Archive for July, 2018

The Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Wants The Wall and Will Shut The Government Down If He Does Get The $25 Billion Funding in Fiscal Year 2019 Starting on 1 October 2018 — No Trouble With Shutdown — Videos — Story 2: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes Wants Declassification of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court Warrant Applications — October Surprise Should Trump Declassify Before Election — Videos — Story 3: Rudy Giuliani Want Mueller Investigation Completed — Videos — Story 4: The Coming Day of Reckoning for Social Security, Medicare and Government Pensions — Videos —

Posted on July 31, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Exercise, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Labor Economics, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Social Networking, Social Science, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump Wants The Wall and Will Shut The Government Down If He Does No Get The $25 Billion Funding in Fiscal Year 2019 Starting on 1 October 2018 — Videos — 

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Trump threatens to shut down government over border wall funding

Trump: “I would have no problem doing a shutdown”

Trump threatens government shutdown over border security

Trump Leaves Room For Negotiation In Push For U.S. Border Wall Funds

Trump says the government “needs a good shutdown”

Published on May 2, 2017

Trump threatens to shut down government in September

Published on Apr 29, 2018

Tomi Lahren: ‘All Dems Have Is Trump Derangement Syndrome, Russia & Identity Politics’

Trump threatens shutdown over wall, immigration

Contractor explains what it will take to build a border wall

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

US Special Forces unable to scale border wall prototypes

 

DEVIN NUNES PUSH TO DECLASSIFY MORE OF FISA WARRANT

Story 2: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes Wants Declassification of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court Warrant Applications — October Surprise Should Trump Declassify Before Election — Videos —

 

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Devin Nunes Asks President Trump to Declassify Spygate FISA Warrant

Story 3: Rudy Guilani Wants Mueller Investigation Completed By Publishing Final Report — Videos

Giuliani: Cohen-Trump tape was cut, erased

Giuliani says feds have 183 recordings made by Cohen; outlines potential deal with Mueller

Rudy Giuliani On Changing Opinion Of Michael Cohen & He Is Not Sure If Collusion Is A Crime | TIME

Audio expert examines Trump-Cohen tape

Napolitano on leaked audio tapes: Indication of a fraud

Michael Cohen’s attorney on tape with Trump made public

Avenatti Reveals Another Client’s Case Involves Donald Trump, AMI | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Fact check: Trump wrong about Carter Page FISA warrant

Full Chuck Rosenberg: Trump Team ‘Making Up’ Mueller Conflict Of Interest Claims | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Cillizza fact-checks Trump’s Mueller claims

 

Story 4: The Day of Reckoning for Social Security, Medicare and Government Pensions — Videos

Milton Friedman – The Path Toward Economic Sanity

Milton Friedman – The Path Toward Economic Sanity

Thomas Sowell – The Future Of Social Security

Walter E Williams – Social Security And Other Deceptions

Walter E Williams – Social Security As A Wealth Redistribution

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Published on May 10, 2010

How Social Security Was Sold To The Public

How Does Social Security Really Work?

Is Social Security Going Broke?

The Unfunded Liability is Huge

Published on May 12, 2015

PA State Rep. Tommy Sankey urges action on pension reform in Pennsylvania.

Social Security Age 62, 66, 70 – Medicare Age Start – IRA Age 70 Mandatory Withdrawal (IRA RMD)

Social Security Benefits Demystified With Laurence Kotlikoff | Forbes

When to Take Social Security Retirement Benefits

Tricks and tips for getting the most from Social Security

A Major Social Security Change Is Coming In 2022

Your Social Security Checks Are Getting Bigger in 2018

Social Security Releases 2018 Changes, Millions Upon Millions Affected

The Future of Social Security and Medicare

Social Security: What Millennials Need to Know…

MEDICARE CHANGES 2018

New Medicare ID Card in 2018

Social Security Is a Ponzi Scheme

 

The Pension Hole for U.S. Cities and States Is the Size of Japan’s Economy

Many retirement funds could face insolvency unless governments increase taxes, divert funds or persuade workers to relinquish money they are owed

By Sarah Krouse

For the past century, a public pension was an ironclad promise. Whatever else happened, retired policemen and firefighters and teachers would be paid.

That is no longer the case.

Many cities and states can no longer afford the unsustainable retirement promises made to millions of public workers over many years. By one estimate they are short $5 trillion, an amount that is roughly equal to the output of the world’s third-largest economy.

The fiscal situation of Central Falls, R.I., which filed for bankruptcy in 2011, has improved.
The fiscal situation of Central Falls, R.I., which filed for bankruptcy in 2011, has improved. PHOTO: GRETCHEN ERTL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Certain pension funds face the prospect of insolvency unless governments increase taxes, divert funds or persuade workers to relinquish money they are owed. It is increasingly likely that retirees, as well as new workers, will be forced to take deeper benefit cuts.

In Kentucky, a major pension plan covering state employees had about 16% of what it needs to fulfill earlier promises, according to the Public Plans Database, which tracks state and local pension funds, based on 2017 fiscal year figures. A fund covering Chicago municipal employees had less than 30% of what it needed in that fiscal year, according to the same database. New Jersey’s pension system for state workers is so underfunded it could run out of money in 12 years, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study.

When the math no longer works the result is Central Falls, R.I., a city of 19,359. Today, retired police and firefighters are wrestling with the consequences of agreeing to cut their monthly pension checks by as much as 55% when the town was working to escape insolvency. The fiscal situation of the city, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011, has improved, but the retirees aren’t getting their full pensions back.

Retired Central Falls firefighter Paul Grenon.
Retired Central Falls firefighter Paul Grenon.PHOTO: GRENON FAMILY

“It’s not only a financial thing,” said 73-year-old former Central Falls firefighter Paul Grenon, who retired from the department after a falling wall punctured his lung, broke his back and five ribs, and left him unable to climb ladders. “It really gets you sick mentally and physically to go through something like this. It’s a betrayal, as far as I’m concerned.”

Uncertainty over public pensions is one reason some Americans are reaching retirement age on shaky financial ground. For this group, median incomes, including Social Security and retirement fund receipts, haven’t risen in years. They have high average debt, and are often using savings for their children’s educations and to care for their elderly parents.

The public pension arose from the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. New York was the first city in the U.S. with a pension fund for injured police officers in 1857 and then for firefighters in 1866. The concept of a public pension plan for government workers became widespread in the early decades of the 20th century. The understanding was employees would accept relatively lower pay in exchange for richer, guaranteed benefits once they retired.

When times were flush, politicians made overly generous promises. Public-employee unions made unrealistic demands. High-profile municipal employees, such as coaches at public universities, have drawn fire for what some consider too-rich retirement benefits, while some first responders scored rich early retirement and disability arrangements.

Deepening DeficitState pension deficits have grown steadilyover the past two decades.Source: Pew Charitable Trusts
.trillion2000’05’10’15-1.6-1.4-1.2-1.0-0.8-0.6-0.4-0.20.0$0.2

Extended lifespans caused costs to soar, as did increasingly expensive medical care, which unions put at the center of contract negotiations, among other benefits.

A technology-led stock market boom in the late 1990s produced a brief period of surpluses in pensions, according to figures from Pew, before deficits began to creep higher in the mid 2000s. Deficits accelerated following the 2008 financial crisis, which caused steep losses for many funds just as large numbers of baby boomers began to retire.

State and local pensions lost roughly $35 billion in assets between 2008 and 2009, according to Pew. Liabilities, meanwhile, ballooned by more than $100 billion a year, widening the difference between the amount owed to retirees and assets on hand. Not even a nine-year bull market in stocks could close that gap.

Officials, taxpayers and public-sector employees are increasingly at odds as they figure out what comes next. The board overseeing Puerto Rico, which filed for the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy in 2017, this year certified an average 10% cut in certain retiree pensions as part of a plan to restore the island to solvency. The governor has vowed not to implement it, a face-off that will likely end in court.

In the Bluegrass State, a judge in June ruled that a reduction in new worker benefits championed by Kentucky’s governor was unconstitutional because of the way lawmakers passed it. The state’s attorney general opposed the cuts. The case could end up at the state Supreme Court.

Climbing Cost

Public pensions are becoming a growing burden for many states and cities across the U.S.

Funded ratio† for state and local public pension funds

Employer contribution* as a percentage of payroll for state and local pensions

16

%

100

12

75

50

8

25

4

0

0

2001

’05

’10

’15

2001

’05

’10

’15

*Weighted by payroll    †Weighted by plan assets

Source: Public Plans Database

In California, several cases before the state’s Supreme Court are testing an influential 1955 rule that stipulates benefits for public employees can’t be cut. Gov. Jerry Brown is predicting pension reductions in the next recession if that rule is loosened. A change in that law might persuade other states to reach for deeper benefit reductions.

State and local pension plans in the U.S. now have less than three quarters of the money they need to meet their promised payouts, their lowest level since at least 2001, according to Public Plans Database figures weighted by plan size. In dollar terms the hole for state and local pensions is now $5 trillion, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Another estimate of unfunded state pension liabilities, from Pew, is $1.4 trillion.

The prospect of lower benefits is particularly daunting for pensioners in their 60s. Those older are likely to die before a large reckoning, while those younger have years left in their careers to make new plans. But many in their 60s have spent four decades assuming a financial promise that is no longer guaranteed.

Firefighters check equipment at the Central Falls Fire Station. The city emerged from bankruptcy in 2012. PHOTOS: GRETCHEN ERTL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL(3)

There are few easy solutions. Cities and states can either raise taxes, cut services or become more aggressive about reducing benefits to retirees. For many years governments were unwilling to take these steps because they weren’t politically palatable, although public appetite to cut public-employee benefits is emerging, in states including Wisconsin. Many governments opted to change benefits for new employees, which in some cases didn’t fully alleviate funding woes.

Note: If you have a traditional pension as opposed to 401(k) or similar accounts, this value will underestimate your actual retirement assets.

Methodology: The choice of four retirement ages coincides with important Social Security milestones. The earliest age at which it is possible to claim Social Security is 62. For most people, a full Social Security benefit is available between ages 65 and 67. (To find the full retirement age that applies to you, look up your birth year and ‘Social Security full retirement age’). A maximum Social Security benefit is available to people who delay claiming until age 70. We assume wage growth of 1.2% a year until age 50. Calculations are in real rather than nominal terms, which means we assume you will receive annual raises that exceed inflation by 1.2% of income per year until age 50. After age 50, we assume your salary remains steady, meaning that your purchasing power keeps pace with inflation. To determine whether you are on track for retirement, we calculate your career average earnings and compare that to your projected assets at retirement age. We assume your current net assets—your assets minus debt—earn a real rate of return of 3.58% until your retirement age. The Journal used ratios of income to net assets provided by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research to estimate whether a person’s savings, in combination with Social Security, would be sufficient.

In San Jose, Calif., voters approved cuts to police pensions in 2012 only to roll back those changes after hundreds of officers quit and the crime rate increased. The measures were revised, with savings coming in part through changes to retiree health care.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the bulk of the police departures took place before the pension revamp as a result of earlier hiring freezes, layoffs and pay cuts. He doesn’t see the pension changes as a factor in the crime rate.

San Jose has taken “our medicine perhaps earlier than others have,” said Mr. Liccardo. “This is medicine that hundreds of cities and many states are going to have to take,” he added.

Retirees in other cash-strapped states said they expect to lose some of what they have been promised. “It may sustain itself before I die,” Len Shepard, 68, a retired teacher in Pennsylvania said of the pension system in his state. “But I don’t see how it can continue to do so.”

Central Falls, which sits 7 miles north of Rhode Island’s capital, is one of several former industrial towns that speckle the Blackstone River Valley.

It provided for public workers under a number of pension plans. Under one, firefighters hired after July 1972 could retire after 20 years of service, essentially in early middle age, receiving half of their final base salary. They could earn another 2% a year for up to five additional years of work and 1% a year after that, up to 65% of their end salary if they retired after 30 years.

Central Falls didn’t pay that year, or in either of the previous two, given the severity of the city’s economic woes. Rhode Island officials then took the rare step of passing legislation that put bondholders ahead of other creditors and pensioners in the event of a municipal bankruptcy.

After the 2011 bankruptcy, an event that received national attention amid predictions of widespread municipal failures, retirees agreed to 55% cuts because they feared facing even deeper cuts later.

In 2011, retired police sergeant Michael Long, left, asked questions at Central Falls High School during a pension concession meeting. Retired firefighter Paul St. George listened to speakers explaining concessions. PHOTOS: STEPHAN SAVOIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS(2)

The concessions helped Central Falls emerge from bankruptcy in 2012 and create a “rainy day fund” that now holds $2 million. The town hired a grant writer to help secure money for a new firetruck with smaller wheels custom-made for the town’s narrow streets. The truck is emblazoned with an image of Yosemite Sam dressed as a firefighter that reads “The Wild Mile,” the city’s nickname.

Even though the town is on a better fiscal footing, and state contributions blunted the full impact of the cuts, retired workers are still grappling with how their lives were altered in matters big and small. Two men lost their homes to foreclosure after falling behind on their mortgages. Others had problems paying medical bills as they fought terminal illnesses.

Paul Grenon when he started at the Central Falls Fire Department in 1967.
Paul Grenon when he started at the Central Falls Fire Department in 1967. PHOTO: GRENON FAMILY

Mr. Grenon, the firefighter who retired after he was injured, says the pension reduction left him without enough money each month to cover a $300 prescription lung medication. He has medical coverage but said the medication is beyond what is covered.

George Aissis, a retired Central Falls firefighter, says he has so little left in his checking account he has to buy groceries when they are on sale and use as little power or gas as possible.

Retired Central Falls firefighter George Aissis, at his Lincoln, R.I., home. Mr. Aissis holds a photo of himself taken in 1998 at the Central Falls fire station. His coat hangs in his garage. PHOTOS: GRETCHEN ERTL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL(3)

The pension settlement cut his income by $1,200 a month to about $2,600, including an additional state contribution. On one recent Wednesday, he said there was $6.01 in his checking account.

“I never used coupons before, but I know about coupons now,” Mr. Aissis said. “You gotta cut back on things when the money is not there.”

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, in an interview, called the 2011 pension cuts “unfortunate” but said they did alleviate long-term budget pressures for the city. “These aren’t big pensions, but a lot of these folks built their lives around it,” he said. “To see them get cut was devastating.”

Under the changes, many current workers have to work longer than they thought when they signed up and some will get a lower percentage of their final salary than they would have under the old plan.

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. PHOTO: GRETCHEN ERTL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Some retirees whose income was cut are now arguing their benefits should be restored to prebankruptcy levels.

The person in charge of that effort, 52-year-old former firefighter Don Cardin, acknowledged he and his colleagues have no legal recourse to restore lost benefits since they signed them away in the settlement.

One of his bleaker arguments contends that firefighters tend to have shorter lifespans because of smoke inhalation and other workplace hazards. That means the town, which also covers some health benefits, is unlikely to have to pay the added benefits for more than a decade.

Despite the city’s surplus, the mayor said Central Falls is unlikely to restore the pensions.

What happened in Central Falls is “certainly not going to be a one-off,” said Robert Flanders, who acted as the city’s state-appointed receiver. “Because other cities and towns, not just in Rhode Island but across the country, are still in bad shape.”

Write to Sarah Krouse at sarah.krouse@wsj.com

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1115, Story 1: War of Words: Islamic Republic of Iran Major General Qassem Soleimani Warns United States and Trump — Waiting For President Trump Tweet Response — Videos — Story 2: Vice President Pence Talks Turkey: Free Pastor or Face U.S. Sanctions — Release Now — Videos — Story 2: House Republicans Trying To Impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosestein — Trump Will Fire Rosestein After Midterm Elections and Attorney General Sessions Will Either Appoint Second Counsel or Trump Will Accept Resignation — Videos — Story 4: Special Counsel Mueller Goes After President Trump’s Tweets — Desperation Move — Complete Investigation or Face Firing — Videos

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You may start the war but we will end it: Soleimani warns Trump

Who is Qasem Soleimani?

Iran’s revolutionary guard explained

Is this Iranian the most powerful man in Iraq? – Newsnight

President Trump: U.S. Won’t Stand For Iranian President’s ‘Demented Words’ | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Sebastian Gorka: Trump understands how fragile Iran is

Iranian President Warns Trump Not To ‘Play With The Lion’s Tail’

The Middle East’s cold war, explained

US vs Iran – Strait of Hormuz

The differences and similarities between Sunni and Shia Isalm

10 Differences Between Shia and Sunni Muslims

 

Story 1: Islamic Republic of Iran Threatens United States Again — Waiting For President Trump Tweet Response — Videos

Trump Tower in ruins? Iranian special forces leader warns Trump that war ‘will destroy everything you own’ and boasted that ‘nation of martyrdom’ can strike U.S. military

  • Major General Qassem Soleimani warned Trump in a speech that a war with Iran would ‘destroy everything you own’
  • The boast may be a suggestion that terrorists aided by Iran’s military are prepared to strike the president’s real estate properties
  • Soleimani said U.S. military in the Red Sea area are not secure: ‘Trump should know that we are nation of martyrdom and that we await him’
  • Trump softened his tone toward Iran this week and said he might be ready for a new nuclear deal
  • That came after he warned Iran’s president that he would ‘SUFFER CONSEQUENCES’ for threatening the U.S.

The general in charge of Iran‘s elite paramilitary Quds Forces warned Donald Trumpon Thursday that war with the Islamist country would eliminate his entire net worth, suggesting terrorists aided by Iran’s military are prepared to strike his real estate properties.

‘You know that this war will destroy everything you own,’ Major General Qassem Soleimani said during a speech in the central Iranian city of Hamedan.

He also said the Red Sea is not secure while U.S. troops are deployed in the area: ‘Trump should know that we are nation of martyrdom and that we await him.’

‘We are near you, where you can’t even imagine … Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war,’ he boasted.

Iranian Quds Forces commander Major General Qassem Soleimani warned Trump in a speech that a war with Iran would 'destroy everything you own'

Trump had already softened his tone toward Iran this week and said he might be ready for a new nuclear deal

The latest Iranian boast may be a suggestion that terrorists aided by Tehran's military are prepared to strike the president's real estate properties

‘You have to be careful about insulting the Iranian people and the president of our Republic.’

Iran this week dismissed a warning from Trump that Tehran risked dire consequences if it made threats against the United States.

Trump softened his threatening tone on Tuesday, just two days after he blasted an allcaps warning about ‘consequences’ for Tehran’s anti-U.S. rhetoric.

Addressing the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Trump took credit for pulling the U.S. out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear accord, but said his administration stands ready for Iran to come back to the negotiating table.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate would be an appetizing target for America's enemies

The president warned Iran's president Sunday night not to provoke him

The president warned Iran’s president Sunday night not to provoke him

‘We’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster,’ he said.

Late Sunday night he tweeted to Rouhani: ‘NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.’

Rouhani had claimed that ‘Iran is the mother of all peace’ before warning Trump that ‘war with Iran is the mother of all wars.’

‘Don’t play with fire, or you will regret [it],’ the Iranian leader continued. ‘Iranian people are the master and they will never bow to anyone.’

Iran President warns Trump not to take military action

Soleimani, who as Quds Force commander is in charge of the Revolutionary Guards’ overseas operations, put his disdain for Trump in more personal terms.

‘Trump’s language is still the ethics of nightclubs and gambling halls,’ he said Thursday.

His threat directed at U.S. troops in the Red Sea area came as Saudi Arabia said it was temporarily halting all oil shipments through the strategic shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb, following an attack on two oil tankers by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

Yemen, where a U.S-backed, Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for three years, lies beside the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the most important trade routes in the world for oil tankers.

