US Politics in Trump era Public date: 03.10.2019 13:07:34

1 Oct 2019

Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’

President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were pursuing was “completely debunked” long before the president pressed Ukraine this summer to investigate his Democratic rivals, a former top adviser said on Sunday.
President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Aug 2019

How a Trump Ally Tested the Boundaries of Washington’s Influence Game

Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a distance: A wealthy businessman, he had pleaded guilty in 2009 to giving nearly $1 million in illegal gifts to New York State officials to help land a $250 million investment from the state’s pension fund.
Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a...
24 May 2019

Chicago bank CEO Stephen Calk accused of bribing Manafort for administration job

Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for allegedly approving $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for his help seeking a top post in the administration.
Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 May 2019

McGahn Skips Hearing, Defying Subpoena, and Democrats’ Anger Swells

Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, defied a House subpoena on Tuesday under order of the White House, stoking outraged Democrats to contemplate anew punitive measures, including opening an impeachment inquiry, to try to enforce Congress’s oversight powers.
Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, defied a House subpoena on Tuesday under order of the White House,...

Publisher: NYTimes

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16 May 2019

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not released the photograph. On its own, two American officials said, the photograph was not compelling enough to convince the American public and lawmakers, or foreign allies, of the new Iranian threat. But releasing other supporting images could compromise secret sources and methods of collecting intelligence, the officials said.
The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not...
4 May 2019

The Improbable Comeback of Erik Prince

When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings with a Russian banker and UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, he was in the middle of an unexpected comeback. The election of Donald Trump had given the disgraced Blackwater founder a new opportunity to prove himself. After years of trying and failing to peddle a sweeping vision of mercenary warfare around the world, Erik Prince was back in the game.
When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings...
9 Apr 2019

Trump Reportedly Tells Stephen Miller: You’re “in Charge” of Immigration

A purge is currently underway in the Department of Homeland Security. In the wake of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation Sunday, a slew of top DHS officials appear headed for the exits as President Trump and his dead-eyed policy adviser Stephen Miller look to ram their immigration priorities through no matter the cost or consequence.
A purge is currently underway in the Department of Homeland Security. In the wake of Secretary of Homeland Security...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Mar 2019

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Use Private Accounts for Official Business, Their Lawyer Says

The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private messaging services for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 Feb 2019

White House Panel Will Study Whether Climate Change Is a National Security Threat. It Includes a Climate Denialist.

President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, and will include a White House adviser whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that human-caused global warming poses a threat to the nation’s economy, health and security.
President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, and will...
1 Feb 2019

Elliott Abrams Isn’t Going to Bring “Democracy” to Venezuela

On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began slaughtering everyone they could find in a remote village called El Mozote. Before murdering the women and girls, the soldiers raped them repeatedly, including some as young as 10 years old, and joked that their favorites were the 12-year-olds. One witness described a soldier tossing a 3-year-old child into the air and impaling him with his bayonet. The final death toll was over 800 people.
On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began...
31 Jan 2019

Trump blasts U.S. intelligence officials, disputes assessments on Iran and other global threats

President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive” about the “dangers of Iran” and pushing back on their assessments of the Islamic State and North Korea during a congressional hearing. In tweets, Trump offered what amounted to a rebuttal of testimony on global threats provided to the Senate on Tuesday by a panel of top officials from his administration.
President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive”...
28 Jan 2019

Trump advisers lied over and over again, Mueller says. The question is, why?

They lied to the public for months before Donald Trump was elected — and then repeatedly after he took office. They lied to Congress as lawmakers sought to investigate Russia’s attack on American democracy in 2016. And they lied to the FBI, even when they knew lying was a crime.
They lied to the public for months before Donald Trump was elected — and then repeatedly after he took office. They...

