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Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:10 am

Trump's Travel Ban Tweets Could Come Back To Bite Him In Court.

President Donald Trump continued to use the London terrorist attack to promote his rejected travel ban on Twitter Monday.

And his word choice in these most recent tweets could do more harm than good when it comes to getting that ban reinstated.

In a series of tweets Monday, Trump urged the Justice Department to ask for an expedited Supreme Court hearing on his embattled executive order.

He wrote, in part: "I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN! ... The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted."

http://www.ktnv.com/newsy/trumps-travel-ban-tweets-could-come-back-to-bite-him-in-court
________________________________________
Trump Seizes on London Attack as Leverage in Travel-Ban Case.

President Donald Trump wasted no time using another terrorist attack in London to argue for U.S. courts to reinstate his travel ban focused on people from predominantly Muslim countries.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety,” Trump said on Twitter, before U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the incidents were being treated as a potential act of terror. He later phoned May and offered condolences for the “brutal terror attacks,” according to a White House statement.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-seizes-london-attack-leverage-000033729.html
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:51 am

I am afraid Trump is rapidly coming unravelled - is he suffering from some kind of degenerative disease?

I am no great fan of Khan, but for Trump to pick a fight with him at a time like this is unforgiveable. As is Trump distorting what Khan actually said.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:49 am

I wonder, does Trump grasp that he hasn't just insulted Khan, he's insulted Londoners, too, who unlike him and his supporters, are NOT running round with their hair on fire, shrieking that the sky is falling.

He reminds me of Ambassador Kennedy briefing against the UK to FDR, at the start of the Blitz. This really is not good, and I shudder to think how he would react to a series of terrorist attacks in the US itself - he doesn't seem to grasp the concept of stiff upper lips in troubled times....

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:00 am

Cancel Donald Trump state visit, says Sadiq Khan, after London attack tweets.

London mayor says US president is wrong about many things and that state visit to Britain should not go ahead.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has called on the British government to cancel a planned state visit by Donald Trump after being criticised in two tweets by the US president.

Trump initially criticised Khan for his response to the London Bridge terrorist attack; though, in doing so, he misquoted London’s mayor. Khan’s office pointed out Trump’s error later but the president responded by accusing London’s mayor of making a “pathetic excuse”.

Appearing on Channel 4 News on Monday evening, Khan said Trump was wrong about “many things” and that his state visit should not go ahead.

“I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” he said.

“When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/05/donald-trump-attack-courts-travel-ban-london


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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:13 am

I don't greatly like Khan, LL, but Trump is totally in the wrong over this - can you imagine Blair starting a slanging match with the mayor of New York after 9/11?

I don't see how a State visit involving London can go ahead under present circumstances; Windsor or Balmoral maybe, but Trump isn't going to get a warm welcome in London unless he does some apologising. Which he won't.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:40 am

Will Trump Visit U.K? After Attack on Sadiq Khan, Theresa May Faces Calls to Cancel State Trip.

President Donald Trump’s already controversial planned state visit to the United Kingdom has just become a whole lot more contentious. Multiple tweets attacking London mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of Saturday’s attack in London that left seven people dead have led several leading British politicians to call for Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel the invitation.

“Sadiq Khan has shown dignity and leadership,” said Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. “Theresa May absolutely must withdraw the state visit. This is a man insulting our national values at a time of introspection and mourning.”

Trump's comments were slammed by senior Labour member of Parliament David Lammy.

“You are truly beneath contempt,” he said in a series of tweets in reply to Trump. “You are just a troll. Show some bottle please PM. Cancel the state visit and tell Trump where to get off.

“You (Trump) demean your office by misquoting and smearing the Mayor of a city that has just been attacked and is also the capital of your close ally. You besmirch the presidency, you taint previous Presidents with your behavior & you bring shame on your great country and its great people.”

Wes Streeting, a London MP for the Labour party representing a north London constituency, said Trump Jr. was a “disgrace” for using the attack for “political gain.”

Channel 4 News correspondent Ciaran Jenkins questioned whether Trump Jr. had even read the article.

http://www.newsweek.com/london-attack-sadiq-khan-donald-trump-jr-tweet-572601?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=yahoo_news&utm_campaign=rss-related&utm_content=/rss/yahoous/news
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:01 am

Thing is, LL, he's not just attacked an ally at a time of national peril, he's quite blatantly lying about what Khan said - and the whole world can see it.

