AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 174529 times)

Offline RE

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🤡 Trump's losses mount in stunning day of setbacks
« Reply #2145 on: October 12, 2019, 12:35:35 AM »
The rats are jumping ship.  This could be a rout.  :D


RE

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/11/politics/donald-trump-court-rulings-bad-day/index.html

Trump's losses mount in stunning day of setbacks


By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Updated 11:20 PM ET, Fri October 11, 2019
Judges rule against the Trump administration three times in one day


Washington (CNN)Five federal courts dealt blows to President Donald Trump on Friday just as the limits of his legal strategy to block an impeachment inquiry became clear.
It amounted to a challenging end of a challenging week for Trump, who remains consumed by an impeachment crisis that is clouding his presidency.
Within moments of each other, a career diplomat began painting a damning portrait of the President's foreign policy to lawmakers just as Trump lost his appeal in a federal appeals court to stop a House subpoena of his tax documents, which he's guarded fiercely since refusing to make them public as a candidate.
Then, in rapid succession, judges in New York, Texas, Washington state and California sided against Trump administration initiatives meant to limit immigrants from entering the country -- both through a physical barrier and by raising the requirements on migrants seeking legal status.

Friday night, the man in charge of executing much of Trump's immigration agenda, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, submitted his resignation to the President as the legal setbacks mounted. Long in the works, and by all accounts unrelated to the court decisions or the impeachment crisis, the move nonetheless fueled a sense of an administration in flux. McAleenan was the fourth person to serve in that post since the Trump presidency began.
All of the court cases will be appealed. But the rulings added to the sense of Trump's worsening legal fortunes, and Democratic investigations into his finances and foreign activity seemed to gain steam.
A silver lining came in the afternoon, when Trump announced a "phase one" trade agreement with China that he hopes will signal the beginning of the end of a withering trade war. News of the emerging deal sent stocks soaring, even as the President acknowledged it still requires "papering."
Three federal judges hit Trump on immigration policy changes
Three federal judges hit Trump on immigration policy changes
The President remained defiant, telling reporters as he departed the White House for his second rally in two days that he would prevail in the end.
"We'll win," he said. "You know how many cases I've lost and then we win?"
But even as he was speaking, the setbacks were piling up.
A disgruntled deposition
Former US ambassador to Ukraine says Trump wanted her removed and blames 'unfounded and false claims'
Former US ambassador to Ukraine says Trump wanted her removed and blames 'unfounded and false claims'
The trouble began in the morning, when Trump's ousted ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, strode into a deposition on Capitol Hill behind a pair of dark glasses.
Three days earlier, the White House had issued a letter declaring the administration would refuse to comply with Democrats' requests as they speed ahead in their impeachment efforts, saying the proceedings were "illegitimate." Democrats said the White House tried to prevent Yovanovitch's testimony on Thursday evening, so they were forced to issue a subpoena.
In talking points distributed to allies, the White House said that "we are not concerned with any information Yovanovitch might share, because the President did nothing wrong."
But in her prepared testimony, the career diplomat was scathing in her assessment of how Trump conducts foreign policy and of the actions of some of his confidants.
"Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the US government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives," she said in a 10-page statement obtained by The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Yovanovitch's appearance on Capitol Hill illustrates the limits of the legal strategy laid out by Trump's lawyers earlier this week. While the administration has worked to bar officials from appearing before lawmakers, they do not seem able to prevent those officials from complying with subpoenas compelling them to appear.
Already a number of administration officials have signaled they are willing to break with Trump's dictate to not cooperate in the investigation. After his voluntary appearance was derailed by the State Department this week, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland plans to appear next Thursday after being subpoenaed by congressional investigators.
Democrats have also scheduled depositions next week with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl. Fiona Hill, the White House's top Russia adviser, who left the administration in August, has been scheduled to appear for a deposition on Monday.
It's not clear if all intend to appear, and one Trump congressional ally downplayed the testimony of administration officials as defiance of the White House, saying they're doing so only under subpoena.
But the pattern of administration officials choosing Congress over the White House remains a remarkable choice for a President who routinely demands loyalty from those who work for him.
'No authority'
Trump loses appeal to stop House subpoena of tax documents

Trump loses appeal to stop House subpoena of tax documents 02:17
There was another signal Friday that the White House strategy of refusing to cooperate could face an uphill battle. In the tax document ruling, the federal appeals panel wrote it has "no authority" to require the House to take a full vote in support of a subpoena to investigate the President, citing the Constitution.
It's the first major case at the appeals court level in the standoff between the House and Trump. The President so far has lost all of his challenges to stop House subpoenas that have been decided at the trial court level.
Trump may appeal to the Supreme Court to stop the release of his tax records, but courts, including the Supreme Court, previously have refused to curtail Congress' subpoena power.
That ruling preceded a day of setbacks on Trump's immigration agenda, designed around efforts to limit migrants from entering the country.
A federal judge in Texas ruled the President's national emergency declaration to build a border wall unlawful and appeared poised to block the use of those funds. At issue is $3.6 billion in military construction funds that has been diverted to build the wall, which remains one of Trump's chief campaign promises.
Meanwhile, judges in New York, California and Washington state blocked implementation of a Trump administration rule that would make it more difficult for immigrants who rely on public assistance to obtain legal status, just days before the regulation was set to take effect.
Under the proposed rule, many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or limited education because they'd be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future, including most forms of Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.
Trump appeared nonplussed by the immigration setbacks as he departed the White House on Friday afternoon for a rally in Louisiana. He was emerging from a meeting with China's vice premier, where he announced a "phase one" trade deal he said amounted to a "love fest" after months of friction.
"We lost on immigration?" he asked when questioned about the string of rulings. "I haven't heard that. We'll win. We'll turn -- you know how many cases I've lost and then we win?"

Elsewhere, his senior adviser was less sanguine.
"It impedes democracy," Stephen Miller, who leads Trump's efforts on immigration, told reporters in the White House driveway.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 12:42:43 AM by RE »
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Offline RE

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🤡 ‘Stop talking’: Trump advisers want Giuliani dumped
« Reply #2146 on: October 13, 2019, 04:28:07 AM »
So when does Rudi get thrown under the bus?

RE

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/12/rudy-giuliani-trump-interviews-044791

‘Stop talking’: Trump advisers want Giuliani dumped


Trump allies felt Giuliani's free-wheeling monologues were hurting the president. And that was before the ex-New York mayor's business associates got arrested.
Rudy Giuliani

“As long as [Rudy] Giuliani is doing battle with the president’s perceived critics and opponents, that’s what matters to the president,” GOP strategist Kevin Madden said. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

By ANITA KUMAR and DARREN SAMUELSOHN

10/12/2019 06:42 AM EDT

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For weeks, prominent Republican advisers have been privately imploring President Donald Trump to sideline Rudy Giuliani after a barrage of inconsistent, combative and occasionally cringe-inducing media interviews, according to three people familiar with the conversations.

