Archive for August, 2018

The Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018, Story 1: Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index Reaches New High of 133.4 in August — Highest Since October 2000 — Videos — Story 2: United States Real GDP Growth revised to Upward to 4.2% in second quarter of 2018 — Videos — Story 3: Red Wave, Blue Wave or Make No Waves — Solid Economic Growth and Trade Deals Mean Republican Wins or Red Wave —  Videos — Story 4: President Trump Warns of Violence If Republicans Lose In Mid-term Elections — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

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

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

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

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

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Story 1: Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index Reaches New High of 133.4 in August — Highest Since October 2000 — Videos

Consumer confidence index hits high since October 2000

U.S. Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Dot-Com Crash

Pace of News Reports Picks Up on Tuesday

 

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Increased in August

28 Aug. 2018

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in August, following a modest increase in July. The Index now stands at 133.4 (1985=100), up from 127.9 in July. The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 last month to 107.6 this month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was August 17.

“Consumer confidence increased to its highest level since October 2000 (Index, 135.8), following a modest improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved further. Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018. Overall, these historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved further in August. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 38.1 percent to 40.3 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined from 10.3 percent to 9.1 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 42.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 14.8 percent to 12.7 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook bounced back in August. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 22.9 percent to 24.3 percent, but those expecting business conditions will worsen marginally rose, from 10.3 percent to 10.5 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 22.6 percent to 21.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased, from 15.2 percent to 14.1 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 20.4 percent to 25.5 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 9.4 percent to 7.0 percent.

Source: August 2018 Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Conference Board / Release #6031

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

 

US consumer confidence rises to 18-year high

Americans’ consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level in nearly 18 years as their assessment of current conditions improved further and their expectations about the future rebounded.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 133.4 in August, up from a reading 127.9 in July. It was the highest reading since confidence stood at 135.8 in October 2000.

Consumers’ confidence in their ability to get a job and the overall economy are seen as important indicators of how freely they will spend, especially on big-ticket items such as cars, in coming months. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

FILE- In this July 3, 2018, file photo, a shopper carries bags in San Francisco. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Conference Board releases its August index on U.S. consumer confidence. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

“Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “These historically high confidence levels should continue to support health consumer spending in the near term.”

The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a 4.1 percent rate in the April-June quarter, the best performance since 2014. That estimate will be revised Wednesday. Many economists believe growth has slowed a bit in the current quarter to around 3 percent but will remain far ahead of the weak 2.2 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter.

“Confidence is soaring to new heights which makes us bullish on growth and forecasts that this expansion may indeed shatter records for longevity next summer,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6106539/US-consumer-confidence-rises-18-year-high.html

 

Story 2: United States Real GDP Growth revised to Upward to 4.2% in second quarter of 2018 — Videos

GDP revised to 4.2% in second quarter

What Is The Real GDP Growth Rate?

 

Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2018 (Second Estimate); Corporate Profits: Second Quarter 2018 (Preliminary Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 4.1 percent. With this second estimate for the second quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; the revision primarily reflected upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised down. (see “Updates to GDP” on page 2).

Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.9 percent in the first quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 3.0 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.1 percent in the first quarter (table 1).

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and residential fixed investment. Imports decreased (table 2).

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected accelerations in PCE, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, as well as a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment. These movements were partly offset by a downturn in private inventory investment and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports decreased after increasing in the first quarter.

Current‑dollar GDP increased 7.6 percent, or $370.9 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $20.41 trillion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.3 percent, or $209.2 billion (table 1 and table 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in the first quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 1.9 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent.

Updates to GDP

The percent change in real GDP was revised up 0.1 percentage point from the advance estimate, reflecting upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by downward revisions to PCE, residential fixed investment, and exports. Imports were revised down. For more information, see the Technical Note. A detailed Key Source Data and Assumptions”  file is also posted for each release. For information on updates to GDP, see the “Additional Information” section that follows.

 

Advance Estimate

Second Estimate

 

(Percent change from preceding quarter)

Real GDP

4.1 4.2

Current-dollar GDP

7.4 7.6

Real GDI

1.8

Average of Real GDP and Real GDI

3.0

Gross domestic purchases price index

2.3 2.3

PCE price index

1.8 1.9

For the first quarter of 2018, revised tabulations from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program were incorporated into the estimates; the percent change in real GDI was unrevised at 3.9 percent.

Corporate Profits (table 10)

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) increased $72.4 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $26.7 billion in the first quarter.

Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $16.8 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $9.3 billion in the first quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $63.6 billion, compared with an increase of $32.3 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits decreased $8.0 billion, in contrast to an increase of $3.7 billion. In the second quarter, receipts decreased $6.0 billion, and payments increased $2.0 billion.

https://www.bea.gov/news/2018/gross-domestic-product-second-quarter-2018-second-estimate-corporate-profits-second

Story 3: Red Wave, Blue Wave or Make No Waves — Solid Economic Growth and Trade Deals Mean Republican Wins or Red Wave —  Videos –

See the source imageSee the source image

Trump: NAFTA deal ‘probably on track’

Tucker: The Democratic Party is blowing up

Steyn: Trump ‘annulment’ reflects left’s denial

BREAKING 🔴 President Trump Holds Press Conference & Announces New Grant – August 29, 2018

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

Larry Kudlow: We are becoming growthier

Gingrich: Primaries have set stage for red wave in November

Canadian economy can’t survive well without a US deal: Wilbur Ross

Trump has once again stunned his detractors: Dobbs

Ingraham: Trump’s trade triumph

Trump predicts a ‘red wave’ ahead of midterm elections

Trump predicts ‘red wave’ in November

#LionelNation🇺🇸Immersive Live Stream: What Blue Wave?

Primary Midterm Election Results, Rush Limbaugh Reaction To ‘Blue Wave vs Red Wave’

 

Robert B. Reich: Can we get an annulment instead of an impeachment?

Robert B. Reich

The only way I can see the end of the Donald Trump presidency is if there’s overwhelming evidence he rigged the 2016 election — in which case impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy. His presidency should be annulled.

Let me explain.

Many people are convinced we’re already witnessing the beginning of the end of Mr. Trump. In their view, bombshell admissions from Trump insiders with immunity from prosecution, combined with whatever evidence special counsel Robert Mueller uncovers about Trump’s obstruction of justice and his aides’ collusion with the Russians, will all tip the scales. Democrats will take back the House and begin an impeachment, and the evidence of impeachable offenses will put enough pressure on Republican senators to send Mr. Trump packing.

I don’t believe this for a moment.

First, the Senate has never in history convicted a president of impeachment.

Second, even if Democrats flip the House in November, Republicans will almost certainly remain in control of the Senate — and so far they’ve displayed the integrity of lizards.

Third, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing sleaze media will continue to distort and cover up whatever the evidence shows — convincing 35 percent to 40 percent of Americans, along with most Republicans, that Mr. Trump is the innocent victim of a plot to remove him.

Finally, Mr. Trump himself will never voluntarily resign, as did Nixon. He’ll lie and claim a conspiracy to unseat him.

Mr. Trump has proven himself a superb conman, an entertainer-demagogue capable of sowing so much confusion and instigating so much hate and paranoia that he has already survived outrages that would have broken any garden-variety loathsome president — Helsinki, Charlottesville, children locked in cages at the border, firings and cover-ups, racist slurs, clear corruption.

In all likelihood, we’ll have him for another two and a half years.

Even if Mr. Trump loses in 2020, we’ll be fortunate if he concedes without being literally carried out of the Oval Office amid the stirrings of civil insurgency.

Oh, and let me remind you that even if he’s impeached, we’d still have his loathsome administration —

But lest you fall into a miasma of gloom, there’s another scenario — unlikely, but entirely possible.

Suppose, just suppose, Mr. Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Mr. Trump conspired with Russian President Vladimir Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election’s outcome. In other words, Mr. Trump’s presidency is not authorized under the United States Constitution.

Suppose these findings are so compelling that even Mr. Trump loyalists desert him, the Republican Party decides it has had enough, and Fox News calls for his impeachment.

What then? Impeachment isn’t enough.

Impeachment would remedy Mr. Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But impeachment would not remedy Mr. Trump’s unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and Cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency.

The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of it — recognizing that such appointments, orders, rules and records were made without constitutional authority.

The Constitution does not specifically provide for the annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitutionleads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.

After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesn’t comport with the Constitution to be null and void, as if it had never been passed.

It would logically follow that the court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Mr. Trump had never been elected. (Clearly, any Trump appointee to the court would have to recuse himself from any such decision.)

The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.

After the Trump administration was annulled, the Speaker of the House (third in the order of presidential succession) would take over the presidency until a special election.

As I’ve said, I’m betting Mr. Trump remains president at least through 2020 — absent compelling and indisputable evidence he rigged the 2016 election.

But if such evidence comes forth, impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy, because even if Mr. Trump is removed, his presidency — all that he and his administration did when he occupied office — would be constitutionally illegitimate.

It should be annulled.

Robert Reich’s latest book is “The Common Good,” and his newest documentary is “Saving Capitalism.”

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0829-reich-annulment-20180828-story.html

Story 4: President Trump Warns of Violence If Republicans Lose In Mid-term Elections — Videos

Trump warns of violence if GOP loses midterms

Trump Warns That a ‘Blue Wave’ Would Bring ‘Crime and Open Borders’

Trump’s midterm election impact

Trump warns evangelicals of ‘violence’ if GOP loses in the midterms

Election a ‘referendum on so much,’ he says

By JEFF ZELENY AND KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN

Oliver Contreras – Pool/Getty Images

(CNN) – US President Donald Trump, facing scrutiny for hush money payments to a porn star and a former Playboy model, pleaded with evangelical leaders for political help during closed-door remarks on Monday, warning of dire consequences to their congregations should Republicans lose in November’s midterm elections.

“This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion, it’s a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It’s a referendum on so much,” Trump told the assemblage of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered in the State Dining Room, according to a recording from people in the room.

“It’s not a question of like or dislike, it’s a question that they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa — these are violent people,” Trump said, describing what would happen should his voters fail to cast ballots. “You have tremendous power. You were saying, in this room, you have people who preach to almost 200 million people. Depending on which Sunday we’re talking about.”

Antifa — a loose collection of anti-fascist groups who regularly stage counter-protests against white supremacists and neo-Nazis — have emerged as an effective bogeyman for segments of the US right.

In a video released last year by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the pro-gun group used footage from street protests and occasional Antifa violence to paint all on the US left as seeking to “bully and terrorize the law-abiding.”

Trump previously appeared to link Antifa to violence at a Charlottesville demonstration last year in which a white supremacist killed a left-wing counter protester and injured 19 others. The President later said there was “blame on both sides.”

‘Get people to support us’

Evangelicals have provided a solid block of support for Trump, even amid the scandals involving alleged sexual affairs.

After news of those purported encounters emerged, his standing among white evangelicals did not slip. But inviting the leaders to the White House only days after the President was newly implicated by his longtime personal lawyer’s guilty plea underscored the degree to which Trump is trying to keep his supporters on his side.

“You have to hopefully get out and get people to support us,” Trump said. “If you don’t, that will be the beginning of ending everything that you’ve gotten.”

Trump will need to maintain that support if he hopes to help Republicans stay in power on Capitol Hill or win re-election himself in 2020. On Monday, he touted the steps he’s taken to promote religious liberty, such as loosening restrictions on political speech from the pulpit, which previously could jeopardize religious institutions’ tax-exempt status.

The remarks from an attendee’s recording offered a more dire view of the upcoming vote than Trump has projected in public. He often trumpets an upcoming “red wave” of Republican victories, downplaying suggestions that Democrats are poised to exploit his divisiveness and retake the House or Senate.

Trump didn’t mention a “red wave” on Monday, instead acknowledging that midterms often present new presidents with a turnout challenge.

“The polls might be good, but a lot of them say they are going to vote in 2020, but they’re not going to vote if I’m not on a ballot,” he said. “I think we’re doing well, I think we’re popular, but there’s a real question as to whether people are going to vote if I’m not on the ballot. And I’m not on the ballot.”

That’s a problem Trump said the evangelical leaders could help solve by galvanizing their congregations and followers to vote.

“I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote. Because if they don’t — it’s November 6 — if they don’t vote, we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time,” he said.

“You’re one election away from losing everything that you’ve gotten,” he added. “Little thing: Merry Christmas, right? You couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ ”

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/politics/trump-warns-evangelicals-of-violence-if-gop-loses-in-the-midterms

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Warns Facebook, Google, and Twitter Be Careful or Face Federal Regulation For Political Bias — The Answer Is More Competition Not Federal Regulation or Antitrust Lawsuits — Videos — Story 2: FBI Leaked To Media To Get Support For Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Surveillance Warrant — Videos — Story 3: Senior Department of Justice Official Bruce G. Ohr Testified Before Congress — FBI Knew Christopher Steele Was Biased Against Trump and Steele Dossier Funded By Clinton Campaign Through Fusion GPS — FBI Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — Videos

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 Image result for cartoons google biasSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump Warns Facebook, Google, and Twitter Be Careful or Face Federal Regulation For Political Bias — The Answer Is More Competition Not Federal Regulation or Antitrust Lawsuits — Videos —

Trump vs. Google

Trump accuses Google suppressing conservative voices

Trump Accuses Google of Highlighting Negative Stories

Trump accuses Google suppressing conservative voices

President Donald Trumps Latest Battles Are With Google And Canada | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Trump Warns Google, Facebook, And Twitter To ‘Be Careful’

President Trump Warns Tech Companies After Google Tweets: ‘Better Be Careful’ | TIME

Rigged or not? Trump calls out Google on deliberately promoting negative news of him

Trump accuses Google of biased searches, warns ‘be careful’

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him “so that almost all stories & news is BAD.” He offered no evidence of bias, but a top adviser said the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google should face federal regulation.

Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump’s claim simply wasn’t so: “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

The president’s tweets echoed his familiar attacks on the news media – and a conservative talking point that California-based tech companies run by CEOs with liberal leanings don’t give equal weight to opposing political viewpoints. They also revealed anew his deep-seated frustration he doesn’t get the credit he believes he deserves.

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president, who has said he runs on little sleep, jumped onto Twitter before dawn Tuesday to rehash his recent complaints about alleged suppression of conservative voices and positive news about him.

He followed that up with vague threats in Oval Office comments.

“I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people, and I think that’s a very serious thing. That’s a very serious charge,” Trump said, adding that Google, Twitter, Facebook and others “better be careful, because you can’t do that to people.”

Trump claimed that “we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. … So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, told reporters later that the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google searches should be subject to some government regulation. That would be a noteworthy development since Trump often points proudly to his cutting of government regulations as a spur for economic gains.

In his tweets, Trump said – without offering evidence – that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?” He added, again with no evidence, that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

A search query Tuesday morning, several hours after the president tweeted, showed stories from CNN, ABC News, Fox News and the MarketWatch business site, among others. A similar search later in the day for “Trump” had Fox News, the president’s favored cable network, among the top results.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, said its aim is to make sure its search engine users quickly get the most relevant answers.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” the company said in a statement. “Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Experts suggested that Trump’s comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work.

Google searches aim to surface the most relevant pages in response to a user’s query, even before he or she finishes typing. The answers that appear first are the ones Google’s formulas, with some help from human content reviewers, deem to be the most authoritative, informative and relevant. Many factors help decide the initial results, including how much time people spend on a page, how many other pages link to it, how well it’s designed and more.

Trump and some supporters have long accused Silicon Valley companies of being biased against them. While some company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias.

Media analyst Ken Doctor said it doesn’t make sense for mass-market businesses like Google to lean either way politically. He characterized the complaints as a “sign of our times,” adding that, years ago, if the head of General Electric was supporting a Republican candidate, people who disagreed wouldn’t then go out and boycott GE products.

“The temperature has risen on this,” Doctor said.

Steven Andres, who teaches about management information systems at San Diego State University, said people often assume that if you give a computer the same inputs no matter where you are that you “get the same outputs.”

But it doesn’t work that way, he said. “You’re seeing different things every moment of the day and the algorithms are always trying to change the results.”

Trump didn’t say what he based his tweets on. But conservative activist Paula Boylard had said in a weekend blog post that she found “blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets” in search results.

Boylard based her judgments on the political leanings of media outlets on a list by Sharyl Attkisson, host of Sinclair Television’s “Full Measure” and author of “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, Think, and How You Vote.” Sinclair is a significant outlet for conservative views.

Trump began complaining about the issue earlier this month as social media companies moved to ban right-wing “Infowars” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms. The president also argues regularly – and falsely – that the news media avoid writing positive stories about him and his administration.

Jones is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged. Jones has since said he believes the shooting did occur and has argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because he was acting as a journalist.

Trump has praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation.

The issue is also of concern on Capitol Hill, where the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., recently announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is scheduled to testify before the panel on Sept. 5 about the platform’s algorithms and content monitoring.

___

Ortutay reported from New York.

___

Follow Darlene Superville and Barbara Ortutay on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap and http://www.twitter.com/barbaraortutay

A cursor moves over Google’s search engine page on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Portland, Ore. Political leanings don’t factor into Google’s search algorithm. But the authoritativeness of page links the algorithm spits out and the perception of thousands of human raters do. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Trump: Facebook, Twitter, Google are ‘treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful’

  • Trump said in a tweet that Google’s search engine had “rigged” news story search results to show mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives. He later criticized Facebook and Twitter.
  • He says Google is prioritizing left-leaning outlets and warns that the situation “will be addressed.”
  • The president’s comments come a week before Google, Facebook and Twitter testify before Congress.
  • Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, says the White House is “looking into” whether Google suppresses positive articles about the president.

President Trump accuses Google of rigging search results  

President Donald Trump doubled down on threats against FacebookTwitter and Google Tuesday afternoon, saying the social platforms are “treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

“Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that’s a very serious thing and it’s a very serious charge,” Trump told reporters after a meeting with the president of FIFA. “They better be careful because they can’t do that to people.”

A Twitter spokesperson, when asked to respond to Trump’s comments, pointed to previous statements and congressional testimony denying any form of conservative bias on the platform. A spokesperson for Facebook did not immediately return request for comment.

Trump earlier Tuesday accused Google of altering search results to prioritize negative coverage and left-leaning outlets and warned that the issue “will be addressed.”

Trump said in a tweet that the tech giant’s search engine had “rigged” news story results to show mostly “bad” stories about him and other conservatives.

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” the president said.

“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

Trump added: “Illegal? 96% of … results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”

Around 11 a.m. ET, Trump deleted the original tweets and reposted practically identical language.

“When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Trump also praised the performance of the Nasdaq Compositeindex, which climbed above 8,000 points for the first time ever Monday.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

NASDAQ has just gone above 8000 for the first time in history!

Google’s parent company Alphabet is a key driver of the Nasdaq’s performance. The firm’s shares were under pressure following Trump’s comments, down around 0.5 percent.

Later Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, told Bloomberg that the White House is “looking into” whether Google suppresses positive articles about the president. Kudlow did not provide details on how the White House was looking into the matter.

Shannon Pettypiece

@spettypi

Asked Larry Kudlow about Trump comments on Google. He said they are “looking into it” and doing some “investigations” and “analysis”

Some reports have suggested the president was referring to an unscientific report by conservative news website PJ Media, which claimed that 96 percent of Google search results for the word “Trump” showed left-leaning publications. The report places outlets including CNN, The Washington Post and The Guardian on the left of the political spectrum, while placing the likes of Fox News, the New York Post and the Daily Mail on the right.

Big tech to face Congress

Trump’s comments couldn’t be more timely. Next week, Google, Facebook and Twitter representatives will testify before Congress, discussing censorship and election meddling.

The hearings mark the second time representatives from all the companies will be on Capitol Hill to address concerns of election interference. For Facebook, it will be the third, following CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s grilling earlier this year over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are among those confirmed to be attending the hearings.

Facebook and Twitter have suspended hundreds of accounts ahead of the November midterm elections to avoid interference from foreign actors. Facebook last week said it had removed 652 pages, groups and accounts linked to Iran over “coordinated inauthentic behavior” targeting people in the U.S., the U.K., Latin America and the Middle East. As of Tuesday, Twitter has removed 770 accounts over “coordinated manipulation” ahead of the midterms.

Trump’s comments as a whole appear to represent a broader view among conservative circles that digital platforms are censoring them.

The president recently accused Twitter of “shadow banning” — allegedly limiting search results — for prominent Republicans, and called the practice “discriminatory and illegal.” Twitter has denied the claims.

And earlier this month, multiple tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Pinterest and Spotify, clamped down on content by the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, removing podcasts, pages and other content.

Tech companies said they removed Jones for violating policies related to hate speech and harassment. “Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” Apple said at the time.

Some right-wing commentators have criticized the mass takedown of Jones’ content, saying it amounted to censorship.

—CNBC’s Sara Salinas contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/trump-accuses-google-of-rigging-search-results-in-favor-of-bad-coverage.html

Story 2: FBI Leaked To Media To Get Support For Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Surveillance Warrant — Videos —

Deep State’s plot for FISA warrants revealed?

