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  # 2184456 20-Feb-2019 17:11
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Rikkitic:

 

McCabe: 'I think it's possible' Trump is a Russian asset

 

 

Well, he's certainly not a US asset  ...   😕





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  # 2184458 20-Feb-2019 17:12
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I think some already said this but reality is that Trump is more of a symptom of the current environment in the USA than the problem itself.

 

People voted for him and not a small number. Not the majority but their rules are like this.





 
 
 
 


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  # 2184460 20-Feb-2019 17:18
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freitasm:

 

I think some already said this but reality is that Trump is more of a symptom of the current environment in the USA than the problem itself.

 

People voted for him and not a small number. Not the majority but their rules are like this.

 

 

Even if Trump is "a symptom, not the disease", this does not excuse him - he is totally incompetent, totally self-obsessed, and totally corrupt.   🤒





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  # 2184588 21-Feb-2019 08:01
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It doesn't excuse him, but it makes a more serious point: even if Trump goes away, the circumstances that lead to him being elected have not. Who comes after Trump? Someone just as toxic and evil but actually competent enough to get things done?





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  # 2184593 21-Feb-2019 08:10
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SaltyNZ:

 

... Who comes after Trump?

 

Someone just as toxic and evil but actually competent enough to get things done?

 

 

Like Pence?   🤒





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  # 2184641 21-Feb-2019 08:59
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/19/us/politics/trump-investigations.html

New York Times

President Trump’s efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work.

By Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman, Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. Schmidt

Feb. 19, 2019

WASHINGTON — As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.

Mr. Whitaker, who had privately told associates that part of his role at the Justice Department was to “jump on a grenade” for the president, knew he could not put Mr. Berman in charge because Mr. Berman had already recused himself from the investigation. The president soon soured on Mr. Whitaker, as he often does with his aides, and complained about his inability to pull levers at the Justice Department that could make the president’s many legal problems go away.

Trying to install a perceived loyalist atop a widening inquiry is a familiar tactic for Mr. Trump, who has been struggling to beat back the investigations that have consumed his presidency. His efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump’s public war on the inquiry has gone on long enough that it is no longer shocking. Mr. Trump rages almost daily to his 58 million Twitter followers that Mr. Mueller is on a “witch hunt” and has adopted the language of Mafia bosses by calling those who cooperate with the special counsel “rats.” His lawyer talks openly about a strategy to smear and discredit the special counsel investigation. The president’s allies in Congress and the conservative news media warn of an insidious plot inside the Justice Department and the F.B.I. to subvert a democratically elected president.

An examination by The New York Times reveals the extent of an even more sustained, more secretive assault by Mr. Trump on the machinery of federal law enforcement. Interviews with dozens of current and former government officials and others close to Mr. Trump, as well as a review of confidential White House documents, reveal numerous unreported episodes in a two-year drama.

White House lawyers wrote a confidential memo expressing concern about the president’s staff peddling misleading information in public about the firing of Michael T. Flynn, the Trump administration’s first national security adviser. Mr. Trump had private conversations with Republican lawmakers about a campaign to attack the Mueller investigation. And there was the episode when he asked his attorney general about putting Mr. Berman in charge of the Manhattan investigation.

Mr. Whitaker, who this month told a congressional committee that Mr. Trump had never pressured him over the various investigations, is now under scrutiny by House Democrats for possible perjury.

On Tuesday, after The Times article published, Mr. Trump denied that he had asked Mr. Whitaker if Mr. Berman could be put in charge of the investigation. “No, I don’t know who gave you that, that’s more fake news,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s a lot of fake news out there. No, I didn’t.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that the White House had not asked Mr. Whitaker to interfere in the investigations. “Under oath to the House Judiciary Committee, then-Acting Attorney General Whitaker stated that ‘at no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation,’” said the spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec. “Mr. Whitaker stands by his testimony.”

