Trumpistan Today - Friday March 8th, 2019 at 6:16 PM

Trumpistan Today - Friday March 8th, 2019 at 6:16 PM

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Trump news : White House denies Kushner security clearance files as ...

The Independent-Mar 5, 2019
The new probes signal that now the Democrats hold a majority in the House, Mr Trump's legal and political peril is nowhere near over, even as ...
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John Kelly says he would've served under Clinton if she'd won in 2016

Axios-Mar 6, 2019
Driving the news: The 12.5% jump in the 2018 trade deficit, reported today by the Commerce Department, is the result of a growing economy, ...
Story image for Trumpistan Today from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

World briefs: Ambassador promises a global push to decriminalize ...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-Feb 20, 2019
... that the Trump Organization might default on about $340 million of loans while now-President Donald Trump was in office that they discussed ...
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North Korea: Trump voices disappointment at missile-site activity

The Guardian-Mar 6, 2019
Our journalism now reaches record numbers around the world and more than a million people have supported our reporting. We continue to ...
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House votes to block Trump's border emergency

Financial Times-Feb 26, 2019
“There is no intellectual honesty in now turning around and arguing that there's an imaginary asterisk attached to executive over-reach — that ...
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21 States Are Taking On Trump's Anti-Abortion Gag Rule

Jalopnik-Mar 4, 2019
Now that the Dems are going to try & switch from Collusion to some other reason, it makes them continue to look like sore losers who didn't ...
Story image for Trumpistan Today from The Guardian

Michael Bloomberg rules himself out of 2020 presidential bid – as it ...

The Guardian-Mar 5, 2019
Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, responded today to Trump's complaints that Democrats were taking ...
Story image for Trumpistan Today from Allentown Morning Call

Analysis: 81 people and organizations looped into Trump ...

Allentown Morning Call-Mar 5, 2019
Who he is: A former Soviet military intelligence official who now does lobbying work in the U.S.. Why he's important: He joined his colleague ...

Trump Responds To Expanding House Investigations

NPR-Mar 4, 2019
We're going to bring in now NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's at the White House where the president responded to ...
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A narcissist at the center of the universe

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>-Mar 4, 2019
Now they are left to impugn the reputations of the president's accusers, as though the whole Republican Party had signed on as part of Trump's ...
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Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship ...

The Guardian-Mar 6, 2019
These American photojournalists and attorneys said they suspected the U.S. government was monitoring them closely but until now, they ...
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Trumpistan - Google Search

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Never Trump Podcast Implodes After Dust Up Over Howard Schultz

Splinter-Feb 10, 2019
When he wasn't cursing, Schmidt provided insights like “this is not Trumpistan,” while defending Schultz's right to run as a third party candidate.
Story image for Trumpistan from Daily Beast

Scott Pruitt Wasn't Corrupt Enough for Trumpistan

Daily Beast-Jul 5, 2018
The Scott Pruitt fiasco could only have ended one way: not with a bang but a simper, a wet fart of a resignation that exposed three Big Lies of ...
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Welcome to Trumpistan, my fellow Americans

Chicago Sun-Times-May 23, 2018
So what's it going to be, America: a democratic republic, or Trumpistan? A nation governed by the rule of law, or an oversized kleptocracy, ...
Story image for Trumpistan from Haaretz

The Israeli Left's Endless Misery in the Days of Netanyahu and ...

Haaretz-May 15, 2018
Israel, more than anywhere in the world, is Trumpistan. >> Hamas conveys indirect message to Israel: We might tone down Gaza protests.
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For US Jewry, Kahanist Caper Casts Netanyahu as Prince of ...

Haaretz-Feb 23, 2019
... march out of the gates of hell to infect the Israeli politic with their deadly virus and to paint Israel as Trumpistan and Kahanestan combined.
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Caught in Trumpistan

HuffPost-Jan 16, 2018
“Migrant in Trumpistan” is the current title of my newsletter for friends and family in the home country. My newsletters have gone under different ...
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In Trumpistan, Things Fall Apart

Daily Beast-Feb 3, 2017
Welcome to Trumpistan, a country two weeks into the tumultuous rule of a miserable, cruel and seemingly captive president. He spends his ...