FBI Leaked To Media, Used Media’s Reports To Get FISA Warrants, Congressman Says

Steele’s communications with DOJ raise questions

Rep. Goodlatte now preparing Steele dossier subpoenas

Glen Simpson Gave Bruce Ohr A Memory Stick To Give To FBI After Steele Was Fired

GOP rep touches off firestorm with claim FBI leaked info, used stories to get FISA warrants

A Republican congressman touched off a firestorm Tuesday after claiming on Twitter that his office had information suggesting the FBI leaked information to the press and used the resulting articles to help obtain surveillance warrants.

“We’ve learned NEW information suggesting our suspicions are true: FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press, and then used those same press stories as a separate source to justify FISA’s,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., tweeted overnight.

The claim stemmed in part from FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa’s Friday testimony behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

A source with knowledge of the testimony initially told Fox News that Moffa said FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, echoing Meadows. The source said Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.”

But an FBI official pushed back, telling Fox News the initial claims about Moffa’s testimony were incorrect.

The source later clarified that Moffa testified the FBI routinely uses media material to corroborate their work product, including FISA materials, but “never said directly ‘we utilize FBI leaks for FISAs.’” The source maintained, however, that the FBI has a “culture of leaking for their own gain” and uses media reports to support their work: “There’s quite a bit of evidence raising concerns that the FBI engages in this without Moffa saying it.”

Republican member of the House Oversight Committee Mark Meadows says he has 'about 60 questions' for the DOJ official about his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, says the integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice are at stake.

Republicans have long questioned to what extent leaked information, related to the unverified anti-Trump dossier, was used as a basis for surveillance warrants against former Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016 — when the bureau was led by James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe.

The source told Fox News that Moffa did not specifically confirm whether leaking was employed with regard to the dossier.

Another source familiar with Moffa’s testimony offered a more nuanced version of events. The source told Fox News that Moffa said the FBI keeps track of open source reports related to their cases — and when asked whether a FISA application would reference a news account, he said it could be possible, hypothetically, but the FBI aims to find better information.

The source stressed that this was not related to any specific situation and that Moffa did not suggest this was a common practice at the FBI.

Meadows, though, largely stood by his claims – yet also offered a clarification in a Tuesday afternoon statement to Fox News, drawing a distinction between what Moffa testified and what his office has learned from other materials.

“Jonathan Moffa made it clear to the committee the FBI routinely uses media reports to corroborate analytic work product. We have emails and texts plainly showing the FBI leaks to the media, raising major red flags. If FBI executives want the American people to believe they haven’t used leaks to their advantage, they are not being honest,” Meadows said in the statement, while saying this includes FISA materials.

Meadows also told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” earlier Tuesday that the committee had evidence of the FBI’s practice that would be “hard to refute.”

“We know that some people at the Department of Justice and the FBI actually gave information to the media, then the stories were reported. Then they used those reports to justify further investigations,” Meadows said. “You know, that’s like saying, we’re going to incriminate on one hand, and be the jury on the other. It just doesn’t work that way.”

The Daily Caller first reported on the specifics of Moffa’s claims.

The Trump dossier, which contained salacious allegations about the then-presidential candidate, was compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele. Steele, who was also working as an FBI source, had been hired by research firm Fusion GPS to compile details for the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

One source familiar with Moffa’s testimony told Fox News that his statements raise concerns that the bureau indeed used this practice with the dossier, referencing an article written by Yahoo! News’ Michael Isikoff.

The Isikoff article was published on Sept. 23, 2016, focusing on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. According to a House GOP memo earlier this year, the Isikoff article did “not corroborate the Steele dossier” as the article was “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” Yet the subsequent FISA application to spy on Page cited the Isikoff article, among other pieces of evidence.

“The [Carter] Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not properly provide information to Yahoo News,” the memo read. “Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS.”

Moffa served on the FBI’s “Mid-Year Exam,” the code name for the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information and use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Moffa’s name often appeared in text message conversations between former FBI officials Strzok and Page, who came under scrutiny for their anti-Trump and politically charged exchanges. One text message exchange between the two on July 24, 2016 discussed their need to read “Moffa’s thing,” referencing an FBI “302”—which is an interview or witness deposition in an FBI investigation.

DOCUMENTS SUGGEST POSSIBLE COORDINATION BETWEEN CIA, FBI, OBAMA WH AND DEM OFFICIALS EARLY IN TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE: INVESTIGATORS 

Another reference was on Aug. 8, 2016.

“Hey no update yet, waiting on Moffa, he’s in with Dina at mtg scheduled to end at 11,” Strzok texted Page. An hour later, he added: “Hey, talked to him, will let him fill you in. Internal joint cyber cd Intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”

In the texts, “D” referred to former FBI Director James Comey, and “McDonough” referred to former chief of staff for former President Barack Obama, Denis McDonough, according to GOP investigators.

Page left the bureau in May, and Strzok was fired earlier this month.

On Tuesday, House lawmakers have the chance to question Justice Department senior official Bruce Ohr on the same FBI practice, as Ohr testifies behind closed doors.

Ohr had frequent contact with Steele before and after the publication of the dossier, and the FBI’s ultimate decision to cut ties with the ex-British spy. Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS at the time of the creation of the dossier.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/28/fbi-agent-says-bureau-leaked-stories-then-used-them-to-get-fisa-warrants.html

 

Bruce Ohr

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Bruce Genesoke Ohr (born March 16, 1962) is a United States Department of Justice official. A former associate deputy attorney general and former director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF),[1] as of February 2018 Ohr was working in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.[2] He is an expert on transnational organized crime and has spent most of his career overseeing gang- and racketeering-related prosecutions,[3] including Russian organized crime.[4]

Ohr was little-known until 2018, when he became a subject of conservative conspiracy theories[5][6][7] and Republican scrutiny[8] over his purported involvement in starting the probe on Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was criticized by President Donald Trump.[5][6] There is no evidence that Ohr was involved in the start of the Russia probe.[7] According to a comprehensive review by ABC News, Ohr “had little impact on the FBI’s growing probe into Trump and his associates.”[3]

Education

Ohr graduated from Harvard College in 1984 with a degree in physics, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1987.[9]

Career

Ohr worked for a law firm in San Francisco before becoming a career civil servant at the U.S. Department of Justice,[4] ultimately rising to the rank of Associate Deputy Attorney General. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999,[3] and was head of the office’s Violent Gangs Unit before joining the Justice Department’s Washington headquarters as the head of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Criminal Division, where Ohr managed teams investigating and prosecuting crime syndicates in Russia and eastern Europe.[4] In 2006, Ohr was one of a number of U.S. government officials who made the decision to revoke the visa of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally.[4]

In 2010, Ohr moved to a new position as counsel for international relations in DOJ’s Transnational organized crime and international affairs section. He became director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in 2014.[4] He later became associate deputy attorney general, but lost that position in late 2017, although he remained director of OCDETF for a time.[10] Ohr was demoted by the Department of Justice amid the Senate Intelligence Committee’s discovery of his meetings with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.[11]

Russia probe

Ohr served as the Justice Department contact for Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent commissioned to author the Trump–Russia dossier. The dossier was prepared, under a contract to the DNC and the Clinton campaign, by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. According to a Republican-led investigation, during the 2016 election, Fusion GPS hired Bruce’s wife Nellie Ohr, an independent contractor and Russia specialist, to conduct “research and analysis” of Donald Trump.[10][12][13] A comprehensive report done by ABC News disputes that Ohr’s wife worked on the dossier, instead stating that she “was not directly involved in the ‘dossier’ while she worked for Fusion GPS.”[3]

Ohr was mentioned in the controversial Nunes memo, written by Devin Nunes, chair of the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee, which was released in February 2018. The full committee did not sign off on the memo, and Democrats in the committee produced their own memo which largely contradicted the Nunes memo.[14] The Nunes memo, which focused on the Justice Department’s process for obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap Trump associate Carter Page in October 2016, said that Ohr was aware of Steele’s bias against Trump in September 2016.[15][10] The memo alleged that Steele’s reported bias against Trump was not mentioned in the FISA warrant application, and that the FISA court was misled.[15][2] A competing memo by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said that the FISA warrant made clear that the Steele dossier was paid opposition research likely intended to discredit the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, and that the court was therefore not misled.[16] Ohr documented Steele’s opinions on Trump in November 2016 (several weeks after the initial FISA warrant against Page had been approved by the FISA court), saying Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”[16] Ohr was not assigned to work in counterintelligence operations and was not known to be involved in obtaining the FISA warrant.[2] According to BBC News, the fact that Ohr recorded Steele’s opinions “somewhat [undercuts] the accusation of rampant bias within the department, given that a truly compromised individual wouldn’t jot that sort of thing down.”[14]

In 2018, Ohr became the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories which alleged that he played an important role in starting the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[5][6] The conspiracy theories allege that the origins of the Russia probe were biased and were intended to undermine then-candidate Trump.[6] This theory assumes that the probe was started because of the Steele dossier. But in fact the July 2016 launch of the FBI investigation was triggered, not by the dossier, but by a report that Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos knew, before it became public knowledge, that the Russians possessed damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of stolen emails.[17] This origin of the probe is confirmed in the Nunes memo itself.[18] Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has stated that as far as he knew, Ohr was not involved with the Russia investigation,[19] and told the House Judiciary Committee that Ohr had “no role” in the investigation.[11] The claim that the origins of the Russia probe were tainted is unsubstantiated.[6] The FBI did not publicly reveal the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign during the campaign, in part so as not to hurt his electoral chances, contradicting the claim that the probe was an attempt to undermine Trump’s candidacy.[6]

Trump called Ohr a “disgrace” in a tweet in August 2018, and suggested that he would revoke Ohr’s security clearance.[7] There is no publicly available evidence that suggests Ohr mishandled sensitive information.[6] Trump’s threat to strip Ohr of his security clearance came amid threats to revoke the security clearances of a number of current and former officials who had criticized Trump or been involved in Russia probe.[20] According to The Washington Post, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her deputy Bill Shine discussed the best timing to announce the revocations as a way of distracting from unfavorable news cycles.[20][21] Rep. Jim Jordan, a critic of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, called for Ohr’s firing.[22][7]

On August 28, 2018, Ohr gave testimony in a closed hearing to two Republican-led House committees looking into decisions made by the DOJ ahead of the 2016 presidential election.[23]

References

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

Story 3: Senior Department of Justice Official Bruce G. Ohr Testified Before Congress — FBI Knew Christopher Steele Was Biased Against Trump and Steele Dossier Funded By Clinton Campaign Through Fusion GPS — FBI Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — Videos

Jordan on revelations from Ohr’s closed-door testimony

Hannity: Blowing the Bruce Ohr case wide open

Jordan on revelations from Ohr’s closed-door testimony

Should Mueller interview Bruce Ohr?

Mueller, Huber have yet to interview Bruce Ohr

Trump renews demand that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr is fired for role in golden showers dossier saying ‘how the hell is he still employed?’

  • President Trump – for a second time – demanded senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr be fired
  • ‘How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful!’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday
  • His call comes a day after Ohr spent eight hours on Capitol Hill being grilled by lawmakers on his ties to former British spy Christopher Steele
  • Steele’s unverified dossier claims Russia has blackmail information on Trump 
  • Republicans said Ohr’s testimony suggested the FBI had doubts about dossier’s credibility 

President Donald Trump is demanding – for a second time – senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr be fired, coming one day after the government employee was subject to a closed door grilling by members of Congress.

The president fumed at Ohr, asking ‘how the hell’ he still has a job and called it a ‘disgrace.’

Trump has repeatedly targeted Ohr, who is also on the administration’s list of officials who may lose their security clearance.

‘How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful! Witch Hunt!,’ the president tweeted Wednesday.

Former associate deputy U.S. attorney general Bruce Ohr arrives to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees

President Trump has targeted Ohr repeatedly on Twitter and on Wednesday demanded - for a second time - Ohr be fired

This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele presents problems facing the NHS

Trump made his first call for the termination last week, citing Nellie Ohr’s ties to the company which commissioned the infamous and unverified Steele dossier during the presidential campaign.

Ohr was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for almost eight hours in a closed-door grilling with lawmakers.

The House is on August recess but Republican lawmakers returned for the chance to question Ohr, who was in contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, while Democratic lawmakers were represented by committee staff, ABC News reported.

Ohr gave lawmakers ‘a list of half a dozen’ senior FBI and Justice Departments officials who knew about his interactions, GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe told Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ Tuesday night.

Ohr had passed along Steele’s information from their contact to the FBI, even after the bureau had terminated its formal relationship with Steele over the spy’s leaks about their work to the media.

Republicans also were interested in how Steele’s dossier ended up in FBI hands. Ohr’s wife Nellie worked at Fusion GPS, the same firm that hired Steele to write the dossier although it’s been reported she did not work on that project.

‘We’ve confirmed that Bruce Ohr was a willing and constant conduit between Fusion GPS, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and the FBI,’ Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said on ‘Fox & Friends’ Wednesday morning without going into details.

‘He knew he was providing hearsay and double hearsay that would never stand up in court,’ Issa added.

Other Republicans said Ohr’s testimony suggested the FBI had doubts about dossier’s credibility when they sought a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign official Carter Page in October 2016.

The House Judiciary Committee and the The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform have held multiple joint sessions with the players in the saga surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as part of their look into FBI and Justice Department activities related to the 2016 election. 

Trump and his allies claim that FBI surveillance of Page was a done through a tainted FISA warrant that relied on the Steele dossier.

Last month, documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request showed federal agents relied on more information than the Steele dossier to obtain the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

Ohr is an expert on the Russian mafia and organized crime, work that brought him into contact with Steele, who specialized in Russia when he worked as a spy.

The two men met in 2007, when Steele still worked for MI-6 and Ohr was investigating Russian crime syndicates.

Steele went on to investigate ties between Trump and Russia for the research firm, Fusion GPS, where Ohr’s wife Nellie worked as a contractor.

Trump has slammed Ohr repeatedly on Twitter

Trump has slammed Ohr repeatedly on Twitter

Ohr had contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier alleged Russia had information it could use to blackmail Trump

Ohr had contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier alleged Russia had information it could use to blackmail Trump

Fusion GPS commissioned Steele to write the dossier on Trump that alleged the Russians have information they could use to blackmail the president, including an allegation – which Trump has denied – that he hired ‘a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him’ when he was in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

Reports indicate Nellie Ohr did not work on the dossier and her time at Fusion GPS did not influence her husband’s work at DoJ.

Trump and his allies claim the Steele dossier was politically motivated by those in the government who do not want to see Trump be president.

Democrats, meanwhile, argue the Ohr testimony is another attempt to prove a conspiracy theory they say does not have merit.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6111033/Trump-fuming-Justice-Department-official-Bruce-Ohr-asking-hell-employed.html

 

Numerous congressional sources are telling SaraACarter.com that after Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr’s explosive closed-door testimony on Tuesday, lawmakers are gearing up to call his wife, Nellie Ohr, in for questioning regarding her work with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS. Congress is also seeking access to Bruce Ohr’s text messages and emails with top FBI officials.

Fusion GPS was founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson and hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to investigate alleged ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who was hired by Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign, received multiple large sum payments from the research firm, according to a U.S. official, with direct knowledge of the payments.

The payments from the DNC and Clinton campaign were made through the law firm Perkins Coie, which represented both clients. The research firm also hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who was friends with the Ohrs and who compiled the now infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. Steele was not only paid by Fusion GPS for his work but according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, he was also being paid by the FBI from Jan. 1. 2016 to Nov. 1, 2016.

The U.S. official did not disclose the amount of money paid to Bruce Ohr’s wife through Simpson’s firm, but said it “was not chump change, that much I can say.”

The Washington Post first published in 2017 that the DNC and Clinton campaign paid for the research firm’s service to investigate the alleged Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. According to the Post, the Clinton campaign paid the law firm $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records. On top of that, the DNC paid Perkins Coie $3.6 million, which was labeled in their disclosures as “legal and compliance consulting” since November 2015. So far, Congress has not disclosed the exact amount that Fusion GPS, or those involved, received for the research.

Lawmakers are also seeking all communications – texts and emails – between Bruce Ohr and top officials at the FBI. During Ohr’s testimony, he disclosed that he was communicating with former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Attorney Lisa Page and former FBI Special Agent Peter Stzrok, which was confirmed by Ohr’s handwritten notes obtained by lawmakers, as first reported by this outlet. McCabe was fired from his role at the FBI earlier this year by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after it was discovered by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz that he leaked information to the media and lied multiple times to investigators. Page left the FBI earlier this year and her lover, Strzok, was fired by the new FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich earlier this month.

“Bruce Ohr’s testimony before Congress highlighted the need for further interviews with key players that were involved in the backchannel negotiations between Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the FBI,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told SaraACarter.com. “Of particular concern will be direct testimony from Nellie Ohr as well as communications between Bruce Ohr and other FBI and DOJ officials much of which, formal requests for those documents have already been made.”

Of particular concern will be direct testimony from Nellie Ohr as well as communications between Bruce Ohr and other FBI and DOJ officials…

Meadows, who has already spoken to Justice Department officials, said he expects that the DOJ will be cooperative following Ohr’s deposition Tuesday.

“Conversations with the Department of Justice following the Bruce Ohr interview have indicated a new willingness to be transparent in a couple of key areas,” Meadows added.

According to several congressional officials who spoke to this outlet, Ohr’s testimony shed light on previous testimony given by Page and other FBI officials, who appeared to have downplayed or omitted their working relationship with Ohr.

As for Nellie Ohr, there was serious concern among congressional members that her husband, Bruce Ohr, did not disclose his wife’s work with Fusion GPS to the DOJ, which they said is a conflict of interest and raises serious legal questions.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett recently published a column that listed the possible legal violations Bruce Ohr could encounter for failing to disclose to the DOJ his wife’s payments from Fusion GPS, as well as his failure to inform the DOJ of his wife’s work:

Since his wife worked for Fusion GPS and contributed to the “dossier,” the relationship presented a disqualifying conflict of interest for Ohr. He was legally obligated under Justice Department regulations to recuse himself from any investigation in which his wife was involved.

Ohr did not seek a waiver of the conflict of interest. Instead, he omitted this information. Upon joining the Justice Department, he had signed an agreement stating that he would be fired for violating its rules. Inexplicably, he was not terminated, which only reinforces the impression that impropriety and concealment continued at the highest levels of the department.

Not only did Bruce Ohr fail to disclose that Fusion GPS was paying his wife, but it appears he did not fully report the nature of the work performed in financial disclosure reports as required under Justice Department regulations. Willfully filing a false government report constitutes a crime under federal law – specifically 8 U.S.C. (United States Code) 1001.

https://saraacarter.com/breaking-day-after-ohrs-testimony-congress-seeks-to-question-his-wife/

 

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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

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Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

 

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Breaking, Story 1: President Trump Announces Bilateral United States and Mexico Trade Agreement — “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — Pro Growth Deal — Videos —

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Trump announces new US-Mexico trade deal

Canadian economy can’t survive well without a US deal: Wilbur Ross

Canada re-enters trade talks with US after Mexico deal

US, Mexico trade deal is a great start: Rep. Reed

Could Congress get in the way of the US-Mexico trade deal?

Will the US-Mexico trade deal benefit American workers?

Canada responds to US, Mexico trade deal

Kevin Hassett on trade negotiations with Mexico

Trump Considering Separate Trade Deals With Canada, Mexico

US-Mexico trade agreement is designed to shore up supply chain: Peter Navarro

Larry Kudlow: We are becoming growthier

 

Trump announces US-Mexico agreement to `terminate´ Nafta

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House

@WhiteHouse

President @realDonaldTrump: “It is an incredible deal for the workers and for the citizens of both countries.”

But the Trump administration still needs to negotiate with the third partner in Nafta, Canada, to become part of any new trade accord.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was on speakerphone as Mr Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office and said he hopes Canada will eventually be incorporated into the deal.

Without Canada, America’s second biggest trading partner, it is unclear whether any new US trade agreement with Mexico would be possible.

Mr Trump said that he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“If they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump put pressure on Canada by threatening to tax Canadian auto imports and to leave Canada out of a new regional trade bloc.

Nafta reduced most trade barriers between the three countries. But Mr Trump and other critics say it encouraged US manufacturers to move south of the border to exploit low-wage Mexican labour.

Talks to overhaul the agreement began a year ago and have proved contentious.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

US and Mexican negotiators worked over the weekend to narrow their differences. The Office of the US Trade Representative said that Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75% of automotive content would be produced within the trade bloc (up from a current 62.5%) to receive duty-free benefits and that 40% to 45% be made by workers earning at least 16 US dollars an hour.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, said: “Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners. Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed Nafta agreement.”

Mr Austen said the Canadians had been in regular contact with the Nafta negotiators.

CSPAN

@cspan

President Trump: “They used to call it NAFTA. We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA.”

Full video here: https://cs.pn/2MCmIiY 

“We will only sign a new Nafta that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” he said, adding that “Canada’s signature is required”.

Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas, hailed the “positive step” but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal.

“A trilateral agreement is the best path forward,” he said, adding that millions of jobs are at stake.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6103397/Trump-announces-US-Mexico-agreement-terminate-Nafta.html

 

Dow jumps more than 250 points, Nasdaq hits 8,000 as US and Mexico strike trade deal

Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal, potentially removing a source of uncertainty that had been plaguing investors for months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 points for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors.

“The market has been buffeted with a lot of headwinds lately, and the biggest one is trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “If you were to take trade out of the picture, you would have a smoother ride higher in this market.”

