Defense Spending

The Pronk Pops Show 1127, Story 1: Moving Up The Chain of Command of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy – Focus Now on Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and Wife Nellie Ohr At Fusion GPS and Former CIA Director John Brennan Roles in Having Christopher Steele Fabricating The False Steele Russian Dossier — Who is next in Obama Department of Justice (Attorney General Loretta Lynch And Deputy Sally Yates) and Who Were They Communicating In The White House (Valery Jarrett and Susan Rice)?– American People Demand Second Special Counsel Investigation and Prosecution and Grand Jury Impaneled and Indictments — Videos — Story 2: International Investors in U.S. Treasury Securities Are Flat and Smallest Share in 18 Years — Videos

Posted on August 18, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Middle East, Mike Pompeo, Monetary Policy, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Servers, Software, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Terror, Trade Policy, United States Constitution, Videos, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018 posted as soon as possible

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

See the source imageSee the source image

Docs reveal DOJ’s Ohr was deeply connected to Trump dossier

“I’ll Be Revoking Bruce Ohr’s Security Clearance Soon” President Trump’s Draining The Swamp

URGENT 🔴 President Trump EXPLOSIVE Press Conference from The White House – August 17, 2018

Trump calls DOJ official Bruce Ohr a ‘disgrace’

FOX News Sean Hannity: Mueller’s Never Ending “Witch Hunt”

DiGenova calls for investigation into Steele, Ohr

Trump revokes John Brennan’s security clearance

Tucker: Brennan thinks he has a right to clearance

Who’s next on security clearance chopping block?

White House speaks out on fate of more security clearances

Steyn reacts to left’s outrage over Brennan clearance

Levin: Trump should pull more security clearances

Rep. Gaetz reacts to Bruce Ohr’s notes about Steele

Frantic texts from Christopher Steele to Bruce Ohr revealed

DOJ’s Bruce Ohr is the ‘lynchpin’ in the Trump dossier: Chris Farrell

Why the Bruce Ohr-Christopher Steele texts are so important

Steele’s communications with DOJ raise questions

Like They Were All Best Friends’: Jordan on Emails Between Dossier Author, DOJ Official, Fusion GPS

Giuliani: John Brennan should go before a grand jury

Trump takes aim at Jeff Sessions over Twitter

Trump calls Sessions ‘scared stiff and missing in action’

Tucker: John Brennan is unhinged

Hannity: About time Brennan lost security clearance

Did John Brennan lie about the Trump-Russia dossier?

DiGenova calls for investigation into Steele, Ohr

DiGenova: John Brennan should get a good lawyer

Isikoff on John Brennan’s role in the Russia investigation

John Brennan faces scrutiny over anti-Trump dossier

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Byron York talks link between Steele and DOJ official

Rep. Jordan: FBI texts about Obama raise lots of concerns

DOJ official with ties to Fusion GPS gets demoted again

Napolitano on Fusion GPS testimony

Deeper connections revealed between Fusion GPS, DOJ official

WOW! Wife Of Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson Bragged On Facebook Her Husband Was Behind ‘Russiagate

Nunes on Bruce Ohr and the push to declassify DOJ documents

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

diGenova: HILLARY CLINTON COMMITTED CRIMES

See the source image

 

 

Who is Bruce Ohr and why does Trump keep tweeting about him?

The Fact Checker

August 16

“Bruce Ohr of the ‘Justice’ Department (can you believe he is still there) is accused of helping disgraced Christopher Steele ‘find dirt on Trump.’ Ohr’s wife, Nelly, was in on the act big time – worked for Fusion GPS on Fake Dossier.”

— President Trump, in a tweet, Aug. 14, 2018

“The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele’s many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC.”

— Trump, in a tweet, Aug. 11

Who is Bruce Ohr?

Ohr exists in a netherworld — a subject of fascination in right-leaning media, barely a mention in mainstream media. His name last appeared in the pages of The Washington Post in February, and yet President Trump keeps tweeting about him. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in announcing that Trump had revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, listed the names of other people who also faced revocation of clearances.

Ohr’s name was on the list.

We have previously tried to explain the roles of former British agent Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Ohr is less of a central player, but as a reader service, we will try to disentangle the president’s tweets and explain what is known – and unknown – about Ohr’s actions. We will not offer a Pinocchio rating.

The Facts

First, let’s take a look at the key players.

Fusion GPS was started by a group of former Wall Street Journal reporters, notably investigative reporter Glenn R. Simpson. Fusion in 2015 began investigating Trump under a contract with the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website financially supported by GOP megadonor Paul Singer. That assignment ended once Trump was on track to win the nomination. But in April 2016, Fusion was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to keep funding the research. (Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm.)

Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, was hired by Fusion to examine Trump’s ties in Russia. Steele was the author of the “dossier” alleging ties between Trump and Russia; the dossier is actually several memos, based on conversations with Russian sources, that were written between June and December of 2016.

The dossier is a frequent target of presidential derision, but the probe into the Trump campaign originally was sparked by a separate matter that Steele never wrote about — a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, appeared to know Russia had obtained damaging emails on the Democrats. (Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.)

Ohr was associate deputy attorney general until late 2017, when the DOJ learned of his contacts with Steele. He briefly continued as head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) but then lost that job, too. It’s unclear what role he plays now at the DOJ. The agency declined to comment, except to point to a statement by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/08/16/who-is-bruce-ohr-why-does-trump-keep-tweeting-about-him/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dd8799a9879a

 

Emails show 2016 links among Steele, Ohr, Simpson — with Russian oligarch in background

Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele’s research and the oligarch’s affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.

The emails, given to Congress by the Justice Department, began on Jan . 12, 2016, when Steele sent Ohr a New Year’s greeting. Steele brought up the case of Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (referred to in various emails as both OD and OVD), who was at the time seeking a visa to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the United States. Years earlier, the U.S. revoked Deripaska’s visa, reportedly on the basis of suspected involvement with Russian organized crime. Deripaska was close to Paul Manafort, the short-term Trump campaign chairman now on trial for financial crimes, and this year was sanctioned in the wake of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

“I heard from Adam WALDMAN [a Deripaska lawyer/lobbyist] yesterday that OD is applying for another official US visa ice [sic] APEC business at the end of February,” Steele wrote in the Jan . 12 email. Steele said Deripaska was being “encouraged by the Agency guys who told Adam that the USG [United States Government] stance on [Deripaska] is softening.” Steele concluded: “A positive development it seems.”

Steele also asked Ohr when he might be coming to London, or somewhere in Europe, “as I would be keen to meet up here and talk business.” Ohr replied warmly the same day and said he would likely travel to Europe, but not the U .K ., at least twice in February.

[Related: Devin Nunes says ‘pay close attention’: Top Obama DOJ official Bruce Ohr will become ‘more and more important’]

Steele emailed again on Feb . 8 to alert Ohr that “our old friend OD apparently has been granted another official [emphasis in original] visa to come to the US later this month.” Steele wrote, “As far as I’m concerned, this is good news all round although as before, it would be helpful if you could monitor it and let me know if any complications arise.” Ohr replied that he knew about Deripaska’s visa, and “to the extent I can I will keep an eye on the situation.” Steele again asked to meet anytime Ohr was in the U .K . or Western Europe.

Steele wrote again on Feb . 21 in an email headlined “Re: OVD – Visit To The US.” Steele told Ohr he had talked to Waldman and to Paul Hauser, who was Deripaska’s London lawyer. Steele reported that there there would be a U.S. government meeting on Deripaska that week — “an inter-agency meeting on him this week which I guess you will be attending.” Steele said he was “circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting” on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a “tool” of the Kremlin. Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email, “as he has asked, for legal reasons I understand, for all such reporting be filtered through him (to you at DoJ and others).”

Deripaska’s rehabilitation was a good thing, Steele wrote: “We reckon therefore that the forthcoming OVD contact represents a good opportunity for the USG.” Ohr responded by saying, “Thanks Chris! This is extremely interesting. I hope we can follow up in the next few weeks as you suggest.”

Steele was eager to see Ohr face to face. On March 17, Steele wrote a brief note asking if Ohr had any update on plans to visit Europe “in the near term where we could meet up.” Ohr said he did not and asked if Steele would like to set up a call. It is not clear whether a call took place.

There are no emails for more than three months after March 17. Then, on July 1, came the first apparent reference to Donald Trump, then preparing to accept the Republican nomination for president. “I am seeing [redacted] in London next week to discuss ongoing business,” Steele wrote to Ohr, “but there is something separate I wanted to discuss with you informally and separately. It concerns our favourite business tycoon!” Steele said he had planned to come to the U.S. soon, but now it looked like it would not be until August. He needed to talk in the next few days, he said, and suggested getting together by Skype before he left on holiday. Ohr suggested talking on July 7. Steele agreed.

Ohr’s phone log for July 7 notes, “Call with Chris Steele” from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. eastern time.

(A caution here: It is possible the “favourite business tycoon” could be Deripaska, or perhaps even someone else, and not Trump. But no one referred to Deripaska in that way anywhere else in the communications. Also, Steele made it clear the “tycoon” subject was separate from other business. And July 1 was just before Steele met with the FBI with the first installment of the Trump dossier. So it appears reasonable, given Steele’s well-known obsession with Trump, and unless information emerges otherwise, to see the “favourite business tycoon” as Trump.)

On the morning of Friday , July 29, Steele wrote to say that he would “be in DC at short notice on business” later that day and Saturday. He asked if Ohr and wife Nellie were free for breakfast on Saturday morning. They were, and agreed to meet for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington.

Ohr’s log of contacts with Steele lists a meeting with Steele on July 30. Steele finished installments of the dossier on July 19 and 26.

On Aug . 22, Ohr received an email from Simpson with the subject line “Can u ring.” There was no message beyond a phone number. Ohr’s log lists some sort of contact — it’s not specified what — with Simpson on Aug . 22.

Steele finished an installment of the dossier on Aug . 22.

Steele dated three installments of the dossier on Sept . 14. On Sept . 16, Steele wrote Ohr to say that he would be back in Washington soon “on business of mutual interest.” Ohr said he would be out of town Sept. 19-21. On Sept . 21, Steele wrote to say he was in Washington and was “keen to meet up with you.” The two agreed to have breakfast on Sept . 23. Meeting on that date would be “more useful,” Steele said, “after my scheduled meetings” the day before. It’s not clear what those scheduled meetings were. Ohr’s log lists a meeting with Steele on Sept . 23.

On October 18, Steele emailed Ohr at 6:51 a.m. with a pressing matter. “If you are in Washington today, I have something quite urgent I would like to discuss with you, preferably by Skype (even before work if you can).” Steele wrote. Ohr suggested they do it immediately. “Thanks Bruce. 2 mins,” Steele replied. Ohr’s lo g lists a call with Steele on Oct . 18.

There is no note on what they discussed. But a few hours later, still on Oct . 18, Steele emailed Ohr again, and the subject was related to Deripaska. “Further to our Skypecon earlier today,” Steele wrote, Hauser had asked Steele to forward to Ohr information about a dispute between the government of Ukraine and RUSAL, Deripaska’s aluminum company. “Naturally, he [Hauser] wants to protect the client’s [Deripaska’s] interests and reputation,” Steele wrote. “I pass it on for what it’s worth.”

After another few hours had passed, Ohr asked if Steele had time for a Skype call. Steele said, let’s do it now. Ohr’s log lists calls with Steele on Oct . 18 and 19.

Steele finished dossier installments on Oct . 18, 19, and 20. The installment on Oct . 18 was the infamous Russians-offer-Carter-Page-millions-of-dollars allegation, and the ones on Oct . 19 and 20 concerned Manafort’s alleged role in an alleged collusion scheme.

On Nov . 21, other players entered the conversation. Ohr received an an email from Kathleen Kavalec, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European Affairs in the State Department. (Kavalec is now President Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Albania.) Kavalec sent Ohr information on Simon Kukes, a Russian-born executive who contributed more than $250,000 to Trump-supporting organizations after Trump won the Republican nomination. Kavalec said she met Kukes around 2014, when “Tom Firestone brought him in,” a reference to former Justice Department official Thomas Firestone, now a partner at the Washington law firm BakerHostetler. Kavalec also linked to a Mother Jones article about Kukes.

Ohr responded by saying, “I may have heard about him from Tom Firestone as well, but I can’t recall for certain.” Then Kavalec answered by saying she was “just re-looking at my notes from my convo with Chris Steele” and that “I see that Chris said Kukes has some connection to Serge Millian, an emigre who is identified by FT as head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.” [In the book Russian Roulette, authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn wrote that Millian claimed to have some sort of business relationship with the Trump organization — which the Trumps denied. More importantly, Millian went on to become Steele’s source for the infamous “golden showers” allegation that Donald Trump had engaged in a kinky sex scene in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.]

Ohr’s phone log indicates that he called Simpson on Dec . 8 to set up a meeting for coffee the next day, Dec . 9.

There is not another email until Dec . 11. Simpson sent Nellie Ohr a link to an article in the left-wing ThinkProgress headlined, “Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia?” The article focused on now-indicted Russian agent Maria Butina and Russian Alexander Torshin. Nellie Ohr responded, “Thank you!” to which Simpson, the next day, answered, “Please ring if you can.” Nellie Ohr forwarded the Simpson message to Bruce Ohr, saying, “I assume Glenn means you not me.”

Ohr’s phone log on Dec . 13 said, “Glenn Simpson. Some more news. Yesterday 9:27 a.m. Spoke with him.”

Steele dated a dossier installment Dec . 13.

On Jan . 20, 2017, inauguration day, Bruce Ohr received an email from Simpson that said simply, “Can you call me please?”

The emails raise a clear question of whether Steele was working, directly or indirectly, with Oleg Deripaska at the same time Steele was compiling the dossier — and whether the Justice Department, along with Simpson and Fusion GPS, was part of the project. Given Deripaska’s place in the Russian power structure, what that means in the big picture is unclear.

