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3548 posts

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  # 2059763 21-Jul-2018 08:42
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Note this is just a portion of the article

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/20/us/politics/michael-cohen-trump-tape.html

Michael Cohen Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Payment to Playboy Model

The Justice Department is investigating the involvement of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
By Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt
July 20, 2018


WASHINGTON — President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them.

The recording’s existence appears to undercut the Trump campaign’s denial of any knowledge of payments to the model. And it further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump. Once the keeper of many of Mr. Trump’s secrets, Mr. Cohen is now seen as increasingly willing to consider cooperating with prosecutors.

The former model, Karen McDougal, says she began a nearly yearlong affair with Mr. Trump in 2006, shortly after Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son Barron. Ms. McDougal sold her story for $150,000 to The National Enquirer, which was supportive of Mr. Trump, during the final months of the presidential campaign, but the tabloid sat on the story, which kept it from becoming public. The practice, known as “catch and kill,” effectively silenced Ms. McDougal for the remainder of the campaign.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed in a telephone conversation on Friday that Mr. Trump had discussed payments to Ms. McDougal with Mr. Cohen in person on the recording.

...

David J. Pecker, the chairman of A.M.I., is a friend of Mr. Trump’s, and Ms. McDougal has accused Mr. Cohen of secretly taking part in the deal — an allegation that is now part of the F.B.I. investigation.
...
For a decade, Mr. Cohen served as one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted fixers, aggressively taking on journalists, opposing lawyers and business adversaries. He frequently taped his conversations, unbeknown to the people with whom he was speaking. New York law allows one party to a conversation to tape conversations without the other knowing.

Mr. Cohen used to say he would take a bullet for Mr. Trump, but the relationship soured in the aftermath of the F.B.I. raids in April. In one conversation, Mr. Cohen’s lawyers inquired whether Mr. Trump planned to pardon him, but Mr. Trump’s lawyers gave no indication that the president would do so, according to two people familiar with the discussion.

Mr. Cohen has publicly and privately discussed the idea of cooperating with the F.B.I. In an interview with ABC News this month, Mr. Cohen seemed to be openly inviting prosecutors to talk to him.
...
The wide-ranging search warrants served on Mr. Cohen this spring show that prosecutors are investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in payments to silence women about their relationships with Mr. Trump. In addition to Ms. McDougal’s arrangement, prosecutors also sought evidence of payments to the adult film star Stephanie Clifford, who is better known as Stormy Daniels.

Mr. Trump has denied knowing about those payments, though people familiar with the arrangement have said he was aware of them. But his denial helped suppress public allegations of an affair during the final months of the campaign.

Such payments, depending on how and why they were made, could represent campaign finance violations
...

3548 posts

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  # 2059765 21-Jul-2018 08:50
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"capture and kill":
practice of removing potentially damaging stories from circulation by buying rights and never publishing.

"smoking gun":
an object or fact that serves as conclusive evidence of a crime or similar act, just short of being caught in flagrante delicto. "Smoking gun" refers to the strongest kind of circumstantial evidence, as opposed to direct evidence.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2059778 21-Jul-2018 09:42
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"New York city's Wall Street bull statue covered In sex toys, ridden by ‘Vladimir Putin’"

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bull-vladimir-putin-sex-toys_us_5b4e717ee4b0de86f487d3b8

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  # 2060135 21-Jul-2018 19:39
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Lawyer Cohen taped Trump discussing Playboy model payment

 

You can't make this stuff up.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mcdougal/lawyer-cohen-taped-trump-discussing-payment-to-playboy-model-nyt-idUSKBN1KA29P 

 

Also saw a good case on MSM that suggested the White House or "Trump Team" were actually smart enough to leak this. Interesting stuff. 

 

 


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  # 2060275 22-Jul-2018 09:06
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It's very bizarre.

 

Cohen seems to be taunting the POTUS with tweets supporting the MSM, and another suggesting that he's "found the lord" and is getting counsel from a church man:

 

 

Trump's maintaining that he didn't do anything wrong:

 

 

"Your favourite president"  ????

 

Giuliani is claiming that the evidence on the tape is exculpatory for the POTUS but Cohen's lawyer is suggesting the opposite.

 

Trump voters won't care, they know Trump's an evil thug, but love him anyway.


