


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
He then followed up with a second tweet thanking all the "strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security."

I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2019
(MORE: Bill to pull US support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen passes both chambers of Congress in historic vote)
After the Senate vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally signed the resolution that would be sent to the president's desk.

: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., signs H.J. Res 46, a disapproval resolution that blocks President Trumps national emergency declaration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 14, 2019.Susan Walsh/AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., signs H.J. Res 46, a disapproval resolution that blocks President Trump's national emergency declaration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 14, 2019.more +
Earlier on Thursday, Trump repeated his earlier threat to veto the resolution.

"I don't know what the vote will be. I'll probably have to veto. It won't be overturned and the legal scholars say it's totally constitutional," Trump said. "It is very important. It is a border security vote. It is pure and simple, a vote for border security."

"If I do a veto, it's not going to be overturned," Trump added later.


Sen. Mitt Romney talks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, March 5, 2019.more +
Just ahead of the afternoon vote, Republicans one by one started making their positions clear.

"This is a constitutional issue and I’m going to honor my oath of office," Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Thursday. He announced earlier in the day he would oppose the president.

Romney said he informed Trump about his decision last week.

"He'd rather have me vote in a different direction but I let him know that this for me is a matter of defending the constitution and the balance of powers that is core to our constitution and I believe he respects that," Romney said.

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would stand by Trump.

"Let me first say that I support the president’s decision. So I will vote today to uphold it and reject this resolution of disapproval," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

(MORE: White House seeks to limit number of defections on resolution of disapproval)
Senate Republicans -- in hoping to avoid another stinging embarrassing the president -- were earlier in the week seeking to limit the number of defectors within their caucus who would buck Trump on the resolution.

At least a dozen Republicans signaled in recent weeks they were unhappy with the president's decision to go the route of a national emergency.

Many Republicans have expressed their concerns about the president’s ability, under the declaration, to move funds that have already been appropriated by Congress. They've also said they are concerned about the precedent it could send should a Democrat become president.

PHOTO: The last rays of sunlight fall on the dome of the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE

Vice President Mike Pence was on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon meeting with Republicans on a potential deal on a separate piece of legislation that would alter the National Emergencies Act, in an effort to assuage senators who have issues with Trump's emergency authority.

One of the proposals under consideration was from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and is designed to give Congress some authority over the emergency powers granted to the president.

His proposal would amend the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to say an emergency declaration would automatically expire after 30 days unless both chambers of Congress vote to approve it.

(MORE: Senators seek to halt Trump's border emergency)
The legislation was seen as providing an off-ramp to a number of Republicans who were concerned about the president’s move to declare a national emergency but did not want to be seen as opposing him.

"It becomes a resolution of approval, not disapproval," Lee told reporters Tuesday.

But on Wednesday during a caucus lunch, Lee received a phone call from Trump where he was informed Trump was not on board with his legislation that would rein in his presidential powers.

Trump, attempting to limit the number of defections, later tweeted a compromise on Thursday.

"Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress…If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today’s issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don’t vote with Pelosi!"







President Trump signs his first veto
By Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN
Updated 5:14 PM ET, Fri March 15, 2019


President Trump signs his first veto What we covered here
Trump's first veto: The President held a public event to veto a resolution blocking his national emergency. It's the first veto of presidency.
Senate and House passed: Both chambers of Congress passed the resolution. In the Senate, 12 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for it.
What happens next: Lawmakers don't have enough votes to override the veto.
About the emergency: Trump declared a national emergency last month in order to unlock federal funds to build a wall on the southern border, bypassing Congress for the funding.
6:05 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Our live coverage of President Trump's veto event has concluded. Scroll through the posts below to see how it unfolded.
5:45 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
DHS chief thanks Trump for veto
Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen just thanked President Trump for his veto:

5:10 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Read Trump's official veto message to Congress
President Trump signed the first veto of his presidency earlier today, rejecting a measure that would reverse that national emergency he declared on the southern border.

Moments later, Trump sent a message to the House of Representatives outlining his decision for the veto.


"This situation on our border cannot be described as anything other than a national emergency, and our Armed Forces are needed to help confront it," he said.
Read his full statement:
5:02 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Here's what construction is currently underway at the border
From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez
Much of what Customs and Border Protection has been working on along the border is replacement barrier.

According to CBP, the agency used fiscal year 2017 funds to construct "approximately 38 of 40 miles of wall in place of outdated designs in San Diego and El Centro, California, Santa Teresa, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas."

A CBP official said "this barrier replaced dilapidated infrastructure, half of which was Normandy-style vehicle barrier." Vehicle barriers are low to the ground. It would stop a car, but people can easily step over it.

CBP also said construction has "started on the San Diego Secondary replacement, the first project funded in FY 2018," adding that "the first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April in Hidalgo County of the Rio Grande Valley Sector."

The spending bill passed in February included $1.375 billion for approximately 55 miles of new barriers in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

4:37 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
House will vote on March 26 on veto override
From CNN's Ashley Killough
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote on March 26 on a measure to override President Trump's veto.

Note: Lawmakers hardly have the votes to approve it.
"The House and Senate resoundingly rejected the President’s lawless power grab, yet the President has chosen to continue to defy the Constitution, the Congress and the will of the American people," Pelosi said in a statement.

She continued:

“House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.”
4:15 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Trump says he signed veto to block "reckless" resolution passed by both House and Senate
Telling reporters at a veto signing ceremony that "the protection of the nation is my highest duty," President Trump described the resolution blocking his national emergency declaration — which passed both houses of Congress — as "dangerous," claiming it put "countless Americans in danger."

He added:

"Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it. I’m very proud to veto it."
3:56 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Attorney General says national emergency on border is legal
From CNN's Kevin Liptak
Attorney General Bill Barr defended President Trump's national emergency declaration as legal during a veto ceremony in the Oval Office today.

Barr said the measure was “clearly authorized under the law” after Congress voted to reverse it.

Barr said the southern border situation was precisely the type of situation that would warrant a national emergency.

3:53 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Trump just signed the veto
From CNN's Kevin Liptak
President Trump has signed the first veto of his presidency, rejecting a measure that would reverse that national emergency he declared on the southern border.

We are waiting for video footage of the signing.

3:50 p.m. ET, March 15, 2019
Justice Department defends Trump's authority to declare national emergency
From CNN's Laura Jarrett
The Justice Department set forth a robust defense of the President’s authority to declare a national emergency in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month, according to a copy obtained by CNN.


“The President acted well within his discretion in declaring a national emergency concerning the southern border,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.
The letter set out the legal basis for the proclamation under the National Emergencies Act and additional statutory authorities, which largely tracks an internal memo issued by the Office of Legal Counsel at DOJ.

“The President’s emergency Proclamation reasonably described the current situation as an ongoing ‘border security and humanitarian crisis,'" Boyd added. “The crisis at the border ... may qualify as an emergency even though it, too, is not entirely new.”


..
Last edited by Meno_ on Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:44 pm

What GOP split on border emergency means for Donald Trump and 2020
DAVID JACKSON AND DEIRDRE SHESGREEN | USA TODAY | 32 minutes ago


The Republican-run Senate rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday, setting up a veto fight and dealing him a conspicuous rebuke. (March 14)
AP
WASHINGTON – In ways big and small, some congressional Republicans are distancing themselves from President Donald Trump – though at-risk Republicans seem more willing to stick with him as the 2020 elections approach.


Thursday brought a fairly big rebuke: The Republican-run Senate voted 59-41 to nullify Trump's national emergency declaration on border security, with a dozen GOP members voting against their president.

"VETO!" Trump tweeted just moments after the Senate recorded the vote, a day after saying that Republican opposition to the emergency declaration would be "a bad vote."

For the most part, however, Republican senators who face the toughest re-election bids next year stuck with Trump, who continues to enjoy strong support from Republican voters at large.


"It suggests that they see more electoral peril voting against the president than voting with him," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball newsletter at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Still, the emergency declarations vote magnifies a series of lower-profile disputes between GOP lawmakers and Trump. It signals that the president could meet resistance on policy items ranging from the budget to political appointments to foreign policy initiatives.

Indeed, Trump, who hasn’t vetoed a single bill so far in his presidency, may need the veto pen more frequently in the coming months. If so many Republican were willing to buck Trump on his signature campaign issue – building a border wall – it signals more trouble ahead for him from GOP lawmakers who have until recently been reticent to cross Trump.

President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after the State of the Union speech in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2019.
President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after the State of the Union speech in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2019.
JASPER COLT, JASPER COLT-USA TOD
Scott Jennings, former adviser to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said "some tension has existed from the beginning" between Republicans and Trump, the brash outsider businessman who basically took over the party en route to the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.


And he still has control. While some Republican lawmakers grumble about Trump, his approval ratings among Republicans at large are as high as 90 percent in some polls.

"People voted for someone who would defy norms," Jennings said. "He is defying norms."

Trump and aides expressed annoyance at Senate and House Republicans who defected on the emergency declaration vote. But he predicted the tension will pass, also citing the president's strong support among rank-and-file Republicans.

On the other hand, Trump dropped more than a few veiled threats in the run-up to the vote.

"I think if they vote that way, it's a very bad thing for them long into the future," he said at one point.

Republicans who have criticized Trump say the party should buck the president even more.

"Encouraging to hear reports of Republican senators breaking away from their party loyalty – at long last – to stand up to the president against his emergency declaration and defend the Constitution," tweeted former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is reportedly considering a primary challenge to Trump.



During a press conference in the Rose Garden, President Trump admitted that he didn't need to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, but that he did it so he could "get it done faster."
USA TODAY
Most of the senators who opposed Trump on the declaration occupy safe seats or won't face re-election until 2022.

GOP senators who face tough re-election bids next year – or possible primary challenges – sided with Trump, a group that included Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

Another vulnerable Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Trump.

The emergency declaration vote wasn't the first sign of friction between Trump and the Republicans, and those tensions will resurface in the months ahead.

Next up: lawmakers will jettison Trump’s budget proposal, overturning his proposals to slash funding for the global health and diplomacy programs.


Prospects for his renegotiated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico – the new NAFTA – are murky at best.

Some Republicans fought – with success – against Trump's snap decision late last year to pull all U.S. troops our of Syria. The White House has since announced it will keep about 400 military personnel in the country as part of the battle against the Islamic State.

Just this week, seven GOP senators bucked the president by supporting a bill that would force the administration to end its support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

The measure passed 54-46 – not enough to override another threatened veto by Trump, but still a remarkable rebuke to the president.


The vote showcased the growing unease in Congress with America's role in a far-flung, four-year conflict that has left more than 50,000 civilians dead and millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation.

“The United States’ involvement in providing support to Saudi Arabia – which was never properly debated or approved by Congress in 2015 – has prolonged needless suffering, and our engagement in this war must come to an end," said Sen. Jerry Moran, a conservative Kansas Republican, in explaining his “yes” vote.

That vote was about far more than the war in Yemen, however.

It was also a condemnation of Trump’s refusal to admonish Saudi Arabia for its role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi operatives killed the American resident and Washington Post columnist inside a consulate in Istanbul.

Trump has cast doubt on the CIA’s conclusion that Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the murder, and he has insisted that Khashoggi’s death should not have any impact on U.S.-Saudi relations.


“It is becoming clearer and clearer that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not an ally that deserves our support or military intervention,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said during the Senate floor debate.

Republicans have also challenged Trump over his criticism of long-standing U.S. alliances, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

McConnell, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., extended an invitation to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress.

It's a signal honor for the head of NATO, an organization Trump has frequently criticized over claims that some members are not paying their fair share for mutual defense.


The invitation was not designed to "send any message to the president," McConnell said, but he and Pelosi "both think that NATO is the most important military alliance in the history of the world ... We need to continue to demonstrate support for it and to reassure our European allies."

In the House, the new Democratic majority is already finding support for key bills countering Trump on foreign policy, from the Yemen resolution to support for NATO.

On Wednesday, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined his Democratic counterpart in unveiling three pieces of legislation aimed at pushing back against Trump’s disdain for America’s allies and his reluctance to confront foes over human rights abuses.

McCaul called those “unshakable pillars” of American values and said it was vital to “reaffirm American’s trusted alliances” around the globe.

The measures are nonbinding but send seem to signal that some Republicans are fed up with Trump’s attacks on allies like Germany and Canada – and his coziness with autocrats such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

When it comes to Republican restlessness, the worst-case scenario for Trump is a primary challenge of his own.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is exploring such a bid, but he is little-known and Trump allies are quick to point out he has switched parties in the past.