President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, leaving behind the 24-year-old NAFTA name. “The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA,” he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very special for farmers and manufacturers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the deal must be approved by Congress before being implemented.

Stocks hit all-time highs — these experts break down what investors should do next  

The comment comes after Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday both countries were close to resolving key differences on trade. This would pave the way for a new deal between the two longtime trade partners. “We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said.

Trump tweeted earlier on Monday that a deal with Mexico was “looking good.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

Shares of Caterpillar and Boeing rose 2.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Their stocks are considered trade bellwethers because of their large exposure to overseas markets. Shares of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler also rose.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
The Mexican peso rose 1.2 percent against the dollar.

Dan McMahon, director of equity trading at Raymond James, said the positive trade news “allows for more room to run” in the market, but noted that equities are also benefiting from a typically slow time in the year. “There’s nothing [else] going on today,” he said.

Investors have been grappling with trade worries over the past few months as the U.S. takes a more protectionist stance toward its economy and trade deals under the Trump administration. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth in Mexican and Chinese imports, to which Mexico and China have retaliated.

Bank shares surged, led by gains in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase. Goldman rose 3.4 percent while Morgan Stanley jumped 3.8 percent. Citigroup advanced 2.6 percent and J.P. Morgan climbed 2 percent. The SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE) rose 0.7 percent.

Global markets were also buoyed by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He said he sees “further, gradual” rate hikes ahead. The Fed chief said at the Jackson Hole Symposium in Wyoming that the central bank would likely continue with its policy tightening if the economy continued to strengthen.

Powell’s comments lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes to record highs in Friday’s trading session. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5 percent on Monday, while the German Dax climbed 1.2 percent.

In Asia, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), reintroduced a policy adjustment aimed at supporting the yuan. The move, coupled with Powell’s comments, sent the Shanghai Composite up by 1.9 percent overnight.

Tesla shares dropped 2 percent after CEO Elon Musk gave up efforts to take the company private.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/27/us-stocks-to-open-higher-after-powell-signals-further-rate-hikes.html

Two cheers for Trump’s trade agreement with Mexico


President Trump talks with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on the phone on Monday. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
August 28 at 7:09 PM

The best thing that can be said about President Trump’s latest trade initiative is that it moves the United States back toward the kind of agreements Trump unwisely blew up when he became president.

So, two cheers for Trump’s revamped free-trade agreement with Mexico, announced Monday, and the one he may get soon with Canada. He wants to rebrand the package, of course, so that it’s not called NAFTA (“bad connotations!”). But the preliminary update includes labor and environmental standards somewhat like those that President Barack Obama wanted to add to NAFTA — and made the centerpiece of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump scuttled.

Trump seems readier to compromise these days with Europe, too, another positive shift after 20 months of intermittent trade tantrums. He hasn’t yet embraced Obama’s broad, market-opening vision of a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP), but maybe Trump will get there eventually, too. In recent months, he has been talking about mutually abolishing tariffs, which would be a good start.

You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy-free . . . I mean, that would be the ultimate thing,” Trump enthused in June at the Group of Seven summit, in between taking swings at his trading partners. For once, he was entirely right.

The financial markets, which Trump touts as a proxy for success, have been roaring this week at the prospect that we may see new trade agreements, rather than the trade war Trump had threatened. The virtuous economic cycle (solid expansion, wage growth and continued low inflation) may be good news for Trump, but it’s also good news for everyone else.

The real importance of Trump’s Mexico move is that it clears the debris so the White House can concentrate on the bigger battle worth fighting — for fairer trade with a rising China that has tried for decades to rig the game in its favor. Europe and other trading partners should be our natural allies in this negotiation, for they, too, have suffered from China’s selfish policies.

President Trump on Aug. 27 said trade negotiations with Canada would result in tariffs or a “negotiated deal” in announcing a new trade agreement with Mexico. 

What Wall Street seems to be hoping is that Trump will resolve the little trade spats and marshal his forces for the more consequential ones. Allianz economist Mohamed El-Erian said Monday on CNBC that he sees a 60 percent chance that Trump’s aggressive policies will produce “fairer trade” for the United States. The puzzle for investors, he cautioned, is “how much damage would we incur in the process of winning this.”

Trump has often misdiagnosed the China trade problem. It’s not the sheer size of the U.S. trade deficit with China — though that was a staggering $375 billion last year, or about 65 percent of the total U.S. trade deficit. This raw number disguises the fact that China’s current-account surplus has been declining sharply as a percentage of its overall economy, from 9.9 percent of its gross domestic product in 2007 to about 1.4 percent last year. (The International Monetary Fund projects that China’s surplus will continue to decline steadily, to 0.4 percent of GDP in 2022.)

The China problem isn’t how much it sells us but that it won’t allow U.S. companies or investors fair access to its markets — and that it steals every bit of intellectual property that it can.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made this case Tuesday on CNBC: “We need better market access to China. We need reciprocal trade. And these are issues that our allies in the G-7 agree with us on. . . . This can’t be a one-way transaction where they have free trade here and we have no trade there.”

The Obama administration was heading in the right direction on this one, as well, by trying to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty with China that would open markets for American companies and protect them from theft. Trump chucked that, too, but he now seems to be reprising his own amped-up version.

Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist at the IMF, cautioned against “Pyrrhic” victories in trade in a recent Financial Times article. He explained: “The U.S. imports aluminum . . . which contributes to its trade deficit with China. But cheaper aluminum imports facilitate one of the U.S.’s biggest and most distinctive exports: aircraft. Restricting aluminum imports would not only hurt aircraft exports, it would make the global division of labor less efficient.”

Trump was elected by a country that doubted the global trading system was benefiting the ordinary worker. The answer to that popular anger wasn’t to wreck the system but to fix it. Too often during his presidency, Trump has looked like a wrecker. But this week, on Mexico, he claimed the unusual and welcome role of repairman.

Read more from David Ignatius’s archivefollow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Has Trump ended NAFTA? Not just yet.

Trump announces trade agreement with Mexico

In announcing a trade agreement with Mexico on Aug. 27, President Trump called it “a big day for trade” and said it would not be called NAFTA. 

August 27

President Trump announced Monday that he’s “terminating” the North American Free Trade Agreement, and boasted that he and Mexico just struck “maybe the largest trade deal ever made.”

Actually: Trump can’t unilaterally kill NAFTA; this is only a possible step toward any new trade deal involving Mexico; it’s probably not a good step; and it may not actually lead to any new deal at all.

In other words, it’s precisely the puffery we’ve come to expect from a president who doesn’t understand what his own administration is doing, or doesn’t care.

Trump campaigned on fixing our “stupid” trade deals, including NAFTA. And, at more than two decades old, this tripartite pact with Canada and Mexico does indeed require sprucing up.

The global economy has changed since the early 1990s. NAFTA doesn’t address major industries that barely existed (if they existed at all) when the agreement was negotiated, such as e-commerce. It also didn’t do much for labor or environmental standards.

Indeed, politicians have been vowing to update NAFTA for years.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama also campaigned on a promise to renegotiate NAFTA. He ultimately did, in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The 12-country trade pact included Canada and Mexico among its signatories, and contained extensive language modernizing trade rules (including a whole chapter on e-commerce) and raising labor and environmental standards.

Alas, one of Trump’s first acts in office was to pull out of TPP. Worse, he subsequently lobbed new tariffs in virtually every direction, including at our allies in North America. The fallout from Trump’s trade war-mongering has unquestionably hurt Canada and Mexico, as well as U.S. firms.

But on Monday, Trump proclaimed this front in his trade wars was over. We allegedly have a new deal with Mexico, he said — a bilateral agreement that will replace NAFTA, and leave Canada cowering in fear.

“A lot of people thought we’d never get here,” he declared.

But in truth, “here” is pretty close to where we were before.

There is still no signed Mexico deal. And, unfortunately for Trump, he does not actually have authority from Congress to split NAFTA into two separate bilateral deals.

Additionally, most of what’s in NAFTA is implemented by statute. That means that no matter what Trump says, most of its provisions will live on unless and until Congress actually, you know, passes a new trade law. Which a Republican-led Congress doesn’t seem keen to do, at least if the new law in question is more protectionist than the one we have.

Congress also isn’t the only barrier to ditching NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral trade agreements. Canada and Mexico have each said that any new trade pact that results should include the involvement of all three countries.

In fact, during Trump’s Monday Oval Office event, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said no fewer than four times that he still expected Canada to be part of any final agreement.

He even closed his call by saying: “We’ll be waiting for Canada to be integrated into this process.”

So did the recent round of discussions between Mexico and the United States produce any results?

Sort of. But it’s hard to call it progress.

The United States and Mexico seem to have resolved some of their differences, including on automotive “rules of origin.” These complicated new rules would add burdensome requirements for any cars that could be imported into the United States from Mexico without tariffs.

Based on what we know so far, these requirements would likely require an enormous expansion of the administrative state (not something Republicans usually support), raise the cost of cars to consumers, and possibly reduce the number of cars assembled in North America — which is, of course, the opposite of their intended effect.

In fact, nothing announced thus far suggests the stuff we got Mexico to agree to would help the United States increase car exports to Mexico at all. “For autos, I am worried that the main outcome is a changing of the rules to allow us to trade less with Mexico,” Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow Chad P. Bown tells me.

And that’s if the deal actually goes through. Lots of hurdles remain, including within Mexico. The Mexican government has indicated that it wants any new deal signed before its next president takes office on Dec. 1.

That time frame effectively gives Trump exactly four days to get Canada on board since Trump must give Congress 90 days notice for a coming trade deal. If Trump wants to deliver on his campaign promises — and get any sort of trade deal, which he seems to desperately want ahead of the midterms — he’d best stop self-applauding and get back to work.

Fast.

 

Story 2: Iran Claims Control of Straight of Homuz — Videos

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Iran has full control of Gulf and Strait of Hormuz

BREAKING! BREAKING: Iran Makes Major War Move– Look What They’re Doing RIGHT NOW!!!

Iran Claims Control of Strait of Hormuz

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Iran threatens to block the Gulf and the strait of Hormuz – TV7 Israel News 28.08.18

Iran Navy Commander: Keeping Hormuz strait open hinges on interests

No Easy W@r Here: Why America Isn’t Invading Iran Anytime Soon

The Real Threat to America: Iran May Close the Strait of Hormuz

Iranian people are being held hostage by regime: Ambassador Danon

Graham: We’re going to bring the Iranian regime down

US vs Iran – Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s water crisis

Trump clashes with EU over Iran sanctions

Tucker: An Iran war would destroy Trump’s presidency

The Debate – Iran US Warning

Iran launches ships into Strait of Hormuz

 

Iran says it has full control of Gulf, U.S. Navy does not belong there

by Reuters
Monday, 27 August 2018 11:53 GMT

 Iran has full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy does not belong there, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Monday.

Tehran has suggested it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude. Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.

Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it. Closing the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping.

“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said in the quote, which appeared in English translation on Tasnim.

He added, “All the carriers and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full supervision over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day.”

Separately, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran’s enemies would not prevail in a conflict.

“The enemies are strictly avoiding any conflict with Iran because they know that it will not be beneficial for them,” Jafari said, according to Tasnim.

Tension between Iran and the United States has escalated since President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and reimposed sanctions.

Senior U.S. officials have said they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most senior authority in the Islamic Republic, said last month that he supports the idea that if Iran is not allowed to export oil then no country should export oil from the Gulf. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Dale Hudson and Peter Graff)

http://news.trust.org/item/20180827115338-hpqo0

Story 3: Pope Francis Was Informed of Sexual Abuse Allegations of Predator Priests in Catholic Church In Particular Prominent Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Remained Silent and Covered Up Abuse Until Now — People Lose Trust in Catholic Church Leadership and Coverup — Conspiracy of Silence —  Pope Should Resign — Videos —

Catholic leaders call on Pope Francis to resign

A Church Divided – ENN 2018-08-28

New Letter Calls For Pope Francis to Resign

POPE FRANCIS ASKED TO RESIGN! RESPONDS IN SILENCE!

The Man Accusing Pope Francis “Does Seem to Have a Lot of Credibility” – ENN 2018-08-27

The Next Steps for Pope Francis and Archbishop Vigano – ENN 2018-08-27

“Many People Have Lost Trust” – ENN 2018-08-28

Former Vatican representative says Pope Francis knew about sex abuse allegations against McCarrick

Pope Francis Long Knew of Cardinal McCarrick’s .Abuses, Archbishop Says

The Man Accusing Pope Francis “Does Seem to Have a Lot of Credibility” – ENN 2018-08-27

Former Vatican Official Comes Forward With Damaging Testimony Against Pope Francis

Pope Francis Accused of Cover Up

Sermon on the Scandals: the Archbishop Viganò Report

Priest says he warned church about Cardinal McCarrick’s alleged abuse

Pope issues letter condemning Catholic Church for covering up sexual abuse

Pope Francis Condemns Sex Abuse By Pennsylvania Priests Detailed In Grand Jury Report | TIME

The Vatican’s “Powerful Message” on Sexual Abuse Allegations – ENN 2018-07-30

Pope Francis condemns priestly sexual abuse

McCarrick/Wuerl and the End of the Imperial Episcopate w Fr Jay Scott Newman

Full Report of Former US Nuncio Archbishop Vigano

More than 1,000 children were victims of priest abuse, according to grand jury report

Former Vatican representative to the US says Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and calls on the pontiff to RESIGN

  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wants Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page letter that the Pope knew of McCarrick’s sex abuse allegations in 2013 
  • Vigano, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016, said he personally told Pope Francis about the allegations 
  • He said the Pope covered for McCarrick and made him his ‘trusted counselor’ 
  • A priest said he warned church officials about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sex abuse
  • Father Boniface Ramsey wrote a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in June 2015
  • The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him to lead a child sex abuse protection commission
  • O’Malley said in response that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 
  • He apologized to the pastor and anyone whose concerns were reflected in it
  • Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he abused an altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with seminarians

A former Vatican representative to the United States is calling on Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page testament that he knew of the sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick but covered them up.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016 said that Pope Francis knew of the allegations as early as 2013, according to the National Catholic Register.

Vigano said in his letter that he personally told Pope Francis that McCarrick was accused of inappropriate behavior and Pope Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance.

According to Vigano, during a June 2013 meeting the Pope asked him what kind of man McCarrick was like. Vigano said he replied: ‘He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.’

He alleged that the Pope was trying to find out if he was an ally of McCarrick or not.

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign 

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (pictured) wrote an 11-page letter accusing Pope Francis and others of covering for McCarrick 

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is seen on December 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C. McCarrick has said he has 'absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse' and believes in his innocence

Vigano told the outlet that Pope Francis ‘continued to cover’ for McCarrick and ‘not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him’. Vigano said in 2009 or 2010, Pope Benedict implemented sanctions that stated McCarrick ‘was to leave the seminary where he was living. He was also forbidden to celebrate (Mass) in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lecturers, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance’.

He said instead of taking action, Pope Francis revoked the sanctions and made McCarrick his ‘trusted counselor’.

Vigano said he sent several letters to Vatican representatives about McCarrick but they fell on deaf ears. He said in his letter that ‘the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy’ and that’s why he’s speaking out publicly.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said he personally told Pope Francis about the abuse 

The letter ended with Vigano asking Pope Francis, and others who allegedly tried to cover up the allegations, to resign. 

‘He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,’ Vigano stated, but although ‘he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.’

‘It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action (regarding McCarrick) to save his image in the media,’ he wrote. 

Vigano wrote that Pope Francis ‘is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren,’ and urged him to ‘acknowledge his mistakes’ and, to ‘set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.’

The former DC nuncio also implicated Cardinals Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and Pietro Parolin as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as archbishop of DC.

Earlier on Saturday, Pope Francis traveled to Ireland and addressed the sex abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church.

‘The failure of ecclesiastical authorities — bishops, religious superiors, priests and others — to adequately address these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community,’ Francis said, according to NBC News.

Pope Benedict XVI (pictured) imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance but Pope Francis allegedly revoked the sanctions 

Father Boniface Ramsey (seen above in a CBS interview) said 'virtually everyone knew' about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's alleged sex abuse

Archbishop Sean Cardinal O'Malley (seen above at the Boston College 2017 141st Commencement Exercises at Boston College Alumni Stadium on May 22, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts) apologized Monday and said he didn't see a letter sent to his office in 2015

Church attendance in Ireland has plummeted in recent years as people call on the Vatican to take action and tackle the abuse allegations. The area has also been hit with its own share of scandal after a mass grave was discovered in 1993 at secretive Catholic institutions of confinement for unmarried mothers, prostitutes and other ‘fallen’ women.

At least 796 children were found buried in the grave.

A priest in New York City has also spoken out saying that he repeatedly warned church officials about now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – who was suspended last month over sex abuse allegations.

Father Boniface Ramsey told CBS News this week: ‘I had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it.

‘Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. There were five beds… and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed.’

The priest, an archbishop of Newark at the time, said he was informed about the inappropriate behavior in 1986.

Ramsey wrote in a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, of Boston, in June 2015: ‘Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told to me by persons directly involved.’

The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

O’Malley said Monday that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 concerning McCarrick’s possible inappropriate behavior with seminarians. 

‘I should have seen that letter precisely because it made assertions about the behavior of an archbishop in the church,’ he said.

O’Malley said his priest secretary told the pastor a recommendation to review cases fell outside the commission’s mandate.

He apologized Monday to the pastor and to anyone whose concerns were reflected in the letter.

Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he sexually abused a teenage altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with adult seminarians decades ago. 

McCarrick has said he has ‘absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse’ and believes in his innocence.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6099157/Former-Vatican-representative-says-Pope-Francis-knew-sex-abuse-allegations-against-McCarrick.html

 

Ex-Vatican diplomat calls on ‘sinful’ Pope Francis to resign over sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis should resign for his  “sinful conduct” in covering up sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a retired Vatican diplomat says.

Francis had recently become pope in 2013 when he asked Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò his thoughts on McCarrick, Viganò says in a damning, 11-page open letter published Sunday.

“I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but there is a dossier this thick about him,” Viganò said he told the pope in 2013. “He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests.”

Viganò, who was serving as the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., told Francis that his predecessor, Pope Benedict, had ordered McCarrick to leave the seminary where he was living and withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.

Viganò, 77, was a hard-line conservative pillar at the Vatican before retiring in 2016. He said Francis dropped the sanctions against McCarrick, a well-known liberal by church standards, and “continued to cover for him.” McCarrick resigned last month amid claims of sexual abuse of an altar boy and seminarians.

More: In Ireland, Pope Francis meets with Catholic Church sex abuse survivors

More: Catholic priest beaten by man saying ‘this is for all the little kids’

More: ‘Men of God hid it all’: Church protected more than 300 ‘predator priests’

The Vatican had no immediate comment on Viganò’s claims but has said the pope acted quickly once he learned that McCarrick was facing credible claims. Francis addressed the global sexual abuse scandal Saturday in a speech in Ireland, where outrage over abuses there have overwhelmed coverage of the pope’s visit.

John Thavis, a former Catholic News Service reporter and author of The Vatican Diaries, says Viganò’s letter doesn’t explain how McCarrick was able to continue his high-profile work in the church at the end of Benedict’s reign if he had truly been admonished by the former pope. He noted that Viganò’s source on Benedict’s actions against McCarrick were based on second-hand information.

Thavis also noted that Viganò “blindsided” Francis two years ago when, during the pope’s U.S. visit, Viganò set up a controversial meeting between the pope and a court clerk in Kentucky who had refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

“The tone of the letter and its content resemble a political hit piece on the pope,” Thavis said. “Sadly, the sex abuse crisis is being used as political leverage by some factions in the church.”

Father Jame Bretzke, a theology professor at Marquette University, noted that conservatives such as Viganò  found their influence diminished when Francis became pope.

“While Viganò was not explicitly fired, he very clearly was ‘replaced’ and he has long been known as a fierce opponent of Pope Francis,” Bretzke said.

That said, the letter calls for a detailed response from the pope, Thavis said.

“I know of no other instance in modern times where a (former) high-ranking church officials has publicly called on the pope to resign,” Thavis said.

Viganò wrote that too many people have been “deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis” and by many pastors who remained silent.

“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Viganò wrote.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/08/26/pope-francis-ex-vatican-ambassador-sinful-pope-should-resugn/1103407002/

 

 

Pope silent on claim he ignored abuse

Catherine MARCIANO

,

AFP

Pope Francis has declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman amid speculation conservative elements in the Catholic hierarchy are using the issue to mount a “putsch” to remove the liberal pontiff.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, on Saturday said he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

But rather than punish McCarrick, who was forced to resign last month, Vigano said Francis had lifted sanctions imposed on him by his predecessor pope Benedict XVI.

“Corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” Vigano said in an eleven-page letter published in the National Catholic Register and several conservative US Catholic publications.

But the pope refused to address the allegation on Sunday.

“I will not say a word about that. I think that the communique speaks for itself,” Francis said on his plane as he flew back from Dublin to Rome.

The timing of the letter’s release — right in the middle of Francis’s landmark trip to Ireland — has raised speculation of a campaign against the Argentinian pontiff by conservatives in the Church.