 

ww.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5995587/Iranian-special-forces-leader-warns-Trump-war-destroy-own.html

 

Qasem Soleimani

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Sardar
Qasem Soleimani
Sardar Qasem Soleimani-01.jpg
Native name قاسم سلیمانی
Nickname(s) Haj Qasem” (among supporters)[1]

“The Shadow Commander” (in the West)[2][3][4][5][6]

Born 11 March 1957 (age 61)
Qanat-e MalekKermanImperial State of Iran
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Years of service 1979–present
Rank Major general
Unit Quds Force
Commands held 41st Tharallah Division of Kerman
Quds Force
Battles/wars

show

See battles
Awards Fath Medal.jpg Fath Medal of Honor (3)[14]

Qasem Soleimani (Persianقاسم سلیمانی‎, born 11 March 1957) is an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and since 1998 commander of its Quds Force—a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.[15]

A veteran military officer of the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s with a humble background, he has been active in many conflicts in the rest of the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, while maintaining a very low profile. His methods have been a blend of military and financial assistance to Shiite allies and hard-nosed strategic diplomacy. It has long provided military assistance to anti-Saddam Shia and Kurdish groups in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. In 2012, Soleimani helped bolster the Syrian government, a key Iranian ally, during the Syrian Civil War. Soleimani also assisted in the command of combined Iraqi government and Shia militia forces that advanced against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014–2015.[16]

 

Background

Soleimani was born in Qanat-e Malek village, Rabor CountyKerman Province, to an impoverished peasant family. In his youth, he moved to the city of Kerman and worked as a construction worker to help repay a debt his father owed. In 1975, he began working as a contractor for the Kerman Water Organization.[17] When not at work, he spent his time lifting weights in local gyms and attending the sermons of a traveling preacher by the name of Hojjat Kamyab – a protege of Ayatollah Khomeini.[18]

Military Career

Soleimani joined the Revolutionary war Guard (IRGC) in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, which saw the Shah fall and Ayatollah Khomeini take power. Reportedly, his training was minimal, but he advanced rapidly. Early in his career as a guardsman, he was stationed in northwestern Iran, and participated in the suppression of a Kurdish separatist uprising in West Azerbaijan Province.[18]

On 22 September 1980, when Saddam Hussein launched an invasion of Iran, setting off the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), Suleimani joined the battlefield serving as the leader of a military company, consisting of men from Kerman whom he personally assembled and trained.[19] He quickly earned a reputation for bravery,[20] and rose through the ranks because of his role in the successful operations in retaking the lands Iraq had occupied, eventually becoming the commander of the 41st Sarallah Division while still in his 20s, participating in most major operations. He was mostly stationed at the southern front[19][21] He was heavily injured in Operation Tariq-ol-Qods. In a 1990 interview, he mentions Operation Fath-ol-Mobin as “the best” operation he participated in and “very memorable”, due to its difficulties yet positive outcome.[22] He was also engaged in leading and organizing irregular warfare missions deep inside Iraq carried out by the Ramadan Headquarters. It was at this point that Suleimani established relations with Kurdish Iraqi leaders and the Shia Badr Organization, both of which opposed to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.[19]

On July 17, 1985, Soleimani opposed the IRGC leadership’s plan to deploy forces to two islands in western Arvandroud (Shatt al-Arab).[23]

After the war, during the 1990s, he was an IRGC commander in Kerman Province.[21] In this region, which is relatively close to Afghanistan, Afghan-grown opium travels to Turkey and onto Europe. Soleimani’s military experience helped him earn a reputation as a successful fighter against drug trafficking.[18]

During the 1999 student revolt in Tehran, Soleiman was one of the IRGC officers who signed a letter to President Mohammad Khatami. The letter stated that if Khatami did not crush the student rebellion the military would, and might also launch a coup against Khatami.[18][24]

Command of Quds Force

The exact date of his appointment as commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force is not clear, but Ali Alfoneh cites it as between 10 September 1997 and 21 March 1998.[17] He was considered one of the possible successors to the post of commander of the IRGC, when General Yahya Rahim Safavi left this post in 2007. In 2008, he led a group of Iranian investigators looking into the death of Imad Mughniyah. Soleimani helped arrange a ceasefire between the Iraqi Army and Mahdi Army in March 2008.[25]

Following the September 11 attacks of 2001, Ryan Crocker, a senior State Department official in the United States, flew to Geneva to meet with Iranian diplomats who were under the direction of Soleimani with the purpose of collaborating to destroy the Taliban, which had targeted Shia Afghanis.[18] This collaboration was instrumental in defining the targets of bombing operations in Afghanistan and in capturing key Al Qaeda operatives, but abruptly ended in January 2002, when George W Bush named Iran as part of the “Axis of evil” in his State of the Union address.[18]

In 2009, a leaked report stated that General Soleimani met Christopher R. Hill and General Raymond T. Odierno (America’s two most senior officials in Baghdad at the time) in the office of Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani (who has known General Soleimani for decades). Hill and General Odierno denied the occurrence of the meeting.[26]

On 24 January 2011, Soleimani was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.[21][27] Khamenei is described as having a close relationship with him, helping him financially and has called Soleimani a “living martyr”.[18]

Soleimani has been described as “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and the principal military strategist and tactician in Iran’s effort to combat Western influence and promote the expansion of Shiite and Iranian influence throughout the Middle East.[18] In Iraq, as the commander of the Quds force, he is believed to have strongly influenced the organization of the Iraqi government, notably supporting the election of previous Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.[18][28] Soleimani has even been described as being “Iran’s very own Erwin Rommel“.[29]

According to some sources, Soleimani is the principal leader and architect of the military wing of the Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah since his appointment as Quds commander in 1998.[18]

Syrian Civil War

A map of Al-Qusayr and its environs. The Al-Qusayr offensive was allegedly masterminded by Soleimani[30]

According to several sources, including Riad Hijab, a former Syrian premier who defected in August 2012, he is also one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War.[18][28] In the later half of 2012, Soleimani assumed personal control of the Iranian intervention in the Syrian civil war, when Iranians became deeply concerned about the Assad government’s lack of ability to fight the opposition, and the fallout to the Islamic Republic if the Syrian government fell. He is reported to have coordinated the war from a base in Damascus at which a Lebanese Hezbollah commander and an Iraqi Shiite militia coordinator have been mobilized, in addition to Syrian and Iranian officers. Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani, the Basij’s former deputy commander helps to run irregular militias that Soleimani hopes to continue the fight if Assad falls.[18] Under Soleimani the command has “coordinated attacks, trained militias, and set up an elaborate system to monitor rebel communications”. According to a Middle Eastern security official Dexter Filkins talked to, thousands of Quds Force and Iraqi Shiite militiamen in Syria are “spread out across the entire country.”[18] The retaking of Qusayr in May 2013 from Syrian rebels was, according to John Maguire, a former CIA officer in Iraq, “orchestrated” by Soleimani.[18]

He is widely credited with delivering the strategy that has helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide against rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns.[31] The details of his involvement however are little known but many events from the training of government allied militias and coordination of decisive military offensives[18] to the sighting of Iranian UAVs & spy-drones in Syria, strongly suggest that his command (the Quds force) is heavily involved in many aspects of the civil war.[18] In a visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut on Thursday 29 Jan 2015, Soleimani laid wreaths at the graves of the slain Hezbollah members, including Emad Mughniyah, the son of late Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah which strengthens some possibilities about his role in Hezbollah military reaction on Israel.[32]

Soleimani helped in formation of the National Defence Forces (NDF) in Syria.

In October 2015, it was reported that he had been instrumental in devising during his visit to Moscow in July 2015 the Russian-Iranian-Syrian offensive in October 2015.[33]

War on ISIS in Iraq

The east of Saladin Province in Iraq where Qasem Soleimani was involved in breaking the Siege of Amirli by ISIS[34]

Qasem Soleimani was in the Iraqi city of Amerli, to work with the Iraqi forces to push back militants from ISIS.[35][36] According to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Amerli was the first town to successfully withstand an ISIS invasion, it was secured thanks to “an unusual partnership of Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and U.S. warplanes”. The US acted as a force multiplier for a number of Iranian-backed arm groups—at the same time that was present on the battlefield.[37][38]

A senior Iraqi official told the BBC that when the city of Mosul fell, the rapid reaction of Iran, rather than American bombing, was what prevented a more widespread collapse.[9] Qasem Soleimani also seems to have been instrumental in planning the operation to relieve Amirli in Saladin province where ISIS had laid siege to an important city.[34] In fact the Quds force operatives under Soleimani’s command seem to have been deeply involved with not only the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias but also the Kurdish in the battle of Amirli,[39] not only providing liaisons for intelligence sharing but also the supply of arms and munitions in addition to “providing expertise”.[40]

In the operation to liberate Jurf Al Sakhar, he was reportedly “present on the battlefield”. Some Shia militia commanders described Soleimani as “fearless”—one pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a flak jacket, even on the front lines.[41]

Soleimani was also intimately involved in the planning & execution of the operation to liberate Tikrit[42][43]

Hadi al-Amiri, the former Iraqi minister of transportation and the head of the Badr Organization [an official Iraqi political party whose military wing is one of the largest armed forces in the country] highlighted the pivotal role of General Qasem Soleimani in defending Iraq’s Kurdistan Region against the ISIL terrorist group, maintaining that if it were not for Iran, Heidar al-Ebadi’s government would have been a government-in-exile right now.[44] and he added there would be no Iraq if Gen. Soleimani hadn’t helped us.[45]

There were reports by some Western sources that Soleimani has been seriously wounded in action against ISIL in Samarra. The claim was rejected by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.[46]

Soleimani played an integral role in the organisation and planning of the crucial operation to retake the city of Tikrit in Iraq from ISIS. The city of Tikrit rests on the left bank of the Tigris river and is the largest and most important city between Baghdad and Mosul, gifting it a high strategic value. The city fell to ISIS during 2014 when ISIS made immense gains in northern and central Iraq. After its capture, ISIL performed its most infamous massacre at Camp Speicher. After months of careful preparation and intelligence gathering an offensive to encircle and capture Tikrit was launched in early March 2015.[43] Soleimani is directing the operations on the eastern flank from a village about 35 miles from Tikrit called Albu Rayash, captured over the weekend. The offensive is the biggest military operation in the Salahuddin region since last summer, when ISIS fighters killed hundreds of Iraq army soldiers who had abandoned their military base at Camp Speicher outside Tikrit.

Orchestration of military escalation in 2015

In 2015 Soleimani started to gather support from various sources in order to combat the newly resurgent ISIL and rebel groups which were both successful in taking large swathes of territory away from Assad’s forces. He was reportedly the main architect of the joint intervention involving Russia as a new partner with Assad and Hezbollah.[47][48][49]

According to Reuters, at a meeting in Moscow in July, Soleimani unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory—with Russia’s help. Qasem Soleimani’s visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian–Russian alliance in support of the Syrian (and Iraqi) governments. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei also sent a senior envoy to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin. “Putin reportedly told the envoy ‘Okay we will intervene. Send Qassem Soleimani’. Gen. Soleimani went to explain the map of the theatre and coordinate the strategic escalation of military forces in Syria.[48]

Operations in Aleppo

Map of the offensive.[50][51][52][53][54][55]

Soleimani, who assumed overall command in the Aleppo offensives of 2015,[citation needed] had a decisive impact on the theatre of operations and led to a strong advance in southern Aleppo with the government and allied forces re-capturing two military bases and dozens of towns and villages in a matter of weeks. There was also a series of major advances towards Kuweiris air-base to the north-east.[56] By mid-November, the Syrian army and its allies had gained ground in southern areas of Aleppo Governorate, capturing numerous rebel strongholds. Soleimani was reported to have personally led the drive deep into the southern Aleppo countryside where many towns and villages fell into government hands. Soleimani reportedly commanded the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi), Kata’ib Hezbollah (Iraqi), Liwaa Abu Fadl Al-Abbas (Iraqi), and Firqa Fatayyemoun (Afghan/Iranian volunteers).[57]

It is unclear whether or not the General sustained possibly grave injuries, but in response to reports about his injury[58] during the southwest Aleppo operation, he is quoted as saying, “Martyrdom is what I seek in mountains and valleys, but it isn’t granted yet”.[59]

In early February 2016, backed by Russian and Syrian air force airstrikes, the 4th Mechanized Division – in close coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Kata’eb Hezbollah, and Harakat Al-Nujaba – launched an offensive in Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside,[60] which eventually broke the three-year siege of Nubl and Al-Zahraa and cut off rebel’s main supply route from Turkey. According to a senior, non-Syrian security source close to Damascus, Iranian fighters played a crucial role in the conflict. “Qassem Soleimani is there in the same area”, he said.[61] In December 2016, new photos emerged of Soleimani at the Citadel of Aleppo, though the exact date of the photos is unknown.[62][63]

Operations in 2017

In late March 2017, Soleimani was seen in the northern Hama Governorate countryside, reportedly aiding Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan in repelling a major rebel offensive.[13]

CIA’s chief, Mike Pompeo, said that he sent Soleimani and other Iranian leaders a letter holding them responsible for any attacks on US interests by forces under their control. According to Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, a senior aide for the country’s supreme leader, Soleimani ignored the letter when it was handed over to him while he was in the Abu Kamal offensive against ISIL, saying “I will not take your letter nor read it and I have nothing to say to these people.”[64][65]

In popular culture

General Soleimani in civil dress during a public ceremony in 2013

He is said to have a calm presence about him,[66] carry himself “inconspicuously and rarely raises his voice”, exhibiting “understated charisma“.[20] In Western sources, Qassem Suleimani’s personality has been compared to the fictional characters KarlaKeyser Söze,[20] and Scarlet Pimpernel.[67]

The 2016 award-winning movie Bodyguard, directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia, was inspired by Soleimani’s activities.[68]

The 2016 Persian book Noble Comrades 17: Hajj Qassem, written by Ali Akbari Mozdabadi, contains memoirs of Qassem Soleimani.[69]

Hadi Al-Ameri the head of the Badr Organization in Iraq says about him: “If Qasem Soleimani was not present in Iraq, Haidar al-Ibadi should form his cabinet out of Iraqi borders”.[70]

In politics

In 1999, Soleimani, along with other senior IRGC commanders, signed a letter to then-President Mohammad Khatami regarding the student protests in July. They wrote “Dear Mr. Khatami, how long do we have to shed tears, sorrow over the events, practice democracy by chaos and insults, and have revolutionary patience at the expense of sabotaging the system? Dear president, if you don’t make a revolutionary decision and act according to your Islamic and national missions, tomorrow will be so late and irrecoverable that cannot be even imagined.”[71]

Iranian media reported in 2012 that he might be replaced as the commander of Quds Force in order to allow him to run in the 2013 presidential election.[72] He reportedly refused to be nominated for the election.[71] According to BBC, in 2015 a campaign started among conservative bloggers for Soleimani to stand for 2017 presidential election.[73] In 2016, he was speculated as a possible candidate,[71][74] however in a statement published on 15 September 2016, he called speculations about his candidacy as “divisive reports by the enemies” and said he will “always remain a simple soldier serving Iran and the Islamic Revolution”.[75]

Personal life

Qasem Soleimani is from Kerman. His father was a farmer who died in 2017. His mother, Fatemeh died in 2013.[76] He comes from a family of nine and has five sisters and one brother, Sohrab, who lived and worked with Soleimani in his youth.[77] Sohrab Soleimani is a warden and former director general of the Tehran Prisons Organization. U.S. put sanctions on him in April 2017 “for his role in abuses in Iranian prisons”.[78]

Soleimani has Dan in karate and was a fitness trainer in his youth. He has four children: two sons and two daughters.[79]

Sanctions

In March 2007, Soleimani was included on a list of Iranian individuals targeted with sanctions in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747.[80] On 18 May 2011, he was sanctioned again by the United States along with Syrian president Bashar Assad and other senior Syrian officials due to his alleged involvement in providing material support to the Syrian government.[81]

On 24 June 2011, the Official Journal of the European Union said the three Iranian Revolutionary Guard members now subject to sanctions had been “providing equipment and support to help the Syrian government suppress protests in Syria”.[82] The Iranians added to the EU sanctions list were two Revolutionary Guard commanders, Soleimani, Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the Guard’s deputy commander for intelligence, Hossein Taeb.[83] Soleimani was also sanctioned by the Swiss government in September 2011 due to the same grounds cited by the European Union.[84]

He is listed by the United States as a known terrorist, which forbids U.S. citizens from doing business with him.[25][85] The list, published in the EU’s Official Journal on 24 June 2011, also includes a Syrian property firm, an investment fund and two other enterprises accused of funding Assad’s government. The list also includes Mohammad Ali Jafari and Hossein Taeb.[86]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qasem_Soleimani

Quds Force

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Quds Force
سپاه قدس
Seal of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.svg
Active 1980–present
Country Iran
Branch Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Type Special operations force
Role Special operations
Size Classified (estimate: 15,000)
Engagements Iran–Iraq War
1982 Lebanon War
Bosnian War
South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000)
Battle for Herat
Balochistan conflict
Iran–PJAK conflict
Syrian Civil War
2014 Northern Iraq offensive
Military intervention against ISIL

Commanders
Commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani

The Quds Force[1] (Persianسپاه قدس‎ sepāh-e qods) is a special forces unit of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards responsible for their extraterritorial operations.[2] The Quds Force reports directly to the Supreme Leader of IranAli Khamenei.[3][4] Its commander is Major General Qasem Soleimani[5] and his deputy was Hossein Hamadani.[6] While “little is reliably known” about the force,[7] as of 2007, its size was estimated at 15,000 troops.[8]The United States has designated the Quds Force a supporter of terrorism since 2007.[9]

 

History and mission

The Quds Force was created during the Iran–Iraq War as a special unit from the broader IRGC forces. Both during and after the war, it provided support to the Kurds fighting Saddam Hussein. In 1982, a Quds unit was deployed to Lebanon, where it assisted in the genesis of Hezbollah.[10] The Force also expanded its operations into neighboring Afghanistan, most notably aiding Abdul Ali Mazari‘s Shi’a Hezbe Wahdat in the 1980s against the government of Mohammad Najibullah. It then began funding and supporting Ahmad Shah Massoud‘s Northern Alliance against the Taliban.[11] However, in recent years, the Quds Force is alleged to have been helping and guiding the Taliban insurgents against the NATO-backed Karzai administration.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] There were also reports of the unit lending support to Bosnian Muslims fighting the Bosnian Serbs during the Yugoslav wars.[19][20][21]

According to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad helped fund the Quds Force while he was stationed at the Ramazan garrison near Iraq, during the late 1980s.[22]

In January 2010, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the mission of the Quds Force was expanded and the Force along with Hezbollah started a new campaign of attacks targeting not only the US and Israel but also other Western bodies.[23]

Organization

8 directorates of Quds Force Operations

The force is described as “active in dozens of countries”.[7] According to former U.S. Army intelligence officer David Dionisi, the Quds force is organized into eight different directorates based on geographic location:[24]

According to journalist Dexter Filkins, the force’s members are “divided between combatants and those who train and oversee foreign assets”, and the force is divided into branches focusing on “intelligence, finance, politics, sabotage, and special operations. Members are chosen both for their skill and “allegiance to the doctrine of the Islamic Revolution”.[25]

In addition, Dionisi asserts in his book American Hiroshima that the Iranian Quds Force headquarters for operations in Iraq was moved in 2004 to the Iran-Iraq border in order to better supervise activities in Iraq.[24] The Quds Force also has a headquarters in the former compound of the U.S. Embassy, which was overrun in 1979.[26]

According to Filkins and American General Stanley A. McChrystal, it was the Quds Force that “flooded” Iraq with “explosively formed projectiles” which fire a molten copper slug able to penetrate armor, and which accounted for “nearly 20%” of American combat deaths in Iraq (i.e. hundreds of soldiers).[25] In September 2007, a few years after the publication of American Hiroshima: The Reasons Why and a Call to Strengthen America’s Democracy in July 2006, General David Petraeus reported to Congress that the Quds Force had left Iraq. Petraeus said, “The Quds Force itself, we believe, by and large, those individuals have been pulled out of the country, as have the Lebanese Hezbollah trainers that were being used to augment that activity.”[27]

On July 7, 2008, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Seymour Hersh wrote an article in The New Yorker revealing that President Bush had signed a Presidential Finding authorizing the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command to conduct cross-border paramilitary operations from Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran. These operations would be against the Quds Force and “high-value targets”.[28] “The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change”, a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups”.[28]

Size

The size of the Quds Force is unknown, with some experts believing that Quds Force numbers no more than 2,000 people, with 800 core operatives, and others saying that it could number anywhere from 3,000 to 50,000.[29][30][31]

Outside analysis

While it reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, there are debates over how independently Quds Force operates.[29]

Mahan Abedin, director of research at the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (and editor of Islamism Digest), believes the unit is not independent: “Quds Force, although it’s a highly specialized department, it is subject to strict, iron-clad military discipline. It’s completely controlled by the military hierarchy of the IRGC, and the IRGC is very tightly controlled by the highest levels of the administration in Iran.”[32]

According to a Los Angeles Times report,[29] in Abedin’s view, “[I]t’s a very capable force—their people are extremely talented, [and] they tend to be the best people in the IRGC”.[32]

Activities

The Quds Force trains and equips foreign Islamic revolutionary groups around the Middle East. The paramilitary instruction provided by the Quds Force typically occurs in Iran or Sudan. Foreign recruits are transported from their home countries to Iran to receive training. The Quds Force sometimes plays a more direct role in the military operations of the forces it trains, including pre-attack planning and other operation-specific military advice.[24]

Afghanistan

Since 1979, Iran had supported the Shi’a Hezbe Wahdat forces against the Afghan government of Mohammad Najibullah. When Najibullah stepped down as President in 1992, Iran continued supporting Hezbe Wahdat against other Afghan militia groups. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 1996, Hezbe Wahdat had lost its founder and main leader, Abdul Ali Mazari, so the group joined Ahmad Shah Massoud‘s Northern Alliance. Iran began supporting the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, who were backed by Pakistan and the Arab world.[33] In 1999, after several Iranian diplomats were killed by the Taliban in Mazar-e Sharif, Iran nearly got into a war with the Taliban.[34][35] The Quds Force reportedly fought alongside the United States and the Northern Alliance in the Battle for Herat. However, in recent years Iran is accused of helping and training the Taliban insurgents against the NATO-backed Karzai administration.[12][13] Iranian-made weapons, including powerful explosive devices are often found inside Afghanistan.[14][16][17][18]

We did interdict a shipment, without question the Revolutionary Guard‘s core Quds Force, through a known Taliban facilitator. Three of the individuals were killed… Iranians certainly view as making life more difficult for us if Afghanistan is unstable. We don’t have that kind of relationship with the Iranians. That’s why I am particularly troubled by the interception of weapons coming from Iran. But we know that it’s more than weapons; it’s money; it’s also according to some reports, training at Iranian camps as well.[15]

In March 2012, Najibullah Kabuli, leader of the National Participation Front (NPF) of Afghanistan, accused three senior leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of plotting to assassinate him.[36] Some members of the Afghan Parliament accuses Iran of setting up Taliban bases in several Iranian cities, and that “Iran is directly involved in fanning ethniclinguistic and sectarian tensions in Afghanistan.”[37] There are reports about Iran’s Revolutionary Guards training Afghans inside Iran to carry out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.[38]

Currently, the Revolutionary Guards recruit young people for terrorist activities in Afghanistan and try to revive the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar and Taliban groups[38]

— Syed Kamal, a self-confessed agent for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and member of Sipah-i-Mohmmad

India

Following an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India in February 2012, Delhi Police at the time contended that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had some involvement.[39] This was subsequently confirmed in July 2012, after a report by the Delhi Police found evidence that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had been involved in the February 13 bomb attack in the capital.[39]

United States

On 11 October 2011, the Obama Administration revealed the United States Government’s allegations that the Quds Force was involved with the plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir, which also entailed plans to bomb the Israeli and Saudi embassies located in Washington, D.C.[40][41][42]

South America

It’s been reported that Iran has been increasing its presence in Latin America through Venezuela. Little is known publicly what their objectives are in the region, but in 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates denounced Iran for meddling in “subversive activities” using Quds Forces. However, Iran claims it is merely “ensuring the survival of the regime” by propagating regional influence.

