Trump's Putin problem seizes the spotlight in a time of turmoil - CNN - 6:20 AM 1/14/2019 - Operation Trump and The New Abwehr Demiurge - Google Search

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White House Sought Options to Strike Iran

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Trump's Putin problem seizes the spotlight in a time of turmoil

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A weekend of bombshells deepened the most intractable mystery of Donald Trump’s presidency — one that could eventually dictate his fate — over his deference to Vladimir Putin and behavior that often favors Russia’s goals.
Stunning revelations included a disclosure that the FBI opened a probe amid fears that Trump was covertly working for Moscow and detailed his “extraordinary” efforts to hide the content of his private talks with Putin.
The reports — from The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post — took intrigue about Trump and Russia to a surreal new level, even after two years of shocking developments borne out of Moscow’s election meddling in 2016.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday evening, Trump denied he was trying to conceal details of his dealings with Putin.
“I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridiculous. These people make it up,” Trump said.
But the deeply reported accounts beg the question why Trump, given the knowledge that he and his campaign are being investigated for links to Russia, so often acts in a manner that sharpens suspicion about his ties to Moscow.
There is also growing concern in Washington about the consequences of a situation where the Kremlin knows exactly what went on in Putin’s meetings with Trump around the world, but his own top foreign policy aides do not.
The situation is bound to raise new questions about Trump’s past business relationship with Russia and whether the Kremlin has information that is being used to compromise the President and may explain what often appears to be efforts to obstruct the investigation into his conduct.
If, as the White House says, Trump has no compromised relationship with Russia, why does he go out of his way to hide his interactions with Putin? Does he perhaps not trust his own team not to leak details of their meetings?
The latest reports are already exacerbating a febrile atmosphere in Washington, which is polarized over a government shutdown triggered by a dispute over Trump’s border wall that is now entering its fourth week.
The possibility that House Democrats could eventually seek to impeach the President has been a reverberating presence in the capital for months, and the latest reports about Trump and Russia will hardly calm the mood.

The Putin mystery

The White House bitterly attacks the media over its coverage of Trump and Putin, most recently in a pair of statements by spokeswoman Sarah Sanders over the weekend.
But neither the President nor his aides have ever offered an adequate explanation of why so much that the President says or does — from his praise to Putin, his denigration of US intelligence agencies over their assessments of Russian election meddling and his hostility to US allies — often favors the Kremlin.
While there is so far no proof that Trump is under Russia’s influence, such a scenario — though stunning, given that he is the President of the United States — would help explain why his policies so often seem to favor Moscow.
This includes his hostility to NATO, his sudden announcement of a US withdrawal from Syria that the Kremlin supports, his recent comment that the Soviet Union was justified in invading Afghanistan in 1979 and his willingness to accept Russia’s version of the election meddling allegations.
Trump’s warmth towards authoritarian leaders, disdain for international organizations, support for Britain’s exit from the European Union and coolness towards liberal, international democracy also help further Putin’s goal of discrediting the political institutions and credibility of the West.
Even the chaos and political polarization Trump has fomented in America fits Putin’s desire to see the world’s top democratic powers discredited and in turmoil, and may be a lasting payoff of Russia’s activity in 2016.
Some observers have seen such activity in itself as a form of collusion with Russia — a hostile power — in plain sight, even while Trump’s team is under investigation for alleged campaign transgressions.

Trump under siege

The new developments follow weeks of damaging revelations and filings surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has revealed repeated links between Trump associates and Russia at a time when the Kremlin was running a 2016 intelligence operation to put Trump in office and a pattern of lying about those contacts.
The President has responded to the weekend’s staggering reports by going on the attack, again denying there was any “collusion” between his campaign and Russia in 2016 and reacting to the report that the FBI investigated why the President was seeming to act in ways that benefited Russia after he fired the bureau’s director James Comey by alleging it is a symptom of corruption with the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency.
When asked on Fox News Saturday about the Times report, Trump said, “It’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked” and claimed that he had probably been tougher on Russia than any other previous president.
It’s true that the Trump administration has taken some steps that fit into an authentically hardline policy towards Moscow. This includes sanctions against Russia for election meddling and approving the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine, a step the Obama administration did not take.
But Trump’s own felicity toward Putin — on show at the Helsinki summit last year — often seems to undermine his own administration’s policy.
In the coming days, Democrats will try to block a move by the administration to ease sanctions against Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to the Russian leader and is an associate of jailed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Senior Democrats on Sunday painted the latest developments involving Trump and Russia as a grave turn in the investigation. They’re readying a sweeping oversight effort into what happened in 2016, and Trump’s personal and business relationships with Moscow.
“I think we’re seeing these independent actions, even independent of Mueller, which is the lead-up and some of the rationale about why this investigation started and why so many Americans, like myself, have been concerned for so long,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Warner also raised the case of Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate of Manafort who is regarded as a Russian intelligence asset. A botched legal filing last week by Manafort’s lawyers revealed that the former campaign chairman had passed proprietary campaign data to Kilimnik.
Trump’s legal team has played down the issue. But the big unanswered question is whether the President was aware of Manafort’s behavior or whether he was acting alone.
There have been several other revelations that undermine the idea that there was no collusion between Trump associates in Russia. They include the conversations between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to Washington during the presidential transition. The willingness of the President’s son to meet a Russian lawyer in the hope of getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton’s campaign also fanned suspicion.