Publisher: NYTimes

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25 Jan 2019

Roger Stone, Adviser to Trump, Is Indicted in Mueller Investigation

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was charged as part of the special counsel investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks, the organization behind the release of thousands of stolen Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign, in an indictment unsealed Friday.
Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was charged as part of the special counsel...
23 Dec 2018

The era of containing Trump is over after Mattis firing

For two years, they tried to tutor and confine him. They taught him history, explained nuances and gamed out reverberations. They urged careful deliberation, counseled restraint and prepared talking points to try to sell mainstream actions to a restive conservative base hungry for disruption. But in the end, they failed.
For two years, they tried to tutor and confine him. They taught him history, explained nuances and gamed out...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

13 Dec 2018

Disgraced Trump Fundraiser Tried to Use GOP Contacts to Score “Billions” in Africa

In late 2016, as Donald Trump was readying to move into the White House, Elliott Broidy, then one of the Republican Party’s top fundraisers, was working on a deal to gain control of what a business partner called “billions of dollars in oil & gas, and mining assets” in Angola. And while he was trying to pull together this gigantic venture—as well as mounting another project to provide intelligence services to the Angolan government—Broidy used his clout to hook up top Angolan government officials with members of the US Congress and the Trump administration.
In late 2016, as Donald Trump was readying to move into the White House, Elliott Broidy, then one of the Republican...
12 Dec 2018

That was awkward — at world’s biggest climate conference, U.S. promotes fossil fuels

President Trump’s top White House adviser on energy and climate stood before the crowd of some 200 people on Monday and tried to burnish the image of coal, the fossil fuel that powered the industrial revolution — and is now a major culprit behind the climate crisis world leaders are meeting here to address. “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” said Wells Griffith, Trump’s adviser.
President Trump’s top White House adviser on energy and climate stood before the crowd of some 200 people on Monday...
11 Dec 2018

Democratic senators probe Fox News payments to Trump aide Bill Shine

It’s official: Fox News is the propaganda mouthpiece of the Trump White House. How do I know? Not just because Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro are happy to appear on stage with Trump to campaign for Republican candidates. It's because the connection is now financial: Trump aide and former Fox News executive Bill Shine continues to get paid by Fox News. Shine formally resigned from Fox to become Trump's deputy chief of staff for communications last July. But Fox is continuing to make payments to Shine, totaling $3.5 million this year, and another $3.5 million in 2019.
It’s official: Fox News is the propaganda mouthpiece of the Trump White House. How do I know? Not just because Fox...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

10 Nov 2018

Matthew Whitaker advised Donald Trump on investigating Hillary Clinton

Matthew Whitaker, whom President Donald Trump named as his acting attorney general on Wednesday, privately provided advice to the president last year on how the White House might be able to pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s political adversaries, Vox has learned.
Matthew Whitaker, whom President Donald Trump named as his acting attorney general on Wednesday, privately provided...

Publisher: NYTimes

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6 Nov 2018

Fox Rebukes Sean Hannity’s and Jeanine Pirro’s Participation in a Trump Rally

The line between the Trump White House and Fox has always been a little blurry, but in that moment on Monday night at the Show Me Center at Southeast Missouri State University at least, the fusion of president and network seemed complete. Mr. Trump has long relied on the network as his outlet of choice. His vice president, cabinet secretaries and staff members appear with great regularity. Indeed, Mr. Trump gave an interview to Mr. Hannity moments before taking the stage
The line between the Trump White House and Fox has always been a little blurry, but in that moment on Monday night at...
6 Nov 2018

Trump ally Kris Kobach accepted donations from white nationalists

he Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who has close ties to the Trump administration, has accepted financial donations from white nationalist sympathizers and has for more than a decade been affiliated with groups espousing white supremacist views.
he Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who has close ties to the Trump administration, has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Oct 2018

Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Income Taxes for Years, Documents Show

Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal stock investments have soared. His net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million. And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.
Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal...
10 Oct 2018

Veterans Affairs won’t hand over documents showing suspected shadow influence of Trump associates

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie assured lawmakers at a hearing last month that the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” as it’s known within the agency, doesn’t set policy. But emails published by ProPublica tell a different story.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie assured lawmakers at a hearing last month that the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” as...
6 Sep 2018

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. The dilemma — which...
22 Aug 2018