And that was before the arrest of two foreign-born businessmen who reportedly helped Giuliani try to discredit former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democrat to take on Trump in next year’s election. Several reports have indicated Giuliani himself may be caught up in the probe.

Story Continued Below

Yet Trump remains linked to Giuliani, who was initially hired to help fend of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigators, but who now may have pulled the president into another investigation — one that might lead to impeachment. While the president has long appreciated Giuliani’s pugnacious and never-back-down attitude, Trump allies fear Giuliani will damage Trump with his long-winded monologues and free-wheeling accusations.

Story Continued Below

The constant sniping from staff could ultimately force Trump to dump his long-valued fixer, as he has done with former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and countless other ousted officials, like ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

“Rudy Giuliani needs to stop talking,” said a former campaign official who remains close to Trump’s team.

Giuliani has been Trump’s attack dog since he was hired as an unpaid personal attorney April 2018. But the president’s personal lawyer has now found himself at the center of an unfolding controversy over the president’s attempts to get the Ukrainian president to open an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter.

To numerous Trump advisers, though, the appearances have hurt more than they’ve helped the president.

“Rudy right now needs to focus on himself and not Ukraine,” said an outside Trump adviser.
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Watch everything that's happened since Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry

For now, Trump is sticking with Giuliani, or “My Rudy,” as Giuliani said the president sometimes calls him. “Nothing has changed on that,” said Giuliani’s own attorney, Jon Sale. Trump plans to keep using Giuliani on everything but Ukraine matters because they know he’s a witness if this goes to impeachment, according to a source familiar with the legal team’s strategy.

Story Continued Below
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Trump said late Friday he didn't know if Giuliani was still his attorney. “I haven't spoken to Rudy,” he said. “I spoke to him yesterday, briefly. He's a very good attorney and he has been my attorney.”

That’s good for Trump, Giuliani argued.

“I’m not a puppy — I know what I’m doing,” he said. If he didn’t represent Trump, Giuliani added, “they would let him be a punching bag.”

In a text on Saturday morning, Giuliani replied to the two most pressing questions he’s facing. “No knowledge of any probe. Still President’s counsel in same way as before…no change,” he wrote.

In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump wrote: "So now they are after the legendary “crime buster” and greatest Mayor in the history of NYC, Rudy Giuliani. He may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes, but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer."

At least one Republican suggested Giuliani would not leave even if Trump wanted him to. Either way, Giuliani is not going away, given his central role in the budding Ukraine controversy.

Giuliani fed Trump the information that largely led the president in a phone call to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The former New York mayor had spent months trying to make contact with Ukrainian officials to collect evidence and convince them that they should be looking at Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian gas company and Joe Biden’s Obama-era efforts to have a Ukrainian prosecutor removed over corruption concerns. There is no public evidence that either Joe or Hunter Biden broke any laws.

House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry after Trump’s request was revealed, spurring Giuliani to blanket the airwaves with his bulldog defenses of the president. Democrats have also subpoenaed Giuliani for documents and testimony related to his Ukraine activities, setting off a battle that’s likely to drag on for weeks.

Don Goldberg, who helped respond to congressional investigations in the Clinton White House, said Giuliani shouldn’t be helping Trump when he’s facing his own problems.

“It’s so messed up,” he said. “You’d think a president would want to have competent counsel if you’re talking about fighting for your political life. We’re so far not seeing that with the caliber he’s been using.”

Giuliani suggested in an interview this week that his television appearances could be reduced now that Trump’s legal team is expanding.

Some also speculated that the recent addition of former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to the Trump impeachment legal team was an attempt to reduce Giuliani’s appearances on the airwaves.

Although Gowdy — who led the congressional investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response to in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks — won’t start as a Trump attorney until January, he could appear as a surrogate on television in the meantime.
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Story Continued Below

Democrats initially launched an investigation into Trump on Sept. 24 after learning about his call with Zelensky.

And Giuliani has been talking — a lot.

On Sept. 19, he denied he asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, only to admit it 30 seconds later.

On Sept. 24, he blew up at radio host Christopher Hahn during a joint television appearance, calling him a “moron” and an “idiot.”

On Oct. 6, he yelled at TV host Howard Kurtz, putting his fingers to his lips to shush him in the middle of the interview.

And in a series of phone interviews, Giuliani described himself both as a “hero” and the real “whistleblower” in the Ukraine saga, questioning why anyone would praise the person who initially raised concerns about Trump’s call.

“If I get killed now, you won’t get the rest of the story,” he warned POLITICO last month.

Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor who has written books on impeachment, said Giuliani’s primary legal role is to appear on television.

“That’s helping facilitate the political arguments the president is making,” he said. “But at some point, if impeachment gets any traction, you’re going to need somebody that can speak more clearly and more powerfully with respect to the different points of the impeachment articles that may be drafted and ratified.”

Giuliani said he and Jay Sekulow, another Trump attorney, are still working for Trump because they successfully represented Trump during Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

“Jay and I got us through the last one, not the peanut gallery,” Giuliani said. “The president has made his views quite well known.”

It’s not the first time prominent Republicans have complained to Trump about Giuliani. But those same allies say the situation has grown dire since the House opened its impeachment inquiry.

“I think he’s massively hurting,” said a person close to the Trump campaign. “His TV appearances are so confused and contradictory, he’s creating an impression of internal chaos.”

“He’s inarticulate,” said a Republican who speaks to the president. “Rudy hurts the president with inconsistent, confusing messages.”

One former senior administration official described it this way when asked what Trump’s strategy against impeachment should be: “Hopefully Rudy will be on the space shuttle.”

So far, Trump has not heeded the advice.

“As long as Giuliani is doing battle with the president’s perceived critics and opponents, that’s what matters to the president,” said Republican strategist Kevin Madden, who worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. “The efficiency of the performance isn't as important as the willingness to do battle.”

Story Continued Below

Trump admires Giuliani’s brand, his loyalty and his Trump-like style, according to people familiar with their relationship. He has both political and legal experience at the national level, and has known the president for decades.

“They have a brotherly relationship,” said a second Republican who speaks to the president. “He likes his combative style.”

Giuliani’s reputation soared after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when he was dubbed “America’s Mayor.” These days, he’s regularly mocked on late-night shows and “Saturday Night Live.” His favorable ratings dipped to their lowest point in 2018 since Gallup began their polling on him in 2004.

Still, Trump supporters credit him with helping the president survive the Mueller investigation — and now exposing the Biden allegations.

At the White House Friday, senior aide Stephen Miller forcefully defended Giuliani. “You should all be grateful Rudy Giuliani is helping to shine a light on the endemic corruption that occurred while Joe Biden was vice president,” he told reporters, alluding to unsubstantiated claims that Biden got a Ukrainian prosecutor fired to protect his son.

Republican strategist John Feehery said Trump loves what he is doing. “If this were any other president, Rudy would be a disaster,” he said. “There is a method to the madness. The goal is to always stay on offense and not be defensive.”