Francis told journalists to “read the communique attentively and make your own judgement,” referring to Vigano’s letter.

“You have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions,” he went on.

“When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions perhaps I will talk,” he added.

– ‘A putsch is afoot’ –

“Make no mistake. This is a coordinated attack on Pope Francis,” said an editorial article on the website of the progressive National Catholic Reporter weekly.

“A putsch is afoot and if the US bishops do not, as a body, stand up to defend the Holy Father in the next 24 hours, we shall be slipping towards schism,” the author Michael Sean Winters wrote.

“The enemies of Francis have declared war.”

Nicolas Seneze, the Rome correspondent for the French daily La Croix, echoed that there is “a clear desire to attack Francis,” telling AFP that “those who regard Francis as dangerous will stop at nothing.”

Bishop Vigano, 77, who was a papal nuncio in Washington between 2011 and 2016, said that Benedict XVI imposed canonical sanctions against McCarrick in the late 2000s.

McCarrick was forced to leave his seminary and live a life of penance after former Vatican ambassadors in Washington, now dead, reported him for “gravely immoral” behaviour with seminarians and priests.

Vigano claimed Francis asked him about McCarrick when he took office in June 2013, but that the pope ignored his warnings.

He said the pope “knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” adding that “he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end”.

The pope accepted the resignation of McCarrick, now 88, in July, making him just the second cardinal ever to lose his status.

During his visit to Ireland on Sunday the pope “begged for God’s forgiveness” for past clerical abuse scandals, which have badly damaged the image of the Church in the Catholic stronghold.

His trip was met with enthusiastic crowds but also protests, with about 5,000 abuse victims and supporters attending a “Stand for Truth” rally in the capital Dublin.

It was the first papal trip to Ireland since John Paul II spoke in front of 1.5 million people in 1979.

– Homosexuality tendancies –

On the plane back to Rome after the two-day trip, the pope also commented on homosexuality. He recommended that parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies.

France’s Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa attacked those comments as “incomprehensible and indefensible”

The Vatican on Monday rolled back on the pope’s psychiatry idea, and withdrew the comment from its official verbatim record oh his trip.

The Catholic Church’s standing has been badly dented by the abuse scandals. Stronghold Ireland has largely shed its traditional Catholic mores, voting earlier this year to legalise abortion after approving same-sex marriage in 2015.

Multiple probes in Ireland have found Church leaders protected hundreds of predatory priests and former Irish president Mary McAleese revealed this month that the Vatican had sought to keep Church documents inaccessible to government investigators.

The abuse scandals in Ireland are part of a worldwide crisis for the Vatican.

A devastating report earlier this month accused more than 300 priests in the US state of Pennsylvania of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1950s.

The US based Survivors’ Network for those abused by priests (SNAP) said in a statement that if Vigano’s allegations are true “this situation provides a dramatic illustration of the gap between rhetoric and decisive action”.

“Pope Francis has the power, but apparently does not have the will, to effect necessary change,” the group added.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-hold-giant-mass-dublin-abuse-victims-rally-030337491.html

 

Story 4: Arizona Senator John McCain Dies of Cancer at Age 81 of Cancer — Rest in Peace — Congress Should Repeal and Replace Obamacare — No Excuses Acceptable — Videos

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Senator Chuck Schumer To Rename Senate Building After John McCain | NBC News

Limbaugh It’s Clear Why The Media Is Really Praising John McCain So Much

 

John McCain

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John McCain
John McCain's official Senate portrait, taken in 2009
United States Senator
from Arizona
In office
January 3, 1987 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Barry Goldwater
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
In office
January 3, 2015 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Carl Levin
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Succeeded by Byron Dorgan
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Daniel Inouye
Succeeded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Ted Stevens
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 3, 2001
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Larry Pressler
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona‘s 1st district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by John Jacob Rhodes
Succeeded by John Jacob Rhodes III
Personal details
Born John Sidney McCain III
August 29, 1936
Coco SoloPanama Canal Zone, U.S.
Died August 25, 2018 (aged 81)
Cornville, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place United States Naval Academy CemeteryAnnapolis, Maryland (planned burial site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Children 7, including Meghan
Parents John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright
Relatives Joe McCain (brother)
Education United States Naval Academy(BS)
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1958–1981
Rank US Navy O6 infobox.svg Captain
Battles/wars Vietnam War (POW)

Awards

John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American politician and naval officer who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the United States Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, McCain was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during the war left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, the last time in 2016.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain also had a media reputation as a “maverick” for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually resulted in passage of the McCain–Feingold Act in 2002. He was also known for his work in the 1990s to restore diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and for his belief that the Iraq War should have been fought to a successful conclusion. McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and opposed pork barrel spending. He belonged to the bipartisan “Gang of 14” which played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain entered the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2000, but lost a heated primary season contest to Governor George W. Bush of Texas. He secured the nomination in 2008 after making a comeback from early reversals, but was defeated by Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election, losing by a 365–173 electoral college margin. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration, especially with regard to foreign policy matters. By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment. In 2015, McCain became Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2017, the year before his death at age 81, he reduced his role in the Senate after a diagnosis of brain cancer.

Early life and military career, 1936–1981

Formative years and education

John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, to naval officer John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta (Wright) McCain. He had a younger brother named Joe and an elder sister named Sandy.[1] At that time, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control.[2]

McCain’s family tree includes Scots-Irish and English ancestors.[3] His father and his paternal grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., were also Naval Academy graduates and both became four-star United States Navy admirals.[4]The McCain family[1] followed his father to various naval postings in the United States and the Pacific.[5]

Altogether, he attended about 20 schools.[6] In 1951, the family settled in Northern Virginia, and McCain attended Episcopal High School, a private preparatory boarding school in Alexandria.[7][8] He excelled at wrestling and graduated in 1954.[9][10] He referred to himself as an Episcopalian as recently as June 2007 after which date he said he came to identify as a Baptist.[11]

Formal portrait of young, dark-haired man in white naval uniform

McCain at the Naval Academy, 1954

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He was a friend and informal leader there for many of his classmates,[12] and sometimes stood up for targets of bullying.[4] He also became a lightweight boxer.[13] McCain did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects that gave him difficulty, such as mathematics.[4][14] He came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel and did not always obey the rules, which contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899), despite a high IQ.[12][15] McCain graduated in 1958.[12]

Naval training, first marriage, and Vietnam War assignment

McCain began his early military career when he was commissioned as an ensign and started two and a half years of training at Pensacola to become a naval aviator.[16] While there, he earned a reputation as a man who partied.[6] He completed flight school in 1960 and became a naval pilot of ground-attack aircraft; he was assigned to A-1 Skyraider squadrons[17] aboard the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise[18] in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.[19] McCain began as a sub-par flier[19] who was at times careless and reckless;[20] during the early to mid-1960s, two of his flight missions crashed and a third mission collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries.[20] His aviation skills improved over time,[19] and he was seen as a good pilot, albeit one who tended to “push the envelope” in his flying.[20]

Four military pilots posed in, on, or in front of, silver jet with United States markings

Lieutenant McCain (front right) with his squadron and T-2 Buckeye trainer, 1965

At age 28 on July 3, 1965, McCain married Carol Shepp, who was a model from Philadelphia.[21] McCain adopted her two young children Douglas and Andrew.[18][22] He and Carol then had a daughter named Sidney.[23][24]

McCain requested a combat assignment[25] and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal flying A-4 Skyhawks.[26] His combat duty began when he was 30 years old in mid-1967, when Forrestal was assigned to a bombing campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder, during the Vietnam War.[21][27] Stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, McCain and his fellow pilots became frustrated by micromanagement from Washington, and he would later write that “In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn’t have the least notion of what it took to win the war.”[27][28]

On July 29, 1967, McCain was a lieutenant commander when he was near the epicenter of the USS Forrestal fire. He escaped from his burning jet and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded;[29]McCain was struck in the legs and chest by fragments.[30] The ensuing fire killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control.[31][32] With the Forrestal out of commission, McCain volunteered for assignment with the USS Oriskany, another aircraft carrier employed in Operation Rolling Thunder.[33] Once there, he would be awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for missions flown over North Vietnam.[34]

Prisoner of war

McCain’s capture and subsequent imprisonment occurred on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[35][36] McCain fractured both arms and a leg when he ejected from the aircraft,[37] and nearly drowned after he parachuted into Trúc Bạch Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[35] McCain was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton”.[36]

Although McCain was seriously wounded and injured, his captors refused to treat him. They beat and interrogated him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral.[38] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[39][40]

McCain spent six weeks in the hospital, where he received marginal care. He had lost 50 pounds (23 kg), was in a chest cast, and his gray hair had turned as white as snow.[35] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi.[41] In December 1967, McCain was placed in a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live more than a week.[42] In March 1968, McCain was placed into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[43]

In mid-1968, his father John S. McCain Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release[44] because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes[45] and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.[44] McCain refused repatriation unless every man taken in before him was also released. Such early release was prohibited by the POWs’ interpretation of the military Code of Conduct which states in Article III: “I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy”.[46] To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured.[35]

Beginning in August 1968, McCain was subjected to a program of severe torture.[47] He was bound and beaten every two hours; this punishment occurred at the same time that he was suffering from dysentery.[35][47] Further injuries brought McCain to “the point of suicide,” but his preparations were interrupted by guards. Eventually, McCain made an anti-U.S. propaganda “confession”.[35] He had always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, “I had learned what we all learned over there: every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine.”[48][49] Many U.S. POWs were tortured and maltreated in order to extract “confessions” and propaganda statements;[50] virtually all of them eventually yielded something to their captors.[51] McCain received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.[52]

McCain refused to meet various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, wanting to give neither them nor the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory.[53] From late 1969, treatment of McCain and many of the other POWs became more tolerable,[54] while McCain continued actively to resist the camp authorities.[55] McCain and other prisoners cheered the U.S. “Christmas Bombing” campaign of December 1972, viewing it as a forceful measure to push North Vietnam to terms.[49][56]

McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years until his release on March 14, 1973.[57] His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.[58] After his release from the Hanoi Hilton, McCain returned to the site with his wife Cindy and family on a few occasions to come to grips with what happened to him there during his capture.[59]

Commanding officer, liaison to Senate and second marriage

McCain was reunited with his family when he returned to the United States. His wife Carol had suffered her own crippling ordeal due to an automobile accident in December 1969. As a returned POW, McCain became a celebrity of sorts.[60]

White-haired man in thirties sitting in a chair, pack of cigarettes readily available

Lieutenant Commander McCain being interviewed after his return from Vietnam, April 1973

Lieutenant Commander McCain greeting President Richard Nixon in May 1973

McCain underwent treatment for his injuries that included months of grueling physical therapy.[61] He attended the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. during 1973–1974.[62] McCain was rehabilitated by late 1974 and his flight status was reinstated. In 1976, he became commanding officer of a training squadron that was stationed in Florida.[60][63] He improved the unit’s flight readiness and safety records,[64] and won the squadron its first-ever Meritorious Unit Commendation.[63] During this period in Florida, McCain had extramarital affairs and his marriage began to falter, about which he later stated, “The blame was entirely mine”.[65][66]

McCain served as the Navy’s liaison to the U.S. Senate beginning in 1977.[67] In retrospect, he said that this represented his “real entry into the world of politics and the beginning of my second career as a public servant.”[60] His key behind-the-scenes role gained congressional financing for a new supercarrier against the wishes of the Carter administration.[61][68]

In April 1979,[61] McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father had founded a large beer distributorship.[66] They began dating, and he urged his wife Carol to grant him a divorce, which she did in February 1980; the uncontested divorce took effect in April 1980.[22][61] The settlement included two houses, and financial support for her ongoing medical treatments due to her 1969 car accident; they would remain on good terms.[66] McCain and Hensley were married on May 17, 1980, with Senators William Cohen and Gary Hart attending as groomsmen.[21][66] McCain’s children did not attend, and several years would pass before they reconciled.[24][61] John and Cindy McCain entered into a prenuptial agreement that kept most of her family’s assets under her name; they would always keep their finances apart and file separate income tax returns.[69]

McCain decided to leave the Navy. It was doubtful whether he would ever be promoted to the rank of full admiral, as he had poor annual physicals and hadn’t been given a major sea command.[70] His chances of being promoted to rear admiralwere better, but McCain declined that prospect, as he had already made plans to run for Congress and said he could “do more good there.”[71][72]

McCain retired from the Navy on April 1, 1981,[73] as a captain.[34] He was designated as disabled and awarded a disability pension.[74] Upon leaving the military, he moved to Arizona. His numerous military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, two Legion of MeritsDistinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and Prisoner of War Medal.[34]

House and Senate elections and career, 1982–2000

U.S. Congressman

McCain set his sights on becoming a congressman because he was interested in current events, was ready for a new challenge, and had developed political ambitions during his time as Senate liaison.[66][75][76] Living in Phoenix, he went to work for Hensley & Co., his new father-in-law Jim Hensley‘s large Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship.[66] As vice president of public relations at the distributorship, he gained political support among the local business community, meeting powerful figures such as banker Charles Keating Jr., real estate developer Fife Symington III (later Governor of Arizona) and newspaper publisher Darrow “Duke” Tully.[67]In 1982, McCain ran as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona’s 1st congressional district, which was being vacated by 30-year incumbent Republican John Jacob Rhodes.[77] A newcomer to the state, McCain was hit with charges of being a carpetbagger.[66] McCain responded to a voter making that charge with what a Phoenix Gazette columnist would later describe as “the most devastating response to a potentially troublesome political issue I’ve ever heard”:[66]

Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.[66][78]

McCain won a highly contested primary election with the assistance of local political endorsements, his Washington connections, and money that his wife lent to his campaign.[67][66] He then easily won the general election in the heavily Republican district.[66]

McCain in 1983, during his first term in the House of Representatives

In 1983, McCain was elected to lead the incoming group of Republican representatives,[66] and was assigned to the House Committee on Interior Affairs. Also that year, he opposed creation of a federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but admitted in 2008: “I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support [in 1990] for a state holiday in Arizona.”[79][80]

At this point, McCain’s politics were mainly in line with President Ronald Reagan; this included support for Reaganomics, and he was active on Indian Affairs bills.[81] He supported most aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, including its hardline stance against the Soviet Union and policy towards Central American conflicts, such as backing the Contras in Nicaragua.[81] McCain opposed keeping U.S. Marines deployed in Lebanon, citing unattainable objectives, and subsequently criticized President Reagan for pulling out the troops too late; in the interim, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing killed hundreds.[66][82] McCain won re-election to the House easily in 1984,[66] and gained a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[83] In 1985, he made his first return trip to Vietnam,[84] and also traveled to Chile where he met with its military junta ruler, General Augusto Pinochet.[85][86][87]

Growing family

In 1984, McCain and Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan, followed two years later by son John Sidney (Jack) IV, and in 1988 by son James (Jimmy).[88]

In 1991, Cindy McCain brought an abandoned three-month-old girl needing medical treatment to the U.S. from a Bangladeshi orphanage run by Mother Teresa.[89] The McCains decided to adopt her and named her Bridget.[90]

First two terms in U.S. Senate

McCain’s Senate career began in January 1987, after he defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election.[67][91] McCain succeeded longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater upon the latter’s retirement as U.S. senator from Arizona.[91]

White-haired man in suit greets dark-haired man in suit in formal setting, as gaunt, well-coiffed woman looks on

President Ronald Reagan greets John McCain as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on, March 1987

Senator McCain became a member of the Armed Services Committee, with which he had formerly done his Navy liaison work; he also joined the Commerce Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee.[91] He continued to support the Native American agenda.[92] As first a House member and then a senator—and as a lifelong gambler with close ties to the gambling industry[93]—McCain was one of the main authors of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,[94][95] which codified rules regarding Native American gambling enterprises.[96] McCain was also a strong supporter of the Gramm-Rudman legislation that enforced automatic spending cuts in the case of budget deficits.[97]

McCain soon gained national visibility. He delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, was mentioned by the press as a short list vice-presidential running mate for Republican nominee George H. W. Bush, and was named chairman of Veterans for Bush.[91][98]

McCain became embroiled in a scandal during the 1980s, as one of five United States senators comprising the so-called Keating Five.[99] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in lawful[100] political contributions from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating’s jets[99] that McCain belatedly repaid, in 1989.[101] In 1987, McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government’s seizure of Lincoln, and McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government’s investigation of Lincoln.[99] In 1999, McCain said: “The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”[102] In the end, McCain was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee of acting improperly or violating any law or Senate rule, but was mildly rebuked for exercising “poor judgment”.[100][102] In his 1992 re-election bid, the Keating Five affair was not a major issue,[103] and he won handily, gaining 56 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic community and civil rights activist Claire Sargent and independent former governor, Evan Mecham.[104]

McCain with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

McCain developed a reputation for independence during the 1990s.[105] He took pride in challenging party leadership and establishment forces, becoming difficult to categorize politically.[105]

White-haired man, elderly white-haired woman, young boy, young girl, short-haired woman holding roses, all in front of sign showing a ship's silhouette

The 1992 christening of USS John S. McCain at Bath Iron Works, with his mother Roberta, son Jack, daughter Meghan, and wife Cindy

As a member of the 1991–1993 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, chaired by fellow Vietnam War veteran and Democrat, John Kerry, McCain investigated the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, to determine the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.[106] The committee’s unanimous report stated there was “no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.”[107] Helped by McCain’s efforts, in 1995 the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam.[108] McCain was vilified by some POW/MIA activists who, despite the committee’s unanimous report, believed large numbers of Americans were still held against their will in Southeast Asia.[108][109][110] Since January 1993, McCain has been Chairman of the International Republican Institute, an organization partly funded by the U.S. government that supports the emergence of political democracy worldwide.[111]

In 1993 and 1994, McCain voted to confirm President Clinton’s nominees Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg whom he considered to be qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court. He would later explain that “under our Constitution, it is the president’s call to make.”[112] McCain had also voted to confirm nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.[113]

McCain attacked what he saw as the corrupting influence of large political contributions—from corporations, labor unions, other organizations, and wealthy individuals—and he made this his signature issue.[114] Starting in 1994, he worked with Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; their McCain–Feingold bill attempted to put limits on “soft money“.[114] The efforts of McCain and Feingold were opposed by some of the moneyed interests targeted, by incumbents in both parties, by those who felt spending limits impinged on free political speech and might be unconstitutional as well, and by those who wanted to counterbalance the power of what they saw as media bias.[114][115] Despite sympathetic coverage in the media, initial versions of the McCain–Feingold Act were filibustered and never came to a vote.[116]

The term “maverick Republican” became a label frequently applied to McCain, and he also used it himself.[114][117][118] In 1993, McCain opposed military operations in Somalia.[119] Another target of his was pork barrel spending by Congress, and he actively supported the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, which gave the president power to veto individual spending items[114] but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998.[120]

In the 1996 presidential election, McCain was again on the short list of possible vice-presidential picks, this time for Republican nominee Bob Dole.[103][121] The following year, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122]

In 1997, McCain became chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee; he was criticized for accepting funds from corporations and businesses under the committee’s purview, but in response said the small contributions he received were not part of the big-money nature of the campaign finance problem.[114] McCain took on the tobacco industry in 1998, proposing legislation that would increase cigarette taxes in order to fund anti-smoking campaigns, discourage teenage smokers, increase money for health research studies, and help states pay for smoking-related health care costs.[114][123] Supported by the Clinton administration but opposed by the industry and most Republicans, the bill failed to gain cloture.[123]

Start of third term in the U.S. Senate

In November 1998, McCain won re-election to a third Senate term; he prevailed in a landslide over his Democratic opponent, environmental lawyer Ed Ranger.[114] In the February 1999 Senate trial following the impeachment of Bill Clinton, McCain voted to convict the president on both the perjury and obstruction of justice counts, saying Clinton had violated his sworn oath of office.[124] In March 1999, McCain voted to approve the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, saying that the ongoing genocide of the Kosovo War must be stopped and criticizing past Clinton administration inaction.[125] Later in 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Awardwith Feingold for their work in trying to enact their campaign finance reform,[126] although the bill was still failing repeated attempts to gain cloture.[116]

two men in uniform

Photo of McCain’s father and grandfather that appeared on the cover of his 1999 family memoir

In August 1999, McCain’s memoir Faith of My Fathers, co-authored with Mark Salter, was published;[127] a reviewer observed that its appearance “seems to have been timed to the unfolding Presidential campaign.”[128] The most successful of his writings, it received positive reviews,[129] became a bestseller,[130] and was later made into a TV film.[131] The book traces McCain’s family background and childhood, covers his time at Annapolis and his service before and during the Vietnam War, concluding with his release from captivity in 1973. According to one reviewer, it describes “the kind of challenges that most of us can barely imagine. It’s a fascinating history of a remarkable military family.”[132]

2000 presidential campaign

McCain announced his candidacy for president on September 27, 1999, in Nashua, New Hampshire, saying he was staging “a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests, and return it to the people and the noble cause of freedom it was created to serve”.[127][133] The frontrunner for the Republican nomination was Texas Governor George W. Bush, who had the political and financial support of most of the party establishment.[134]