It raises questions, again, about the possibility of him being in the early stages of some degenerative illness; he isn't even gaining politically from this one.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:30 pm

Trump Hotel Received $270,000 From Lobbying Campaign Tied to Saudis.

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel received roughly $270,000 in payments linked to Saudi Arabia as part of a lobbying campaign by the Gulf kingdom against controversial terrorism legislation last year.

The payments—for catering, lodging and parking—were disclosed by the public relations firm MSLGroup last week in paperwork filed with the Justice Department documenting foreign lobbying work on behalf of Saudi Arabia and other clients.

As part of a lobbying effort against the bipartisan Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, Saudi Arabia’s Washington lobbyists and consultants spent about $190,000 on lodging, $78,000 on catering, and $1,600 on parking at the Trump International Hotel. The Daily Caller website first reported on the payments.

Mr. Trump last month made Saudi Arabia the first stop of his first international trip as president, and described the country as a key ally in the war on terror.and an important partner in bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia has been lobbying against JASTA, a law that was passed by Congress over former President Barack Obama’s veto. It allowed Americans to sue foreign governments over terrorists attacks.

The payments to the Trump Hotel were made by one of MSLGroup’s subcontractors and reimbursed by the Saudi government, according to Michael Petruzzello, an MSLGroup executive. They were part of a lobbying campaign bringing American military veterans to Capitol Hill to advocate against JASTA, he said.

All the hotel spending took place between Nov. 2016 and Feb. 2017, according to Mr. Petruzzello. Most of the payments to the hotel were made before Mr. Trump was officially sworn inas president, but some were made after he became president.

Survivors and families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have been pushing for the law so that a lawsuit can proceed against Saudi Arabia for any alleged role in the attacks. The kingdom has denied any involvement and U.S. officials have backed that position.

Ethics officials have raised questions about foreign government payments to the Trump Organization. Watchdog groups say the Trump Organization’s business with foreign entitiesin particular governments that book rooms or events or other business at the Trump International Hotel near the White House, risks violating a constitutional provision that bars federal officers from accepting payments or gifts from foreign countries without Congress’s consent.

The president has retained ownership of his business empire while turning over management to his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. Critics say those steps don’t do enough to fully separate the president from his business interests.

The Trump Organization has thus far declined to provide details about its handling of profits from foreign government, after Mr. Trump earlier this year said his company would transfer any such profits to the U.S. Treasury.

The White House referred questions about the payments to the Trump Organization. A spokeswoman for the company said it would donate the “profits of this transaction” at the end of the year, but didn’t immediately respond to a question about how it would publicly disclose that transfer.

The Trump Organization in recent weeks has tangled with the House Oversight Committee over its handling of profits from foreign government. The committee in April requested that the company provide documents detailing how it identified payments from foreign governments or foreign government-owned entities, as well as how it calculated profits from those payments and how it would donate those profits to the Treasury.

In response, the company sent a pamphlet saying it wouldn’t attempt to identify representatives of foreign governments unless customers presented themselves as such. It also said it wouldn’t identify all of its foreign customers, describing the request as “impractical in the service industry.”

“This is a textbook example of a foreign government paying directly into the President’s pocketbook while pursuing its own policy goals,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the oversight committee, in a statement. “Saudi Arabia is spending vast amounts of money at President Trump’s hotel while at the same time pressing to limit the rights of U.S. citizens to sue the Saudi government.”

The White House had no immediate comment on Mr. Cummings’s statement.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-hotel-received-270-000-115300568.html

hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:33 pm

I saw an interesting explanation on a US site for Trump's dreadful remarks about Khan - he's scared.

He's convinced himself he's going to go through London on his State visit, in the Golden Coach, with the plebs cheering him all the way.

But - Khan is an Evil Moo-slime, maybe even a secret terrorist! Will Khan make it easy for some other Evil Moo-slime to do an Archduke Franz Ferdinand on he, Trump????????

Hence the hysterics.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:34 pm

All the hotel spending took place between Nov. 2016 and Feb. 2017, according to Mr. Petruzzello. Most of the payments to the hotel were made before Mr. Trump was officially sworn inas president, but some were made after he became president.

