10:25 AM 1/24/2019 - Saved Stories: Donald Trump | The Guardian: Donald Trump and his ship of fools are courting calamity in Venezuela | Simon Tisdall German Intelligence Chief Wilhelm Franz Canaris - The Operation Trump and The New Abwehr: A Study In Psychohistory by Michael Novakhov - Google Search Donald Trump: Donald Trump's The Type Of Guy To Inspire This Mocking Twitter Hashtag Just Security: The Early Edition: January 24, 2019 Trump's approval rating sinks in new poll as he gets most of blame for shutdown Michael Flynn's sentencing delayed at least 90 days by judge - Stock Standard What if the FBI Had Probed Obama? - The Wall Street Journal A Connection Between the Moscow Tower and the Trump Tower Meeting - Washington Monthly Trump contradicts Pence on Honduras' role stalling migrant caravans - CNN Speier on Trump and Cohen: Feels like 'The Godfather' - CNN
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|Donald Trump | The Guardian: Donald Trump and his ship of fools are courting calamity in Venezuela | Simon Tisdall|
With no sensible advisers left by his side, Trump’s threats to the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, could spark a disastrous conflict
Donald Trump’s implicit threat of direct US military intervention in Venezuela is a high-risk gamble that could backfire calamitously. By publicly and aggressively backing the opposition’s bid to supplant him, Trump has presented Nicolás Maduro, the country’s incumbent president, with a very personal, existential challenge.Continue reading...
Donald Trump | The Guardian
|German Intelligence Chief Wilhelm Franz Canaris - The Operation Trump and The New Abwehr: A Study In Psychohistory by Michael Novakhov - Google Search|
>> Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Review In Brief
|Donald Trump: Donald Trump's The Type Of Guy To Inspire This Mocking Twitter Hashtag|
"#DonaldTrumpsTheTypeOfGuy to take you out for covefe and hamberders and stick you with the bill."
|Just Security: The Early Edition: January 24, 2019|
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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
The new leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly – Juan Guaidó – yesterday took to the streets to declare himself the legitimate president of the country, marking the most direct challenge to Nicolás Maduro’s presidency to date. Ana Vanessa Herrero reports at the New York Times.
Violence flared across the country yesterday during significant anti-government demonstrations, with at least seven protesters killed in the escalating confrontation with Maduro, who faces growing accusations of undemocratic behavior by the U.S. and many other nations in the region. Guaidó told a thousands of demonstrators in the capital Caracas that assuming the presidency was only way to end the Maduro “dictatorship,” adding “we know that this will have consequences,” Joshua Goodman reports at the AP.
President Trump yesterday formally recognized Guaidó as the legitimate “interim president” of the country, while U.S. officials urged the Maduro administration to give up power peacefully. A senior Trump administration official cautioned that “all options are on the table” regarding punishing Maduro and his top aides, refusing to rule out U.S. military action – an option that Trump has previously floated, Nahal Toosi reports at POLITICO.
Major regional players – including Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina – also gave their backing to Guaido’s self-proclamation as acting president, in a seemingly coordinated response.Russia, however, lashed out at Western countries, while Cuba and Turkey expressed “solidarity” with Maduro and Mexico extended “lukewarm” support to the current president, AFP reports.
Maduro responded by announcing that Venezuela is cutting off all diplomatic relations with the U.S., and ordered American diplomats in the country to leave within 72 hours, according to media reports. “Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president … I’ve decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government,” Maduro stated, adding that the U.S. was making a “grave mistake” by recognizing Guaidó as the interim president, Michael Burke reports at the Hill.
U.N. chief António Guterres today appealed for dialogue to avoid the Venezuelan political crisis spiraling out of control. “What we hope is that dialogue can be possible, and that we avoid an escalation that would lead to the kind of conflict that would be a disaster for the people of Venezuela and for the region,” Guterres said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, AFP reports.
Russia today warned that U.S. moves to recognise Guaidó as president could lead to further bloodshed. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement claiming that events in Venezuela are reaching a dangerous point and suggesting that Washington is showing a disregard for international law, Reuters reports.