Paul Manafort Guilty of 8 Charges in Fraud Trial

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, was convicted on Tuesday in his financial fraud trial, bringing a dramatic end to a politically charged case that riveted the capital. The verdict was a victory for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose prosecutors built a case that Mr. Manafort hid millions of dollars in foreign accounts to evade taxes and lied to banks repeatedly to obtain $20 million in loans.
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, was convicted on Tuesday in his financial fraud trial,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Aug 2018

Michael Cohen, Trump’s Ex-Lawyer, Investigated for Bank Fraud Over $20 Million

Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Mr. Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, which exceed $20 million. They are also examining how he handled the income from his taxi medallions and whether he failed to report it to the Internal Revenue Service.
Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Mr. Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to...
13 Jul 2018

Jared Kushner lacks security clearance level to review some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence in White House role

Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law, lacks the security clearance level required to review some of the government’s most sensitive secrets. When White House security officials granted him a permanent clearance in late May, he was granted only “top secret” status — a level  that does not allow him to see some of the country’s most closely guarded intelligence, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss security issues.
Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law, lacks the security...
11 Jul 2018

Giuliani works for foreign clients while serving as Trump’s attorney

Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally and through his namesake security firm while serving as President Trump’s personal attorney — an arrangement experts say raises  conflict-of-interest concerns and could run afoul of federal ethics  laws.
Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

30 Jun 2018

How Mitch McConnell made Donald Trump

When I visited McConnels library at the university of Louisville while researching my 2014 biography on McConnell, I was struck by what was missing: exhibits on actual  governing accomplishments from the Senate majority leader’s four decades in elected office. That absence confirmed my thesis that McConnell, far more even than other politicians, was motivated by the game of politics — winning elections and rising in the leadership ranks, achieving power  for power’s sake — more than by any lasting policy goals.
When I visited McConnels library at the university of Louisville while researching my 2014 biography on...
30 Jun 2018

Trump’s top economics adviser lies about ‘rapidly’ falling budget deficit

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a Friday morning appearance on Fox Business.The problem for President Trump’s top economic adviser is that the deficit is actually rising.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a...

Publisher: Salon

Author:

22 Jun 2018

Why won’t the mainstream media tell the truth about racist ghoul Stephen Miller?

Stephen Miller -- like other Trump advisers such as Michael Anton, Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon -- is a white supremacist. Like other members of the so-called  alt-right (a collection of far-right extremists that includes neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other racists) Miller hides behind Trumpian slogans about making America great again and neutral-sounding terms such as "nationalism" and "populism" to advance a policy agenda where nonwhites are treated as second-class citizens and white people are empowered above all other groups.
Stephen Miller -- like other Trump advisers such as Michael Anton, Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon -- is a white...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Jun 2018

How One Conservative Think Tank Is Stocking Trump’s Government

On the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, Ed Corrigan, then the vice president for policy promotion at the Heritage Foundation, was summoned to Trump Tower in New York to join the senior leadership team of the Trump transition. From inside the building where the climactic personnel  decisions of “The Apprentice” were once taped, Corrigan oversaw the staffing of 10 different domestic agencies. Donald Trump, the former reality-TV star, was now the president-elect of the United States, and he had an administration to fill.
On the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, Ed Corrigan, then the vice president for policy promotion at the Heritage...
18 Jun 2018

Trump associate Roger Stone reveals new contact with Russian national during 2016 campaign

One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent. The man, who called himself Henry Greenberg, offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Stone and Caputo’s interactions with Greenberg mean that at least 11 Trump associates or campaign officials have acknowledged interactions  with a Russian during the election season or presidential transition.
One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped...
24 May 2018

Jared Kushner receives permanent security clearance, an indication he is no longer a focus of the special counsel

Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security clearance if there were an ongoing criminal investigation that had the potential to result in charges for that person. Mark Zaid, a  lawyer who specializes in security clearance issues for government employees, said the decision — absent any new facts coming out — “is a very positive sign for Kushner that he is substantively in the clear with the special counsel’s office.”
Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security...
18 May 2018