Shytehitsfan

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:03 pm

“Saudi Arabia is spending vast amounts of money at President Trump’s hotel while at the same time pressing to limit the rights of U.S. citizens to sue the Saudi government.”

I am sick to death of this pandering to the Saudis. They've financed Sunni terrorists all over the world, but mysteriously, much of the West backs them, while screeching about terrorists and Iran.

Hello? It's not Shia or any of the other sects that are doing all this, it's Wahhabists backed by Saudi money.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:48 pm

Trump is quick to blame Muslims for terror attacks. He's slow when Muslims are the victims.

When Donald Trump believes a terrorist attack by Muslim extremists has taken place, he rarely hesitates before speaking out about it — often regardless of whether authorities have even begun to investigate what actually took place. But when it comes to anti-Muslim hate crimes, Trump’s reactions are often halfhearted, delayed, or nonexistent.

There is perhaps no starker example of this than the president’s response to the terror events of last week: one in Portland, Oregon, in which two men died protecting two Muslim women who were being harassed by a ranting white supremacist; and one in London over the weekend, in which three terrorists murdered seven and wounded dozens more, armed with a van used to mow down pedestrians on London Bridge, and knives, wielded as instruments of destruction on innocent bystanders.

Trump declined to comment on the killings in Portland for days. Yet he spoke out almost immediately about London, sending out tweet after tweet railing against political correctness and calling for a tough response.

This wasn’t just a one-off, either — rather, it’s part of a disturbing pattern of Trump’s apparent reluctance to condemn anti-Muslim violence while reflexively condemning violence purportedly carried out by Muslims.

The responses to terror of any sort from American presidents traditionally have had a certain consistency of message and of meaning. In the past, presidents have appealed to our greater humanity, to rationality, to our understanding that more unites us than divides us. Traditionally, too, presidents have appealed to communities for calm.

Trump doesn’t do any of that. He sometimes does the opposite.

When a gunman opened fire on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, destroying lives in the space of minutes, Trump was quick to label the incident as terrorism. Then, with 50 dead and families across the region mourning, he congratulated himself for recognizing terrorism when it had taken place.

In December 2015, after two militants shot 14 people dead in San Bernardino, California, Trump regularly spoke about the terror attack on the campaign trail.

“That looks like another Islamic disaster," he said the day after the attack, on an AM radio program hosted by Mike Slater. He continued:

"You look at this horrible terrorism that's going all over the place, and we have to be vigilant and we have to be smart. We can't allow ourselves to be just decimated. And I have friends that are Muslims, they are very nice people, but they understand there's a big problem. We have a big problem."

But Trump has also used the label of terror to address events as they are taking place, before others have determined exactly what’s going on.

Last Thursday, when reports of an attack in Manila were unfolding in the moments before the president’s Rose Garden speech on the Paris climate agreement, he spoke out about terrorism in the Philippines — before confirming if it was, in fact, terrorism (it turns out it wasn’t).

“I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila,” he told those assembled. “We’re closely monitoring the situation, and I will continue to give updates if anything happens during this period of time. But it is really very sad as to what’s going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected.” Rest at link.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/6/15740628/trump-muslims-terror-twitter?yptr=yahoo
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:00 pm

President Donald Trump went after the media in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, saying he uses social media to get "the honest and unfiltered message out."

"The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out," Trump tweeted.

The president's tweeting Monday may have have complicated his administration's legal position arguing in favor of an executive order banning travel to the US from six majority-Muslim countries.

"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" Trump said in the first of a series of tweets Monday morning.

Notably, George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted Monday that Trump was undermining his own case for the travel ban.

"The [point] cannot be stressed enough that tweets on legal matters seriously undermine Admin agenda and POTUS — and those who support him, as I do, need to reinforce that [point] and not be shy about it," Conway tweeted.

The Wall Street Journal also took note of Trump's tweeting in an editorial published Monday night.

"Over the weekend and into Monday he indulged in another cycle of Twitter outbursts and pointless personal feuding that may damage his agenda and the powers of the Presidency," the editorial states.