An analysis of the dramatic developments in Venezuela is provided by Keith Johnson and Robbie Gramer at Foreign Policy.
An explainer on “what happens now after two men have claimed to be president?” is provided by Tom Phillips at the Guardian.
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND BORDER WALL
President Trump has announced that he will not deliver his annual State of the Union speech until after the government shutdown is over. Having initially claimed that the speech should be “on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location,” the president conceded overnight that he could not deliver on his pledge, acknowledging in a message on Twitter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (R-Calif.) “prerogative” to ask him to delay. The BBC reports.
Pelosi responded saying she hoped Trump would support a bill passed by the House to fund the agencies affected by the shutdown, making the remarks in her own message on Twitter. Scott Horsley reports at NPR.
The president’s apparent capitulation came even as House Democratic leaders said they were prepared to give him a substantial sum of money for border security — perhaps even the $5.7 billion he has requested — but that such a sum could not be used for a wall and not until he agreed to reopen the government. The figure is roughly double what Democrats had previously approved, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports at the New York Times.
The president’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner has reportedly thrust himself into the government shutdown negotiations, asserting that he is the person to end the stalemate. Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa explain at the Washington Post.
Initiating the shutdown may have been a political miscalculation, but Trump will likely bounce back from the fallout relatively unscathed, the Economist comments.
President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen yesterday moved to postpone his scheduled testimony before the House Oversight Committee, citing attacks by the president on his family. Cohen’s spokesperson Lanny Davis said in a statement that the testimony would be pushed back “due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and [the president’s current personal lawyer Rudy] Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel,” adding “this is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first,” Rebecca Ballhaus reports at the Wall Street Journal.
Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort announced yesterday that prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller have unfairly accused Manafort of lying in his sessions with them after he pleaded guilty. Mueller’s team – investigating Russian electoral interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign – has accused Manafort of failing to abide by his pact to cooperate with investigators during 12 debriefings and two appearances before a grand jury, Pete Williams reports at NBC.
Mueller’s team also alleges that Manafort lied about a $125,000 payment he received in 2017 as well as his conversations with Kremlin-linked former associate Konstantin Kilimnki, his contacts with administration officials and an unspecified ongoing investigation. Manafort’s lawyers claimed in a court filing that a fair reading of the government’s contention “does not support the conclusion that Mr. Manafort intentionally provided false information,”and that when placed in context, much of the evidence presented by Mueller’s team “merely demonstrates a lack of consistency in Mr. Manafort’s recollection of certain facts and events.” Lydia Wheeler and Morgan Chalfant report at the Hill.
The KOREAN PENINSULA
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has expressed his “great satisfaction” after receiving a letter from President Trump, following the return of nuclear envoy Kim Yong-chol from meetings in Washington last week. Kim said that Pyongyang “will believe in the positive way of thinking of President Trump” and that the two powers together “will … advance step by step” toward the avowed goal of denuclearization, according to a statement from North Korea’s state media early today, Timothy W. Martin reports at the Wall Street Journal.
Kim ordered working-level preparations for the second North Korea-U.S. summit to be carried out well, the North’s state media reported. The White House announced last week that a second Trump-Kim summit would be held in late February but did not give more precise details, Al Jazeerareports.
Kim Yong-chol visited Washington last week and spoke with Trump for 90 minutes in the Oval – reportedly bringing with him a letter from Kim. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in a short statement to reporters yesterday that “the President responded to Chairman Kim’s letter,” Steve Brusk and Kate Sullivan report at CNN.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday in Moscow and pledged to coordinate their actions more closely in Syria. “Cooperation between Russia and Turkey is a touchstone for Syrian peace and stability,” Erdogan commented at a joint press conference after three hours of talks, adding: “with our Russian friends we intend to strengthen our coordination even more,” AFP reports.
Putin claimed that the Russian and Turkish defensse ministers had already held talks on specific action that the two countries would take in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and that the measures, which he did not describe, would now be implemented. “Unfortunately there are many problems there and we see them,” said Putin, standing alongside Erdogan, Reuters reports.