Republicans shrug off latest bombshells

Republicans, publicly at least, tried to downplay the latest developments.
“There is an incredible divide between Washington and the rest of the country when it comes to Bob Mueller and the Russia investigation,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The mainstream media, Washington, is obsessed with it. And when you get outside the Beltway, I don’t find anybody concerned with this at all.”
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was not concerned at the implications of the Post report, which said Trump confiscated his interpreter’s notes taken in his meetings with Putin and banned them from talking about what went on with other administration officials.
“This is not a traditional President. He has unorthodox means. But he is President of the United States. It’s pretty much up to him in terms of who he wants to read into his conversations with world leaders. That’s just the basic fact,” Johnson said.
And South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham strongly pushed back on the report that the FBI opened an investigation into why Trump was working in ways that seemed to benefit Russia.
“I find it astonishing and to me, it tells me a lot about the people running the FBI. … I don’t trust them as far as I throw them,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”
The solidarity of the GOP senators was a sign, that for now at least, the new intrigue has not shaken Trump’s hold on the Republican base over Russia — a foundation tended daily by conservative media pundits who rarely let up their attacks on Mueller.
But, that is not a guarantee that the political ground will not shift when Mueller delivers his final report.
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Operation Trump By The New Abwehr Demiurge, as Linked Together By Michael Novakhov - Reviewed on 1.13.19 Sunday January 13th, 2019 at 4:21 PM The FBI News Review

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Operation Trump By The New Abwehr Demiurge, as Linked Together By Michael Novakhov - Reviewed on 1.13.19

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Operation Trump By The New Abwehr Demiurge, as Linked Together By Michael Novakhov

Blog – Trump Investigations Report

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The CIA’s Super-secret Weapon: Putin’s overwhelming love for Baby Donald! 

The New Abwehr Hypothesis Of The Operation Trump – By Michael Novakhov

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Democrats say Mueller must finish investigation of Trump’s Russia ties - U.S.

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Democrats say Mueller must finish investigation of Trump’s Russia ties

(Tribune News Service) — New reporting raises further questions about President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia and emphasizes the need to ensure that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is finished without interference, Senate Democrats said Sunday.
The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI opened an investigation in 2017 to determine whether the president had worked, knowingly or unknowingly, on behalf of Russia and against U.S. national interests. On Saturday, a Washington Post story said Trump went to great lengths to hide details of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The reports build on previous questions about Trump’s connections with Russia that need to be investigated, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election must be allowed to finish to provide the answers, he said.
That process will start with seeking assurances this week during the confirmation hearing for William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, said Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.
“Bill Barr had better give us some … ironclad, rock-bottom assurances in terms of his independence and his willingness to step back and let Mueller finish his job,” Durbin said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Trump attacked the Times story Saturday. It said which said his firing of FBI Director James Comey prompted the FBI to open an investigation. The president said he fired Comey for cause, and that the investigation was started “for no reason and with no proof” of wrongdoing. In an interview Saturday night, Trump also said he “couldn’t care less”’ if details from his conversations with Putin were released.
“It’s so ridiculous, these people make it up,” Trump said on Fox News. He said, as he did on Twitter Saturday, that he’d been tougher on Russia than recent U.S. leaders.
Trump should be judged by his actions in response to questions about whether he was compromised by Russia, and investigations should “get past the innuendo,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on NBC that he’ll consider whatever evidence is produced by Mueller but that “I’m not going to base it on unsubstantiated media reports.”
The staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has sent 51 letters asking for documents related to investigations involving Trump that the committee may open, according to a story on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The issues include the private use of government-owned aircraft by Cabinet members and the flow of foreign money into Trump’s businesses, an excerpt released by the network said.
“We’ve got to hit the ground, not running, but flying,” Cummings said.
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Democrats say they will step up investigations after new reports on Trump and Russia