New York Times (blog)-May 12, 2017
Item: Trump demanded loyalty — not to his office, but to the person of the president — from James Comey. Item: Trump admitted on live TV that ...
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Welcome to “Trumpistan

VICE News-Mar 7, 2017
So goes the intro to “Trumpistan,” a new morning program on one of India's largest English-language cable news stations. The show, which ...
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Bernie Sanders holds 2020 campaign rally in Iowa | All Saved Stories In Brief - 25010:48 AM 3/8/2019 - 10:48 AM 3/8/2019

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FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: Bernie Sanders 
holds 2020 campaign rally in Iowa

Bernie Sanders holds 2020 campaign rally in Iowa
All Saved Stories In Brief - 250 - 10:48 AM 3/8/2019

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» Why the West loves Poroshenko again
08/03/19 09:26 from Saved Stories - None
Berlin prepares for life after Merkel .... Trump delivers scorched-earth speech as he tries to regain footing .... Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference on February 16, 2018  ...
» Raising eyebrows and security concerns, Kushner goes rogue in Saudi - report
08/03/19 09:25 from Saved Stories - None
Jared Kusher abandoned protocol in Saudi Arabia, when he was not ... CREW called for an investigation of Kushner's security clearance .
» FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: Democrats exhibit media bias double by barring Fox News from hosting 2020 debates
08/03/19 09:24 from Saved Stories - None
From: FoxNewsChannel Duration: 09:30 Is the DNC trying to delegitimize Fox News? Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee discuss. FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos
» All the president's investigations - MSNBC
08/03/19 09:19 from Saved Stories - None
All the president's investigations    MSNBC House Democrats are balancing investigations into Trump crimes and Trump policies. Congresswoman Nanette Barragán was among the Democrats who ...
» FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: The Left's anti-semetic problem
08/03/19 09:19 from Saved Stories - None
From: FoxNewsChannel Duration: 07:07 House votes to condemn anti-semitism after backlash over comments by democratic congresswoman. FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos
» FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: House passes anti-Semitism resolution, Rep. Omar sees no action for her remarks
08/03/19 09:19 from Saved Stories - None
From: FoxNewsChannel Duration: 04:35 Reaction and Analysis from Jewish Democratic Council of America's Halie Soifer and Florida Congressional Committee PAC chair Stephen Fiske. FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos
» Dilanian: Some intel experts think Manafort was essentially a Russian asset - MSNBC
08/03/19 09:18 from Saved Stories - None
Dilanian: Some intel experts think Manafort was essentially a Russian asset    MSNBC NBC News National Security Reporter Ken Dilanian details how Paul Manafort's legal troubles began with his past work before joining the Trump ...
» Paul Manafort, Russia, Ebola: Your Friday Briefing - The New York Times
08/03/19 09:17 from Saved Stories - None
Paul Manafort, Russia, Ebola: Your Friday Briefing    The New York Times (Want to get this briefing by email? Here's the sign-up.) Good morning. Paul Manafort is sentenced, Europe's central bank signals concern, and Russian bil...
» How Donald Trump Led to Paul Manafort's Downfall - TIME
08/03/19 09:17 from Saved Stories - None
How Donald Trump Led to Paul Manafort's Downfall    TIME If he had never joined Donald Trump's campaign, Paul Manafort would likely be a free man today. Instead, the longtime political consultant is facing just…
» What would happen if Netanyahu was indicted?
08/03/19 09:17 from Saved Stories - None
... Avichai Mandelblit's verdict is in on the secret recordings, texts, late-night summons and alleged schemes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .
» This is why Ukraine is facing its most important presidential election in decades
08/03/19 09:16 from Saved Stories - None
In the eyes of many Ukrainians the election marks another major stage in the country's journey to break free of Russia and carve out an independent ...
» Israel's Choice: Solidarity or Extremism
08/03/19 09:15 from Saved Stories - None
I was 9 years old, Palestinian, Arab and a citizen of Israel . ... He enters the elections with charges of fraud, bribery and breach of public trust hanging ...
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Why the West loves Poroshenko again – POLITICO