But there was at least one sign that Trump might be tiring of Giuliani.

On Thursday, the president told reporters he didn’t know the two Giuliani associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — charged with sending foreign money to U.S. political campaigns. Then, he turned the attention squarely back to Giuliani.

“You'd have to ask Rudy,” he said.

Ben Schreckinger contributed to this report.
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Offline RE

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Think this vid will make it on to Utoob?

RE

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/13/violence-against-journalists-trump-event-046541

Press organization condemns fake massacre by Trump depicted at pro-Trump event


The Trump National Doral clubhouse in Florida is seen in 2016. | Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

By DAVID COHEN

10/13/2019 11:46 PM EDT

Updated: 10/14/2019 12:16 AM EDT


The White House Correspondents’ Association on Sunday night condemned “a video reportedly shown” at a pro-Trump event held at a Trump resort in Miami that depicted graphic violence against journalists and various political figures.

“The WHCA is horrified by a video reportedly shown over the weekend at a political conference organized by the President’s supporters at the Trump National Doral in Miami,“ said the statement, issued in the name of WHCA president Jonathan Karl.

Story Continued Below

“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents. We have previously told the President his rhetoric could incite violence. Now we call on him and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society.”

Story Continued Below

The WHCA statement followed a report Sunday in the New York Times of a graphic video shown to Trump supporters at a conference at the Florida facility.

The Times report said: “The video, which includes the logo for Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, comprises a series of internet memes. The most violent clip shows Mr. Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a man opening fire inside the ‘Church of Fake News‘ on parishioners who have the faces of his critics or the logos of media organizations superimposed on their bodies.“

POLITICO was among the news organizations shown as targets of the Trump violence.

Besides journalists, other targets depicted include the late John McCain, California Reps. Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Trump character in the video shoots, stab and beats his victims; at one point, he sets Bernie Sanders’ head on fire. Other past and present election rivals also are depicted.

The footage seems to have been converted for political use from a 2014 movie, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The parallel scene in that movie depicts a massacre inside a church in Kentucky triggered by an evil tycoon portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.

Alex Phillips of American Priority, the group organizing the event in Miami, told the Times that the video was produced by an outside organization.

Trump has frequently attacked what he calls “fake news“ generated by many news organizations throughout his presidency, sometimes directly attacking a specific news organization or reporter, sometimes attacking the media as a whole. In recent months, he has even attacked his favored news outlet, Fox News. The president also regularly heaps scorn on journalists covering his campaign rallies.
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Offline Surly1

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Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort
« Reply #2148 on: October 14, 2019, 04:49:39 AM »
More...

Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort
By Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman



Updated Oct. 14, 2019, 12:03 a.m. ET
A scene from a video depicting a fake President Trump massacring the news media and his critics that was shown at a conference for his supporters at Trump National Doral Miami last week.
A scene from a video depicting a fake President Trump massacring the news media and his critics that was shown at a conference for his supporters at Trump National Doral Miami last week.
WASHINGTON — A video depicting a macabre scene of a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters at his Miami resort last week, according to footage obtained by The New York Times.

Several of Mr. Trump’s top surrogates — including his son Donald Trump Jr., his former spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis — were scheduled to speak at the three-day conference, which was held by a pro-Trump group, American Priority, at Trump National Doral Miami. Ms. Sanders and a person close to Mr. Trump’s son said on Sunday that they did not see the video at the conference.

The video, which includes the logo for Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, comprises a series of internet memes. The most violent clip shows Mr. Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a man opening fire inside the “Church of Fake News” on parishioners who have the faces of his critics or the logos of media organizations superimposed on their bodies. It appears to be an edited scene of a church massacre from the 2014 dark comedy film “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

The disclosure that the video was played shows how Mr. Trump’s anti-media language has influenced his supporters and bled into their own propaganda. Mr. Trump has made attacks on the news media a mainstay of his presidency, and he tweeted a similar — but far less violent video — in 2017. In recent weeks as he has confronted impeachment proceedings, he has ramped up his attacks on the news media, repeatedly calling it the “enemy of the people.”

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A person who attended the conference last week took a video of the clip on his phone and had an intermediary send it to a reporter for The Times. Parts of the video were posted on YouTube in 2018 by a user with a history of creating pro-Trump mash-ups.

The organizer of the event said in a statement on Sunday that the clip had been played at the conference, saying it was part of a “meme exhibit.” He denounced the video and said his organization was looking into how it was shown at the event.

“Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity,” said the organizer, Alex Phillips. “American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech. This matter is under review.”

Organizers declined to say exactly where at Mr. Trump’s resort the video was shown.

A person close to Mr. Trump’s son said he was unaware that the video had been played at the conference. Ms. Sanders said she was unaware of the video’s existence until a Times reporter contacted her.

“I was there to speak at a prayer breakfast, where I spoke about unity and bringing the country together,” Ms. Sanders said. “I wasn’t aware of any video, nor do I support violence of any kind against anyone.”

A spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign said he knew nothing about the video.

“That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence,” said Tim Murtaugh, the spokesman.

A DeSantis spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The video depicts a scene inside the “Church of Fake News,” where parishioners rise as Mr. Trump — dressed in a black pinstripe suit and tie — walks down the aisle. Many parishioners’ faces have been replaced with the logos of news media organizations, including PBS, NPR, Politico, The Washington Post and NBC.

Mr. Trump stops in the middle of the church, pulls a gun out of his suit jacket pocket and begins a graphic rampage. As the parishioners try to flee, the president fires at them. He shoots Black Lives Matter in the head, and also shoots Vice News.

Some of those in the church try to apprehend Mr. Trump. He fends them off and makes his way toward the altar, knocking over several pews. He wrestles a parishioner with a Vice News logo as a face to the ground and then shoots the person at point blank range. In the background, the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, is seen trying to get away.

From there, Mr. Trump attacks a range of his critics. He strikes the late Arizona senator John McCain in the back of the neck. He hits the television personality Rosie O’Donnell in the face and then stabs her in the head. He strikes Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California. He lights the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential rival, on fire.

He takes Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, hostage before throwing him to the ground. Then he strikes former President Barack Obama in the back and throws him against a wall.

Others shown in the video include Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former President Bill Clinton; the film producer Harvey Weinstein; and Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is overseeing an impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump.

The clip ends with Mr. Trump putting a stake into the head of a person with a CNN logo for a face. Mr. Trump then stands on the altar, admiring his rampage, and smiles.

The video is similar in style to one Mr. Trump tweeted in July 2017, in which he is shown at a wrestling match body slamming CNN’s logo and beating it up. The president was roundly criticized for encouraging violence against journalists by posting that clip, but his supporters enjoyed it, and helped make the tweet viral.

Throughout his 2016 campaign and presidency, Mr. Trump has sought to demonize the news media, partly out of frustration about the coverage of his administration and partly because he likes to have an opponent to target. Mr. Trump has also sought to undermine confidence in the mainstream media, some of his advisers acknowledge privately, to make people doubt the accuracy of less favorable accounts of what goes on in his administration.