Anti-Trumpers had hopes for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, but he has yet to express a desire to challenge the president.

A Kasich bid is also uncertain at this point.

Republican tension has been a frequent storyline during the Trump political era, Kondik said. He noted that, in the fall of 2016, after the release of a "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump could be heard speaking lewdly about grabbing women's genitals, some Republicans called on him to abandon his own ticket.

Trump still wound up as president and still has sometimes tense ties with Republicans.

"It sort of stretches at times," Kondik said, "but never breaks."


2020 Presidential candidates
Originally Published 2 hours ago




© Copyright Gannett 2019
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Re: Trump enters the stage goon squads?

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:32 pm

https://splinternews.com/just-the-presi ... 1833303497

Is the country turning terribly wrong without any chance of stopping this, against a background that reflects a moral hiatus beyond good and evil?
And is that in itself an indication do to the overwhelming impact of science on daily life?



And now:

New Zealand: white Nationalism is not intentionally prescribed , but a silence to define it in terms of identity emboldened those, who by quoting Trump, who although politically is also appear naively, to use his constituancy's vies as an expediency.

This tactic on the same day when he vetoes the congressional denial of his National Emergency.

Right wing resurgence can not be ruled out as an envisioned ideology of a Trumpish flavor, and the tactic of shifting blame on a pre-existing ideology to shift blame, will look bode badly for him, if there is a backlash, .

The way politics works, though, the fear of retribution will enhance the right wing to become more and more dramatic, as the judicial jaws of the Constitution will become in a conflicting position via a vid those who may form internal resistance.

The classic lines may become more dug in, and resort to denial and blame on the contrary groups.

The logical language is descending more toward hypocritical and avoidant
Shifts toward strengthening positions, every time a weakness is perceived.

People of the sort, constitutionally labeled as narcissists, ate more sensitive to displaying weakness, and the more their own constitution(with a small c) enables to overcome it, by more contrived, yet surprisingly well received naive interpretation.

And naivete is what his political core consists of, it has been pointed out. How large the white international agenda will become on basis of an agenda( the guy who murdered 47 people wrote testamentally, quoting Trump word by word, is evidentiary of at least some belief of colluding negative values into the world of public opinion.

As disparity grows, the hope that it will remain linearly contradictory is not as well founded, as one which views the hyperbolic incidence of such attacks as more fitting, judged by Charletville, and other flash points.

A free society when divided , is the vehicle through which to conquer. And such division is through which the symbol, or metaphore of power, is effected by the growing imagination of those who wish absolute corruptive power over all. Political reality, then uses induced but misaligned metaphore, to transpose and sustain political power through violence.

The republicans are to be blamed in their deliberate blindness to the lessons of history.

Were not the foolish separatists of pre-war days of the world wars of the 20 th century(Chamberlain and Wilson), give rise to the death of million lives lost? Did not McNamara admit in his memoirs the baselessness of the Vietnam war?

Can anybody learn anything? That the only admission that can be proclaimed, is that fear prevadrs, and those who value life should/ must believe in limits, as the good but ineffective president peanut farmer recommended, in order to salvage free enterprise, competition masking a severely insatiable need to possess, is at the bottom of it.

Regardless, it is a mistake to believe that the natural order of finance will bear out rationally a new breed of man: The trillionaire.

The best comic in the world can't mask the underlying global contradiction, and the mimic of a language of hypocracy.

Now is the the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. Don't demonize Trump, because he is a wounded bird, caged by the immensity of structural change, that he may not pay the ultimate prizd5, for even the Dems, Ms. Pelosi, as well as Mueller, by this time know what really is going on. And selecting hate groups, becoming an unavoidable cathartic safety valve against something far greater, may develop, as a result, and should be another painful reminder of how not to let a run away train crash.

Stop it, before the obvious becomes a disgusting tally of hideous had be not s, wringing their hands and proclaiming innoscence.

Yet, still, self control can overcome displaying occasions of moral turpitude!
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Re: Trump enters the stage - big ego frustrations

Postby Meno_ » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:26 pm

POLITICS
It’s Gonna Be Huge
The many towers that Trump never built

BRUCE HANDY
APRIL 2019 ISSUE

VASCO MOURÃO
Compiling a definitive list of what Donald Trump has not managed to accomplish, despite his self-proclaimed status as a master developer and dealmaker, is a task best left to a future historian. One project has recently made news: the skyscraper Trump sought to build in Moscow, a long-held dream he pursued throughout the 2016 campaign despite his repeated assurances that he had no business ventures in Russia. The nature of that potential deal, the vast sums of money behind it, the influence he brought to bear on the Russians and they on him—all of this is beginning to clarify, like a photographic print in the developing tray. The deal and the possible quid pro quos involved are a major focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.



To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app.

The Moscow tower, which at 100 stories would have been the tallest building in Europe, was but the latest attempt by Donald Trump to leave behind a skyline-altering legacy. His career is marked by plans for major projects that never came to pass—arguably to posterity’s benefit. Herewith, a quick summary of what never happened.

Trump Castle, Madison Avenue
Born: 1983. Died: 1984.
“Lunacy.” That was real-estate brokers’ contemporaneous description of Trump’s intended follow-up to his flagship Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue in New York: a 60-story luxury residential complex, designed by the renowned if erratic Philip Johnson to mimic a medieval castle. The project included six cylindrical towers with crenellated tops, spires, and gold-leaf adornment, plus, at street level, a drawbridge and a moat. Announced in 1983 for a site on Madison Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets, it was to be called—inevitably—Trump Castle. Prudential Insurance had bought the land, on which sat an eight-story building, in 1981. The company then brought Trump into the project and gave him a 49 percent stake for free because, as a Prudential executive later explained, “his name had magic in it.” While Johnson’s castle design was, as architecture, a world away from Trump Tower’s black-glass slickness, Trump was enthusiastic. As “a source close to the developer”—probably Trump himself—told New York magazine, “After Donald did Trump Tower, there’s not a lot left for him to do in this business, so he just wants to do something great.”


Trump Castle (Johnson/Burgee Architects)
The partnership between the 37-year-old developer and the 77-year-old architect was not as unlikely as one might think, given their shared egotism and love of the limelight. “These guys are hot!” Trump told The New York Times, referring to Johnson and his partner, John Burgee, who had just goosed Manhattan’s skyline with the showy postmodernism of the AT&T building. Johnson returned the compliment, declaring, “Trump is mad and wonderful.”


No models or drawings of Johnson and Burgee’s design appear to have been made public at the time, though the architects’ campy, turreted office building at 33 Maiden Lane, in downtown Manhattan, hints at the glory that might have been Trump Castle. The project fell apart amid rising real-estate prices and increasing competition in the luxury-apartment market. Trump’s spokesman “John Barron”—most assuredly Trump himself—explained to New York that Trump Castle had become “just too expensive” and that the developer had grown impatient with the approvals process. Trump still got mileage out of the idea, buying a casino from Hilton Hotels and christening it Trump’s Castle in 1985. It filed for bankruptcy in 1992.

MORE STORIES

White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots





Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
FRANKLIN FOER
World’s Tallest Building, East River
Born: 1984. Died: 1984.
Trump and Prudential gave up on Trump Castle in May 1984. Two months later, the Metropolitan Transit Authority unveiled development proposals for a site on Columbus Circle that it co-owned with New York City. One plan called for a 130-story tower—which at the time would have been the world’s tallest building, soaring 20 stories above Chicago’s Sears Tower. Headlines ensued, and if you were a brash young developer who had just lost the chance to build his own castle, you might have taken this as a slap in the face.

Two weeks after the MTA’s announcement, Trump snatched headlines back, declaring that he wanted to build an even taller world’s tallest building on land reclaimed from the East River, just south of the South Street Seaport. “New York City deserves to have the tallest and greatest building in the world,” Trump told the Times. “From the standpoints of light and air and density, this”—the East River site—“is the only location where that building could be built.” Trump’s vague proposal envisioned a combination of offices, a 40-story “luxury” hotel, and on top, 50 stories’ worth of “super luxury” apartments. In Trump’s mind, the “world’s tallest” designation was both a raison d’être and a shield: “I have not had one negative comment,” Trump would tell the Times. “If I had said 70 stories, 60 stories, everybody would have said, ‘Let’s block it.’ ”

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That remark about no negative comments? It didn’t hold. Two months after the announcement, Trump filed a $500 million libel suit against the Chicago Tribune and its architecture critic, Paul Gapp, over a critique that had dismissed Trump’s proposed building as “one of the silliest things anyone could inflict on New York.” The Tribune article was enlivened by an amusingly crude (or, from Trump’s perspective, “false and defamatory”) photo illustration of a drab, Lego-like skyscraper plunked down on the East River and listing toward Brooklyn, as if built on a raft. Trump’s complaint claimed that the bad publicity had “torpedoed” his plans—crediting the Chicago press with more influence than it typically wields in Manhattan. A year later, a judge dismissed the suit. In the end, the East River site was left to the fishes.

Two More World’s Tallest Buildings, Columbus Circle
Born: 1985. Died: 1985.
Columbus Circle (Murphy/Jahn Architects)
After declaring Columbus Circle all wrong for a 130-story tower built by someone else, Trump was back with two even loftier proposals for world’s tallest buildings on the same site, accompanied by renderings meant to dazzle the public’s eye (and perhaps preempt the Chicago Tribune’s art department). At 137 stories, the taller of the two buildings was a 10-sided telescoping tower designed by Eli Attia, the Israeli American architect arguably best known for his work on the Crystal Cathedral, in Southern California. At a widely covered May 1985 preview, New York City Mayor Edward Koch likened the Attia design to a “Flash Gordon building.” Whether this was intended as a compliment is unclear. In the Times, the architecture critic Paul Goldberger was not ambiguous: “It looks like storybook pictures of the Tower of Babel.” The second, smaller (135-story) design was by the German American architect Helmut Jahn, and what it lacked in height it compensated for with ostentation. It resembled a sky-high staircase made of glass. “It’s the Busby Berkeley building!” Koch proclaimed. “It looks like you could dance down the steps!” This was meant as a compliment.

Trump’s proposals lost out to one from a group headed by Mortimer B. Zuckerman (the owner of The Atlantic at the time). That design, by Moshe Safdie, topped out at about 70 stories. It, too, was never built, sidelined by the 1987 stock-market crash. Today, the site is home to the Lilliputian 55-story Time Warner Center.

Television City, Upper West Side
Born: 1985. Died: 1994.
“Make New York great again!” could have served as the slogan for the mixed-use project Trump announced in November 1985, only months after his Columbus Circle plans had been rejected. Trump’s most ambitious project ever called for half a dozen 76-story apartment towers, retail spaces, parks, and a new studio for NBC, which was then threatening to leave its longtime Rockefeller Center home. Thus the project’s name, Television City, which sounded dated even in the 1980s.

Television City (Murphy/Jahn Architects)
Television City was introduced (with a World of Tomorrow–style model) at a press conference that made national news. Its centerpiece was to be Trump’s fourth go at a world’s tallest building: a 150-story spire that would have cast a morning shadow all the way across the Hudson River to New Jersey. New York needed to be home to the world’s tallest building, Trump insisted. “This is to be a great monument, majestic,” he declared. “It shouldn’t be built in Denmark.”

Trump’s site was the old Penn Central rail yards, 77 dormant acres that stretched along the Hudson from 59th Street to 72nd Street—for years the city’s most extensive vacant lot and a graveyard for real-estate dreams, given the Upper West Side’s history of anti-growth activism. Trump had paid $115 million for the site in 1985. Again he called on Helmut Jahn, who designed both the spire and the residential towers. In interviews, Jahn likened the central tower to an obelisk, investing it with pharaonic, Trump-flattering splendor. Time magazine conceded that the overall plan had “a certain breathtaking screwball grandeur,” but one community activist, apparently irked by its grandiosity and its separation from the surrounding urban grid, dismissed it as “a veritable walled city.” To be fair, it had no moat or drawbridge.

Trump’s ambitions for Television City ran aground after he got into a fight with Ed Koch over tax abatements—a conflict that, given the two needily splenetic temperaments involved, exploded into a tabloid spectacle. Trump dismissed the mayor as a “moron” with “no talent and only moderate intelligence.” Koch refined his critique of Trump’s alleged greed to a memorable “Piggy, piggy, piggy.” Trump then lost his prospective anchor tenant when NBC decided that it would stay put in Rockefeller Center after all; generous tax breaks from the city helped. Television City’s final death rattle came in 1994, when Trump’s enormous debts forced him to sell the rail-yards property for about $20 million less than he had paid for it.