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President Petro Poroshenko was no one’s idea of the face of Ukraine’s future. Now he looks like the last hope.
As the date of the March 31 presidential election nears, Russia has upped its efforts to exert influence on the race. A recent report from U.S. intelligence services found that the Kremlin is seeking to apply “a range of tools” to “exploit Kyiv’s fragile economy, widespread corruption, cyber vulnerabilities, and public discontent.”
The goal? Defeat Poroshenko and bring to power a less anti-Russian government.
As a result, foreign diplomats and Western capitals are coming around to an ironic realization: Poroshenko, the leader whose slow pace of reforms has at times frustrated their hopes for rapid change, is now their best — and only — chance of keeping Ukraine from drifting back into Russia’s orbit of influence.
It’s important not to underestimate Putin’s deep-held desire to restore influence over Ukraine.
For Russian President Vladimir Putin, it doesn’t so much matter who wins the election, just as long as it’s not Poroshenko.
A win for either of the two other front-runners — the politically inexperienced comedian Vladimir Zelenskiy and the left-leaning political veteran Yulia Tymoshenko, whose policies could rupture Ukraine’s relations with the International Monetary Fund — would be likely to destabilize the country, and create an opening for Putin to exert greater influence.
Putin's main motive is not so much to elect a Kremlin-friendly president, but to make it abundantly clear to any future Ukrainian president that refusing to make concessions to the Kremlin will lead to political ruin.
The reasons behind the Kremlin’s efforts to derail Poroshenko’s campaign are also deeply personal.
When Poroshenko came to power five years ago, he presented himself as a pragmatic candidate in favor of peace. Because of his business background and his wealth, he also had a reputation for being a pragmatic politician who was open to striking deals. Putin likely thought that Poroshenko’s business interests in Russia — since abandoned — would make him inclined to compromise.
Faced with this evidence of Russian interference, the much-criticized Poroshenko is starting to look like the strategically sound alternative to many Western observers.
Instead, the Ukrainian president has been a formidable adversary: Poroshenko used his diplomatic skill to build widespread support in the West for major economic sanctions against Russia.
At home, Poroshenko has reduced Russia’s cultural impact by banning Russian television stations and social media platforms, and promoting the use of Ukrainian in media and in schools. He also successfully lobbied to create an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church — a religious schism that has dealt a major blow to Moscow’s historic claims to Kiev, and will cost the Russian church millions of dollars in church property, as well as dramatically erode its soft power influence in Ukraine.
Not least of all, the Ukrainian leader also succeeded in convincing the United States to provide Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons and has rebuilt both the Ukrainian armaments industry and created a formidable Ukrainian military force.
All these are neuralgic issues for Putin, who expected Ukraine to wither under the force of Russia’s aggression and destabilization, and can’t stomach the idea that Poroshenko could win another term.
Since the start of the election campaign season, Russia has deployed hundreds of millions of dollars in the effort to influence and disrupt Ukraine’s election, according an assessment by Ukraine’s security service, the SBU.
The Kremlin has sought to raise the political temperature by promoting inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflict and painting Poroshenko as a feckless leader who is unable to maintain order.
It has also intensified its cyberattacks against Ukrainian officials and the country’s Central Election Council — which it hits on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis – as well as its disinformation campaign on social media.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech at the 2018 Munich Security Conference on February 16, 2018 | Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images
data dump of documents from an unknown source released last month by a Western-funded Ukrainian anti-corruption watchdog and alleging improprieties by Poroshenko associates also leaves open the possibility that the data may have been subject to tampering by Russian, or Russia-friendly, actors.
The Kremlin has also been laying the groundwork for this anti-Poroshenko campaign by empowering Kremlin-friendly businessmen and politicians through sweetheart deals and market access.
There are countless examples. A leading Ukrainian pro-Russian politician, Viktor Medvedchuk — whose daughter is Putin’s goddaughter and whose wife was recently revealed to be the majority owner of a company that last year won a tender to exploit a lucrative Russian oil field — exerts influence on several television news stations. Taras Kozak, a parliamentarian and influential importer of Russia-sourced diesel fuel who also co-owns a Russia-based weapons manufacturer, has taken over the popular television channel 112. Oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who made billions as a Russia-approved gas trading intermediary in the early 2000s, owns the widely watched Inter TV — which has seen a steady stream of criticism of Poroshenko as the election nears.
The scale of Russia’s intervention in Ukrainian politics may strike some as unlikely. But it’s important not to underestimate Putin’s deep-held desire to restore influence over Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin | Dmitri Lovetsky/AFP via Getty Images
Faced with this evidence of Russian interference, the much-criticized Poroshenko is starting to look like the strategically sound alternative to many Western observers.
Sure, his presidency gets mixed grades. Despite some economic growth, for most Ukrainians — whose average monthly wage stood at $390 in December — things aren’t getting better. And though he’s overseen a crackdown on corruption, critics fault him for the slow pace of reforms, including when it comes to criminal justice.
But what are the alternatives? His rivals are likely to weaken Ukraine’s links with the West or create uncertainty by undoing recent progress.
Western policymakers have realized it might be in their interest to embrace his accomplishments and turn a blind eye to his shortcomings. Ukraine’s patriotic liberals, too, are coming to the same conclusion.
As Yaroslav Hrytsak, one of Ukraine’s most prominent public intellectuals, recently put it: The main decision for liberals today is whether to support Poroshenko in the first round or wait until the second.
Adrian Karatnycky is senior fellow and co-director of the Ukraine in Europe Initiative of the Atlantic Council.