Kushners Near Deal With Qatar-Linked Company for Troubled Tower

The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its financially troubled  flagship building by a company with ties to the government of Qatar, according to executives briefed on the deal.
The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of...
16 May 2018

The Michael Cohen Bribery Scandal Is Now a Trump Bribery Scandal

Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a  December 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, the British tabloid reports, Cohen asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who runs a $100 billion Qatari investment fund, to send him “millions” which, the story claims, would go “through  him to Trump family members.”
Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 May 2018

How Michael Cohen, Denied Job in White House, Was Seen as Its Gatekeeper

Mr. Cohen did not land a hoped-for job in President Trump’s administration — he imagined himself as chief of staff — and in January last year he left the Trump Organization, where he had long served as  the in-house fixer without a clear portfolio. But he managed to turn what looked like an exile into a lucrative opportunity.
Mr. Cohen did not land a hoped-for job in President Trump’s administration — he imagined himself...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

1 May 2018

U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery

The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the  nation’s gasoline and diesel each year.
The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Apr 2018

Michael Cohen Has Said He Would Take a Bullet for Trump. Maybe Not Anymore.

For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr.
For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Apr 2018

F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special...
29 Mar 2018

Trump’s Lawyer Raised Prospect of Pardons for Flynn and Manafort as Special Counsel Closed In

A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning  two of his former top advisers, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort, with their lawyers last year, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.
A lawyer for President Trump broached the idea of Mr. Trump pardoning  two of...
23 Mar 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Boasted That Jared Kushner Was “In His Pocket”

Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown. Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.
Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had...
20 Mar 2018

Cambridge Analytica, Trump-Tied Political Firm, Offered to Entrap Politicians

Sitting in a hotel bar, Alexander Nix, who runs the political data firm Cambridge Analytica, had a few ideas for a prospective client looking  for help in a foreign election. The firm could send an attractive woman to seduce a rival candidate and secretly videotape the encounter, Mr. Nix said, or send someone posing as a wealthy land developer to pass a bribe.“We have a long history of working behind the scenes,” Mr. Nix said.
Sitting in a hotel bar, Alexander Nix, who runs the political data firm Cambridge Analytica, had a...
19 Mar 2018

Jared Kushner’s company routinely filed false New York City paperwork

When the Kushner Companies bought three apartment buildings in Queens  in 2015, most tenants were protected by rules that prevent developers  from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a profit. But that was exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold the buildings for $60m, nearly 50% more than it paid.
When the Kushner Companies bought three apartment buildings in Queens  in 2015, most tenants were...
15 Mar 2018

Trump’s new economics director is a climate denier who thinks animals can ‘snuggle’ under pipelines

As director of the National Economic Council, Kudlow will have a sizable influence on U.S. economic policy, including issues related to energy as well as domestic and international climate policies. Cohn, in his tenure as director, worked to keep the Trump administration from leaving the Paris climate agreement. Kudlow, with his history of climate denial, is unlikely to be similarly concerned with climate action.
As director of the National Economic Council, Kudlow will have a sizable influence on U.S. economic policy,...
9 Mar 2018

Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Mar 2018

Gary Cohn Says He Will Resign as Trump’s Top Economic Adviser

White House officials insisted that there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn, who heads the National Economic Council. But his decision to leave came as he seemed poised to lose an internal struggle over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Mr. Cohn had warned last week that he might resign if Mr. Trump followed through with the tariffs, which Mr. Cohn had lobbied against internally.
White House officials insisted that there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn, who heads the...
6 Mar 2018

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg called before grand jury, says he will refuse to go

Nunberg said that the special counsel had sought to convince him to testify against another former Trump adviser, Roger Stone, for colluding with Russians, but he said he would not because Stone has been a friend and mentor to him.
Nunberg said that the special counsel had sought to convince him to testify against another...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

3 Mar 2018

Trump confidant dumped millions in steel-related stock last week

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports.
Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily...
2 Mar 2018