McCain focused on the New Hampshire primary, where his message appealed to independents.[135] He traveled on a campaign bus called the Straight Talk Express.[127] He held many town hall meetings, answering every question voters asked, in a successful example of “retail politics”, and he used free media to compensate for his lack of funds.[127] One reporter later recounted that, “McCain talked all day long with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus; he talked so much that sometimes he said things that he shouldn’t have, and that’s why the media loved him.”[136] On February 1, 2000, he won New Hampshire’s primary with 49 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent. The Bush campaign and the Republican establishment feared that a McCain victory in the crucial South Carolina primary might give his campaign unstoppable momentum.[127][137]

Chart with three data lines

McCain’s Gallup Poll favorable/unfavorable ratings, 1999–2009[138]

The Arizona Republic would write that the McCain–Bush primary contest in South Carolina “has entered national political lore as a low-water mark in presidential campaigns”, while The New York Times called it “a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics”.[127][139][140] A variety of interest groups, which McCain had challenged in the past, ran negative ads.[127][141] Bush borrowed McCain’s earlier language of reform,[142] and declined to dissociate himself from a veterans activist who accused McCain (in Bush’s presence) of having “abandoned the veterans” on POW/MIA and Agent Orange issues.[127][143]

Incensed,[143] McCain ran ads accusing Bush of lying and comparing the governor to Bill Clinton, which Bush said was “about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary”.[127] An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[127][144] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains’ dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a “Manchurian Candidate” who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[127][139] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[139][145]

McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent,[146] in part because Bush mobilized the state’s evangelical voters[127][147] and outspent McCain.[148] The win allowed Bush to regain lost momentum.[146] McCain would say of the rumor spreaders, “I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”[90] According to one report, the South Carolina experience left McCain in a “very dark place”.[139]

McCain’s campaign never completely recovered from his South Carolina defeat, although he did rebound partially by winning in Arizona and Michigan a few days later.[149] He made a speech in Virginia Beach that criticized Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, as divisive conservatives,[139] declaring “… we embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders.”[150] McCain lost the Virginia primary on February 29,[151] and on March 7 lost nine of the thirteen primaries on Super Tuesday to Bush.[152] With little hope of overcoming Bush’s delegate lead, McCain withdrew from the race on March 9, 2000.[153] He endorsed Bush two months later,[154] and made occasional appearances with the Texas governor during the general election campaign.[127]

Senate career, 2000–2008

Remainder of third Senate term

McCain began 2001 by breaking with the new George W. Bush administration on a number of matters, including HMO reform, climate change, and gun legislation; McCain–Feingold was opposed by Bush as well.[116][155] In May 2001, McCain was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cuts.[155][156] Besides the differences with Bush on ideological grounds, there was considerable antagonism between the two remaining from the previous year’s campaign.[157][158] Later, when a Republican senator, Jim Jeffords, became an Independent, thereby throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats, McCain defended Jeffords against “self-appointed enforcers of party loyalty”.[155] Indeed, there was speculation at the time, and in years since, about McCain himself leaving the Republican Party, but McCain had always adamantly denied that he ever considered doing so.[155][159][160] Beginning in 2001, McCain used political capital gained from his presidential run, as well as improved legislative skills and relationships with other members, to become one of the Senate’s most influential members.[161]

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, McCain supported Bush and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.[155][162] He and Democratic senator Joe Lieberman wrote the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission,[163] while he and Democratic senator Fritz Hollings co-sponsored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that federalized airport security.[164]

In March 2002, McCain–Feingold, officially known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, passed in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.[116][155] Seven years in the making, it was McCain’s greatest legislative achievement.[155][165]

Red rocks landscape of Arizona with McCain image added, on uppper half; cartoon illustration of pigs inside brown barrels on lower half

McCain’s Senate website from 2003 to 2006 illustrated his concern about pork barrel spending.[114]

Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush administration’s position.[155] He stated that Iraq was “a clear and present danger to the United States of America”, and voted accordingly for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.[155] He predicted that U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by a large number of the Iraqi people.[166] In May 2003, McCain voted against the second round of Bush tax cuts, saying it was unwise at a time of war.[156] By November 2003, after a trip to Iraq, he was publicly questioning Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, saying that more U.S. troops were needed; the following year, McCain announced that he had lost confidence in Rumsfeld.[167][168]

In October 2003, McCain and Lieberman co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act that would have introduced a cap and trade system aimed at returning greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; the bill was defeated with 55 votes to 43 in the Senate.[169] They reintroduced modified versions of the Act two additional times, most recently in January 2007 with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama, among others.[170]

U.S. President George W. Bush with Senator McCain, December 4, 2004

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election campaign, McCain was once again frequently mentioned for the vice-presidential slot, only this time as part of the Democratic ticket under nominee John Kerry.[171][172][173] McCain said that Kerry had never formally offered him the position and that he would not have accepted it if he had.[172][173][174] At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain supported Bush for re-election, praising Bush’s management of the War on Terror since the September 11 attacks.[175] At the same time, he defended Kerry’s Vietnam War record.[176] By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician;[175] he campaigned for Bush much more than he had four years previously, though the two remained situational allies rather than friends.[157]

McCain was also up for re-election as senator, in 2004. He defeated little-known Democratic schoolteacher Stuart Starky with his biggest margin of victory, garnering 77 percent of the vote.[177]

Start of fourth Senate term

In May 2005, McCain led the so-called Gang of 14 in the Senate, which established a compromise that preserved the ability of senators to filibuster judicial nominees, but only in “extraordinary circumstances”.[178] The compromise took the steam out of the filibuster movement, but some Republicans remained disappointed that the compromise did not eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees in all circumstances.[179] McCain subsequently cast Supreme Court confirmation votes in favor of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, calling them “two of the finest justices ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court.”[113]

File:Jsm2.ogv

Speaking on the Senate floor against earmarking, February 2007

Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase.[156] Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components. The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was never voted on in 2005, while the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed the Senate in May 2006 but failed in the House.[168] In June 2007, President Bush, McCain, and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, but it aroused intense grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others, some of whom furiously characterized the proposal as an “amnesty” program,[180] and the bill twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate.[181]

By the middle of the 2000s (decade), the increased Indian gaming that McCain had helped bring about was a $23 billion industry.[95] He was twice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in 1995–1997 and 2005–2007, and his Committee helped expose the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.[182][183] By 2005 and 2006, McCain was pushing for amendments to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that would limit creation of off-reservation casinos,[95] as well as limiting the movement of tribes across state lines to build casinos.[184]

Middle-aged man in military uniform talking with older man in casual civilian clothes, at night

General David Petraeus and McCain in Baghdad, November 2007

Owing to his time as a POW, McCain was recognized for his sensitivity to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the War on Terror. An opponent of the Bush administration’s use of torture and detention without trial at Guantánamo Bay (declaring that “even Adolf Eichmann got a trial”[185]), in October 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005, and the Senate voted 90–9 to support the amendment.[186] It prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantánamo, by confining military interrogations to the techniques in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogation. Although Bush had threatened to veto the bill if McCain’s amendment was included,[187] the President announced in December 2005 that he accepted McCain’s terms and would “make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad”.[188] This stance, among others, led to McCain being named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of America’s 10 Best Senators.[189] McCain voted in February 2008 against a bill containing a ban on waterboarding,[190] which provision was later narrowly passed and vetoed by Bush. However, the bill in question contained other provisions to which McCain objected, and his spokesman stated: “This wasn’t a vote on waterboarding. This was a vote on applying the standards of the [Army] field manual to CIA personnel.”[190]

Meanwhile, McCain continued questioning the progress of the war in Iraq. In September 2005, he remarked upon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers‘ optimistic outlook on the war’s progress: “Things have not gone as well as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers.”[191] In August 2006, he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: “We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be.”[168] From the beginning, McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007.[192] The strategy’s opponents labeled it “McCain’s plan”[193] and University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said, “McCain owns Iraq just as much as Bush does now.”[168] The surge and the war were unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party,[194] as McCain’s presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, “I would much rather lose a campaign than a war.”[195] In March 2008, McCain credited the surge strategy with reducing violence in Iraq, as he made his eighth trip to that country since the war began.[196]

2008 presidential campaign

White-haired man speaking at podium, with group of people behind him, some holding blue "McCain" signs

McCain formally announces his candidacy for president in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2007

McCain formally announced his intention to run for President of the United States on April 25, 2007, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.[197] He stated that: “I’m not running for president to be somebody, but to do something; to do the hard but necessary things, not the easy and needless things.”[198]

McCain’s oft-cited strengths as a presidential candidate for 2008 included national name recognition, sponsorship of major lobbying and campaign finance reform initiatives, his ability to reach across the aisle, his well-known military service and experience as a POW, his experience from the 2000 presidential campaign, and an expectation that he would capture Bush’s top fundraisers.[199] During the 2006 election cycle, McCain had attended 346 events[58] and helped raise more than $10.5 million on behalf of Republican candidates. McCain also became more willing to ask business and industry for campaign contributions, while maintaining that such contributions would not affect any official decisions he would make.[200] Despite being considered the front-runner for the nomination by pundits as 2007 began,[201] McCain was in second place behind former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani in national Republican polls as the year progressed.

McCain had fundraising problems in the first half of 2007, due in part to his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was unpopular among the Republican base electorate.[202][203] Large-scale campaign staff downsizing took place in early July, but McCain said that he was not considering dropping out of the race.[203] Later that month, the candidate’s campaign manager and campaign chief strategist both departed.[204]McCain slumped badly in national polls, often running third or fourth with 15 percent or less support.

White-haired man in dark suit looks on as gray-haired man in dark suit holds hand and greets blonde-haired woman in medium-colored suit, all in front of a white building.

President Bush meets with the McCains as he endorses him for President, March 5, 2008

The Arizona senator subsequently resumed his familiar position as a political underdog,[205] riding the Straight Talk Express and taking advantage of free media such as debates and sponsored events.[206] By December 2007, the Republican race was unsettled, with none of the top-tier candidates dominating the race and all of them possessing major vulnerabilities with different elements of the Republican base electorate.[207] McCain was showing a resurgence, in particular with renewed strength in New Hampshire—the scene of his 2000 triumph—and was bolstered further by the endorsements of The Boston Globe, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and almost two dozen other state newspapers,[208] as well as from Senator Lieberman (now an Independent Democrat).[209][210] McCain decided not to campaign significantly in the January 3, 2008, Iowa caucuses, which saw a win by former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee.

McCain’s comeback plan paid off when he won the New Hampshire primary on January 8, defeating former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney in a close contest, to once again become one of the front-runners in the race.[211]In mid-January, McCain placed first in the South Carolina primary, narrowly defeating Mike Huckabee.[212] Pundits credited the third-place finisher, Tennessee‘s former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, with drawing votes from Huckabee in South Carolina, thereby giving a narrow win to McCain.[213] A week later, McCain won the Florida primary,[214] beating Romney again in a close contest; Giuliani then dropped out and endorsed McCain.[215]

On February 5, McCain won both the majority of states and delegates in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, giving him a commanding lead toward the Republican nomination. Romney departed from the race on February 7.[216] McCain’s wins in the March 4 primaries clinched a majority of the delegates, and he became the presumptive Republican nominee.[217]

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Had he been elected, he would have become the first president who was born outside the contiguous forty-eight states. This raised a potential legal issue, since the United States Constitution requires the president to be a natural-born citizen of the United States. A bipartisan legal review,[218] and a unanimous but non-binding Senate resolution,[219] both concluded that he is a natural-born citizen. If inaugurated in 2009 at the age of 72 years and 144 days, he would have been the oldest U.S. president upon becoming president,[220] and the second-oldest president to be inaugurated after Reagan at his second inaugural.[221]

McCain addressed concerns about his age and past health issues, stating in 2005 that his health was “excellent”.[222] He had been treated for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, and an operation in 2000 for that condition left a noticeable mark on the left side of his face.[223] McCain’s prognosis appeared favorable, according to independent experts, especially because he had already survived without a recurrence for more than seven years.[223] In May 2008, McCain’s campaign briefly let the press review his medical records, and he was described as appearing cancer-free, having a strong heart, and in general being in good health.[224]

McCain clinched enough delegates for the nomination and his focus shifted toward the general election, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fought a prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination.[225] McCain introduced various policy proposals, and sought to improve his fundraising.[226][227] Cindy McCain, who accounts for most of the couple’s wealth with an estimated net worth of $100 million,[69] made part of her tax returns public in May.[228] After facing criticism about lobbyists on staff, the McCain campaign issued new rules in May 2008 to avoid conflicts of interest, causing five top aides to leave.[229][230]

When Obama became the Democrats’ presumptive nominee in early June, McCain proposed joint town hall meetings, but Obama instead requested more traditional debates for the fall.[231] In July, a staff shake-up put Steve Schmidt in full operational control of the McCain campaign.[232] Rick Davis remained as campaign manager but with a reduced role. Davis had also managed McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign; in 2005 and 2006, U.S. intelligence warned McCain’s Senate staff about Davis’s Russian links but gave no further warnings.[233][234][235][236]

Throughout the summer of 2008, Obama typically led McCain in national polls by single-digit margins,[237] and also led in several key swing states.[238] McCain reprised his familiar underdog role, which was due at least in part to the overall challenges Republicans faced in the election year.[205][238] McCain accepted public financing for the general election campaign, and the restrictions that go with it, while criticizing his Democratic opponent for becoming the first major party candidate to opt out of such financing for the general election since the system was implemented in 1976.[239][240] The Republican’s broad campaign theme focused on his experience and ability to lead, compared to Obama’s.[241]

Todd Palin, Sarah Palin (behind a podium), Cindy McCain, John McCain together on an outdoor stage during daytime, crowd holding blue-and-white "McCain Palin" signs around them

The Palins and McCains campaign in Fairfax, Virginia, following the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 10.

On August 29, 2008, McCain revealed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his surprise choice for running mate.[242] McCain was only the second U.S. major-party presidential nominee (after Walter Mondale) to select a woman for his running mate and the first Republican to do so; Palin would have become the first female Vice President of the United States if McCain had been elected. On September 3, 2008, McCain and Palin became the Republican Party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees, respectively, at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota. McCain surged ahead of Obama in national polls following the convention, as the Palin pick energized core Republican voters who had previously been wary of him.[243] However, by the campaign’s own later admission, the rollout of Palin to the national media went poorly,[244] and voter reactions to Palin grew increasingly negative, especially among independents and other voters concerned about her qualifications.[245] McCain said later in life that he expressed regret for not choosing the independent Senator Joe Lieberman as his VP candidate instead.[185]

On September 24, McCain said he was temporarily suspending his campaign activities, called on Obama to join him, and proposed delaying the first of the general election debates with Obama, in order to work on the proposed U.S. financial system bailout before Congress, which was targeted at addressing the subprime mortgage crisis and liquidity crisis.[246][247] McCain’s intervention helped to give dissatisfied House Republicans an opportunity to propose changes to the plan that was otherwise close to agreement.[248][249] After Obama declined McCain’s suspension suggestion, McCain went ahead with the debate on September 26.[250] On October 1, McCain voted in favor of a revised $700 billion rescue plan.[251] Another debate was held on October 7; like the first one, polls afterward suggested that Obama had won it.[252] A final presidential debate occurred on October 15.[253]

During and after the final debate, McCain compared Obama’s proposed policies to socialism and often invoked “Joe the Plumber” as a symbol of American small business dreams that would be thwarted by an Obama presidency.[254][255] McCain barred using the Jeremiah Wright controversy in ads against Obama,[256] but the campaign did frequently criticize Obama regarding his purported relationship with Bill Ayers.[257] McCain’s rallies became increasingly vitriolic,[258] with attendees denigrating Obama and displaying a growing anti-Muslim and anti-African-American sentiment.[259] During a campaign rally in Minnesota, Gayle Quinnell, a 75-year old McCain supporter said she did not trust Obama because “he’s an Arab”,[260] McCain pointedly replied to the woman, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”[259] McCain’s response was considered one of the finer moments of the campaign and was still being viewed several years later as a marker for civility in American politics.[258][261] Down the stretch, McCain was outspent by Obama by a four-to-one margin.[262] Meghan McCain said that she cannot “go a day without someone bringing up (that) moment,” and noted that at the time “there were a lot of people really trying to get my dad to go (against Obama) with … you’re a Muslim, you’re not an American aspect of that,” but that her father had refused. “I can remember thinking that it was a morally amazing and beautiful moment, but that maybe there would be people in the Republican Party that would be quite angry,” she said.[263]

Results of the presidential election

The election took place on November 4, and Barack Obama was projected the winner at about 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; McCain delivered his concession speech in Phoenix, Arizona about twenty minutes later.[264] In it, he noted the historic and special significance of Obama becoming the nation’s first African American president.[264] In the end, McCain won 173 electoral college votes to Obama’s 365;[265] McCain failed to win most of the battleground states and lost some traditionally Republican ones.[266] McCain gained 46 percent of the nationwide popular vote, compared to Obama’s 53 percent.[266]

Senate career after 2008

Remainder of fourth Senate term

Following his defeat, McCain returned to the Senate amid varying views about what role he might play there.[267] In mid-November 2008 he met with President-elect Obama, and the two discussed issues they had commonality on.[268] Around the same time, McCain indicated that he intended to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010.[269] As the inauguration neared, Obama consulted with McCain on a variety of matters, to an extent rarely seen between a president-elect and his defeated rival,[270] and President Obama’s inauguration speech contained an allusion to McCain’s theme of finding a purpose greater than oneself.[271]

Barack Obama speaking in foreground at an indoor event with an American flag in background; John McCain behind him, somewhat of focus

U.S. President Barack Obama and McCain at a press conference in March 2009

Nevertheless, McCain emerged as a leader of the Republican opposition to the Obama economic stimulus package of 2009, saying it had too much spending for too little stimulative effect.[272] McCain also voted against Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor—saying that while undeniably qualified, “I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint”[273]—and by August 2009 was siding more often with his Republican Party on closely divided votes than ever before in his senatorial career.[274] McCain reasserted that the War in Afghanistan was winnable[275] and criticized Obama for a slow process in deciding whether to send additional U.S. troops there.[276]

McCain also harshly criticized Obama for scrapping construction of the U.S. missile defense complex in Poland, declined to enter negotiations over climate change legislation similar to what he had proposed in the past, and strongly opposed the Obama health care plan.[276][277] McCain led a successful filibuster of a measure that would allow repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy towards gays.[278] Factors involved in McCain’s new direction included Senate staffers leaving, a renewed concern over national debt levels and the scope of federal government, a possible Republican primary challenge from conservatives in 2010, and McCain’s campaign edge being slow to wear off.[276][277] As one longtime McCain advisor said, “A lot of people, including me, thought he might be the Republican building bridges to the Obama Administration. But he’s been more like the guy blowing up the bridges.”[276]

Man in office with old-style furnishings

McCain in his Senate office, November 2010

In early 2010, a primary challenge from radio talk show host and former U.S. Congressman J. D. Hayworth materialized in the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Arizona and drew support from some but not all elements of the Tea Party movement.[279][280] With Hayworth using the campaign slogan “The Consistent Conservative”, McCain said—despite his own past use of the term on a number of occasions[280][281]—”I never considered myself a maverick. I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities.”[282] The primary challenge coincided with McCain reversing or muting his stance on some issues such as the bank bailouts, closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, campaign finance restrictions, and gays in the military.[279]

When the health care plan, now called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed Congress and became law in March 2010, McCain strongly opposed the landmark legislation not only on its merits but also on the way it had been handled in Congress. As a consequence, he warned that congressional Republicans would not be working with Democrats on anything else: “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”[283] McCain became a vocal defender of Arizona SB 1070, the April 2010 tough anti-illegal immigration state law that aroused national controversy, saying that the state had been forced to take action given the federal government’s inability to control the border.[280][284] In the August 24 primary, McCain beat Hayworth by a 56 to 32 percent margin.[285] McCain proceeded to easily defeat Democratic city councilman Rodney Glassman in the general election.[286]

In the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, McCain voted for the compromise Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,[287] but against the DREAM Act (which he had once sponsored) and the New START Treaty.[288] Most prominently, he continued to lead the eventually losing fight against “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal.[289] In his opposition, he sometimes fell into anger or hostility on the Senate floor, and called its passage “a very sad day” that would compromise the battle effectiveness of the military.[288][289]

Fifth Senate term

While control of the House of Representatives went over to the Republicans in the 112th Congress, the Senate stayed Democratic and McCain continued to be the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As the Arab Spring took center stage, McCain urged that the embattled Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, step down and thought the U.S. should push for democratic reforms in the region despite the associated risks of religious extremists gaining power.[290] McCain was an especially vocal supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya. In April of that year he visited the Anti-Gaddafi forces and National Transitional Council in Benghazi, the highest-ranking American to do so, and said that the rebel forces were “my heroes”.[291] In June, he joined with Senator Kerry in offering a resolution that would have authorized the military intervention, and said: “The administration’s disregard for the elected representatives of the American people on this matter has been troubling and counterproductive.”[292][293] In August, McCain voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved the U.S. debt ceiling crisis.[294] In November, McCain and Senator Carl Levin were leaders in efforts to codify in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that terrorism suspects, no matter where captured, could be detained by the U.S. military and its tribunal system; following objections by civil libertarians, some Democrats, and the White House, McCain and Levin agreed to language making it clear that the bill would not pertain to U.S. citizens.[295][296]