World’s Tallest Building, Wilshire Boulevard
Born: 1990. Died: 1992.
Wilshire Boulevard (Johnson Fain)
Just two weeks into the new decade, Trump announced his latest swing for the fences: a 125-story tower, yet again the world’s tallest, to replace the shuttered Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles. Trump, the public face of a group of investors, held a Saturday press conference at the Wilshire Boulevard site, joined by Mayor Tom Bradley and the local city-council member, neither of whom evinced much enthusiasm for Trump’s plan—a “world class” mix of apartments, retail and office space, and a new hotel. The Ambassador was most famously where Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated, in 1968; as a Los Angeles Times columnist pointed out, the hotel bar, the scene of Trump’s press conference, was also where, in The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock and Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson met for a drink before consummating their awkward, asymmetric, ultimately pathetic relationship.

Trump was soon feuding with Bradley (who decided the plan was “inappropriate for the area”). Another antagonist was the Los Angeles Unified School District, which hoped to build a high school on the site. With negotiations bogged down, Trump hired the L.A. architectural firm Johnson Fain and Pereira to provide a design. “Donald Trump used to call us the Die Hard guys,” Scott Johnson, a partner at the firm, later recalled, referring to its work on the flashy Century City office tower that had been used in the film. The design done for Trump looked like a display of Art Deco lipstick cases—it was later featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times (and can still be found on the Chinese-language version of the firm’s website). But the school district had a powerful ally: Assemblywoman Maxine Waters, the future representative from California (and future target of derogatory presidential tweets), who helped find funding for the high school. Trump, fighting off creditors elsewhere, threw in the towel.

New York Stock Exchange Tower, Lower Manhattan
Born: 1996. Died: Circa 1998.
New York Stock Exchange (Richard C. Baehr)
In 1996, the New York Stock Exchange announced that it was considering a move from its historic (that is, outdated) building on Wall Street. Trump stepped in with a proposal for a record-setting 140-story headquarters on more or less the same East River site he had pitched for a world’s tallest building in 1984. But this time, the developer’s plan—with its painterly rendering of a beveled tower not unlike what was eventually built as One World Trade Center—barely stirred a breeze in the press. Perhaps Trump had as little credit with the media as he did with, well, creditors. His dream of erecting the world’s tallest building was, for all intents and purposes, dead. He would have to find another way to get his name into history books.



EMILY BUDER
Copyright © 2019 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.




The Wall as metaphore.


The evolution of identity politics have come to encompass more then merely a literal factual assertion of re-establishing borders made out of wire, cement, steal ,it evolved to cement the idea of separatism and nationalism as a modal realignment of a previous status quo, of sentiment.

The identity of white nationalism is based on prescriptive and nominal perspectives on the ethnocentric cultural determinants of superior racial prototypes, where the transcendentilism of that preference cuts deep and last ing wounds begotten by other wars for resilience. The European 100 years war can be likened to the backwardly looked at wars of the 20 th century, based on hidden ideological premises, but that time span can more faintly be traced back to 1848, as movements for extending revolts against monarchical systems continued after 1776, and the revolt of colonies against the crown.

America has been culturally interpreted as the expositor of freedom, against the colonial suppression, and created the myth of freedom for all men.

But is this myth about to explode? Bringing with it even the intended declarations of the founding fathers as duplicitous?

Jefferson at al. owned men, slaves, who were below the stature in their opinion to possess rights, equally with their masters.The Constitution has been changed through revolution all through the succeeding times to follow, carrying public sentiment right along with it.

Can America be made great again, constitutionally? And how to achieve this resentment, how far back can it travel in time, reversing the counter flow if human rights, by how much blood shed in how many battlefields?

The boundaries of physical constructions have a deeper source of foundation , than would, or could estoppe it's progression to human rights in general, where the result would certainly widen the gap between the jure and the facto perceptions of understanding. With that, the collusion may not be merely primal and political, but become subordinate to a dedifferentiated regression into the identity of corruptible reclaiming of titular possessions of the soul.

This is the struggle faced now, at a time when the significance of the wall is skipping away from metaphore into an effort to reclaim sentiment.

What is at stake is the struggle with the nuevoaristicratic repression of Capital.

All that is asked for at this point is the return of the rationality and control through limit the advance of remarking this sentiment through prescriptive precision.

The fake idiocy and foolhardiness does not really work long term, as Chaplin was far more worthy of applause, at a time when the contrary feelings predominates , due to the immense optimism that populism could be masked by the immense but short lived gains acquired, to anesthetize the whole world, from the recurring idea that absolute corruption can be avoided by limited power.
The anesthetic of remembering The Great Depression was hoped to be soon to be a thing of the past, dissipating any sense that it would not soon enough evaporate as merely another metaphore into the realm of the imagination.
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Re: Trump enters the stage a test?

Postby Meno_ » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:05 pm

Unless, unless this political theater is only a litmus test .......which appears more likely every day, however with a base in the contrary. Then it is even more problematic and dangerous
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:30 am

As Russia report nears, Donald Trump taunts Robert Mueller
President Donald Trump

JOHN MOORE
DAVID JACKSON | USA TODAY | 1:16 pm EDT March 15, 2019

WASHINGTON – As the political world braces for news from special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump all but taunted the prosecutor Friday by saying his investigation is unnecessary.


"This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime," Trump claimed in a series of tweets.

Trump charged there should have been no Mueller investigation — and therefore no Mueller report — "if" there was no crime when Mueller was appointed and "if" it was based on information collected by his political enemies. The Justice Department appointed the special counsel in 2017 after investigators developed strong evidence that Russia had sought to help Trump win the presidency obtained an array of clues that people in his campaign could have participated in that effort.

Mueller's team has convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and other Trump associates on charges ranging from financial fraud to lying to investigators.

So, if there was knowingly & acknowledged to be “zero” crime when the Special Counsel was appointed, and if the appointment was made based on the Fake Dossier (paid for by Crooked Hillary) and now disgraced Andrew McCabe (he & all stated no crime), then the Special Counsel.......

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
....should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller Report. This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime. Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an Election that they thought they were going to win.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
.....THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
A federal appeals court in Washington and four district court judges have rejected challenges to Mueller’s appointment and his investigation.

Trump’s critique of the Mueller inquiry comes as two of the president’s former top aides – Flynn and deputy campaign manager Rick Gates – acknowledged in court papers this week that they continue to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.

Mueller report: What happens when Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivers his report?

Mueller report: Senate blocks resolution calling for public release of Mueller report after House voted 420-0

The president, his attorneys, and others expect Mueller to report something soon on his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election by hacking the emails of Democratic Party officials and pushing fake news about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors are also looking into whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation. Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has testified that Trump implicitly encouraged him to provide false information to congressional investigators.

Trump has denied obstruction or collusion with the Russians, while denouncing the Mueller investigation as a hoax.

In transcripts released this week, two of the FBI officials involved in the early stages of the Russia investigation, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, told lawmakers that they didn’t know at the time Mueller was appointed whether the probe would prove collusion.

Strzok and Page, who exchanged anti-Trump text messages in 2016 and engaged in an extramarital affair, both said that’s not particularly unusual at that point in an investigation. Asked specifically whether the FBI had any evidence that Trump’s associates coordinated with the Russian government, Strzok said the answer was classified and would relate to an ongoing investigation.

“At the early stage of the investigation, there were a variety of things going on, and it was not clear to me what that represented, whether it was the activities of a group of individuals or something larger or more coordinated, or, in fact, nothing at all," Strzok said.

Months earlier, the Justice Department had persuaded a federal surveillance court that it had probable cause to believe “the Russian Government’s efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election were being coordinated with [Carter] Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign.

Page is a former Trump advisor with extensive Russian contacts who came under government surveillance in 2016.


© Copyright Gannett 2019
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:12 pm

‘It’s imperative for the rest of us to band together, rise up and fight back using facts, our words and the rule of law.’

Opinion
Trump's media attacks are an abuse of power. We're holding him to account
Wajahat Ali
Journalists and attorneys are partnering together in a new amended lawsuit filed by Pen America arguing Trump is violating the first amendment

Sun 17 Mar 2019 06.00 EDT Last modified on Sun 17 Mar 2019 06.02 EDT
As a recovering attorney and writer, I was often considered a failure in south Asian circles for not becoming a doctor. Now, I proudly represent two professions who offer the greatest resistance to Donald Trump’s continued assault on the first amendment.

Donald Trump tells a fake American story. We must tell the real one | Robert Reich

Journalists and attorneys are partnering together in a new amended lawsuit filed by Pen America arguing the president is abusing the machinery of the government to threaten and target journalists, neutralize critical media coverage and exact retribution in direct violation of the first amendment.

According to a blockbuster New Yorker article, Trump allegedly directed his former economic adviser Gary Cohn to pressure the Department of Justice to block a merger between CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, and AT&T in order to punish CNN for its critical news coverage of him and his administration. Much of these allegations were earlier cited by Pen America in its lawsuit against Trump for his targeted retaliation against media outlets for their coverage of him. One source claimed that the targeted merger actions by the president and Department of Justice were in fact about CNN: “This has become political … It’s all about CNN.”


Other instances support that the president limits media access when journalists cover news in ways he dislikes. At the US and North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump praised, elevated and normalized Kim Jong-un, who starves and kills his own people. While he fawned over North Korea’s dictator, Trump blocked media access after a reporter asked a question about his former attorney Michael Cohen’s damning testimony before Congress.

The last two years should frighten anyone who cares about an independent free press.

The last two years should frighten anyone who cares about an independent free press. Lies are now “alternative facts”, according to Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. At one time, “fake news” or “hoax” were terms reserved for outlandish National Enquirer covers about Elvis playing Yahtzee with Bigfoot. Now Trump uses them for any news or evidence critical of him or his administration.

Trump is taking cues from Big Brother and 1984, a novel he most assuredly has not read. In an address to a veterans association, Trump assured them “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening”. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani, continuing his slide towards ignominy, supports Trump’s disinformation by suggesting “truth isn’t truth”.

The Republican party in 2019 told Americans to reject the evidence of their eyes and ears. It might be Trump’s final, most essential command.

That warning by George Orwell might seem like dystopian hyperbole, but recall that Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, tweeted a digitally altered video falsely appearing to show the CNN reporter Jim Acosta assaulting an intern during a press conference. This literal “fake news” was created by the conspiracy-peddling outfit Infowars, whose founder Alex Jones said the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre of 20 children was a hoax.

Months later, Sanders’ tweet is still up there. She has yet to apologize for it.

Trump Inc’s utter contempt for facts and decency is only matched by its disregard for the rule of law and loathing of the free press. Trump himself has repeatedly vilified the New York Times as “the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”. The president, who has uttered more than 8,000 false statements in the past two years, has the audacity and shamelessness to declare the “press has never been more dishonest than it is today”.

Trump has unpredictably emerged as a fickle, thin-skinned narcissist whose tiny fingers tweet perpetual victimhood, bile and hate against critics and enemies, real or imagined, even though he occupies the greatest seat of power and privilege.

For writers and journalists, however, his authoritarian impulses create a uniquely hostile climate for individuals simply trying their best to do their job of reporting the news. The BBC’s Ron Skeans was attacked by a Trump supporter at a rally in El Paso, Texas, after Trump whined about “fake news” and negative media coverage. Rachael Pacella, a reporter who survived the tragic Capital Gazette mass shooting that claimed five lives, tweeted that Trump’s continued attacks on journalists make her fear for her life. At a Montana campaign rally, Trump praised the state’s congressman, Greg Gianforte, for physically assaulting a Guardian journalist. “Any guy who can do a body slam – he’s my guy,” Trump said.

Donald Trump looks on as Greg Gianforte speaks during a campaign rally in Missoula, Montana, on 18 October 2018. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
In 2016, I happened to be the only journalist covering a Trump rally in Maine a few weeks before the election. I also happened to be one of the darkest people in one of the whitest states in America. For the first time in my career, several respected colleagues from multiple outlets texted and messaged me to “be careful” and “be safe”.

Fast forward to 2018, Trump is now president, and the United States was added to the list of most dangerous countries for journalists. According to Reporters Without Borders, 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs last year, a 15% increase since 2017. Most notably, the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey – a killing widely believed to have been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump has shamefully ignored his own intelligence communities and US allies in failing to condemn Prince Mohammed. Instead, Trump acts as Prince Mohammed’s defense counsel, going so far as to praise the incompetent King Joffrey of the Middle East.