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With a new Democratic majority in the House, freshly anointed committee chairs are pledging to use their expanded powers to look into Trump and Russia, including the ability to subpoena witnesses and sensitive documents.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who now heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said his panel would hold hearings about what he called Trump's "bizarre relationship with Putin and his cronies."
In a statement issued Saturday night, Engel suggested that secrecy about what was said when Trump met with the Russian leader �� to the extent of keeping his national security team in the dark —was of paramount concern.
"Every time Trump meets with Putin, the country is told nothing," Engel said. "America deserves the truth, and the Foreign Affairs Committee will seek to get to the bottom of it."
Republican allies of the president said the acts of concealment described by the Post, including Trump's demand that an interpreter hand over the U.S. side's only notes of a private meeting with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, were well within his authority.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on CNN's "State of the Union that "this is not a traditional president."
"He has unorthodox means," Johnson said. "But he is president of the United States. It's pretty much up to him in terms of who he wants to read in to his conversations with world leaders."
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats had been stymied in previous efforts to learn what was said between Trump and Putin during a summit last year in Helsinki, Finland �� but signalled that was about to change.
"Last year, we sought to obtain the interpreter's notes or testimony, from the private meeting between Trump and Putin," he said in a statement. "The Republicans on our committee voted us down. Will they join us now?"
Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, said: "Shouldn't we find out whether our president is really putting 'America first?'"
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, who is travelling in the Middle East, dismissed the possibility that Trump acted on Russia's behalf, calling it an "absolutely ludicrous" notion.
"The idea that's contained in the New York Times story, that President Trump was a threat to American national security, is silly on its face, and not worthy of a response," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, said it was "curious" that as investigations were beginning in 2017, "you had Vladimir Putin policies almost being parroted by Donald Trump."
Asked on CNN whether he thought Trump ever worked on behalf of the Russians and against American interests, Warner said: "That's the defining question of our investigation, and the Mueller investigation.
"You had Trump say only nice things about Putin. He never spoke ill about Russia."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump's staunchest defenders, suggested that the FBI's reported counter-intelligence investigation showed malfeasance by senior bureau officials.
"It tells me a lot about people running the FBI," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday" when asked about the Times report. He blamed news leaks by people "with an agenda."
While Trump's purported toughness on Russia has been a major talking point among his defenders, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that he would force a vote on a resolution to disapprove of the administration's decision to ease sanctions on companies connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced plans to relax the sanctions last week.
Calling the Treasury Department's proposal "flawed," Schumer issued a statement Sunday urging the Senate to "block this misguided effort" by the administration. A simple majority would be needed to proceed.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, played down the latest Russia revelations as of little interest to anyone outside the nation's capital.
"Washington is obsessed with this," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Beyond the Beltway, the interstate highway ringing Washington, he said, "I don't find anybody concerned with this at all."
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You're darn right Donald Trump is a Russian spy

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This weekend we learned that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump a year and a half ago. This is different from collusion, or any other term that’s entered the equation up to this point. Counterintelligence is treason stuff. It’s spy stuff. This isn’t about Trump working with the Kremlin; it’s about Trump working for the Kremlin, and being a part of the Kremlin. It’s time we change our terminology.
It’s no longer accurate to merely refer to Donald Trump as a Russian asset. The word “asset” refers to anyone who has been targeted by a foreign government to do its bidding, sometimes with the kind of subterfuge involved that prevents the target from even knowing he’s doing the foreign government’s bidding. That does not at all describe the relationship between Donald Trump and the Kremlin.

This is a guy who publicly asked the Kremlin to illegally hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, who publicly trashed the United States while standing next to Putin, and who met with the Russians in the White House to celebrate the firing of James Comey. These are just the things Trump has been comfortable doing in public. That’s before getting to the Russian spy stuff he’s done that’s been so severe, he’s felt compelled to do it in private.