In the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries, McCain endorsed former 2008 rival Mitt Romney and campaigned for him, but compared the contest to a Greek tragedy due to its drawn-out nature with massive super PAC-funded attack ads damaging all the contenders.[297] He labeled the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision as “uninformed, arrogant, naïve”, and, decrying its effects and the future scandals he thought it would bring, said it would become considered the court’s “worst decision … in the 21st century”.[298] McCain took the lead in opposing the defense spending sequestrations brought on by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and gained attention for defending State Department aide Huma Abedin against charges brought by a few House Republicans that she had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.[299]

A group of about ten men walking along a road

The “Three Amigos” walking in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan in July 2011: McCain (second from left), Lindsey Graham (second from right in front), Joe Lieberman (right in front)[300]

McCain continued to be one of the most frequently appearing guests on the Sunday morning news talk shows.[299] He became one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, saying it was a “debacle” that featured either “a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable” and that it was worse than the Watergate scandal.[301] As part of this, he and a few other senators were successful in blocking the planned nomination of Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State; McCain’s friend and colleague John Kerry was nominated instead.[302]

Regarding the Syrian civil war that had begun in 2011, McCain repeatedly argued for the U.S. intervening militarily in the conflict on the side of the anti-government forces. He staged a visit to rebel forces inside Syria in May 2013, the first senator to do so, and called for arming the Free Syrian Army with heavy weapons and for the establishment of a no-fly zone over the country. Following reports that two of the people he posed for pictures with had been responsible for the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese Shiite pilgrims the year before, McCain disputed one of the identifications and said he had not met directly with the other.[303] Following the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack, McCain argued again for strong American military action against the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and in September 2013 cast a Foreign Relations committee vote in favor of Obama’s request to Congress that it authorize a military response.[304] McCain took the lead in criticizing a growing non-interventionist movement within the Republican Party, exemplified by his March 2013 comment that Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Representative Justin Amash were “wacko birds”.[305]

Kerry (far left) and McCain (center-right) with members of the Saudi Royal Family after greeting the new King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, January 2015

During 2013, McCain was a member of a bi-partisan group of senators, the “Gang of Eight“, which announced principles for another try at comprehensive immigration reform.[306] The resulting Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 passed the Senate by a 68–32 margin, but faced an uncertain future in the House.[307] In July 2013, McCain was at the forefront of an agreement among senators to drop filibusters against Obama administration executive nominees without Democrats resorting to the “nuclear option” that would disallow such filibusters altogether.[308][309] However, the option would be imposed later in the year anyway, much to the senator’s displeasure.[310] These developments and some other negotiations showed that McCain now had improved relations with the Obama administration, including the president himself, as well as with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and that he had become the leader of a power center in the Senate for cutting deals in an otherwise bitterly partisan environment.[311][312][313] They also led some observers to conclude that the “maverick” McCain had returned.[309][313]

McCain was publicly skeptical about the Republican strategy that precipitated the U.S. federal government shutdown of 2013 and U.S. debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 in order to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act; in October 2013 he voted in favor of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which resolved them and said, “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”[314] Similarly, he was one of nine Republican senators who voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the end of the year.[315] By early 2014, McCain’s apostasies were enough that the Arizona Republican Party formally censured him for having what they saw as a liberal record that had been “disastrous and harmful”.[316] McCain remained stridently opposed to many aspects of Obama’s foreign policy, however, and in June 2014, following major gains by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive, decried what he saw as a U.S. failure to protect its past gains in Iraq and called on the president’s entire national security team to resign. McCain said, “Could all this have been avoided? … The answer is absolutely yes. If I sound angry it’s because I am angry.”[317]

McCain addresses anti-government protesters in KievUkraine, pledging his support for their cause, December 15, 2013.

McCain was a supporter of the Euromaidan protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his government, and appeared in Independence Square in Kiev in December 2013.[318] Following the overthrow of Yanukovych and subsequent 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, McCain became a vocal supporter of providing arms to Ukrainian military forces, saying the sanctions imposed against Russia were not enough.[319] In 2014, McCain led the opposition to the appointments of Colleen BellNoah Mamet, and George Tsunis to the ambassadorships in Hungary, Argentina, and Norway, respectively, arguing they were unqualified appointees being rewarded for their political fundraising.[320] Unlike many Republicans, McCain supported the release and contents of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, saying “The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.”[321] He added that the CIA’s practices following the September 11 attacks had “stained our national honor” while doing “much harm and little practical good” and that “Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”[322] He opposed the Obama administration’s December 2014 decision to normalize relations with Cuba.[323]

As the 114th United States Congress assembled in January 2015 with Republicans in control of the Senate, McCain became chair of the Armed Services Committee, a longtime goal of his.[324] In this position, he led the writing of proposed Senate legislation that sought to modify parts of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 in order to return responsibility for major weapons systems acquisition back to the individual armed services and their secretaries and away from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.[325] As chair, McCain has tried to maintain a bipartisan approach and has forged a good relationship with ranking member Jack Reed.[324] In April 2015, McCain announced that he would run for a sixth term in Arizona’s 2016 Senate election.[326] While there was still conservative and Tea Party anger at him, it was unclear if they would mount an effective primary challenge against him.[327] During 2015, McCain strongly opposed the proposed comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, saying that Secretary of State Kerry was “delusional” and “giv[ing] away the store” in negotiations with Iran.[328] McCain supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh,[329] saying: “I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed.”[330]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wenmeets with U.S. Senate delegation led by McCain, June 2016

McCain accused President Obama of being “directly responsible” for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting “because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures.”[331][332]

McCain campaigning with former Governor Romney in Mesa, Arizona during his 2016 re-election campaign

During the 2016 Republican primaries, McCain said he would support the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, but following Mitt Romney’s March 3 speech, McCain endorsed the sentiments expressed in that speech, saying he had serious concerns about Trump’s “uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues”.[333] Relations between the two had been fraught since early in the Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016, when McCain referred to a room full of Trump supporters as “crazies”, and the real estate mogul then said of McCain: “He insulted me, and he insulted everyone in that room… He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured… perhaps he was a war hero, but right now he’s said a lot of very bad things about a lot of people.”[333][334] Following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the party on May 3, McCain said that Republican voters had spoken and he would support Trump.[335]

McCain himself faced a primary challenge from Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter, and then was expected to face a potentially strong challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.[336] The senator privately expressed worry over the effect that Trump’s unpopularity among Hispanic voters might have on his own chances but also was concerned with more conservative pro-Trump voters; he thus kept his endorsement of Trump in place but tried to speak of him as little as possible given their disagreements.[337][338][339] However McCain defeated Ward in the primary by a double-digit percentage point margin and gained a similar lead over Kirkpatrick in general election polls, and when the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy broke, he felt secure enough to on October 8 withdraw his endorsement of Trump.[336] McCain stated that Trump’s “demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults” made it “impossible to continue to offer even conditional support” and added that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, but would instead “write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”[340][341] McCain, at 80 years of age, went on to defeat Kirkpatrick, securing a sixth term as United States Senator from Arizona.[342]

In November 2016, McCain learned of the existence of a dossier regarding the Trump presidential campaign’s links to Russia compiled by Christopher Steele. McCain sent a representative to gather more information, who obtained a copy of the dossier.[343] In December 2016, McCain passed on the dossier to FBI Director James Comey in a 1-on-1 meeting. McCain later wrote that he felt the dossier’s “allegations were disturbing” but unverifiable by himself, so he let the FBI investigate.[344]

On December 31, 2016, in TbilisiGeorgia, McCain stated that the United States should strengthen its sanctions against Russia.[345] One year later, on December 23, 2017, the State Department announced that the United States will provide Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities”.[346]

Sixth and final Senate term

McCain chaired the January 5, 2017, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee where Republican and Democratic senators and intelligence officers, including James R. Clapper Jr., the Director of National IntelligenceMichael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command presented a “united front” that “forcefully reaffirmed the conclusion that the Russian government used hacking and leaks to try to influence the presidential election.”[347]

In June 2017, McCain voted to support Trump’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia.[348][349]

Repeal and replacement of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was a centerpiece of McCain’s 2016 re-election campaign, and in July 2017 he said, “Have no doubt: Congress must replace Obamacare, which has hit Arizonans with some of the highest premium increases in the nation and left 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties with only one provider option on the exchanges this year.” He added that he supports affordable and quality health care, but objected that the pending Senate bill did not do enough to shield the Medicaid system in Arizona.[350]

In response to the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of organ failure while in government custody, McCain said that “this is only the latest example of Communist China’s assault on human rights, democracy, and freedom.”[351]

In September 2017, as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar became ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority, McCain announced moves to scrap planned future military cooperation with Myanmar.[352]

Brain tumor diagnosis and surgery

File:John McCain returns to Senate and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017.webm

McCain returns to the Senate for the first time following his cancer diagnosis and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017, after casting a crucial vote on the American Health Care Act.

McCain underwent a minimally invasive craniotomy at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 14, 2017, in order to remove a blood clot above his left eye. His absence prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.[353] Five days later, Mayo Clinic doctors announced that the laboratory results from the surgery confirmed the presence of a glioblastoma, which is a very aggressive brain tumor.[354] Standard treatment options for this tumor include chemotherapy and radiation, although even with treatment, average survival time is approximately 14 months.[354] McCain was a survivor of previous cancers, including melanoma.[223][355]

President Trump made a public statement wishing Senator McCain well,[356] as did many others, including President Obama.[357] On July 19, McCain’s senatorial office issued a statement that he “appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective.” On July 24, McCain announced via Twitter that he would return to the United States Senate the following day.[358]

Return to Senate

McCain votes no on repealing Obamacare by giving a thumbs down.

McCain returned to the Senate on July 25, less than two weeks after brain surgery. He cast a deciding vote allowing the Senate to begin consideration of bills to replace Obamacare. Along with that vote, he delivered a speech criticizing the party-line voting process used by the Republicans, as well as by the Democrats in passing Obamacare to begin with, and McCain also urged a “return to regular order” utilizing the usual committee hearings and deliberations.[359][360][361] On July 28, he cast the decisive vote against the Republicans’ final proposal that month, the so-called “skinny repeal” option, which failed 49–51.[362]

McCain did not vote in the Senate after December 2017, remaining instead in Arizona to undergo cancer treatment. On April 15, 2018, he underwent surgery for an infection relating to diverticulitis and the following day was reported to be in stable condition.[363]

Committee assignments

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senators Joni ErnstDaniel Sullivan, John McCain, Tom CottonLindsey Graham, and Cory Gardnerattending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore

Caucus memberships

Death and funeral

McCain’s family announced on August 24, 2018, that he would no longer receive treatment for his cancer.[366] The next day on August 25, at 16:28 MST (23:28 UTC), he died with his wife and family beside him at his home in Cornville, Arizona, four days before his 82nd birthday.[367][368][369][370]

McCain will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on August 29 (McCain’s birthday), followed by a service at North Phoenix Baptist Church on August 30. His body will travel to Washington to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol on August 31, before a service at the Washington National Cathedral on September 1. He was a “lifelong Episcopalian” who attended, but did not join, a Southern Baptist church for at least 17 years; memorial services were scheduled in both denominations.[371][372] He will be buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery, next to his Naval Academy classmate Admiral Charles R. Larson.[373]

Tributes were widely given on social media, including from Congressional colleagues, all living former Presidents – Jimmy CarterGeorge H. W. BushBill ClintonGeorge W. BushBarack Obama – and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.[374][375][376] Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, German foreign minister Heiko Maas, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former Vietnamese ambassador to Washington Nguyen Quoc Cuong, also sent condolences.[377][378][379][380] Colonel Trần Trọng Duyệt, who ran the Hỏa Lò Prison when McCain was held there, remarked “At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote [Vietnam]-US relations so I was very fond of him. When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family.”[381] His daughter, Meghan McCain shared her grief, stating that she was present at the moment he died.[382] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after McCain.[383]

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has the authority to appoint McCain’s interim replacement until a special election is held in 2020 to determine who will serve the remainder of McCain’s term, which ends in January 2023.[384] Under Arizona law, the appointed replacement must be of the same party as McCain, a Republican.[385] The potential appointees include McCain’s widow Cindy, former Senator Jon Kyl, and former Representatives Matt Salmon and John Shadegg.[386][387]

Prior to his death, McCain requested that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama eulogize him at his funeral, and asked that President Donald Trump not attend.[388][389] Trump reportedly rejected the White House’s plans to release a statement praising McCain’s life, and he said nothing about McCain himself in a tweet that extended condolences to McCain’s family. [390] In addition, the flag at the White House, which had been lowered to half-staff the day of McCain’s death, was raised back to full-staff the next day.[391] As of two days after McCain’s death, the White House had not issued a proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff until his interment, contrary to the custom to honor a prominent American official, which has usually included a Senator who dies in office.[392] Many governors, both Democratic and Republican, have ordered flags in their states to fly at half-staff until interment.[393]

Political positions

Chart, with jagged pink and blue lines

McCain’s congressional voting scores, from the American Conservative Union (pink line; 100 is most conservative) and Americans for Democratic Action (blue line; 100 is most liberal)[394]

Various advocacy groups have given McCain scores or grades as to how well his votes align with the positions of each group.[395] The American Conservative Union has awarded McCain a lifetime rating of 82 percent through 2015, while McCain has an average lifetime 12 percent “Liberal Quotient” from Americans for Democratic Action through 2015.[396] CrowdPac, which rates politicians based on donations made and received, has given Senator McCain a score of 4.3C with 10C being the most conservative and 10L being the most liberal.[397]

The non-partisan National Journal rates a Senator’s votes by what percentage of the Senate voted more liberally than he or she, and what percentage more conservatively, in three policy areas: economic, social, and foreign. For 2005–2006 (as reported in the 2008 Almanac of American Politics), McCain’s average ratings were as follows: economic policy: 59 percent conservative and 41 percent liberal; social policy: 54 percent conservative and 38 percent liberal; and foreign policy: 56 percent conservative and 43 percent liberal.[398] In 2012, the National Journal gave McCain a composite score of 73 percent conservative and 27 percent liberal,[399] while in 2013 he received a composite score of 60 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal.[400]

Columnists such as Robert Robb and Matthew Continetti have used a formulation devised by William F. Buckley Jr. to describe McCain as “conservative” but not “a conservative”, meaning that while McCain usually tends towards conservative positions, he was not “anchored by the philosophical tenets of modern American conservatism.”[401][402] Following his 2008 presidential election loss, McCain began adopting more orthodox conservative views; the magazine National Journal rated McCain along with seven of his colleagues as the “most conservative” Senators for 2010[403] and he achieved his first 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for that year.[394] During Barack Obama’s presidency, McCain was one of the top five Republicans most likely to vote with Obama’s position on significant votes; McCain voted with Obama’s position on such votes more than half the time in 2013 and was “censured by the Arizona Republican party for a so-called ‘liberal’ voting record.”[404]

From the late 1990s until 2008, McCain was a board member of Project Vote Smart which was set up by Richard Kimball, his 1986 Senate opponent.[405] The project provides non-partisan information about the political positions of McCain[406] and other candidates for political office. Additionally, McCain used his Senate website to describe his political positions.[407]

Cultural and political image

White-haired man standing at podium and speaking and gesturing with outstretched arm and an outdoor venue

Speaking in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Memorial Day, 2008, wearing his Purple Heart

Four people in a room

McCain and his wife Cindy watch in 2011 as their son Jimmy pins aviator wings on their son Ensign John Sidney McCain IV.

Public opinion of John McCain[408]

McCain’s personal character was a dominant feature of his public image.[409] This image includes the military service of both himself and his family,[410] the circumstances and tensions surrounding the end of his first marriage and beginning of second,[24] his maverick political persona,[114] his temper,[411] his admitted problem of occasional ill-considered remarks,[91] and his close ties to his children from both his marriages.[24]

McCain’s political appeal was more nonpartisan and less ideological compared to many other national politicians.[412] His stature and reputation stemmed partly from his service in the Vietnam War.[413] He also carried physical vestiges of his war wounds, as well as his melanoma surgery.[414] When campaigning, he quipped: “I am older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein.”[415]

Writers often extolled McCain for his courage not just in war but in politics, and wrote sympathetically about him.[58][409][413][416] McCain’s shift of political stances and attitudes during and especially after the 2008 presidential campaign, including his self-repudiation of the maverick label, left many writers expressing sadness and wondering what had happened to the McCain they thought they had known.[417][418][419][420] By 2013, some aspects of the older McCain had returned, and his image became that of a kaleidoscope of contradictory tendencies, including, as one writer listed, “the maverick, the former maverick, the curmudgeon, the bridge builder, the war hero bent on transcending the call of self-interest to serve a cause greater than himself, the sore loser, old bull, last lion, loose cannon, happy warrior, elder statesman, lion in winter….”[310]

In his own estimation, the Arizona senator was straightforward and direct, but impatient.[421] Other traits included a penchant for lucky charms,[422] a fondness for hiking,[423] and a sense of humor that sometimes backfired spectacularly, as when he made a joke in 1998 about the Clintons widely deemed not fit to print in newspapers: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? – Because Janet Reno is her father.”[424][425] McCain subsequently apologized profusely,[426] and the Clinton White House accepted his apology.[427] McCain did not shy away from addressing his shortcomings, and apologizing for them.[91][428] He was known for sometimes being prickly[429] and hot-tempered[430] with Senate colleagues, but his relations with his own Senate staff were more cordial, and inspired loyalty towards him.[431][432] He formed a strong bond with two senators, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, over hawkish foreign policy and overseas travel, and they became dubbed the “Three Amigos”.[300]

McCain acknowledged having said intemperate things in years past,[433] though he also said that many stories have been exaggerated.[434] One psychoanalytic comparison suggests that McCain was not the first presidential candidate to have a temper,[435] and cultural critic Julia Keller argues that voters want leaders who are passionate, engaged, fiery, and feisty.[411] McCain has employed both profanity[436] and shouting on occasion, although such incidents have become less frequent over the years.[437][438] Lieberman has made this observation: “It is not the kind of anger that is a loss of control. He is a very controlled person.”[437] Senator Thad Cochran, who knew McCain for decades and had battled him over earmarks,[439][440] expressed concern about a McCain presidency: “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”[437] Yet Cochran supported McCain for president when was clear he would win the nomination.[441] The Chicago Tribune editorial board called McCain a patriot, who although sometimes wrong was fearless, and that he deserves to be thought of among the few US senators in history, whose names are more recognizable than some presidents.[442]

All of McCain’s family members were on good terms with him,[24] and he has defended them against some of the negative consequences of his high-profile political lifestyle.[443][444] His family’s military tradition extends to the latest generation: son John Sidney IV (“Jack”) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009, becoming the fourth generation John S. McCain to do so, and is a helicopter pilot; son James served two tours with the Marines in the Iraq War; and son Doug flew jets in the navy.[24][445][446] His daughter Meghan became a blogging and twittering presence in the debate about the future of the Republican Party following the 2008 elections, and showed some of his maverick tendencies.[447][448]

Awards and honors

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia awards a National Hero of Georgia order to McCain in January 2010 in Batumi.

GEO National Hero Award BAR.svg
Order of Saint Vladimir, ribbon bar.svg
Order of Freedom of Ukraine.png
Kosovo Order of Freedom.svg
USA Philadelphia Liberty Medal ribbon.svg

In addition to his military honors and decorations, McCain was granted a number of civilian awards and honors.

In 1997, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122] In 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Award with Senator Russ Feingoldfor their work towards campaign finance reform.[126] The following year, the same pair shared the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.[449] In 2005, The Eisenhower Institute awarded McCain the Eisenhower Leadership Prize.[450] The prize recognizes individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s legacy of integrity and leadership. In 2006, the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award was bestowed upon McCain by the National Park Trust.[451] The same year, McCain was awarded the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, in honor of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson.[452] In 2007, the World Leadership Forumpresented McCain with the Policymaker of the Year Award; it is given internationally to someone who has “created, inspired or strongly influenced important policy or legislation”.[453] In 2010, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgiaawarded McCain the Order of National Hero, an award never previously given to a non-Georgian.[454] In 2015, the Kiev Patriarchate awarded McCain its own version of the Order of St. Vladimir.[455] In 2016, Allegheny Collegeawarded McCain, along with Vice President Joe Biden, its Prize for Civility in Public Life.[456] In August 2016, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, awarded McCain with the highest award for foreigners, the Order of Liberty.[457] In 2017, Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo, awarded McCain the “Urdhër i Lirisë” (Order of Freedom) medal for his contribution to the freedom and independence of Kosovo, and its partnership with the U.S.[458]McCain also received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in 2017.[459]

McCain received several honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. These include ones from Colgate University (LL.D 2000),[460] The Citadel (DPA 2002),[461] Wake Forest University(LL.D May 20, 2002),[462][463] the University of Southern California (DHL May 2004),[464] Northwestern University (LL.D June 17, 2005),[465][466] Liberty University (2006),[467] The New School (2006),[468] and the Royal Military College of Canada (D.MSc June 27, 2013).[469][470][471] He was also made an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin in 2005.[472]

Ancestry

Writings by McCain

Books

Articles and forewords

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018, Story 1: Stock Market Hits New All Time Record For Longest Bull Market and Third Strongest — Videos — Story 2: American People and Investors Ignore News About President — No Evidence of Trump Russian Collusion — Just The Fundamentals Please — It Is The Economy Stupid — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Critical of Fed’s Monetary Policy Of Rising Interest Rates — Fiscal Policy Is The Real Problem Mr. President — Balanced Budgets and Stop Rising Deficits, National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities and Obligation Exceeding $200 Trillion Plus — Videos — Story 4: When will the nest recession happen? — 2019, 2020, 2021? Look For An Inverted Yield Curve — Videos

Posted on August 24, 2018. Filed under: Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, British Pound, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Euro, European Union, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, House of Representatives, Labor Economics, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, Public Corruption, Senate, Social Networking, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Treason, U.S. Dollar, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Stock Market Hits New All Time Record For Longest Bull Market and Third Strongest — Videos

Wall Street 'Charging Bull' statue

Current bull market sets record for longest ever

Historic Bull Market: Recapping Ups And Downs Of The Last 10 Years | CNBC

Major averages end mixed as bull market becomes longest in history

Stock market on the verge of breaking the record for longest bull market in history

Record number of 401(K) millionaires

Record bull run signals it’s time to sell, says Yale economist Shiller

It’s official: We’re in the longest bull market ever

By Eshe NelsonAugust 22, 2018

At the close of trading in New York today, the stock market will make an impressive milestone. It will set the record for the longest bull market in history.