On Feb . 9 of this year, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley wrote a letter to Hauser, the London lawyer, and asked, “Is it the case that Mr. Steele, through you, works or has worked on behalf of Mr. Deripaska or businesses associated with him?”

Hauser refused to answer, claiming such information was privileged. But he added: “I can confirm that neither my firm nor I was involved in the commissioning of, preparation of or payment for the so-called ‘Steele Dossier.’ I am not aware of any involvement by Mr. Deripaska in commissioning, preparing or paying for that document.”

On Feb . 14, at an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about Deripaska.

“Is it fair to call him a Putin-linked Russian oligarch?” asked Cotton.

“Well, I’ll leave that characterization to others, and certainly not in this setting,” Wray said.

“Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, last week sent a letter to a London-based lawyer who represents Mr. Deripaska,” Cotton continued, “and asked if Christopher Steele was employed, either directly or indirectly, by Oleg Deripaska at the time he was writing the so-called Steele dossier. Do you know if Christopher Steele worked for Oleg Deripaska?’

“That’s not something I can answer,” Wray said.

“Could we discuss it in a classified setting?”

“There might be more we could say there,” Wray answered.

The newly-released Ohr-Steele-Simpson emails are just one part of the dossier story. But if nothing else, they show that there is still much for the public to learn about the complex and far-reaching effort behind it.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/emails-show-2016-links-among-steele-ohr-simpson-with-russian-oligarch-in-background

 

Who Really Is Behind The Fake Russian Anti-Trump Dossier?

clinton andmediacartoon

The much-anticipated memo confirming Democrats’ abuse of power has been released and a question remains is who really created the now debunked dossier? Was it really a British agent or a Clinton political operative? No matter how you look at it, it’s Watergate times 1000.

The FBI used the dubious dossier, prepared as campaign opposition research for Clinton’s presidential bid, to get permission from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign and transition team communications.

Here are the six main points of the Dossier:

1) Hillary and the DNC hire, through opposition research firm Fusion GPS, foreign spy Christopher Steele with Russian connections who hates Trump to do a dossier on Trump and they paid roughly 12 million dollars for it. The dossier is filled with Russian propaganda, unsubstantiated claims and outright lies against Trump.

2) Someone, likely Bruce Ohr, gave the fake dossier to Obama’s DOJ and FBI.

3) The DOJ and FBI knows the dossier is fake and politically motivated.

4) The DOJ and FBI present the dossier to FISA court to get a wiretap against Trump.

5) The DOJ and FBI don’t tell the FISA court the dossier was financed by Trump’s campaign opponent.

6) The FISA court was defrauded into ordering the wire tapping of Trump campaign.

But imagine if we had lost. Imagine how corrupt things would be under another four or even eight years under Democrat control. Imagine if Congress hadn’t voted to release the memo in the first place. Clinton and Obama’s goal was to make us a socialist state with many of our freedoms gone and government control of our lives. This is what Obama meant when he talked about transforming America. Trump has gotten rid of many of the controls Obama placed on us and is returning freedom to the people. This can plainly be seen with the tax reforms where people are seeing huge deductions in their taxes and companies are hiring like never before and coming back here to build from overseas.  Analysts have said that if Hillary got in you would see a 50% drop in the stock market.

According to a report from The Washington Post published last year, the dossier used by the DOJ and FBI to target Trump specifically included “information it says was obtained from ‘a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.’”

“In other words, the Clinton camp and the DNC were essentially paying for information allegedly obtained from inside the Russian government,” the Post added.

In summary, the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, used a phony dossier based on Russian intelligence — and that was paid for by Clinton, the then-Democrat presidential nominee — to spy on the campaign of the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

The Dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to the tune of 12 million dollars. The contents were obtained by Russian sources. Therefore the real traitors and Russian colluders are liberal democrats and not Republicans.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) revealed on Friday that there would be more memos released as the committee concluded its investigation into abuse of FISA warrants by the Obama administration – and the State Department is next.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Special Report” with host Bret Baier, Nunes said that today’s release of the memo on FISA abuse was only the beginning of their investigation.

When asked by Baier if more memos would come out, Nunes responded, “Yes, this completes just the FISA abuse portion of our investigation,” adding that the “investigation is ongoing.”

“We are in the middle of what I call ‘phase two’ of our investigation, which involves other departments,” Nunes continued. “Specifically, the State Department and some of the involvement they had in this.” Don’t forget Hilary was the head of the State Department right before the campaign.

A conspiracy theory from the Clinton campaign became leverage for delegitimizing and trying to reverse the results of an election. And the conspiracy theory that elements of the FBI loyal to the Democrats relied upon to attack Trump originated from the deepest sewer in Clintonworld that had been covertly smearing political enemies for decades.

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,” Mark Antony tells the Roman mob. So it will be with the Clintons one day.

The Clintons are done. But their legacy lives on after them. The Russia conspiracies and the Mueller investigation continue to divide this nation even though Hillary’s political career is deader than Julius Caesar. Fusion GPS is still around. So is IGI. And there are other organizations like them out there.

Hillary told her people during the campaign,”If Trump gets in we’re all going to be hanging from nooses.” And so they should.

https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2018/02/really-behind-fake-russian-anti-trump-dossier/

UNHOLY ALLIANCE: DID US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COLLUDE WITH CLINTON TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 ELECTION?

John D. O’Connor | The attorney who revealed Mark Felt as Watergate’s Deep Throat

As controversial as the Steele dossier has become, it may well prove key to a political corruption scandal far more insidious than anyone has presently suggested. To be sure, critics have blasted its seeming partisan falsity, and many also have declaimed that it enabled the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. And there is evidence that the opening of the “Russiagate” investigation was itself premised strongly on this “salacious and unverified” report. But little attention has been paid to the role of American intelligence agencies in its creation, which now is appearing substantial, and which would implicate a governmental conspiracy making Watergate look like child’s play.

This is not to minimize the profoundly troubling questions that this dossier has already presented, including those about the legitimacy of using “human sources” (i.e., spies) to entrap the opposition candidate during a presidential campaign. These questions are being doggedly pursued by Congress, and fought tooth and nail by a DOJ/FBI whose present and former officials face serious jeopardy. For instance, any official who knowingly presented a materially false FISA application, for warrant or extensions, should be guilty, for one, of obstruction of justice under 18 U.S.C. §1505.

But reasonable inferences to be drawn from the known evidence suggest that governmental wrongdoing may be even more darkly sinister than DOJ critics presently imagine, encompassing possible criminality so pervasive and widespread that every top DOJ and FBI official serving in 2016 may face discipline or even indictment. The basis for this pandemic criminality would be the participation of the DOJ, FBI and CIA, not just in the questionable use of the partisan, false Clinton-funded Steele Dossier, but in its planning and development, an issue not yet been meaningfully explored.

Why would engagement in the dossier’s creation be any more heinous than the FISA fraud already being widely suggested? No one should make light of the distinct possibility that some officials possibly defrauded the FISA court, FISC, wrongdoing, however, also possibly excused as negligent, blinding political bias. But if the Steele dossier was conceived and developed by our own intelligence agencies, as opposed to it having been used by them after this allegedly reliable dossier fell in their laps, the potential for criminality changes dramatically.

If our intelligence agencies had a hand in creating this dossier, such would have been done with the intent to frame Trump for serious crimes, to leak false charges to the media during an election campaign, and possibly to use as an insurance policy supporting impeachment. Our trusted intelligence organizations, reminiscent of East Germany’s, would have employed their vast powers to corrupt our most important democratic processes.

Before the skeptical reader dismisses these statements as so much overheated rhetoric, let’s calmly examine this hypothesis. We now know that the Steele dossier is false in its major claims, at least as to Trump’s involvement. If American intelligence (FBI, CIA and DNI James Clapper) substantially developed the dossier, it would have only done so if it knew that the dossier would be false. If it was planned to be a true report, why would these agencies bother disguising the report, using a law firm, a British spy, and an opposition research firm? These American agencies, which were closely cooperating with British GCHQ, could have produced the same salacious findings, and presented them to FISC with even greater credibility than, as they did, vouching for a former British spy’s credibility. If the claims were thought to be true, the FBI and CIA, also citing GCHQ, could strongly rely on their own stellar reputations to support their own report. So they would use a “cutout” like Steele only if they needed deniability should the falsity be discovered. Since Clinton was heavily favored, this potential discovery would be a minimal risk, especially with the unctuous Comey continuing in his twelve-year FBI term. But the unthinkable happened.

Let’s consider the circumstantial indicia suggesting that our intelligence agencies did participate in the Steele dossier ab initio. The first such fingerprint is that of British intelligence, present throughout the CIA/DOJ/FBI work, and closely connected to Steele.

As the British journal Guardian has reported, and left-leaning Media Matters has confirmed, the tip that Putin intended to financially support Trump was relayed from GCHQ to the CIA, led at the time by Brennan, in December 2015. So GCHQ was involved from the outset, and was itself likely no fan of a possible Trump presidency which had much in common with the governmentally despised Brexit movement. Brennan then hurriedly formed an “inter-agency” group, including the FBI, which we know existed as of December 28, 2015, when FBI lawyer Lisa Page inquired of her lover, FBI Deputy Peter Strzok about his request for approval of “LUREs,” fedspeak for human informants or spies, inferentially to penetrate the Trump campaign.

What suggests continuing GCHQ involvement is the British locus of subsequent spying and entrapping activity, such as approaches to London resident George Papadopoulos by Joseph Mifsud, Sergei Millian and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, all occurring in March through mid-May 2016. Later Stefan Halper lured Papadopoulos, Carter Page and, unsuccessfully, Steven Miller to London for more entrapping initiatives. Indeed, GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan traveled to Washington in August 2016 to personally discuss the investigation with Brennan.

We know that retired British spies stay close and loyal to their alma mater, with reciprocity, which would suggest that Christopher Steele’s retention in June 2016, by Clinton’s Fusion GPS, was likely sanctioned by GCHQ, with the approval of its partners CIA and FBI. Let’s put it this way: could Steele do what he did, seemingly exploiting CGHQ assets regarding sensitive American issues, without the explicit approval of GCHQ and its partners the CIA and FBI? Of course not.

Icing on this cake is provided, first, by the shadowy Sergei Millian, who had presumably been working for some intelligence agency (perhaps playing a double game) when hounding Papadopoulos commencing April 2016. Whoever was Millian’s employer, it certainly spoon-fed him as “Source D” and “Source E” to Steele, who pumped out his first report tout de suite, relying mainly on Millian. At the least, the readily talkative Millian was certainly known to GCHQ and its partners CIA and FBI, who in turn employed the frighteningly partisan Strzok. So we ask, were these three partnering agencies so incompetent that they could not uncover in seven months what Steele found in days for his first report, after his retention, in June 2016? Of course they could have. But they knew such reporting would be palpably false, and so, we infer, routed the false Millian stories through Steele.

By June 2016 all the human sources of GCHQ, CIA and FBI had come up dry, with the best they had being Papadopoulos’s repeating the ho-hummer that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary. And by June 2016, their first FISA application suffered the unusual and ignominious disgrace of having been rejected by a normally friendly FISC, one of the disappointed officials being DOJ’s Bruce Ohr. So they were in a pickle: they did not have enough evidence to get a FISA warrant, and yet needed a FISA warrant to get evidence, failing which the whole venture would have been dead in June 2016. If they were going to gamble to fabricate evidence, they needed a cutout – Steele – precisely because they could not themselves get a legitimate warrant based on legitimate evidence. And the cutout had to be sellable to FISC as a trained intelligence agent with good credentials, like Steele.

In that vein, it appears that Steele himself was not hired to do real investigatory work so much as to be a “front” through which to route claims to FISC that were not proven. He was paid a mere $168,000 (out of a multi-million-dollar research budget), a startlingly low figure for what claims to be highly sensitive digging through numerous sources in multiple countries. So clearly, whether through his handler, Nellie Ohr, the Russian-speaking wife of Bruce Ohr, or through GCHQ and its American partners, Steele was being fed his purported findings.

Steele’s job, thus, seems something other than the “opposition research” it has been labelled, to Comey and Brennen’s likely relief. Rather, his concealed partisan provenance and his professional intelligence reporting style were seemingly intended from the outset to support a FISA application, using Steele as a credible front. Let’s put it differently: if Steele’s work was not intended from the beginning to be used in a warrant application, why would it be written in an intelligence report style? Why all the efforts to hide his financing by Clinton? These efforts only make sense if they were originally pointed toward a warrant.

While all of the foregoing suggests, circumstantially, coordination and planning from the get-go, it is confirmed by Fusion’s hiring of Nellie Ohr just as Bruce Ohr was failing in the first FISA application, shortly following a White House visit in April 2016 by Mary Jacoby, wife of Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson. Nellie provided Steele with researchobtained a ham radio license, presumably for secure communications with Steele (including husband Bruce?), and Bruce delivered the product to the FBI’s Peter Strzok, who met with Steele around the time of the first report. So the Nellie Ohr-Steele-Bruce Ohr-Strzok pipeline was pumping early on. And, of course, Steele kept spitting out his seemingly spoon-fed reports well into October, each one of them going, it appears, directly into FBI and CIA hands. Were the FBI, CIA and GCHQ partner merely passive recipients? Common sense argues no. After all, Strzok and Bruce Ohr met with Steele on multiple occasions as the reports were prepared, presumably as something other than human out-boxes.

In addition to obtaining an illegitimate FISA warrant, were our intelligence agencies looking to politicize Steele’s phony reports? The ink was barely dry on most of Steele’s “findings” when Brennan made a big play of his “secret” briefing of the Gang of Eight in August 2016, along with his special private briefing of the unprincipled Senator Harry Reid, who had falsely leaked as to Mitt Romney in 2012. Reid, thereafter, to no one’s surprise, wrote a public letter alluding to the scurrilous allegations.