The president said at a rally on Friday that there was an “unholy alliance of corrupt Democrat politicians, deep-state bureaucrats and the fake news media.”
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Donald Trump’s tweet comparing himself to a serial killer goes off the rails
« Reply #2149 on: October 14, 2019, 06:28:55 AM »
Donald Trump’s tweet comparing himself to a serial killer goes off the rails

If there’s no rule that says you should never try to win an argument by comparing yourself to a serial killer, it’s only because up to now, no such rule has been needed. But leave it to Donald Trump to be the one to go there, and to do it in a particularly idiotic manner.

Trump has largely abandoned all pretense of innocence in his whistleblower scandal, and he’s instead become obsessed with the idea that the impeachment process isn’t being carried out in a proper manner. The Constitution makes clear that the House is supposed to decide whether to bring charges against the president, which means that it acts like a grand jury, which means the president doesn’t get to participate in the process. The president only gets to mount a formal defense if impeachment makes it to the Senate, where he’ll be on trial.

Because Trump can’t read, he’s not familiar with this constitutional concept. And because he has less self awareness than a grapefruit, he seemed to think that this tweet was a good idea: Serial killers get more Due Process than the Democrats give to the President of the United States.”

That’s right, the guy who is currently having America’s Kurdish allies murdered is now trying to paint himself as being the victim by comparing himself to a serial killer. It’s all a little too on the nose. If this were a scene in a movie script, it’d be rejected for being too unrealistic to be believable.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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I forsee a lot more stonewalling.  Somebody eventually will jump ship though.

RE

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-officials-facing-subpoena-deadlines-possible-consequences-1465071

Here Are All Trump Officials Facing Subpoena Deadlines About Ukraine And What Will Happen if They Don't Comply
By Alexandra Hutzler On 10/14/19 at 11:57 AM EDT


U.S.
Trump administration
Ukraine

Several top officials from the Trump administration face subpoena deadlines this week for material relating to the president's dealings with Ukraine, as House Democrats continue full steam ahead with their impeachment inquiry.

Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and others have been asked to turn over documents and could face fines or even jail time if they do not comply with lawmakers' requests.

Esper, along with acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, was subpoenaed earlier this month as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. The two officials have until Tuesday to hand over the requested information.

In their letters to Esper and Vought, House Democrats said they were investigating whether President Donald Trump jeopardized national security by trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. They are also looking at material related to why the White House decided to delay nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also face a subpoena deadline for documents dealing with the Ukraine matter. Both officials have until Friday to turn over the material.

House Democrats have also requested records from Pence in order to better understand Trump's actions. Lawmakers asked for a lengthy list of materials detailing the president's contact with Ukraine, to be produced by Tuesday. After receiving the request, Pence's office quickly signaled that the vice president may not cooperate.

It's unclear whether these officials will comply with the requests. White House lawyers sent a letter to congressional Democrats last week notifying them that Trump and members of his administration would not be cooperating in the impeachment inquiry. The attorneys argued that the probe was an illegitimate effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Other officials and agencies that have been issued subpoenas as part of the impeachment inquiry include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the Pentagon.
donald trump cooperation impeachment inquiry
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 4. Several Trump officials have been subpoenaed by House Democrats as part of their impeachment investigation, but the White House has said neither the president nor his administration will comply with the inquiry. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

If an official does not comply with a request, Congress can respond with a number of actions. Lawmakers could hold the person in contempt and ask for the Justice Department to bring a case against him or her. If the person is found guilty, the maximum punishment for a federal contempt charge is a $100,000 fine and one year in jail. House Democrats could also file a civil lawsuit against the official, in which they would ask a court to enforce the subpoena.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN last week that officials who choose to ignore subpoenas and other requests do so at their "own peril."

"You know, a subpoena is a very serious document. It literally means under penalty if you don't show up. There is a penalty—jailing and fines and that sort of thing. So subpoenas will be received by all of the people that the Congress wants to talk to," Himes said.
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While they are not members of the Trump administration, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Giuliani associates, face a Wednesday subpoena deadline. The men were arrested trying to flee the country last week and charged with campaign finance violations.

The subpoenas were issued the same day that Parnas and Fruman were indicted by federal prosecutors. The foreign-born businessmen had been working with Giuliani to dig up dirt on Biden and his son Hunter in regard to their business dealings in Ukraine.
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Offline Surly1

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Fiona Hill just dropped a house on Donald Trump
« Reply #2151 on: October 15, 2019, 05:28:06 AM »
Fiona Hill just dropped a house on Donald Trump



Donald Trump’s former National Security Council official Fiona Hill testified to the House impeachment inquiry today. It was behind closed doors, but just enough details have leaked out to make clear how badly it went for Donald Trump. In fact it’s starting to look like she just dropped a house on him.

Fiona Hill, a career professional who has never shown any inkling of personal loyalty to Donald Trump, ended up testifying for roughly ten hours, according to NBC News. This alone is bad news for Trump, as it means she had plenty of relevant information to give the committee. Then Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, who was in the hearing, stepped in front of the cameras.

Congressman Heck said that Fiona Hill knew her stuff and that she displayed a nearly “eidetic memory” of the events that transpired. He then addressed the fact that some House Republicans are complaining about the closed-door nature of her testimony, saying “They are darn lucky it wasn’t public.”

In other words, Fiona Hill just nailed Donald Trump to the wall. The mere fact that she was testifying today appeared to motivate Gordon Sondland to leak that he plans to throw his ally Trump under the bus during his own testimony this week, ostensibly so Sondland doesn’t take the fall for everything that Hill just spelled out. Before too long, Hill’s testimony transcript will be publicly released, and based on Heck’s assessment, it’ll be devastating to Trump.

*. *. *

John Bolton just completely blew up Donald Trump, Mick Mulvaney, and Rudy Giuliani

| 11:30 pm EDT October 14, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

It was a matter of time before former National Security Adviser John Bolton, a vindictive and bloodthirsty man with an axe to grind against Donald Trump, decided to start exacting his revenge. Even as the dam is breaking when it comes to impeachment witnesses and testimony, Bolton is throwing well, everyone under the bus.

John Bolton was so disturbed by Donald Trump’s Ukraine extortion plan, he told Fiona Hill to document all of it to National Security Council lawyers, according to a bombshell report on Monday night from the New York Times. It appears the article is sourced to Hill’s testimony earlier today. Not only did Bolton try to blow up the extortion scheme, he referred to it as a “drug deal” while fingering Rudy Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney in particular for running point on the scheme. Bolton also told Hill that Giuliani was a “hand grenade” and that he was going to blow up everyone involved.

This means John Bolton will inevitably end up giving cooperative testimony to the House impeachment inquiry himself. But it appears Fiona Hill has already relayed Bolton’s revelations to the House today in her testimony, meaning House Democrats now have it for the record. From everything that’s leaking out, it appears Gordon Sondland will also vouch for Bolton’s and Hill’s version of events when he testifies this week.