A bull market generally begins when the market rises 20% from the low set at the end of a bear market, which itself is measured by a 20% fall from a previous peak. (There are other ways to measure all this, and other records that can be argued over.) The last low set by the benchmark S&P 500 index was on March 9, 2009. It’s been 3,453 days of fairly steady growth since then, with the S&P 500 climbing by more than 320% over that period. The previous record bull run was set between Oct. 1990 and March 2000.

This is another sign that the current economic recovery is getting long in the tooth. And though it’s said recoveries don’t die of old age, many people are convinced the end of the cycle is rapidly approaching. A long run of loose central bank policies following the financial crisis has helped stretch out this bull market, making stocks more attractive than low-yielding bonds and giving companies leeway to borrow freely. Recently, corporate tax cuts have added another boost to corporate balance sheets.

The single biggest contributor to the current bull run has been Apple, which recently hit its own milestone of becoming the first US public company valued at more than $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the company whose share price gained the most during this bull market has been Abiomed, which makes medical implant devices. Its stock has climbed a heady 6,900% since March 2009.

This bull run has struggled to survive at times. In August 2015, global stocks suffered a rout that threatened to end the bull market. A selloff that started in Chinese stocks ultimately wiped off more than $5 trillion in global stock value in just a few days. In February of this year, the S&P 500 dropped by more than 10% and stocks had their most volatile quarter since 2011.

Given these setbacks, this bull run hasn’t been the strongest in history, even if it is now the longest. It has recorded the third-largest total return of bull markets going back to the 1930s, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices. On an annualized basis, the returns have been particularly weak, at only 16.5% per year, making it 10th out of 13 bull markets. By comparison, the 1990-2000 market produced an annualized return of 19%. The strongest on that measure ran from June 1932 to March 1937, which returned just under 36% on an annual basis.

What does today’s record-setting milestone mean to most people? Probably not a lot. Research published earlier this year by an economist at New York University found that more than 80% of all stocks owned by Americans are held by the wealthiest 10% of households. Almost half of US households have absolutely nothing invested in stocks, not even through their retirement savings.

https://qz.com/1364993/its-official-were-in-the-longest-bull-market-ever/

Story 2: American People and Investors Ignore News About President — No Evidence of Trump Russian Collusion — Just The Fundamentals Please — It Is The Economy Stupid — Videos

Market has ability to ignore news around president, says pro

Story 3: President Trump Critical of Fed’s Monetary Policy — Fiscal Policy Is The Real Problem Mr. President — No Balanced Budgets and Rising Deficits, National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities and Obligation Exceeding $200 Trillion — Videos —

Trump lays into the Federal Reserve for raising rates

Trump: I disagree with the Fed raising interest rates

Trump isn’t ‘thrilled’ with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for raising rates: report

Trump Is Said to Complain Powell Has Not Been Cheap-Money Fed Chair

David Stockman Blame the Fed. for USA Trade Deficit

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYPCiNNOr8k]

 

Story 4: When will the nest recession happen? — 2019, 2020, 2021? Look For An Inverted Yield Curve — Videos

See the source image

Ten Experts On When The Next Recession May Hit | CNBC

Corporate debt could cause the next recession: Expert

The Rapid Growth of Global Corporate Debt

Michael Pillsbury

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Michael Pillsbury
Michael Pillsbury Official Photo.jpeg
Born February 8, 1945 (age 73)
California, US
Education Stanford University (BA in History)
Columbia University ( PhD)
Occupation Consultant at US Department of Defense (2003–present)
Political party Republican

Michael Pillsbury (Chinese白邦瑞pinyinBái Bāngruì; born February 8, 1945) is the Director of the Center on Chinese Strategy, Hudson Institute, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC, 2014–present. He is the author of three books on China, the most recent one is an international bestseller, The Hundred-Year Marathon, also published in Korean, Japanese, Taiwan-Chinese and a PRC-Chinese edition published by Chinese National Defense University, and published in Hindi and Mongolian. The Hundred-Year Marathon was selected “one of the 10 best books of the year” by the Christian Science Monitor; selected by the Commander, US Special Operations Command for Commanders Reading List, 2017. The book was number one on the Washington Post best seller list on February 15, 2015.

 

Career

During the Reagan administration, Pillsbury was the Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning and responsible for implementation of the program of covert aid known as the Reagan Doctrine. In 1975–76, while an analyst at the RAND Corporation, Pillsbury published articles in Foreign Policy and International Security recommending that the United States establish intelligence and military ties with China. The proposal, publicly commended by Ronald ReaganHenry Kissinger, and James Schlesinger, later became US policy during the Carter and Reagan administrations.

Pillsbury served on the staff of four US Senate Committees from 1978–1984 and 1986–1991. As a staff member, Pillsbury drafted the Senate Labor Committee version of the legislation that enacted the US Institute of Peace in 1984.[1] He also assisted in drafting the legislation to create the National Endowment for Democracy and the annual requirement for a DOD report on Chinese military power.

In 1992, under President George H. W. Bush, Pillsbury was Special Assistant for Asian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, reporting to Andrew W. Marshall, Director of Net Assessment. Pillsbury is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In 2015, a former CIA Director revealed that a book called The Hundred-Year Marathon “is based on work Michael Pillsbury did that landed him the CIA Director’s Exceptional Performance Award.” The official website, www.100yearmarathon.com, has declassified documents and photos that illustrate the book.

Pillsbury played a role in three Presidential actions:

US–China military and intelligence ties

Pillsbury participated in President Jimmy Carter‘s decision in 1979–80, as modified by President Reagan in 1981, to initiate military and intelligence ties with China.[2][3]

According to Raymond L. Garthoff, “Michael Pillsbury first floated the idea of arms sales and broad range of American military security relationships with China in a much-discussed article in Foreign Policy in the fall of 1975. Not known then was that Pillsbury had been conducting secret talks with Chinese officials … his reports were circulated to a dozen or so top officials of the NSC, Department of Defense and Department of State as secret documents.”[4]:696 According to the book US–China Cold War Collaboration, 1971–1989, “The man spearheading the effort was not a public official, and enjoyed deniability. Michael Pillsbury, a China analyst at the RAND Corporation… spent the summer of 1973 secretly meeting PLA officers stationed under diplomatic cover at China’s UN mission… The DoD managed Pillsbury. Pillsbury filed a report, L-32, in March 1974… L-32 was a seminal paper on which subsequent US-PRC military cooperation blossomed.”[5]:81 James Mann wrote, “Outward appearances indicate that Pillsbury may have been working with American intelligence agencies from the very start of his relationship with General Zhang… In the fall of 1973, Pillsbury submitted a classified memo suggesting the novel idea tha the United States might establish a military relationship with China… This was the genesis of the ideas of a ‘China card,’ the notion that the United States might use China to gain Cold War advantage over the Soviet Union. The idea would eventually come to dominate American thinking about the new relationship with China.”[2]:58–59

Stingers for Afghanistan decision

Pillsbury participated in President Reagan’s decision in 1986 to order the CIA to arm the Afghan resistance with Stinger missiles. According to the UN Undersecretary General who negotiated the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, “Initially, the Stinger campaign was spearheaded by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Fred Ikle and his aggressive Coordinator for Afghan Affairs, Michael Pillsbury… The Stinger proponents won their victory in the face of overwhelming bureaucratic resistance that persisted until the very end of the struggle.”[6]:195 Mann wrote, “For Michael Pillsbury, the covert operations in Afghanistan represented the fulfillment of the decade-old dream of American military cooperation with China… To help him win the argument, Pillsbury made use of his China connections.”[2]:137–139 George Crile stated in Charlie Wilson’s War that, “Ironically, neither [Gust] Avrakotos nor [Charlie] Wilson was directly involved in the decision and claims any credit.”[7]:419[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Harvard University’s JFK School of Government published what it called the first case study of how covert action policy is made and describes the role of Michael Pillsbury.[12]:24 According to Charlie Wilson’s War, “The moving force in this group was an engaging, well-born conservative intellectual named Mike Pillsbury, then serving as the Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary in charge of overseeing covert programs. Pillsbury, a former Senate staffer and China expert, had been an early believer in the program…”[7]:415–416 According to Philip Heymann in his 2008 book Living the Policy Process, “A policy player such as Michael Pillsbury may have absorbed many of the critical rules of the game of shared policy choice without even thinking of them as rules.”[8]

Heymann wrote that “providing Stinger missiles was obviously of such importance or political prominence that the President would want to decide. This decision is obviously of that character for several reasons. If approved, we may be furnishing a terrifying weapon to a present or future enemy. There is a small chance that we will encourage dangerous forms of retaliation by the Soviet Union. Even the shift from a “plausibly deniable” covert action to the open support of a guerrilla force fighting the Soviet Union would raise issues in Congress that the President would want to consider in light of his staff’s advice.”[8]

Pillsbury worked through the secret Planning and Coordination Group. Heymann wrote, “This committee was secret, and public details about it are sketchy… The covert action committee met every three to four weeks. Its existence was not officially acknowledged, although such a committee had operated in every administration since Eisenhower. In the Kennedy administration, for example, it was known as the Forty Committee. Any information on covert actions was protected under a compartmentalized security system given the name VEIL.”[8]

According to Steve Coll, in 1985–1986 Osama Bin Laden also wanted US weapons including the Stinger missiles. Coll wrote, “Michael Pillsbury flies to the Afghan frontier to review training facilities used by two Afghan warlords, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf… Bin Laden family head Salem bin Laden asks the Pentagon to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Arab volunteers fighting in the Soviet-Afghan War. The request is made on behalf of Salem’s brother Osama [Bin Laden], who is establishing a semi-autonomous group of Arab volunteers outside the direct control of local Afghan commanders and will set up a camp just for Arabs later this year… Later research will indicate that there is no formal decision by the Reagan administration not to supply the missiles or other equipment to the Arab volunteers. Pentagon official Michael Pillsbury will later say he was not aware of any such decision, but if such a decision had been taken, he would have been aware of it.”[10]:287

Studies of China and the Pentagon’s annual report

In 1997–2007, Pillsbury published research reports and two books on China’s view of future warfare. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2005, Pillsbury’s findings were added to the reports the Secretary of Defense sent to Congress on Chinese military power in 2002–2005.[14][15] In 2003, Pillsbury signed a nonpartisan report of the Council on Foreign Relations task force on Chinese military power. The task force found that China is pursuing a deliberate course of military modernization, but is at least two decades behind the United States in terms of military technology and capability. The task force report stated it was a “nonpartisan approach to measuring the development of Chinese military power.”[16] He has discussed the threat the people’s republic of China poses to the United States of America with Tucker Carlson.[17]

Criticism

Pillsbury’s scholarship has been questioned by Washington Monthly assistant editor Soyoung Ho, in his article “Panda Slugger, the dubious scholarship of Michael Pillsbury, the China hawk with Rumsfeld’s ear”, published in the July/August issue in 2006.[18]

VOA commentator

Since May 2014, Pillsbury has been a frequent guest on Voice of America Chinese providing opinions and participating in discussion in Mandarin Chinese typically on defense-related issues.

Government positions

  • Consultant at US Department of Defense 2004–present
  • Senior Research Advisor at US-China Economic and Security Review Commission 2003–2004
  • Policy Advisory Group at United States Department of Defense 2001–2003
  • Visiting Research Fellow at National Defense University, 1997–2000
  • Special Government Employee at US Department of Defense (Defense Science Board) 1998–2000
  • Research Consultant at US Agency for International Development 1991–1995
  • Special Assistant to Director of Net Assessment US Department of Defense 1992–1993
  • Congressional Afghan Task Force Senate Staff Coordinator at US Senate 1986–1990
  • Assistant Under Secretary for Policy Planning at US Department of Defense 1984–1986
  • Professional Staff at US Senate 1978–1981
  • Acting Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency at US Department of State 1981

Affiliations

Published works

Books

Author of two books on China, available at National Defense University Press:

Reports and articles

US China Commission Congressional Reports[edit]

House and Senate testimonies

Journal articles

  • Pillsbury, Michael (1980). “Strategic Acupuncture”. Foreign Policy (Winter 1980): 44–61. doi:10.2307/1148172JSTOR 1148172.
  • Pillsbury, Michael (1975). “US-China Military Ties?”. Foreign Policy (Autumn 1975): 50–64. doi:10.2307/1148126JSTOR 1148126.
  • Pillsbury, Michael (1978). “A Japanese Card?”. Foreign Policy (Winter 1978): 3–30. doi:10.2307/1148458JSTOR 1148458.
  • Pillsbury, Michael P (1977). “Future Sino American Security Ties: The View from Tokyo, Moscow, and Peking”. International Security1 (Spring 1977): 124–142. doi:10.2307/2538627JSTOR 2538627.

RAND Corporation reports

Some of these are available online:[19]

  • Personal Ties and Factionalism in Peking. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 1575577.
  • Taiwan’s fate: Two Chinas But Not Forever. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 1575589.
  • The Political Environment on Taiwan. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 1462258.
  • SALT on the Dragon: Chinese Views of the Soviet-American Strategic Balance. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 2218652.
  • Soviet Apprehensions about Sino-American Relations, 1971–74. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 1549446.
  • Statement to the Subcommittee on Future Foreign Policy Research and Development, Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives. RAND Corporation. 1976. OCLC 2731888.
  • Chinese Foreign Policy: Three New Studies. RAND Corporation. 1975. OCLC 2379124.

References

  1. Jump up^ Montgomery, Mary E. (2003). “Working for Peace While Preparing for War: The Creation of the United States Institute of Peace”. Journal of Peace Research40 (4): 479–496. doi:10.1177/00223433030404007.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Mann, James (1998). About Face: A History of America’s Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-679-76861-6.
  3. Jump up^ Garrett, Banning. The China Card and its Origins. Brandeis University doctoral dissertation.
  4. Jump up^ Garthoff, Raymond L. (1983). Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan. Brookings Institution. ISBN 978-0-8157-3044-6.
  5. Jump up^ Ali, Mahmud (2005). US-China Cold War Collaboration, 1971–1989. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35819-4.
  6. Jump up^ Cordovez, Diego (1995). Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-506294-6.
  7. Jump up to:a b Crile, George (2003). Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-0-87113-854-5.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d Heymann, Philip (2008). Living the Policy Process. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533539-2.
  9. Jump up^ Bearden, Milt; Risen, James (2004). The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB. Ballantine. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-0-345-47250-2.
  10. Jump up to:a b Coll, Steve (2004). Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59420-007-6.
  11. Jump up^ Coll, Steve (2009). The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59420-164-6.
  12. Jump up to:a b Lundberg, Kirsten (1999). “Politics of a Covert Action: The US, the Mujahideen, and the Stinger Missile”. Kennedy School of Government Case Program. C15-99-1546.0.
  13. Jump up^ Sullivan, Tim; Singer, Matt; Rawson, Jessica. “What Were Policymakers’ and Intelligence Services’ Respective Roles in the Decision to Deploy Stinger Missiles to the Anticommunist Afghan Mujahedin During the Rebels’ Struggle with the Soviet Union?”. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18.
  14. Jump up^ King, Neil (September 8, 2005). “Secret Weapon: Inside Pentagon, A Scholar Shapes Views of China” (Fee required). Wall Street Journal. p. A1. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  15. Jump up^ “The Pillsbury Factor”. The Oriental Economist. August 2002.
  16. Jump up^ Segal, Adam (2003). Chinese Military Power Independent Task Force ReportCouncil on Foreign RelationsISBN 978-0-87609-330-6.
  17. Jump up^ [1]
  18. Jump up^ Ho, Soyoung. “Panda Slugger, the dubious scholarship of Michael Pillsbury, the China hawk with Rumsfeld’s ear”Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  19. Jump up^ Reports authored by Michael Pillsbury available at RAND Web site

Further reading

External links

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018, Breaking News, Story 1: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Age 69, Found Guilty of 8 of 18 Counts and Faces 8-12 Years in Prison on Bank and Tax Fraud — Nothing To Do With Trump — Videos — Story 2: Former Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Eight Counts of Campaign Finance Violations, Bank and Tax Fraud — Videos — Story 3: Mueller Investigation Has Found No Evidence of Trump/Russian Collusion and Voters Were Changed By Russians in 2016 President Election — Videos — Story 4: President Trump’s Supporters in West Virginia Still Wild About President As Approval Rating Declines From 50% to 45% — Videos —

Posted on August 23, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Bank Fraud, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Age 69, Found Guilty of 8 of 18 Counts and Faces 8-12 Years in Prison on Bank and Tax Fraud — Videos

Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts

Paul Manafort Convicted: How the Trial Unfolded

Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts

What does Manafort verdict mean for the Mueller probe?

Opinion | Is this the worst day of Trump’s presidency?

President Trump’s Very Bad Afternoon Recapped | CNBC

How will the Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort verdicts affect Trump?

Kurtz: Forget the spin, it’s a rough period for Trump

What to know about the Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort verdicts

 

Manafort’s Choices: Work With Mueller, Wish for Trump Pardon, or Die in Prison

It’s not over for the president’s sleazy ex-campaign boss. He’s facing life in prison before his next trial even begins. The only way out is to side with the prosecution or POTUS.

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud and bank fraud by a federal jury in Virginia earlier Tuesday.

But it’s far from over for Manafort.

Unlike a typical defendant, Manafort still has several options available to him. His next move, and Trump’s response to it, could have explosive impact on the larger special counsel investigation and on the future of Trump’s presidency.

Next up for Manafort is sentencing. While all eight counts of conviction combined carry a maximum of 80 years in prison, he isn’t going to be locked up until 2098. Federal sentences are determined in part through a calculation based on the defendant’s prior criminal history (for Manafort, none) and the seriousness of the offense (for Manafort, very).

In determining the seriousness of the offense, Judge T.S. Ellis will consider the amount of the fraud, the sophistication of the scheme, and Manafort’s role as a leader. All things considered, Manafort likely faces a sentence of around eight to twelve years in prison. For a 69-year-old man, that could mean life behind bars.

And Manafort isn’t close to done. Mueller could choose to re-try Manafort on the ten counts on which the Virginia jury hung. That seems unlikely; Manafort’s sentence is hardly affected at all by the remaining hung counts, and Mueller’s team got all it needed from the eight counts of conviction.

Beyond that, Manafort goes on trial again next month in Washington, D.C. on an impressively well-rounded array of white-collar federal crimes. The indictment charges that Manafort worked as an unregistered foreign lobbyist in the United States, laundered millions of dollars through foreign bank accounts, lied to the Department of Justice, and—after he was charged with all of this—tried to tamper with witnesses, which got him thrown in jail pending trial in Virginia. Even if Manafort is acquitted in Washington, D.C. on all counts, it would have zero effect on the sentence he will receive on his conviction in Virginia. And if he gets convicted again in the second trial, his sentence could increase.

In short, Manafort now has been convicted in Virginia and he is looking at a scary-long sentence for a man of his age. The upcoming D.C. trial can only make that worse for him. So what options does he have left? And what are Trump’s potential responses to each course of action?

First, Manafort could just take his sentence and go to jail for the next decade or so. Sure, he will appeal (everybody does after trial), but the likelihood of the jury’s verdict being overturned is slim. Manafort also will ask the judge for a lenient sentence, but that request seems unlikely to succeed given the strength of the prosecution’s evidence and the extent of Manafort’s crimes.

Yet, it seems exceedingly unlikely that Manafort will simply take what’s coming to him. Nobody ever wants to be in prison, never mind potentially to die behind bars. Sometimes career criminals accept the possibility that their conduct will land them in prison for a long time. In the mafia, they’re called “stand-up guys,” and we’ve seen many defendants accept defeat and go off to serve their time. Manafort, sleazy as he might be, is not a hardened criminal, and doesn’t seem likely to grit his teeth and accept his fate in prison.

“Manafort, sleazy as he might be, is not a hardened criminal, and doesn’t seem likely to grit his teeth and accept his fate in prison.”