Iraq

The Quds Force has been described as the Iranian “unit deployed to challenge the United States presence” in Iraq following the U.S. invasion of that country, which put “165,000 American troops along [Iran’s] western border,” adding to the American troops already in Iran’s eastern neighbor Afghanistan.[43]

The force “operated throughout Iraq, arming, aiding, and abetting Shiite militias”—i.e., the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in IraqDawa, and the Mahdi Army—”all” of which “had close ties to Iran, some dating back decades” as part of their struggle against Saddam Hussein‘s oppressive Arab nationalist regime.[43]

In November 2006, with sectarian violence in Iraq increasing, U.S. General John Abizaid accused the Quds Force of supporting “Shi’a death squads” even while the government of Iran pledges support in stabilization.[44] Similarly, in July 2007, Major General Kevin Bergner of the U.S. Army alleged that members of the Quds Force aided in the planning of a raid on U.S. forces in the Iraqi city of Karbala in January 2007.[45]

Former CIA officer Robert Baer asserts the Quds Force uses couriers for all sensitive communications.[46]

2006 detainment in Iraq

On 24 December 2006, the New York Times reported that at least four Iranians were captured by American troops in Iraq in the previous few days. According to the article, the U.S. government suspected that two of them were members of Quds Force, which would be some of the first physical proof of Quds Force activity in Iraq.[47] According to The Pentagon, the alleged the Quds Force members were “involved in the transfer of IED technologies from Iran to Iraq”.[48] The two men had entered Iraq legally, although they were not accredited diplomats. Iraqi officials believed that the evidence against the men was only circumstantial, but on 29 December, and under U.S. pressure, the Iraqi government ordered the men to leave Iraq. They were driven back to Iran that day.[49] In mid-January 2007 it was said that the two alleged Quds force officers seized by American forces were Brig. Gen. Mohsen Chizari and Col. Abu Amad Davari. According to the Washington Post. Chizari is the third highest officer of Quds Force, making him the highest-ranked Iranian to ever allegedly be held by the United States.[50]

American newspaper The New York Sun reported that the documents described the Quds Force as not only cooperating with Shi’a death squads, but also with fighters related to al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sunna. It said that the Quds Force had studied the Iraq situation in a similar manner to the U.S. Iraq Study Group, and had concluded that they must increase efforts with Sunni and Shiite groups in order to counter the influence of Sunni states.[51]

U.S. raid on Iranian liaison office

On 11 January 2007, U.S. forces raided and detained five employees of the Iranian liaison office in Irbil, Iraq. The U.S. military says the five detainees are connected to the Quds Force.[52][53] The operation has drawn protests from the regional Kurdish government while the Russian government called the detainments unacceptable.[54]

Alireza Nourizadeh, a political analyst at Voice of America, states that their arrests are causing concern in Iranian intelligence because the five alleged officials are knowledgeable of a wide range of Quds Force and Iranian activities in Iraq.[55] According to American ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, one of the men in custody is Quds Force’s director of operations.[56]

Iranian and Iraqi officials have maintained the detained men were part of a diplomatic mission in the city of ErbilIraq.[57] The five Iranian detainees were still being held at a U.S. prison in Iraq as of 8 July 2007.[58] The U.S. says they are “still being interrogated” and that it has “no plans to free them while they are seen as a security risk in Iraq”.[59] Iran says the detainees “are kidnapped diplomats” and that “they are held as hostages”.[60]

On 9 July 2009, the five detained diplomats in question were released from U.S. custody to Iraqi officials.[61]

Allegations of involvement in Karbala attack

On 20 January 2007, a group of gunmen attacked the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala, captured four American soldiers, and subsequently killed them. The attackers passed through an Iraqi checkpoint at around 5 pm, a total of five black GMC Suburbans, similar to those driven by U.S. security and diplomatic officials. They were also wearing American military uniforms and spoke fluent English. Because of the sophistication of the attack, some analysts have suggested that only a group like the Quds Force would be able to plan and carry out such an action.[62] Former CIA officer Robert Baer also suggested that the five Americans were killed by the Quds Force in revenge for the Americans holding five Iranians since the January 11 raid in Irbil.[63] It was reported that the U.S. military is investigating whether or not the attackers were trained by Iranian officials; however, no evidence besides the sophistication of the attack has yet been presented.[64]

On 2 July 2007, the U.S. military said that information from captured Hezbollah fighter Ali Moussa Dakdouk established a link between the Quds Force and the Karbala raid. The U.S. military claims Dakdouk worked as a liaison between Quds force operatives and the Shia group that carried out the raid. According to the United States, Dakdouk said that the Shia group “could not have conducted this complex operation without the support and direction of the Quds force”.[65]

Allegations of support for Iraqi militants

In June 2007, U.S. General Ray Odierno asserted that Iranian support for these Shia militia increased as the United States itself implemented the 2007 “troop surge“.[66] Two different studies have maintained that approximately half of all foreign insurgents entering Iraq come from Saudi Arabia.[67]

In December 2009 evidence uncovered during an investigation by The Guardian newspaper and Guardian Films linked the Quds Force to the kidnappings of five Britons from a government ministry building in Baghdad in 2007. Four of the hostages, Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst, Alec Maclachlan, and Alan McMenemy, were killed. Peter Moore was released on 30 December 2009. The investigation uncovered evidence that Moore, 37, a computer expert from Lincoln was targeted because he was installing a system for the Iraqi Government that would show how a vast amount of international aid was diverted to Iran’s militia groups in Iraq. One of the alleged groups funded by the Quds force directly is the Righteous League, which emerged in 2006 and has stayed largely in the shadows as a proxy of the Quds Force. Shia cleric and leading figure of the Righteous League, Qais al-Khazali, was handed over by the U.S. military for release by the Iraqi government on 29 December 2009 as part of the deal that led to the release of Moore.[68]

Allegations by U.S. President Bush

In a 14 February 2007 news conference U.S. President George W. Bush reiterated his claim that the Quds Force was causing unrest in Iraq, stating:

I can say with certainty that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops. And I’d like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds Force was ordered from the top echelons of government. But my point is what’s worse – them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops. … to say it [this claim] is provoking Iran is just a wrong way to characterize the Commander-in-Chief’s decision to do what is necessary to protect our soldiers in harm’s way. And I will continue to do so. … Whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Quds force to do this, I don’t think we know. But we do know that they’re there, and I intend to do something about it. And I’ve asked our commanders to do something about it. And we’re going to protect our troops. … I don’t think we know who picked up the phone and said to the Quds Force, go do this, but we know it’s a vital part of the Iranian government. …What matters is, is that we’re responding. The idea that somehow we’re manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs is preposterous. … My job is to protect our troops. And when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we’re going to do something about it, pure and simple. … does this mean you’re trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I’m trying to protect our troops.[69]

Mohsen Sazegara, who was a high-ranking Tehran official before turning against the government, has argued that Ahmadinejad does not control the Guards outside of Iran. “Not only the foreign ministry of Iran; even the president does not know what the Revolutionary Guards does outside of Iran. They directly report to the leader”, he said, referring to Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[70] Although Ali Khamenei is the ultimate person in charge of the Quds Force, George Bush did not mention him.[71] According to Richard Clarke, “Quds force reports directly to the Supreme Ayatollah, through the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary guards.”[71]

Detainment of alleged bomb smuggler

On 20 September 2007, the U.S. military arrested an Iranian during a raid on a hotel in Sulaimaniyah, a city in the Kurdish-controlled north. The military accused the Iranian of being a member of the elite Quds Force and smuggling powerful roadside bombs, including armor-piercing explosively formed penetrators, into Iraq. The military said intelligence reports asserted the suspect was involved in the infiltration and training of foreign fighters into Iraq as well.[72]

On 22 September 2007, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani criticized the United States for arresting the Iranian and called for his immediate release. Talabani argued he is a civil servant who was on an official trade mission in the Kurdish Region and stated Iraqi and Kurdish regional government representatives were aware of the man’s presence in the country. “I express to you our outrage for these American forces arresting this Iranian civil official visitor without informing or cooperating with the government of the Kurdistan region, which means insult and disregard for its rights”, Talabani wrote in a “letter of resentment” to Ryan CrockerU.S. ambassador to Iraq, and Gen. David Petraeus.[73]

Allegations of 2007 market attack

On 24 November 2007, US military officials accused an Iranian special group of placing a bomb in a bird box that blew up at a popular animal market in central Baghdad. “The group’s purpose was to make it appear Al Qaeda in Iraq was responsible for the attack”, Admiral Smith said. He further emphasized there was “no evidence Iran ordered the attack”.[74] In May 2008, Iraq said it had no evidence that Iran was supporting militants on Iraqi soil.[75] Al-Sadr spokesman Al-Ubaydi said the presence of Iranian weapons in Iraq is “quite normal,” since “they are bought and sold and any party can buy them.”[76]

Allegations of ties to Al-Qaeda

According to reports produced by Agence France-Presse (AFP), The Jerusalem Post, and Al Arabiya, at the request of a member of the United States’ House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in 2011 Congressional counter-terrorism advisor Michael S. Smith II of Kronos Advisory, LLC produced a report on Iran’s alleged ties to Al-Qaeda that was distributed to members of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.[77][78][79] Titled “The al-Qa’ida-Qods Force Nexus: Scratching the Surface of a Known Unknown”, a redacted version of Smith’s report is available online via the blog site owned by American military geostrategist and The Pentagon’s New Map author Thomas P.M. Barnett.[80] The report’s Issue Summary section explains: “This report focuses on the history of Iran’s relationship with al-Qa’ida, and briefly addresses potential implications of these ties. Additionally, its author provides a list of recommended action items for Members of the United States Congress, as well as a list of questions that may help Members develop a better understanding of this issue through interactions with defense and intelligence officials”. A member of the Quds Force was alleged arrested with 21 other suspects in the attack on the Israeli and United States embassies on 14 March 2012 in Azerbaijan.

Combat against Islamic State

The Quds force’s leader, Gen Qasem Soleimani was involved with both the planning as well as the execution of the operation to expell ISIL from Tikrit

In 2014, Quds Force was deployed into Iraq to lead Iranian action against ISIL. Iran sent three Quds Force battalions to help the Iraqi government repel ISIL’s 2014 Northern Iraq offensive.[81] Over 40 officers participated in the Second Battle of Tikrit (March 2015), including the leader of the force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani who took a leading role in the operation.

Syria

IRGC Commander Jafari announced on 16 September 2012 that Quds Force “were present” in Syria.[82]

Coinciding with the Geneva II Conference on Syria in 2014, Iran boosted its presence in Syria with several “hundred” military specialists, including senior commanders from the Quds Force, according to Iranian sources and security experts. While recently retired senior IRGC commander told that there were at least 60 to 70 Quds force commanders on the ground in Syria at any given time.[83] The primary role of these forces is to gather intelligence and manage the logistics of the battle for the Syrian Government.[83][84]

In November 2015 the Quds Force conducted a successful rescue mission of a Russian bomber pilot who was shot down by a Turkish fighter. Commander of Quds Force of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution Major General Qasem Soleimani got in touch with his Russian counterparts and said that a special unit had been formed and was ready for the rescue operation. He also explained that the squad was made up of men from the Lebanese “Hezbollah” and soldiers from the Syrian Special Forces, who had undergone special training under the guidance of Iranian instructors. Apart from this fact, the Syrian soldiers were familiar with the terrain. The general assumed command of the ground operation and Russian aircraft had to carry out air cover and enable satellite surveillance. Once the location of the Russian pilot was determined via satellite through the built-in GPS device, it became clear that the pilot was located six kilometers behind the front line between the Syrian army forces and the opposition forces. The Special squad that entered the territory controlled by militants was not only able to save the Russian pilot, but also destroy all of the remaining terrorists there who had the most modern weapons in their possession. All of the 24 fighters not only survived, but also returned to their base without injuries.[85]

In May 2018, Quds forces on the Syrian-held side of the Golan Heights allegedly fired around 20 projectiles towards Israeli army positions without causing damage or casualties.[86] Israel responded with airstrikes against Iranian bases in Syria.[87] At least twenty-three fighters, among them 18 foreigners, were reportedly killed in the strikes.[88]

Germany

In January 2018, German authorities conducted raids in Baden-WürttembergNorth Rhine-WestphaliaBavaria and Berlin, searching homes and businesses belonging to ten alleged Iranian Quds Force members, suspected of spying on Israeli and Jewish targets.[89]

Designation as a terrorist organization

The United States Department of the Treasury designated the Quds Force under Executive Order 13224 for providing material support to US-designated terrorist organizations on 25 October 2007, prohibiting transactions between the group and U.S. citizens, and freezing any assets under U.S. jurisdiction.[9] The Government of Canada designated the Quds Force as a terrorist organization on 17 December 2012.[90] Egypt’s nominations included the organization.[91]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quds_Force

Story 2: Vice President Pence Talks Turkey: Free Pastor or Face U.S. Sanctions — Release Now — Videos

See the source image

Pence: US to Sanction Turkey Unless Pastor Freed

Vice President Pence: ‘Deep Concern’ About Americans Held in Turkey

Senators seek sanctions until Turkey frees Pastor Brunson

Turkey Refuses to Release Jailed American Pastor

US pastor facing terrorism charges in Turkey

Erdogan spokesman says United States will not achieve results by threatening Turkey

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Thursday the U.S. administration will not achieve its desired results by threatening Turkey, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of sanctions unless Ankara freed an American pastor.

“The United States must reconsider its approach and adopt a constructive position before inflicting further damage to its own interests and its alliance with Turkey,” Ibrahim Kalin said in a written statement.

Trump demands Turkey ‘immediately’ release US pastor

US President Donald Trump said American pastor Andrew Brunson, pictured, "is suffering greatly" during detention in TurkeyUS President Donald Trump said American pastor Andrew Brunson, pictured, “is suffering greatly” during detention in Turkey

President Donald Trump on Thursday demanded Turkey free a detained American pastor, warning the United States was ready to impose “large sanctions” against its NATO ally.

“He is suffering greatly,” Trump said of 50-year-old pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in detention for almost two years. “This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”

Brunson ran a protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir when he was detained in October 2016 on terrorism-related charges.

Brunson was moved from jail to house arrest on Wednesday, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move was “not enough.”

The Trump administration — which is broadly supported by powerful US evangelicals — has made defending Christians abroad a tenet of its foreign policy.

“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being,” Trump said.

The escalating war of words between Washington and Ankara risks worsening already poor ties, which hold enormous military and economic importance for both countries.

The United States has long used bases in Turkey for operations across the Middle East, but relations have been strained by Washington’s support for Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Brunson still faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups Turkey deems terrorist organizations. One is led by the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara says was behind a 2016 failed coup, while the other is the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

His next hearing is set for October 12.

The pastor denies the charges and his defense team argues the case is built on questionable witness statements that should never have been brought to court.

Earlier Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence said “there is no credible evidence” against Brunson.

Last week a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would require the United States to reject international loans to Turkey until Brunson and other Americans are freed or the harassment against them ends.

“I find it difficult to see how this relationship moves forward… if the Turkish government continues to detain Pastor Brunson as well as locally employed staff, journalists, and civil servants,” Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said at the time.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5996073/Trump-demands-Turkey-immediately-release-US-pastor.html

Story 3: House Republicans Trying To Impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosestein — Trump Will Fire Rosestein After Midterm Elections and Attorney General Sessions Will Either Appoint Second Counsel or Trump Will Accept Resignation — Videos —

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Story 4: Special Counsel Mueller Goes After President Trump’s Tweets — Desperation Move — Complete Investigation or Face Firing — Videos

Mueller Examining Trump’s Tweets in Wide-Ranging Obstruction Inquiry

Fox News’s Napolitano: Trump tweets are a ‘treasure trove’ for Mueller

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller knows President Trump‘s tweets are a “treasure trove” for his probe into whether the president obstructed justice.

“Mueller knows that those tweets are a treasure trove and a window into Trump’s thinking,” Napolitano said on Fox News’s “Outnumbered.”

“Did the president send messages to people of threats, or rewards, via his tweets? People who he knew or expected would be interviewed by Bob Mueller?” Napolitano said. “And if he did, was he engaging in witness tampering?”

Napolitano’s comments came shortly after a new New York Times reportthat said Mueller is reviewing Trump’s tweets as part of his investigation into whether he obstructed justice.

The Times reported that Mueller is focusing on Trump’s tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, each of whom the president has repeatedly criticized on Twitter. 

Among other things, Trump has tweeted and said in interviews that he would not have nominated Sessions as attorney general if he knew Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

“If you’re going to obstruct justice, you do it quietly and secretly, not in public,” Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer in Mueller’s Russia probe, said in a statement in response to the report.

The report from the Times comes only a few days after Giulani told Bloomberg News that he suggested to Mueller that Trump would sit for an interview only if Mueller agreed to rule out questions about obstruction of justice. 

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/399056-fox-news-napolitano-trumps-tweets-are-a-treasure-trove-for-mueller

Like the Rest of Us, Mueller Is Obsessing Over Trump’s Tweets

By 

That smile won’t last once he starts reading Trump’s tweets. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Somewhere on the long list of reasons that Donald Trump is president is his early embrace of Twitter. First, Trump used it to promote himself as a brilliant businessman (which he’s not); then, as a medium to attack political opponents (which he’s good at); and now, as a way to communicate with the world as president (which is making most people crazy).

Ironically, now, according to the New York Times, there’s at least a small chance that Twitter could also lead to his demise. On Thursday, the paper reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing Trump’s tweets as he investigates the president for obstruction of justice.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

The report goes on to cite Mueller’s desire to “question the president about the tweets.” Among the missives in question are those targeting Sessions in July of 2017. These were sent at the same time, Mueller has learned, that Trump was privately pressuring Sessions to resign so he could be replaced with someone who would not recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Mueller is also interested in Trump’s attacks on Comey, which include a veiled threat about taped conversations between the two men. Such “tapes” do not exist, Trump later admitted.

While none of these tweets alone are believed to amount to obstruction of justice, they’re thought to be a part of Mueller’s plan to build a case that Trump was on a broad mission to interfere with the investigation.

Trump’s lawyers continue to insist that he’s done nothing outside of the scope of his power, though. And anyway, Rudy Giuliani told the Times, “If you’re going to obstruct justice, you do it quietly and secretly, not in public.”

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/special-counsel-mueller-is-examining-trumps-tweets.html

 

 

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018, Story 1: President Trump: “A Great Day for Free and Fair Trade” — Win Win Victory for United States and European Union Countries — No Subsidies or $12 Billion of Emergency Aid Bailout ofFarmers! — Trade Not Aid or No Bailout Subsidies — Videos — Story 2: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Testifies Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee — Videos — Story 3: Russian President Putin Trump Trip to Washington changed to Next Year After Completion of Mueller Investigation — Videos — Story 4: Trump’s Personal Lawyer Taped 12 Conversations and One With Trump — Videos

Posted on July 25, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Employment, Euro, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mike Pompeo, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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See the source imageView image on Twitter

See the source imageHillary Clinton’s Russian HatLower Tariffs G7 SummitSee the source imageAnti-Trump Media is A CultTrump Derangement Syndrome

 

Story 1: President Trump: “A Great Day for Free and Fair Trade” — Win Win Victory for United States and European Union Countries — No Subsidies or $12 Billion of Emergency Aid Bailout ofFarmers! — Trade Not Aid or No Bailout Subsidies — Videos —

Trump lays out trade plans with EU at White House

Trump makes announcement in White House Rose Garden

Trump wants a ‘fair and reciprocal trade deal’ with EU – Daily Mail

The impact on consumers if the tariffs continue

GOP concerned it won’t benefit from tax cuts in midterms

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says “don’t blame” Trump for trade war

All American farmers want is a level playing field: Agriculture Secretary

Soybean farmer calls Trump’s $12 billion bailout a “pacifier”

John Stossel slams Trump’s farm-aid plan

President Trump Admin Will Spend $12 Billion To Assist Farmers Hurt By Tariffs | NBC Nightly News

Indiana Farmer: We’re ‘Supportive’ of Trump, Hope to Be ‘Patient’ on Trade Through Harvest Season

Indiana Farmer: We’re ‘Supportive’ of Trump, Hope to Be ‘Patient’ on Trade Through Harvest Season

Is President Trump’s Aid To Farmers A Band-Aid For A Problem He Created? | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Trump calls out the EU and China over unfair trade deals – Daily Mail

 

Trump hails `very big day´ for EU trade after Juncker talks

US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced they have agreed to work towards “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on non-car goods.

They also said they would work to resolve US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports that have agitated European markets.

The US president, in a hastily called Rose Garden statement with Mr Juncker, said the EU had agreed to buy “a lot of soybeans” and increase its imports of liquefied natural gas from the US.

Donald Trump

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The United States and the European Union have a $1 TRILLION bilateral trade relationship – the largest economic relationship in the world. We want to further strengthen this trade relationship to the benefit of all American and European citizens…

Mr Juncker, meanwhile, said the US and EU had agreed to hold off on further tariffs as part of trade talks aimed at averting a crippling trade dispute involving the lucrative car market.

Mr Trump told reporters it was a “very big day for free and fair trade” and vowed to “resolve the steel and aluminium tariff issues”.

He added: “We will resolve retaliatory tariffs. We have some tariffs that are retaliatory and that will get resolved as part of what we’re doing.

“We’re starting the negotiation right now, but we know very much where it’s going.”

 

View image on Twitter

Jean-Claude Juncker

@JunckerEU

I came for a deal, we made a deal. The EU continues to stand up for free and fair trade. My joint statement with @realDonaldTrump: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-4687_en.htm 

Mr Juncker said he had an “intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today”.

He said: “We have identified a number of areas on which to work together, work towards zero tariffs on industrial goods. That was my main intention, for those to come down to zero tariffs on industrial goods.”

As US soybean farmers have struggled against retaliatory tariffs, Mr Juncker said the EU “can import more soybeans from the US and it will be done”.

He said the two sides had also agreed to work together to reform the World Trade Organisation, which Mr Trump has vehemently criticised as being unfair to the US.

Earlier in the Oval Office, Mr Juncker told Mr Trump that the two trading partners were “allies, not enemies” and said they needed to work together to address recent frictions involving Mr Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on car imports and EU plans to retaliate.

Mr Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, saying they pose a threat to US national security, an argument that the EU and Canada reject. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and car parts, potentially targeting imports that last year totalled 335 billion dollars (£254 billion).

The president has repeatedly called the EU – which includes many of the US’ oldest and most committed allies – an unfair trading partner and even labelled it a “foe”.

The EU has warned that it will retaliate with tariffs on products worth 20 billion (£15 billion) if Mr Trump puts duties on cars and parts from Europe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5992739/Trump-hails-big-day-EU-trade-Juncker-talks.html

 

 

Story 2: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Testifies Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee — Videos

Lawmakers grill Pompeo on Trump-Putin summit

Sen. Rand Paul Questions Sec. of State Mike Pompeo at SFRC Hearing – July 25, 2018

GOP Sen. Corker to Pompeo: Trump concerns us

Mike Pompeo vs Chris Murphy EXPLOSIVE Exchange at Senate Hearing on Trump at Russia, DPRK Summits

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Mike Pompeo vs Bob Corker in EXPLOSIVE Exchange at Senate Hearing on Trump at Russia, DPRK Summits

Pompeo hearing gets heated over what Trump told Putin

 Mike Pompeo vs Tom Udall in EXPLOSIVE Exchange at Senate Hearing on Trump at Russia, DPRK Summits

Ingraham: Trump the ‘Disruptor’ Is ‘Rattling the Cages of the Intel Community’

Pompeo testifies before Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Pompeo: Trump has been strong in protecting US from Russia

 

Story 3: Russian President Putin Trump Trip to Washington changed to Next Year After Completion of Mueller Investigation — Videos

Trump backtracks on proposed Putin summit

Trump wants second meeting with Putin despite fallout from Helsinki summit

White House: Trump invites Putin to Washington this fall

Mueller indictment reveals key details about how U.S., Russia spy on each other

Bolton: Mueller indictment ‘strengthens’ Trump’s hand ahead of Putin summit

Trump postpones Putin visit as Pompeo defends US stance on Russia

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said President Donald Trump has taken a firm stance against Russia
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said President Donald Trump has taken a firm stance against Russia

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday delayed a second summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, while his top diplomat insisted there was no let up against Moscow following the two leaders’ controversial meeting in Helsinki.