Recapping the president's Monday tweets on the travel ban, the Journal's editorial board wrote that it was "merely the latest incident in which Mr. Trump popping off undermined his own lawyers."

Trump took another shot at the media on Tuesday, writing on Twitter, "I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH."
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Four top law firms turned down requests to represent Trump.

Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations, in part over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice, according to five sources familiar with discussions about the matter.

The unwillingness of some of the country’s most prestigious attorneys and their law firms to represent Trump has complicated the administration’s efforts to mount a coherent defense strategy to deal with probes being conducted by four congressional committees as well as Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

The president’s chief lawyer now in charge of the case is Marc E. Kasowitz, a tough New York civil litigator who for years has aggressively represented Trump in multiple business and public relations disputes — often with threats of countersuits and menacing public statements — but who has little experience dealing with complex congressional and Justice Department investigations that are inevitably influenced by media coverage and public opinion.

Before Kasowitz was retained, however, some of the biggest law firms and their best-known attorneys turned down overtures when they were sounded out by White House officials to see if they would be willing to represent the president, the sources said.

Among them, sources said, were some of the most high-profile names in the legal profession, including Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly; Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Paul Clement and Mark Filip of Kirkland & Ellis; and Robert Giuffra of Sullivan & Cromwell.

The lawyers and their firms cited a variety of factors in choosing not to take on the president as a client. Some, like Brendan Sullivan, said they had upcoming trials or existing commitments that would make it impossible for them to devote the necessary time and resources to Trump’s defense.

Others mentioned potential conflicts with clients of their firms, such as financial institutions that have already received subpoenas relating to potential money-laundering issues that are part of the investigation.

But a consistent theme, the sources said, was the concern about whether the president would accept the advice of his lawyers and refrain from public statements and tweets that have consistently undercut his position.

“The concerns were, ‘The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen,’” said one lawyer close to the White House who is familiar with some of the discussions between the firms and the administration, as well as deliberations within the firms themselves.

Other factors, the lawyer said, were that it would “kill recruitment” for the firms to be publicly associated with representing the polarizing president and jeopardize the firms’ relationships with other clients.

Another lawyer briefed on some of the discussions agreed that the firms were worried about the reputational risk of representing the president. One issue that arose, this lawyer said, was “Do I want to be associated with this president and his policies?” In addition, the lawyer said, there were concerns that if they took on the case, “Who’s in charge?” and “Would he listen?”

None of the lawyers who turned down the White House overtures responded to requests for comment by Yahoo News.

The White House began discreetly reaching out to assemble an outside legal team several weeks ago, after the public uproar over the firing of FBI Director James Comey — who is due to testify before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday — followed by the appointment of Mueller as Justice Department special counsel.

Among those who began calling around on the president’s behalf were White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House counsel Don McGahn. In some cases, the discussions led to meetings or phone calls between the lawyers who were approached and the president himself.

Some of the sources who spoke to Yahoo News said the top lawyers and the four firms that rejected the overtures were not exhaustive of the list of firms approached by the White House. Among those who also were reportedly approached were Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson and A.B. Culvahouse Jr. of O’Melveny & Myers.

The hiring of Kasowitz has been criticized by some who view the New York lawyer as a pit-bull litigator who lacks the finesse to represent the president in probes that involve the public arena. Among the cases on which he has represented Trump over the years were lawsuits involving Trump University and divorce proceedings.

But one of the sources said that Kasowitz has been reaching out to Washington legal veterans to solicit ideas and suggestions about how to craft an overall defense strategy, including how and when to publicly release information that might be helpful to the president’s defense, the source said.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/four-top-law-firms-turned-requests-represent-trump-122423972.html
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:14 pm

Oh. Trump may be in real trouble, if even lawyers don't want to know.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:05 pm

bb1 wrote:Oh. Trump may be in real trouble, if even lawyers don't want to know.
Especially those lawyers/firms. If they are saying they don't want to know, then he is on the downward slope. Lawyers of their caliber don't turn down the chance of fame and fortune, believe me!!!! LL
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:59 pm

I can see this deranged feud with Khan being his downfall, LL. I've lost track of the whole Russia business, but anyone who can read can see he is plain and simply lying about what Khan said.