If the president of the United States of America, the global figurehead and messenger for freedom and liberty, is abusing his powers to pressure and threaten his critics with impunity, why would authoritarian leaders not take it as a sign to bludgeon their own critics?

If Fox News and the rightwing media ecosystem has now fully transformed into state TV and propaganda, abdicating all pretenses of journalistic ethics and professionalism, then what is the responsibility for the rest of us who are at least attempting to be fair, thorough and truthful?

When an administration blatantly fails to protect a free press and instead willfully and maliciously abuses its power to threaten writers, journalists and critics, then it’s imperative for the rest of us to band together, rise up and fight back using facts, our words and the rule of law.

I hope people support Pen America’s lawsuit, or at the very least, continue supporting and encouraging journalists, writers and lawyers who are attempting, in the best way we can, to resist by simply doing what we know how to do best: our jobs.

Unfortunately for Trump, he has gone after individuals who always get the last word
© 2019 Guardian News & Media
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:04 am

Donald Trump Is Out of His Mind, Again

David Boddiger
Today 2:25pm
Filed to:DONALD TRUMP
null
Photo: Carolyn Kaster (AP)
It’s become a ritual for President Donald Trump to rant on Twitter on weekends. He usually tweets so much nonsense that there’s no point in covering it all anymore. However, this weekend, Trump is acting particularly crazy, and he even made a rare appearance at church on Sunday morning.

One thing that seems to be bothering him is that Fox News pulled one of his favorite TV shows on Saturday night. Probably still stewing over the fact that Jeanine Pirro was unable to spew her usual weekly bile on Fox, Trump turned on Saturday Night Live (or “S&L,” as DonJ calls it), seemingly unaware that it was a rerun of a Christmas episode from last year.



In the episode, Weekend Update featured a segment on Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, turning state’s evidence. This was back when Trump was first referred to publicly as “Individual-1” in campaign finance violations Cohen was charged with in the cover-up of Trump’s extramarital affairs with a porn star and a Playboy model. Maybe that’s why Melania dragged him to church. Who knows.

The president was so perturbed he threatened to sic the Federal Election Commission on NBC. “There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia! Such one sided media coverage, most of it Fake News,” Trump tweeted, erroneously referring to a satire show as a news outlet.





I’ve already written in another post about Trump’s tantrum regarding Pirro’s show, but it’s worth noting that his response to that issue was spread out over three tweets. Those responses essentially defended Islamophobia, racism, and misogyny.

“The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them,” Trump tweeted.

“Be strong & prosper, be weak & die! Stay true....to the people that got you there. Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine.”



But his greatest scorn this weekend was reserved for the late Republican Sen. John McCain. Citing former independent counsel Ken Starr, who helped billionaire Jeffrey Epstein dodge a long prison term for sexually trafficking and abusing underage girls, Trump falsely accused McCain of “Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier.” Trump also criticized McCain’s no vote on GOP legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017.


That was Saturday. Meghan McCain responded by pointing out how much Trump is loathed.


“No one will ever love you the way they loved my father,” she tweeted. “I wish I had been given more Saturday’s with him. Maybe spend yours with your family instead of on twitter obsessing over mine?”

The next day, Trump doubled down on his attacks against the late senator, who died last August of brain cancer.




As The Washington Post noted, there’s a lot going on in this tweet, but the main thing is that it contains three glaring lies.

Per the Post:

The tweet contained three errors. McCain, a member of the Naval Academy’s class of 1958, graduated fifth from last in his class. The senator was not made aware of the Steele dossier until Nov. 18, 2016 — after Trump had won the election. And there is no evidence that McCain gave the dossier to the media.

Former McCain aide David Kramer, a Russia expert, testified in a deposition in the BuzzFeed libel case in Florida that he gave the dossier to the media in December 2016. McCain himself gave the dossier to the FBI, but there is no evidence that he gave it to the media.



Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons defended McCain, who isn’t here to defend himself.

“Sen. McCain conveyed that report out of a sense of duty, and he is someone who lived his entire life with a sense of honor and duty to our country,” Coons told host George Stephanopoulos. Coons called on Trump to apologize for his comments.


Meanwhile, finally taking a break from Twitter, Trump and the first lady attended Sunday service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, about two blocks from the White House. Trump made the journey in his motorcade.


© 2018 Gizmodo Media Group
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:15 pm

As End Nears To Mueller Era, D.C. Lawyers Fear Lasting Politicization Of Justice
March 15, 201911:28 AM ET
Carrie Johnson 2016 square
CARRIE JOHNSON

Twitter

Kevin Downing, Paul Manafort's attorney, leaves federal court after Manafort's sentencing hearing in Washington on Wednesday.
Cliff Owen/AP
Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Members of Washington's elite legal community decried the "increasing politicization" of the justice system at a particularly sensitive time: as the special counsel probe of Russian election interference edges toward a conclusion.

Abbe David Lowell, a veteran of high-profile cases who has defended members of Congress and Cabinet officials, lamented that public confidence in the FBI, the Justice Department and the rule of law itself has waned, even as he offered praise for Robert Mueller, the man leading the Russia investigation.

"I don't know of a special counsel who's done it better," Lowell said at an event with other top lawyers on Thursday evening.

He added that he also has "great confidence in the career public servants" and the new team, led by Attorney General William Barr, at the Justice Department.

Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down In Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending
LAW
Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down In Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending
Lowell, who is representing President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said Mueller had conducted the nearly 2-year-old investigation with great integrity.

But Lowell also said he worried that no matter what the special counsel determines soon, those findings will be filtered through the political lens of lawmakers in the "big white dome" down the street from the Justice Department.

Members of Congress have battled over the Justice Department and FBI since not long after Mueller's appointment, accusing it of conspiracies and cover-ups. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., renewed his call this week for a second special counsel to look into what he called the department's transgressions.



Paul Manafort Sentenced To 3.5 More Years In Prison; New State Indictment Announced
POLITICS
Paul Manafort Sentenced To 3.5 More Years In Prison; New State Indictment Announced
Lawyers look in the mirror

Lowell and other panelists agreed that defense lawyers themselves also can contribute to the unhealthy and polarized environment.

Their comments followed only hours after an attorney for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort erroneously said that two judges handling his cases had found there was "no collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

What the judges said was that because Manafort's cases hadn't involved allegations about collusion, they couldn't opine about it one way or another.

The remarks, however, triggered an immediate and public reaction: In a chaotic scene outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, lawyer Kevin Downing was shouted down by protesters, who said he was lying.

Bill Christeson, a self-described activist on democracy and climate issues who's become a familiar figure at many Mueller-related court proceedings, later posted an explanation on Twitter.


Bill Christeson
@BillChristeson
I yelled, "That's not what she said!" and, "You aren't lawyers you are liars." I revere lawyers – dictators target them. And I know the mic's are not for me. Downey lied. I used my first amendment rights. I do not apologize. But, I also do not anticipate ever doing that again.

12.4K
8:27 PM - Mar 14, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
3,651 people are talking about this
Back at the lawyers' event, which took place at the Cosmos Club, longtime former prosecutor Mary Patrice Brown advised the audience to stay tuned, since she said Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over the Manafort case, may yet respond to Downing's remarks with some action.

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort and his legal team, told NPR in an email that "anyone triggered by Downing's comments should go back and review this case."

Maloni continued: " 'Russian collusion' certainly seemed to be lurking in the background in both cases against Manafort. But when offered the opportunity to substantiate their claims and present evidence, the office of special counsel offered none. Jackson is correct — Russian collusion was not before the court in D.C. That's because no charges made by the O.S.C. related to collusion with Russian officials."

A history of political attacks


Spiro T. Agnew (center) pleaded no contest to a charge of income tax evasion — after attacks against the judicial system. Agnew resigned from the vice presidency.
AP
The strategy of attacking the Justice Department or the system itself is hardly new, said panelist Peter Messitte, a federal judge in Maryland who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton.

Messitte pointed out that former Vice President Spiro Agnew launched blistering verbal assaults against prosecutors while he was under investigation on allegations of bribery and other crimes in the Nixon era.

All the same, Messitte said, in 34 years on the bench at the state and federal level, "I have never really seen a case of partisan prosecution."

Andrew McCabe, Ex-FBI Deputy, Describes 'Remarkable' Number Of Trump-Russia Contacts
NATIONAL SECURITY
Andrew McCabe, Ex-FBI Deputy, Describes 'Remarkable' Number Of Trump-Russia Contacts
Robert S. Bennett, who famously defended President Clinton in the sexual harassment case brought by Paula Jones, told the audience in D.C. that he is still angry that independent counsel Robert Fiske was deposed by a panel of judges in favor of Kenneth Starr, whose sometimes salacious final report on Clinton provoked a significant backlash.

Bennett's remarks drew heavy laughter from the crowd.

The event was sponsored by the law firm Searby LLP and American University's Washington College of Law.


© 2019 npr
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Re: Trump enters the stage -Orwellian theatre?

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:42 pm

On morning Joe, this morning, discussion swirled around comparing Trump to Mussolini, as a blind fascist follower , rather then am innovator like Hitler, it was a guaff, just like playing around with the Orwellian 1984 notion of Big Brother. But then, all that in reference to the wider concern with the protection of the Constitutional right of the freedom of the press.

In one of his tweets today, Trump appears to cozy up to Fox News, while demonizing the mainline media, reminiscent of the way propaganda was controlled in Germany prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Such allusions skirt the even more serious matter of the expanding role of technical intrusion into privacy, and the equally sensitive role which the increase of personal data basis have in the protection of autonomy.

In discussions of objectivity, surveillance, as a mode of establishing an emergent objectivity, places such quasi contractual social agreement , more into the level of assumption, rather then a valid socially validated program.

That brings to the forefront the question of, whether that premise, of technological assumption of heretofore human construction of objectivity has been concurrently been simulteniousy validated?

If so, do such assumptions denote any need for further discussions about such matters?

And may be, necessity for such can be hidden ipso facto, for 'National Security' and other such vaguely defined reasons, with having minimal reference to public say or opinion?

It least, such arguments may be understood to lay above and beyond the public's awareness and capacity to understand.

Maybe the whole political structure , including that of the Mueller Investigation, Pelosi's reticence for impeachment, Republican silent stand by, even the Judiciarie's doubtful impartiality; may be interpreted in this light.



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



Dan Father's view of Trump's use of Twitter, as political propaganda:



DAN RATHER: The answer is, not very well. Look, we have to deal with reality. This is a whole new age. And the president has the strongest, the most powerful platform for propaganda that humans have ever had. No president has ever had this kind of reach, the combination of television, radio, the internet, social media, tweets.

STELTER: He does love twitter, that's his one tech savviness.

RATHER: With all respect, I don't think his age, 72, is an excuse for not keeping up. He's basically anti-science. When you talk about what he says about climate change, that's in a wider context of actually this administration led by the president is downgrading science at the very time we need to be leaping forward, keeping up with science. They're cutting research and that sort of thing.

But, you know, with Twitter, much of the time, not all the time, much of the time, I sense the public has a sense that they're facing a manure spreader in a windstorm. It just keeps coming and coming and coming at you. It's ridiculous but it's unrelenting. And he understands the value of that. But for the rest of us, and for the public at large, it's time to take a deep breath, say to yourself, stay steady. Keep in mind that this is a tremendous tool for propaganda. See it in that context and do the best we can.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:29 pm

And here is the REAL political reality in the United States:



Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a 'witch hunt' as trust in Mueller erodes
SUSAN PAGE AND DEBORAH BARFIELD BERRY | USA TODAY | 35 minutes ago


After almost two years, Mueller's Russia investigation status can be confusing. Here's an overview of the central question, and what we know.
HANNAH GABER SALETAN, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Amid signs that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference may be near its conclusion, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds that trust in Mueller has eroded and half of Americans agree with President Donald Trump's contention that he has been the victim of a "witch hunt."


Support for the House of Representatives to seriously consider impeaching the president has dropped since last October by 10 percentage points, to 28 percent.

Despite that, the survey shows a nation that remains skeptical of Trump's honesty and deeply divided by his leadership. A 52 percent majority say they have little or no trust in the president's denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow in the election that put him in the Oval Office.

That number does reflect an improvement from previous polls. One year ago, 57 percent had little or no trust in his denials; in December, 59 percent did.