Just because Donald Trump has done some of his Russian spy stuff out in the open, it doesn’t mean he’s not a spy. Maria Butina’s Russian spy craft included taking selfies with the American politicians she was attempting to turn, and then posting them on social media for all to see. So yeah, some spy work is done in plain sight. We all agree that Butina is a Russian spy; in fact she pleaded guilty to it. Trump’s instructions to take over the GOP on behalf of the Kremlin are really no different.

The strangest argument out there right now is that Donald Trump is too incompetent and too stupid to be acting as a spy for the Russians. This seems to be based on the popular notion that people are only recruited to be spies if they’re smart and good at it. But we’ve seen it doesn’t work that way. This is the same Kremlin that tried to recruit an idiot like Carter Page.

So yeah, it’s time to start referring to Donald Trump as a Russian spy, because that’s what he is. You can call him an alleged Russian spy if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that’s not necessary, because he’s already publicly confessed to being a Russian spy on more than one occasion. So let’s stop fighting the terminology, and call it like it is: there’s a Russian spy in the Oval Office. And soon he’ll go to prison for it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report
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Donald Trump lashed out at Mick Mulvaney during shutdown meeting with Democrats

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British Prime Minister warns country may not leave European Union if Parliament rejects her deal
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Democrats warn Donald Trump against obstruction of Michael Cohen

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The Associated Press's White House reporter Jonathan Lemire describes how President Donald Trump changed his opinion and reaction to the Michael Cohen matter. (Dec. 14) AP
Don’t obstruct. That was the message from three top Democrats to President Donald Trump on Sunday.
In a joint statement, Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler warned Trump against efforts to “discourage, intimidate or otherwise pressure” his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who has agreed to publicly testify Feb. 7 before the House Oversight Committee.
“The integrity of our process to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch must be respected by everyone, including the President. Our nation’s laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress,” the statement read. “The President should make no statement or take any action to obstruct Congress’ independent oversight and investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from Congress.”
The statement came in response to Trump’s appearance on Saturday night on Fox News, when he told Jeanine Pirro that Cohen “should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at.”
Trump added: “Because where does that money – that’s the money in the family. And I guess he didn’t want to talk about his father – he’s trying to get his sentence reduced. So, it’s pretty sad."
When Pirro asked for Cohen’s father-in-law’s name, Trump answered, “I don’t know, but you’ll find out, and you’ll look into it because nobody knows what’s going on over there.”
Cummings, Schiff and Nadler are prominent Democratic chairmen, of the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence and Judiciary, respectively.
In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for what U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley called a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct.” He took the blame in court, citing his “blind loyalty to the man that caused me to choose the path of darkness.”
Known as Trump’s longtime fixer, Cohen has acknowledged arranging hush money payments before the 2016 election to two women, adult film star Stormy Daniel and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed affairs with Trump. He has implicated Trump in the payments, saying he made them at his direction.
In a statement after agreeing to testify, Cohen said, “I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired.”
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, exits federal court, Aug. 21, 2018 in New York City. Cohen reached an agreement with prosecutors, pleading guilty to charges involving bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations. Drew Angerer, Getty Images
18 Photos
Michael Cohen: Trump's personal lawyer in the spotlight
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building, in New York, Aug. 21, 2018. Richard Drew, AP
Robin Bell, left, and Sorane Yamahira look at their work projected on the Trump International Hotel, July 23, 2018, in Washington. In a city with a long tradition of leftist street activism, Bell has become something of a local celebrity. Every few weeks, Bell puts messages of protest on the side of the Trump International Hotel. He's called President Donald Trump a pig and a racist, used smiling poop emojis, and taunted the president with images of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Alex Brandon, AP
Michael Cohen leaves the U.S. Courthouse in New York after a scheduled hearing on May 30, 2018.Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for President Trump, exits the Loews Regency Hotel, May 11, 2018 in New York City. Drew Angerer, Getty Images
Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidante for President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court after his hearing at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 16, 2018, in New York. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week. YANA PASKOVA, GETTY IMAGES
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks outside U.S. Federal Court with her lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) in Lower Manhattan, New York on April 16, 2018. Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have had a consensual sexual encounter with Donald Trump a decade ago, said April 17, 2018 that she is pursuing legal action against the president because she is "done being bullied.""I'm tired of being threatened, intimidating me, and trying to say that you'll ruin my life and take all my money and my house," Daniels said on ABC's "The View.""I'm done being bullied," Daniels said of legal threats from Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, who is now embroiled in his own legal troubles."I'm done," Daniels said. EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
In this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, one of President Donald Trump's lawyers, speaks as the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen, left, sits next to one of his own attorneys Todd Harrison, center, with porn star Stormy Daniels visible in the audience between Cohen and Harrison, during a federal court hearing in New York, April 16, 2018. Attorneys for Cohen and Trump tried to persuade U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.ELIZABETH WILLIAMS VIA AP
Attorney Michael Cohen, US President Donald J. Trump's long-time personal attorney arrives at Federal Court for a hearing in New York on April 16, 2018. JUSTIN LANE, EPA-EFE
(L to R) Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans, attorneys for Michael Cohen, arrive for a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York. Cohen and his lawyers were asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. DREW ANGERER, GETTY IMAGES
Michael Cohen takes a phone call as he sits outside near the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York. YANA PASKOVA, GETTY IMAGES
CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, left, Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti, CNN news anchor Don Lemon and FOX News talk show host Sean Hannity pose for a selfie at The Hollywood Reporter's annual 35 Most Powerful People in Media event at The Pool on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in New York. In court hearings on April 16, 2018, it was revealed that the client list of presidential lawyer Michael Cohen also includes Sean Hannity, one of the president's biggest supporters. EVAN AGOSTINI, INVISION/AP
In this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Federal agents carrying court-authorized search warrants have seized documents from Cohen according to a statement from Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan. He says that the search warrants were executed by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York but they are “in part” related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Andrew Harnik, AP
The actress Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, performs at the Solid Gold Fort Lauderdale strip club on March 9, 2018 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Stephanie Clifford who claims to have had an affair with President Trump has filed a suit against him in an attempt to nullify a nondisclosure deal with Trump attorney Michael Cohen days before Trump's 2016 presidential victory.Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Michael Cohen's lawyer David Schwartz appeared on Megyn Kelly TODAY on March 29, 2018 to discuss the Stormy Daniels lawsuit against President Trump and her attorney's motion to depose Trump and Cohen. Schwartz called the case "completely frivolous." Nathan Congleton, NBC
Michael Cohen, right, President Donald Trump's personal attorney walks with his attorney Stephen M. Ryan, center, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 24, 2017, after an interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Susan Walsh, AP
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, steps out of a cab during his arrival on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 19, 2017. Cohen testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session. Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP
(L to R) Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for National Security Advisor, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry talk with each other in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016, in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team were in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. Drew Angerer, Getty Images
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Adam Schiff reveals he's going for Donald Trump's jugular