In short, if the Steele dossier did not simply come over the transom, but was in fact developed in coordination with them, then Comey, Brennan and Clapper, along with their underlings, should face serious consequences. We have heard their pious pronouncements about the sanctity of our democratic processes. Were these agencies, as the facts suggest, wrongfully interfering in the 2016 election? Documents sought by Congress should provide conclusive answers in what may be a scandal of unprecedented explosiveness.

John D. O’Connor is the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the co-author of “A G-Man’s Life: The FBI, Being ‘Deep Throat,’ and the Struggle for Honor in Washington” and is a producer of “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” (2017), written and directed by Peter Landesman.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Trump–Russia dossier

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The Trump–Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier,[1] is a private intelligence report comprising 17 memos that were written between June and December 2016[2] by Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6). The resulting dossier contains allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Government of Russia during the 2016 election cycle, with campaign members and Russian operatives allegedly colluding to interfere in the election to benefit Trump.[3] It also alleged that Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton‘s candidacy, including sharing negative information about Clinton with the Trump campaign.[4] The dossier was published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017.[5] Several mainstream media outlets criticized BuzzFeed’s decision to release it without first verifying its allegations.[6][7]

Fusion GPS, a private investigative firm, provided political opposition research against Trump in two distinct phases, with completely separate funders. Fusion GPS was first contracted by a conservative political website, The Washington Free Beacon, and Steele was not involved in that research. When Trump became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee on May 3, 2016, The Free Beacon stopped their backing. Separately, in April 2016, attorney Marc Elias hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In June 2016, Fusion GPS subcontracted Steele to research and compile the dossier. Steele was hired without knowing, or ever having direct contact with, his ultimate clients,[8] and his only instructions were to seek answers to this basic question: “Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?”[9] Senior Clinton campaign officials were reportedly unaware that Fusion GPS had subcontracted with Steele, and Steele was not told the Clinton campaign was the ultimate recipient of his research.[10][8] Following Trump’s election as president, funding from Clinton and the DNC ceased, but Steele continued his research, and was reportedly paid directly by Glenn R. Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS.[11] The completed dossier was then handed to British and American intelligence services.[12] Weeks before the 2016 election, on the basis of Steele’s reputation working on Russia-related matters for nearly 20 years, the FBI reached an agreement to pay Steele to continue his work, but the agreement was later terminated as information about the dossier became public.[13]

The media, the intelligence community, and most experts have treated the dossier with caution, due to its unverified assertions, while Trump himself denounced the report as “fake news“. However, the intelligence community does take the allegations seriously and investigates them.[14][15][16][17] For example, as of May 2018, former career intelligence officer James Clapper believed that “more and more” of the dossier has been validated over time.[18]

Some of the dossier’s allegations have been corroborated, while others remain unverified[19] or may require access to classified information for verification.[20] In February 2017, some details related to conversations “solely between foreign nationals” were independently verified. Some of those individuals were known to be “heavily involved” in efforts to damage Clinton and help Trump. The conversations “took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier,” giving US intelligence and law enforcement “greater confidence” in the credibility of parts of the dossier.[21] Fox News reported on August 15, 2018 that nothing in the dossier had been publicly proven false.[22]

 

History

The opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS on Donald Trump was completed in two phases with separate funders. The first research phase, from October 2015 to May 2016, was funded by The Washington Free Beacon. The second phase, from June 2016 to December 2016, was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, unrelated to the Washington Free Beacon request. The second phase produced the dossier.[23][24]

Research funded by conservative website

In October 2015, before the official start of the 2016 Republican primary campaignThe Washington Free Beacon, an American conservative political journalism website primarily funded by Republican donor Paul Singer, hired the American research firm Fusion GPS to conduct general opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates.[1] The Free Beacon and Singer were “part of the conservative never-Trump movement”.[25] For months, Fusion GPS gathered information about Trump, focusing on his business and entertainment activities. When Trump became the presumptive nominee on May 3, 2016,[26] The Free Beacon stopped funding research on him.[2][27][28]

Although the source of the Steele dossier’s funding had already been reported correctly over a year before,[2][27][28] a February 2, 2018 story by the Associated Press (AP) contributed to confusion about its funding by stating that the dossier “was initially funded” by the Washington Free Beacon, so the AP posted a correction the next day: “Though the former spy, Christopher Steele, was hired by a firm that was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, he did not begin work on the project until after Democratic groups had begun funding it.”[29] At no point in time did the Free Beacon have any connection with the production of the Steele dossier, and the Free Beacon stated that “none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier.”[30]

Research funded by Democrats produces dossier

The second phase of opposition research was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, working through their attorney of record, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie. In April 2016, Elias hired Fusion GPS to perform opposition research on Trump.[10]

As part of their investigation, Fusion GPS hired Orbis Business Intelligence, a private British intelligence firm, to look into connections between Trump and Russia. Orbis co-founder Christopher Steele, a retired British MI6 officer with expertise in Russian matters,[2] was hired as a subcontractor to do the job.[31] In total, Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $1.02 million in fees and expenses, $168,000 of which was paid to Orbis by Fusion GPS and used by them to produce the dossier.[32]

Orbis was hired between June and November 2016, and Steele produced 16 memos during that time, with a 17th memo added in December.[33] The memos were like “prepublication notes” based on reports from Steele’s sources, and were not released as a fully vettedand “finished news article”.[34] Steele believes that 70–90% of the dossier is accurate,[35] a view that is shared by Simpson.[34]

Simpson has stated that, to his knowledge, Steele did not pay any of his sources.[36][9][37] According to investigative reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, Orbis has a large number of paid “collectors” who “harvest intelligence from a much larger network of unpaid sources, some of whom don’t even realize they are being treated as informants […] but money doesn’t change hands, because it could risk violating laws against, say, bribing government officials or insider trading. Paying sources might also encourage them to embellish.”[8] According to British journalist Luke Harding, Steele’s sources were not new: “They’re not people that he kind of discovered yesterday. They are trusted contacts who essentially had proven themselves in other areas.”[38] Howard Blum said that Steele leaned on sources “whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years”.[39]

According to Fusion GPS’s co-owners, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, they did not tell Steele who their ultimate clients were, only that Steele was “working for a law firm”,[8] and they “gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: ‘Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?'”[9] Mayer reported that when the Clinton campaign “indirectly employed” Steele, Elias created a “legal barrier” by acting “as a firewall” between the campaign and Steele. Thus, any details were “protected by attorney-client privilege. Fusion briefed only Elias on the reports. Simpson sent Elias nothing on paper—he was briefed orally.”[8] Only several months after signing the contract with Fusion GPS did Steele learn that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were the ultimate clients.[8] The firewall was reportedly so effective that even campaign principals John Podesta and Robby Mook did not know that Steele was on the Democratic payroll until Mother Jones reported on the issue on October 31, 2016.[8]

Steele delivered his reports individually as one- to three-page memos.[2] The first memo, dated June 20, 2016, was sent to Washington by courier and hand-delivered to Fusion GPS. The names of the sources were redacted, “providing instead descriptions of them that enabled Fusion to assess their basic credibility.”[8]

Luke Harding wrote:

“At first, obtaining intelligence from Moscow went well. For around six months – during the first half of the year – Steele was able to make inquiries in Russia with relative ease. It got harder from late July, as Trump’s ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Finally, the lights went out. Amid a Kremlin cover-up, the sources went silent and information channels shut down.”[40]

Steele has stated that he soon found “troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government.” According to his sources, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”[41] According to Harding, “Steele was shocked by the extent of collusion his sources were reporting,” and told his friends: “For anyone who reads it, this is a life-changing experience.”[35] Steele felt that what he had unearthed “was something of huge significance, way above party politics.”[39] American reporter Howard Blum described Steele’s rationale for becoming a whistleblower: “The greater good trumps all other concerns.”[39]

On his own initiative, Steele decided to also pass the information to British and American intelligence services because he believed the findings were a matter of national security for both countries.[42][43] According to Simpson’s testimony, Steele approached the FBIbecause he was concerned that Trump, then a candidate, was being blackmailed by Russia,[44] and he became “very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat”.[42] When Steele showed his findings to FBI agents in Rome in early July, their reaction was “shock and horror”.[44][45] Jane Mayer reports that the FBI agents “asked Steele about Papadopoulos, and he said that he hadn’t heard anything about him.”[8]

Steele enjoyed a good working reputation “for the knowledge he had developed over nearly 20 years working on Russia-related issues for British intelligence.”[13] Knowing this, in October 2016, a few weeks before the election, the FBI agreed to pay him to continue collecting information. However, the subsequent public release of the dossier stopped discussions between Steele and the FBI.[13] Simpson testified that “Steele wasn’t paid by the FBI, but was possibly reimbursed for a trip to Rome to meet with FBI officials.”[28][46]According to Mayer, Steele “did request compensation for travelling to Rome, but he never received any.”[8]

Simpson later revealed that “Steele severed his contacts with [the] FBI before the election following public statements by the FBI that it had found no connection between the Trump campaign and Russia and concerns that [the FBI] was being ‘manipulated for political ends by the Trump people’.”[47] Steele had become frustrated with the FBI, whom he believed failed to investigate his reports, choosing instead to focus on the investigation into Clinton’s emails. According to The Independent, Steele came to believe that there was a “cabal” inside the FBI, particularly its New York field office linked to Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani, because it blocked any attempts to investigate the links between Trump and Russia.[43]

Hints of existence

Jane Mayer has described how, in “late summer, Fusion set up a series of meetings, at the Tabard Inn, in Washington, between Steele and a handful of national-security reporters…. Despite Steele’s generally cool manner, he seemed distraught about the Russians’ role in the election.” Mayer attended one of the meetings. No news organizations ran any stories about the allegations at that time.[8]

Mother Jones story

By the third quarter of 2016, many news organizations knew about the existence of the dossier, which had been described as an “open secret” among journalists. However, they chose not to publish information that could not be confirmed.[2][48]

By October 2016, Steele had compiled 33 pages (16 memos), and he then passed on what he had discovered to David Corn, a reporter from Mother Jones magazine. On October 31, 2016, a week before the election, Mother Jones reported that a former intelligence officer, whom they did not name, had produced a report based on Russian sources and turned it over to the FBI.[41] The article disclosed some of the dossier’s allegations:

The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance”. It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals”. It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him”. It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

— David Corn, “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump”, Mother Jones (October 31, 2016)[41]

When the Mother Jones story broke, John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, said he was “stunned by the news that the FBI had launched a full-blown investigation into Trump, especially one that was informed by research underwritten by the Clinton campaign.” Although they knew that Perkins Coie had spent money for opposition research, neither Podesta nor campaign manager Robby Mook knew that Steele was on the Democratic payroll. They both maintain they “didn’t read the dossier until BuzzFeed posted it online. Far from a secret campaign weapon, Steele turned out to be a secret kept from the campaign.”[8]

Post-election events

After Trump’s election on November 8, 2016, the Democratic client stopped paying for the investigation, but Steele continued working on the dossier for Fusion GPS.[2] At that time, Simpson “reportedly spent his own money to continue the investigation”.[11] After the election, Steele’s dossier “became one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets, and journalists worked to verify the allegations.[2]

On November 18, 2016, U.S. Senator John McCain, who had been informed about the alleged links between the Kremlin and Trump, met with former British ambassador to Moscow Sir Andrew Wood at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada. Wood told McCain about the existence of the collected materials about Trump,[49] and also vouched for Steele’s professionalism and integrity.[50]

According to Simpson’s August 22, 2017, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Steele and David J. Kramer, a longtime McCain aide and former U.S. State Department official working at Arizona State University, met each other at the Halifax forum and discussed the dossier. Kramer told Steele that McCain wanted to “ask questions about it at the FBI. … All we sort of wanted was for the government to do its job and we were concerned about whether the information that we provided previously had ever, you know, risen to the leadership level of the FBI.” Later, “Kramer followed up with Steele”.[51] Steele had agreed with Fusion GPS to deliver a hard copy of all 16 memos to McCain,[33] which McCain received in early December from Kramer.[2] On December 9, McCain met personally with FBI Director James Comey to pass on the information.[49][23][52] Comey later confirmed that counterintelligence investigations were under way into possible links between Trump associates and Moscow.[33]

After delivering his 16 memos, Steele received more information and composed the two-page “December memo”, dated December 13. It mostly contained allegations against Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, which he denied.[53][54] In an April 2017 court filing, Steele revealed previously unreported information that he had given a copy of his last memo to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”, because it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK”.[33] Steele also “sent an encrypted version to Fusion with instructions to deliver a hard copy to Senator McCain.”[33]

Publication by BuzzFeed

In early January 2017, President-elect Trump[55] and President Barack Obama were separately briefed about the Russian interference in the election and on the existence of the dossier by the chiefs of several U.S. intelligence agencies. Vice President Joe Biden has confirmed that he and the president received briefings on the dossier and the allegations within.[56][57][58]

After the meeting with Obama, Trump was informed of the Russian election interference by Comey and Clapper on January 6, 2017, at a meeting in Trump Tower. After this meeting, Comey stayed behind and spoke privately with Trump, informing him of the dossier and some of its allegations.[59] Trump later expressed that he felt that James Comey was trying to blackmail him at the meeting in Trump Tower, held two weeks before the inauguration.[55] In April 2018, Comey said he did not inform Trump that the dossier was partly funded by Democrats because that “wasn’t necessary for my goal, which was to alert him that we had this information”.[60][61]

On January 10, 2017, CNN reported that classified documents presented to Obama and Trump the previous week included allegations that Russian operatives possess “compromising personal and financial information” about Trump. CNN stated that it would not publish specific details on the memos because it had not “independently corroborated the specific allegations”.[62][63] Following the CNN report,[64] BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier that it said was the basis of the briefing, including unverified claims that Russian operatives had collected “embarrassing material” involving Trump that could be used to blackmail him.[65][66][67]