Trump aide Hope Hicks to resign amid personal tumult and Russia probe

Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President  Trump’s longest-serving and closest advisers, abruptly announced Wednesday that she plans to resign — sending a jolt through a West Wing besieged by internal tumult and the intensifying Russia investigation. Hicks has been interviewed by Mueller’s team, and on Tuesday she testified for nine hours before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its separate Russia investigation. She admitted to telling what one person familiar with her testimony characterized as white lies.
Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President  Trump’s longest-serving and...
28 Feb 2018

Roger Stone’s Secret Messages with WikiLeaks

Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic show that Stone and WikiLeaks, a radical-transparency group, communicated directly on October 13, 2016—and that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won the election. The existence of the secret correspondence marks yet another strange twist in the White House’s rapidly swelling Russia scandal.
Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic show that Stone and WikiLeaks, a radical-transparency group,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Feb 2018

Rick Gates, Trump Campaign Aide, Pleads Guilty in Mueller Inquiry and Will Cooperate

A former top adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign pleaded guilty on Friday to fraud and lying to investigators in the special counsel inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and will  cooperate with the investigation.
A former top adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign pleaded guilty on Friday to fraud...
20 Feb 2018

Former Skadden Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Investigation

The lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen, acknowledged in federal court in Washington that he lied to prosecutors about a September 2016 conversation with Rick Gates, the former Trump aide, over work they did together for a Ukrainian political party aligned with Russia. He also admitted that he deleted records of email exchanges that prosecutors had sought. He faces up to five years in prison but said in court that he expected to serve six months or less.
The lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen, acknowledged in federal court in Washington that he lied to...
9 Feb 2018

The White House’s Rob Porter debacle is a sign of incompetence or hubris — or both

“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him,” White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said in an initial statement Tuesday about allegations that the top White House aide had abused an ex-wife. By Wednesday afternoon, Porter resigned amid allegations that he had abused another ex-wife, who produced photographs of her black eye. And Kelly was suddenly “shocked.”
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him,” White...

Publisher: CNN

Author:

27 Jan 2018

McGahn’s push to reshape the judiciary

As the Russia investigation plays out, McGahn has taken a long view toward policy issues that he thinks could serve as legacy issues for Trump. He recently met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley about installing more conservatives in the judiciary. He's taken a keen interest in deregulatory issues.
As the Russia investigation plays out, McGahn has taken a long view toward policy issues that he thinks could...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

18 Jan 2018

Trump’s Physical Revealed Serious Heart Concerns, Outside Experts Say

Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, said that it is impossible to ignore the dangers of the president’s elevated cholesterol levels when providing an overall assessment of Mr. Just looking at the lab value, you would raise a big red flag.” He added: “I would never use the words ‘excellent health.’ How you could take these indices and say excellent health? That is completely contradicted.”
Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, said that it is impossible to...
10 Jan 2018

Fusion GPS founder claimed FBI had Trump source during campaign

The head of the research firm behind a dossier of allegations against Donald Trump told congressional investigators that someone inside Trump’s network had also provided the  FBI with information during the 2016 campaign. It was released by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Feinstein said she released the transcript to set the record straight. “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice,’’ she said.
The head of the research firm behind a dossier of allegations against Donald Trump told congressional...
8 Jan 2018

In Latin America, John Kelly trained for a job serving Trump

Kelly inspired intense loyalty and admiration among many of the Latin American and U.S. diplomats with whom he worked, but he clashed with senior State Department officials who viewed him as a narrow thinker  prone to impolitic statements.  “At first I thought he was a kind, almost grandfatherly figure, but then I came to see him as someone with impulse-control problems” who is “driven by ideology,” said a former senior U.S. military official who soured on Kelly after working with him for several years.
Kelly inspired intense loyalty and admiration among many of the Latin American and U.S. diplomats...
8 Jan 2018

Enough About Steve Bannon. Rupert Murdoch’s Influence on Donald Trump Is More Dangerous.