That leaves Manafort with two potential outs after his Virginia trial.

First, he can try to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller. It would be unusual but not entirely unheard of for a defendant to begin cooperating after trial. Defendants typically cooperate before trial because it is mutually advantageous for the prosecution and the defendant to get together as early as possible. Nonetheless, it is possible for a defendant to cooperate after a trial conviction but before sentencing. A sentence like the one Manafort now faces certainly can change a person’s perspective and willingness to flip. Of course, the prosecutor has to be interested as well. Mueller may decide to walk away, thinking: Manafort missed his chance to cooperate long ago, he challenged our case in court, we proved his guilt, and now he gets what’s coming to him.

Or Mueller could decide that Manafort might have information that is valuable enough to justify a post-trial deal. Manafort likely won’t get the same sentencing benefit he would have gotten if he had started cooperating before trial (as his former business partner and co-defendant Rick Gates did), but he still stands to do better than if he never cooperates at all. Manafort seems to be the rare defendant who could have information that is valuable enough to interest Mueller in post-trial cooperation.

We once tried and convicted a high-ranking member of the mafia on a murder charge, which resulted in a life sentence. We believed that that mobster had extraordinarily valuable information on other bosses and several unsolved murders. So we sent an FBI agent into prison to ask whether the gangster might consider cooperating. This defendant was an old-school, hardened guy, so he politely told the FBI agent he’d prefer to die in jail quietly rather than cooperate. The point is that, even though we had convicted this mobster at trial, we still wanted to cooperate him because we believed he had unique, dynamic information.

There is one question about the cooperation option for Manafort: why hasn’t he done it yet? Did Manafort think he could beat this case and the Washington D.C. case, or at least that he could roll the dice before going down the road of cooperation? Or does Manafort fear retaliation if he does cooperate from the Russian-backed oligarchs he once profited from? Cooperation is usually an all-or nothing proposition. A defendant can’t pick and choose which people he gives information about. So cooperation for Manafort likely would require him to divulge any incriminating information he knows about Putin-backed oligarchs, which may seem like a scary proposition.

Manafort’s second potential out would be a presidential pardon. This would, of course, be the optimal result for Manafort. His conviction and sentence, and any pending charges, would be wiped away. He would not go to prison; in fact, he would be released from his current incarceration, which he earned by trying to tamper with witnesses while on bail. Most importantly, a pardon would greatly reduce any incentive Manafort otherwise might have to cooperate with Mueller.

(A pardon may not completely eliminate that incentive because it remains an open question whether state charges could be brought against Manafort even after a presidential pardon; plus Manafort still faces the D.C. trial in September, which may or may not be precluded by a pardon).

While legal scholars have raised the important question of whether a pardon by Trump under these circumstances would be legitimate, there currently is no known legal mechanism to un-pardon somebody because, of course, courts have never been asked to rule on that question.

“Cooperation for Manafort likely would require him to divulge any incriminating information he knows about Putin-backed oligarchs, which may seem like a scary proposition.”

All of which raises a crucial question: would a Trump pardon of Manafort constitute obstruction of justice? Taken along with Trump’s other bursts of explicitly obstructive conduct—firing Comey and telling Lester Holt he did it because of Russia, asking Comey to go easy on Michael Flynn, trying to berate Jeff Sessions into resigning so a new Attorney General can step in and fire Rod Rosenstein and/or Mueller—it is eminently clear that Trump’s real goal in issuing a pardon would be to silence Manafort. To that end, Trump faces two competing concerns. He surely wants to prevent Manafort from cooperating with Mueller, but he also likely wants to use the pardon only as a last resort because of the legal and political risks.

To mitigate the legal risk, Trump already appears to be laying a foundation to justify a Manafort pardon as something other than an obstructive act.

When the federal judge in Washington, D.C. sent Manafort to prison pending trial in June, Trump tweeted: “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort… Very unfair!” (Note: it wasn’t a sentence, it was a revocation of bail). In another tweet, Trump drew a bizarre comparison between Manafort and famed gangster Al Capone, seemingly to argue that Manafort has been treated unfairly. Most egregiously, just last week, Trump—while the Manafort jury was in the midst of deliberations—told reporters that Manafort is a “good person” and that his trial is “a very sad day for our country.”

If an attorney in the case had made the same public statements during jury deliberations, the judge likely would have imposed sanctions for breaching ethics rules prohibiting public statements outside the courtroom that might influence a jury. (In fact, Manafort’s attorney—opportunistically, and on the razor’s edge of his own misconduct—embraced the president’s remarks, smugly telling the media, “It’s great to have the support of the president of the United States”). What’s the point of these statements by Trump? They allow him at least to claim that he did not pardon Manafort to prevent cooperation or to obstruct justice, but rather to remedy a perceived injustice.

Trump may be sending signals to Manafort through these tweets, by “dangling” pardons through his then-lawyer, John Dowd, and by issuing a series of pardons in other high-profile cases to Scooter Libby, Joe Arpaio and others. By these actions, Trump seems to be saying, “Paul, I’m going to take care of you—but first you just need to keep your mouth shut and let things cool down a little, at least until after midterms.”

Of course, if such an agreement were spoken out loud—if Trump and Manafort agreed that Manafort would be rewarded with a pardon if he kept quiet—that almost certainly would be obstruction of justice. Even in the absence of an explicit agreement, a pardon taken together with other evidence already in the public record might prove Trump’s larger intent to obstruct the Russia investigation as a whole.

Trump, then, faces a difficult and crucial choice. He can grant a pardon to Manafort, which carries serious risks, both legally and politically. Or, if Trump doesn’t issue a pardon, Manafort might well flip, which could hand Mueller crucial new evidence of wrongdoing by the president and his closest advisors. The questions now are: Which way does the president go? Which way does Manafort go? And, importantly, who blinks first?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/manaforts-choices-work-with-mueller-wish-for-trump-pardon-or-die-in-prison

Paul Manafort

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Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort at 2016 RNC.jpg

Manafort speaks with media prior to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Born Paul John Manafort Jr.
April 1, 1949 (age 69)
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
Education Georgetown University (BSJD)
Political party Republican
Criminal charge Five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failing to disclose a hidden foreign bank account
Criminal status Found guilty on 8 counts; awaiting sentence
Spouse(s)
Kathleen Bond (m. 1978)
Children 2

Paul John Manafort Jr. (born April 1, 1949) is an American lobbyistpolitical consultant, and lawyer. He joined Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign team in March 2016, and was campaign chairman from June to August 2016. In August 2018, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to report foreign bank accounts.[1][2]

He was an adviser to the U.S. presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald FordRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole. In 1980, Manafort co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort & Stone, along with principals Charles R. Black Jr., and Roger J. Stone,[3][4][5] joined by Peter G. Kelly in 1984.[6]

Manafort often lobbied on behalf of foreign leaders such as former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, former dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, former dictator of Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko, and Angolanguerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi.[7][8][9] Lobbying to serve the interests of foreign governments requires registration with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA); however, as of June 2, 2017, Manafort had not registered.[10][11][12] On June 27, he retroactively registered as a foreign agent.[13]

Manafort is under investigation by multiple federal agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had an active criminal investigation on him since 2014 regarding business dealings while he was lobbying for Yanukovich. He is also a person of interest in the FBI counterintelligence probe looking into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.

On October 27, 2017, Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a District of Columbia grand jury on multiple charges arising from his consulting work for the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine before Yanukovych’s overthrow in 2014.[14] The indictment had been requested by Robert Mueller’s special investigation unit.[15][16] Manafort surrendered and was released on bail confined to house arrest. [17] In June 2018, additional charges were filed against Manafort for obstruction of justice and witness tampering that are alleged to have occurred while he was under house arrest, and he was ordered to jail.[18] In February 2018, a new set of indictments were filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging tax evasion and bank fraud.[19] Manafort was brought to trial on those charges in August 2018, and on August 21 he was convicted on eight out of eighteen charges of tax and bank fraud. A mistrial was declared on the other ten.[20] A separate trial on the District of Columbia charges is scheduled for September 2018.[21]

Early life and education

On April 1, 1949, Manafort was born as Paul John Manafort Jr.[22] in the city of New Britain, Connecticut. Manafort’s parents are Antoinette Mary Manafort (née Cifalu; 1921–2003) and Paul John Manafort Sr. (1923–2013).[23][24] His grandfather immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 20th century, settling in Connecticut.[25] He founded the construction company, New Britain House Wrecking Company, in 1919 (later renamed Manafort Brothers Inc.)[26] His father served in the U.S. Army combat engineers during World War II[24] and was mayor of New Britain from 1965 to 1971.[7] His father was indicted in a corruption scandal in 1981 but not convicted.[27]

In 1967 Manafort graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a private Roman Catholic secondary school, since closed, in New BritainConnecticut.[28] He attended Georgetown University, where he received his B.S. in business administration in 1971 and his J.D.in 1974.[29][30]

Career

Between 1977 and 1980 Manafort practiced law with the firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Washington, D.C.[22]

Political activities

Manafort greeting President Gerald Ford in 1976

Manafort with President Ronald Reagan and then Vice PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush in 1982

Manafort greeting President Ronald Reagan in 1987

In 1976, Manafort was the delegate-hunt coordinator for eight states for the President Ford Committee; the overall Ford delegate operation was run by James A. Baker III.[31] Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. In 1981, he was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.[22]

Manafort was an adviser to the presidential campaigns of George H. W. Bush in 1988[32] and Bob Dole in 1996.[33]

Chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign

In February 2016, Manafort approached Donald Trump through a mutual friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr. He pointed out his experience advising presidential campaigns in the United States and around the world, described himself as an outsider not connected to the Washington establishment, and offered to work without salary.[34] In March 2016, he joined Trump’s presidential campaign to take the lead in getting commitments from convention delegates.[35] On June 20, 2016, Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and promoted Manafort to the position. Manafort gained control of the daily operations of the campaign as well as an expanded $20 million budget, hiring decisions, advertising, and media strategy.[36][37][38] Like most hires in the Trump campaign, Manafort was not vetted.[27]

On June 9, 2016, Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner were participants in a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and several others at Trump Tower. A British music agent, saying he was acting on behalf of Emin Agalarov and the Russian government, had told Trump Jr. that he could obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton if he met with a lawyer connected to the Kremlin.[39] At first, Trump Jr. said the meeting had been primarily about the Russian ban on international adoptions (in response to the Magnitsky Act) and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton; he later said the offer of information about Clinton had been a pretext to conceal Veselnitskaya’s real agenda.[40]

In August 2016, Manafort’s connections to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions drew national attention in the US, where it was reported that Manafort may have received $12.7 million in off-the-books funds from the Party of Regions.[41]

On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing.[42] The same day, August 17, Trump shook up his campaign organization in a way that appeared to minimize Manafort’s role. It was reported that members of Trump’s family, particularly Jared Kushner who had originally been a strong backer of Manafort, had become uneasy about his Russian connections and suspected that he had not been forthright about them.[43] Manafort stated in an internal staff memorandum that he would “remain the campaign chairman and chief strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision”.[44] However, two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort’s resignation from the campaign after Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway took on senior leadership roles within that campaign.[45][46]

Upon Manafort’s resignation as campaign chairman, Newt Gingrich stated, “nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now.”[47] Gingrich later added that, for the Trump administration, “It makes perfect sense for them to distance themselves from somebody who apparently didn’t tell them what he was doing.”[48]

Kurdish independence referendum

In mid-2017, Manafort left the United States in order to help organize the Kurdish independence referendum, something that surprised both investigators and the media.[49] Manafort returned to the United States just before both the start of the 2017 Iraqi–Kurdish conflict and his indictment.

Lobbying career

In 1980 Manafort was a founding partner of Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort & Stone, along with principals Charles R. Black Jr., and Roger J. Stone.[3][4][5][50] After Peter G. Kelly was recruited the name of the firm was changed to Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (BMSK) in 1984.[6]:124

Manafort left BMSK in 1996 to join Richard H. Davis and Matthew C. Freedman in forming Davis, Manafort, and Freedman.[51]

Association with Jonas Savimbi

Manafort has represented Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.

In 1985, Manafort’s firm, BMSK, signed a $600,000 contract with Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolan rebel group UNITA, to refurbish Savimbi’s image in Washington and secure financial support on the basis of his anti-communism stance. BMSK arranged for Savimbi to attend events at the American Enterprise Institute (where Jeane Kirkpatrick gave him a laudatory introduction), The Heritage Foundation, and Freedom House; in the wake of the campaign Congress approved hundreds of millions of dollars in covert American aid to Savimbi’s group.[52] Allegedly, Manafort’s continuing lobbying efforts helped preserve the flow of money to Savimbi several years after the Soviet Union ceased its involvement in the Angolan conflict, forestalling peace talks.[52]

Lobbying for other foreign leaders

Manafort was a lobbyist for former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

Manafort lobbied on behalf of former Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Between June 1984 and June 1986, Manafort was a FARA-registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia[53] The Reagan Administration refused to grant Manafort a waiver from federal prohibiting public officials from acting as foreign agents; Manafort resigned his directorship at OPIC in May 1986.[53] An investigation by the Department of Justice found 18 lobbying-related activities that were not reported in FARA filings, including lobbying on behalf of The Bahamas and Saint Lucia.[53]

Manafort’s firm, BMSK, accepted $950,000 yearly to lobby for then-president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos.[54][55] He was also involved in lobbying for Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre,[56] securing a 1 million dollar annual contract in 1989,[57] and attempted to recruit Siad Barre of Somalia as a client.[58] His firm also lobbied on behalf of the governments of the Dominican RepublicEquatorial GuineaKenya (earning between $660,000 and $750,000 each year between 1991 and 1993), and Nigeria ($1 million in 1991). These activities led Manafort’s firm to be listed amongst the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the Center for Public Integrity report “The Torturers’ Lobby”.[59]

The New York Times reported that Manafort accepted payment from the Kurdistan Regional Government to facilitate Western recognition of the 2017 Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum.[60]

Involvement in the Karachi affair

Manafort wrote the campaign strategy for Édouard Balladur in the 1995 French elections, and was paid indirectly.[61] The money, at least $200,000, was transferred to him through his friend, Lebanese arms-dealer Abdul Rahman al-Assir, from middle-men fees paid for arranging the sale of three French Agosta-class submarines to Pakistan, in a scandal known as the Karachi affair.[52]

Association with Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency

Manafort received $700,000 from the Kashmiri American Council between 1990 and 1994, supposedly to promote the plight of the Kashmiri people. However, an FBI investigation revealed the money was actually from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency as part of a disinformation operation to divert attention from terrorism. A former Pakistani ISI official claimed Manafort was aware of the nature of the operation.[62] While producing a documentary as part of the deal, Manafort interviewed several Indian officials while pretending to be a CNN reporter.[63]

HUD scandal

In the late 1980s, Manafort was criticized for using his connections at HUD to ensure funding for a $43 million rehabilitation of dilapidated housing in Seabrook, New Jersey.[64] Manafort’s firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant, largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce.[65]

Lobbying for Viktor Yanukovych and involvements in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, for whom Manafort lobbied

Manafort also worked as an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych (and his Party of Regions during the same time span) from December 2004 until the February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election,[66][67][68]even as the U.S. government (and U.S. Senator John McCain) opposed Yanukovych because of his ties to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin.[33] Manafort was hired to advise Yanukovych months after massive street demonstrations known as the Orange Revolution overturned Yanukovych’s victory in the 2004 presidential race.[69] Borys Kolesnikov, Yanukovich’s campaign manager, said the party hired Manafort after identifying organizational and other problems in the 2004 elections, in which it was advised by Russian strategists.[67] Manafort rebuffed U.S. Ambassador William Taylor when the latter complained he was undermining U.S. interests in Ukraine.[52] According to a 2008 U.S. Justice Departmentannual report, Manafort’s company received $63,750 from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions over a six-month period ending on March 31, 2008, for consulting services.[70] In 2010, under Manafort’s tutelage, the opposition leader put the Orange Revolution on trial, campaigning against its leaders’ management of a weak economy. Returns from the presidential election gave Yanukovych a narrow win over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 demonstrations. Yanukovych owed his comeback in Ukraine’s presidential election to a drastic makeover of his political persona, and—people in his party say—that makeover was engineered in part by his American consultant, Manafort.[67]

In 2007 and 2008, Manafort was involved in investment projects with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (the acquisition of a Ukrainian telecoms company) and Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (redevelopment of the site of the former Drake Hotel in New York City).[71] The Associated Press has reported that Manafort negotiated a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska to promote Russian interests in politics, business, and media coverage in Europe and the United States, starting in 2005.[72] A witness at Manafort’s 2018 trial for fraud and tax evasion testified that Deripaska loaned Manafort $10 million in 2010, which to her knowledge was never repaid.[27]

At Manafort’s trial, federal prosecutors alleged that between 2010 and 2014 he was paid more than $60 million by Ukrainian sponsors, including Rinat Akhmetov, believed to be the richest man in Ukraine.[27]

In 2013, Yanukovych became the main target of the Euromaidan protests.[73] After the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution (the conclusion of Euromaidan), Yanukovych fled to Russia.[73][74] On March 17, 2014, the day after the Crimean status referendum, Yanukovych became one of the first eleven persons who were placed under executive sanctions on the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) by President Barack Obama, freezing his assets in the US and banning him from entering the United States.[75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85][a]

Manafort then returned to Ukraine in September 2014 to become an advisor to Yanukovych’s former head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Serhiy Lyovochkin.[68] In this role, he was asked to assist in rebranding Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.[68] Instead, he argued to help stabilize Ukraine. Manafort was instrumental in creating a new political party called Opposition Bloc.[68] According to Ukrainian political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky, “He thought to gather the largest number of people opposed to the current government, you needed to avoid anything concrete, and just become a symbol of being opposed”.[68] According to Manafort, he has not worked in Ukraine since the October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[86][87] However, according to Ukrainian border control entry data, Manafort traveled to Ukraine several times after that election, all the way through late 2015.[87] According to The New York Times, his local office in Ukraine closed in May 2016.[41] According to Politico, by then Opposition Bloc had already stopped payments for Manafort and this local office.[87]

In an April 2016 interview with ABC News, Manafort stated that the aim of his activities in Ukraine had been to lead the country “closer to Europe”.[88]

Ukrainian government National Anti-Corruption Bureau studying secret documents claimed in August 2016 to have found handwritten records that show $12.7 million in cash payments designated for Manafort, although they had yet to determine if he had received the money.[41] These undisclosed payments were from the pro-Russian political party Party of Regions, of the former president of Ukraine.[41] This payment record spans from 2007 to 2012.[41] Manafort’s lawyer, Richard A. Hibey, said Manafort didn’t receive “any such cash payments” as described by the anti-corruption officials.[41] The Associated Press reported on August 17, 2016, that Manafort secretly routed at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012 on Party of Regions’ behalf, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.[12] Associated Press noted that under federal law, U.S. lobbyists must declare publicly if they represent foreign leaders or their political parties and provide detailed reports about their actions to the Justice Department, which Manafort reportedly did not do.[12] The lobbying firms unsuccessfully lobbied U.S. Congress to reject a resolution condemning the jailing of Yanukovych’s main political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.[89]

Financial records certified in December 2015 and filed by Manafort in Cyprus showed him to be approximately $17 million in debt to interests connected to interests favorable to Putin and Yanukovych in the months before joining the Trump presidential campaign in March.[90] These included a $7.8 million debt to Oguster Management Limited, a company connected to Russian oligarch and close Putin associate Oleg Deripaska.[90] This accords with a 2015 court complaint filed by Deripaska claiming that Manafort and his partners owed him $19 million in relation to a failed Ukrainian cable television business.[90] In January 2018, Surf Horizon Limited, a Cyprus-based company tied to Deripaska, sued Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates accusing them of financial fraud by misappropriating more than $18.9 million that the company had invested in Ukrainian telecom companies known collectively as the “Black Sea Cable.”[91] An additional $9.9 million debt was owed to a Cyprus company that tied through shell companies to Ivan Fursin, a Ukrainian Member of Parliament of the Party of Regions.[90] Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni maintained in response that “Manafort is not indebted to Deripaska or the Party of Regions, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”[90] During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Manafort, via Kiev-based operative Konstantin Kilimnik, offered to provide briefings on political developments to Deripaska, though there is no evidence that the briefings took place.[92][93] Reuters reported on June 27, 2018, that an FBI search warrant application in July 2017 revealed that a company controlled by Manafort and his wife had received a $10 million loan from Deripaska.[94][95]

According to leaked text messages between his daughters, Manafort was also one of the proponents of violent removal of the Euromaidan protesters which resulted in police shooting dozens of people during 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots. In one of the messages his daughter writes that his “strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”[96]

Manafort has rejected questions about whether Russian-Ukrainian operative Konstantin Kilimnik, with whom he consulted regularly, might be in league with Russian intelligence.[97] According to Yuri Shvets, Kilimnik previously worked for the GRU, and every bit of information about his work with Manafort went directly to Russian intelligence.[98]

Registering as a foreign agent

Lobbying for foreign countries requires registration with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Manafort did not do so at the time of his lobbying. In April 2017, a Manafort spokesman said Manafort was planning to file the required paperwork; however, according to