Twenty-eight percent say they have a lot of trust in former FBI director Mueller's investigation to be fair and accurate. That's the lowest level to date and down 5 points since December.

In comparison, 30 percent express a lot of trust in Trump's denials, the highest to date.

President Donald Trump has been relentless in attacking Robert Mueller's investigation.

Mueller indicted 34 people, including Russian intelligence operatives and some of Trump's closest aides and advisers. The indictments detailed the eagerness of the Trump campaign to benefit from a sophisticated Russian effort to influence the 2016 election but have not accused the president’s aides of participating in that operation. Last week, Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in federal prison for financial crimes.

The poll's findings set the stage for a ferocious partisan battle when Mueller submits his report to Attorney General William Barr. The president's cascade of criticism of those pursuing him has fortified his support and raised questions about his investigators.

More: Did Trump keep promises to insulate himself from his business? Only he knows

Trump tweets about Mueller
That campaign continued this weekend.

"What the Democrats have done in trying to steal a Presidential Election, first at the 'ballot box' and then, after that failed, with the 'Insurance Policy,' is the biggest Scandal in the history of our Country!" Trump declared in a tweet Sunday night.


Friday, Trump tweeted that "there should be no" report from Mueller, who was appointed in May 2017 to investigate how Moscow tried to influence the presidential election and whether Team Trump cooperated.

"This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime," Trump wrote Sunday, adding in a follow-up tweet, "THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!"

Fifty percent say they agree with Trump's assertion that the special counsel's investigation is a "witch hunt" and that he has been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics; 47 percent disagree. Just 3 percent don't have an opinion.

There is, unsurprisingly, a stark partisan divide on that question: 86 percent of Republicans but just 14 percent of Democrats say Trump is the victim of a "witch hunt." Among independents, 54 percent say he is; 42 percent say he isn't.


The president's success in persuading half of the electorate that he’s been subjected to unprecedented scrutiny is notable, says David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Political Research Center.

"Even among people who said they had ‘some’ trust in the Mueller investigation, half agreed with President Trump's witch hunt allegation,” he says.

More: What happens when special counsel Robert Mueller delivers his report?


"Trump, he gets badgered every single day," says Robert Lynch, 62, of Selden, New York, a Republican who describes himself as a "100 percent" supporter of the president. Mueller's report is "going to say no collusion, absolutely none," he predicts.

Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick, 66, an innkeeper from Denver and a Democrat, disagrees, saying evidence of collusion by Trump's campaign is obvious: "You don't need a report to see it. It's in our face."


Lynch and Tillemann-Dick were among those surveyed. The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken by landline and cellphone Wednesday through Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

"I hope that illegal collusion makes it very difficult for the Republicans to continue to defend undefendable behavior on the part of the person who is sitting in the chief executive's office," Tillemann-Dick says. "And I hope that it would lead to him being removed from office." (Tillemann-Dick, who was called randomly in the survey, happens to be the daughter of the late congressman Tom Lantos, D-Calif.)

A shift on impeachment
Support for impeaching Trump has cooled, the poll shows, in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's declaration that she opposed the idea unless there was bipartisan support for it. Among Democrats, 41 percent say Pelosi's comments had some or a lot of impact on their opinion about impeachment, about equal to the 42 percent who say they had no impact.

Pelosi's argument that trying to remove Trump from office would divide the nation apparently flipped the public's expectations of what Congress will do. Last fall, the poll found that a 54 percent-32 percent majority said a new Democratic majority in the House was likely to seriously consider impeachment.

Now, by 46 percent-41 percent, those surveyed predict that the House won't.

"If he doesn't get impeached, it's not like it's going to be the end of the world because 2020 is not super-far away," says Calvin Crawford, 18, a political independent and a senior at University High School in Spokane, Washington, who was polled. "I think Trump is probably going to lose if a candidate comes out and starts to propose things that people actually want."

Overall, Americans by 62 percent-28 percent say the House shouldn't seriously consider impeaching Trump, compared with 54 percent-39 percent last October. While a 53 percent majority of Democrats support impeachment, just 6 percent of Republicans do.

Gloria Davy, 65, a Democrat from Tucson, says it would bring her "great joy" for Democrats to push for impeachment, but she worries about the upheaval that could follow.

"I can't imagine what would happen to the stock market," the Arizona retiree says. "So it's probably best not to impeach him and to just have him run for his second term and lose. That would be the safest thing for our economy."

She is eager to see Mueller's report. "I'll read it cover to cover," she says.

Release the report?
As Mueller's inquiry winds down, the debate over what to do about the confidential report he is required to submit to the Justice Department is heating up. Last Thursday, the House unanimously passed a resolution calling for public release of the report, but Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., blocked passage of the nonbinding measure in the Senate.

The poll found overwhelming and bipartisan support for releasing the report, whatever it finds. In all, 82 percent say it is important to them that the report be made public; 62 percent call that "very important."

More: What happens after Mueller delivers his report? Congress braces for battles


A look at former FBI director Robert Mueller
Assessments of Mueller have become less positive and more partisan during his investigation. In June 2017, before he had brought any indictments or won any convictions, 30 percent viewed him favorably and 16 percent unfavorably, a net positive rating of 14 points. Twenty percent had never heard of him, and 33 percent weren't sure what they thought.

In the new poll, 33 percent view him favorably and 31 percent unfavorably. That net positive rating of 2 points is his narrowest to date. As recently as last October, he had a net positive rating of 17 points, 42 percent-25 percent.

Few Americans expect the conclusion of the special counsel's investigation is going to settle the controversies surrounding the president.

House committees controlled by Democrats launched a series of inquiries into Trump, his administration, his business practices and his family. Views of those investigations are narrowly divided: 49 percent say Democrats are doing the right thing by pursuing the investigations aggressively; 46 percent say they are going too far.

"Now we're going after Ivanka, so there will be more and more and more," said Davy, the Democrat from Arizona, "and he can't veto it."

Lynch, the avid Trump supporter from Long Island, says Mueller's report will clear Trump and should recommend another investigation to follow into his 2016 opponent. "It should say, 'OK, now we're going after Hillary.' "



© Copyright Gannett 2019
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Re: is Trump mentally ill?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:41 am

George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, has an urgent warning about the president's mental health
John Harwood | @johnjharwood
Published 7 Hours Ago Updated 5 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
Kellyanne Conway's husband, George Conway, was once seemingly on his way to a top role in the Trump administration.
Now he has become one of the president's most outspoken critics, even as his wife holds a key role in the White House.
On Monday, George Conway tweeted warnings about the president's mental health. Kellyanne Conway responded: "No, I don't share those concerns."
Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives on stage with U.S. President Donald Trump during the White House State Leadership Day conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives on stage with U.S. President Donald Trump during the White House State Leadership Day conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
At first, it looked like a package deal: Kellyanne Conway would join President Donald Trump's White House staff, her husband, George, the new administration's Justice Department.

The former happened, but the latter did not. And now, in a Washington spectacle unseen since the wife of Richard Nixon's attorney general sounded alarms about Watergate, the spouse of a top presidential advisor is issuing urgent public warnings about Trump's mental health.

As the Trump administration got underway, media reports placed George Conway in line to head the Justice Department's civil division. But then Trump rocked the agency by firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, and within weeks George Conway withdrew as a candidate to remain a private lawyer.

Conway started publicly criticizing Trump days later. "Sad," he tweeted, invoking the familiar Trump lament, that the president had complicated the legal defense of his travel ban with impolitic comments.

Soon afterward he sought to soften the impact. "I still 'VERY, VERY STRONGLY'" support Trump, he assured Twitter followers, "and of course, my wonderful wife."

By the spring of 2018, Conway's tone had changed. After Trump called the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller unconstitutional, Conway wrote a Lawfare article rebutting that "meritless legal position."

That summer, he ripped the president more sharply. As journalists scrutinized Trump's dubious assertions, White House disarray and diplomacy with Russia, Conway publicly mused about the fate of a business executive behaving similarly.

"What if a CEO routinely made false and misleading statements about himself, the company, and results, and public attacked business partners, company 'divisions' (w/scare quotes!), employees, and analysts, and kowtowed to a dangerous competitor?" Conway tweeted.

Kellyanne Conway bristles at questions about her husband's words as unrelated to her White House work. Trump accuses George Conway of seeking attention.

Washington cynics dismiss his stance for a different reason. While she retains Trump's favor through unyielding public advocacy, they reason, he courts the president's foes with an eye toward life after the administration.

But recent days make it more difficult to ignore the substance of what Conway says about the most powerful man in the world. Last week, Conway questioned Trump's mental fitness while excoriating him for false claims about federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

"Have we ever seen this degree of brazen, pathological mendacity in American public life?" Conway tweeted. "Whether or not impeachment is in order, a serious inquiry needs to be made about this man's condition of mind."

Over the weekend, the embattled president launched a scattershot volley of attacks against General Motors, "Radical Left Democrats," "the Fake News Media" and the late GOP Sen. John McCain. Trump retweeted mugshots, circulated by a well-known conspiracy theorist, of MS-13 gang members facing murder charges.

"His condition is getting worse," Conway tweeted.


Monday he got more specific. Conway circulated medical criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

"Don't assume that the things he says and does are part of a rational plan or strategy, because they seldom are," Conway tweeted. "Consider them as a product of his pathologies, and they make perfect sense."

Others have raised such concerns. In his unsuccessful 2016 GOP presidential campaign, Sen. Ted Cruz called Trump an "utterly amoral … pathological liar."

Some mental health professionals that year publicly called Trump psychologically unwell. After Comey's firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mentioned the Constitution's 25th Amendment outlining procedures for removing a president on grounds of incapacity, according to former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Rosenstein later said publicly he doesn't believe any basis exists for invoking the 25th Amendment and never advocated that. Conway on Monday raised the issue anew.

"All Americans should be thinking seriously now about Trump's mental condition and psychological state, including and especially the media, Congress – and the Vice President and Cabinet," Conway tweeted.

If his wife thinks seriously about it, she doesn't show it.

"No, I don't share those concerns," Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House on Monday.

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





Paranoia ~ utilized?~ crazy as a fox?




TheHill

ADMINISTRATION
March 19, 2019 - 08:33 AM EDT
Trump blasts 'fake news media' as 'absolute enemy' in latest attack on press



President Trump on Tuesday said that "Fake News" is the "absolute Enemy" of the people and country as he renewed his attacks on the media.

Trump lashed out at the "Fake News Media" as "dishonest" and "corrupt," lamenting that "there has never been a time like this in American History."

"Very exciting but also, very sad!" he tweeted. "Fake News is the absolute Enemy of the People and our Country itself!"




It's unclear what specifically triggered Tuesday morning's barb toward the press, but Trump, who regularly derides coverage of his administration he considers unfavorable as "fake news," has accused the news media of blaming him for last week's deadly shootings at a pair of mosques in New Zealand.

Some U.S. media coverage has focused on the suspected gunman's manifesto, which called Trump a "symbol of renewed white identity," and some pundits have argued the president has stoked white nationalist fervor worldwide.



The president over the weekend lashed out at the media on multiple occasions.

He targeted "Saturday Night Live" after the sketch comedy show aired a rerun that included an opening that imagined the world if he never became president, suggesting the program should face consequences for its jokes at his expense.

In the same tweet on Sunday, he called it "hard to believe" he won the presidency with "such one sided media coverage."



Later Sunday, Trump chastised a trio of Fox News anchors, suggesting they should work at competitor CNN instead. The message appeared to come after one of the individuals anchored a segment that highlighted economic concerns in parts of the Midwest.

The president routinely labels NBC, CNN and The Washington Post as "fake news" and has called The New York Times an "enemy of the people." He has rarely targeted Fox News in his attacks.

Updated at 8:52 a.m.



More in Administration
Conway hits back at Trump: Just guaranteed millions will learn about 'malignant narcissism'
Trump fires back at George Conway, calling him a loser
State Department blocks reporters from Pompeo briefing with faith-based media: report

Deutsche Bank loaned over $2 billion to Trump: report



©2019 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.


Deceptive tactics:-Stonewalling:

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote to the White House last month demanding information about President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund the construction of a southern border wall.

Yet Nadler’s Feb. 22 deadline came and went with no response. Not only did the Democratic congressman not receive the documents he wanted, he didn’t even receive a customary letter back from the White House acknowledging his request.