The attention Bannon demands of us should not obscure the rival media impresario with truly Manchurian levels of influence over the president:  Rupert Murdoch. One of the less-noted passages in Wolff’s book explains that the president reveres Murdoch, regularly seeking advice from the  founder of the Fox empire, a condition that made Bannon jealous of  Murdoch’s power over Trump. The book quotes Roger Ailes, who ran Fox News for Murdoch until being dismissed for sexual harassment, as noting that “Trump would jump through hoops for Rupert.”
The attention Bannon demands of us should not obscure the rival media impresario with truly Manchurian levels of...
19 Dec 2017

These are the obscure Trump staffers who are systematically dismantling the federal government

Trump insisted his assault on government programs would not have any negative ramifications. “We’re going to be doing smart budget cuts, budget cuts that will make it just as good or better than it is right now but for a lot less money,” he vowed. Congress has not yet enacted his massive budget cuts, but that has not stopped the administration from dispatching a team of domestic policy aides to push for cuts, unilateral executive actions, and conservative actions across the federal government.
Trump insisted his assault on government programs would not have any negative ramifications. “We’re going to be...
15 Dec 2017

How Trump’s skepticism of U.S. intelligence on Russia left an election threat unchecked

In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was real.
In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to...
23 Nov 2017

It looks like Kellyanne Conway broke a federal law on national TV again

Kellyanne Conway appeared Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends in her capacity as a White House official, but weighed in on the Alabama special election. Doing so appears to violate federal law, according to several legal experts and former ethics officials who served in previous administrations.
Kellyanne Conway appeared Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends in her capacity as a White House official, but weighed in...
15 Nov 2017

Donald Trump Jr communicated with WikiLeaks during final stages of election

Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of the US president, was in direct communication with WikiLeaks in the crucial final stages of the 2016 presidential election, a new leak of private correspondence from inside the Trump circle reveals.
Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of the US president, was in direct communication with WikiLeaks in the crucial...
3 Nov 2017

With investors under fire for financing white nationalism, Robert Mercer resigns from hedge fund

Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to the New York Times. Mercer’s resignation came just two weeks after ThinkProgress revealed 12 nonprofits, universities, and public retirement funds had invested millions of dollars into the hedge fund, noting that their investments were helping fund white nationalism.
Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

31 Oct 2017

Paul Manafort’s central role in the Trump-Russia investigation, explained

Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, is facing charges in Mueller’s investigation. But though Manafort’s history of pro-Russia consulting work and experience with international skullduggery have long made him a prime suspect for potential collusion, Monday’s indictment does not actually have anything to do with the question of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.Instead, it largely relates to matters predating Manafort’s involvement in Trump’s campaign. It’s about whether Manafort and Gates appropriately disclosed about a decade of foreign work, and whether they were was involved in illegal money laundering.
Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, is facing charges in Mueller’s investigation. But though Manafort’s...
17 Oct 2017

Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump

During the campaign, when President Trump’s advisers wanted him to stop talking about a certain issue — such as when he attacked a Gold Star military family — they sometimes presented him with polls demonstrating how the controversy was harming his candidacy.  During the transition, when aides needed Trump to decide on a looming issue or appointment, they often limited him to a shortlist of two or three options and urged him to choose one.
During the campaign, when President Trump’s advisers wanted him to stop talking about a certain issue —...
7 Oct 2017

The Jared bubble

You can’t say ‘hit job’ in here.”  I was six months into my tenure as the editor of the New York Observer, and I was schooling my publisher, Jared Kushner, on why ordering up a slam of someone who had crossed his family in business didn’t pass the journalistic smell test.
You can’t say ‘hit job’ in here.”  I was six months into my tenure as the...
28 Sep 2017

‘Height of hypocrisy’: Clinton calls out Trump team over private email reports

At least six senior Trump administration  figures are reported to have used private email accounts for official White House business, prompting Hillary Clinton to describe criticism of her own private server use as “the height of hypocrisy”.Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, admitted through his lawyer on Sunday that he had used private emails in the administration’s early days.
At least six senior Trump administration  figures are reported to have used private email accounts...
19 Sep 2017

Mueller Inquiry Sets Tone With Shock-and-Awe Approach

Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President  Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.
Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search...
1 Sep 2017