BuzzFeed was harshly criticized for publishing what Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan called “scurrilous allegations dressed up as an intelligence report meant to damage Donald Trump”,[68] while The New York Times noted that the publication sparked a debate centering on the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources.[69] BuzzFeed’s executive staff said the materials were newsworthy because they were “in wide circulation at the highest levels of American government and media” and argued that this justified public release.[70]

In relation to a defamation lawsuit filed by Aleksej Gubarev against BuzzFeed, regarding their publication of the dossier, Senior Master Barbara Fontaine stated that Steele was “in many respects in the same position as a whistle-blower” because of his actions “in sending part of the dossier to Senator John McCain and a senior government national security official, and in briefing sections of the US media”. She said that “it was not known who provided the dossier to BuzzFeed but Mr Steele’s evidence was that he was ‘horrified and remains horrified’ that it was published at all, let alone without substantial redactions.”[71] Both Simpson and Steele have denied providing the dossier to BuzzFeed.[72]

Format

When BuzzFeed published the 35-page dossier in January 2017, the individual memos were one- to three-pages long and page numbers 1-35 had been handwritten at the bottom. All but one had a typed date at the bottom. Each of the first 16 reports was assigned a typed number in the heading between 80 and 135, but the numeric order didn’t always match the chronological order. The 17th memo, known as the “December memo”, was numbered 166.[73]

Each memo started with a page heading in the same style as the first one shown here:

CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCECOMPANY INTELLIGENCE REPORT 2016/080

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP’S
ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA AND COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
KREMLIN[40]

Authorship

When CNN reported the existence of the dossier on January 10, 2017,[62][74] it did not name the author of the dossier, but revealed that he was British. Steele concluded that his anonymity had been “fatally compromised”, and, realizing it was “only a matter of time until his name became public knowledge”, fled into hiding with his family, in fear of “a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow”.[75][76] The Wall Street Journal revealed Steele’s name the next day, on January 11.[77] Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, for whom Steele worked at the time the dossier was authored, and its director Christopher Burrows, a counterterrorism specialist,[25] would not confirm or deny that Orbis had produced the dossier.[74][2] On March 7, 2017, as some members of the U.S. Congress were expressing interest in meeting with or hearing testimony from Steele, he reemerged after weeks in hiding, appearing publicly on camera and stating, “I’m really pleased to be back here working again at the Orbis’s offices in London today.”[78]

Called by the media a “highly regarded Kremlin expert” and “one of MI6’s greatest Russia specialists”, Steele formerly worked for the British intelligence agency MI6, heading its Russia Desk for three years at the end of his MI6 career. He entered MI6 in 1987, directly after his graduation from Cambridge University.[79] He currently works for Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, a private intelligence company he co-founded in London.[80][81]

Wood, the former British ambassador to Moscow, has vouched for Steele’s reputation.[43] He views Steele as a “very competent professional operator … I take the report seriously. I don’t think it’s totally implausible.” He also stated that “the report’s key allegation—that Trump and Russia’s leadership were communicating via secret back channels during the presidential campaign—was eminently plausible”.[82] FBI investigators reportedly treat Steele “as a peer”, whose experience as a trusted Russia expert has included assisting the Justice Department, British prime ministers, and at least one U.S. president.[83]

Allegations

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at HelsinkiFinland on July 16, 2018

Michael Cohen (2011)

Carter Page (2017)

The dossier contains multiple allegations, some of which have been publicly verified while many others remain publicly unverified but not disproven. In some cases, public verification is hindered because information is classified.[20] According to Adam Schiff, a major portion of the dossier’s content is about Russian efforts to help Trump, and those allegations “turned out to be true”.[84] Trump and Putin have repeatedly denied the allegations, with Trump labeling the dossier as “discredited”, “debunked”, “fictitious”, and “fake news”.[85][86]

Cultivation, conspiracy, and cooperation

  • That “Russian authorities” had cultivated Trump “for at least 5 years”, and that the operation was “supported and directed” by Putin.[40][87] (Dossier, p. 1)
  • That Putin aimed to spread “discord and disunity” within the United States and between Western allies, whom he saw as a threat to Russia’s interests.[42][88] (Dossier, pp. 1–2)
  • That Trump was a “divisive” and “anti-Establishment” candidate, as well as “a pragmatist with whom they could do business”. That Trump would remain a divisive force even if not elected.[89][90] (Dossier, p. 29)
  • That a major goal of the Russians in supporting Trump was “to upset the liberal international status quo, including on Ukraine-related sanctions, which was seriously disadvantaging the country.[89][90] (Dossier, pp. 28–29)
  • That the Russian government’s support for Trump was originally conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then by the Federal Security Service (FSB), and was eventually directly handled by the Russian presidency because of its “growing significance over time.”[89][3] (Dossier, p. 29)
  • That Trump had “so far declined various sweetener real estate business deals”, but had “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin,” notably on his political rivals.[23][91] (Dossier, p. 1)
  • That there was “a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership,” with information willingly exchanged in both directions. That this co-operation was “sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian diplomatic staff based in the US.” That the Trump campaign used “moles within DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia.”[92][93] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That Trump associates had established “an intelligence exchange [with the Kremlin] for at least 8 years.” That Trump and his team had delivered “intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading Russian oligarchs and their families”, as requested by Putin.[89][94][90] (Dossier, p. 11)
  • That the Trump camp became angry and resentful toward Putin when they realized he was not only aiming to weaken Clinton and bolster Trump, but was attempting to “undermine the US government and democratic system more generally.”[90] (Dossier, p. 17)

Key roles of Manafort, Cohen, and Page

  • That then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had “managed” the “conspiracy of co-operation”, and that he used Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and others, “as intermediaries”.[95][96] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That Page had “conceived and promoted” the idea of leaking the stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[97][88] (Dossier, pp. 7, 17)
  • That Cohen played a “key role” in the Trump–Russia relationship[3] by maintaining a “covert relationship with Russia”,[98][99][100] arranging cover-ups and “deniable cash payments”,[53][33] and that his role had grown after Manafort had left the campaign.[101][97] (Dossier, pp. 18, 30, 32, 34–35)
  • That “COHEN now was heavily engaged in a cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the full details of TRUMP’s relationship with Russia being exposed.”[97][90] (Dossier, p. 32)

Kremlin pro-Trump and anti-Clinton

  • That Putin feared and hated Hillary Clinton.[95][102] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That there was a “Kremlin campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON”.[92][93] (Dossier, pp. 7, 13)
  • That Putin’s interference operation had an “objective of weakening CLINTON and bolstering TRUMP”.[90] (Dossier, p. 17)

Kompromat and blackmail: Trump

  • That Trump “hated” Obama so much that when he stayed in the Presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow,[8][103] he employed “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him”[87][65] in order to defile the bed used by the Obamas on an earlier visit. The alleged incident from 2013 was reportedly filmed and recorded by the FSB[104] as kompromat.[105][106][107] (Dossier, p. 2)
  • That Trump was susceptible to blackmail[39][89] due to paying bribes and the existence of “embarrassing material” due to engagement in “perverted sexual acts” and “unorthodox behavior” in Russia.[108][65][104] (Dossier, pp. 1–2, 8, 11, 27)
  • That the Kremlin had assured Trump they would not use kompromat collected against him, “given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team.”[89][109] (Dossier, pp. 11–12)
  • That Trump had explored the real estate sectors in St Petersburg and Moscow, “but in the end TRUMP had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success”.[106][105] (Dossier, p. 8)
  • That Trump has pursued real estate deals in St Petersburg, and “paid bribes there to further his interests”. That witnesses to his “sex parties in the city” had been “‘silenced’ i.e. bribed or coerced to disappear.”[106][105] (Dossier, p. 27)
  • That Trump associates did not fear “the negative media publicity surrounding alleged Russian interference”, because it distracted attention from his “business dealings in China and other emerging markets”, which involved “large bribes and kickbacks” that could be devastating if revealed.[110][38] (Dossier, p. 8)

Kompromat: Clinton

Dmitry Peskov (2017)

  • That Putin ordered the maintenance of a secret dossier on Hillary Clinton, with content dating back to the time of her husband’s presidency. The dossier comprised eavesdropped conversations, either from bugging devices or from phone intercepts; it did not contain “details/evidence of unorthodox or embarrassing behavior”, but focused more on “things she had said which contradicted her current positions on various issues”.[89][41] (Dossier, pp. 1, 3)
  • That the Clinton dossier had been collated by the FSB[89][41] and was managed by Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.[104][42] (Dossier, pp. 1, 3)

DNC email hack, leaks, and misinformation

  • That Russia was responsible for the DNC email hacks[89][111] and the recent appearance of the stolen DNC e-mails on WikiLeaks,[89][112] and that the reason for using WikiLeaks was “plausible deniability“.[113] (Dossier, pp. 7–8)
  • That “the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team.”[3][113] (Dossier, p. 8)
  • That after the emails had been forwarded to WikiLeaks, it was decided to not leak more, but to engage in misinformation: “Rather the tactics would be to spread rumours and misinformation about the content of what already had been leaked and make up new content.”[96] (Dossier, p. 15)
  • That Page had intended the email leaks “to swing supporters of Bernie SANDERS away from Hillary CLINTON and across to TRUMP.”[97][102] (Dossier, p. 17)
  • That the hacking of the DNC servers was performed by Romanian hackers ultimately controlled by Putin and paid by both Trump and Putin.[53][33] (Dossier, pp. 34–35)
  • That Cohen, together with three colleagues, secretly met with Kremlin officials in the Prague offices of Rossotrudnichestvo in August 2016,[114][89][54][115] where he arranged “deniable cash payments” to the hackers and sought “to cover up all traces of the hacking operation”,[53][33] as well as “cover up ties between Trump and Russia, including Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine”.[3] (Dossier, pp. 18, 34–35)

Kickbacks and quid pro quo agreements

Igor Sechin (2016)

  • That Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian President of Ukraine, had told Putin that he had been making supposedly untraceable[3] kickback payments to Manafort while he was Trump’s campaign manager.[113] (Dossier, p. 20)
  • That in return for Russia’s leaking the stolen documents to WikiLeaks, “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”[95][113] (Dossier, pp. 7–8)
  • That Page had secretly met Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin in Moscow on “either 7 or 8 July”,[92] together with a “senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN.” That Sechin “offered PAGE/TRUMP’s associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft” (worth about $11 billion) in exchange for Trump lifting the sanctions against Russia after his election.[116][90][89][117][118] (Dossier, pp. 9, 30–32)

Russian spy withdrawn

  • That Russia had hastily withdrawn from Washington their diplomat Mikhail Kalugin (misspelled as “Kulagin”), whose prominent role in the interference operation should remain hidden.[94][119][120] (Dossier, p. 23)

Cultivation of various U.S. political figures

Possible earlier interest in Trump

Although the dossier alleged in June 2016 that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years”, Luke Harding wrote that the Soviet Union had been interested in him since 1987. In his book Collusion, Harding asserts that the “top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB.” Then-KGB head Vladimir Kryuchkov “wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.” Harding proceeds to describe the KGB’s cultivation process, and posits that they may have opened a file on Trump as early as 1977, when he married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková; the Soviet spies may have closely observed and analyzed the couple from that time on.[122][123]

Denials of specific claims

Michael Cohen

The dossier alleges that Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met with Russian officials in Prague in 2016 with the objective of paying those who had hacked the DNC and to “cover up all traces of the hacking operation”. Cohen has denied the allegations against him,[33][53][54] stating that he was in Los Angeles between August 23 and 29, and in New York for the entire month of September[115] and that “I have never been to Prague in my life”.[124] According to a Czech intelligence source, there is no record of him entering Prague by plane, but Respekt magazine and Politico pointed out that he could have entered by car or train from a neighboring country within the Schengen Area, for example Italy. In the latter case, a record of Cohen entering the Schengen zone from a non-Schengen country should exist.[125][126] McClatchy reported that “investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany”,[114]which was confirmed by The Spectator citing an intelligence source in London.[127] Mother Jones reported that Cohen had told them “I was in Prague for one afternoon 14 years ago,” contradicting later statements that he had never visited.[103]

Paul Manafort

Manafort has “denied taking part in any collusion with the Russian state, but registered himself as a foreign agent retroactively after it was revealed his firm received more than $17m working as a lobbyist for a pro-Russian Ukrainian party.”[96]

Carter Page

Page originally denied meeting any Russian officials, but his later testimony, acknowledging that he had met with senior Russian officials at Rosneft, has been interpreted as corroboration of portions of the dossier.[128][129][130]

Donald Trump

Trump has denied the “golden showers” allegation by claiming he is a “germaphobe”,[131] and then, as an alibi, that he did not stay overnight in Moscow.[132] In April 2018, James Comey said he did not know whether Trump “was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013”, adding “It’s possible, but I don’t know”.[60][61] In a June 21, 2018, debate, Comey, when asked if he believed “all the salacious” stories in the dossier, replied: “When I first saw it I didn’t believe it at all… [now] I think it’s possible that it’s true.” He said he changed his view after his encounters with President Trump.[133] Comey has stated that at the time he was fired, the allegations had not been verified.[134]

Twice Trump provided identical and disproven alibis to James Comey. He claimed he did not overnight in Moscow, but according to flight records, Keith Schiller‘s testimony, and Aras Agalarov, he did spend Friday night, Nov. 8, in Moscow, and attended the Miss Universe pageant the next night.[135] Trump not only spent a full night in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow,[136] according to Trump’s close acquaintance, Aras Agalarov,[137] he actually stayed in the Presidential suite, where the “golden showers” incident is alleged to have occurred.[8]

Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller “privately testified that he rejected an offer by a Russian individual to send five women to Trump’s hotel room during their 2013 trip to Moscow,” stating that “he took the offer as a joke … and Trump laughed it off.” After accompanying Trump to his room, Schiller stayed outside the door for a few minutes and then left,[138] and according to one source “could not say for sure what happened during the remainder of the night.”[139] Thomas Roberts, the host of the Miss Universe contest, has confirmed that “Trump was in Moscow for one full night and at least part of another.” (November 8–10).[140]

Veracity

Steele and the dossier have become “the central point of contention in the political brawl raging around”[83] the Special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Those who believe Steele consider him a hero who tried to warn about the Kremlin’s meddling in the election, and people who distrust him consider him a “hired gun” used to attack Trump.[83] With the passage of time and further revelations from various investigations and sources, it is becoming clearer that the overall thrust of the dossier was accurate, but some details appear to be merely disinformation:[72]

Some of the dossier’s broad threads have now been independently corroborated. U.S. intelligence agencies and the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference did eventually find that Kremlin-linked operatives ran an elaborate operation to promote Trump and hurt Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, as the dossier says in its main narrative.”