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  # 2060297 22-Jul-2018 09:20
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It seems likely that Julian Assange is about to be turfed out of the Ecuador embassy in London.

 

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/21/ecuador-will-imminently-withdraw-asylum-for-julian-assange-and-hand-him-over-to-the-uk-what-comes-next/

 

Another sub-plot to the greatest show on earth.

 

 


BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 2060298 22-Jul-2018 09:22
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Assange blew it. Running WikiLeaks as a puppet for right wing politics.

I used to support his view of information freedom but now can't support his actions of selective information freedom.




 
 
 
 


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  # 2060336 22-Jul-2018 10:31
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Assange like so many so called freedom fighters are really quite selfish individuals that only really care about themselves.


Lock him up!
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  # 2060347 22-Jul-2018 11:02
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Yep, locked in a room for eight years with the whole world baying for his blood. That's pretty selfish.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


Lock him up!
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  # 2060348 22-Jul-2018 11:11
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freitasm: Assange blew it. Running WikiLeaks as a puppet for right wing politics.

I used to support his view of information freedom but now can't support his actions of selective information freedom.

 

Can't decide how I feel about this. Agree that his later actions seem reprehensible and hard to justify. Also hard to understand. But before that he was a hero of mine and I think he did a lot of good holding power to account. Most people are flawed. So is he. Maybe being in that room for so long has affected his mental health and sense of proportion. Whatever anyone thinks of him, he has sacrificed a lot, probably his entire life. I agree he has taken a wrong turn but I still have a soft spot for him.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


gzt

11026 posts

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  # 2060351 22-Jul-2018 11:27
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freitasm: Assange blew it. Running WikiLeaks as a puppet for right wing politics.

I used to support his view of information freedom but now can't support his actions of selective information freedom.

I recall a story implying that Assange tried to control the release of information to get Trump elected in hope of some kind of presidential pardon in return for publishing information on Clinton. I also read one saying that Assange was asking Trump to appoint Assange as the USA ambassador to Australia.

Both of these scenarios seem fanciful to me.

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  # 2060407 22-Jul-2018 14:10
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CBS News - Inside Trump's isolated days amid Russia fallout

 

 

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - Facing condemnation from allies and foes alike on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump was outnumbered even in the Oval Office.

 

Top aides gathered to convince the president to issue a rare walk-back of the comments he'd made raising doubts about U.S. intelligence conclusions of Russian election interference as he stood alongside Vladimir Putin.

 

Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and chief of staff John Kelly stood united in the West Wing on Tuesday in their contention that the commander in chief had some cleanup to do.

 

They brought with them words of alarm from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as from a host of congressional leaders and supporters of the president for whom Mr. Trump's public praise of Putin proved to be a bridge too far.

 

... By the time he arrived home, the parade of critical statements had become a stampede, leaving Mr. Trump the most isolated he'd been in the White House since last year's controversy over white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville.

 

... As each White House effort to clean up the situation failed to stem the growing bipartisan backlash, Mr. Trump's mood worsened, according to confidants.

 

He groused about his staff for not better managing the fallout ... and he seethed at the lack of support he believed he received from congressional Republicans.

 

 

 

and ...

 

MSNBC - To Helsinki & back: Was this Trump's worst week as president yet?

Well worth watching.





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  # 2060510 22-Jul-2018 17:03
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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested several years ago that the unanimous high court ruling in 1974 that forced President Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, leading to the end of his presidency, may have been wrongly decided.

 

Story

 

IOW, Nixon shouldn't have been impeached.  And that guy is could well be the SCOTUS judge determining if Trump is above the law.

 

 


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  # 2060711 22-Jul-2018 22:32
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"Overall right-wing authoritarianism and anti-egalitarianism did not distinguish support for Trump from that for other Republican candidates (including Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and Bush). Rather, support for Trump was, in a unique way, associated with authoritarian aggression, and group-based dominance," Womick explained.

 

In other words, Trump supporters were more likely to agree with statements such as "Some groups of people are simply inferior to other groups", "What our country needs instead of more ‘civil rights’ is a good stiff dose of law and order", and "Some groups of people must be kept in their place".

 

Boom.  Fascism 101.

 

Link.


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  # 2060722 22-Jul-2018 23:04
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No surprises there.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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