It's simple for anyone to understand, and very worrying.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:58 am

Senators to ask about Trump pushback on Russia investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A day before a Senate panel hears former FBI Director James Comey's first public account of his dramatic firing, lawmakers will question senior members of President Donald Trump's national security team about surveillance law and are expected to ask whether the president has tried to influence ongoing investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

Two of the four national security executives scheduled to testify before the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday were reportedly asked by Trump to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has declined to answer questions about this publicly. And House Armed Services committee lawmakers did not raise the issue when National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers recently appeared before a subcommittee hearing on cyber issues.

The back-to-back hearings come as the White House grapples with the fallout from Comey's firing, which led to the appointment of a special counsel to take over the Russia investigation in an effort to prevent even the appearance of Oval Office interference.

Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election, and ensuing congressional and FBI investigations into Moscow's ties with Trump associates has dogged the president since he took office. White House officials had weighed trying to block Comey from testifying on Thursday by arguing that his discussions with the president pertained to national security and that there was an expectation of privacy. However, officials ultimately concluded that the optics of taking that step would be worse than the risk of letting the former FBI director testify freely.

Chairman of the Senate intelligence committee Richard Burr, of North Carolina, said Tuesday that he will focus on reauthorizing a key portion of a U.S. surveillance law that is set to expire later this year. Burr said reauthorizing this authority "is an important issue, and so that's where my focus will be."

While the intended focus of Wednesday's hearing is the foreign intelligence surveillance law, other senators have said they plan to question Coats, Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about whether the president intended to derail the Russia investigation when he fired Comey.

"That was an attack on American institutions," Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, of Oregon, said Tuesday. He said the lawmakers will likely try to flesh out Trump's actions. Trump has consistently pushed back against suggestions that his campaign coordinated with Russia and has called the investigation a hoax.

Trump's son, Eric Trump, repeated that claim Tuesday in an interview with ABC News. Eric Trump said the allegations that his father's campaign colluded with Russia is "the greatest hoax of all time."

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:11 am

I can't make head nor tail of this Russia business, LL. It seems to be an awful lot of gossip, innuendo and speculation, but there's never any meat.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:13 am

White House looks for ways to undermine Comey's credibility

WASHINGTON (AP) — With fired FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated congressional testimony just a day away, the White House and its allies are scrambling for ways to offset potential damage. Asked Tuesday about the testimony, President Donald Trump was tight-lipped: "I wish him luck," he told reporters.

Comey's testimony Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee could expose new details regarding his discussions with Trump about the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling. Comey could also bring up other aspects of his dealings with the Trump administration. On Tuesday evening a person familiar with the situation said Comey had told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with Trump.

The person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the comment was made because of concerns Comey had about Trump. It was not immediately clear when the conversation occurred. But The New York Times, which first reported the interaction with Sessions, said it came after Trump had asked Comey in February to end an FBI investigation into Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior declined to comment. He said Sessions "doesn't believe it's appropriate to respond to media inquiries on matters that may be related to ongoing investigations." Trump's White House and its allies are crafting a strategy aimed at undermining Comey's credibility. Both White House officials and an outside group that backs Trump plan to hammer Comey in the coming days for misstatements he made about Democrat Hillary Clinton's emails during his last appearance on Capitol Hill.

An ad created by the pro-Trump Great America Alliance — a nonprofit "issues" group that isn't required to disclose its donors — casts Comey as a "showboat" who was "consumed with election meddling" instead of focusing on combating terrorism. The 30-second spot is slated to run digitally on Wednesday and appear the next day on CNN and Fox News.

The Republican National Committee has been preparing talking points ahead of the hearing, which will be aired live on multiple TV outlets. An RNC research email Monday issued a challenge to the lawmakers who will question Comey. There's bipartisan agreement, the email says, that Comey "needs to answer a simple question about his conversations with President Trump: If you were so concerned, why didn't you act on it or notify Congress?"

Comey's testimony marks his first public comments since he was abruptly ousted by Trump on May 9. Since then, Trump and Comey allies have traded competing narratives about their interactions. The president asserted that Comey told him three times that he was not personally under investigation, while the former director's associates allege Trump asked Comey if he could back off an investigation into Michael Flynn, who was fired as national security adviser because he misled the White House about his ties to Russia.