Rudy Giuliani is already near arrest for his role in the Ukraine scandal. Mick Mulvaney is already being scapegoated by the White House Counsel, and we wonder if he’ll last the week. Donald Trump is, well, being impeached.


"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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I forsee a lot more stonewalling.  Somebody eventually will jump ship though.

RE

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-officials-facing-subpoena-deadlines-possible-consequences-1465071

Here Are All Trump Officials Facing Subpoena Deadlines About Ukraine And What Will Happen if They Don't Comply


Well, Fiona Hill and Marie Yovanovitch have been a one-two punch this week. And it's still early. Gordon Sundland is going to testify later.

Trump’s ex-Russia adviser told impeachment investigators of Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine


Former White House adviser Fiona Hill spent roughly 10 hours with impeachment investigators Monday. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser, told impeachment investigators on Monday that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvented U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President Trump, according to people familiar with her testimony.

Hill, who served as the senior official for Russia and Europe on the National Security Council, was the latest witness in a fast-moving impeachment inquiry focused on whether the president abused his office by using the promise of military aid and diplomatic support to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals.

In a closed-door session that lasted roughly 10 hours, Hill told lawmakers that she confronted Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about Giuliani’s activities which, she testified, were not coordinated with the officials responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy, these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to disclose details of her deposition.

Sondland played a leading role in the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to open investigations of the president’s political rivals, text messages obtained and later released by House Democrats show. Three congressional committees are now probing how Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, as well as a debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election in an attempt to damage Trump’s candidacy.

The Fact Checker unravels what happened when Trump tried to force an investigation into the false rumor about then-Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine. (Meg Kelly, Sarah Cahlan/The Washington Post)

Sondland is set to appear before lawmakers later this week.

And in a sign the impeachment inquiry is widening, investigators were discussing whether to question John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. Bolton was Hill’s direct superior at the NSC.

Hill testified Monday that Bolton was furious over Giuliani’s politically motivated activities in Ukraine, two officials familiar with her testimony said. She recounted how Bolton likened the former New York mayor to a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” one of these people said, after Bolton learned about Giuliani’s Ukraine campaign.

Bolton and Sondland met in early July with then-special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Hill and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. During the meeting, Sondland’s agenda for Ukraine began to become clear, when he blurted out to the other officials present that there were “investigations that were dropped that need to be started up again,” according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter. The officials understood him to be referring to Burisma, the energy company, and Biden — something that made Bolton go “ballistic” after the meeting, the official said.

Hill told lawmakers that after the meeting, Bolton instructed her to go raise their concerns about the shadow Ukraine operations with White House lawyers. Bolton said he didn’t want to be part of any “drug deal” that was being cooked up on Ukraine, one person familiar with Hill’s testimony said.

Hill met with NSC lawyer John Eisenberg to express her concerns about Giuliani’s activities and how they were being carried out by Sondland and Volker, people familiar with the matter said.

Attempts to reach Hill and Bolton on Monday night were unsuccessful.

“Rudy Giuliani has clearly been a leading force for the administration in defining a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters after emerging from Hill’s testimony, though he declined to say whether Hill testified to that effect. “There was an official foreign policy, which was attempting to counter corruption in Ukraine, and then there was Rudy Giuliani and the gang that couldn’t shoot straight who worked for him, who were involved precisely [in] connecting with corruption in Ukraine and promoting corruption in Ukraine.”

Giuliani on Monday night said: “I don’t know Fiona and can’t figure out what she is talking about,” adding that his contact with Ukrainian officials was set up with the State Department.

“I reported everything back to them,” he said. “Nothing shadowy about it.”

Giuliani also said he believed Hill was out of the loop compared to Sondland and others involved with Ukraine. “She just didn’t know,” he said. He added he’d never talked to her about Ukraine policy.

‘Disruptive diplomat’ Gordon Sondland, a key figure in Trump impeachment furor, long coveted ambassadorship

Hill, who left the NSC voluntarily this summer, worked closely on Ukraine matters with two diplomats who have become central to the impeachment inquiry. One, Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified last week about her understanding of Giuliani’s efforts to remove her from her post. Giuliani and some of his allies in Ukraine saw Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, as a threat to their financial and political interests, she told lawmakers last week.

Hill told the committees that she was infuriated by Yovanovitch’s ouster. The ambassador, who had a reputation for combating corruption in Ukraine, told impeachment investigators last week that her departure came as a direct result of pressure Trump placed on the State Department to remove her.

Raskin, speaking Monday after Hill’s deposition, said that Yovanovitch was the “victim of a political hit job,” but that both she and Hill would be consideredheroes after the impeachment inquiry concludes.

Hill also worked closely with Sondland, who in text messages appeared to defend Trump against the allegation that he was pursuing investigations in exchange for U.S. support to Ukraine.

Sondland plans to tell impeachment investigators Thursday that the content of a text message he sent to the chief U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, insisting there was no quid pro quo in play, was given to him directly by Trump in a phone call, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Sondland also plans to tell lawmakers he has no knowledge of whether the president was telling him the truth. “It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth,” a person familiar with Sondland’s planned testimony told The Post over the weekend.

This week is shaping up to be one of the most active in the four-week-old impeachment inquiry. Administration officials are facing a series of deadlines to turn over documents that investigators say are relevant to their inquiry.

Vice President Pence, Perry, Giuliani and officials at the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget have all been served with document requests about the administration’s policies in Ukraine and in some cases their own interactions with Ukrainian officials.

Two of Giuliani’s clients, charged last week with violations of campaign finance law, also face a Wednesday deadline for documents. They were instrumental in setting up meetings for Giuliani with Ukrainian officials he felt could be useful to Trump’s political interests.

Lawmakers also expect to hear testimony from other witnesses, including on Tuesday from George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, whom Giuliani and conservative media figures have accused of trying to protect the Bidens from an investigation and of working at the behest of billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundation has funded anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.

The committees plan to hear as well from Ambassador William “Bill” Taylor, who features prominently in the text messages with Sondland, questioning whether the administration was withholding aid in exchange for Ukraine launching investigations.

Michael McKinley, who resigned last week as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant director of defense, will also appear for testimony, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hill served on the National Security Council as senior director for Russia and Europe from mid-2017 until the week before Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone on July 25. During their conversation, Trump asked Zelensky to do him a “favor” by investigating Biden and the claim of Ukrainian interference in the U.S. election, according to a memorandum documenting the call that was released last month by the White House.

She appeared Monday on Capitol Hill under congressional subpoena, as the Trump administration has sought to block current and former officials from testifying in the impeachment probe.

Hill, who previously served on the National Intelligence Council during the George W. Bush administration, is known for being a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an institutionalist — stances that put her at odds with Trump’s embrace of Russia’s resurgent role in the region and with Giuliani’s style of maneuvering in Ukraine.