And yet:


Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a 'witch hunt' as trust in Mueller erodes
SUSAN PAGE AND DEBORAH BARFIELD BERRY | USA TODAY | 13 hours ago


According to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, Americans' trust in Robert Mueller's investigation is decreasing.
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Amid signs that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference may be near its conclusion, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds that trust in Mueller has eroded and half of Americans agree with President Donald Trump's contention that he has been the victim of a "witch hunt."


Support for the House of Representatives to seriously consider impeaching the president has dropped since last October by 10 percentage points, to 28 percent.

Despite that, the survey shows a nation that remains skeptical of Trump's honesty and deeply divided by his leadership. A 52 percent majority say they have little or no trust in the president's denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow in the election that put him in the Oval Office.

That number does reflect an improvement from previous polls. One year ago, 57 percent had little or no trust in his denials; in December, 59 percent did.

Twenty-eight percent say they have a lot of trust in former FBI director Mueller's investigation to be fair and accurate. That's the lowest level to date and down 5 points since December.

In comparison, 30 percent express a lot of trust in Trump's denials, the highest to date.

President Donald Trump has been relentless in attacking Robert Mueller's investigation.

Mueller indicted 34 people, including Russian intelligence operatives and some of Trump's closest aides and advisers. The indictments detailed the eagerness of the Trump campaign to benefit from a sophisticated Russian effort to influence the 2016 election but have not accused the president’s aides of participating in that operation. Last week, Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in federal prison for financial crimes.

The poll's findings set the stage for a ferocious partisan battle when Mueller submits his report to Attorney General William Barr. The president's cascade of criticism of those pursuing him has fortified his support and raised questions about his investigators.

More: Did Trump keep promises to insulate himself from his business? Only he knows

Trump tweets about Mueller
That campaign continued this weekend.

"What the Democrats have done in trying to steal a Presidential Election, first at the 'ballot box' and then, after that failed, with the 'Insurance Policy,' is the biggest Scandal in the history of our Country!" Trump declared in a tweet Sunday night.

Friday, Trump tweeted that "there should be no" report from Mueller, who was appointed in May 2017 to investigate how Moscow tried to influence the presidential election and whether Team Trump cooperated.

"This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime," Trump wrote Sunday, adding in a follow-up tweet, "THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!"

Fifty percent say they agree with Trump's assertion that the special counsel's investigation is a "witch hunt" and that he has been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics; 47 percent disagree. Just 3 percent don't have an opinion.

There is, unsurprisingly, a stark partisan divide on that question: 86 percent of Republicans but just 14 percent of Democrats say Trump is the victim of a "witch hunt." Among independents, 54 percent say he is; 42 percent say he isn't.

The president's success in persuading half of the electorate that he’s been subjected to unprecedented scrutiny is notable, says David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Political Research Center.

"Even among people who said they had ‘some’ trust in the Mueller investigation, half agreed with President Trump's witch hunt allegation,” he says.

More: What happens when special counsel Robert Mueller delivers his report?


"Trump, he gets badgered every single day," says Robert Lynch, 62, of Selden, New York, a Republican who describes himself as a "100 percent" supporter of the president. Mueller's report is "going to say no collusion, absolutely none," he predicts.

Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick, 66, an innkeeper from Denver and a Democrat, disagrees, saying evidence of collusion by Trump's campaign is obvious: "You don't need a report to see it. It's in our face."

Lynch and Tillemann-Dick were among those surveyed. The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken by landline and cellphone Wednesday through Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

"I hope that illegal collusion makes it very difficult for the Republicans to continue to defend undefendable behavior on the part of the person who is sitting in the chief executive's office," Tillemann-Dick says. "And I hope that it would lead to him being removed from office." (Tillemann-Dick, who was called randomly in the survey, happens to be the daughter of the late congressman Tom Lantos, D-Calif.)

A shift on impeachment
Support for impeaching Trump has cooled, the poll shows, in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's declaration that she opposed the idea unless there was bipartisan support for it. Among Democrats, 41 percent say Pelosi's comments had some or a lot of impact on their opinion about impeachment, about equal to the 42 percent who say they had no impact.

Pelosi's argument that trying to remove Trump from office would divide the nation apparently flipped the public's expectations of what Congress will do. Last fall, the poll found that a 54 percent-32 percent majority said a new Democratic majority in the House was likely to seriously consider impeachment.

Now, by 46 percent-41 percent, those surveyed predict that the House won't.

"If he doesn't get impeached, it's not like it's going to be the end of the world because 2020 is not super-far away," says Calvin Crawford, 18, a political independent and a senior at University High School in Spokane, Washington, who was polled. "I think Trump is probably going to lose if a candidate comes out and starts to propose things that people actually want."

Overall, Americans by 62 percent-28 percent say the House shouldn't seriously consider impeaching Trump, compared with 54 percent-39 percent last October. While a 53 percent majority of Democrats support impeachment, just 6 percent of Republicans do.

Gloria Davy, 65, a Democrat from Tucson, says it would bring her "great joy" for Democrats to push for impeachment, but she worries about the upheaval that could follow.

"I can't imagine what would happen to the stock market," the Arizona retiree says. "So it's probably best not to impeach him and to just have him run for his second term and lose. That would be the safest thing for our economy."

She is eager to see Mueller's report. "I'll read it cover to cover," she says.

Release the report?
As Mueller's inquiry winds down, the debate over what to do about the confidential report he is required to submit to the Justice Department is heating up. Last Thursday, the House unanimously passed a resolution calling for public release of the report, but Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., blocked passage of the nonbinding measure in the Senate.

The poll found overwhelming and bipartisan support for releasing the report, whatever it finds. In all, 82 percent say it is important to them that the report be made public; 62 percent call that "very important."

More: What happens after Mueller delivers his report? Congress braces for battles


Assessments of Mueller have become less positive and more partisan during his investigation. In June 2017, before he had brought any indictments or won any convictions, 30 percent viewed him favorably and 16 percent unfavorably, a net positive rating of 14 points. Twenty percent had never heard of him, and 33 percent weren't sure what they thought.

In the new poll, 33 percent view him favorably and 31 percent unfavorably. That net positive rating of 2 points is his narrowest to date. As recently as last October, he had a net positive rating of 17 points, 42 percent-25 percent.

Few Americans expect the conclusion of the special counsel's investigation is going to settle the controversies surrounding the president.

House committees controlled by Democrats launched a series of inquiries into Trump, his administration, his business practices and his family. Views of those investigations are narrowly divided: 49 percent say Democrats are doing the right thing by pursuing the investigations aggressively; 46 percent say they are going too far.

"Now we're going after Ivanka, so there will be more and more and more," said Davy, the Democrat from Arizona, "and he can't veto it."

Lynch, the avid Trump supporter from Long Island, says Mueller's report will clear Trump and should recommend another investigation to follow into his 2016 opponent. "It should say, 'OK, now we're going after Hillary.' "



© Copyright Gannett 2019



Perhaps this theatre of tests, the litmus between social processing of wjat goes between socialism and capitalism, so as that this U.S. political microcosm can mirror wjat.goes on an evolving new world order


How? Because, no one wants to communicate another hidden policy assumption floating around, that surmises the assumption of a nuclear war had not Trump been elected.

This logic, corresponds to the contradictory understanding of his constituency, who take this in faithfully.

Whereas this contradiction is mirrored in the potentially vastly larger scope of national-international conflict.

For this reason , the stalemate , even with perhaps the coming of the publication of the Mueller report.
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Re: contradiction

Postby Meno_ » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:53 pm

And most grass roots sources have never experienced major contradiction as politically nearing absolute so they can not entail it.

So they create a hyper real image, enters the under rated actor, who can be foreseen to cause trouble, as ma y artists have.

Better to have him join, especially a bankrupt and ego laden exemplar of vanity.

Enters Trump unto the unenviable stage.
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Re: Trump metamorphosis

Postby Meno_ » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:27 am

Surprising pollimg


Donald Trump
“The economy is just so damn strong right now and by all historic precedent the incumbent should run away with it,” said Donald Luskin, chief investment officer of TrendMacrolytics, a research firm whose model correctly predicted Trump’s 2016 win when most opinion polls did not. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

2020 ELECTIONS

How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide
Economic models point to a Trump blowout in 2020. But a faltering economy or giant scandal could change everything.

By BEN WHITE and STEVEN SHEPARD 03/21/2019 05:02 AM EDT
President Donald Trump has a low approval rating. He is engaging in bitter Twitter wars and facing metastasizing investigations.

But if the election were held today, he’d likely ride to a second term in a huge landslide, according to multiple economic models with strong track records of picking presidential winners and losses.




Credit a strong U.S. economy featuring low unemployment, rising wages and low gas prices — along with the historic advantage held by incumbent presidents.

While Trump appears to be in a much stronger position than his approval rating and conventional Beltway wisdom might suggest, he also could wind up in trouble if the economy slows markedly between now and next fall, as many analysts predict it will.

And other legal bombshells could explode the current scenario. Trump’s party managed to lose the House in 2018 despite a strong economy. So the models could wind up wrong this time around.


Despite all these caveats, Trump looks surprisingly good if the old James Carville maxim coined in 1992 — “the economy, stupid” — holds true in 2020.



“The economy is just so damn strong right now and by all historic precedent the incumbent should run away with it,” said Donald Luskin, chief investment officer of TrendMacrolytics, a research firm whose model correctly predicted Trump’s 2016 win when most opinion polls did not. “I just don’t see how the blue wall could resist all that.”

Models maintained by economists and market strategists like Luskin tend to ignore election polls and personal characteristics of candidates. Instead, they begin with historical trends and then build in key economic data including growth rates, wages, unemployment, inflation and gas prices to predict voting behavior and election outcomes.


Yale economist Ray Fair, who pioneered this kind of modeling, also shows Trump winning by a fair margin in 2020 based on the economy and the advantage of incumbency.

“Even if you have a mediocre but not great economy — and that’s more or less consensus for between now and the election — that has a Trump victory and by a not-trivial margin,” winning 54 percent of the popular vote to 46 for the Democrat, he said. Fair’s model also predicted a Trump win in 2016 though it missed on Trump’s share of the popular vote.



Still, Luskin, Fair and other analysts who use economic data and voting history to make predictions also note that a sharp decline in growth and an increase in the unemployment rate by next fall could alter Trump’s fortunes.


O’Rourke’s sprint out of the gate leaves Democratic field gasping
By DAVID SIDERS and CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO
“It would have to slow a lot to still be not pretty good,” Luskin said, adding that what really matters is the pace of change. Even if overall numbers remain fairly strong, a sharp move in the wrong direction could alter voting behavior.



Luskin’s current model — which looks at GDP growth, gas prices, inflation, disposable income, tax burden and payrolls — has Trump winning by a blowout margin of 294 electoral votes.

The White House remains confident that the GOP tax cut will support growth of 3 percent both this year and next, keeping job and wage gains strong. That’s much higher than consensus forecasts from the Federal Reserve and major banks that generally see a global slowdown led by Europe and China, coupled with the fading impact of U.S. tax cuts pushing U.S. growth closer to 2 percent this year with job gains slowing.



But Trump may have one major ally in his quest to make sure the numbers don’t go much lower than this: the Fed, which recently stopped its campaign of interest rate hikes. And on Wednesday the central bank said it foresees no more rate hikes this year.

The moves followed months of Trump bashing the Fed for raising rates too much and stomping on his economy, though Chairman Jerome Powell has said repeatedly that politics plays no role in the bank’s decision.

Whatever the case, a much more gentle Fed could slide a floor beneath any decline in Trump’s economy and boost his reelection chances significantly.



Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics and a regular Trump critic, has been road-testing a dozen different economic models for the 2020 race. At this point, Trump wins in all 12 — and quite comfortably in most of them. The Moody’s models look at economic trends at the state level.

“If the election were held today, Trump would win according to the models and pretty handily,” Zandi said. “In three or four of them it would be pretty close. He’s got low gas prices, low unemployment and a lot of other political variables at his back. The only exception is his popularity, which matters a lot. If that falls off a cliff it would make a big difference.” The Moody’s models look at economic trends at the state level and incorporate some political variables including a president's approval rating.



The Moody’s approach performed well in recent presidential elections, but missed the 2016 result in part because it did not account for a potential drop in Democratic turnout in key swing states. Zandi is trying to correct for that now before rolling out a new model sometime this summer

Klobuchar’s ‘senator next door’ strategy collides with Betomania
By ELENA SCHNEIDER
Trump has already upended many of the rules of presidential politics. His party suffered a drubbing in last year’s midterm elections despite the strong economy, and the yawning gap between how voters view the president and the nation’s economic standing is growing even larger: Presidents typically just aren’t this unpopular when the economic engine is humming along.