“The reality of U.S. troops leaving Syria is reverberating across the country,” Erin Banco comments at The Daily Beast, reporting that “sources that include top Kurdish and Arab commanders say Syria could experience not only a renewed effort by Israel to escalate tensions with Iranian assets in the country … but also reinvigorated operations by emboldened terrorist groups.”
Four Republican Senators are urging President Donald Trump to use the Guantánamo Bay detention center to hold fighters from the Islamic State group captured in Syria. Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.,) John Cornyn (Tex.,) Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) made the suggestion in a letter sent Tuesday to the president, claiming that while Islamic State prisoners could escape or be released in Syria, they would face “justice” at the detention center on the U.S. base in Cuba, the Miami Herald reports.
U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 575 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria between Dec. 30 and Jan. 12. [Central Command]
Russia’s as-yet untested S-400 antiaircraft missile system “is changing the calculus of the U.S. and its allies in potential hot spots,” starting with its deployment in Syria. Thomas Grove provides an analysis at the Wall Street Journal.
An account of the ongoing Beijing-Washington dispute over the role of tech giant Huawei is provided by Dustin Volz and Josh Chin at the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. alleges that “Huawei’s very structure, with its close ties to the Chinese government and role as a supplier of key hardware in telecommunications, makes the company a potential tool for espionage and thus a security threat.”
The Department of Defense yesterday identified the U.S. soldier killed while fighting in Afghanistan Tuesday as Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale. Beale died “as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan,” according to a Pentagon news release, Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday launched a legal challenge against the Trump administration in an attempt to require U.S. prosecutors to unseal any secret charges against him. Assange’s legal team filed an urgent application to the Washington-based Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (I.A.C.H.R.) in an attempt to head off a possible extradition to the U.S., Owen Bowcott reports at the Guardian.
A plea to Democrats to prevent the president from blocking a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict is provided by Daniel Shapiro at Foreign Policy.
Technology able to counter rogue drones is improving. The Economist explains.
|Trump's approval rating sinks in new poll as he gets most of blame for shutdown|
A strong majority of Americans blame President Donald Trump for the record-long government shutdown and reject his primary rationale for a border wall, according to a new poll that shows the turmoil in Washington is dragging his approval rating to its lowest level in more than a year.
Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance in a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That's down from 42 percent a month earlier and nears the lowest mark of his two-year presidency. The president's approval among Republicans remains close to 80 percent, but his standing with independents is among its lowest points of his time in office.
"Trump is responsible for this," said poll respondent Lloyd Rabalais, a federal contractor from Slidell, Louisiana, who's not affiliated with either political party.
The 47-year-old has been furloughed for more than a month. He said he'd need to start drawing on his retirement savings next week to pay his bills if the shutdown continues.
"I do support a wall, but not the way he's handling it," Rabalais added. "Trump guaranteed everybody that Mexico would pay for the wall. Now he's holding American workers like me hostage."
The drop in approval comes as Trump begins the third year of his presidency under the weight of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, an international trade war that's straining the global economy and new revelations about his push for a real estate deal in Russia during his 2016 campaign.
Compared with earlier presidents, Trump's approval rating has been relatively stable over the course of his presidency, ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-40s.
By contrast, President Barack Obama never fell below 40 percent in polling by Gallup. Still, five presidents since Gallup began measuring presidential approval have had their rating fall into the 20s at least once, including Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Trump has never fallen into that range of historic lows, but he's also the only president never to have reached 50 percent in Gallup's polling.
The new AP-NORC poll shows most Americans see the shutdown as a major problem, and they blame Trump far more than congressional Democrats for the mess that has ensnared the lives of roughly 800,000 government workers who are going without pay.
Sixty percent of Americans say Trump bears a great deal of responsibility for the shutdown. About a third place the same amount of blame on congressional Democrats (31 percent) or Republicans (36 percent).
Sixty-five percent of Americans, including 86 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans, call the shutdown a major problem.
Trump may be popular overall with Republicans, but a sizable share holds him responsible for the current situation. Almost 3 in 10 Republicans think Trump bears a great deal of responsibility, while 73 percent of his party says he's at least partly responsible.