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When Donald Trump met privately with Vladimir Putin last year, he didn’t even allow any of his own advisers in the room. Last night we learned, thanks to the Washington Post, that Trump went so far as to seize the translator’s notes, and to instruct him not to discuss the matter with anyone. Now Adam Schiff is taking things precisely where we’d been hoping.

The obvious solution all along has been for Congress to subpoena the translator, thus leaving the translator with a choice of either testifying or getting arrested for contempt of Congress. In such case the translator would likely show up to testify in a heartbeat.

Sure enough, Adam Schiff says that’s precisely what he plans to do: “Last year, we sought to obtain the interpreter’s notes or testimony, from the private meeting between Trump and Putin. The Republicans on our committee voted us down. Will they join us now? Shouldn’t we find out whether our president is really putting ‘America first?'”

Although Schiff is asking the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to join him in doing the right thing, he doesn’t need them. He and the Democrats on the committee have unilateral subpoena power, and now we know that they intend to use it to get to the bottom of Trump’s treason meeting with Putin.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report

Pompeo dismisses ‘silly’ report that FBI probed Trump over Putin ties

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January 13, 2019 | 10:09pm
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed as “silly” a news report that the FBI investigated President Trump to determine if he was a national security threat because of his relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“The idea that’s contained in The New York Times story that President Trump was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response,” Pompeo told CBS’s “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“The notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous,” he added.
But Mark Warner of Virginia, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Trump’s actions during his first two years in office suggest otherwise.
“It’s curious that throughout that whole summer when these investigations started, you had Vladimir Putin policies almost being parroted by Donald Trump,” Warner told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Trump said only nice things about Putin, he never spoke ill about Russia. The Republican campaign doctrines softened on Russia and decreased the willingness to defend Ukraine.”
The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI opened a secret investigation into whether Trump was working on behalf of the Russians after he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

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Has Trump turned his back on Europe?