Trump this week seized on a new CNN poll that showed more than seven in 10 Americans, or 71 percent, view the U.S. economy as “very good” or “somewhat good.” That was higher than CNN has measured at any point since a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll in Feb. 2001 found 80 percent thought the economy was that robust.

Yet Trump’s approval rating in the poll — which is usually tied closely to the economy — is just 42 percent. And unlike during the late ’90s, when President Bill Clinton’s approval ratings surged ahead of his personal favorability amid major scandal, Trump’s favorable ratings (41 percent in the CNN poll) track closely with his job-approval rating.

Those low scores also apply to many attributes typically seen as desirable in presidents. Just 40 percent say Trump cares about people like them; 34 percent say he is honest and trustworthy; 41 percent say he can manage the government effectively; and 32 percent say he will unite the country, not divide it.

Moreover, even how Americans view the state of the country has become divorced from the economy. In the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, only 36 percent of voters said the U.S. was headed in the right direction, compared with nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, who said it was off on the wrong track.



For the economic models to be correct, voters would have to shrug off much of what they dislike about Trump and decide the strength of the economy makes a change unwise.

Prominent Democrats know that while Trump might seem like a loose cannon faced with the threat of a devastating report from special counsel Robert Mueller, he will likely be a formidable opponent in 2020, especially if the economy remains close to where it is today.



“Despite the fact that Trump is a largely incompetent clown, Democrats should not be overly confident or sanguine that they can beat him,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a top aide to former President Barack Obama. “He is a slight favorite to win. But he barely won last time and it took a Black Swan series of events to make that happen. All Democrats have to do is flip 100,000 or so votes in three states to win and that’s a very doable thing.


The changing faces of Trump










https://youtu.be/lnrMpKqZtD0


https://youtu.be/_FLo14GMYos


And the early years:


https://youtu.be/rFGE3X6Yhj0
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:12 pm

The New York Times



Months After John McCain’s Death, Trump Keeps Feud With Him Alive

President Trump continued his criticism of the late Senator John McCain during a speech at a tank plant in Lima, Ohio, on Wednesday.
IMAGE BY SARAH SILBIGER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni and Michael Tackett
March 20, 2019
LIMA, Ohio — It is an obsession he cannot seem to shake.

Senator John McCain of Arizona has been dead for seven months, but President Trump’s feud with him is very much alive, and in front of a military audience at a tank plant here in Lima, Ohio, on Wednesday, he took it to a new level.

He said he gave Mr. McCain “the funeral he wanted, and I didn’t get ‘thank you,’” exaggerating the role he played in honoring the senator’s death four days before his 82nd birthday.

He blamed him for “a war in the Middle East that McCain pushed so hard.” He said that “McCain didn’t get the job done for our great vets” and the Department of Veterans Affairs. And he was blunt in saying that his animosity toward Mr. McCain was not going to change.

“I have to be honest: I’ve never liked him much,” Mr. Trump said, about 10 minutes into a freewheeling speech that was ostensibly about the resurgence of manufacturing jobs. “Hasn’t been for me. I’ve really — probably never will.”



The long, antagonistic history between the president and Mr. McCain, in his youth a Navy pilot and prisoner of war celebrated for his bravery and later known as a maverick in the Republican Party, dates to the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump, who never served in the military, said Mr. McCain was not a war hero, adding, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Mr. Trump was reacting to the senator’s accusation that he riled up “crazies” with inflammatory remarks about illegal immigration across the Mexican border. His attack on Mr. McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential candidate, horrified his own aides and led Republican leaders to denounce the outsider who was already disrupting their party. It also proved to be an early example of Mr. Trump’s ability to remain undamaged by any self-created controversy.

Now, months after Mr. McCain’s death in August, Mr. Trump suddenly cannot stop talking about his old adversary, outraging Mr. McCain’s supporters and creating another divide — if only temporary — between himself and congressional Republicans.

His attacks began over the weekend, when the president used his Twitter feed to berate Mr. McCain for his role in giving the F.B.I. a dossier of unverified information about Mr. Trump’s connections to Russia that was compiled by a former British spy — a dossier the F.B.I. already had. He brought up Mr. McCain’s vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. He claimed that Mr. McCain, a former prisoner of war, was “last in his class” at the Naval Academy, when Mr. McCain actually graduated fifth from the bottom.

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On Tuesday, seated in the Oval Office next to President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Mr. Trump told reporters that he was “never a fan” of Mr. McCain, and never would be. And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump reiterated all those reasons in a diatribe that was part of a week that Mr. Trump seems to have dedicated to airing personal feuds.

He has spent days criticizing George T. Conway III, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, one of his top advisers, who has been raising alarms about the president’s mental health and calling him unfit for office via his Twitter feed. On his way to Ohio, Mr. Trump called Mr. Conway a “whack job,” capping two days of back and forth with the spouse of one of his most loyal and longest-serving aides.

But his relentless fixation on Mr. McCain was more reminiscent of an election-year feud Mr. Trump escalated against a Gold Star father, Khizr Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and, brandishing a pocket Constitution, challenged Mr. Trump for smearing the character of Muslims. Republicans once again denounced Mr. Trump when he continued to attack Mr. Khan and his wife, who Mr. Trump implied was forced against her will to stand silently by her husband’s side during the emotional speech.

The feud with Mr. McCain, however, has carried into his presidency, even after the man who was considered an elder statesman of the Senate learned he had brain cancer and eventually died.

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Planning his funeral, Mr. McCain made it clear that the president would not be welcome, leaving Mr. Trump to fume when his two immediate predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, eulogized Mr. McCain in a service at Washington National Cathedral. The president’s response was to stall on issuing any proclamation of praise, or ordering flags to be flown at half-staff to commemorate the senator’s death.

His posthumous attacks have been cheered at the president’s Make America Great rallies. But at the army tank plant in Lima, where Mr. Trump said a third of the work force is made up of veterans, the denunciations drew no cheers. And they once again resulted in rare criticism from Mr. Trump’s own party.

On Wednesday, Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, called out the president’s string of recent comments about Mr. McCain.

“It’s deplorable what he said,” Mr. Isakson said in an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Political Rewind” radio show, adding, “It will be deplorable seven months from now if he says it again, and I will continue to speak out.”

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He joined Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who had criticized the president on Tuesday. “I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” Mr. Romney wrote on Twitter.

Other Republicans, like Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, however, were more muted in responding to Mr. Trump’s latest attacks, choosing to emphasize their support for Mr. McCain rather than confront the president.

But at least one Democratic presidential candidate used the moment to demand change in the White House.

“This Vietnam vet was brought to tears when hearing the stories of the President going after John McCain this week, as well as the lack of focus on mental health for kids in this country,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, wrote on Twitter, with a picture of her embracing a veteran.

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Mr. McCain’s family, meanwhile, responded in his stead.

“This is a new bizarre low,” Mr. McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, said on “The View” on Wednesday. “I will say attacking someone who isn’t here is a bizarre low. My dad’s not here, but I’m sure as hell here.”

She added: “I think if I had told my dad, ‘Seven months after you’re dead, you’re going to be dominating the news and all over Twitter,’ he would think it’s hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death as well.”

Mr. McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, for her part, shared on Twitter a hateful message she received after Mr. Trump’s most recent attacks, in which the sender wished that Ms. McCain’s daughter “chokes to death.”

Mark Salter, Mr. McCain’s closest political adviser and a harsh critic of the president, said all of Mr. Trump’s personal attacks against critics were of a piece.

“The problem isn’t Trump’s disrespect to John and his family — it’s Trump,” he said. “He’s unfit for the office, and most members of Congress know he is. I hope this latest evidence of that convinces more people that he can’t be ignored.”

Maggie Haberman reported from Lima, and Annie Karni and Michael Tackett from Washington.
Meno_
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:00 pm

Can Trump Survive Mueller?
People predict the president will collapse under the stress of the Mueller investigation. But Trump has teetered on the brink before and never succumbed.

By MICHAEL KRUSE March 22, 2019

Michael Kruse is a senior staff writer for Politico.

“Well,” the newswoman said to Donald Trump, “you’re under a tremendous amount of pressure lately.”

“Why do you say that?” he asked.




It was April 6, 1990, and Paula Zahn on CBS actually had plenty of reasons to think Trump might be feeling anxious. It hadn’t been two months since the hyper-public, tabloid-tawdry revelation that his philandering had shattered his marriage to the mother of his first three children. He and his executives were grappling with the flawed, frantic opening of the newest, gaudiest, most expensive and most debt-bloated of his three casinos in Atlantic City. And reporters who covered money instead of celebrity had started to suss out the unsteadiness of Trump’s overall financial state.

“Both in your professional life and your personal life,” Zahn offered.



She asked how he was doing.

“I feel great,” Trump replied. “I’m doing well.”




Nearly three decades have passed. Even in Trump’s perma-perilous presidency, this is a juncture that pulses with risk. Newly empowered Democrats in Congress are ramping up multiple investigations, and talk of impeachment is impossible to avoid. Looming largest over this tumultuous battlefield, though, is the report special counsel Robert Mueller appears poised to submit to Attorney General William Barr—the culmination of nearly two years of labor and the subject of immeasurable speculation. While Trump often awards himself and his administration “A-plus” grades, many others question whether he will be able to sustain his rosy self-assessment once the details of Mueller’s findings become public.

A composite of Trump images from 1990s, in front of the Trump Taj Mahal, and pictured with both Marla Maples and Ivana Trump.
Trump in the ’90s: Amidst a period of highly-public personal philandering, Donald Trump—pictured bottom left with his first wife Ivana in 1989, the year he began his affair with his to-be second wife Marla Maples, pictured bottom right with their newborn daughter Tiffany in 1993—would open and drive into incredible amounts of debt multiple casinos in New Jersey’s Atlantic City, including the Trump Taj Mahal,.

Every flurry of tweets from the president—and last weekend’s two-day grievance bender against late-night comedy and cable news shows was a particularly strong example—begets new pronouncements that Trump is coming unglued from the strain. George Conway, husband of close Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, hauled out the clinical definition of narcissistic personality disorder to make the case that Trump is not only unfit for office but becoming catastrophically worse. And psychiatrists are speaking with dire predictions about the potential for a deranged person with extraordinary powers to create global mayhem and destruction.



“He has very poor coping mechanisms when he is criticized or when he feels humiliated,” Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist from Yale and the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the second edition of which is out this month, told me, “and at these points he generally goes into attack mode and he threatens others or tries to get revenge. The Mueller report is of a scale that is probably unlike what we have seen him undergo before.”

Story Continued Below

Worst-case scenario? “Obliterate observing eyes of his humiliation,” Lee said. Meaning? “Destroying the world. That, very quickly, becomes an avenue, a perceived solution … for individuals with his personality structure.”



Make what you will of such medical predictions, but the historical record tells a different story. The back-and-forth with Zahn is an instructive (and comforting?) reminder about overstating Trump’s fragility. The Trump campaign in 2015 and ’16 careened from kill shot to kill shot, of course, and just kept going, right to the White House—and that was not the first time he flashed his ability to mitigate calamity and deftly skirt what might have seemed like an inevitable comeuppance. Whether or not Trump could remain not only financially solvent but reputationally intact was an open question for the entirety of the first half of the 1990s. So many times, he could have been snuffed, stopped, rendered a relative footnote, his place in the history of this country limited to status as a gauche totem of a regrettable epoch of greed. That, needless to say, is not how the tale played out. Trump is many things. A developer. A promoter. A master media manipulator. A grown-old rich kid. The president of the United States. Above all else, though, he is a survivor.

“The ultimate survivor,” former Trump casino executive Jack O’Donnell told me recently.

Trump's Manhattan Plaza Hotel, left, a luxury yacht, top right, and his 1989 airline Trump Shuttle, bottom left.
Trump’s Trophies: Trump had a tendency to spend on things he couldn’t afford—like his Manhattan Plaza Hotel, left, a luxury yacht, top right, and his 1989 airline Trump Shuttle, bottom left—mostly with borrowed money. | AP Images, AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, JetPix/Wikimedia Commons

Pullquote reading: "I think he believes that the presidency is too big to fail, too powerful to be taken down. And I think that this is kind of something that he learned in the '90s."
But it’s not just that Trump has survived that’s important to consider at this moment—it’s how he has done it. Armed with extraordinary audacity, constitutional sangfroid, a stomach for tumult, an acumen for recasting obvious losses into strange sorts of wins, and the prodigious safety net bequeathed by his wealthy, wily father, he has plowed past myriad hazards. And he did it by tying himself tightly to his bankers and lenders in New York and to gaming industry regulators in New Jersey—who let him live large until they couldn’t let him die without fatally wounding themselves. He effectively inhabited hosts, using them to get bigger and bigger in the ’80s until he was practically perversely invincible by the ’90s—not only “too big to fail,” as the late Wayne Barrett once told Susan Glasser and me, but “too big to jail.”