Kushners’ China Deal Flop Was Part of Much Bigger Hunt for Cash

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. His family’s real estate business, Kushner Cos., owes hundreds of millions of dollars on a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue. It has failed to secure  foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood. As a result, the company faces significant challenges.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

29 Aug 2017

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’

A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency. The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.
A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

28 Aug 2017

Robert Mueller is looking into Michael Flynn’s potential ties to Russian hackers

Back in June, a tantalizing set of reports from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal  gave us one indication that collusion may have occurred, or was at least attempted, between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’ emails.
Back in June, a tantalizing set of reports from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal  gave us one indication...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Aug 2017

Sebastian Gorka Is Forced Out as White House Adviser, Officials Say

Mr. Gorka was a staunch defender of President Trump and a lightning rod for controversy. The Federalist, a conservative website, published portions of what it called a resignation letter written by Mr. Gorka. It quoted him as saying that given which “forces”  were on the rise in the White House, the best way for him to support the president was from outside it.
Mr. Gorka was a staunch defender of President Trump and a lightning rod for controversy. The Federalist, a conservative...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Aug 2017

Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year. Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing.
The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Aug 2017

Trump Ends C.E.O. Advisory Councils as Main Group Acts to Disband

President Trump’s main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president’s controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, “rather than put pressure” on executives.
President Trump’s main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Aug 2017

Trump Comments on Race Open Breach With C.E.O.s, Military and G.O.P.

President  Trump found himself increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making on Wednesday, abandoned by the nation’s top business executives,  contradicted by military leaders and shunned by Republicans outraged by  his defense of white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Va.
President  Trump found himself increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making on Wednesday, abandoned...
10 Aug 2017

Manafort’s Home Searched as Part of Mueller Inquiry

Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched the Northern Virginia home of President Trump’s  former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for tax documents and foreign  banking records, a sign that the inquiry into Mr. Manafort has  broadened, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched the Northern Virginia home of President...
8 Aug 2017

Trump Likes When C.I.A. Chief Gets Political, but Officers Are Wary

All C.I.A. directors must balance the political demands of the president they serve with the agency’s avowedly apolitical idea of itself. Yet rarely has a director had to straddle so wide a breach as has Mr. Pompeo, perhaps the most openly political spy chief in a generation — and one of President Trump’s favorite cabinet members. Unlike past directors, who typically sought to avoid policy discussions, Mr.  Pompeo readily joins in when the president asks for his opinion, even on matters far afield of national security, such as health care. And he brings to the table the views of a former congressman first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 who staked out ground on the far right of the Republican Party.
All C.I.A. directors must balance the political demands of the president they serve with the agency’s avowedly...
2 Aug 2017

Stinger Missiles And Shady Deals: Ex-Biz Partner To Trump Has A Tall Tale To Tell

In December 2015, an Associated Press reporter asked Donald Trump why he had appointed Felix Sater, a man who’d been convicted for stock raud, his senior advisor. “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it,” Trump told the AP. “I’m not that familiar with him.” The feeling is not mutual.
In December 2015, an Associated Press reporter asked Donald Trump why he had appointed Felix Sater, a man...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

2 Aug 2017

Is Trump Scheming to Kill the Iran Deal?

As if the steeply rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula weren’t enough, President Trump seems determined to kill the Iran nuclear deal, against the near unanimous opinion of his closest foreign policy advisers. According to a recent article in Foreign Policy, after he grudgingly agreed to recertify the deal a few weeks ago, Mr. Trump assigned a team of White House staff members to develop a case within the next three months for declaring that Iran had violated the agreement.
As if the steeply rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula weren’t enough, President Trump seems determined to kill the...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

29 Jul 2017

Newt Gingrich, While Helping Shape Health Reform Repeal, Consults for Blue Cross Blue Shield

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears regularly in the media to talk about his ideas for the future of health care in America without mentioning one very important fact: His consulting company advises a health insurance company.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich appears regularly in the media to talk about his ideas for the future...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

18 Jul 2017

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy

President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.
President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named  the head of an obscure right-wing...
14 Jul 2017

Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: ‘Watch Your Back , Bitch’

Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal attorney on the Russia  case, threatened a stranger in a string of profanity-laden emails Wednesday night.The man, a retired public relations professional in the western United States who asked not to be identified, read ProPublica’s story this week on Kasowitz and sent the lawyer an email with the subject line: “Resign Now.’’
Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal attorney on the Russia  case, threatened a stranger in a...
13 Jul 2017

Why was Russian money-laundering case settled? House Dems want answers

Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking why the Department of Justice settled a major money-laundering case involving a real-estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official whose lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. last year.
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

12 Jul 2017

The other shoe has fallen, and the Trump presidency may fall with it

Donald Trump Jr. was in serious legal trouble even before the New York Times obtained his emails. As my colleague Zack Beauchamp has explained, his very decision to meet with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to see what dirt she had on Clinton may well have violated campaign finance law. That’s because you don’t have to actually get anything of value from a foreigner; simply sitting down with a Russian national to see whether she had information that could help Trump and damage his rival could be enough to constitute a federal crime.
Donald Trump Jr. was in serious legal trouble even before the New York Times obtained his emails. As my colleague...
8 Jul 2017

Felix Sater is cooperating with a money laundering investigation. That’s bad news for Trump.

The Financial Times  reported Thursday morning that Felix Sater, former business partner of  President Donald Trump with deep ties to the Mafia and Russian  government, is cooperating in an international investigation into an alleged money-laundering network. Sater has a history of channeling money from prominent families in the Eastern bloc into Trump properties. This could pose problems for Trump, given Sater’s history of outing former close associates in exchange for immunity.
The Financial Times  reported Thursday morning that Felix Sater, former business partner of  President...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

4 Jul 2017

What everyone should know about Peter W Smith, the potential missing link in the Trump-Russia probe

The Wall Street Journal published twoexplosive  reports detailing the actions of Republican operative Peter W. Smith  during last year’s presidential election. According to the WSJ, Smith  was seeking to acquire stolen Hillary Clinton emails from Russian hackers. Smith told associates that he discussed his activities with a key member of the Trump campaign, Michael Flynn. Smith was a longtime supporter and confidant to Newt Gingrich, a key member of the Trump campaign. Smith died about 10 days after talking to the Wall Street Journal reporter Shane Harris. While there is no evidence of foul play, and Smith was 81 years old, the cause of his death is unknown and not discussed in his obituary.
The Wall Street Journal published twoexplosive  reports detailing the actions of Republican operative Peter W....
2 Jul 2017

Tillerson Clashes With Second Top White House Aide On Immigration

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clashed with senior White House aide Stephen Miller last week, according to a report  published Friday by Politico, in his second reported confrontation with a senior staffer in President Donald Trump’s administration. Politico reported Friday, citing four unnamed sources familiar with Tillerson’s and Miller’s exchange in the West Wing, that Miller wanted Tillerson to take a tougher tack to immigration and modify State Department-controlled programs.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clashed with senior White House aide Stephen Miller last week, according to a...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

1 Jul 2017

A new report raises some big questions about Michael Flynn and Russian hackers

A tantalizing new report from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal  gives the strongest indication yet that collusion may have occurred — or was at least attempted — between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’  emails. And it raises serious questions about whether fired  National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was involved in these efforts to contact hackers.
A tantalizing new report from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal  gives the strongest indication yet...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

28 Jun 2017

Trump lawyer’s firm steered millions in donations to family members, files show

Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal Jay Sekulow approved plans to push people to give to his Christian nonprofit, which then paid big sums to his family. Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.
Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal Jay Sekulow approved plans to push people to give to his Christian nonprofit,...
26 Jun 2017

Evidence mounts Russia meddled in US election

Evidence is emerging that the hacking and disinformation campaign waged at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin took at least four separate but related paths. The first involved establishing personal contact with Americans perceived as sympathetic to Moscow — such as former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and early Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page — and using them as a means to further Russia's foreign-policy goals.
Evidence is emerging that the hacking and disinformation campaign waged at the direction of Russian President Vladimir...
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