Facing mounting calls to release the details of Trump’s closed-door talks with Putin, the US administration stepped up its damage control operation, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo going before Congress to defend his boss.

The US president himself, under fire for plans to invite Putin to the White House in the fall, opted to delay until 2019 — pushing the talks back until Robert Mueller has completed his probe into Moscow’s election interference, according to National Security Advisor John Bolton.

And Pompeo went on the offensive to stress steps Trump has taken to show resolve against the Kremlin, stepping into a white-hot spotlight during a three-hour grilling by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The top diplomat said he would back bipartisan efforts in Congress to slap new sanctions on Russia in response to their meddling in the 2016 US election, and as a deterrent against meddling this year or in 2020.

“I personally made clear to the Russians that there will be severe consequences for interference in our democratic processes,” he said in his opening statement.

But Pompeo remained frustratingly vague about perhaps the biggest question of all: what transpired in the private meeting between Trump and Putin?

Pompeo reaffirmed as official policy that the United States “rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea” — an issue on which Trump had appeared to waver.

And with the US president accused — including by members of his own Republican Party — of casting doubt on the alliance’s founding principle of mutual defense, Pompeo sought to smooth ruffled feathers.

“NATO will remain an indispensable pillar of American national security,” he said. “We know weakness provokes our enemies, but strength and cohesion protect us.”

On the North Korea front, Pompeo also struck a resolute tone, warning that Washington will not let nuclear negotiations drag on with no success, amid criticism that Trump’s June Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un has so far yielded few results.

“We are engaged in patient diplomacy, but we will not let this drag out to no end,” Pompeo said.

But while he insisted that North Koreans “understand precisely our definition of denuclearization and have agreed to denuclearize,” Pompeo also confirmed in the hearing that Pyongyang continues to make nuclear fissile material.

And he said he believes North Korea remains the most urgent national security threat to the United States.

– ‘Submissive and deferential’ –

Lawmakers — and America’s allies around the world — have been eager to learn the details of Trump’s one-on-one July 16 meeting with Putin, including whether Trump made any secret promises to Putin or as-yet-undisclosed verbal agreements.

Republicans and Democrats alike have described Trump’s performance as a betrayal of US interests and too conciliatory towards the Russian leader.

US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands before a joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki

US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands before a joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki

The hearing quickly turned testy as lawmakers sought details on what exactly transpired in the Finnish capital.

“I don’t think that’s unfair to know,” Senator Robert Menendez, the panel’s top Democrat, told Pompeo. “Did he tell Putin that he’ll release or ultimately relax sanctions?”

“Senator, what you need to conduct your role, your appropriate role, I will provide you today,” a steely Pompeo shot back, without answering the question.

While Pompeo gave no hints of any secret promises or deals between the presidents, the US State Department has said three “modest proposals” emerged from the summit: a high-level business leaders’ working group; a council of US and Russian political experts, diplomats and military officials; and discussions between the two presidents’ national security staffs.

As Democrats launched broadsides against Trump and Pompeo’s performance, Pompeo responded in kind, accusing Menendez for example of making a “political soliloquy” at the administration’s expense.

But even Republican ranks remained unconvinced by Pompeo’s reassurances.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, the committee’s chairman, delivered withering criticism, accusing Trump of appearing “submissive and deferential” standing next to Putin in Helsinki and saying “it’s the president’s actions that create tremendous distrust in our nation, among our allies.”

Congress has been rattled by Trump’s Helsinki showing, particularly when he appeared to accept Putin’s denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 election — dismissing US intelligence conclusions.

The intensity of the criticism prompted days of conflicting statements from the White House, and ultimately an extraordinary U-turn from Trump who said he misspoke and did, in fact, believe Russia meddled in the election.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5991989/US-senators-grill-Pompeo-Trump-Putin-summit-NKorea.html

Story 4: Trump’s Personal Lawyer Taped 12 Conversations and One With Trump — No Crime Committed By Trump — Did Trump Waive Client-Attorney Privilege on This Tape? Most Likely — $150,000 To Stop Disclosure of alleged extramarital affair With Former Playboy model Karen McDougal —  Videos

See the source image

Trump questions why a lawyer would tape a client after Cohen releases tape

Tucker Carlson Tonight July 25, 2018 – Tucker Carlson Tonight Breaking News Fox 7/25/18

Giuliani responds to secret Trump-Cohen recording release

Trump, Cohen lawyers dispute content of secret tape

Michael Cohen’s secret recording of conversation with Trump

Michael Cohen’s attorney on tape with Trump made public

Michael Avenatti: Michael Cohen & Lanny Davis Are Playing The Public | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Avenatti says ‘multiple tapes of Trump’; claims to know ‘substance of some’

Erin Burnett: Tape shows Trump’s team lied

EXCLUSIVE Audio of Michael Cohen’s Conversation with Donald Trump

How Mueller could use evidence from the FBI’s raid on Michael Cohen

Will Trump fixer Michael Cohen cooperate in Mueller probe?

Is Cohen raid an overreach of Mueller’s scope?

Word for Word: Rosenstein on Lawmakers Drafting Articles of Impeachment Against Him (C-SPAN)

 

National Enquirer’s Yearslong Dealings With Trump Lawyer Fall Under Federal Scrutiny

Michael Cohen and tabloid publisher traded favors over many years; the Omarosa mediation

Michael Cohen and the publisher of the National Enquirer forged an alliance over the years, looking out for the interests of Donald Trump and each other. Now, federal investigators are examining those ties as part of a wide-ranging probe into Mr. Cohen’s personal business dealings and his self-described role as Mr. Trump’s fixer.

In previously unreported interactions, some of which are memorialized in emails now under review, Mr. Cohen mediated a dispute between Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who had been a star on Mr. Trump’s “Apprentice” reality TV show, and the Enquirer over a story about her brother’s murder. He intervened in a separate legal case on behalf of David Pecker, chief executive of Enquirer parent American Media Inc. And when American Media paid a doorman who alleged that Mr. Trump fathered a child with one of his employees, a company executive ordered reporters to stop investigating after speaking with Mr. Cohen.

The revelations show a relationship characterized by mutual benefit and favor-trading on a greater scale than was previously known. The shared history could expose American Media, Mr. Cohen and by extension, Mr. Trump, to criminal campaign-finance charges. For example, federal agents and prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Mr. Cohen, acting as Mr. Trump’s representative, improperly coordinated with American Media to keep an ex-Playboy model’s account of an affair with Mr. Trump under wraps in the months before the 2016 presidential election, people familiar with the matter said.

Cohen’s Collaborations

American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, frequently worked with former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

2011

Former ‘Apprentice’ star Omarosa Manigault-Newman threatened to sue AMI. After Mr. Cohen’s intervention, the organization hired her as an editor.

2015

AMI executives contacted Mr. Cohen after paying former Trump-apartment doorman Dino Sajudin for the rights to his story alleging Mr. Trump had fathered a child with one of his employees.

2016

AMI brass talked to Mr. Cohen while negotiating a $150,000 deal with former Playboy model Karen McDougal for the rights to her story of an alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

2016

Mr. Cohen chaired a meeting attempting to mediate a legal dispute against AMI Chairman David Pecker filed by one of Trump’s longtime attorneys.

Source: staff reports; Getty Images (McDougal and Pecker); Zuma (Manigault-Newman); Dino Sajudin

One looming issue for both prosecutors and AMI is the publisher’s status as a media organization, which would afford it First Amendment protections. The Justice Department is examining whether American Media at times acted more like an extension of Mr. Trump and his campaign, a person familiar with the matter said. The legal bar is high to strip any media organization of its constitutional protections.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office subpoenaed American Media and the Trump Organization on the same day in early April that the FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. It is unusual for investigators to subpoena media organizations for information related to their newsgathering without advance warning.

Investigators personally approached Mr. Pecker with a subpoena and delivered a separate subpoena to American Media seeking information related to the payment to the ex-Playboy model, among other things, according to people briefed on the matter.

Federal law bars candidates from accepting campaign contributions from corporations. The law defines a contribution as anything of value given to influence a federal election. It also requires candidates to disclose political contributions and expenditures.

Mr. Cohen hasn’t been charged and denies wrongdoing. Mr. Trump denies the affair, and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has said Mr. Trump broke no election laws.

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Mr. Cohen, declined to answer a list of questions “out of respect for the process” but added, “I ask everyone to remember the difference between innuendo and fact.”

An American Media representative declined to comment. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.

American Media’s deal with the former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, surfaced days before the 2016 presidential election, when The Wall Street Journal reported that the company paid $150,000 to buy—but not publish—her story of having an affair with Mr. Trump.

American Media briefed Mr. Cohen on the deal, people familiar with their communications said; the publishing company said it was simply seeking his comment on the matter for a possible article.

Michael Cohen leaves his New York hotel in June.
Michael Cohen leaves his New York hotel in June. PHOTO: JEENAH MOON/REUTERS

In September 2016, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump discussed the possibility of buying the rights to the model’s story from American Media.

A recording Mr. Cohen made of that conversation was seized by federal agents investigating the attorney, said people familiar with the matter. While Mr. Trump seemed open to the idea, the rights remained with American Media until this April, when the company returned them to Ms. McDougal as part of a legal settlement, the people said.

Mr. Cohen created a Delaware shell company, Resolution Consultants LLC, on Sept. 30, 2016, to buy the rights to the McDougal story from American Media, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Among the emails in the possession of federal investigators are those showing Mr. Cohen’s previously unreported involvement in the dispute involving Ms. Manigault-Newman, a person familiar with the matter said.

Ms. Manigault-Newman threatened to sue American Media in 2011 over “exclusive” coverage of her brother’s murder after the publisher sent a reporter to his funeral in Ohio. The reporter spoke with attendees but didn’t identify herself, so mourners assumed she was part of the family, angering Ms. Manigault-Newman, people familiar with the episode said.

Mr. Cohen stepped in to defuse the situation and orchestrated a resolution in which Ms. Manigault-Newman dropped her legal threat in return for a job from American Media, these people said.

American Media announced in December 2011 that Ms. Manigault-Newman, then known as Ms. Manigault-Stallworth, had become West Coast editor of the company’s now-defunct Reality Weekly, a magazine about reality shows. After that publication shut down, she worked for American Media’s OK! Magazine.

Jerry George, National Enquirer’s West Coast bureau chief at the time, recalled his superiors instructing him to find an office for Ms. Manigault-Newman. Mr. George, who left the company in 2013, said he was never told what duties Ms. Manigault-Newman would perform.

Mr. George found a space for Ms. Manigault-Newman on the other side of the office from his reporting staff, near the advertising department, he recalled, adding: “I don’t think attendance was mandatory for her.” Her mother sometimes came to American Media’s offices, where she was known as “Mamarosa,” Mr. George said.

Ms. Manigault-Newman joined Mr. Trump’s White House staff to do public outreach until she was forced out in December.

President Trump speaks during African American History Month last year with then-aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman at his side.
President Trump speaks during African American History Month last year with then-aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman at his side. PHOTO: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ms. Manigault-Newman has been interviewed by federal investigators, according to people familiar with the matter. There has been no suggestion that the resolution of her dispute with American Media was improper, but it highlights the overlapping interests of the media company and the Trump Organization that prosecutors want to understand better, according to people familiar with the matter.

Federal investigators have obtained emails showing that Mr. Cohen intervened in another legal dispute on Mr. Pecker’s behalf in 2016, shortly after American Media completed the $150,000 deal to buy the rights to Ms. McDougal’s story—-and as he was contemplating buying those rights from American Media.

Mr. Pecker had recently joined the board of payment-processing company iPayment Inc. After the board ousted the iPayment Chief Executive Carl Grimstad in August 2016, he sued the firm, its investors and its directors.

The iPayment board that forced Mr. Grimstad out was controlled by the same investors who had taken American Media private several years earlier.

Marc Kasowitz, a longtime attorney for Mr. Trump, represented Mr. Grimstad.

Mr. Cohen’s emails show him trying to mediate the dispute, according to people familiar with the records. He reached out to Mr. Kasowitz, and they arranged for a settlement meeting overseen by Mr. Cohen. Mr. Pecker went, along with lawyers for other defendants.

“Mr. Cohen asked Mr. Grimstad’s lawyers at our firm to meet to discuss a resolution of the litigations, which Mr. Grimstad authorized his lawyers to do,” Sheron Korpus, Mr. Kasowitz’s partner who led the case, said in an emailed statement. “No resolution was reached.”

The parties settled in 2017 with a payout to Mr. Grimstad valued at nearly $20 million, according to court documents.

A spokeswoman for Paysafe Group, which acquired iPayment this year, declined to comment on Mr. Cohen’s efforts to resolve the litigation.

David Pecker, chief executive of Enquirer parent American Media Inc., in 2015.
David Pecker, chief executive of Enquirer parent American Media Inc., in 2015. PHOTO: MADISON MCGAW/BFA

Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Pecker dates to at least the 1990s, when Mr. Pecker was president and chief executive of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. The publisher put out Trump Style, a custom quarterly magazine distributed to guests at Trump properties. Mr. Pecker hosted a party for Hachette at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

When Mr. Pecker took over American Media in the late 1990s, he imposed a moratorium on negative stories about Mr. Trump, according to former employees of the company.

Mr. Cohen, who joined the Trump Organization in 2007 as special counsel to Mr. Trump, developed an independent friendship with Mr. Pecker, according to people who know both men.

A person who knows Mr. Pecker professionally and personally said he viewed himself as an outsider in polite society and gravitated to others similarly placed, like Messrs. Trump and Cohen. Mr. Cohen has praised Mr. Pecker as “a great guy,” according to an acquaintance of both men.

Tips about Mr. Trump poured into the Enquirer during the height of the popularity of “The Apprentice” and its spinoff, former employees said. Enquirer editors rejected any that painted Mr. Trump in a bad light, knowing Mr. Pecker wouldn’t allow them, they added.

At the time, National Enquirer editors faxed or emailed stories and printed them out, scrawling edits in pen on hard copies before sending them to other editors or reporters. Sometimes Trump stories would have changes labeled “per Pecker” that seemed aimed at flattering Mr. Trump, such as identifying him as a “multibillionaire” instead of merely a billionaire, Mr. George recalled.

Throughout Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, American Media used its pages to bolster the candidate and bash his opponents. Mr. Cohen, as Mr. Trump’s fixer, privately communicated with the company on a range of issues, according to people familiar with the matter.

He developed a close working relationship with American Media’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, who joined Mr. Cohen to drink at Mr. Trump’s victory party at the New York Hilton in Manhattan on the night of Nov. 8, 2016, people familiar with the matter said.

During Mr. Trump’s campaign, the National Enquirer sent some of its unpublished stories about Mr. Trump or his rivals directly to Mr. Cohen for review, said people familiar with the practice. The tabloid also cobbled together columns under Mr. Trump’s name—“I am the only one who can make America great again!” one began—and cleared them with Mr. Cohen, according to one of the people.

American Media executives also talked to Mr. Cohen in late 2015, as Mr. Trump prepared to enter primary season with a major lead on his opponents in opinion polls, about a tip the National Enquirer received from a former doorman who had been fired from a Trump-branded apartment building, people familiar with the matter said.

The National Enquirer’s editor-in-chief, Dylan Howard.
The National Enquirer’s editor-in-chief, Dylan Howard. PHOTO: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

American Media paid the doorman, Dino Sajudin, $30,000 for exclusive rights to his story alleging that Mr. Trump fathered a child with one of his employees, bucking its usual practice of paying sources upon publication, the people said.

Mr. Sajudin passed a lie-detector test but offered no proof of the relationship, the people said. Enquirer staff staked out the woman’s home attempting to get a picture and learned that she, her husband and daughter all had worked at Mr. Trump’s company.

Mr. Cohen called Mr. Howard after word got back to him that a National Enquirer reporter had reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant to ask about the alleged love child, said one person familiar with the conversation.

The reporter hadn’t told her superiors about her plans to approach the Trump Organization, the person said.

“He is furious,” Mr. Howard told Enquirer editors, referring to Mr. Cohen, the person said. He then ordered staff to stand down on any additional reporting on Mr. Sajudin’s story.

A year later, other media organizations began to chase rumors about the doorman’s story. A Journal reporter visited the home of the employee identified by Mr. Sajudin in late 2016. A couple of hours later, Mr. Cohen called the reporter unsolicited and said the allegations were “baseless.”

Karen McDougal attends a Playboy Magazine party during Super Bowl Weekend in 2008.
Karen McDougal attends a Playboy Magazine party during Super Bowl Weekend in 2008.PHOTO: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES

American Media executives told the Journal in December 2016 that the company paid Mr. Sajudin because he had threatened to take his tip elsewhere and they didn’t want to lose a potentially big scoop. The Enquirer didn’t publish a story because Mr. Sajudin “was unable to provide one shred of information to support his fanciful claims,” Messrs. Pecker and Howard said in a written statement at the time.

“I don’t think they had any intention of doing a story,” Mr. Sajudin said in an interview with the Journal at the time. “I think it was just about paying some money to make it go away.”

Mr. Sajudin declined to comment for this article.

Because the Journal found no evidence to support Mr. Sajudin’s claims and because the woman told the Journal she didn’t have an affair with Mr. Trump, the newspaper didn’t publish an article about the payment to Mr. Sajudin.

The stakes were much higher the following summer, as the election drew near, when Ms. McDougal, the former Playboy playmate, began considering telling her story alleging she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006.

At the same time, the former adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, tried to sell to American Media her story of an alleged sexual encounter in 2006 with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

American Media rebuffed her. Reports of that alleged sexual encounter had surfaced years earlier in the celebrity press and Ms. Clifford had denied them.

Without American Media’s help, Mr. Cohen made a $130,000 deal to buy Ms. Clifford’s silence himself through a shell corporation, less than a month before the election.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels leaves New York federal court in April.
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels leaves New York federal court in April. PHOTO: CRAIG RUTTLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mr. Cohen’s friends said he was doing his job as Mr. Trump’s attorney when he tried to soften or kill media stories about Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen said in an interview this month with ABC News that he tried to made good-faith judgments in his work for Mr. Trump, adding, “I am not perfect.”

Now, Mr. Pecker’s collaboration with Mr. Cohen may be nearing an end.

A few weeks after FBI agents searched Mr. Cohen’s properties, the Enquirer targeted the attorney in a two-page article under the headline, “Payoffs & Threats Exposed: Trump Fixer’s Secrets & Lies!”

The tabloid reported in the same issue that Mr. Trump had passed a polygraph “Proving No Russia Collusion!”

 

‘What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?’ Trump unloads on Michael Cohen after recording shows the pair discussing campaign-season payoff to bury old affair with Playboy model

  • President Trump blasted his former attorney Michael Cohen for taping their September 2016 chat about an alleged extramarital affair
  • ‘What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?’ he tweeted, speculating that he may have recorded other clients 
  • The tape aired Tuesday shows Trump and Cohen discussing payment to buy story rights of a woman who said she had slept with the then-candidate
  • The revelation was followed by claims that there are other recordings
  • The FBI seized audio when it raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel as part of a reported criminal bank-fraud and campaign-finance investigation
  • Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis said there are ‘certainly more tapes,’ but Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani had already insisted the president’s voice isn’t on them

‘What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?’ an incredulous Trump tweeted.

Trump also complained that the recording, first aired by CNN, appeared to end suddenly.

‘Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things?’ he asked. ‘I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!’

On Saturday the president claimed the idea of a lawyer taping a client was ‘totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,’ adding that ‘[t]he good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!’

President Donald Trump is at war with his former lawyer folllowing the bombshell revelation of a September 2016 recording of the two men discussing a payment to bury a sexual affair claim

President Donald Trump is at war with his former lawyer folllowing the bombshell revelation of a September 2016 recording of the two men discussing a payment to bury a sexual affair claim

'What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?' Trump tweeted, speculating that Cohen may have recorded other clients

Cohen is under federal investigation, reportedly for allegations of bank fraud and campaign finance violations, related to a different Trump hush-money payoff to porn actress Stormy Daniels

A lawyer for Cohen insisted Wednesday that the former Trump attorney isn’t hoping for a presidential pardon, and insisted following Tuesday’s shocking audiotape revelation that there could be more to come.

Lanny Davis said on ‘Good Morning America’ that ‘there are certainly more tapes,’ after CNN broadcast a brief recording of Cohen and then-candidate Donald Trump discussing possibly purchasing the rights to the story of a woman who claimed to have bedded the future president.

The FBI reportedly seized a dozen recordings from Cohen during raids this year. Davis did not, however, say that the president’s voice is on any of them.

He described them as what ‘Mr. Cohen has discussed, that he normally did, in order to take notes. He used his telephone.’

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday night in a Fox News Channel interview that ‘there are no other tapes with the president.’

Media interest in Cohen's revelation ran high on Wednesday, with the influential Drudge Report website featuring the story and calling him 'THE RAT'

Media interest in Cohen’s revelation ran high on Wednesday, with the influential Drudge Report website featuring the story and calling him ‘THE RAT’

Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis, a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton hand, said Wednesday that the feds have more audio from their Cohen raids

Trump's lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, insisted Tuesday night on Fox News that the president's voice isn't on any of the other recordings still under wraps

‘We have all of the tapes in our possession,’ Giuliani said. ‘We have transcripts of all them. We are comfortable with them. And there are no – there are no others.’

Appearing Wednesday on ‘Fox & Friends,’ longtime Harvard Law School scholar Alan Dershowitz said the tape was a ‘big deal about nothing’ and that Cohen ‘shouldn’t have recorded this.’

‘The end result is no payments were made, no cash was given,’ Dershowitz declared. ‘There’s no crime here. There’s no impeachable offense here.’

Cohen could be charged with bank fraud or campaign finance violations in relation to his separate payoff of pornographic actress Stormy Daniels for her silence about an allegation similar to that of the other woman, former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti claimed last week that ‘this is not the only tape,’ forecasting the first shoe that would drop.

‘I think this is a very serious matter and I think that any or all audio tapes that Michael Cohen has in his possession relating to this president should be released for the public,’ he said then.

The proposal involved paying American Media, the parent company of The National Enquirer, for the publishing rights. The company had bought them from McDougal for $150,000.