Almost as soon as her testimony began, the proceeding was disrupted by a partisan dispute. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) attempted to sit in on the deposition “as a member of Congress,” he said, arguing that “if Adam Schiff and the House Democrats were so proud of their work, they would be willing to show it.” Gaetz sits on the Judiciary Committee but not on any of the three panels conducting the impeachment inquiry.

Schiff (Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Democrats’ point man on the impeachment probe, objected to Gaetz joining. The question was then put to a parliamentarian, who decided that Gaetz should leave the room, which he did.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Gaetz continued to deride the proceedings as a “sham or charade,” lamenting that because the full House has not voted on an impeachment process, “there are no rules,” and thus his presence should have been permitted.

Republicans also have argued that full transcripts of the depositions should be made public, a request that Democrats have so far declined. The Constitution gives the House broad authority to conduct an impeachment and says nothing about how proceedings should be held.

Speaking at an event Monday evening in New York, Schiff said that lawmakers would release all transcripts of the depositions, adding that some witnesses who have testified behind closed doors may return in open session.

The White House has refused to participate in the inquiry, asserting that Trump is owed “due process” to call his own witnesses and cross-examine those called by the Democrats.

Josh Dawsey, Felicia Sonmez and Greg Miller contributed to this report.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Fiona Hill just dropped a house on Donald Trump
« Reply #2153 on: October 15, 2019, 05:38:57 AM »
When it rains, it pours.  Spain isn't the only place that gets precipitation.

As I said, somebody was bound to CYA and spill the beans.

Now the only question is how long before the House votes to impeach?

RE
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Re: Fiona Hill just dropped a house on Donald Trump
« Reply #2154 on: October 15, 2019, 05:54:43 AM »
When it rains, it pours.  Spain isn't the only place that gets precipitation.

As I said, somebody was bound to CYA and spill the beans.

Now the only question is how long before the House votes to impeach?

RE

Here's another good question for you.  On the off chance Trumpty Dumpty falls of the wall and enough Repugnant Senators decide its time to throw him under the bus BEFORE the election, who do the Repugnant run for POTUS?

Now Mike Pensky get installed as POTUS in theory, but he also is implicated in this clusterfuck.  He might get impeached also.  In that case, speaker of the House is next in line as the Provisional POTUS, aka Nancy Pelosi.  lol.

So who would the Repugnants put up as candidate?  Catcher's Mitt Romney?  Jeff Flake?  Rush Limbaugh?

Speculation :hi:

RE
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Re: Fiona Hill just dropped a house on Donald Trump
« Reply #2155 on: October 15, 2019, 06:21:24 AM »
When it rains, it pours.  Spain isn't the only place that gets precipitation.

As I said, somebody was bound to CYA and spill the beans.

Now the only question is how long before the House votes to impeach?

RE

Here's another good question for you.  On the off chance Trumpty Dumpty falls of the wall and enough Repugnant Senators decide its time to throw him under the bus BEFORE the election, who do the Repugnant run for POTUS?

Now Mike Pensky get installed as POTUS in theory, but he also is implicated in this clusterfuck.  He might get impeached also.  In that case, speaker of the House is next in line as the Provisional POTUS, aka Nancy Pelosi.  lol.

So who would the Repugnants put up as candidate?  Catcher's Mitt Romney?  Jeff Flake?  Rush Limbaugh?

Speculation :hi:

RE

Excellent question. Probably depends on public opinion. If pence is implicated, it could be Mittens. But Pence is doing his oleaginous best to position himself to the inside of the track.
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Wow this latest leak about Turkey is messed up, even for Rudy Giuliani
« Reply #2156 on: October 16, 2019, 08:09:25 AM »
Wow this latest leak about Turkey is messed up, even for Rudy Giuliani



As Rudy Giuliani’s life of crime flashes before him and he prepares himself to be arrested by the SDNY, he’s declared that he no longer needs a lawyer to represent him. But the details leaking out about Rudy’s criminal scheming are now leaking out more quickly than ever, and this latest one is messed up even by his deranged standards.

Rudy Giuliani tried to have Donald Trump scoop up a guy in Pennsylvania and ship him overseas to Turkey, according to a report tonight from the Washington Post. If this storyline sounds familiar, it’s because two years ago it was reported that Michael Flynn basically tried to do the same thing. It turns out, after Flynn got fired for being a foreign asset and ended up pleading guilty to a felony, Rudy stepped in and tried the same crap.

What stands out here is that Rudy Giuliani must have been on the payroll of the Turkish government, or he wouldn’t have been pushing such a maniacal and risky plot – particularly after Flynn had just gotten caught trying the same thing. This comes just hours after the SDNY brought criminal charges against a Turkish bank for a multimillion dollar money laundering scheme that was spearheaded by Rudy’s former legal client Reza Zarrab, and one day after a report that the SDNY has already sifted through Rudy’s bank records.

The bottom line: if Rudy Giuliani is indeed on the payroll of the Turkish government, or of a company affiliated with the Erdogan regime, the SDNY already has him nailed for it. Notably, this new leak about Rudy trying to have a guy extradited is sourced to “multiple former administration officials” – which means Donald Trump’s former people are joining the SDNY in trying to take Rudy down for his crimes.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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🤡 War of words at the White House
« Reply #2157 on: October 17, 2019, 12:36:40 AM »
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/466206-war-of-words-at-the-white-house

War of words at the White House
By Jordain Carney and Rebecca Kheel - 10/16/19 07:55 PM EDT

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Hh4hzTZNdEA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Hh4hzTZNdEA</a>

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President Trump poured fuel on the fire in his fight with Congress over Syria, lashing out at Democrats during a closed-door White House meeting on Wednesday and sparring publicly with Republican allies.

The chaotic day was a U-turn from earlier this week when the administration applied new sanctions on Turkey in an effort to combat fierce criticism from Capitol Hill and when Republicans were dialing back their furor in an effort to get on the same page as Trump.

But the unity effort went off the rails in a closed-door meeting between Trump, congressional leadership and key committee members, which was preceded by hours of fighting between Trump and lawmakers.
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Congressional Democrats and sources say the president used the meeting to fume at Democrats and former administration officials, at one point calling Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a “third-rate politician” and former Defense Secretary James Mattis “the world’s most overrated general.”

“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say,” Pelosi told reporters after she left the meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

“We have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president,” she added after returning to the Capitol.

Schumer said Trump was “insulting” to Pelosi.

“She kept her cool completely, but he called her a third-rate politician,” Schumer said. “I mean, this was not a dialogue. It was sort of a diatribe, a nasty diatribe.”

A Democratic source familiar with how the meeting transpired said it “devolved into the president calling the Speaker a name. He was quite nasty, so she stood up to go. She started to sit back down but Rep. Hoyer got her to go. Pelosi and Hoyer walked out of the meeting.”

The source added that when Pelosi and Hoyer were preparing to walk out of the meeting, Trump said to them: “I’ll see you at the polls.”