Democrats have accused Trump of firing Comey to upend the FBI's Russia probe, which focused in large part on whether campaign aides coordinated with Moscow to hack Democratic groups during the election. Days after Comey's firing, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to oversee the federal investigation.

The new revelation about Comey's uneasiness with Trump brings to mind a posting last month by Comey friend Benjamin Wittes on his Lawfare blog, in which he said Comey "saw it as an ongoing task on his part to protect the rest of the Bureau from improper contacts and interferences from a group of people he did not regard as honorable."

Despite the mounting legal questions now shadowing the White House, Trump has needled Comey publicly. In a tweet days after the firing, he appeared to warn Comey that he might have recordings of their private discussions, something the White House has neither confirmed nor denied.

White House officials appear eager to keep the president away from television and Twitter Thursday, though those efforts rarely succeed. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the president plans to attend an infrastructure summit in the morning, then address the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference at 12:30 p.m.

"The president's got a full day on Thursday," Spicer said. The White House had hoped to set up a "war room" stocked with Trump allies and top-flight lawyers to combat questions about the FBI and congressional investigations into possible ties between the campaign and Russia. However, that effort has largely stalled, both because of a lack of decision-making in the West Wing and concerns among some potential recruits about joining a White House under the cloud of investigation.

"If there isn't a strategy, a coherent, effective one, this is really going to put us all behind the eight ball. We need to start fighting back. And so far, I don't see a lot of fight," said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign aide.

Still, Trump supporters say they are willing to step in to help the White House deflect any accusations from Comey. "If we feel he crosses a line, we'll fire back," said Ed Rollins, chief strategist of Great America PAC, the political arm of the group airing the Comey ad.
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:42 am

New York Daily News:

Trump vs. Comey is the ultimate un-reality show.

Donald Trump is back on Must-See TV and, while the ratings are expected to be “yuge” — Thursday’s telecast from Washington, D.C., is one show the President probably won’t want to brag about.

Former FBI director James Comey's congressional testimony in which he will be grilled about how or if Trump sought to obstruct the agency's probe into his campaign's relationship with Russia will be a rare congressional marquee event, like Watergate in the 1970s, Iran-Contra in the 1980s and the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the 1990s.

The event, which begins at 10 a.m., will be carried live on every major television network, cable news channel, radio and streamed online.

Despite the size of the expected audience, broadcasters are expecting to take a financial hit, because if Comey's testimony lasts until around 1 p.m. as many think it might, every broadcaster that carries the telecast will lose around 45 minutes worth of advertising. Generally, television averages about 15 minutes of commercials per hour.

Doing some very rough, back-of-the-envelope math, the testimony could cost broadcasters millions. For example, the average rate for advertising during the 10 a.m. hour of NBC's "Today" show is about $12,000 per 30-second spot, according to industry reports. Give or take some, that figures to be a loss of around $350,000 per hour.

Similar math applies to CBS, ABC and, to a lesser extent, cable channels like CNN and Fox News which charge less and have smaller audiences.

Either way, like any really good TV show, this is going to be an expensive production.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:51 am

US intelligence chiefs decline to discuss Trump contacts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers verbally sparred with top intelligence chiefs on Wednesday after they staunchly refused to answer questions about conversations they had with President Donald Trump regarding probes into Russian activities during the election.

Members of the Senate intelligence committee wanted to know about news reports claiming Trump had asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Trump has consistently pushed back against suggestions that his campaign coordinated with Russia and says the investigations into the matter are a hoax. "In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate," Rogers told the committee. "And to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so."

Coats, who was confirmed as Trump's national intelligence director in mid-March, said: "In interacting with the president of the United States or anybody in his administration, I have never been pressured.

"I've never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way and shape — with shaping intelligence in a political way, or in relationship to an ongoing investigation." Those answers didn't satisfy the senators. Even mild-spoken Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, got testy. He demanded to know what legal basis justified Coats' refusal to answer questions.

"I'm not sure I have a legal basis, but I am more than willing to sit before this committee ... in a closed session and answer your questions," Coats said. With the frustrated lawmakers gearing up for Thursday's long-awaited testimony from ousted FBI Director James Comey, the committee on Wednesday afternoon took the unusual step of releasing the written statement Comey plans to deliver.