Cohen was an archetypical loyal footsoldier in Trumpworld until his home, office and hotel room were raided.

Davis, a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton legal adviser, said Wednesday morning that his client is no longer playing the role of dutiful lieutenant.

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal received a $150,000 payment from the National Enquirer's parent company, in exchange for an exclusive on her Trump story – which never ran

Davis insists that Trump is a serial liar, and that his client Cohen is ready to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may

Davis insists that Trump is a serial liar, and that his client Cohen is ready to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may

‘Michael Cohen has turned a corner in his life, and he’s now dedicated to telling the truth to everyone, and we’ll see what happens,’ Davis said on ABC.

‘This is about truth versus lying, and ultimately Donald Trump is going to be done in by the truth,’ he insisted.

Cohen has already said his ‘first loyalty’ is to the United States and to his family, not to the president. The White House has avoided taking a position on a possible future pardon.

Giuliani said last month, however, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s broader Russia probe ‘might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons’ when the dust settles.

Tuesday night’s mini-controversy surrounded one moment in the leaked recording, in which Trump is heard telling Cohen to ‘pay with cash’ if he struck a deal for the McDougal story.

Guilani insisted Trump said ‘don’t pay with cash,’ reasoning that incorporating a new company to handle the payment would require paperwork and documentation.

‘I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,’ Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.

Trump interjects to ask ‘What financing?’ – to which Cohen responds: ‘We’ll have to pay.’

After Trump’s cryptic remark about ‘cash,’ Cohen replies: ‘No, no, no, no.’

‘Check,’ Trump adds.

McDougal says she had a year-long affair with Trump after the birth of his son Baron; Trump and the White House have denied he did anything wrong

McDougal says she had a year-long affair with Trump after the birth of his son Baron; Trump and the White House have denied he did anything wrong

McDougal is seen far right in this photo with Melania Trump (third from left), Donald Trump (center), and Ivanka Trump (third from right)

McDougal is seen far right in this photo with Melania Trump (third from left), Donald Trump (center), and Ivanka Trump (third from right)

Davis, 72, formerly special counsel to President Bill Clinton, said he gave the copy to the network to defend his client who was ‘falsely accused.’

Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen is accused of receiving US$500,000 from a Russian oligarch linked to election meddling.

Trump’s new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, insists the president never paid McDougal but had acknowledged that the audio, which dates back to September 2016, captured a discussion related to the buying the story rights.

Before it was leaked, Giuliani said the recording would play to Trump’s benefit.

‘Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,’ Giuliani said, according to The New York Times, and said Trump told Cohen that if he made a payment to McDougal, he should write a check.

After the tape was released, he told Fox News on Tuesday it was ‘outrageous’ that it had been leaked to the media and questioned whether it ended at a key part in the conversation.

Giuliani claims that the rest of the recording, if it hadn’t cut off, would have been ‘exculpatory.’

He also told The Associated Press that Trump did not want to pay cash and ‘suggesting otherwise is ridiculous.’

THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF TRUMP AND COHEN’S DISCUSSION

TRUMP: [In background] Good. Let me know what’s happening, okay? Oh, oh. Maybe because of this it would be better if you didn’t go, you know? Maybe because of this. For that one, you know, I think what you should do is get rid of this. Because it’s so false what they’re saying, it’s such bulls**t.

Um. [PAUSE] I think, I think this goes away quickly. I think what — I think it’s probably better to do the Charleston thing, just this time. Uh, yeah. In two weeks, it’s fine. I think right now it’s, it’s better. You know?

Okay, honey. You take care of yourself. Thanks, babe. Yup, I’m proud of you. So long. Bye.

[Into phone] What’s happening?

COHEN: Great poll, by the way.

TRUMP: Yeah?

COHEN: Seen it. Great poll.

TRUMP: Making progress.

COHEN: Big time.

TRUMP: And, your guy is a good guy. He’s a good —

COHEN: Who, Pastor Scott?

TRUMP: Can’t believe this. No, Pastor Scott. What’s, what’s happening —

COHEN: No —

TRUMP: Can we use him anymore?

COHEN: Oh, yeah, a hundred — no, you’re talking about Mark Burns. He’s, we’ve told him to [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

TRUMP: I don’t need that — Mark Burns, are we using him?

COHEN: No, no.

FEMALE: Richard [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. I’m sorry, Richard [UNINTELLIGIBLE] just called. He — just when you have a chance, he had an idea for you.

TRUMP: Okay, great.

COHEN: Um, so, we got served from the New York Times. I told you this — we were …

TRUMP: To what?

COHEN: … To unseal the divorce papers with Ivana. Um, we’re fighting it. Um, [Trump attorney Marc] Kasowitz is going to —

TRUMP: They should never be able to get that.

COHEN: Never. Never. Kasowitz doesn’t think they’ll ever be able to. They don’t have a —

TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please!

COHEN: They don’t have a legitimate purpose, so —

TRUMP: And you have a woman that doesn’t want this.

COHEN: Correct.

TRUMP: Who you’ve been handling.

COHEN: Yes. And —

TRUMP: And it’s been going on for a while.

COHEN: About two, three weeks now.

TRUMP: All you’ve got to do is delay for —

COHEN: Even after that, it’s not ever going to be opened. There’s no, there’s no purpose for it. Um, told you about Charleston.

I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that — I’m going to do that right away. I’ve actually come up and I’ve spoken —

TRUMP: Give it to me and get me a [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

COHEN: And, I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with …

TRUMP: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

COHEN: … Funding . . . Yes. Um, and it’s all the stuff.

TRUMP: Yeah, I was thinking about that.

COHEN: All the stuff. Because — here, you never know where that company — you never know what he’s —

TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.

COHEN: Correct. So, I’m all over that. And, I spoke to Allen about it, when it comes time for the financing, which will be —

TRUMP: Wait a sec, what financing?

COHEN: Well, I’ll have to pay him something.

TRUMP: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] pay with cash.

COHEN: No, no, no, no, no. I got it.

TRUMP: Check.

[Tape cuts off abruptly. Separate recording begins.]

MALE: Hey Don, how are you?

Trump broke his silence on Saturday and is not happy Cohen recorded their conversation about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal

Trump broke his silence on Saturday and is not happy Cohen recorded their conversation about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the Cohen tape saying it proved that Trump and Cohen tried to kill the story before Election Day, making the saga ‘campaign-motivated.’

He said: ‘Regardless of cash or check, whole point of phony corp. was to hide campaign expenditure.’

Schiff added that it was also proof that Giuliani was ‘untruthful’ when he said Trump didn’t know about the payments.

The president broke his silence on Saturday morning tweeting that it was ‘inconceivable’ and possibly illegal that Cohen recorded him without his knowledge.

‘Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,’ he wrote.

‘The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!’ Trump added.

President Trump and his associates are closely watching Cohen to see if he decides to cooperate with authorities should charges be brought against him.

The alleged affair began shortly after the birth of Trump's son, Baron
The alleged affair began shortly after the birth of Trump’s son, Baron
If payments to McDougal are deemed to have been an effort to circumvent campaign finance laws and their strict limits on monetary contributions to a political campaign, it could provide legal exposure for Cohen.

In the case of another woman who claimed an affair with Trump, porn star Stormy Daniels, Cohen did write her a check, using an LLC he set up immediately beforehand.

‘In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,’ said Giuliani.

Lawyer Peter Stris, who negotiated a settlement between McDougal and American Media Inc., tweeted: ‘When @realDonaldTrump said we were lying, do you think he meant we WEREN’T?’ – in a play on Trump’s walk-back of his statement about Russian election meddling.

The Washington Post reported that the September 2016 story – two months before the election – involved a plan by Cohen to buy the rights to McDougal’s story. But the deal never happened.

When the Wall Street Journal broke the story on the payment and the alleged affair days before the election, Trump spokeswoman and later White House communications director Hope Hicks said, ‘We have no knowledge of any of this.’

Under the arrangement, David Pecker, chairman of American Media, which owns the National Enquirer, oversaw a $150,000 payment to McDougal. Pecker is a longtime friend of Trump’s and a political supporter.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5990807/Trump-unloads-Michael-Cohen-kind-lawyer-tape-client.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018, Story 1: The Republican Red Wave Forces Democratic Party To Run On Far Left Socialist Massive Government Agenda — Republican Party United vs. Democratic Party Divided — Turnout Will Tell — Videos — Story 2: Attorney General Sessions Gets A Clue — Lock Her Up — Appoint A Second Special Counsel — Trump’s Broken Promise — Videos — Story 3: Qanon is Back! — When will many thousand of sealed indictments be served on The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy? After Election Day and Completion of Mueller Investigation — Something Big Is About To Drop! — Videos

Posted on July 24, 2018. Filed under: American History, Benghazi, Breaking News, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Communications, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Human, Law, Life, Media, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

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Story 1: The Republican Red Wave Forces Democratic Party To Run On Far Left Socialist Massive Government Agenda — Videos

See the source imageImage result for branco cartoons lock her up

Image result for branco cartoons lock her upImage result for branco cartoons lock her up

Tucker: What happened to the Democratic party under Trump?

Tucker: Left doesn’t believe in borders, citizenship

Newt Gingrich: We will see a red wave, not blue in November

Newt Gingrich on GOP gaining momentum ahead of midterms

Has the Democratic Party moved to the extreme left?

Are some Democrats afraid of impeachment?

Trump’s Approval Rating Keeps Going Up

Kurtz: Hillary, the media and the sore loser narrative

New #QAnon! After 20 Days of Radio Silence, Liberty Lovers Breathe a Sigh of Relief and Gratitude!

RED WAVE 2018? The best case scenario for the GOP in the 2018 midterms

Why Democrats are Doomed in 2018 Mid Term Elections

Shapiro: ‘Blue Wave’ Looks Like It’s Barely Going to Be a Ripple

Why I Left the Left

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

The Inconvenient Truth About the Republican Party

Is the Democratic Party going too far left?

 

 

The Memo: Dems grapple with Trump’s resilience

President Trump’s approval rating is largely unchanged in the first polls to emerge after his widely criticized performance at last week’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Democrats are scratching their heads.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed Trump’s approval rating rising to 45 percent, his highest level in that poll since taking office. And an Economist/YouGov survey showed no significant deviation from Trump’s numbers the previous week.

The polls included some responses before and some after Trump’s July 16 news conference with Putin in Helsinki, meaning it’s possible that a more pronounced negative impact could show up in the next wave of polls. But there is no evidence of such an effect so far.

But Democrats also argue that Trump’s base is not big enough to bring sustained electoral success, either in November’s midterm elections or in his 2020 reelection race.

Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist who has worked at a senior level of several presidential campaigns, said pundits were failing to emphasize how Trump’s approval ratings have been low by historical standards.

“If another president had these numbers, his political people would be very worried about it,” Shrum said. “He only cares about his base and, if you look at polls in general, they are in deep trouble for the 2018 election.”

Different findings even within the same polls can lead to very different conclusions, however.

In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, for example, the share of Americans who said they strongly approve of Trump, 29 percent, was far outweighed by the 44 percent who strongly disapprove.

That should mean Democrats can expect much greater intensity among their base — a factor that could be vital since Democratic-leaning voting blocs tend to turn out less reliably in midterm elections than in presidential contests.

On the other hand, the same poll showed that the Democrats’ lead in the so-called generic ballot — where voters nationwide are asked which party they would prefer to control Congress — had shrunk to 6 percentage points. This is a notable slippage from the 10-point advantage the party enjoyed just a month before.

To some observers, that calls into question the idea of a “blue wave” that might sweep Democrats into power in the House or the Senate after November — even if few independent voices back the president’s claim, made on Twitter last month, that there might be a “Red Wave” for Republicans instead.

Among Democrats, there is a continued faith that things will go their way in November. 

Tad Devine, who served as a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, said he believed a takeover of both the House and Senate was a real possibility for Democrats. 

“The intensity is there. Democratic voters are paying a lot more attention, they are a lot more interested in participating,” Devine said. He added that the party did not need to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to framing the election.

“It’s not some big single message,” he said. “We have candidates who are different, unique — what kind of race do we want to run in each district?”

Many Democrats also emphasize the significant swath of the voting public that appears alienated — perhaps permanently — from Trump. 

His polarizing approach, they say, makes him more enemies than friends. The effect could be to the detriment of his party.

Referring to Trump’s conduct during the news conference with Putin, and in the days afterward, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi said, “The 55 or 56 percent who say they disapprove of him? I think this really locks that in … This last nine, 10 days or so makes it much tougher for a Republican candidate for Congress to pull them back.”

Opinions diverge as to why Trump himself commands such strong loyalty from his base of support.

Shrum argued that the economic factors were much less relevant than other, gut-level responses.

“I just think there is a deep emotional investment in him by a shrinking Republican Party,” Shrum said, “He speaks to the politics of resentment, he speaks to the anxieties — though I think his remedies are absurd — of people who think they have been left behind, and so they don’t want to give up on him.”

Devine argued that the strong economy played its part as “protective armor” for Trump — but he asserted that an anti-media reflex is also part of the picture.

“Usually the battles are between the Democrats and the Republicans, but in Trump’s case it is himself and the press,” he said. “That’s the battle, and he is delivering these messages to people in his base, and they are responding to it.”

Devine also asserted that support for Trump was more complicated than the headline figures from a poll suggest.

Research from focus groups or voter interviews, he asserted, would reveal “they don’t really like the way Trump has handled himself but they also think he is being attacked unfairly and all this other stuff.”

For the moment, however, the idea of a Trump collapse looks increasingly unrealistic, at least in the short term.

That’s giving his opponents, as well as his supporters, plenty of food for thought.

The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage, primarily focused on Donald Trump’s presidency.

http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/398471-the-memo-dems-grapple-with-trumps-resilience

 

Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren Suggests 50% Democrat Tax Rates – Calls Trump Tax Bonuses “Crumbs” (VIDEO)

Thanks to President Trump’s tax cuts and reforms 90% of American wage earners have a higher take-home pay this year.

Over 3 million working Americans have received Trump tax cut bonuses as a result of the Trump tax reform law.

But fake Elizabeth Warren wants to take that all away.

Elizabeth Warren told CNBC Democrats will end the Trump tax cuts if they take power in November.

Warren also promoted a 50% tax hike on American earners.

CNBC reported:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sat down with CNBC’s John Harwood to discuss an array of issues, from President Donald Trump to the economy. Here, she talks about wanting to roll back the GOP tax cuts.

Q: If Democrats take the Congress, if you’re in the White House, or both, would you like to see these corporate tax cuts repealed?

A: Yeah, I really want to see them rolled back.

Q: Back to 35 percent?

A: Well, it’s not about the number. Here’s how I look at budgets and taxes are at the heart of this. A lot of people think they’re just numbers; they’re not. They are the expression of our values. The values of the Republican Party that passed those tax cuts are to give $1.5 trillion away to the richest Americans and the biggest corporations, and let everybody else pick up the crumbs.

I think the right way to think about this is that we need a budget, we need a tax bill that works for all of us. So what I’d like to see is I’d like to see us strengthen America’s middle class.

Q: What’s too high for the top personal rate?

A: It’s not about a number. That’s what negotiations are all about.

Q: Is 50 percent obviously too high?

A: That’s why you sit down and you negotiate over the numbers.

Q: When George W. Bush was president, his team articulated the view that it was a matter of right and wrong that you shouldn’t have more than a third of your income taken. Do you feel similarly that it’s wrong for more than half of somebody’s marginal income to be taken?

A: Look, there was a time in a very prosperous America — an America that was growing a middle class, an America in which working families were doing better generation after generation after generation — where the top marginal rate was well above 50 percent.

Q: Ninety percent.

A: That’s exactly right. But for me, the heart of the question is that you’ve got to ask, “What constitutes a fair share in this economy?” It depends in part on what the economy is.

https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000031923&size=530_298

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to roll back tax cuts from CNBC.

 

Story 2: Attorney General Sessions Gets A Clue — Lock Her Up — Appoint A Second Special Counsel — Trump’s Broken Promise — Videos

 

Image result for branco cartoons lock her up hillary clinton

Sessions talks “snowflakes” as students chant “lock her up'”

Speaking at a leadership summit for conservative high school students, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he heard the chant “lock her up” repeated many times over the course of the 2016 campaign.

Analysis | Attorney General Sessions: ‘Lock her up’

Hannity: Time to release all 589 pages of FISA docs

“I am going to instruct my attorney general to prosecute your emails” – Trump Presidential Debate

Donald Trump Says Hillary Clinton Would Be In JAIL! If He Was In Charge! Second Presidential Debate

Trump blasts Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Crowd chants ‘Lock her up’ and Trump tells them to ‘speak to Jeff Sessions’

Jeff Sessions is absolutely worthless as attorney general: Jason Chaffetz

Scalise turns up the heat on Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Seep Out

Attorney General Sessions: ‘Lock her up’

 

July 24 at 11:03 AM
Crowd chants ‘Lock her up’ while Sessions slams ‘snowflakes’

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized “snowflakes” on July 24, the crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” He laughed and repeated their call. 

July 24 at 11:03 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was speaking at an event hosted by the conservative group Turning Point USA on Tuesday when the crowd began to chant, “Lock her up.” The phrase was a common refrain among supporters of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and referred to the desired punishment for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Sessions, whose position advising that campaign was parlayed into one as the nation’s chief law enforcement official, chuckled.

“Lock her up,” he said.

Sessions’s speech to TPUSA’s High School Leadership Summit was focused on the perceived rejection of free speech rights on college campuses, a favorite subject of TPUSA.

“Too many schools are coddling our young people and actively preventing them from scrutinizing the validity of their beliefs and the issues of the day,” he said. “That is the exact opposite of what we expect from universities in our country.”

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He cited some examples of how college students reacted to the results of the 2016 election and praised the audience members for what he characterized as their relative toughness.

“I can tell this group isn’t going to have to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college and you get involved in a debate,” Sessions said. “You’re going to stand up and defend yourselves and the values that you believe in. I like this bunch, I can tell you. You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em! Go get ’em!”

The crowd, which had erupted into a “lock her up” chant earlier, began the chant again.

“Lock her up,” Sessions chuckled. The chants continued, and he added, “I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”

Session’s approach to the chant differed a bit from that of former campaign adviser Michael Flynn, who had enthusiastically joined in the same chant at the Republican National Convention two years ago.

“We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law,” Flynn said at the time. He was picking up on a theme introduced by Trump himself, who repeatedly called Clinton “Crooked Hillary” at campaign events.

“We’re going to turn this country around so fast,” Trump said at a speech in January 2016. “If we have another four years of the Obama mentality, Hillary Clinton stuff — I mean, she should be going to jail. I don’t know what the hell’s going on.”

In October, he tweeted the same sentiment.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election

Once he assumed the presidency, Trump publicly and repeatedly pressured Sessions to investigate Trump’s political opponents, including Clinton.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems..

The focus of that push was often Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails?” Trump tweeted in December. “No justice!”

Our fact-checkers looked at that claim during the campaign.

Sessions, as the head of the Justice Department, has resisted calls to investigate Clinton. In March, he rejecteda call for a special counsel to dig into Clinton’s actions.

Last month, the inspector general for the Justice Department released a report focused on the department’s handling of the email investigation. It found that the decision not to charge Clinton was not politically motivated.

After the chant ended at the conference Tuesday, Sessions went back to his speech.

“Rather than molding a generation of mature and well-informed adults,” he said to the high school students, “some schools are doing everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes.”

“We’re not going to have it,” he said to applause.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/24/attorney-general-sessions-lock-her-up/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.609efe20f4ef

 

Story 3: Qanon is Back! — When will many sealed indictments be served on The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy? After Election Day and Completion of Mueller Investigation? — Something Big Is About To Drop! — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Nunes calls for redactions to FISA warrant to be removed

Gaetz on what to make of the Carter Page FISA applications

House Republicans call for second special counsel

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

Trey Gowdy: We’re Not Done With Clinton Probe – Arrests Coming

Reps. Jordan, Gaetz on demand for second special counsel

Goodlatte on Huber’s ability to investigate the DOJ, FBI

Sessions says no to second special counsel for now

AG Sessions appoints federal prosecutor to investigate FBI

Jeff Sessions won’t appoint second special council

Joe diGenova Unloads on John Brennan & Leon Panetta Over Dossier: “rot in hell.”

Attorney John Haller – The Truth About Those Sealed Indictments on The Hagmann Report

Nooses Around Deep State Actors Begin to Tighten

New #QAnon! After 20 Days of Radio Silence, Liberty Lovers Breathe a Sigh of Relief and Gratitude!

New #QAnon Avalanche: Deliriously Delicious Drops Detailing Dirt, Drama and Data of #DS Devolution

A Primer on #QAnon and #QClearance: What You Should Know and Why #DeepState Is in #DefCon1 Panic

All Qanon in 20 minutes! Crash Course

All Qanon Explained, Crash Course Part 2

QAnon links US Attorney With Thousands of Sealed Indictments Decimating the Deep State

QAnon Update 07/23/2018 : Latest Qanon Posts

11.25 – Trump Verifies QAnon w/ a Retweet?

Is Q Gone For Good This Time? Taking a Closer Look

New #QAnon! After 20 Days of Radio Silence, Liberty Lovers Breathe a Sigh of Relief and Gratitude!

New QAnon : Something BIG is about to DROP. QAnon 24 July

Latest Qanon Posts 7-25-18 : Something Big Is About To Drop!

John W. Huber

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John Huber
John W. Huber official photo.jpg
United States Attorney for the District of Utah
Assumed office
June 15, 2015
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by David B. Barlow
Personal details
Born 1967/1968 (age 50–51)[1]
Salt Lake CityUtahU.S.
Education University of Utah (BAJD)

John W. Huber (born 1967) is an American lawyer who has served as the United States Attorney for the District of Utah since June 2015. He was first nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in February 2015.[2] Huber offered his resignation in March 2017 at the request of the Trump administration.[3] However, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions subsequently appointed Huber as interim U.S. Attorney under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.[4] Huber was renominated by President Donald Trump in June 2017.[5] On August 3, 2017, he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to an additional four-year term as a U.S. Attorney.[6]

Education and legal career

Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1995. Huber began his career in the Weber County, Utah Attorney’s Office, later serving as the chief prosecutor for West Valley City, Utah. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and in 2005 he became an Assistant United States Attorney.[5][7] He has prosecuted firearms crimes, including the case of four people involved with firearms used in the 2007 Trolley Square shooting.[2] Huber was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page and connections between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, starting in November 2017.[8]

References

  1. Jump up^ “John W. Huber Sworn In As United States Attorney | USAO-UT | Department of Justice”. Justice.gov. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. Jump up to:ab Romboy, Dennis (February 5, 2015). “Obama nominates John W. Huber as next U.S. attorney for Utah”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  3. Jump up^ “John Huber, US Attorney for Utah, Offers Resignation”. U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. March 13, 2017. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  4. Jump up^ Romboy, Dennis (June 12, 2017). “Trump nominates Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to keep job”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  5. Jump up to:ab “President Donald J. Trump Announces United States Attorney Candidate Nominations”. The White House. June 12, 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas (August 3, 2017). “Senate confirms Huber as U.S. attorney for Utah, returning him to old job”. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. Jump up^ Manson, Pamela (March 15, 2017). “Huber to stay as Utah’s U.S. attorney during transition period”. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  8. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas; Manson, Pamela. “U.S. Attorney for Utah is investigating GOP-raised concerns about the FBI surveilling Trump aide and ignoring Clinton uranium ties”The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2018.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Huber

Who is John Huber, the Utah US attorney investigating claims of FBI misconduct?