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Here's what happens after Mueller submits his long-awaited report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller may soon submit his long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and any contacts Trump campaign associates may have had with Kremlin officials. And while we don't know what Mueller and his investigative team will say in that report  — or what will eventually make its way to the public — there are regulations in place that present a road map for what should happen next.
Here's what will occur after Mueller and his team submit their report:

It goes to the new attorney general, William Barr 

President Trump's newly-confirmed attorney general now oversees the Mueller investigation, and he will be the person who receives Mueller's confidential report. In that report, according to Justice Department guidelines, Mueller must explain his "prosecution and declination decisions." Barr will then submit a report to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees explaining Mueller's findings and why the investigation ended.
Justice Department guidance stipulates Barr should only submit a "brief notification" containing "an outline of the actions and the reasons for them." What that means is probably open to some interpretation, but anyone hoping for a massive Starr Report-like document — from either Barr or Mueller — is likely to be disappointed. The current special counsel guidelines were written in large part because lawmakers decided the 1998 report by independent counsel Ken Starr, which contained graphic details about President Bill Clinton's sexual liaisons, went too far in publicizing private misdeeds.
Barr can decide to make much of Mueller's report public if he deems it in the public interest. But during his confirmation hearings in January, the attorney general was cagey on how much of the report he might make public, saying he would need to have a better understanding of the regulations governing the investigation and what the special counsel report would look like to make a final decision.
Alternatively, Barr's report to Congress could contain relatively little information about Mueller's findings.

We may never see Mueller's full report

The report Barr receives will be confidential, and because it's possible Mueller's report may also contain extremely sensitive information regarding how the intelligence community collects information, much of it could stay under lock and key for some time.
Mueller's report is likely to explain why he declined to prosecute some individuals and, as Barr noted during his confirmation hearings, the Justice Department tends not to reveal why it did not prosecute someone. However, that policy is not absolute.
"The policy is designed to protect targets of investigations if the evidence does not support indictment. This situation may be different if the Justice Department does not indict President Trump because it concludes that a sitting president cannot be indicted," explained CBSN legal contributor Rebecca Roiphe, a professor at New York Law School and a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.
"The public interest in keeping the information private is not the same," Roiphe added. "In fact, the public interest is the opposite, because the broad principle that no person is above the law would mean that Congress and the public must have access to the evidence to hold the president accountable through impeachment or political process."
The current legal opinion of the Justice Department is that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. If Barr adheres to that opinion, which he is not legally bound to do, he could decide to withhold information in Mueller's report that implicates the president.
But as legal expert Neal Katyal — who wrote the underlying regulations governing the special counsel investigation — recently explained in The New York Times, if Mueller's report suggests that the president should be indicted, Barr would have to tell Congress whether he overruled the special counsel's recommendation and explain that decision to lawmakers. 
The purpose of the regulation, Katyal said, is partly to allow Congress to act as a check on the president if the Justice Department insists a president cannot be indicted. But the report would need to be substantive enough to help Congress do that. Grand jury testimonies contained in Mueller's report are also likely to remain secret unless a court orders them made public. Some argue that a court could release the material if Congress issues subpoenas. 