The White House hit back at Democrats in a statement and defended Trump. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham described Trump as “measured, factual and decisive.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising. She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues,” Grisham said.
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She also knocked Democrats for leaving the meeting, saying they “chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine” while “everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.”

The standoff at the White House was the latest twist in a dramatic Wednesday that started with Republicans and Trump moving toward the same page and ended with the president waging a high-stakes battle with Democrats and GOP allies alike.

“I think he just needs to understand that this was a mistake and he needs to work with us,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters, outlining his hopes for the meeting.
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Trump infuriated Republicans when he dismissed the Kurds during an Oval Office meeting by saying they were “no angels.” He also downplayed the need for the United States to become actively involved in ending Turkey’s military invasion of Syria, saying “it’s not our border.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered an unprompted defense of the Kurds during his weekly press conference, and characterized Trump’s decision to pull back troops as a “mistake.”

“I don’t know how many times I need to say it, and I think I’m speaking for most members of my conference, that this was a mistake and I hope it can be repaired,” McConnell said.

Told about Trump’s comments, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added: “Oh my goodness gracious. Oh my goodness gracious.”

“Abandoning them was a very dark moment in American history,” he added. “The door was opened for what is occurring by the decision taken by the administration. So for us to be shocked and to look at Turkey and say, ‘My goodness, we can’t believe what you’re doing’ — we were the ones who opened that door.”

The pushback is a stark reversal from Tuesday, or even earlier Wednesday, when Republicans seemed to be making an effort to align themselves with Trump after he announced sanctions on Turkey and deputized Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to travel to Turkey to try to negotiate an offramp.

Underscoring the reversal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) started Wednesday by publicly blaming Turkey for the current situation in Syria. By lunchtime, he was locked in another spat with Trump, who publicly called him out during a meeting at the White House.

“I think I’m elected to have a say about our national security, that in my view what is unfolding in Syria is going to be a disaster. I hope I’m wrong. I will not be quiet,” Graham told reporters. “The president’s decision here, I think, is the biggest mistake of his presidency. And I will not ever be quiet — I will not ever be quiet about matters of national security.”

He added in a tweet that Trump “appears to be hell-bent on making the same mistakes in Syria as President Obama made in Iraq.”

The House and Senate were supposed to receive classified briefings on the situation Thursday, but the briefings were nixed.

Pelosi tweeted Wednesday afternoon she was “deeply concerned that the White House has canceled an all-Member classified briefing on the dangerous situation the President has caused in Syria, denying the Congress its right to be informed as it makes decisions about our national security.”

A Senate aide confirmed that the upper chamber’s briefing was canceled, as well.

A Democratic aide told The Hill that the White House gave “no credible justification” for the cancellation.

The canceled briefings came hours after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to oppose withdrawing from Syria and to back the Kurds, a symbolic rebuke of Trump’s strategy.

In a 354-60 vote — with 129 Republicans voting “yes” — the House passed a resolution from Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) that “opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in northeast Syria.

It also calls on Turkey to end its military action, says the United States should protect the Kurds and calls on the White House “to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

While the resolution condemns Trump’s decision, the president is named just once in the measure, when it notes he spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 6.

Nonetheless, Pelosi said Trump appeared “shaken” by the overwhelming nature of the House vote.

In his remarks after the White House meeting, Schumer called on McConnell to take up the resolution. A Senate version of the measure has been introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

“We urge Leader McConnell to not just condemn the president, but put this resolution on the floor,” Schumer said. “The safety of America, the safety of the Kurds are in the hands of one person, President Trump, and the best way to pressure him is a strong, bipartisan resolution.”

– Alexander Bolton contributed
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There's not gonna be one Singing Canary here, it's going to be a fucking AVIARY!  :o  Everybody is going to look to cut a deal here.

These guys are just absolute DOPES for trying to leave the country via the commercial airlines.  Buy a fucking sailboat and hire a goddamn captain for it if you don't know how to sail!  Hell, rent a motorboat down in Baja CA and run it down a few miles to Baja Mejico!  Good Grief.  ::)


RE

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/466071-indicted-giuliani-associate-taken-into-custody-at-new-york-airport

Fourth defendant in Giuliani associate case taken into custody at New York airport
By Justin Wise - 10/16/19 11:40 AM EDT


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The fourth defendant in a case centered around business associates of President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was detained on Wednesday by authorities at a New York City airport, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan confirmed.

“The defendant was taken into custody by the FBI at JFK earlier this morning,” Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the office, told The Hill.
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David Correia was one of four individuals named in an indictment that accused a pair of Florida businessmen with orchestrating a straw donor scheme to circumvent campaign finance laws. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Giuliani's, allegedly funneled money to numerous Republican committees, including a $325,000 donation to a pro-Trump super PAC using a fake energy company they created.

Correia is accused of using foreign money to generate political support for a marijuana business in Nevada and other states. Parnas and Fruman, who are also charged with making false statements to election regulators and conspiracy, were arrested outside Washington, D.C., last week after the charges were leveled.

Another man named in the indictment, Andrey Kukushkin, was arrested in California.

It remains unclear if Correia's arrest occurred after he arrived in New York, or if he was planning to depart for somewhere else. Prosecutors said Parnas and Fruman were trying to leave the United States at the time of their arrest, which occurred at the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

William Sweeney, assistant director in charge at the FBI’s New York office, said at the press conference last week that the allegations stemmed from an investigation about "corrupt behavior [and] deliberate lawbreaking.”

The arrests of Parnas and Fruman do not appear linked to Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine. But the case has gained considerable scrutiny given Trump's efforts to pressure a foreign nation into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which is at the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Parnas and Fruman have said they introduced Giuliani to individuals inside Ukrainian political circles.

The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Giuliani's business relationships with Parnas and Fruman are a part of a federal investigation. A grand jury earlier this week also subpoenaed former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) for documents related to his interactions with Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman.

According to the indictment, Parnas and Fruman pushed an unnamed congressman to call for the dismissal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch was recalled from her post in May.

Matt Mackowiak, a spokesman for Sessions, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Sessions was cooperating with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Both he and Giuliani have denied committing misconduct.
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Today in Trump
« Reply #2159 on: October 17, 2019, 03:35:38 AM »
Today in Trump--



I apologize for the length of today's post, but there is a lot because today it felt like the day the nation shifted. There has been so much unbelievable news that as early as 3:00 I was texting my political friends with just the fire emoji and exclamation marks, but the twists and turns seem to add up to the fact that Trump's firewall is breaking.