U.S. Attorney John W. Huber speaks outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(CNN)Utah US attorney John Huber was revealed Thursday as the person Attorney General Jeff Sessions tasked with looking into Republican claims of FBI misconduct and whether more should have been done to investigate Hillary Clinton’s ties to a Russian nuclear agency.

Huber, who has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations as a career prosecutor, nearly had his tenure as US attorney cut short last year. In March 2017, shortly after he took charge of the Justice Department, Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 US attorneys who were previous administration holdovers.
Originally appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, Huber offered his resignation, leaving his fate in the hands of the DOJ.
But President Donald Trump re-nominated Huber in June 2017, and two months later Huber was back at his former post, confirmed by the US Senate for an additional four years.
Last year, former DOJ officials raised concerns over Huber’s appearance at a White House press briefing to tout aspects of Trump’s immigration agenda — something that critics argued blurred the lines of the DOJ’s independence from the White House, NPR reported at the time.
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During a June 28, 2017, press briefing alongside the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Huber spoke on the behalf of the DOJ in support of two bills that sought to enforce harsher penalties for illegal immigrants — “Kate’s Law” and the “No Sanctuaries Act,” both of which were passed in the House.
“The reason why we are in support of these is that it adds tools to the toolbox of prosecutors in the Department of Justice to work on the violent crime problem that we have in our country and beat back this blip so it does not become a trend,” he told reporters at the White House.
“The tools that were given in these two proposed acts allow us to fight back against drug traffickers and transnational gangs,” he said.
Since then, Huber has taken on a leadership role on Sessions’ advisory committee of US attorneys that provide counsel to him and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Before becoming Utah’s top federal prosecutor, Huber clocked in 13 years as an assistant US attorney with experience handling violent crime and national security cases, according to his official biography.
During his first swearing-in ceremony as a US attorney, Huber was described as a “jock with the soul of a geek,” a protector for others against bullies, and a man who lived by the motto: “Be the hammer, not the nail,” according to The Deseret News.
A Utah native, Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989, where he played football, The Deseret News reported, and later went to earn his law degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1995.

In a July 1 post, QAnon referred to the latest count of over 40,000 sealed indictments filed in U.S. Federal District Criminal Courts since October 30, 2017, and linked these to prosecutions being led by the U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber back on November 13, 2017 to work with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, in investigating a wide range of criminal and civil law violations by government employees brought up by Republican lawmakers.

If QAnon’s claim is shown to be accurate, then such a large number of secret indictments will have the effect of removing corrupt Federal officials, which will decimate the Deep State and its power over the US political and financial system.

It’s worth beginning this examination by noting that the military intelligence group QAnon, has just been included in a Time Magazine listing of the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet”. While there have been an increasing number of mainstream news articles debunking QAnon, the worldwide interest in QAnon’s posts has been rapidly increasing due to mounting evidence that President Trump’s White House is secretly behind the disclosures.

Just as the Deep State has been using the mainstream media to leak classified information that is damaging to the Trump White House, Trump is doing the same through QAnon in order to expose the Deep State. Therefore, the QAnon information represents a visible sign of a clandestine information war being conducted by the Trump Administration and the Deep State to gain public support for competing agendas.

In the July 1 post, QAnon asks who is filing all the sealed indictments, and points to an article published by Breitbart News, which has often been cited for close analysis by those following QAnon’s disclosures.

QAnon mentions the number 470 right after posing the questions, “who is filing the indictments” and “Who has that kind of manpower”?

For an answer, QAnon steers us to the Breitbart article which refers to a March 29, 2018 letterwritten by Attorney General Sessions to the Chairmen of three Congressional Committees, which refers to 470 investigators that make up the staff of the Office of the Inspector General. The letter explains the power and authority of the Office of Inspector, and how these pertain to Department of Justice employees:

Congress created the Department’s Office of the Inspector General explicitly for the purpose of, among other things, investigating alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by Department employees, including actions taken by former employees after they have left government service. The Inspector General’s jurisdiction extends not only to allegations of legal violations, but also to allegations that Department employees violated established policies as well.

To carry out these duties, Title 5 of the United States Code provides the Inspector General with broad discretion and significant investigative powers. The office currently employs approximately 470 staff, a significant number of whom are lawyers, auditors, and investigators who may exercise wide discretion on matters under their jurisdiction. If the Inspector General finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he may refer it to a United States Attorney who can then convene a grand jury or take other appropriate actions. To be clear, the Inspector General has the authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, collect evidence through subpoena, and develop cases for presentation to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for prosecution or other action.

It’s worth emphasizing that both current and former Department of Justice employees can be investigated by the Inspector General, who has the authority to refer findings for possible prosecution by a US Attorney. The Department of Justice employs over 113,000 employees (2012 figures), which when combined with former employees, makes an enormous number of people that can be investigated for wrongdoing on behalf of the Deep State.

This is where the appointment of Huber to work directly with Horowitz’s office in investigating issues raised by Congressional lawmakers was very significant. The Breitbart article cited by QAnon explains why:

Professor Jonathan Turley, a top national legal expert on government investigations, commented on Thursday about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to bring in U.S. Attorney John Huber. Turley called it “brilliant” to combine all the powers of the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general with a prosecutor who can bring charges, seek indictments, and get results for President Trump far more quickly than a second special counsel.

The Breitbart article continued to elaborate upon how Huber’s prosecutorial powers combines well with the Inspector General’s investigative power:

As a U.S. attorney, Huber has full authority to empanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges. A grand jury can be empaneled anywhere, which means that it could be a group of citizens from deep-red Utah – in the heart of Trump country – instead of the D.C. Swamp that decides whether to hand down indictments for felony prosecution.

It’s vital to understand that in Sessions’ letter to Congress, he said that Huber would be leading a prosecutorial team that would include other senior prosecutors:

As noted in Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s November 13, 2017, letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary, I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. In that letter, Mr. Boyd stated:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.” Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort.

In understanding the link between the alleged 40,000 sealed indictments and the appointment of Huber to work with the Office of Inspector General, it’s worth emphasizing the November 13 starting date for Huber and the rapid rise of sealed indictments since October 31, 2017.

When examining the list of states where the sealed indictments have been filed, its clear that these are distributed all over the U.S., thereby suggestion that Huber’s team comprises prosecutors drawn from many, if not all 50 states.

If the linkage posted by QAnon is accurate, then it can be assumed that many, if not the majority, of the sealed indictments are occurring as a result of the collaboration between Huber and the Office of Inspector General all over all the country, wherever crimes were committed. Essentially, Horowitz’s staff does the bulk of the investigation, while the prosecution and convening of a grand jury is left to Huber’s team.

As Professor Turley pointed out back in March, “a grand jury can be empaneled anywhere” by Huber. In another July 1 post, QAnon says that this is exactly what has happened by asking the following rhetorical question:

If QAnon is correct, then the sealed indictments initiated by Huber’s team of prosecutors with the support of the Office of Inspector General, have been the catalyst for many powerful corporate figures, members of Congress, and Department of Justice officials mysteriously resigning.

QAnon has referred to lists of corporate, congressional and FBI figures who have resigned or been sacked. QAnon is telling us that these resignations/sackings are due to the sealed indictments that have been issued against (former) Department of Justice officials by Huber.

Indeed, when one reviews the lists, this is powerful circumstantial evidence that the sealed indictments have been issued and are forcing these resignations, and thereby undermining the power of the Deep State who used these officials.

The following is a list of retiring Congressional representatives who, while not Department of Justice officials and thereby outside the investigatory purview of the Office of the Inspector General, presumably decided to retire in anticipation of the scandal about to emerge with the unsealing of the indictments where they have been implicated in some way:

The following is a list of FBI officials, forced to resign or who had been sacked due to them being investigated by the Office of Inspector General, and the sealed indictments issued by grand juries empaneled by Huber:

All this behooves us to ask whether what QAnon is telling us is possible. To find an answer we can begin with the website of the “Offices of the United States Attorneys”, which explains the duty of grand juries only investigating criminal offenses in districts where they occurred:

The special grand jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) “to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

This means that Huber could begin the prosecution process with the help of the 470 investigations from the Office of Inspector General who would gather the facts and evidence. Huber would then use senior prosecutors from his team to empanel grand juries in the districts where the offenses occurred.

Significantly, all Huber and his team would have to do to secure a sealed indictment is present key facts along with supporting evidence that a crime had been committed in a particular jurisdiction, as the following summary of Sealed Indictment Law clarifies:

In order to issue an indictment, the grand jury doesn’t make a determination of guilt, but only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried. District Attorneys do not present a full case to the grand jury, but often only introduce key facts sufficient to show the probability that the accused committed a crime.

The next question that arises is how many sealed indictments have been issued by Huber and his team? QAnon referred to the June 30 estimate of over 40,000 sealed indictments since October 31, 2017. Could Huber’s team of senior prosecutors and the 470 staff in the Office of Inspector General be responsible for so many sealed indictments over the last eight months?

For an answer, it’s important to point out that claims of up to 40,000 sealed judicial cases, which is well above the average of past years, are basically correct. This is acknowledged even by critics seeking to debunk QAnon’s information, as exemplified by Mike Rothschild writing for the Daily Dot back on April 12, 2018.

While Rothschild’s article critiques the claim of 25,000 sealed indictments asserted by QAnon supporters back in April 2018, it is helpful since it demonstrates that even critics acknowledgethat PACER records do substantiate such large numbers of “sealed cases”:

So then what about the massive number of sealed case found files in PACER? The #QAnon researchers aren’t making them up – a random sampling of PACER recordsfrom the district courts of Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia shows the number to be more or less accurate.

In distinguishing between “sealed cases” and “sealed indictments”, Rothschild points out that the former may involve mundane legal secrecy requirements involving search warrants, phone tapping, witness protection, prosecuting juvenile cases, etc., ordered by a judge. In contrast, a sealed indictment involves a grand jury that has been empaneled, heard some of the facts and evidence brought before it, and issued an indictment that is covered by strict secrecy requirements in order for arrests to be made without the target being warned in advance.

In Rothschild’s critique, he refers to the 1077 sealed cases that occurred in 2006, a typical year for sealed cases, that was analyzed in an October 23, 2009 report by the Federal Judicial Center. He points out that QAnon researchers conflated “sealed cases” with “sealed indictments”:

So the conspiracy theorists number of sealed felony indictments in a “normal” year would seem to be right. Except reading on in the report makes it clear that many of those sealed criminal cases were NOT indictments.

In fact, the report only lists 284 out of 1,077 cases as “sealed indictments” that the writers were able to obtain no information on….

Essentially, the number #QAnon is using is factually correct, but leaves out vital context that explains that relatively few of the 1,077 are actual criminal indictments. Most are routine court matters.

So if only roughly 26% of “sealed cases” covered by PACER records in 2006 involved “sealed indictments”, then we have a means of estimating how many sealed cases from 2017/2018 PACER records involve sealed indictments.

At the very least, applying the 26% figure to the over 40,000 Pacer records showing current “sealed cases”, then we can estimate that there are at the very least 10,000 secret indictments currently in play. The actual figure may be much higher due to 2017/2018 having an inordinately large number of sealed cases due to some extraordinary judicial process at play.

 

Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress is evidence that the unusual judicial process, which has so inflated the number of sealed cases for 2017/2018, involves indictments initiated by Huber and his prosecutorial team, supported by 470 investigators from the Office of Inspector General.

In conclusion, a critical examination of PACER records, Attorney General Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress, together with the lists of retiring/sacked member of Congress, corporate executives, and FBI officials, provides compelling support for QAnon’s claim that tens of thousands of secret indictments have been issued against corrupt officials controlled by the Deep State.

As these corrupt officials are removed from their influential positions, the Deep State’s power is decimated, thereby opening the door for the truth to be disclosed on a great number of issues previously suppressed by the Deep State.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

https://www.exopolitics.org/tag/john-huber/

 

 

QAnon links US Attorney with thousands of sealed indictments decimating the Deep State

In a July 1 post, QAnon referred to the latest count of over 40,000 sealed indictments filed in U.S. Federal District Criminal Courts since October 30, 2017, and linked these to prosecutions being led by the U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber back on November 13, 2017 to work with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, in investigating a wide range of criminal and civil law violations by government employees brought up by Republican lawmakers.

If QAnon’s claim is shown to be accurate, then such a large number of secret indictments will have the effect of removing corrupt Federal officials, which will decimate the Deep State and its power over the US political and financial system.

It’s worth beginning this examination by noting that the military intelligence group QAnon, has just been included in a Time Magazine listing of the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet”. While there have been an increasing number of mainstream news articles debunking QAnon, the worldwide interest in QAnon’s posts has been rapidly increasing due to mounting evidence that President Trump’s White House is secretly behind the disclosures.

Just as the Deep State has been using the mainstream media to leak classified information that is damaging to the Trump White House, Trump is doing the same through QAnon in order to expose the Deep State. Therefore, the QAnon information represents a visible sign of a clandestine information war being conducted by the Trump Administration and the Deep State to gain public support for competing agendas.

In the July 1 post, QAnon asks who is filing all the sealed indictments, and points to an article published by Breitbart News, which has often been cited for close analysis by those following QAnon’s disclosures.

QAnon mentions the number 470 right after posing the questions, “who is filing the indictments” and “Who has that kind of manpower”?

For an answer, QAnon steers us to the Breitbart article which refers to a March 29, 2018 letterwritten by Attorney General Sessions to the Chairmen of three Congressional Committees, which refers to 470 investigators that make up the staff of the Office of the Inspector General. The letter explains the power and authority of the Office of Inspector, and how these pertain to Department of Justice employees:

Congress created the Department’s Office of the Inspector General explicitly for the purpose of, among other things, investigating alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by Department employees, including actions taken by former employees after they have left government service. The Inspector General’s jurisdiction extends not only to allegations of legal violations, but also to allegations that Department employees violated established policies as well.

To carry out these duties, Title 5 of the United States Code provides the Inspector General with broad discretion and significant investigative powers. The office currently employs approximately 470 staff, a significant number of whom are lawyers, auditors, and investigators who may exercise wide discretion on matters under their jurisdiction. If the Inspector General finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he may refer it to a United States Attorney who can then convene a grand jury or take other appropriate actions. To be clear, the Inspector General has the authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, collect evidence through subpoena, and develop cases for presentation to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for prosecution or other action.

It’s worth emphasizing that both current and former Department of Justice employees can be investigated by the Inspector General, who has the authority to refer findings for possible prosecution by a US Attorney. The Department of Justice employs over 113,000 employees (2012 figures), which when combined with former employees, makes an enormous number of people that can be investigated for wrongdoing on behalf of the Deep State.

This is where the appointment of Huber to work directly with Horowitz’s office in investigating issues raised by Congressional lawmakers was very significant. The Breitbart article cited by QAnon explains why:

Professor Jonathan Turley, a top national legal expert on government investigations, commented on Thursday about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to bring in U.S. Attorney John Huber. Turley called it “brilliant” to combine all the powers of the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general with a prosecutor who can bring charges, seek indictments, and get results for President Trump far more quickly than a second special counsel.

The Breitbart article continued to elaborate upon how Huber’s prosecutorial powers combines well with the Inspector General’s investigative power:

As a U.S. attorney, Huber has full authority to empanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges. A grand jury can be empaneled anywhere, which means that it could be a group of citizens from deep-red Utah – in the heart of Trump country – instead of the D.C. Swamp that decides whether to hand down indictments for felony prosecution.

It’s vital to understand that in Sessions’ letter to Congress, he said that Huber would be leading a prosecutorial team that would include other senior prosecutors:

As noted in Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s November 13, 2017, letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary, I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. In that letter, Mr. Boyd stated:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.” Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort.

In understanding the link between the alleged 40,000 sealed indictments and the appointment of Huber to work with the Office of Inspector General, it’s worth emphasizing the November 13 starting date for Huber and the rapid rise of sealed indictments since October 31, 2017.

When examining the list of states where the sealed indictments have been filed, its clear that these are distributed all over the U.S., thereby suggestion that Huber’s team comprises prosecutors drawn from many, if not all 50 states.

https://www.exopolitics.org/qanon-links-us-attorney-with-thousands-of-sealed-indictments-decimating-the-deep-state/

 

If the linkage posted by QAnon is accurate, then it can be assumed that many, if not the majority, of the sealed indictments are occurring as a result of the collaboration between Huber and the Office of Inspector General all over all the country, wherever crimes were committed. Essentially, Horowitz’s staff does the bulk of the investigation, while the prosecution and convening of a grand jury is left to Huber’s team.

As Professor Turley pointed out back in March, “a grand jury can be empaneled anywhere” by Huber. In another July 1 post, QAnon says that this is exactly what has happened by asking the following rhetorical question:

 

If QAnon is correct, then the sealed indictments initiated by Huber’s team of prosecutors with the support of the Office of Inspector General, have been the catalyst for many powerful corporate figures, members of Congress, and Department of Justice officials mysteriously resigning.

QAnon has referred to lists of corporate, congressional and FBI figures who have resigned or been sacked. QAnon is telling us that these resignations/sackings are due to the sealed indictments that have been issued against (former) Department of Justice officials by Huber.

Indeed, when one reviews the lists, this is powerful circumstantial evidence that the sealed indictments have been issued and are forcing these resignations, and thereby undermining the power of the Deep State who used these officials.

The following is a list of retiring Congressional representatives who, while not Department of Justice officials and thereby outside the investigatory purview of the Office of the Inspector General, presumably decided to retire in anticipation of the scandal about to emerge with the unsealing of the indictments where they have been implicated in some way:

 

The following is a list of FBI officials, forced to resign or who had been sacked due to them being investigated by the Office of Inspector General, and the sealed indictments issued by grand juries empaneled by Huber:

All this behooves us to ask whether what QAnon is telling us is possible. To find an answer we can begin with the website of the “Offices of the United States Attorneys”, which explains the duty of grand juries only investigating criminal offenses in districts where they occurred:

The special grand jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) “to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

This means that Huber could begin the prosecution process with the help of the 470 investigations from the Office of Inspector General who would gather the facts and evidence. Huber would then use senior prosecutors from his team to empanel grand juries in the districts where the offenses occurred.

Significantly, all Huber and his team would have to do to secure a sealed indictment is present key facts along with supporting evidence that a crime had been committed in a particular jurisdiction, as the following summary of Sealed Indictment Law clarifies:

In order to issue an indictment, the grand jury doesn’t make a determination of guilt, but only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried. District Attorneys do not present a full case to the grand jury, but often only introduce key facts sufficient to show the probability that the accused committed a crime.

The next question that arises is how many sealed indictments have been issued by Huber and his team? QAnon referred to the June 30 estimate of over 40,000 sealed indictments since October 31, 2017. Could Huber’s team of senior prosecutors and the 470 staff in the Office of Inspector General be responsible for so many sealed indictments over the last eight months?

For an answer, it’s important to point out that claims of up to 40,000 sealed judicial cases, which is well above the average of past years, are basically correct. This is acknowledged even by critics seeking to debunk QAnon’s information, as exemplified by Mike Rothschild writing for the Daily Dot back on April 12, 2018.

While Rothschild’s article critiques the claim of 25,000 sealed indictments asserted by QAnon supporters back in April 2018, it is helpful since it demonstrates that even critics acknowledgethat PACER records do substantiate such large numbers of “sealed cases”:

So then what about the massive number of sealed case found files in PACER? The #QAnon researchers aren’t making them up – a random sampling of PACER records from the district courts of Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia shows the number to be more or less accurate.

In distinguishing between “sealed cases” and “sealed indictments”, Rothschild points out that the former may involve mundane legal secrecy requirements involving search warrants, phone tapping, witness protection, prosecuting juvenile cases, etc., ordered by a judge. In contrast, a sealed indictment involves a grand jury that has been empaneled, heard some of the facts and evidence brought before it, and issued an indictment that is covered by strict secrecy requirements in order for arrests to be made without the target being warned in advance.

In Rothschild’s critique, he refers to the 1077 sealed cases that occurred in 2006, a typical year for sealed cases, that was analyzed in an October 23, 2009 report by the Federal Judicial Center. He points out that QAnon researchers conflated “sealed cases” with “sealed indictments”:

So the conspiracy theorists number of sealed felony indictments in a “normal” year would seem to be right. Except reading on in the report makes it clear that many of those sealed criminal cases were NOT indictments.

In fact, the report only lists 284 out of 1,077 cases as “sealed indictments” that the writers were able to obtain no information on….

Essentially, the number #QAnon is using is factually correct, but leaves out vital context that explains that relatively few of the 1,077 are actual criminal indictments. Most are routine court matters.

So if only roughly 26% of “sealed cases” covered by PACER records in 2006 involved “sealed indictments”, then we have a means of estimating how many sealed cases from 2017/2018 PACER records involve sealed indictments.

At the very least, applying the 26% figure to the over 40,000 Pacer records showing current “sealed cases”, then we can estimate that there are at the very least 10,000 secret indictments currently in play. The actual figure may be much higher due to 2017/2018 having an inordinately large number of sealed cases due to some extraordinary judicial process at play.

 

Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress is evidence that the unusual judicial process, which has so inflated the number of sealed cases for 2017/2018, involves indictments initiated by Huber and his prosecutorial team, supported by 470 investigators from the Office of Inspector General.

In conclusion, a critical examination of PACER records, Attorney General Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress, together with the lists of retiring/sacked member of Congress, corporate executives, and FBI officials, provides compelling support for QAnon’s claim that tens of thousands of secret indictments have been issued against corrupt officials controlled by the Deep State.