— Jeff Donn, “Some Questions in Trump-Russia Dossier Now Finding Answers”, Associated Press (June 29, 2018)[72]

Reputation in the U.S. intelligence community

On January 11, 2017, Paul Wood, of BBC News, wrote that the salacious information in Steele’s dossier was also reported by “multiple intelligence sources” and “at least one East European intelligence service”. They reported that “compromising material on Mr. Trump” included “more than one tape, not just video, but audio as well, on more than one date, in more than one place, in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.” While also mentioning that “nobody should believe something just because an intelligence agent says it”,[141][77] Wood added that “the CIA believes it is credible that the Kremlin has such kompromat—or compromising material—on the next US commander in chief” and “a joint taskforce, which includes the CIA and the FBI, has been investigating allegations that the Russians may have sent money to Mr Trump’s organisation or his election campaign”.[142][143][141]

On January 12, 2017, Susan Hennessey, a former National Security Agency lawyer now with the Brookings Institution, stated: “My general take is that the intelligence community and law enforcement seem to be taking these claims seriously. That itself is highly significant. But it is not the same as these allegations being verified. Even if this was an intelligence community document—which it isn’t—this kind of raw intelligence is still treated with skepticism.”[15][16] Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote that “the current state of the evidence makes a powerful argument for a serious public inquiry into this matter”.[16]

On February 10, 2017, CNN reported that some communications between “senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals” described in the dossier had been corroborated by multiple U.S. officials. They “took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier”. Sources told CNN that some conversations had been “intercepted during routine intelligence gathering”, but refused to reveal the content of conversations, or specify which communications were intercepted “due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs”. CNN was unable to confirm whether conversations were related to Trump. U.S. officials said the corroboration gave “US intelligence and law enforcement ‘greater confidence’ in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents”. They also reported that American intelligence agencies had examined Steele and his “vast network throughout Europe and found him and his sources to be credible.”[21]

On March 30, 2017, Paul Wood reported that the FBI was using the dossier as a roadmap for its investigation.[144] On April 18, 2017, CNN reported that, according to U.S. officials, information from the dossier had been used as part of the basis for getting the FISAwarrant to monitor Page in October 2016. Officials told CNN this information would have had to be independently corroborated by the FBI before being used to obtain the warrant.[12][145] In his testimony before Congress, Glenn Simpson “confirmed that the FBI had sources of its own and that whatever the FBI learned from Steele was simply folded into its ongoing work.”[146]

British journalist Julian Borger wrote on October 7, 2017, that “Steele’s reports are being taken seriously after lengthy scrutiny by federal and congressional investigators”, at least Steele’s assessment that Russia had conducted a campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to Clinton’s detriment; that part of the Steele dossier “has generally gained in credibility, rather than lost it”.[96]

On October 11, 2017, it was reported that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (DRhode Island), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), had stated: “As I understand it, a good deal of his information remains unproven, but none of it has been disproven, and considerable amounts of it have been proven.”[147]

On October 27, 2017, Robert S. Litt, a former lawyer for the Director of National Intelligence, was quoted as stating that the dossier “played absolutely no role” in the intelligence community’s determination that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[148]

On November 15, 2017, Adam Schiff stated that much of the dossier’s content is about Russian efforts to help Trump, and those allegations “turned out to be true”, something later affirmed by the January 6, 2017, intelligence community assessment released by the ODNI.[84]

On December 7, 2017, commentator Jonathan Chait wrote that as “time goes by, more and more of the claims first reported by Steele have been borne out”, with the mainstream media “treat[ing] “[the dossier] as gossip” whereas the intelligence community “take it seriously”.[14]

On January 29, 2018, Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “little of that dossier has either been fully proven or conversely, disproven”.[149][150]

John Sipher, who served 28 years as a clandestine CIA agent, including heading the agency’s Russia program, said investigating the dossier allegations requires access to non-public records. He said “[p]eople who say it’s all garbage, or all true, are being politically biased”, adding he believes that while the dossier may not be correct in every detail, it is “generally credible” and “In the intelligence business, you don’t pretend you’re a hundred per cent accurate. If you’re seventy or eighty per cent accurate, that makes you one of the best.” He said the Mueller investigation would ultimately judge its merits.[8] Sipher has written that “Many of my former CIA colleagues have taken the [dossier] reports seriously since they were first published.”[101]

During his April 15, 2018, ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey described Steele as a “credible source”: “It was coming from a credible source, someone with a track record, someone who was a credible and respected member of an allied intelligence service during his career, and so it was important that we try to understand it, and see what could we verify, what could we rule in or rule out.”[151]

In May 2018, former career intelligence officer James Clapper believed that “more and more” of the dossier has been validated over time.[18]

Varied reactions about veracity

Steele, the author of the dossier, said he believes that 70–90% of the dossier is accurate.[35][25] In testimony to Congress, Simpson quoted “Steele as saying that any intelligence, especially from Russia, is bound to carry intentional disinformation, but that Steele believes his dossier is ‘largely not disinformation’.”[72] Regarding the sex claims, Michael Isikoff and David Corn have stated that Steele’s “faith in the sensational sex claim would fade over time…. As for the likelihood of the claim that prostitutes had urinated in Trump’s presence, Steele would say to colleagues, ‘It’s 50-50’.”[25] James Comey has stated that, after his meetings with Trump, he thinks the salacious claims are possibly true.[133]

Other observers and experts have had varying reactions to the dossier. Generally, “former intelligence officers and other national-security experts” urged “skepticism and caution” but still took “the fact that the nation’s top intelligence officials chose to present a summary version of the dossier to both President Obama and President-elect Trump” as an indication “that they may have had a relatively high degree of confidence that at least some of the claims therein were credible, or at least worth investigating further”.[15]

Vice President Joe Biden told reporters that, while he and Obama were receiving a briefing on the extent of election hacking attempts, there was a two-page addendum which addressed the contents of the Steele dossier.[56] Top intelligence officials told them they “felt obligated to inform them about uncorroborated allegations about President-elect Donald Trump out of concern the information would become public and catch them off-guard”.[152]

On January 11, 2017, Newsweek published a list of “13 things that don’t add up” in the dossier, writing that it was a “strange mix of the amateur and the insightful” and stating that it “contains lots of Kremlin-related gossip that could indeed be, as the author claims, from deep insiders—or equally gleaned” from Russian newspapers and blogs.[153] Former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton stated that certain aspects of the dossier were inconsistent with British intelligence’s understanding of how the Kremlin works, commenting: “I’ve seen quite a lot of intelligence on Russia, and there are some things in [the dossier] which look pretty shaky.”[154]

In his June 2017 Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, former FBI director James Comey called “some personally sensitive aspects” of the dossier “salacious and unverified,” but he did not state that the entire dossier was unverified or that the salacious aspects were false. When Senator Richard Burr asked if any of the allegations in the dossier had been confirmed, Comey said he could not answer that question in a public setting.[155][20]

Trump and his supporters have challenged the veracity of the dossier because it was funded in part by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, while Democrats assert the funding source is irrelevant.[156]

Veracity of certain allegations

Russian assistance to the Trump campaign

January 6, 2017, intelligence community assessment released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) stated that Russian leadership favored the Trump candidacy over Clinton’s, and that Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign” to harm Clinton’s electoral chances and “undermine public faith in the US democratic process,” as well as ordering cyber attacks on “both major U.S. political parties”.[157]

Newsweek stated that “the dossier’s main finding, that Russia tried to prop up Trump over Clinton, was confirmed by” this assessment.[87] ABC News stated that “some of the dossier’s broad implications—particularly that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an operation to boost Trump and sow discord within the U.S. and abroad—now ring true.”[42] Referring to the ODNI assessment, former Los Angeles Times Moscow correspondent Robert Gillette wrote in an op-ed in the Concord Monitor that the dossier has had at least one of its main factual assertions verified….Steele’s dossier, paraphrasing multiple sources, reported precisely the same conclusion, in greater detail, six months earlier, in a memo dated June 20.”[158]

In The New Yorker, Jane Mayer has stated that the allegation that Trump was favored by the Kremlin, and that they offered Trump’s campaign dirt on Clinton, has proven true.[8]

In March 2016, George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of stolen emails. This occurred before the hacking of the DNC computers had become public knowledge.[159][160]Papadopoulos sent emails about Putin to at least seven Trump campaign officials. Trump national campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis[161] encouraged Papadopoulos to fly to Russia and meet with agents of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who reportedly wanted to share “Clinton dirt” with the Trump campaign.[162][163] When Donald Trump Jr. learned of the offer, he welcomed it by responding: “If it’s what you say, I love it…”[8] Later, on June 9, 2016, a meeting in Trump Tower was held, ostensibly for representatives from Russia to deliver that dirt on Clinton.[164][165]

At the July 2018 summit meeting, Putin was asked if he had wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. He responded “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”[166]

Republican position on Russian conflict with Ukraine

The dossier alleges that “the Trump campaign agreed to minimize US opposition to Russia’s incursions into Ukraine”.[167] Harding considers this allegation to have been confirmed by the actions of the Trump campaign: “This is precisely what happened at the Republican National Convention last July, when language on the US’s commitment to Ukraine was mysteriously softened.”[53] In July 2016, the Republican National Convention made changes to the Republican Party’s platform on Ukraine: initially the platform proposed providing “lethal weapons” to Ukraine, but the line was changed to “appropriate assistance”. NPR reported, “Diana Denman, a Republican delegate who supported arming U.S. allies in Ukraine, has told people that Trump aide J.D. Gordon said at the Republican Convention in 2016 that Trump directed him to support weakening that position in the official platform.”[168] J. D. Gordon, who was one of Trump’s national security advisers during the campaign, said that he had advocated for changing language because that reflected what Trump had said.[121][169] The Trump campaign does not appear to have intervened in any other platform deliberations aside from the language on Ukraine.[170]

In an interview on This Week, Trump told George Stephanopoulos that people in his campaign were responsible for changing the GOP’s platform stance on Ukraine, but that he was not personally involved.[171]

Trump had formerly taken a hard line on Ukraine. He initially denounced Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “land grab” that “should never have happened”, and called for a firmer U.S. response, saying “We should definitely be strong. We should definitely do sanctions.” But after hiring Manafort his approach changed; he said he might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and might lift the sanctions against Russia.[172]

Relations with Europe and NATO

Vladimir Putin (2017)

The dossier alleges that as part of a quid pro quo agreement, “the TRUMP team had agreed… to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”[95] Aiko Stevenson, writing in The Huffington Post, noted that some of Trump’s actions seem to align with “Putin’s wish list”, which “includes lifting sanctions on Russia, turning a blind eye towards its aggressive efforts in the Ukraine, and creating a divisive rift amongst western allies.”[173] During the campaign Trump “called Nato, the centrepiece of Transatlantic security ‘obsolete’, championed the disintegration of the EU, and said that he is open to lifting sanctions on Moscow.”[173] Harding adds that Trump repeatedly “questioned whether US allies were paying enough into Nato coffers.”[53] Jeff Stein, writing in Newsweek, described how “Trump’s repeated attacks on NATO have…frustrated…allies …[and] raised questions as to whether the president has been duped into facilitating Putin’s long-range objective of undermining the European Union.”[174] Trump’s appearances at meetings with allies, including NATO and G7, have frequently been antagonistic; according to the Los Angeles Times, “The president’s posture toward close allies has been increasingly and remarkably confrontational this year, especially in comparison to his more conciliatory approach to adversaries, including Russia and North Korea.”[175]

Lifting of sanctions

The dossier says that Page, claiming to speak with Trump’s authority, had confirmed that Trump would lift the existing sanctions against Russia if he were elected president.[89] On December 29, 2016, during the transition period between the election and the inauguration, National Security Advisor designate Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, urging him not to retaliate for newly imposed sanctions; the Russians took his advice and did not retaliate.[176]Within days after the inauguration, new Trump administration officials ordered State Department staffers to develop proposals for immediately revoking the economic and other sanctions.[177] One retired diplomat later said, “What was troubling about these stories is that suddenly I was hearing that we were preparing to rescind sanctions in exchange for, well, nothing.”[178] The staffers alerted Congressional allies who took steps to codify the sanctions into law. The attempt to overturn the sanctions was abandoned after Flynn’s conversation was revealed and Flynn resigned.[177][104] In August 2017, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to impose new sanctions on Russia. Trump reluctantly signed the bill, but then refused to implement it.[179]

Spy withdrawn from Russian embassy

The dossier alleges that a “Russian diplomat Mikhail KULAGIN [sic]” participated in US election meddling, and was recalled to Moscow because Kremlin was concerned that his role in the meddling would be exposed. The BBC later reported that US officials in 2016 had identified Russian diplomat Mikhail Kalugin as a spy and that he was under surveillance, thus “verifying” a key claim in the dossier.[94] Kalugin was the head of the economics section at the Russian embassy. He returned to Russia in August 2016.[96] McClatchy reported that the FBI was investigating whether Kalugin played a role in the election interference. Kalugin has denied the allegations.[96][180]