"The large part of the responsibility belongs to the president because he made the decision," said poll respondent Sandra Olson, of Northwood, Iowa. The 76-year-old registered Republican said she voted for Trump once and likely will again.
"We have never in my lifetime seen a president who has been so maligned and attacked and vilified," Olson said.
Trump's demand for a $5.7 billion border wall is also unpopular.
Overall, 49 percent of Americans oppose the plan to build a massive wall along the Mexican border; 36 percent of the nation is in favor. Opinions fall largely along ideological lines, with 8 in 10 Democrats opposing the wall and nearly 8 in 10 Republicans supporting it.
About 7 in 10 supporters of the wall prefer to extend the shutdown than to reach a deal without funding it, while a nearly identical number on the other side would rather the shutdown continue than provide that funding.
The poll shows significant skepticism of the president's argument that a wall would significantly reduce crime, stem the flow of illegal drugs or help the U.S. economy. The poll was conducted the week after Trump used such factors to justify his demand for the wall during a primetime address from the Oval Office.
In the nationally televised speech, he highlighted the case of one immigrant in the country illegally accused of beheading and dismembering an American citizen.
About 6 in 10 Americans do say the wall would at least slightly decrease the number of people entering the U.S. illegally, though only 3 in 10 think the number would significantly decrease. Yet just 35 percent of Americans believe the wall would make the country safer, while a majority of Americans — 57 percent— believe it would make no difference to safety in the U.S. Only 21 percent believe the wall would significantly reduce the availability of illegal drugs in the nation, though 28 percent say access to illegal drugs would be slightly reduced; 49 percent say the wall would have no effect.
On the economy, about as many Americans say the border wall would do more to help — almost 3 in 10 — as say it would do more to hurt; 43 percent say the wall would not make much difference to the U.S. economy.
Poll respondent Kelley Thorson, of St. Robert, Missouri, who backed Trump in the 2016 election, says she supports the wall but largely disagrees with the president's rationale.
"I can't say it would make us safer," the 57-year-old said. "Criminals are going to get here no matter what."
While partisan opinions of Trump have remained relatively constant throughout his presidency, the poll shows that disapproval has grown particularly among independents who do not lean toward either party.
Just 28 percent of independents say they approve, compared with 71 percent who disapprove. In December, 37 percent of independents approved of Trump's job performance, while 58 percent disapproved.
Women also are more likely to disapprove today compared with a month ago — 71 percent to 58 percent. And 76 percent of college graduates disapprove today, compared with 65 percent who disapproved in December.
The president isn't doing anything well right now, said poll respondent J. Edwin Hixson, a 71-year-old retired truck driver from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who didn't vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
"This isn't a reality show. We're in serious trouble," he said.
The AP-NORC poll of 1,062 adults was conducted Jan. 16 to 20 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.
|Michael Flynn's sentencing delayed at least 90 days by judge - Stock Standard|
Michael Flynn's sentencing delayed at least 90 days by judge Stock Standard
By and – The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 18, 2018. A federal judge on Tuesday delayed the sentencing of after unleashing a stinging verbal attack ...
|What if the FBI Had Probed Obama? - The Wall Street Journal|
What if the FBI Had Probed Obama? The Wall Street Journal
By the bureau's Trump standard, he looked like an agent of Iran.
|A Connection Between the Moscow Tower and the Trump Tower Meeting - Washington Monthly|
A Connection Between the Moscow Tower and the Trump Tower Meeting Washington Monthly
It was flattering when Felix Sater reached out to me to see if I would follow up on my idea to write a screenplay based on his life, but I'm really not very interested ...
|Trump contradicts Pence on Honduras' role stalling migrant caravans - CNN|
Trump contradicts Pence on Honduras' role stalling migrant caravans CNN
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that "Honduras is doing nothing" to stop migrant caravans from coming toward the US, less than a day after Vice ...
|Speier on Trump and Cohen: Feels like 'The Godfather' - CNN|
Speier on Trump and Cohen: Feels like 'The Godfather' CNN
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) responds to President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen postponing his public congressional testimony, saying the ...