Since he declared his candidacy, supporters and undecideds have been able to explain away behaviors by saying they were jokes, or misunderstood, or, if something was really bad, by accepting Trump's own insistence that what had happened was not at all what the media was reporting. But that is no longer possible. Since September 13, we have learned of a plot from the White House to weaken our ally Ukraine in order to force its leader to intervene in our 2020 election. That was bad enough that it led to an impeachment inquiry, and began to crack Trump's support even in the Republican Party. And now, over the course of the past ten days, the profound debacle of our withdrawal from northern Syria, leading to the ethnic cleansing of our former allies, the release of valuable ISIS fighters, and a huge victory for Putin's Russia has ripped away whatever shreds of excuse for Trump's behavior his supporters could still clutch. These two disasters, both entirely of Trump's own making, are reinforcing each other to collapse the Trump presidency with really shocking speed. As that happens, Trump himself is melting down, increasing the momentum of the crisis.

This morning, Trump tried to change the narrative on what had happened in Syria-- a story we all saw as it unfolded after his abrupt October 6 announcement that the US would pull back the troops that were stationed in the Kurdish region of Syria, where the Kurds were fighting ISIS on our behalf. In that announcement, he said that Turkey would be moving into Syria, and that the US would get out of its way. There was an instantaneous bipartisan outcry that we would be risking the release of thousands of ISIS prisoners, and abandoning our allies, who would likely be slaughtered. As this happened just as predicted, Trump tried to change the story. He has said that he didn't green light the incursion (I will attach the press release and you can see what you think), that the Kurds were deliberately releasing ISIS prisoners, and this morning told reporters that what was happening in the Middle East had nothing to do with the US, and that the Kurds, who lost 11,000 soldiers fighting for us against ISIS, were "no angels." He also voiced something previously kept secret: we currently have 50 nuclear weapons in Turkey, which is obviously something of enormous concern as we are now at odds.

Then, midday, news broke that Trump had cancelled a briefing for congressional leaders on the Syrian situation, saying that things there were "nicely under control." This was too much for Congress to stomach, and this afternoon, the House overwhelmingly, by a vote of 354 to 60, passed a bipartisan resolution (129 Republicans voted for it) condemning Trump's actions in Syria and asking what his "clear and specific plan" was for combatting ISIS. Trump supporters Senators Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Marco Rubio also expressed dismay over the president's actions in Syria.

After the vote, the White House invited congressional leaders to meet with Trump. There, they asked what his plan for Syria was, and the conversation went poorly. Apparently, Trump attacked his former Secretary of Defense James Mattis as weak and claimed that he alone-- Trump-- had won victory over ISIS. He said that Turkey and Syria would fight ISIS, but his advisors admitted there was no sign they were actually going to do it. And Trump refused to engage with the reality that Russia has now swept into Syria, taking positions there that had been ours hours before (and making propaganda videos about it). When Pelosi said he had given Putin the foothold in the Middle East he had always wanted, and then followed it up with "All roads with you lead to Putin," Trump blew up. He said such insulting things to the Speaker of the House-- who is, after all, the primary representative of the American people-- the Democratic leaders walked out. They went straight to waiting cameras, where the men expressed shock at Trump's attack on the House speaker, but Pelosi herself emphasized that the president was taken aback by such a dramatic rebuke by Republicans in Congress (129 of them voted for the resolution). She also noted that Trump is not well.

Love her or hate her, Pelosi is a masterful politician, and she called this exactly right. The Syrian crisis has provided a clear issue around which people turning against Trump can coalesce. It is now clear that there has been growing concern among career diplomats for months that Trump and his people have been using the State Department to spur foreign attacks on Democrats at home. The whistleblower complaint about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine president Zelensky that came to light on September 13 was the first inkling of this, but since then, there has been such a flood of alarming information the whistleblower complaint has been eclipsed. Career state department officials-- Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill, George Kent, and today, Michael McKinley-- have bucked the White House embargo on testimony to add details to the story of a shadow foreign policy run by Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuilani and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, along with special envoy Kurt Volker, and facilitated by acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, to pressure Ukraine leaders to smear Joe Biden's son Hunter. In May, Mulvaney allegedly put together the "three amigos:" Sondland, Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take over Ukraine policy from career diplomats.

With the arrest last week of Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas (fyi, I can't keep all these names straight either) we learned that the story was even deeper: these men were funneling money from Russian oligarchs to GOP politicians, while trying to cement control over Ukraine's gas industry. Another person named in the indictment, David Correia, was arrested today at JFK airport. We have also learned that Rudy Giuliani is, and has been, under federal counterintelligence investigation, suggesting that the FBI thinks he might be actively working for a foreign country.

The story of Syria, and that the domestic story is getting so bad that people are defying Trump, has cracked open the wall that has protected the president. People are heading for the exits. Last night, news broke that a federal appeals court has reopened a case charging Trump with violating the Constitution's emoluments clause and profiting illegally from his hotels while in office. Today, we learned that there are major discrepancies between Trump's taxes and bank records for loans, suggesting he might well have committed tax or bank fraud. Then Time Magazine published a piece by David Schulkin, Trump's first Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, presenting his interview for the job as virtually a Saturday Night Live skit, to which he compared it in the piece.

Pelosi is right: Trump is spooked by his collapsing power. In a desperate attempt for good press, Trump today tried to manufacture a win on social media by trying to resolve an emotional international incident before cameras. On August 27, the wife of a US diplomat in the UK, driving on the wrong side of the road, struck and killed a young man coming her way on a motorcycle. Citing diplomatic immunity-- the law that protects diplomats from being prosecuted for crimes in foreign countries-- the woman took refuge from the UK's justice system by returning to America. The man's parents, along with the British government, have appealed for the US government to waive her diplomatic immunity and return her for a trial. The man's parents are in the US to press for her return, and Trump invited them to the White House. Unbeknownst to them, he had the woman who had killed their son waiting in an adjoining room to meet with them in front of cameras. They declined, later saying they had been "ambushed." Rather than looking like a peacemaker, Trump looked like someone trying to use parents suffering from the death of their son for a photo-op.

After a day of disastrous news and the meeting with congressional leaders, Trump tried tonight to look calm, and to spin the walkout as Pelosi's meltdown rather than his. He tweeted out a picture showing Pelosi standing up to him while he was seated at a table surrounded by advisors. But the body language of the men around Trump was startling: they are slumped, staring at their folded hands. It was an astonishing self-own, followed up by worse. To demonstrate that he had, in fact, been hard on Turkish President Erdogan rather than green lighting his attack on the Kurds, Trump released to Fox News personality Trish Regan a letter he allegedly wrote on October 9, the day Turkish troops crossed into Syria and began to slaughter the Kurds. "Let's work out a good deal!" he wrote to Erdogan, and then went on to conclude: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!.... I will call you later." The letter was so wildly inappropriate reporters had to check to make sure it was not a parody. But the White House verified it.

For their part, White House spokespeople insist that Trump is calm and in control. Tonight, he resurrected complaints about Hillary Clinton,'s emails and echoed Pelosi's observations about him, tweeting that "Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her “upstairs,” or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!"

I have spent more than 30 years studying political history, and I have nothing to which to compare the craziness of today. I have no idea what will happen in the hours after I hit the send button. But it does feel like the political tide is turning.

Heather Cox Richardson
8 hrs ·
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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