Page meeting with Rosneft officials

Jane Mayer said that this part of the dossier seems true, even if the name of an official may have been wrong. Page’s congressional testimony confirmed he held secret meetings with top Moscow and Rosneft officials, including talks about a payoff: “When Page was asked if a Rosneft executive had offered him a ‘potential sale of a significant percentage of Rosneft,’ Page said, ‘He may have briefly mentioned it’.”[8]

On November 2, 2017, Page appeared before the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. In July 2016, Page made a five-day trip to Moscow,[181] but, according to his testimony, before leaving he informed Jeff SessionsJ. D. GordonHope Hicks, and Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, of the planned trip to Russia, and Lewandowski approved the trip, responding: “If you’d like to go on your own, not affiliated with the campaign, you know, that’s fine.”[118][128] In his testimony, Page admitted he met with high ranking Kremlin officials. Previously, Page had denied meeting any Russian officials during the July trip. His comments appeared to corroborate portions of the dossier.[129][130] Newsweek has listed the claim about Page meeting with Rosneft officials as “verified”.[182]

Investigations using or referencing the dossier

The FBI’s Russia investigation

In late July 2016, “the CIA had set up a special group with the NSA and FBI… to investigate the extent of Russian intervention in the presidential election.” Former CIA director John Brennan then “ensured that all information about links between the Trump campaign and people working for or on behalf of Russian intelligence went to the FBI.”[183] These links between Trump associates and Russian officials were numerous. Politico keeps a very detailed running tally of the persons, and, as of April 25, 2018, they listed “73 associated with [Trump’s] 2016 campaign”.[184] Julian Borger reported that in Brennan’s testimony before the House intelligence committee, he made it clear “that he was alarmed by the extent of contacts between the Trump team and Moscow,” and that this justified the FBI inquiry:[183]

Brennan stressed repeatedly that collusion may have been unwitting, at least at first as Russian intelligence was deft at disguising its approaches to would-be agents. “Frequently, individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they’re on that path until it gets to be too late,” he said.[183]

The investigation was also spurred by comments made by Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.[160][185] While Trump and some Republicans have claimed that the dossier was behind the beginning of the FBI investigation into his campaign’s potential conspiracy with Russia, in December 2017, former and current intelligence officials revealed that the actual impetus was a series of comments made in May 2016 by Papadopoulos to Alexander Downer, a top Australian diplomat, during a night of “heavy drinking at an upscale London bar”.[185][160] John Sipher reported that Papadopoulos bragged “that the Trump campaign was aware the Russian government had dirt on Hillary Clinton”[4] in the form of “thousands of emails” stolen from Clinton which could be used to damage her campaign. Papadopoulos had learned this about three weeks earlier. Two months later, when WikiLeaks started releasing DNC emails, Australian officials alerted the Americans about Papadopoulos’ remarks.[185][160]Over a year later, Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27, 2017,[186] and in October 2017, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and became a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation.[185][186]

Other factors also played into the FBI’s decision to investigate Russian interference and the Trump campaign: intelligence from friendly governments, especially the British and Dutch, and information about Page’s Moscow trip. Steele’s first report was sent to Fusion GPS, dated June 20, 2016, and FBI agents first interviewed Steele in October 2016.[160] The New York Times reported on February 14, 2017 that the FBI had made contact with some of Steele’s sources.[187] CNN later reported that the FBI had used the dossier to bolster its existing investigations.[33][12]

In a January 2, 2018, CNN panel discussion, Elizabeth Foley, a Florida International University law professor, falsely alleged that the FISA warrant for Page was “all based on a dossier”, adding “That’s what Jim Comey has suggested.” She also cited reports from CNN and The New York TimesPolitiFact concluded that her claim about Comey was unsubstantiated, and according to CNN, the dossier was only “part of the justification”, and that The New York Times report did not mention the dossier. PolitiFact rated her claim “Mostly False”.[188]

Special counsel investigation

According to Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman Mark Warner (D-VA), the dossier’s allegations are being investigated by a Special Counsel led by Robert Mueller, which, since May 2017, has been investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.[189] In the summer of 2017, Mueller’s team of investigators met with Steele.[190] As some leads stemming from the dossier have already been followed and confirmed by the FBI, legal experts have stated that Special Counsel investigators, headed by Robert Mueller, are obligated to follow any leads the dossier has presented them with, irrespective of what parties financed it in its various stages of development, or “[t]hey would be derelict in their duty if they didn’t.”[189][191]

Subject of the Nunes memo

On February 2, 2018, the Nunes memo, a four-page memorandum written for U.S. Representative Devin Nunes by his staff, was released to the public. Referring to the dossier, the memo states that the FBI “may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources” to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in October 2016 and in three subsequent renewals on Carter Page in the early phases of the FBI’s interference investigation.[192] Republican legislators argued that the memo presents evidence that a group of politically-biased FBI employees abused the FISA warrant process for the purpose of undermining the Trump presidency.[193] The Nunes memo stated that there was excessive and improper dependence on the Trump–Russia dossier.

On February 3, 2018, Trump praised the Nunes memo and tweeted:

Donald J. Trump via Twitter
@realDonaldTrump

This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

3 Feb 2018[194]

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) disagreed, stating on February 4 on CBS’s Face the Nation: “I actually don’t think [the memo] has any impact on the Russia probe.” He went on to say:

“There is a Russia investigation without a dossier,” Gowdy said. “So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”[28]

Gowdy was dissatisfied with the process of seeking the warrant: “I say investigate everything Russia did but admit that this was a really sloppy process that you engaged in to surveil a U.S. citizen.” When questioned, he said that the FISA warrant on Carter Page would not have been authorized without the dossier.[195]

Jane Mayer has quoted Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “To impeach Steele’s dossier is to impeach Mueller’s investigation… It’s to recast the focus back on Hillary”, with the Republicans’ aim to “create a false narrative saying this is all a political witch hunt.” Mayer tied his view directly to Devin Nunes‘ production of “a report purporting to show that the real conspiracy revolved around Hillary Clinton,” falsely alleging that Clinton “colluded with the Russians…”, a claim debunked by Glenn Kessler.[8] Kessler, a fact checker for The Washington Post, analyzed a false accusation made by Nunes in a February 7, 2018, interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show: “The truth is that they [Democrats] are covering up that Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russians to get dirt on Trump to feed it to the FBI to open up an investigation into the other campaign.” Kessler’s “Pinocchio Test” rating was: “[T]here is no evidence that Clinton was involved in Steele’s reports or worked with Russian entities to feed information to Steele. That’s where Nunes’s claim goes off the rails—and why he earns Four Pinocchios.”[196] “Four Pinocchios” equals a “Whopper”.[197]

The Nunes memo falsely asserted that “Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—’salacious and unverified.'” Factcheckers noted that Comey actually testified that “some personally sensitive aspects of the information” were “salacious and unverified,” rather than the entire dossier.[198][199]

The Nunes memo asserted that Andrew McCabe testified to the House Intelligence Committee that “no surveillance warrant [of Carter Page] would have been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) without the Steele dossier information,” but because McCabe testified in classified session, no transcript has yet been released to verify this assertion. In a CNN interview, McCabe asserted “that House Republicans twisted his answers”:

“We started the investigations without the dossier. We were proceeding with the investigations before we ever received that information…. Was the dossier material important to the package? Of course, it was. As was every fact included in that package. Was it the majority of what was in the package? Absolutely not.”[200]

Congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the Committee, also stated that McCabe’s testimony was mischaracterized.[201]

Contrary to assertions by Trump and his supporters that the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections was triggered by the dossier,[202] the Nunes memo confirmed the investigation began with a tip from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer regarding a conversation he had with Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos in a London bar in May 2016.[160][203] The FBI opened its investigation in late July 2016, and The Washington Post noted that this timing is “significant, given the FBI did not seek authorization to conduct surveillance on Page until three months later, on Oct. 21, 2016.” The Democrats asserted that the Nunes memo “shows the Russia investigation would be underway with or without the surveillance of Page, and—more critically—even if the government had never seen the dossier of information about Trump that was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy.”[204]

Amid assertions in the Nunes memo and from others that the dossier’s use in the Carter Page FISA warrant request was improper—countered by Democrats’ assertions that there was nothing improper—on April 6, 2018 the Justice Department made the FISA application available for all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to review.[205]

On July 21, 2018, the Justice Department released heavily-redacted versions of four FISA warrant applications for Carter Page which showed that key assertions made in the Nunes memo were false or misleading, corroborating the rebuttal made by Democrats.[206][207]

Reactions

November 14, 2017 – House Intelligence Committee transcript of Glenn Simpson

August 22, 2017 Fusion GPS testimony transcript of Glenn Simpson

Individual responses

Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned the dossier, including in this tweet, in which he quotes from Fox & Friends:[19]

Donald J. Trump via Twitter
@realDonaldTrump

WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!

26 Dec 2017[208]

As late as July 29, 2018, Trump continued to falsely insist that the FBI investigation of Russian interference was initiated because of the dossier, and three days later White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeated the false assertion. Fox News host Shepard Smith said of Trump’s assertion: “In the main and in its parts, that statement is patently false.”[209]

Trump has called the dossier “fake news” and criticized the intelligence and media sources that published it.[210] During a press conference on January 11, 2017, Trump denounced the dossier’s claims as false, saying that it was “disgraceful” for U.S. intelligence agencies to report them. Trump refused to answer a question from CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta on the subject. In response, CNN said that it had published “carefully sourced reporting” on the matter which had been “matched by the other major news organizations”, as opposed to BuzzFeed‘s posting of “unsubstantiated materials”.[211][64]

James Clapper described the leaks as damaging to U.S. national security.[212] This contradicted Trump’s previous claim that Clapper had said the information was false; Clapper’s statement actually said the intelligence community had made no judgment on the truth of the information.[213]

As Putin’s press secretary, Peskov insisted in an interview that the dossier is a fraud, saying “I can assure you that the allegations in this funny paper, in this so-called report, they are untrue. They are all fake.”[214] Putin called the people who leaked the dossier “worse than prostitutes”[215] and referred to the dossier itself as “rubbish”.[216] Putin went on to state he believed that the dossier was “clearly fake”,[217] fabricated as a plot against the legitimacy of President-elect Trump.[218]

Some of Steele’s former colleagues expressed support for his character, saying “The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false—completely untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. He’s not the sort of person who will simply pass on gossip.”[17]

Among journalists, Bob Woodward called the dossier a “garbage document”, while Carl Bernstein took the opposite view, noting that the senior-most U.S. intelligence officials had determined that the content was worth reporting to the president and the president-elect.[219] Julian Borger has described the dossier as “one of the most explosive documents in modern political history…”[96] Ben Smith, editor of BuzzFeed, wrote: “The dossier is a document…of obvious central public importance. It’s the subject of multiple investigations by intelligence agencies, by Congress. That was clear a year ago. It’s a lot clearer now.”[220]

Ynet, an Israeli online news site, reported on January 12, 2017 that U.S. intelligence advised Israeli intelligence officers to be cautious about sharing information with the incoming Trump administration, until the possibility of Russian influence over Trump, suggested by Steele’s report, has been fully investigated.[221]

On March 2, 2017, media began reporting that the Senate may call Steele to testify about the Trump dossier.[222] On March 27, 2017, SJC Chairman Chuck Grassley asked the Department of Justice to initiate an inquiry into Fusion GPS, who initially retained Steele to write the dossier.[223] Fusion GPS was previously associated with pro-Russia lobbying activities due to sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act.[224] On August 22, 2017, Steele met with the FBI and had provided them with the names of his sources for the allegations in the dossier.[225]

Steven L. Hall, former CIA chief of Russia operations, has contrasted Steele’s methods with those of Donald Trump Jr., who sought information from a Russian attorney at a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016: “The distinction: Steele spied against Russia to get info Russia did not want released; Don Jr took a mtg to get info Russians wanted to give.”[226]

Jane Mayer referred to the same meeting and contrasted the difference in reactions to Russian attempts to support Trump: When Trump Jr. was offered “dirt” on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” instead of “going to the F.B.I., as Steele had” done when he learned that Russia was helping Trump, Trump’s son accepted the support by responding: “If it’s what you say, I love it…”[8]

On January 2, 2018, Simpson and Fritsch authored an op-ed in The New York Times, requesting that Republicans “release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony” and further wrote that, “the Steele dossier was not the trigger for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.”[9] Ken Dilanian of NBC News stated that a “source close to Fusion GPS” told him that the FBI had not planted anyone in the Trump camp, but rather that Simpson was referring to Papadopoulos.[227][47]

On January 5, 2018, in the first known Congressional criminal referral resulting from investigations related to the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Grassley made a referral to the Justice Department suggesting that they investigate possible criminal charges against Steele[228][229] for allegedly making false statements to the FBI about the distribution of the dossier’s claims,[230] specifically possible “inconsistencies” in what Steele told authorities and “possibly lying to FBI officials”.[231]Senator Lindsey Graham also signed the letter.[232][233] Both Grassley and Graham declared that they were not alleging that Steele “had committed any crime. Rather, they had passed on the information for ‘further investigation only’.”[234] The referral was met with skepticism from legal experts, as well as some of the other Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary committee, who reportedly had not been consulted.[232]

On January 8, 2018, a spokesman for Grassley said he did not plan to release the transcript of Simpson’s August 22, 2017 testimony before the SJC.[235] The next day, ranking committee member Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the transcript.[51][236]