In it, Comey details a series of interactions with Trump that made him uneasy and appear to show the president disregarding the FBI's traditional independence from the White House. Comey said he was taken aback by specific requests, including one during a private Oval Office meeting in February where he said Trump asked him to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump complained that the probe had created a "cloud" over his presidency.

During Wednesday's hearing, which was about the reauthorization of a federal foreign intelligence collection law, Democrats and Republicans pressed Coats, Rogers and also acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The senators said they were puzzled as to why McCabe would not answer questions about conversations he had with Comey regarding the former FBI director's meetings with the president. McCabe said it would be inappropriate to discuss issues that might end up being part of the special counsel's investigation into Russian activities during the election.

"I have to be particularly careful about not stepping into the special counsel's lane," McCabe said. At the close of the hearing, the Republican committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, said that executive branch officials have the option of briefing the committee or congressional leaders in a classified setting.

"At no time should you be in a position where you come to Congress with no answer," Burr told the witnesses. "The requirements of our oversight responsibilities and your agencies deserve it." After the hearing, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, lamented that the witnesses could have laid to rest questions about what the president told them about the Russia probe, but they chose not to answer.

To refuse to answer the questions in a public hearing "just won't be enough," Warner said. "The American public deserves to know what the president of the United States did and what he asked of the leaders of our intelligence community."

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it's standard practice for executive branch officials, such as the ones who testified, to decline to discuss conversations with the president. She said the White House had not yet received any follow-up requests regarding the testimony of Coats or Rogers. "If it receives one, it will do its best to work with the committee to accommodate the request to the fullest extent possible consistent with these interests," she said.

https://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/5254112-us-intelligence-chiefs-decline-to-discuss-trump-co.html#.1258-stage-hero1-9
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:18 am

I wish someone would put this whole Russia business into simple form, LL, right now it seems to be little more than tittle tattle and he said - she saids.

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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:12 am

Legal experts: Trump's comments inappropriate, maybe worse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seen in the kindest light, legal experts say conversations attributed by the fired FBI director to President Donald Trump were clumsy and inappropriate. In the worst light, James Comey's recollections could provide enough evidence to build a case that the president tried to interfere with a criminal investigation.

Released Wednesday, a day ahead of Comey's highly anticipated testimony to a Senate committee, the remarks detail a series of conversations between the men about the investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, and Comey's discomfort with the interactions.

Experts say the most damning statement in Comey's written testimony concerns former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, who was under investigation for making false statements about contacts with Russian officials.

Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top government officials to leave the Oval Office on Feb. 14 before urging Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," Trump said, according to Comey's testimony.

Ryan Goodman, a New York University law professor, called that statement "the most devastating revelation" in Comey's testimony. The former director "is now on record saying that the president tried to impede the investigation of Flynn," Goodman said.

Julie O'Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at Georgetown University's law school, said Trump's decision to clear the room before talking to Comey is evidence that suggests that Trump "was aware that what he was doing was a problem."

Trump has previously denied that he told Comey to end the investigation. Obstruction of justice is a federal crime, though it's an open question whether a sitting president can be prosecuted. It's also an impeachable offense, though Republicans who control Congress are extremely unlikely to go after a president of their own party.

But a former FBI official and a prominent Washington, D.C., law professor said they don't see a crime in what Comey reported that Trump said. Instead, the document reveals a president woefully ignorant of standard protocol and of the historic wall of independence between the FBI and the White House, an inexperience that could work in his favor and make his actions simply improper instead of actually illegal.

"I think the request is inappropriate," said Andrew Arena, a retired senior FBI official. "Whether it crosses that threshold to being criminal, I'm not there yet." Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said nothing he read in Comey's statement convinces him that Trump violated the law by interfering with a federal investigation. "Sounding like Tony Soprano does not make you Tony Soprano," Turley said. "We do not indict people for being boorish or clueless."
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Re: Donald J. Trump wins Presidency

Post  bb1 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:39 am

See, this is the problem, LL. I can barely recall who Flynn is, never mind what he's supposed to have done.

It bothers me that this seems to be distracting from the sh*tstorm Trump has caused in the Middle East, or his snide remarks following terrorist attacks in the UK and Iran. IMO, these matters are far more important.

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