How Mueller's report could become public

During Barr's confirmation hearings, Senate Democrats said they wanted Mueller's report released to the public in full, with the exception of any sensitive intelligence matters. And Barr testified before Congress that he wants to release as much of it as he can, "consistent with the law."
If the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee wants more information than Barr provides, it could also subpoena Mueller's report, setting up a potential battle with the White House over executive privilege, national security and the role of grand juries. That would send the decision to release Mueller's report to the judiciary.
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Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded - Axios

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Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded

Chief of Staff John Kelly downgraded Jared Kushner's security clearance on Feb. 23 from "Interim Top Secret" to "Interim Secret," according to an administrative staffer involved in the HR process for handling clearances. The White House declined to comment on this story.
Why it matters: Kelly's recent overhaul of the security clearance process has officially changed Kushner's role — he was previously able to access sensitive national security information that very few people have access to, despite operating on an interim security clearance for the last year.
The difference in security clearances:
  • Interim Top Secret/SCI: Gives access to sensitive compartments of intelligence (SCI) that are restricted to a small group of "trusted, highly vetted and scrutinized users who need it to perform their duties," David Wade, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, told Axios. That information is deemed so classified that if made public, it could have national security implications. handling is so rigorously enforced and protected.”
  • Interim Secret: Would not have access to certain classified information, like the president's daily briefing. "You may be cleared for a level but that doesn’t mean you have a ‘need to know,'" an FBI officer told Axios.
Politico was the first to report that Kushner's clearance had been downgraded.
Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said Kushner's work won't be affected. "The new policy announced by General Kelly will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President."
Background: When asked whether Kushner's security clearance would change at a press conference (on the same day Kelly ordered this downgrade), President Trump simply said, "General Kelly respects Jared a lot and General Kelly will make that call. I won't make that call."
  • Kelly previously announced his plan to revoke high-level access for those working on an interim security clearance, access that Kushner has been reluctant to give up.
  • Kushner's Interim Top Secret clearance allowed him to attend classified briefings, read the daily intelligence briefing, oversee strategies for Middle East peace, and meet with foreign officials around the world.
  • His clearance was downgraded once before, to Interim Top Secret on Sept. 15, because his background check wasn't completed and DOJ hadn't yet granted final clearance.
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House Democrats may probe Kushners' NYC real estate deal - Axios

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House Democrats may probe Kushners' NYC real estate deal

House Democrats are discussing investigating the cash infusion the Kushner Companies' flagship New York office tower received in summer 2018, Reps. Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings and Ted Lieu told Axios.
Why it matters: Jared Kushner’s family real estate business provides Democrats with a new opening to investigate a senior White House official's indirect connection to foreign money. Kushner has been helping conduct Middle East policy on behalf of the U.S. government.
The Kushner family's most consequential recent deal is the one that bailed them out of their struggling, debt ridden behemoth at 666 Fifth Avenue.
  • Lieu, who serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, told Axios that he finds the deal "really troubling," and that one of the House committees will be looking into it.
  • Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, confirmed that there have been private discussions about investigating the deal.
It's unclear which committee would investigate the deal, and whether it will be investigated at all.
  • "We’ve been looking at that for a while," Cummings said. "It's a very difficult question because Maxine may have a piece of it, another committee might have a piece of it. We’ll figure that out."
The backdrop: Jared Kushner’s family company bought the Midtown skyscraper for a record $1.8 billion in 2007.
  • But the building later became a financial headache. At the time of the deal, the N.Y. Times reported, "Analysts have long said that 666 Fifth was worth less than its debts. The building was 30 percent vacant and only generated about half the annual mortgage payments."
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Brookfield Asset Management, which purchased a 99-year lease on the building, paid enough for Kushner Companies to pay off its $1.1 billion debt and buy out its partner, Vornado Realty Trust, which owned the retail portion of the building.
  • The deal became politically controversial because Qatar Investment Authority, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, is Brookfield's second-largest investor. Brookfield said Qatar wasn’t aware of the deal until it was publicly announced.
At around the same time, Brookfield's acquisition of Westinghouse Electric, a nuclear power company, was finalized.
  • This connection became problematic after the House Oversight Committee released a report last month alleging some members of the Trump administration proposed selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia over the objections of top national security officials. The report noted that Westinghouse, which manufactures power plants, could benefit from such a deal.
The White House did not respond to Axios' request for comment.
Go deeper: Elijah Cummings orders White House to comply with Kushner security clearance review
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Democrats get leaked documents on Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's security clearances