On January 10, 2018, Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to have advance information on the forthcoming release of the Nunes memo and its assertions about the dossier, saying “more shocking information will be coming out in just days that will show systemic FISA abuse.” Hannity asserted that this new information would reveal “a totally phony document full of Russian lies and propaganda that was then used by the Obama administration to surveil members of an opposition party and incoming president,” adding that this was “the real Russia collusion story” that represented a “precipice of one of the largest abuses of power in U.S. American history. And I’m talking about the literal shredding of the U.S. Constitution.”[237]

On January 18, 2018, the HPSCI released the transcript of the Simpson Testimony given on November 14, 2017.[238][239] Democratic committee member Adam Schiff stated that the testimony contains “serious allegations that The Trump Organization may have engaged in money laundering with Russian nationals”. Trump Organization’s chief counsel Alan Garten called the allegations “unsubstantiated” and “reckless”, and said that Simpson was mainly referring to properties to which Trump licensed his name. Democratic member Jim Himes said that Simpson “did not provide evidence and I think that’s an important point. He made allegations.”[240]

In April 2018, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) gave The Merriman Smith Memorial Award to CNN reporters Evan Perez, Jim SciuttoJake Tapper and Carl Bernstein. In January 2017, they reported that the intelligence community had briefed Obama and Trump of allegations that Russians claimed to have “compromising personal and financial information” on then-President elect Donald Trump.[62][241] WHCA noted that “[t]hanks to this CNN investigation, ‘the dossier’ is now part of the lexicon”.[242]

Circumstances surrounding the death of Oleg Erovinkin

On December 26, 2016, Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB/FSB general, was found dead in his car in Moscow. Erovinkin was a key liaison between Sechin and Putin. Steele claimed much of the information came from a source close to Sechin. According to Christo Grozev, a journalist at Risk Management Lab, a think tank based in Bulgaria, the circumstances of Erovinkin’s death were “mysterious”. Grozev suspected Erovinkin helped Steele compile the dossier on Trump and suggests the hypothesis that the death may have been part of a cover-up by the Russian government.[243][244] Experts expressed skepticism about the theory. “As a rule, people like Gen Yerovinkin don’t tend to die in airport thriller murders,” said Mark Galeotti, an expert on the Russian security services.[243]

Litigation

Against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS

On February 3, 2017, Aleksej Gubarev, chief of technology company XBT and a figure mentioned in the dossier, sued BuzzFeed for defamation. The suit, filed in a Broward County, Florida court, centers on allegations from the dossier that XBT had been “using botnetsand porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership”.[245][246] In the High Court of Justice, Steele’s lawyers said their client did not intend for the memos to be released, and that one of the memos “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified”.[247] In response to the lawsuit, BuzzFeed hired the business advisory firm FTI Consulting to investigate the dossier’s allegations.[248] BuzzFeed has sued the DNC in an attempt to force the disclosure of information it believes will bolster its defense against libel allegations.[249] Fusion GPS “has claimed that it did not provide the dossier to BuzzFeed.”[250]

In connection with the libel suit against them by Gubarev, on June 30, 2017, BuzzFeed subpoenaed the CIA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They also sought “testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, as well as former DNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan”. They were interested in using the discovery process to get information about the distribution of the dossier, how it had circulated among government officials, and the “existence and scope of the federal government’s investigation into the dossier”. They hoped “the information could bolster BuzzFeed’s claim that publication of the document was protected by the fair report privilege, which can immunize reports based on official government records.”[251] On June 4, 2018, Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that BuzzFeed could claim “fair report privilege” for the publication of the dossier and its accompanying article, bolstering BuzzFeed’s defense.[252]

In May 2017, Mikhail FridmanPetr Aven, and German Khan – the owners of Alfa Bank – filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for publishing the unverified dossier,[253][254] which alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners.[255][256] In October 2017, Fridman, Aven, and Khan also filed a libel suit against Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, for circulating the dossier among journalists and allowing it to be published.[257]

On January 9, 2018, Michael Cohen sued BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS for defamation over allegations about him in the dossier.[258] On April 19, 2018, ten days after his home, office and hotel room were raided by the FBI as part of a criminal investigation, Cohen filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the suit.[259][260][261]

Against Christopher Steele

In April 2018, Alfa Bank owners Fridman, Aven, and Khan filed a libel suit against Steele,[262] since the dossier alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners.[255][256] The lawsuit is filed in Washington D.C., and since none of the parties to the lawsuit are based in D.C., it is possible the lawsuit may not be able to move forward in that court.[262] Steele’s lawyers have filed two motions to dismiss the case, accusing the three men of intimidation.[263]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump%E2%80%93Russia_dossier

Story 3: International Investors in U.S. Treasury Securities Is Flat and Smallest Share in 18 Years — Videos

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Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008.
Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008. PHOTO: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. government has been issuing more debt, but it’s not getting more foreign buyers in the door. As a result, U.S. investors have so far financed all of this year’s increase in the federal government’s borrowing.

Foreign holdings of the debt have remained essentially flat, though the government’s borrowing has risen by $500 billion, giving foreign investors the smallest share of U.S. government debt since 2003. Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008. Yields rise when bond prices fall.

Imported BondsTreasury debt has been less popular overseassince auction sizes began increasing this FebruaryPercentage of Treasury auctions won by foreign investors Source: U.S. Treasury Department
%Jan. ’17JulyJan. ’18July7.510.012.515.017.520.022.5

Some foreign investors are concerned that the$1.5 trillion tax cut passed by Congress in December will overstimulate the U.S. economy, leading to an acceleration in inflation and potentially higher bond yields and interest rates.

The drop in foreign demand is happening as Treasury yields approach their highest premiums over German and Japanese debt since the 1980s and as the dollar is in the middle of a rally that caught many investors by surprise. The drop-off in foreign interest also coincides with a decision by the Federal Reserve to reduce the size of its government bond holdings as part of an effort to restore monetary policy to precrisis norms.

Investors and analysts cite two impediments that are discouraging foreign investment. One is the strength of the dollar has made it more expensive for investors in Japan and Europe to hedge the currency risk of buying Treasurys. A second is a new concern about the sustainability of U.S. borrowing practices at a time when the Trump administration is forecast to run a series of trillion-dollar budget deficits beginning as soon as 2020.

The hedging costs are “so high and so punitive that it is no longer attractive” to buy Treasurys, said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank. The cost is typically close to premium of short-term U.S. government bill yields over short-term yields overseas. Those rates are compared with short-term government debt yields, which are closely tied to each market’s central bank’s policies. The Fed is holding its target rate in a range between 1.75% and 2%, while rates for the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank are negative.

A bigger concern perhaps is that by boosting debt to fuel growth at a time when the unemployment rate is about 4%, the U.S. may be “opening the door to much more serious risks,” Mr. Slok said.

Those risks for the economy, which grew at a 4.1% pace in the second quarter, include the possibility that it overheats. That could force the Fed to raise interest rates quickly, risking a rise in bond yields, and accelerate the next recession, Mr. Slok said.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/funding-secured-for-the-u-s-government-that-means-domestic-bond-buyers-1534507201

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Story 1: Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, Passes Away at 76 — Respect — I Say A Little Prayer — Videos —

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Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, whose impassioned, riveting voice made her a titan of American music, has died, her niece, Sabrina Owens, confirmed to the Free Press. She was 76.

She died at 9:50 a.m. surrounded by family at her home in Detroit.

A family statement released by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillip of Karmanos Cancer Institute” in Detroit.

The family added: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”

Also read: 

Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th Century. Raised on an eclectic musical diet of gospel, R&B, classical and jazz, she blossomed out of her father’s Detroit church to become the most distinguished black female artist of all time, breaking boundaries while placing nearly 100 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart — 20 of them reaching No. 1.

The Queen of Soul, as she was coronated in the 1960s, leaves a sprawling legacy of classic songs that includes “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Baby I Love You,” “Angel,” “Think,” “Rock Steady,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Freeway of Love,” along with a bestselling gospel catalog.

Her death follows several years of painstakingly concealed medical issues, which led to regular show cancellations and extended absences from the public eye.

Visibly feeble but still summoning magic from her voice, Franklin played her final Detroit show in June 2017, an emotion-packed concert for thousands at an outdoor festival downtown.

She ended the performance with a then-cryptic appeal to the hometown crowd: “Please keep me in your prayers.”

Read more:

The Queen of Soul sang for presidents and royalty, and befriended high-profile leaders such as the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson. Amid the global glitter and acclaim, she remained loyal to her home region, living in the Detroit area for decades, including the Bloomfield Hills house where she moved in the late 1980s. She moved back to Detroit in summer 2017, buying an apartment at Riverfront Towers outside downtown.

“My roots are there. The church is there. My family is there,” she told the Free Press in 2011. “I like the camaraderie in Detroit, how we’ll rally behind something that’s really worthy and come to each other’s assistance.”

Franklin’s voice was a singular force, earning her a multitude of laurels through the decades, including 18 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and honorary doctorates from a host of institutions. In 1987, she became the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,and seven years later, at age 52, the youngest recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor.

Franklin topped Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list, and her signature hit, “Respect,” ranked No. 4 on “Songs of the Century,” a 1999 project by the National Endowment for the Arts. She performed at the inaugurations of U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, garnering global attention at the latter for her big felt hat with its crystal-studded bow — a piece of wardrobe now in the Smithsonian Institution.

Franklin’s influence is vast and indelible. It’s most obviously heard in the myriad voices that followed her, from Mary J. Blige to Adele, and even male singers like Luther Vandross.

But just as important is Franklin’s broader social impact: She embodied American black culture, emphatically and without apology, and through sheer force of talent, thrust it onto the global stage.

Franklin revolutionized black music and the way it was absorbed and perceived, helping create a world where we take for granted that a Beyoncé can reign atop mainstream popular culture.

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Franklin was emotionally complex, a woman who relished her diva status but whose vulnerabilities and insecurities always seemed to lurk just beneath. Her public success masked a private life of turbulence and loss, making for an intriguing character driven by conflicting forces: Franklin was sassy but naturally shy, urbane but down-home, confident but reckless.

That deep, complicated humanity imbued her music with authenticity. Franklin’s singing, soaked in feeling and executed with virtuoso skill, moved seamlessly among styles: gospel, soul, pop, blues, R&B, jazz, even opera. She belted, purred, seduced, testified. Even as the propulsive power left her voice in later years, she remained as expressive as ever, and her live performances continued to earn critical acclaim.

“I must do what is real in me in all ways,” she told Ebony magazine in 1967, the year when a string of hit singles — “Respect,” “Baby I Love You,” “Chain of Fools” — gave Franklin her first major crossover success.

Franklin’s early life

Born in Memphis on March 25, 1942, Franklin moved at age 4 to Detroit when her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, took over duties at New Bethel Baptist Church.

Turmoil set in early: Her mother left Detroit for Buffalo, N.Y., when Aretha was 6, and died four years later.

Still, Franklin grew up in an environment ideal for nurturing her skills. Her charismatic father was a preacher and singer with a national reputation, with sermons that became top-selling records and a gospel revue that toured the country. That brought important musical figures into the young singer’s orbit, including household guests such as James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King and Sam Cooke. Growing up on Detroit’s northwest side, she was a childhood friend of Smokey Robinson.

She became a singing prodigy at New Bethel, and her sisters, Carolyn and Erma, also honed their gospel skills. But it was Aretha who steadily emerged as the standout, and by age 14 she was accompanying her father on his gospel travels.

Gospel was the main focus, but the Franklin household was teeming with all manner of music.

“I heard classical music from the beginning. It was always in our home,” she told the Free Press in 2011. “As a teenager I took more to the R&B, but I always loved classical.”

R&B music, frowned upon by many in the traditional gospel world, was also welcome in the house. The Rev. Franklin, progressive in politics and disposition, put up little resistance to the secular sounds exemplified by artists such as Cooke.

The young Aretha absorbed the emotional power of music in its many forms, whether in the throes of an ecstatic congregation or the intimacy of close listening.

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“(My older sister) Erma was a big fan of ‘Be My Love’ by Mario Lanza,” she recalled. “How many times did we hear that in our house?! Sylvia Robinson, Smokey’s sister, used to visit Erma and play ‘Be My Love,’ pressing their ears against the speakers, just crying.

“I was quite young at the time, and I thought it was very funny that these girls were crying with their ears against the speaker. I didn’t do that with the artists I heard (then) — Frankie Lymon, the Clovers, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles. As an adult I began to perfectly understand it. When I heard someone knocking me out, I thought, ‘OK, so this is what that was about.’”

In 1960, at age 18, Franklin spurned a hometown offer from Berry Gordy’s fledgling Motown label and opted to sign with New York’s Columbia Records, where her demo tape had caught the ear of iconic talent scout John Hammond. A year later — shortly after Franklin married her manager, Ted White — her Columbia debut was released.

That record set the tone for her five-year, nine-album tenure at Columbia, where she was groomed as an interpreter of jazz and pop standards, presented as a chanteuse at the piano.

Franklin was quietly masterful at the keyboard. Throughout her career, it was a skill overshadowed by her voice — although she played piano on most of the work for which she’s now remembered.

The Columbia period proved fruitful but frustrating for the young singer, helping expand her talent while sticking a bridle on the gospel-honed voice behind it. Even as her critical reputation and live draw grew, she managed only a handful of minor hits.

“It’s a fast track to the top if you’ve really got it going on. But I like the way I came up in the industry,” she told the Free Press in 2014. “It wasn’t too fast. It wasn’t overnight, but (rather) little by little. And gradually I grew in the industry. I like that more than the overnight sensation, as one might put it. I was able to learn along the way and grow at a very, very nice pace. My pace, really. I wasn’t thrust into anything I wasn’t ready for.”

Real success blossomed in 1967, when the 24-year-old Franklin declined to renew her Columbia contract and signed with Atlantic Records, where executives Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler saw a chance to unleash the raw power of Franklin’s vocals. Her first Atlantic single — “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” — was cut at the burgeoning soul-music hotbed FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Within weeks it was Franklin’s first No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart, cracking the pop Top 10 as well. She was on her way to mainstream success.