The story of Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations has been voluminously covered in the news media, to such a degree that many Americans have lost track of how unusual his behavior is. But fusing the strands reveals an extraordinary story of a president who has attacked the law enforcement apparatus of his own government like no other president in history, and who has turned the effort into an obsession. Mr. Trump has done it with the same tactics he once used in his business empire: demanding fierce loyalty from employees, applying pressure tactics to keep people in line and protecting the brand — himself — at all costs.

It is a public relations strategy as much as a legal strategy — a campaign to create a narrative of a president hounded by his “deep state” foes. The new Democratic majority in the House, and the prospect of a wave of investigations on Capitol Hill this year, will test whether the strategy shores up Mr. Trump’s political support or puts his presidency in greater peril. The president has spent much of his time venting publicly about there being “no collusion” with Russia before the 2016 election, which has diverted attention from a growing body of evidence that he has tried to impede the various investigations.

Julie O’Sullivan, a criminal law professor at Georgetown University, said she believed there was ample public evidence that Mr. Trump had the “corrupt intent” to try to derail the Mueller investigation, the legal standard for an obstruction of justice case.

But this is far from a routine criminal investigation, she said, and Mr. Mueller will have to make judgments about the effect on the country of making a criminal case against the president. Democrats in the House have said they will wait for Mr. Mueller to finish his work before making a decision about whether the president’s behavior warrants impeachment.

In addition to the Mueller investigation, there are at least two other federal inquiries that touch the president and his advisers — the Manhattan investigation focused on the hush money payments made by Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, and an inquiry examining the flow of foreign money to the Trump inaugural committee.

The president’s defenders counter that most of Mr. Trump’s actions under scrutiny fall under his authority as the head of the executive branch. They argue that the Constitution gives the president sweeping powers to hire and fire, to start and stop law enforcement proceedings, and to grant presidential pardons to friends and allies. A sitting American president cannot be indicted, according to current Justice Department policy.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers add this novel response: The president has been public about his disdain for the Mueller investigation and other federal inquiries, so he is hardly engaged in a conspiracy. He fired one F.B.I. director and considered firing his replacement. He humiliated his first attorney general for being unable to “control” the Russia investigation and installed a replacement, Mr. Whitaker, who has told people he believed his job was to protect the president. But that, they say, is Donald Trump being Donald Trump.

In other words, the president’s brazen public behavior might be his best defense.

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  # 2184946 21-Feb-2019 16:51
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The New York Times - Trump’s Idea of a Middle East Nuclear Deal

 

By The Editorial Board

 

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

 

Feb. 20, 2019

 


An interim report from the House Oversight Committee paints a familiar picture of Trump associates skirting the law to curry favor with people who can make them richer.

 

This time, the dealing doesn’t involve Russians but Saudis, and it is not about a lavish tower in Moscow but the sale of nuclear power reactors.

 

Negotiations were conducted by people who would stand to gain millions, in apparent disregard of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which sets out explicit procedures and criteria for nuclear cooperation agreements and is intended to thwart proliferation of atomic weapons.

 

Their conflicts of interest “could implicate federal criminal statutes,” according to the report.

 

By ramming through the sale of as much as $80 billion in nuclear power plants, the Trump administration would provide sensitive know-how and materials to a government whose de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has suggested that he may eventually want a nuclear weapon as a hedge against Iran and has shown little concern for what the rest of the world thinks.

 

The report also warned, “Within the United States, strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia - a potential risk to U.S. national security absent adequate safeguards.” ...

 

 






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  # 2185095 21-Feb-2019 22:03
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Multiple reports on different news services that Mueller investigation is wrapping up and will be concluded within days. Stay tuned.

 

 





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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  # 2185101 21-Feb-2019 22:15
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Rikkitic:

 

Multiple reports on different news services that Mueller investigation is wrapping up and will be concluded within days. Stay tuned.

 

 

and ...