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Someone in the White House reportedly leaked documents to House Democrats dealing with security clearances for members of President Trump's family.
A Democratic aide responsible for handling to documents said that they provide information on the timeline of how President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump obtained security clearances.
They also explain how the final decision was made to grant those clearances, Axios reported.
Two staffers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told the top Democratic aide that they “appreciate having [the documents] upfront” because they are "part of the puzzle that we would be asking for" from the White House.
One of the documents details why Kushner’s clearance was changed to “interim” in Sept. 2017.
"Per conversation with WH counsel the clearance was changed to interim Top Secret until we can confirm that the DOJ or someone else actually granted a final clearance,” the document said. “This action was taken out of an abundance of caution because the background investigation has not been completed."
This week, the panel requested documents regarding the Trump administration’s granting of security clearances to staffers, but the White House rejected the request.

Scoop: White House leak to House Dems on Jared and Ivanka's clearances - Google Search

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Scoop: White House leak to House Dems on Jared and Ivanka's clearances - Axios

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Scoop: White House leak to House Dems on Jared and Ivanka's clearances

From a White House source, the House Oversight Committee has obtained documents related to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's security clearances that the Trump administration refused to provide, according to a senior Democratic aide involved in handling the documents.
Why it matters: The Trump administration's problems with leaks will now benefit Congress, making it harder for the White House to withhold information from Democratic investigators.
The news: The White House this week rejected the committee's request for documents on the process for granting security clearances to staffers.
  • The twist: But the House Oversight Committee in early February had already obtained the leaked documents that detail the entire process, from the spring of 2017 to the spring of 2018, on how both Kushner and Trump were ultimately granted their security clearances.
  • The senior Democratic aide who was involved in handling the documents told Axios that two staffers on the Oversight Committee said the documents are "part of the puzzle that we would be asking for" from the White House, "so we appreciate having this upfront." 
The House Oversight Committee, via deputy communications director Aryele Bradford, declined to comment.
  • The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The documents leaked to the Oversight Committee provide detailed information on the timeline for how Kushner's and Trump's security clearances were approved and who the people were involved in processing and the final decision.
  • One document, obtained by Axios, provides some details about why Kushner's security clearance was changed to "interim" in September 2017: "Per conversation with WH counsel the clearance was changed to interim Top Secret until we can confirm that the DOJ or someone else actually granted a final clearance. This action was taken out of an abundance of caution because the background investigation has not been completed."
  • Feb. 23, 2018: "Clearance downgraded to Interim Secret per COS direction" — then-chief of staff John Kelly.
Go deeper: Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded
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House Trump investigation - Washington Times

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The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee launched a sweeping investigation this week to determine if there are grounds for President Trump’s impeachment.
The committee sent more than 80 letters on Monday to Mr. Trump’s former business associates, past and present advisers, among other figures who served on his White House staff and in his administration with knowledge of the controversial actions and other decision-making practices over the course of his 2016 campaign and his presidency.
Or as The Washington Post described the intent of the committee’s letters: “whether the president and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.”
“But rather than a targeted approach, Monday’s request was broad, reaching current and former campaign staffers, top Trump Organization officials, even documents and communications …”, The Post said.
“The inquiry touched on a wide array of matters, from the president’s business dealings with Russia to the firing of former FBI director James B. Comey to hush payments made to women,” the newspaper said.
Many of these and other issues are being investigated by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
New York regulators have recently subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s insurance broker in the wake of testimony from his former lawyer Michael Cohen that Mr. Trump exaggerated his wealth to insurance firms.
In a statement on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, said “We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people.”
“This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts. That is exactly what we intend to do,” Mr. Nadler said.
The White House, in a statement from press secretary Sarah Sanders, called the Judiciary committee’s action “a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the Special Counsel and committees in both Chambers of Congress.”