|Michael Cohen says Trump and Giuliani threatened him. Does that amount to witness tampering? - The Washington Post|
Michael Cohen says Trump and Giuliani threatened him. Does that amount to witness tampering? The Washington Post
In December, legal experts said Trump's tweets amounted to witness tampering. Today, a witness chose not to testify.
|Putin and Erdogan agree to coordinate actions in Syria - Arutz Sheva|
Putin and Erdogan agree to coordinate actions in Syria Arutz Sheva
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in Moscow on Wednesday and vowed to coordinate their actions ...
|Hear Trump, Giuliani's past comments on Cohen's family - CNN|
Hear Trump, Giuliani's past comments on Cohen's family CNN
President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen announced he is postponing his public congressional testimony, citing "ongoing threats against his ...
|Bombshell: Rachael Maddow suggests that Putin may be behind Trump government shutdown - AlterNet|
Bombshell: Rachael Maddow suggests that Putin may be behind Trump government shutdown AlterNet
in a segment called Worst Case Scenario…, Maddow starts off the show talking about how Democrats are beginning to investigate the ties between John Bolton, ...
|Rubin: Trump helps Putin, even without collusion - The Ledger|
Rubin: Trump helps Putin, even without collusion The Ledger
The news that the FBI opened an investigation in 2017 as to whether President Donald Trump was actually working for the Russians shouldn't have come as a ...
|Trump-voting states most threatened by automation|
Brookings study finds ‘heartland’ populace could see some of the biggest changes
|US states that voted for Trump most vulnerable to job automation - Financial Times|
US states that voted for Trump most vulnerable to job automation Financial Times
Brookings study finds 'heartland' populace could see some of the biggest changes.
|Tehran-Moscow Cooperation Goes Beyond Syria - besacenter.org|
Tehran-Moscow Cooperation Goes Beyond Syria besacenter.org
The Syrian theater exemplifies Russo-Iranian cooperation, but there are other theaters in which Moscow and Tehran have cooperated for years.
|Abusing Our System to Further President's Personal Interests - Wheeling Intelligencer|
Abusing Our System to Further President's Personal Interests Wheeling Intelligencer
The wonderful thing about Donald Trump's presidency (I never thought I'd begin a column this way), is that he brings us back to basics. The basic differen.
|FSB eliminates network of underground weapons workshops in 32 regions of Russia - https://en.crimerussia.com/|
FSB eliminates network of underground weapons workshops in 32 regions of Russiahttps://en.crimerussia.com/
The FSB officers, in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Rosgvardiya, detained 86 alleged members of a criminal gang that was engaged in ...
|Trump, GOP embrace amid political fallout from shutdown - Washington Post|
Trump, GOP embrace amid political fallout from shutdown Washington Post
The Republican Party is grasping President Donald Trump even tighter as his approval rating falls.
|‘Folded Like A Cheap Suit’: Twitter Users Taunt Trump For Being ‘Outplayed’ By Pelosi|
The president agreed to postpone the State of the Union after first threatening to "do something in the alternative."
|Commentary: Why does Trump give Putin preferential treatment? - Austin American-Statesman|
Commentary: Why does Trump give Putin preferential treatment? Austin American-Statesman
The New York Times recently reported that the FBI opened a counter-intelligence inquiry into President Donald Trump in 2017 to see whether he was assisting ...
|Julian Assange issues “urgent” legal challenge against US extradition plans - World Socialist Web Site|
Julian Assange issues “urgent” legal challenge against US extradition plans World Socialist Web Site
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose web site is continuing to expose war crimes, coup plots and mass surveillance by Washington and its allies, has ...
|The media's Buzzfeed and Covington disasters | News, Sports, Jobs - Marshalltown Times Republican|
The media's Buzzfeed and Covington disasters | News, Sports, Jobs Marshalltown Times Republican
The last few days have been absolutely terrible for the reputation of the badly named “mainstream media.” The myth that they tried to build for themselves.
|Note the timing: right before Putin’s the end of the year press conference, to give him something to…|
|Thu, 20 Dec 2018 14:46:59 +0100|
Note the timing: right before Putin’s the end of the year press conference, to give him something to brag about. This proves one more time that Trump IS NOT a Putin’s puppet! Now we got all sorted out!