 

The Washington Post - Michael Cohen to testify before House panel on Feb. 27

 

February 20 at 8:21 PM

 

 

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, will testify before the House Oversight Committee next week, the panel announced Wednesday night.

 

Cohen will testify at 10 a.m. on Feb. 27, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), said in a statement.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the Oversight Committee is back on, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing,” Cummings said.

 

“Congress has an obligation under the Constitution to conduct independent and robust oversight of the Executive Branch, and this hearing is one step in that process.” ...

 





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  # 2185296 22-Feb-2019 11:18
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kingdragonfly: Alec Baldwin: Trump On SNL. National Emergency press conference

 

 





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  # 2185306 22-Feb-2019 11:36
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The New York Times - In North Carolina, Investigators Find Ballot ‘Scheme’ in House Race

 

Feb. 18, 2019

 


RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina elections regulator said Monday that “a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme” potentially involving more than 1,000 absentee ballots or request forms took place last year in the state’s Ninth Congressional District. ...

 

 

The New York Times - New Election Ordered in North Carolina Race at Center of Fraud Inquiry

 

Feb. 21, 2019

 


RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina election authorities on Thursday ordered a new contest for Congress in the state’s Ninth District after the Republican candidate, confronted by days of evidence that his campaign underwrote an illegal get-out-the-vote effort, abandoned his defense and called for a new vote.

 

The unanimous ruling by the North Carolina State Board of Elections was a startling - and, for Republicans, embarrassing - turn in a case of political chicanery that convulsed North Carolina.

 

It’s become clear to me that the public’s confidence in the Ninth District’s general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted,” the Republican candidate, Mark Harris, said from the witness stand on Thursday afternoon.

 

Mr. Harris’s announcement represented an abrupt collapse of the Republican effort to stave off a new vote in the Ninth, which includes part of Charlotte and runs through much of southeastern North Carolina.

 

But the evangelical pastor’s political surrender came only after a damaging 24 hours for Mr. Harris and his allies; just before Mr. Harris called for a new election, he acknowledged that some of his earlier testimony had been “incorrect.” ...

 

 

Another white Evangelical bites the dust ...





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  # 2185370 22-Feb-2019 13:15
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The New York Times - New Election Ordered in North Carolina Race at Center of Fraud Inquiry

 

 

...  the evangelical pastor’s political surrender came only after a damaging 24 hours for Mr. Harris and his allies; just before Mr. Harris called for a new election, he acknowledged that some of his earlier testimony had been “incorrect.” ...

 

 

It just keeps on getting worse ...

 

 

... Harris’s testimony came the day after his son, John Harris, a federal prosecutor, testified that he warned his father in phone calls and emails that he believed a political operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless had broken the law in a previous election and should not be hired for the 2018 campaign. Mark Harris hired Dowless anyway. ...

 





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  # 2185376 22-Feb-2019 13:28
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Sideface:

 

... Harris’s testimony came the day after his son, John Harris, a federal prosecutor, testified that he warned his father in phone calls and emails that he believed a political operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless had broken the law in a previous election and should not be hired for the 2018 campaign. Mark Harris hired Dowless anyway. ...

 

 

Um, don't evangelicals believe in things like not coveting, not stealing, and not lying?

 

 





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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  # 2185378 22-Feb-2019 13:32
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Rikkitic:

 

Sideface:

 

... Harris’s testimony came the day after his son, John Harris, a federal prosecutor, testified that he warned his father in phone calls and emails that he believed a political operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless had broken the law in a previous election and should not be hired for the 2018 campaign. Mark Harris hired Dowless anyway. ...

 

 

Um, don't evangelicals believe in things like not coveting, not stealing, and not lying?

 

 

 

 

Great sense of humour, R.

 

But if it's for the Big Man in the sky, anything goes.


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  # 2185379 22-Feb-2019 13:34
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Rikkitic:Um, don't evangelicals believe in things like not coveting, not stealing, and not lying?

 

Yeah, but these are American evangelists...





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