As these corrupt officials are removed from their influential positions, the Deep State’s power is decimated, thereby opening the door for the truth to be disclosed on a great number of issues previously suppressed by the Deep State.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

(Visited 32,499 times, 275 visits today)

QAnon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

QAnon refers to a conspiracy theory based on Q, an online handle used on several image boards by a presumably American[1] pseudonymous individual or group of individuals[2][3][4] claiming to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States, and detailing a supposed secret counter-coup against the alleged “deep state“.

The conspiracy theory, mainly popularized by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump under the names The Storm and The Great Awakening, has been widely characterized as “baseless”[5][6] and “unhinged”.[7][8]

Prominent adherents to the conspiracy theory include Roseanne Barr,[9][10] Curt Schilling,[11] Ben Garrison,[12] Laura Loomer,[12] Cheryl Sullenger[13] and Michael “Lionel” Lebron.[14]

History

Origin

A person identifying as “Q Clearance Patriot” first appeared on the /pol/ board of 4chan on October 28, 2017, posting messages in a thread entitled “Calm Before the Storm”,[1] which was a reference to Trump’s cryptic description of a gathering of military leaders as “the calm before the storm”.[1][15] The poster later moved to 8chan, citing alleged security concerns.[2]

The handle implied that the anonymous poster held Q clearance,[16][17] a United States Department of Energy security clearance with access to classified information.

False claims

QAnon’s posting campaign has a history of false, baseless and unsubstantiated claims. For example, QAnon has claimed on multiple occasions that North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is a puppet ruler installed by the Central Intelligence Agency.[18]

On February 16, 2018, QAnon falsely accused U.S. Representative and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of hiring El Salvadorian gang MS-13 to murder DNC staffer Seth Rich.[15][19]

Identity

There has been much speculation regarding the motive and the identity of the poster, with theories ranging from the poster being a military intelligence officer to the posting campaign being an alternate reality game by Cicada 3301.[3]

Reactions

Fox News commentator Sean Hannity has tweeted about QAnon, and the Russian government-funded network RT News has discussed the topic.[17]

The conspiracy theory was initially promoted by Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi,[15] but in May 2018 Right Wing Watch reported that Jones and Corsi had ceased to support QAnon, declaring the source to now be “completely compromised”.[20]

In March 2018, Reddit banned one of its communities discussing QAnon, /r/CBTS_Stream, for “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information”. Following this, some followers moved to Discord.[21][22]

On March 13, 2018, Operation Rescue vice president and pro-life activist Cheryl Sullenger referred to QAnon as a “small group of insiders close to President Donald J. Trump” and called his internet postings the “highest level of intelligence to ever be dropped publicly in our known history”.[13][23]

On March 15, 2018, Kiev-based Rabochaya Gazeta, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Ukraine, published an article calling QAnon a “military intelligence group”.[24]

On March 31, 2018, U.S. actress Roseanne Barr appeared to promote the conspiracy theory, which was subsequently covered by CNNThe Washington Post, and The New York Times.[9][10][25][26]

On June 26, 2018, WikiLeaks publicly accused QAnon of “leading anti-establishment Trump voters to embrace regime change and neo-conservatism”.[27] QAnon had previously pushed for regime change in Iran.[28] Two days later, the whistleblower organization shared an analysis by Internet Party president Suzie Dawson, claiming that QAnon’s posting campaign is an “intelligence agency-backed psyop” aiming to “round up people that are otherwise dangerous to the Deep State (because they are genuinely opposed to it) [and] usurp time & attention, & trick them into serving its aims”.[29]

On June 28, 2018, Time Magazine listed the anonymous “Q” among the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2018. Counting more than 130,000 related discussion videos on YouTube, Time cited the wide range of this conspiracy theory and its more prominent followers and spreading news coverage.[30]

On July 4, 2018, the Hillsborough County Republican Party shared on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts a YouTube video on QAnon, calling QAnon a “mysterious anonymous inside leaker of deep state activities and counter activities by President Trump”. The posts were then deleted.[31][32]

An app called “QDrops” which promoted the conspiracy theory was published on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It became the 10th most popular paid app on the in the “entertainment” section of Apple’s online store in April 2018. Apple pulled the app after an inquiry from NBC News.[33]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018, Story 1: President Trump All Caps Tweet Directed At Iranian Leadership — Don’t Mess With Trump — Vidoes — Story 2: Trump Explores Revoking Security Clearances of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — Trump Should Order Attorney General Session to Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Waiting For Mueller Final Report and November 2018 Elections — Videos — Story 3: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Failed When Warrant Application Was Approved Allowing Department of Justice, FBI, and Intelligence Community To Spy on American People and Republican Party Based on Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Not Disclosed Nor Verified To FISA Court — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump All Caps Tweet Directed At Iranian Leadership — Don’t Mess With Trump — Vidoes

Sanders: Trump won’t stand for empty threats against America

Trump no nonsense approach on Iran is the right strategy: Gen. Jack Keane

Secretary Pompeo remarks on “Supporting Iranian Voices” – Speech only

Iran feeling the strain from Obama’s deal?

Trump weighs in after Iran threatens the ‘mother of all wars’ | In The News

US not afraid to sanction top Iran leaders: Pompeo

U.S. Pushes Confrontation with Iran: Trump Warns of “Consequences,” Pompeo Likens Leaders to “Mafia”

Scott Adams – President Trump’s All-Caps Tweet to Iran

 

Just tough Trump tweeting? US ratchets up Iran pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s explosive twitter threat to Iran’s leader comes as his administration is ratcheting up a pressure campaign on the Islamic republic that many suspect is aimed at regime change.

No one is predicting imminent war. But Trump’s bellicose, all-caps challenge addressed to President Hassan Rouhani followed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he accused Iran’s leadership of massive corruption and widespread rights abuses and urged Iranians to rise up in protest.

Trump’s tweet doesn’t appear to have been prompted by any notable shift in rhetoric from Iran.

It could have been an impulsive reaction to reports from Tehran quoting Rouhani as giving the U.S. an oft-repeated reminder that conflict with Iran would be “the mother of all wars.” Yet animosity directed at the Iranian leadership is an established part of the administration’s broader foreign policy.

The White House says President Donald Trump’s threatening tweet shows he’s not going to tolerate critical rhetoric from Iran, but claims the U.S. leader isn’t escalating tensions between the two countries. (July 23)

Iran publicly shrugged off Trump’s late Sunday message — “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

Tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday: COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones_for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!”

Asked at the White House if he had concerns about provoking Iran, Trump said simply, “None at all.”

Tehran is already aware of what is coming from the administration as consequences of Trump’s May withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord take shape.

As Pompeo noted in his speech to Iranian-Americans and others in California on Sunday, the centerpiece will be the re-imposition of U.S. economic sanctions; the first batch will go back into force on Aug. 4 targeting the Iranian automotive sector and trade in gold and other metals. A more significant set of sanctions that will hit Iran’s oil industry and central bank by punishing countries and companies that do business with them will resume on Nov. 4.

Pompeo also slammed Iran’s political, judicial and military officials, accusing several by name of participating in rampant corruption, and called its religious leaders “hypocritical holy men” who amassed wealth while allowing their people to suffer. He said the government has “heartlessly repressed its own people’s human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms,” and he hailed the “proud Iranian people (for) not staying silent about their government’s many abuses.”

“The United States under President Trump will not stay silent either,” he said.

He was right. True to form, Trump did not stay silent. But the White House blamed Rouhani for inciting the war of words with his comment that “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,” Trump wrote.

Reaction from Congress, particularly Democrats, was swift and critical.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, acknowledged that Iran’s terrorist activities in the Middle East pose a threat but suggested it wouldn’t be solved through a tweet from Trump.

“Sadly, after pulling us out of the nuclear deal with Europe and Iran, there doesn’t seem to be strategy for how to move forward to fight Iran’s activities,” she said.

And Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate, called the Twitter blast from the White House “another warning sign that Trump is blundering toward war with Iran.”

Trump’s National Security Council pushed back:

“Our differences are with the Iranian regime’s actions and, in particular, with the actions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, not the Iranian people. The Trump administration’s Iran policy seeks to address the totality of these threats and malign activities and to bring about a change in the Iranian regime’s behavior.”

“If anybody’s inciting anything, look no further than to Iran,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. She added that Trump has been “very clear about what he’s not going to allow to take place.”

Trump has a history of firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate long-standing disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the U.S.

In the case of North Korea, the verbal war cooled quickly and gradually led to the high-profile summit and denuclearization talks. Still there has been little tangible progress in a global push to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program since the historic Trump-Kim Jong Un summit on June 12.

___

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, David Rising in Dubai, Aron Heller in Jerusalem, Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul and Michael Casey in Concord, New Hampshire contributed.

___

This story has been corrected to correct Trump tweet: ‘Likes’ of which, not ‘like.’

https://apnews.com/33bbdee2506645859222e0f5252b288f/White-House-blames-Iran-for-war-of-words-with-Trump

 

Story 2: President Trump Explores Revoking Security Clearances of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — Trump Should Order Attorney General Session to Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Waiting For Mueller Final Report and November 2018 Elections — Videos —

Trump may revoke security clearances for Obama-era officials

Rand Paul urges Trump to pull security clearances

Ex-CIA chief Brennan: Trump’s comments nothing short of treasonous

Rand Paul SHUTS DOWN Trump’s Critics & DESTROYS Obama’s Former CIA John Brennan

Scott Adams – The Newest Reason to Love Rand Paul

Clapper On President Donald Trump Revoking Security Clearance: Very Petty | Hardball | MSNBC

What’s Needed Desperately: Operation Wrath of Trump

Trump looking into revoking security clearances for Brennan, other top Obama officials

President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, accusing them of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service.

She made the announcement at Monday’s press briefing, after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance.

Sanders said Trump is considering it — and also looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics: former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (who also worked under President George W. Bush).

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy on the political fallout from the IG report and the Mueller investigation.

Sanders said Trump is “exploring mechanisms” to remove the security clearances “because [the former officials] politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.”

Sanders added that their clearances effectively give “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

“When you have the highest level of security clearance … when you have the nation’s secrets at hand, and go out and make false [statements], the president feels that’s something to be very concerned with,” Sanders said.

According McCabe’s spokesperson Melissa Schwartz, however, his security clearance had already been deactivated when he was fired.

“Andrew McCabe’s security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps…,” Schwartz tweeted Monday.

Benjamin Wittes, a friend of Comey’s, tweeted Monday afternoon that he texted the former FBI director, who told him he doesn’t have a security clearance to revoke.

When asked whether former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden might have their security clearances revoked, Sanders said she did not have any further information.

FILE - In this June 7, 2017, file photo, FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCabe drafted a memo on the firing of his onetime boss, ex-director James Comey. That’s according to a person familiar with the memo, who insisted on anonymity to discuss a secret document that has been provided to special counsel Robert Mueller. The person said the memo concerned a conversation McCabe had with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Rosenstein’s preparations for Comey’s firing. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

President Trump is looking into revoking former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s security clearance, but McCabe’s spokesman said that clearance had already been deactivated.  (AP)

The topic came into the spotlight Monday morning, with Paul’s tweets against the former CIA director.

“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” Paul tweeted early Monday.

Brennan joined NBC News and MSNBC in February as a contributor and senior national security and intelligence analyst. A spokesperson for the networks did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Paul’s tweet, which did not list any specific allegations.

The Kentucky Republican, who last week jumped to Trump’s defense as the president faced bipartisan criticism over his summit and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed up the original tweet by saying:

“Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!”

Paul’s tweets come as fellow congressional Republicans push for Brennan to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.

The former CIA director has been a consistent and harsh critic of the president, blasting his performance with Putin in Helsinki as “nothing short of treasonous.”

But Brennan is not the only former intelligence official to take to the media world. In April, Comey began a media blitz promoting his new memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” while Hayden and Rice also frequently make media appearances.

On Twitter, just minutes after the announcement from the White House brieifing, Hayden responded in a tweet to several journalists that a loss of security clearance would not have an “effect” on him.

“I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write,” Hayden tweeted.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/23/trump-looking-into-revoking-security-clearances-for-brennan-other-top-obama-officials.html

 

 

Story 3: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Failed When Warrant Application Was Approved Allowing Department of Justice, FBI, and Intelligence Community To Spy on American People and Republican Party Based on Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Not Disclosed Nor Verified To FISA Court — Videos

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Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Tucker: What the Carter Page FISA application proves

Carter Page reacts to ‘Russian spy’ accusations

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FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier

One-time advisor of Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

A salacious Clinton-campaign product was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.On a sleepy summer Saturday, after months of stonewalling, the FBI dumped 412 pages of documents related to the Carter Page FISA surveillance warrants — the applications, the certifications, and the warrants themselves. Now that we can see it all in black and white — mostly black, as they are heavily redacted — it is crystal clear that the Steele dossier, an unverified Clinton-campaign product, was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

Based on the dossier, the FBI told the FISA court it believed that Carter Page, who had been identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser, was coordinating with the Russian government in an espionage conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

This sensational allegation came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy. The FISA court was not told that the Clinton campaign was behind Steele’s work. Nor did the FBI and Justice Department inform the court that Steele’s allegations had never been verified. To the contrary, each FISA application — the original one in October 2016, and the three renewals at 90-day intervals — is labeled “VERIFIED APPLICATION” (bold caps in original). And each one makes this breathtaking representation:

The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).

In reality, the applications were never verified for accuracy.

What ‘Verify’ Means
Consider this: The representation that the FBI’s verification procedures include sending the application to “appropriate field offices” is standard in FISA warrant applications. It is done because the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) mandates that the bureau “ensure that information appearing in a FISA application that is presented to the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has been thoroughly vetted and confirmed.” (See House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes March 1, 2018, letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, embedded here.) The point is to assure the court that the FBI has corroborated the allegations in the warrant application in the usual way.

A hypothetical shows how this works. Let’s say that X, an informant, tells the FBI in Washington that Y, a person in St. Louis, told him that Z, the suspect, is plotting to rob the bank.

X’s story is unverified; he doesn’t know anything firsthand about Z — he only knows what Y has told him. Obviously, then, the FBI does not instantly run to court and seek a warrant against Z. Instead, the bureau sends an investigative “lead” from headquarters in Washington to the FBI field office in St. Louis. FBI agents in St. Louis then go find and interview Y. Based on that interview, the FBI gathers supporting information (perhaps physical surveillance of Z, scrutiny of available documents and records about Z, etc.). Only then, after debriefing the witness with competent knowledge, do the Justice Department and FBI seek a warrant against Z from the court. In the application, they explain to the judge that they have verified X’s information by interviewing Y and then corroborating Y’s version of events. In fact, if they get solid enough information about Z from Y, there may be no reason even to mention X, whose tip to the FBI was sheer hearsay.

But that is not what happened with the Carter Page FISA warrants.

Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court? No, they were not.

The FBI presented the court with allegations posited by Steele. He is in the position of X in our hypothetical. He is not the source of any of the relevant information on which the court was asked to rely for its probable-cause finding that Page was a clandestine agent of Russia. In this context, source means a reliable witness who saw or heard some occurrence on which the court is being asked to base its ruling.

Steele has not been in Russia for about 20 years. In connection with the dossier allegations, he was merely the purveyor of information from the actual sources — unidentified Russians who themselves relied on hearsay information from other sources (sometimes double and triple hearsay, very attenuated from the supposed original source).

In each Carter Page FISA warrant application, the FBI represented that it had “reviewed this verified application for accuracy.” But did the bureau truly ensure that the information had been “thoroughly vetted and confirmed”? Remember, we are talking here about serious, traitorous allegations against an American citizen and, derivatively, an American presidential campaign.

When the FBI averred that it had verified for accuracy the application that posited these allegations, it was, at best, being hyper-technical, and thus misleading. What the bureau meant was that its application correctly stated the allegations as Steele had related them. But that is not what “verification” means. The issue is not whether Steele’s allegations were accurately described; it is whether they were accurate, period. Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court — which is what common sense and the FBI’s own manual mean by “verified”?

No, they were not.

There Is No Reason to Believe the Redactions Corroborate Steele
I have been making this point for months. When I made it again in a Fox and Friends interview on Sunday morning, critics asked how I could say such a thing when the warrants are pervasively redacted — how could I be so sure, given all we concededly don’t know, that the redactions do not corroborate Steele?

The critics’ tunnel vision on the redactions ignores the months of hearings and reporting on this core question, which I’ve continuously detailed. Here, for example, is what two senior Judiciary Committee senators, Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham, wrote in a classified memo early this year after reviewing FISA applications (the memo was finally declassified and publicized over the objections of the FBI):

The bulk of the [first Carter Page FISA] application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier. The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.

The senators went on to recount the concession by former FBI director James Comey that the bureau had relied on the credibility of Steele (who had previously assisted the bureau in another investigation), not the verification of Steele’s sources. In June 2017 testimony, Comey described information in the Steele dossier as “salacious and unverified.”

Moreover, the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, told Congress that the bureau tried very hard to verify Steele’s information but could provide no points of verification beyond the fact that Page did travel to Russia in July 2016 — a fact that required no effort to corroborate since the trip was unconcealed and widely known. (Page delivered a public commencement address at the New Economic School.) Furthermore, in British legal proceedings, Steele himself has described the information he provided to the FBI as “raw intelligence” that was “unverified.”

I freely acknowledge that we do not know what the redactions say. But we have been very well informed about what they do not say. They do not verify the allegations in the Steele dossier. I have no doubt that they have a great deal to say about Russia and its nefarious anti-American operations. But the FBI has been taking incoming fire for months about failing to corroborate Steele. No institution in America guards its reputation more zealously than does the FBI. If Steele had been corroborated, rest assured that the bureau would not be suffering in silence.

When the government seeks a warrant, it is supposed to show the court that the actual sources of information are reliable.

Plus, do you really think the FBI and Justice Department wanted to use the Steele dossier? Of course they didn’t. They undoubtedly believed Steele’s allegations (the applications say as much). That is no surprise given how much their top echelons loathed Donald Trump. But they were also well aware of the dossier’s significant legal problems — the suspect sourcing, the multiple hearsay. If they had solid evidence that verified Steele’s allegations, they would have used that evidence as their probable cause showing against Page. Instead, they used the dossier because, as McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee, without it they would have had no chance of persuading a judge that Page was a clandestine agent.

Whatever is in the redactions cannot change that.

There Is No Vicarious Credibility
To repeat what we’ve long said here, there is no vicarious credibility in investigations. When the government seeks a warrant, it is supposed to show the court that the actual sources of information are reliable — i.e., they were in a position to see or hear the relevant facts, and they are worthy of belief. It is not sufficient to show that the agent who assembles the source information is credible.

The vast majority of our investigators are honorable people who would never lie to a judge. But that is irrelevant because, in assessing probable cause, the judge is not being asked to rely on the honesty of the agent. The agent, after all, is under oath and supervised by a chain of command at the FBI and the Justice Department; the judge will generally assume that the agent is honestly and accurately describing the information he has gotten from various sources.

The judge’s main task is not to determine if the agent is credible. It is to weigh the reliability of the agent’s sources. Are the sources’ claims supported by enough evidence that the court should approve a highly intrusive warrant against an American citizen?

Here, Steele was in the position of an investigative agent relaying information. He was not a source (or informant) who saw or heard relevant facts. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that Steele is honest and reliable, that would tell us nothing about who his sources are, whether they were really in a position to see or hear the things they report, and whether they have a history of providing accurate information. Those are the questions the FBI must answer in order to vet and confirm factual allegations before presenting them to the FISA court. That was not done; the FBI relied on Steele’s reputation to vouch for his source’s claims.

The FISA Judges
In my public comments Sunday morning, I observed that the newly disclosed FISA applications are so shoddy that the judges who approved them ought to be asked some hard questions. I’ve gotten flak for that, no doubt because President Trump tweeted part of what I said. I stand by it. Still, some elaboration, which a short TV segment does not allow for, is in order.

I prefaced my remark about the judges with an acknowledgment of my own personal embarrassment. When people started theorizing that the FBI had presented the Steele dossier to the FISA court as evidence, I told them they were crazy: The FBI, which I can’t help thinking of as myFBI after 20 years of working closely with the bureau as a federal prosecutor, would never take an unverified screed and present it to a court as evidence. I explained that if the bureau believed the information in a document like the dossier, it would pick out the seven or eight most critical facts and scrub them as only the FBI can — interview the relevant witnesses, grab the documents, scrutinize the records, connect the dots. Whatever application eventually got filed in the FISA court would not even allude en passant to Christopher Steele or his dossier. The FBI would go to the FISA court only with independent evidence corroborated through standard FBI rigor.

Should I have assumed I could be wrong about that? Sure, even great institutions go rogue now and again. But even with that in mind, I would still have told the conspiracy theorists they were crazy — because in the unlikely event the FBI ever went off the reservation, the Justice Department would not permit the submission to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations; and even if that fail-safe broke down, a court would not approve such a warrant.

It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong. The FBI (and, I’m even more sad to say, my Justice Department) brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information.

It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong.

I am embarrassed by this not just because I assured people it could not have happened, and not just because it is so beneath the bureau — especially in a politically fraught case in which the brass green-lighted the investigation of a presidential campaign. I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards. Any trained FBI agent would know that even the best FBI agent in the country could not get a warrant based on his own stellar reputation. A fortiori, you would never seek a warrant based solely on the reputation of Christopher Steele — a non-American former intelligence agent who had political and financial incentives to undermine Donald Trump. It is always, always necessary to persuade the court that the actual sources of information allegedly amounting to probable cause are believable.

Well, guess what? No one knows that better than experienced federal judges, who deal with a steady diet of warrant applications. It is basic. Much of my bewilderment, in fact, stems from the certainty that if I had been so daft as to try to get a warrant based on the good reputation of one of my FBI case agents, with no corroboration of his or her sources, just about any federal judge in the Southern District of New York would have knocked my block off — and rightly so.

That’s why I said it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/carter-page-fisa-applications-fbi-steele-dossier/

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1111, Story 1: President Trump Invites Russian President Putin to Washington This Fall and Rejects Putins ‘s Request to Question Former Ambassador McFaul and Other Americans and Senate Votes 98-0 To Also Reject Putin’s Request — Videos — Story 2: President Trump and Republican Party Failure to Cut Government Spending and Balance The Budget and Failure To Support Federal Reserve’s Increase in Interest Rates Will Adversely Impact Economic Growth of U.S. Economy Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — Recession in 2019? — Videos

Posted on July 20, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Employment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Killing, Law, Lying, Media, Medicine, Middle East, Military Spending, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, People, President Trump, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rule of Law, Russia, Senate, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Trump: I’m not pro-Russia, I just want our country safe

The Ingraham Angle with Jason Chaffetz July 20,2018 Full Show

President Trump invites Putin for a US visit this fall

Senate Votes 98 – 0 to Reject Putin Proposal Interview Americans

See intel chief stunned by Trump’s invite to Putin

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Trump is inviting Putin to the White House

US Diplomat Reacts: Would Donald Trump Give Fmr. US Diplomat To Putin? | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

The Matt Couch Show 07-19-18 Senate Votes 98-0 opposing former Administration being quesitoned by Russia

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Here’s what’s in the Senate’s new Russia sanctions

PBS NewsHour

Published on Jun 15, 2017

The Senate overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against both Iran and Russia on Thursday. While the overall bill is aimed at Iran’s missile program, an amendment expands sanctions on Russia for meddling in last year’s election, and another amendment affects the president’s ability to roll back sanctions. Lisa Desjardins joins Judy Woodruff to take a closer look at the details.