Mr. Trump’s reply at a White House event Monday: “No collusion. It’s all a hoax.”
Of course, that was Mr. Trump’s repeated response about the Kremlin’s cyberwar interference throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. He rarely says that anymore, not since U.S. intelligence unanimously agreed that Russia was behind the massive barrage of phony stories written to incite American voters.
Did you see the interview of the Russian on CBS’ “60 Minutes” who saturated our Internet with these false stories to influence the presidential election?
And why were people in Mr. Trump’s campaign talking to the Russian ambassador to the United States during this period? And meeting with go-betweens for well-connected Russian oligarchs?
Mr. Trump says he intends to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee’s upcoming hearings, but, privately, advisers have been “preparing to push back against the committee’s demands,” The Post says.
Their strategy: Claiming executive privilege whenever possible to block the committee’s requests.
Meantime, the scope of Mr. Nadler’s inquiry is so broad, it is running into the work of other committees exploring the same issues. There were at least six or more committees investigating Mr. Trump, possibly working at cross purposes that could pose problems in the future.
To avoid duplication, committee chairmen have been holding meetings to coordinate their work.
Among those who received letters to appear before his committee: Mr. Trump’s eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; son-in-law Jared Kushner; Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization; and former White House aides Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer, and Stephen K. Bannon.
Mr. Nadler’s list of requested documents include the FBI, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump sat down at his computer to send this tweet: “A big, fat fishing expedition desperately in search of a crime.”
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.

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Mueller's scorecard: Who's been convicted, sentenced

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By Dareh Gregorian
President Donald Trump has called it "a witch hunt," but special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation has already resulted in seven guilty pleas and one conviction at trial, with a cast of defendants that include Trump's former campaign chairman, ex-national security adviser and onetime personal lawyer.
In all, 34 people and three companies have been criminally charged as a result of the probe. Mueller was named special counsel in May 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and directed to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."

Paul Manafort

He ran Trump's campaign for part of 2016 and was convicted in August on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud. Prosecutors said he'd hidden millions of dollars overseas. Prosecutors had recommended he get up to 24 years, but he was sentenced to just 47 months in that case on Thursday. He pleaded guilty in a second case brought by the Mueller team in September, and is scheduled to be sentenced for those crimes on Wednesday.

Rick Gates

Manafort's former business partner and Trump's former deputy campaign chair pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to Mueller's investigators about his business dealings with Manafort. Gates, who also worked on Trump's inaugural committee, has been cooperating with Mueller's investigation and testified against Manafort at his trial in Alexandria, Va. His sentencing has been repeatedly delayed. Prosecutors said in January that "Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations."

Michael Cohen

Trump's longtime fixer pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the duration of Trump's plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He was sentenced to three years in prison for that plea and another in a case that had been brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, where he admitted to eight felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He's scheduled to begin serving his sentence May 6.

Michael Flynn

A top Trump surrogate and foreign policy adviser during the 2016 campaign who admitted to lying to the FBI about the substance of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during his brief stint as national security adviser. He's expected to be sentenced later this year.

George Papadopoulos

Another Trump foreign policy adviser, he pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about the timing of his conversations with a professor who had ties to Russian intelligence. He'd said he'd spoken with the professor before he went to work for Trump, when it was afterward. The professor had told Papadopoulos that Russia had "thousands of emails" that would damage Trump rival Hillary Clinton's campaign. Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in jail.

Alex van der Zwaan

The London-based lawyer admitted to lying to Mueller's investigators about his contacts with Gates. Van der Zwaan had worked with Gates and Manafort for a Ukrainian political party that was closely allied with Russia. He was sentenced to 30 days behind bars and fined $20,000.

Richard Pinedo

He was sentenced to six months in federal lockup and six months of home confinement for selling bank account and other stolen identity information to a group of Russians accused of interfering in the election. The Russians allegedly used the information to create fake online identities. The California man has said he didn't know who his clients were, and Mueller's office has said he was cooperative with their investigators.
Dareh Gregorian writes for NBC News.
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A Dark View Of Russia From U.S. NATO Commander : NPR