Perhaps his past escapes are the reason he appears oddly calm as most of the country leans forward, awaiting word of bombshells from Mueller. Over the weekend, when outsiders perceived mounting anxiety in Trump’s Twitter barrage, people who spoke to Trump by phone told reporters that “he seemed to be in good spirits.” The volume of tweets, they surmised, was just a product of too much time on his hands in the White House.



His bravado and bluster can’t mask, his critics say, the true jeopardy he faces. The stakes now are too high, the arena too large, the political currents too strong, for Trump to expect the same results. But if he does fail, pinned to account by the weight of evidence uncovered by Mueller, one thing is certain: It will be the first time.





Those who believe in the power of Trump’s survival skills to protect him from even this unprecedented threat draw an analogy between the Republican Party—its members of Congress and especially the Senate—and the institutions that have enabled him in the past.

“The banks were heavily invested in Trump, and they couldn’t have him go down,” former Trump campaign staffer Sam Nunberg told me, “and the Republican Party can’t have him go down.”



“I think he believes that the presidency is too big to fail, too powerful to be taken down,” O’Donnell added. “And I think that this is kind of something that he learned in the ‘90s, where the banks basically said to him, ‘You’re too big to fail, we have to back you.’ And they did it, time and time again, in Atlantic City.”

To be determined in the coming weeks and months: how well those lessons will hold up.



“This is a man who has lived dangerously for decades by flirting with the boundaries of propriety, legality and civility,” Trump biographer Tim O’Brien told me. “And he is now faced, after years and years of getting away with it, with consequences that are far beyond anything he’s encountered before. … The things that I think have allowed him to survive in the past will be of practical, personal use here in terms of him maintaining a stiff upper lip, if he’s able to.” But the more material applicability of the Machiavellian takeaways from his ‘90s scrapes? “I think they’re going to be absolutely of no use if the legal consequences are realized at their full magnitude.”

A composite photo of Trump pictured in 1987 above the section of the Upper West Side that would have become Trump City.
Trump the Builder: The New York real estate mogul, above in 1987, partnered with Hong Kong investors to develop buildings on the Upper West Side, below, that would have been Trump City but were later called Trump Place, until recently tenants voted to remove the president’s name. | Joe McNally/Getty Images, Oliver Morris/Getty Images

Others who know Trump well aren’t so sure.



“No matter what they do, he survives. No matter what they try, he survives,” longtime New York Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf told me. “Can Trump survive this? He absolutely can.”

In the middle of 1990, after all, he was more than $3 billion in the red. He had for years spent too much to buy too much, all with mostly borrowed money. The yacht, the airline, Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel. “Trophies,” he called them. And his casinos, first two, now three with the lurching launch of the Trump Taj Mahal, cannibalized each other. Even record rakes of cash weren’t enough to simply service all of Trump’s debt. On the horizon was the first of his six corporate bankruptcies.

“Trump is on his way down—and probably out,” business journalist Allan Sloan wrote that June in Newsday.



People didn’t stop at mere predictions. They also poked fun.

“I envision Donald Trump a year from now doing the ads for stomach-flatteners or ginsu knives on late-night TV. Or as a Worldwide Wrestling Federation commentator,” Gail Collins, then a columnist for the New York Daily News, told David Von Drehle, then a reporter for the Miami Herald.

Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown likened Trump to late-in-life Elvis. “He probably will wind up in that sort of Graceland, you know, wearing a diaper,” she told Steve Kroft of CBS News.



Spy, the puckish satirical magazine and inveterate needler of Trump, in its August 1990 issue took a tongue-in-cheek look at what they foresaw as a sad, middling future for a balding, paunchy Trump. Their crystal ball, though, was not all wrong. They anticipated a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and a rough version of reality television, too—and a public offering that would permit Trump to use money from shareholders to make money of his own (“Now YOU can own a piece of the Trump!”).

But beyond the smart set’s schadenfreude were Trump’s real-life results.



After weeks of negotiations, the cluster of 70-some-odd banks that had loaned him billions of dollars gave him an additional $65 million loan. It was the first in a yearslong sequence of bailouts and extensions and breathing-room reprieves. They had loaned him so much money, it was no longer only his problem—it was theirs. He all but dared them to take him down. “He has a good bit of leverage over the institutions,” a Harvard Business School finance professor told the Boston Globe at the time. “His adjusted net worth is minus several hundred million dollars, by my estimate, and he is alive only because his bankers are too red-faced to pull the plug on his life-support system,” the chairman of a money management firm wrote in the New York Post. “The most important thing,” an official in the office of one of his lenders said in The American Banker, “is to make Trump survive.”

A screenshot from the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape and Trump's election acceptance speech.
Trump the Candidate: Despite a number of incidents that might have taken any other candidate down—including the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, pictured above, in which he swaggered about sexual assault—Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016 and delivered his acceptance speech, pictured below, in

A pull quote reading: "With Trump, you just think, 'OK, this is it. This is it, you know?' He's bankrupt, people are laughing at him, he's this, he's that--but it's never over for him."
The banks over time clawed back a passel of Trump’s possessions (the yacht, the planes, the Plaza), but they didn’t take his casinos—because they didn’t want them. “The last thing they want to do is manage casinos,” an analyst from Moody’s Investors explained to the Associated Press. And the last thing the gaming officials and city leaders in New Jersey wanted was to have them close. The relationship was the same as with the banks back in New York. Desperate to prop up the flagging gaming industry, looking continually to the casinos to inject into the struggling seaside town at least the appearance of vitality and prosperity, they needed Trump as much as Trump needed them. A prerequisite to owning a casino in Atlantic City, understandably, was financial stability, and regulators could have stripped Trump of his—repeatedly—but of course didn’t. Trump’s casinos amounted to roughly a third of the market. “The whole economic development of the town,” said O’Donnell, “it was dependent on this. And so they just—they caved.”



Trump had managed to turn an apparent weakness into a significant advantage. The banks put him on an allowance … of $450,000 a month. The Trump Tower triplex was safe.


“The man is a Sherman tank in a Brioni suit,” New York Post gossip columnist and Trump pal Cindy Adams told USA Today.

“Hey, look, I had a cold spell from 1990 to ’91,” he said in 1994 in New York. “I was beat up in business and in my personal life. … But you learn that you’re either the toughest, meanest piece of shit in the world, or you just crawl into a corner, put your finger in your mouth, and say, ‘I want to go home.’” And Trump didn’t want to go home.

He wasn’t entirely in the clear, though, until 1995 and ’96, when his need for money finally superseded his desire for absolute control and he took his casinos public. He sat in his office and looked at O’Brien, then a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He was “back,” he said. People bought stock in Trump and lost money in droves. Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts proved to be a good investment for just one person—Trump. “It was to get other people to get him out of that debt,” a former member of the Trump Organization told me. In addition to his selling of his stake in his foundation-laying Grand Hyatt and tens of millions of dollars of wrangled, well-timed loans from family trusts, it’s what saved Trump—along with a partnership with Hong Kong investors that turned his long-held plot of land on the Upper West Side that always cost him money into one that began to actually make him money. Construction on what would have been Trump City and now would be called Trump Place (and then wouldn’t) started in 1997. And two years later, in front of some of the buildings, Trump let the magician David Blaine get “buried alive” for a week in a plexiglass coffin. It was, said Blaine, a stunt famed illusionist Harry Houdini always wanted to do. For Trump, the publicity ploy made for an apt ode to the art of escape.



Trumpologists and culture critics frequently cite showman P.T. Barnum as Trump’s preeminent antecedent, but another, less noted inspiration was Houdini, the author of a forthcoming Houdini biography told me. “He always found—especially when it just seemed like it was over for him—he found some new chapter, and some new way to sort of get his success going again,” Joe Posnanski said. “He created this handcuff act, and the handcuff act becomes huge, and then that sort of runs its course. And then he comes up with the milk can, and the milk can sort of runs its course. And he comes up with the Chinese water torture cell, and that runs his course. And he starts hanging upside down and escaping from straitjackets.”



It makes Posnanski think of Trump.



“With Trump, you just think, ‘OK, this is it. This is totally it, you know?’” he said. “He’s bankrupt, people are laughing at him, he’s this, he’s that—but it’s never over for him.”

“Trump,” said Sheinkopf, the Democratic strategist, “is incessantly pulling Houdini acts.”

Recall all the “gaffes” that were to have torpedoed his indelicate, unorthodox 2016 presidential bid—peaking, of course, with the “Access Hollywood” tape revealed in early October in which he swaggered about sexual assault.

***



Those who predict Trump will ultimately fall don’t disagree that he has benefited from well-placed safety nets before. This time is different, they insist, because his high-wire act is being performed at unprecedented heights.

A composite image of Robert Mueller, Roger Stone and Michael Cohen
Under Investigation: An investigation run by Robert Mueller, left, has hung over Trump’s presidency for nearly two years and led to the arrest of multiple of the president’s associates, including his former attorney Michael Cohen, top right, and his long-time advisor Roger Stone, bottom right. | Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images, ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Pullquote reading: “This is a man who has lived dangerously for decades by flirting with the boundaries of propriety, legality and civility. And he is now faced ... with consequences that are far beyond anything he’s encountered before."
“Significantly higher,” O’Brien said. “He’s been on a financial tightrope, and a familial tightrope, but he’s never been on a legal tightrope like this one. Not even close. This is fundamentally new because of the legal consequences, and those legal consequences don’t end with the filing of the Mueller report. He still has issues that are still very serious in the Southern District of New York; in some ways, they may be more serious than the Mueller investigation in terms of potential consequences and how far they dig into his world.”



Bandy Lee is worried. The forensic psychiatrist from Yale has studied thousands of people with the mental disorders she perceives Trump has. Their behavior, untreated, had predictable and unpleasant results. She foresees a similar unraveling for Trump, albeit with a wild card she has never encountered in any of her patients: the awesome power of the commander in chief.



“Under stress, we can see the limits of one’s ability to cope, and we can see that the president has reached his limits fairly rapidly, in terms of not being able to sit with the advancing special counsel’s investigation. You can see there is a heightening of activity and creation of crises, distractions, if you will, in order to distract both themselves as well as the public away from the bad news he is continuing to receive,” Lee said.

“He has very poor coping mechanisms when he is criticized or when he feels humiliated,” she continued, “and at these points, he generally goes into attack mode, and he threatens others or tries to get revenge.”



Our conversation took place before Trump resurrected his feud with the late John McCain, but I couldn’t help thinking of Lee’s warning as I listened to the president on Wednesday belabor his grudge before a crowd of workers who were expecting some good news on the economy, not a hit job on a war hero. Maybe this, just like the days of name-calling with George Conway, really are the signs of a mind in turmoil.

Trump is pictured leaving the White House.
Trump the Survivor: President Trump departs the White House earlier this year, while talk of his impeachment by a newly-Democratic House is impossible to avoid. He’s teetered on the brink before and never succumbed. Will he be able to do it again? | Win McNamee/Getty Images

And yet—and this is just the reality of the record—Trump shrewdly, bullheadedly, even blithely pushed past crises in the ‘90s that would have felled almost anybody else. And then, perhaps convinced of his own invincibility, he blew through a litany of accepted social and political checkpoints on his way to the Oval Office and his high-backed chair behind the Resolute desk.



“Pressure,” Trump said in an extended interview in Playboy in 1990, “doesn’t upset my sleep. … I like throwing balls into the air—and I dream like a baby.”

That same year, on June 14, he turned 44. The next day, he missed about $45 million in debt payments for his casino called Trump Castle. “He is absolutely on knife’s edge,” James Grant, the editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, told Newsday. The day after that, Trump had a party. More than a thousand employees in Atlantic City showed up at the bash on the boardwalk, according to news reports. “We love you, Donald!” they cried. He was presented with a chocolate cupcake, a 12-page birthday card and an 8-foot-by-10-foot portrait of himself.



“Nobody wants to write the positives,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “Over the years, I’ve surprised a lot of people. The largest surprise is yet to come.”





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