White House: Trump ‘disagrees’ with Putin’s request to question Americans

 

The White House on Thursday backed off a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin to question U.S. citizens over alleged crimes in Russia after initially indicating President Trump would consider the matter.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”

The White House response comes after almost 24 hours of criticism from Democrats, Republicans and former diplomats that added to the hailstorm of criticism Trump has received over his meeting with Putin in Helsinki earlier this week.It also marks the third time in as many days where Trump or the White House has walked back or clarified comments the president made in relation to his meeting with Putin that frustrated or flabbergasted lawmakers.

Trump on Tuesday had to reiterate his confidence in the U.S intelligence community’s assessment that Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election after casting doubt on that conclusion the day before.

On Wednesday, Trump appeared to say “no” to questions about whether Russia still posed a threat to the U.S., prompting the White House to clarify hours after that the president was trying to say “no” to taking additional questions.

Sanders’s statement on Thursday was issued less than an hour before the Senate, in a rare display of bipartisan unity, passed, 98-0, a resolution that warns Trump against handing over former U.S. diplomats to Russia.

Putin suggested during Monday’s meeting with Trump that he would let U.S. law enforcement travel to Russia and observe the questioning of 12 Russian intelligence officials indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe in exchange for Russian authorities being allowed to question U.S. citizens “who have something to do with illegal actions in the territory of Russia,” including Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow.

Trump initially called it an “incredible offer” at Monday’s joint press conference with Putin. His comments gained more widespread attention among lawmakers on Wednesday, when Sanders said at a press briefing that the president would discuss Putin’s offer with his team.

However, the president appeared to be increasingly on an island in his consideration of Putin’s proposal.

In an interview shortly before the White House reversal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bluntly shut down any consideration of Putin’s request.

“Yeah, that’s not going to happen,” he said, one day after the State Department called the request “absurd.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray chuckled when asked about the potential quid pro quo during an appearance at the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday night.

“I never want to say never about anything, but it’s certainly not high on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said, prompting laughter and cheers in the room.

On Thursday, Democrats, former diplomats and some Republicans seemed confounded that the White House would even consider the idea.

Multiple lawmakers and ex-diplomats acknowledged it was unlikely the U.S. government would make its own citizens available to Russians for questioning, but warned that the appearance of considering the offer sends a troubling message.

“I challenge you to find one member of the House and the Senate that believes this is a good idea,” Graham added.

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called it “dangerous” to even entertain Putin’s offer.

A group of House Democrats wrote to the president on Thursday, urging him to denounce the “preposterous offer” and saying it “defies belief” that the U.S. government would allow Russian investigators to conduct business on American soil.

“Certainly that would be a pretty phenomenal scene watching McFaul being put onto a plane to go interview in Moscow, or any Americans for that matter,” said Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee.

“I can’t imagine that ever happening,” he added. “So I don’t think it is worth speculating on.”

McFaul has been outspoken in the past 24 hours, urging the president to walk back yet another statement in the aftermath of his meeting with the Russian president and warning it damages his credibility in the diplomatic community.

“The president of the United States needs to come out and categorically denounce it. It’s crazy. Maybe he doesn’t understand it,” McFaul said Thursday morning on MSNBC.

“I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but now he needs to correct the record and stand up strong,” McFaul added. “What the president doesn’t understand, he looks weak in the eyes of Putin when he doesn’t push back on elementary things like that.”

Updated at 3:31 p.m. Olivia Beavers contributed.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/397907-white-house-trump-disagrees-with-putins-request-to-question-americans

Trump ‘disagrees’ with Putin offer to interview Americans

ZEKE MILLER, KEN THOMAS and LISA MASCARO

,

Trump invites Putin to Washington, rejects his request to interrogate Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia

JUL 19, 2018 
Trump invites Putin to Washington, rejects his request to interrogate Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia
At their news conference Monday in Helsinki, President Trump expressed interest in a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin to let Russian officials interrogate a former U.S. ambassador. Thursday, the White House disowned the idea. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump, after coming under fire for even considering the idea, on Thursday decided not to allow Russia to interrogate a former U.S. ambassador and other Americans, as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin proposed during their summit in Helsinki.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

As Trump tried for a third straight day to answer critics, by taking a tougher line with Putin than he did when they met Monday, he also extended an olive branch — inviting Putin to Washington. Sanders said discussions are underway for a visit in the fall, just weeks before midterm elections.

Putin had floated the idea of the interrogations as part of a swap: He would allow 12 Russian operatives indicted last week in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Moscow’s election interference to be questioned, but by Russian officials with U.S. investigators present — and only if the U.S. gave Russia access to a dozen Americans it accuses of crimes, including the former U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Obama, Michael McFaul.

In her statement, Sanders expressed hope that despite Trump’s belated rejection of Putin’s request, he “will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”

Trump, as he stood beside Putin at their summit, had labeled the Russian leader’s proposal an “incredible offer.” On Wednesday, Sanders confirmed that the president was considering the idea, provoking broad outrage across Washington.

Yet the State Department on Wednesday dismissed Russia’s allegations against McFaul and the others as “absurd.” Republicans as well as Democrats objected that Trump hadn’t immediately rejected Putin’s request, signaling that agreeing to such a proposal could be a red line for Congress.

“Under no circumstances should #Putin officials ever be allowed to come into the U.S. & ‘question’ Americans on their list,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote in a tweet Thursday, hours before the White House announced Trump’s decision.

That decision came just after Trump met at the White House with Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo. Pompeo had strongly opposed the idea of allowing Russia access to the Americans, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network on Thursday, “That’s not going to happen.”

Even after the announcement, in a rebuke of the president, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 98-0 for a resolution opposing the “making available of current and former diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin.”

Afterward, McFaul tweeted, “Bipartisanship is not dead yet in the US Senate. Thank you all for your support.”

The new dispute between Trump and Putin over the issue came as the two leaders otherwise offered remarkably similar takes on their summit, both insisting that it was a success and attacking American media and Trump investigators for standing in the way of U.S.-Russia cooperation.

Early Thursday, Trump tweeted that the summit “was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”

Trump claimed that the media “are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.” He went so far as to say that the media badly wants “a confrontation that could lead to war.”

Putin, in his first public comments about the summit, told Russian diplomats in a speech Thursday that relations with the United States had been “in some ways worse than during the Cold War” but their meeting put the two nations on “the path to positive change.”

“It is important that at last a full-scale meeting took place that allowed talking directly, and it was generally successful,” Putin said, according to Russian state news agencies.

However, there are “forces in the United States that are ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their ambitions in the domestic political struggle,” Putin added.

That seemed clearly an echo of Trump’s own complaints about the political cloud over his presidency: the special counsel’s investigation of Russia’s election interference and possible Trump campaign complicity.

Both leaders have claimed that their private, two-hour conversation yielded agreements in various policy areas, though by Thursday, the White House, State and Defense departments had been unable to provide details, with many officials professing to be in the dark themselves.

Even the director of national intelligence, former Sen. Dan Coats, acknowledged that he doesn’t know what took place between the two presidents, and said he opposed their meeting alone.

“That is the president’s prerogative,” Coats said. “I would have suggested a different way.”” He did not rule out the “risk” that the Russians recorded the conversation.

Coats, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, also said that he “wished” Trump hadn’t initially accepted Putin’s denial of election interference. After the joint Trump-Putin news conference, Coats immediately issued an unusual statement of his own; at Aspen he said he wanted “to correct the record.”

He expressed some satisfaction with Trump’s subsequent statement on Tuesday that he accepted the intelligence community’s findings that Russia undermined the election campaign, but said he wished the president hadn’t added that “others” might have been involved as well.

Before news of Trump’s invitation to Putin, in a pair of tweets early Thursday he stated that he looks forward “to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed.” He listed stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyberattacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace and North Korea.

“They can ALL be solved!” he wrote.

Neither country has offered any specifics about particular agreements or future plans for bilateral collaboration. Some congressional Democrats have suggested subpoenaing the American translator — only the presidents’ respective interpreters were in the room for their initial meeting — to solve the mystery of what they discussed.

Republicans, who on the whole have been obsequious toward Trump, were quick to criticize him after he stood beside Putin and accepted the Russian’s denial of election interference over the unanimous conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies.

While some Republicans eased up on Trump following his subsequent reversal and acceptance of his government’s intelligence findings, party leaders suggested they would consider additional sanctions on Russia amid ongoing concerns that it is attempting to interfere with the looming 2018 midterm elections.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he has directed two Senate committees to offer recommendations for measures “that could respond to or deter Russian malign behavior.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray, also speaking at the Aspen conference, an annual gathering of national security experts in Colorado, reiterated his belief in the conclusions about Russian election interference and even hinted that he has considered resigning.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, speaking at the same conference, also acknowledged that she “agrees with” the U.S. intelligence findings.

But she dismissed the idea that Putin, who acknowledged Monday that he wanted Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, did so on her boss’ behalf — as the intelligence agencies have concluded.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that the attempt to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party,” Nielsen said.

While Cabinet officials are wary of angering Trump, Republicans appear to be walking a political tightrope, responding to a potential national security issue but careful not to upset the president or his most loyal supporters, whose turnout will be critical to Republicans’ chances in November.

A new CBS News poll Thursday showed that only about a third of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of relations with Russia, but 68% of Republicans approve, illustrating the bind that GOP elected officials are in.

Special correspondent Sabra Ayres in Moscow contributed to this report.

 

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-putin-07192018-story.html

Trump plans to invite Putin to Washington this fall

President Donald Trump asked his national security adviser to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday afternoon.

The statement comes after Trump teased a second meeting with Putin on Twitter earlier in the day. Sanders says the president tasked National Security Adviser John Bolton with extending an invitation to the Russian leader.

“In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked @AmbJohnBolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” Sanders said in a tweet.

Trump wrote online Thursday that he is looking forward to a second sitdown with Putin, insisting that his much-criticized bilateral meeting with him on Monday was in fact a “great success” that the media have unfairly covered negatively.

“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” the president wrote on Twitter. “There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems…but they can ALL be solved!”

If Putin receives an invitation and accepts it, the trip would likely mark his first visit to the White House in more than a decade. Putin last visited the White House in the early 2000s, when former President George W. Bush was in office.

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa said she would not object to Trump meeting again with Putin but recommended that a member of the administration accompany him to take notes, unlike the meeting earlier this week.

“I’m not saying anything against the president. But I would say we just have to be cautious because what’s to stop Putin from saying: ‘Oh yeah he agreed to all this stuff,’” she said in an interview Thursday.

The president has faced a tidal wave of criticism since his meeting Monday with Putin in Finland, where he told reporters at a bilateral news conference that he saw no reason why Russia would be to blame for a 2016 campaign of cyberattacks intended to impact the outcome of that year’s U.S. presidential election. That Trump would accept Putin’s denial that Russia was involved over the word of his own intelligence agencies prompted a bipartisan backlash that has yet to ebb.

Outrage over Trump’s comment was so strong that the president took the rare step Tuesday of admitting a mistake, telling reporters that he had meant to say he saw no reason why Russia “wouldn’t” have been to blame for the 2016 election meddling, the opposite of what he had said a day earlier.

But Trump has since returned to his defiant stance, insisting that the media have unfairly painted his Finland meeting with Putin as something less than a total success. Earlier Monday, he wrote online that the media want to see a “major confrontation” with Russia, even one “that could lead to war.”

“They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!” he wrote.

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/19/trump-russia-putin-second-meeting-732358

 

 

Story 2: President Trump and Republican Party Failure to Cut Government Spending and Balance The Budget and Failure To Support Federal Reserve’s Increase in Interest Rates Will Adversely Impact Economic Growth of U.S. Economy Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — Recession in 2019? — Videos

What Would Happen If USA Stopped Paying Its Debt?

Trump opposed to more rate hikes, Here’s what that means for the market

CNBC Television

Published on Jul 19, 2018

Fed Chairman Powell expects gradual rate hikes

Published on Jul 17, 2018

Fed Chairman Powell expects gradual rate hikes

ARIRANG NEWS

Published on Jul 17, 2018

Fed lifts interest rates

Financial Times

Published on Jun 13, 2018

PETER SCHIFF – Increasing Short Term Interest Rates Will End Up With Recession

 

Interest Rates Are About to Shoot Through The Roof – Peter Schiff

How the Federal Reserve raising interest rates will affect you

The Fed’s timing behind raising interest rates

Fox Business

Published on Mar 15, 2017

What does a Trump presidency mean for the Fed?

CNNMoney

Published on Nov 14, 2016

Stockman: Trade Wars + the Fed’s QT + Spiking Deficit = Major Recession Ahead

David Stockman Blame the Fed. for USA Trade Deficit

We created a catastrophe for fiscal 2019: David Stockman

Which Countries Will Survive Economic Crisis? Mike Maloney

What Is The Timeframe For US Dollar Collapse? Mike Maloney

Could USA Default On Its Debt? Mike Maloney

Carmen Reinhart: Financial Repression Requires A Captive Audience | McAlvany Commentary

Financial Repression, The War on Cash & The War on Gold

FINANCIAL REPRESSION For Dummies PODCAST w/ Gordon T Long

Trump Blasts Powell’s Rate Hikes, Trespassing on Fed’s Independence

 Updated on 
  • President says he’s ‘not thrilled’ by higher borrowing costs
  • Comments break with 20 years of avoiding public views on rates
Kathleen Gaffney oEaton Vance and Bloomberg’s Vince Cignarella react to President Trump’s comments on the Fed.

“I’m not thrilled” the Fed is raising borrowing costs and potentially slowing the economy, he said in an interview with CNBC broadcast Thursday. “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”

The dollar relinquished gains from earlier in the day and Treasury yields dropped following the president’s remarks.

“I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best,” Trump said.

The Fed has raised interest rates five times since Trump took office in January 2017, with two of those coming this year under Chairman Jerome Powell, the president’s pick to replace Janet Yellen. In the interview, Trump called Powell a “very good man.”

Personal compliments aside, Trump aimed his complaints at a government agency that enjoys a degree of independence from politics because its funding isn’t subject to congressional appropriations.

Powell, nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate with broad bipartisan support, has a four-year term as chairman that ends in 2022. According to the Federal Reserve Act, a Fed chairman can only be removed from office before his or her term ends “for cause,” which isn’t defined.

Central Banks Want Freedom, Politicians Want Control: QuickTake

Most developed-world central banks are given a degree of independence from governments so monetary policy doesn’t succumb to the whims of politicians. In emerging markets such as Turkey, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has felt no such restraint.

“This is such a risky thing for the Fed, and for the president, and for central bank independence,” said Peter Conti-Brown, a Fed historian at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Now, even if the Fed pauses its rate-hike campaign for valid economic reasons, it could look politicized. There will be many “who see that as the Fed yielding to a combative president,” Conti-Brown said.

Wharton Fed Historian Says Trump’s Criticism of Rate Hikes Is Risky

Wharton Fed Historian Peter Conti-Brown says Trump’s criticism of the Fed is risky.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Powell addressed Congress this week and told lawmakers that “for now — the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate.” Fed officials have penciled in two more hikes this year. The probability investors assigned to a Fed rate hike in September was little changed near 90 percent after the president’s remarks, while the probability of a December hike was also holding near 65 percent, according to trading in federal funds futures.

Long Tradition

Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment. Powell last week told American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program that the Fed has “a long tradition here of conducting policy in a particular way, and that way is independent of all political concerns.”

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in an emailed statement that the president “respects the independence of the Fed,” adding that his views on rates “are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long-held positions.”

Trump’s remarks come as the U.S. economy enjoys its second-longest economic expansion on record which has seen unemployment fall close to the lowest levels in 50 years. While the Fed has raised rates, they remain low on a historical basis.

The current target range for its policy benchmark is 1.75 percent and 2 percent. Subtracting inflation, the rate is slightly negative in real terms and still “accommodative” for growth and borrowing, as the Fed said in its June statement.

Indeed, overall financial conditions in the U.S. are largely unchanged since Trump took office in January 2017 despite the Fed’s gradual tightening campaign, and looser than they were on average in 2016, according to a Goldman Sachs index.

It wasn’t the first time in history the Fed has faced pressure from a U.S. president. But the past three administrations under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have refrained from publicly commenting on policy decisions.

“The Fed’s independence from short-term political pressures is critical to enabling it to take the longer-run perspective that is essential for achieving its legislated dual mandate for jobs and price stability,” said Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Trump Hated Low Interest Rates. Then He Became President

It’s long been speculated that the taboo of commenting on U.S. monetary policy could change under Trump, who slammed the Fed during his election campaign and has demonstrated repeatedly his willingness to flout the conventions and sensibilities of establishment Washington.

While it’s been many years, the White House has also been known to exert other forms of pressure. In December 1965, Lyndon Johnson famously summoned Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas, to confront him over Martin’s decision to lift rates. Martin held his ground.

The same couldn’t be said for Arthur Burns under Richard Nixon. Oval Office tapes later revealed that Nixon demanded Burns goose the economy with low rates ahead of the 1972 election. When Burns didn’t immediately cooperate, the White House planted a false story in the press that Burns was seeking a big pay raise, according to a book by Nixon speech writer William Safire. Eventually Burns relented, aiding Nixon but also helping to feed runaway inflation that dogged the U.S. economy for nearly a decade.

The last known example of U.S. presidential strong-arming came when George H. W. Bush was fighting for re-election. Bush’s White House pushed Alan Greenspan behind the scenes on rates and openly called on the Fed to lower its benchmark in June 1992. Greenspan did lower rates 13 times over 1991-92, but slowed the pace of cuts in the latter year, much to the White House’s annoyance.

— With assistance by Benjamin Purvis, Rich Miller, and Justin Sink

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-19/trump-trespasses-on-fed-independence-blasting-powell-rate-hikes

Who Is Buying US Treasuries?

  BY    0   0

The Japanese and Chinese aren’t buying US Treasuries. In fact, both countries reduced their holdings in April.

According to the US Treasury Department, the Japanese disposed of $12.3 billion in US debt. Meanwhile, Chinese Treasury holdings fell by $5.8 billion.

This could be a troubling development for the US government as it scrambles to fund its massive deficits and ever-growing debt.

Earlier this year, we asked the question: who is going to buy all of this US debt? The US Treasury Department plans to auction off around $1.4 trillion in Treasuries this year. And it won’t end there. The department expects that pace of borrowing to continue over the next several years. That’s a lot of bonds. Who will buy them? Because the biggest purchasers of US debt aren’t in a buying mood. In fact, they appear to be selling.

The Japanese rank as the second-largest holder of US Treasuries, but they’ve been systematically selling. Over the past six months, the Japanese have shed $63 billion in US debt. Since July 2016, they have reduced Treasury holdings by $123 billion.

The Chinese haven’t been dumping Treasuries at the same rate as the Japanese – at least not until recently – but they haven’t been buying either. China’s holdings have remained within the same range since August 2017.

But as the trade war between the US and China continues to intensify, China could use its holdings of US debt as a weapon. The Chinese can’t out-tariff Trump. The US imports far more products than the Chinese. But China does have an ace up its sleeve. They could start more aggressively selling US Treasuries. If China starts dumping large amounts of debt on the market, interest rates will likely soar and the dollar would plunge.

As Wolf Street noted, you can more clearly see that Japan and China are less eager to service US debt when you look at it in terms of the percentage of the US gross national debt.

There are two reasons for the steady decline.

  1. The US gross national debt has soared.
  2. The holdings of China and Japan have fallen over the past two years.

The Federal Reserve is another big player in the US Treasury market. The central bank holds about $2.39 trillion on federal debt, much of it purchased over the last decade through its QE programs. But the Fed isn’t buying right now either. Its Treasury holdings fell by $70 billion from the beginning of its QE unwind last fall through April.

And on an interesting side-note, the Russians cut its Treasury holdings in half in April, selling off $47.4 billion of its $96.1 billion in US debt.

As Wolf Street points out, the Russians don’t hold very much US debt, so their sell-off isn’t particularly meaningful in the big scheme of things. But imagine if China or Japan were to hold a similar fire sale. That would be headline news – and not the good kind.

So, if the big three – China, Japan and the Fed – aren’t buying US bonds, who is?

According to Wolf Street, “Mostly American institutional and individual investors, directly and indirectly, through bond funds, pension funds, and other ways.”

The question is how much of the load can these investors absorb? And how high will interest rates have to climb in order to keep them buying? Keep in mind, rising interest rates don’t just impact bond yields. On the flip-side, debtors are paying more to service their debts. That means leveraged companies and consumers with massive credit card balances. That’s not good news in a world drowning in debt.

The bottom line is interest rates will most likely continue to rise. It’s a simple supply and demand calculation. The Treasury Department has to sell more than a trillion dollars in bonds. Nobody wants to buy. Interest rates will go up to entice more buyers into the market. The Sovereign Man summed up the implications in an article last winter. It’s worth repeating.

Make no mistake: higher interest rates will have an enormous impact on just about EVERYTHING. Many major asset prices tend to fall when interest rates rise. Rising rates mean that it costs more money for companies to borrow, reducing their leverage and overall profitability. So stock prices typically fall. It’s also important to note that, over the last several years when interest rates were basically ZERO, companies borrowed vast sums of money at almost no cost to buy back their own stock. They were essentially using record low interest rates to artificially inflate their share prices. Those days are rapidly coming to an end.”

https://schiffgold.com/key-gold-news/who-is-buying-us-treasuries/

 

 

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The Pronk Pops 1110, July 18, 2018, Story 1: Mass Hysteria of Big Lie Media — Pathetic Progressive Propaganda Peddling Meddling Mischief– Blaming Russians for Their Lying Lunatic Leftist Loses — “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” — Videos — Story 2: More Obama Globalist Propaganda — Takes A Lying Politician To Know One — Obama Keeps On Lying — Obama The Appeaser Did Not Stop China and Russian Interventions in The United States — Unindicted Co-conspirator Obama Lead The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy! — Videos

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