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Russian military officers stand by as the 9M729, center, its launcher, left, and the 9M728, right, land-based cruise missiles are displayed in Kubinka outside Moscow, in January. The Russian military rolled out its new missile and spelled out its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates the INF Treaty. Pavel Golovkin/AP hide caption
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Pavel Golovkin/AP
Russian military officers stand by as the 9M729, center, its launcher, left, and the 9M728, right, land-based cruise missiles are displayed in Kubinka outside Moscow, in January. The Russian military rolled out its new missile and spelled out its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates the INF Treaty.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
At a post-summit news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last July in Helsinki, President Trump did not once mention Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Nor did he point to its military support of pro-Russian secessionists in eastern Ukraine.
If Trump's aim was to avoid confrontation with a superpower whose nuclear arsenal rivals that of the U.S., or more personally, not to to antagonize an iron-fisted ruler who may or may not have damning information to spill on Trump, his top military commander in Europe does not seem to have gotten the memo.
Appearing this week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti sounded an alarm about Russia's aims in the lands west of its border with Europe.
"Russia is a long-term, strategic competitor that wants to advance its own objectives at the expense of U.S. prosperity and security," Scaparrotti, who also leads the U.S. European Command, told the panel.
"In pursuit of its objectives, Moscow seeks to assert its influence over nations along its periphery, undermine NATO solidarity and fracture the rules-based international order," he said.
It was likely Scaparrotti's last appearance in uniform before the committee. He's slated to retire later this year from the two command posts he's held in Europe since President Obama appointed him three years ago.
During the four-star general's leadership, the U.S. has further expanded a military deployment in Europe that's been growing since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.
"I humbly represent over 68,000 brave and dedicated men and women who are forward-deployed or stationed in the European theater of operations," he said in prepared remarks.
That force, he suggested, is nonetheless inadequate.
"I'm not comfortable yet with the deterrent posture that we have in Europe," Scaparrotti told the senators. "I have shortfalls in our land component...and in our maritime component," he added, noting he's requested that two naval destroyers be added to the four currently stationed at the U.S. naval base in Rota, Spain.
"In light of Russia's modernizing, increasingly aggressive force posture," Scaparrotti declared, "(the U.S. European Command) recommends augmenting our assigned and rotational forces to enhance our deterrence posture."
And while Scaparrotti asserted the U.S. still maintains military superiority over Russia, he suggested that may not be the case in the future.
"Evolving Russian capabilities," he warned, "threaten to erode our competitive military advantage, challenge our ability to operate uncontested in all domains and diminish our ability to deter Russian aggression."
At another hearing this week, Congress got a darker estimate of who's up and who's down in the revived Great Powers competition along Russia's western frontier.
"Understand that there's no place today on the NATO-Russia border where Russia does not have military superiority," former NATO nuclear policy chairman and George W. Bush administration special adviser Franklin Miller told the House Armed Services Committee, adding, "I think that the Russian leadership looks at nuclear war differently than we do."
Adding to Cold War-reminiscent tensions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared this week that Moscow reserves the right to deploy missiles banned by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which applies to all U.S. and Russian missiles that can fly between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
That followed the Trump administration's notification last month that the U.S. was withdrawing from the INF Treaty. Each side accuses the other of having violated the pact signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The collapse of the arms control accord has been sharply criticized by congressional Democrats, who contend its demise will likely make a bad situation even worse.
"What is our plan to prevent Russia from building more INF Treaty-prohibited missiles in the absence of the treaty?" asked committee member and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. "Do we have a plan here?"
"I don't know that we have a plan today," Scaparrotti replied. "I know we're working on what we think that plan might be."
In the end, Scaparrotti told lawmakers, the continued cohesion of NATO — a military alliance which Trump has frequently criticized — may provide the best defense against what he termed a "revisionist" Russia.
"When you can combine 29 nations with their elements of power in response to Russia's," the 63-year-old Army general told the panel, "it's a slam-dunk. There's no doubt that we can handle this and they'll be deterred, but we've got to work together."
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Bernie Sanders holds 2020 campaign rally in Iowa - YouTube

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Bernie Sanders holds 2020 campaign rally in Iowa

People hear and believe what they want to hear and believe. - M.N. | Trump Investigations News In 250 Brief Posts - 5:52 AM 3/8/2019

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People hear and believe what they want to hear and believe. - M.N. 

Jul 1, 2011 - You bias your interpretation of evidence toward what you desire. ... That means that people may ultimately come to believe that the weight of ... 

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The Operation Trump and The New Abwehr: A Study In Psychohistory
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Trump Investigations News In 250 Brief Posts


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Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Trump Investigations. Lawrence's Last Word: The Company You Keep | The Last Word | MSNBC - YouTube Friday March 8 th , 2019  at  3:51 AM 1 Share Lawrence's Last Word: The Company You Keep...
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What happens when Mueller files his report — and why Trump critics won't like it The public has been waiting 21 months for special counsel Robert Mueller to share the findings of his investigation into Russian interfe...
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