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As the EU says the US government has effectively downgraded its diplomatic status in Washington, how has the transatlantic relationship changed under Donald Trump's presidency?
For generations, American presidents have saved some of their warmest words for their European colleagues.
They came to the Berlin Wall and spoke of freedom - and, after it fell, they spoke of a new era of co-operation with a rebuilt Europe. But in the era of Donald Trump, leaders across the continent now know that those days have gone.
John F Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner," declaration, Ronald Reagan's 1987 message to Moscow: "Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall," George HW Bush's promises of collaboration after the Cold War and Barack Obama's warm words about binding ties across the Atlantic are all now distant memories.
With every visit to Europe and every White House tweet about the cost of Nato or EU tariffs, this president makes it clear that he believes Europe is more often an impediment than an ally.
None of his predecessors would have dreamed of calling the EU a "foe", as President Trump did in a recent interview about trade.
With Europe embroiled in its Brexit difficulties, which leave so many questions unanswered, its leaders also find themselves scrambling to work out what it might mean if these old ties with the United States continue to unravel.
That was what German Chancellor Angela Merkel was contemplating when she said, a few months ago, that it was time for Europe to take its destiny into its own hands.
It was instructive to spend a few days in Berlin recently and to hear over and over again a version of these words.
As Daniela Schwarzer, from the German Council on Foreign Relations think tank, put it: "The United States, with its 'America first' approach, has put Europe and Germany into the space of a strategic competitor, if not even an enemy."
Many of the journalists who watched Donald Trump's inaugural presidential address two years ago - in which the "America first" phrase became the theme of a nationalist marching song - wondered how far he would go. Wouldn't the realities of power kick in? It seems not.
Karen Donfried, who served as President Obama's European adviser, told me: "I would not assume that whoever follows Donald Trump goes back to where we were pre-Trump, because you can't.
"Those four or eight years that Donald Trump is president will have changed the relationship and changed the US role in the world, so it will be different."
How different? Think of a rolling crisis on Europe's eastern border - between Ukraine and Russia.
Since the contentious annexation of Crimea in 2014 - which the Obama administration declared illegaland a reason for sanctions on Russia - there has been a series of clashes that have made it clear Vladimir Putin is not interested in taking the pressure off.
That is likely to be obvious in the run-up to the Ukrainian presidential election in March.
But, in Washington, Donald Trump has shown little interest in the concern across Europe - especially in Poland and Germany - about President Putin's expansionist policy.
Instead of promoting a collective approach, he has preferred his characteristic man-to-man style of negotiating, claiming that he rescued his relationship with President Putin in one conversation, a two-hour closed summit in Helsinki in July 2018.
But in Angela Merkel's office, there was incredulity that the White House didn't consult its allies before that meeting with the Russian president and that it passed on almost nothing afterwards, beyond what emerged via Twitter.
"The Americans are our most important ally and we know how much we depend on the American contribution to our defence and security in the EU," said David McAllister, German-born to a Scots father, an MEP for Angela Merkel's CDU party, and one of her closest colleagues.
"But it's now about strengthening the European pillar within Nato, because under this president - and perhaps also under the next president - we might see less appetite in Washington to get involved in our immediate neighbourhood if it might be necessary."
So, rethinking is needed inside Nato. But that challenge is coming at an awkward moment: Angela Merkel is stepping down in two years, meaning Europe's dominant political figure will be gone.
In Berlin, I also spoke to retired American diplomat John Kornblum, who followed the course of the Cold War from the 1960s to the end, and then became the US's German ambassador.
He wrote much of that 1987 Reagan speech, delivered at a time when Western objectives were much clearer than they are today.
"Europe is at a crossroads," he told me. "It's now almost 30 years since the end of the Cold War. Europe is in a much weaker, less independent, less stable condition today than it was 30 years ago. And that's an unfortunate thing to say but it's true."
And the solution? It's easier to ask the questions than to find the answers. That's the tenor of these times.
What everyone does now know is that Europe and the United States, however much they retain their shared values, have to re-engineer their relationship as together they negotiate a new age of uncertainty.
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When it comes to Trump and Putin, it’s already collusion – POLITICO

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Operation Trump By The New Abwehr Demiurge, as Linked Together By Michael Novakhov - Reviewed on 1.13.19

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Blog – Trump Investigations Report

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The CIA’s Super-secret Weapon: Putin’s overwhelming love for Baby Donald! 
 

The New Abwehr Hypothesis Of The Operation Trump – By Michael Novakhov

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