As with so much of her coming work, the performance on “I Never Loved a Man” was fueled by a deep intensity but with an intimate, welcoming feel that helped Franklin connect with listeners across the board.

“She has never learned how to be pretentious enough to build a false image, and deeply identifies with people on all levels,” Ebony wrote that year, going on to quote Franklin:

“Everybody who’s living has problems and desires just as I do,” she told the magazine. “When the fellow on the corner has somethin’ botherin’ him, he feels the same way I do. When we cry, we all gonna cry tears, and when we laugh, we all have to smile.”

‘Respect’ and the ascension to fame

Franklin’s career quickly skyrocketed: With Wexler overseeing sessions and many of the Muscle Shoals players recruited to Atlantic’s New York studio, Franklin recorded a flurry of hits in the ensuing months, all of them enduring for decades as staples of her repertoire: “Respect,” “Baby I Love You,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools, “Ain’t No Way.” She was backed on many by sisters Carolyn and Erma, who enjoyed modest solo success of their own.

Franklin was no one’s puppet in the studio: Even in her earliest years, she was assertive during record sessions, crafting arrangements and dictating commands to seasoned musicians many decades her senior.

By ’68, Franklin was an iconic figure in the African-American community — “the Queen of Soul,” as she was christened by the black press. She was now inescapably important: Franklin’s status was seconded by mainstream America that summer when she graced the cover of Time magazine.

While Franklin was not often explicitly political in public, she embraced her anointed role just as the black pride movement was flowering. “Respect,” in particular, took on anthem-like stature, hailed as a bold feminist and civil-rights statement — though Franklin long insisted she had no grand designs when she recorded the Otis Redding tune about household relationships.

On Feb. 16, 1968 — declared “Aretha Franklin Day” by Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanagh — she performed a celebratory hometown show for 12,000 at Cobo Arena. In attendance was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., two months before his assassination, and he took the stage to present Franklin with an award on behalf of his Southern Christian Leadership Council.

As would become typical of Franklin’s story, the outward success masked drama behind the scenes. The marriage to White, in particular, had become fraught, marked by domestic violence. By 1969, they were divorced. She would go on to wed actor Glynn Turman in 1978, a marriage that lasted six years.

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The hits continued to pile up. By the end of the 1960s she had placed 28 songs in the R&B Top 40, a mix of original material and eclectic cover songs, including work by the Beatles (“Eleanor Rigby”) and the Band (“The Weight”). The momentum carried into the following decade, with a string of hit records and a 1972 gospel album, “Amazing Grace,” that became one of the genre’s all-time best sellers.

Success on the R&B side continued in the ’70s even as the pop hits tapered off, though 1976’s “Sparkle” soundtrack produced one of Franklin’s abiding crossover classics, the Curtis Mayfield-penned “Something He Can Feel.” A scene-stealing appearance in the 1980 comedy “The Blues Brothers,” where Franklin performed as a waitress belting out “Think,” was a colorful introduction for a younger generation.

That same year, searching for a new musical direction, Franklin signed with Arista Records, where mogul Clive Davis helped groom a fresh career path for the singer, now approaching 40.

After several tries, the 1985 album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” became the mainstream smash they sought, producing the hit “Freeway of Love” and placing Franklin in front of the MTV audience. A duet with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” topped the global charts two years later.

Franklin, who had spent much of the 1970s in Los Angeles, was now permanently resettled in metro Detroit, with several area properties including the Bloomfield Hills residence that would remain her primary home for the next three decades. Her reverend father had died in 1984 after a five-year coma; he’d been shot during an attempted robbery at his Detroit home.

The 1990s saw Franklin growing into the role of elder soul stateswoman, satisfied with her status as one of pop history’s greats and playing up the diva role that had become an integral facet of her persona. While the studio pace slowed — she released just five albums from 1998 through her death — her latter-day music was generally well received, with Grammy nominations for “A Rose Is Still a Rose” (1998) and “So Damn Happy” (2003).

“I’m comfortable in my own skin, and my six-inch heels,” she told the Free Press in 2011.

Though Franklin still performed regularly in the ’90s and ’00s, her touring work was hampered by her fear of flying, which had set in after a frightening small plane trip in the early ‘80s. She insisted on bus travel, trekking across the U.S. to play for adoring crowds at theaters and summer amphitheaters.

“I’ve definitely evolved to a greater maturity onstage, a savoir faire, I think,” she told the Free Press. “It’s just about relaxing more, really, and having fun with it. That comes with time, to evolve to that level and find that it’s really very simple … that it’s really about having fun and communicating with your audience.”

Franklin was long dogged by weight issues and struggled with alcohol abuse in the late 1960s. But the first glaring sign of health problems came in 2010, when she canceled six months of concert commitments while hospitalized for undisclosed reasons.

She reemerged the next summer visibly slimmer and seemingly healthy, returning with a glowing show at the Chicago Theatre: “Six months after the world was braced for the worst, Aretha Franklin gave it her best,” as the Free Press reported at the time.

“Her voice was velvety and potent as she rolled into her set, still finding new curves and corners in the notes of songs such as ‘Think,’ ‘Sparkle’ and ‘Baby I Love You,’ ” read the review.

Nevertheless, Franklin’s concert activity became hit-and-miss during her final years, and show cancellations became par for the course, often chalked up to unnamed health problems. She increasingly spoke of winding things down, performing fewer shows by the year, and in February 2017 finally raised the prospect of retirement, saying she was recording a final album.

Two missions loomed large during the final decade of Franklin’s life, and both were still in the works when she died: She was in ongoing talks to produce a biographical film about her life, frequently talking up potential lead actresses such as Jennifer Hudson, Halle Berry and Audra McDonald. And she was enchanted by the idea of opening a soul food restaurant in downtown Detroit.

Reclusive by nature, Franklin liked being at home and enjoying “the small things,” as she said in 2011 — polishing the silver, buying a tea set, washing and ironing. She was a reader drawn to biographies and an avid media consumer who looked forward to her daily newspapers.

“I enjoy the comfort of home very much,” she said. “I’m very domestic when I’m at home. I can stay in the house for the longest kind of time and not get out.”

From Obama to Pavarotti, always grand

It was always BIGwith Aretha Franklin. The public situations skewed to the larger-than-life, the supersized, the majestic. She was an immense presence, physically and psychologically, and could take over rooms simply by sweeping into them.

She had a knack for finding herself at the center of grand moments, whether stealing the show at the Obama inaugural or filling in for the ailing Luciano Pavarotti with an impromptu “Nessun Dorma” at the 1998 Grammys.

“She could get a U.S. president on the phone with two calls,” said Brian Pastoria, who co-engineered some of Franklin’s studio work.

Indeed, it was the little stuff that seemed to vex Franklin most. She struggled with personal finances, and was frequently forced into small-claims court by mom-and-pop operations around metro Detroit — limo services, caterers, contractors. Her home was often cluttered and unkempt, and while experts on creative genius might say that comes with the territory, it was enough to frustrate neighbors and leave visitors puzzled why she had so little help around her.

For years Franklin talked about plans to tackle her flying phobia, but never followed through. It kept her grounded for the final 35 years of her life, plausibly costing her millions in touring revenue.

Franklin was scrupulously private. Even in Detroit music circles, the ’Ree ’Ree rumor mill churned slowly; her personal life was shielded by a tight cadre of family members and friends. When writer Mark Bego set out to pen the first authorized Aretha Franklin biography, 1989’s “The Queen of Soul,” he was struck by the array of unknowns that still surrounded her — basic details about her two marriages and divorces, her upbringing, even her musical inspirations.

“I felt as if I had just encountered one of the great unsolved mysteries of the show-business world,” he wrote.

Franklin cautiously traipsed into some of those topics with her 1999 autobiography, “Aretha: From These Roots.” But she remained elusive enough that her handpicked co-author, David Ritz, was compelled to write his own uninhibited Franklin biography 15 years later.

That book provoked the singer’s wrath — the sort of eruption familiar to those in Aretha’s world. Franklin continually churned through support staff, hiring and firing lawyers, publicists and producers. She feuded with other female singers and knew how to hold a grudge, including a beef with Dionne Warwick that became public only when Franklin alerted the press out of the blue — five years after it happened.

But when it came to the music, few were more disciplined than Franklin. She was serious about her voice and exacting about her concert conditions: big on honey and hot tea before a show and insistent on rooms without air conditioning, aware it could dry out her throat.

Many who worked closely with her also glimpsed the humanity at the heart of the superstar singer who came up in the church.

“She (was) very compassionate,” the late Darryl Houston said in 2010. Houston was Franklin’s accompanying pianist for more than two decades. “When I was dealing with the sickness and eventual death of my father in Mississippi, she was very encouraging in thought and deed. I remember a few times I would get a call from a travel agent saying: ‘When do you want to go see your dad? Ms. Franklin has taken care of the ticket.’ “

Brian Pastoria was part of a studio team that worked with Franklin in the 1990s and 2000s, including recording sessions at her home.

“Before the vocal sessions, she’d be in the kitchen making chili. After recording a couple of hours, she’d say, ‘OK, time to eat!’ ” Pastoria recalled. “Even though she was the greatest of all time, the Muhammad Ali of vocals, it was still always her calling on the phone for business, not her lawyer. You’d hear, ‘Hi, honey, how are you!’ It was nice. It was real. You never felt like you were dealing with a major superstar.”

For all the public gowns, glitz and diva references — she was famously portrayed in a Snickers commercial as a crabby prima donna — Franklin was a homegirl at heart. She was a connoisseur of old school Southern soul food, proud of her knack with homemade dishes like fried chicken and ham with black-eyed peas.

“I think I rank with the best when it comes to the stove,” she told the Free Press in 1996.

That sort of organic realness coursed through her work.

“She paints a picture with a song,” said Houston. “Outside of being vocally astute, you can feel what she’s singing. You can tell when someone is just singing a song, and when the song is a part of their inner being. With Aretha, what leaves the heart reaches the heart.”

“It seems she never, ever forgot those roots of the church, and she really believed that we need to look above the things of this world, to a more spiritual level,” said social activist Rocky Twyman. “You felt like she wanted to bless humanity with her music.”

Franklin was a frequent visitor at New Bethel well into her final years, hosting gospel concerts and holiday celebrations at the church whose original site hosted the recording of her first album.

“I’ve known many of the most dynamic singers on the planet,” said Detroit poet and musician Jessica Care Moore. “There’s still no voice like Aretha Franklin. She embodied the idea of what soul music was and would become. She opens her mouth and everything stands still.”

As a young woman growing up in the city, Moore said, it was easy to be inspired by Franklin — an “honor and blessing” to be in the presence of a Detroit great.

“She absolutely is the sound of Detroit,” said Moore. “She lifted up the city and represented it in a global way.”

In November, Franklin sang in public for the last time, performing a nine-song set at an Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in New York.

Franklin had made her final hometown appearance on June 10, 2017, headlining the Detroit Music Weekend festival for thousands gathered in the streets. Down the block two days earlier, tears had streamed down her face as she was honored by the city with the unveiling of Aretha Franklin Way, a ceremonial renaming of Madison Street.

On the festival stage that weekend, Franklin was backed by a setting sun and the nearby marquee of the Fox Theatre, her favorite local venue since she was a young girl. For nearly two hours, she performed a spirited, feisty set while clearly struggling through pain, at one point singing from a plush chair.

Franklin did it her way that night, foregoing many of her biggest hits for a deeper dive into her catalog and a stirring, 11-minute gospel workout of “Precious Memories.”

The old soaring power may have been missing, but the passion was intact. For one last time on a Detroit stage, there was Aretha Franklin, and there was that voice.

That voice — still captivating, but now comforting in its decades-long familiarity. A sound still melding urban vitality with the warmth of Southern soul. Still joy, pain, ecstasy, liberation. Still strength and femininity. And still offering, as it always will, the promise of transcendence.

https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/08/16/aretha-franklin-dies/309137002/

How Aretha Franklin made ‘Respect’ a feminist anthem

Fiachra GIBBONS, Anthony LUCAS

,

AFP

It may be the most rousing feminist anthem ever, but “Respect” — the song that made Aretha Franklin the “Queen of Soul” — was actually written about a man demanding a break from his wife.

Franklin’s genius was to turn the song — and the traditional values it espoused — on their head by some deft changes to the lyrics and by adding the stirring “R – E – S – P – E – C – T” chorus.

In so doing, she made Otis Redding’s 1965 lament of an exhausted working man demanding some slack from his woman into a rallying call for downtrodden African American women.

Rolling Stone magazine put her version in the top five greatest songs of all time, saying Franklin was a “woman calling an end to the exhaustion and sacrifice of a raw deal with scorching sexual authority.”

And even Redding — who wrote other such timeless classics like “Dock of the Bay” and “Try a Little Tenderness” — acknowledged within months of Franklin’s recording that the song belonged to her.

His biographer Mark Ribowsky said that at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival in California, Redding joked to the crowd, saying: “This next song is a song that a girl took away from me.”

Five months later, the “King of Soul” died in a plane crash aged just 26.

Franklin was an almost unknown gospel singer from Detroit when she went into the studio to record “Respect” with her sisters Erma and Carolyn.

She speeded the song up and cooked up the provocative high-tempo “Sock it to me” refrain, producer Jerry Wexler later recalled in his autobiography, “Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music.”

“The fervour in Aretha’s voice demanded that respect,” he wrote.

But American musicologist Professor Victoria Malawey told AFP that Franklin’s take on the song was far more than a jazzed up cover version.

– A new soul –

She insisted that Franklin changed “the song so radically… that I would argue she re-authored it.

“It was not just her altering of the lyrics, or changing the point of view of the song from a male one to that of a woman, she also gave it an entirely new energy and soul,” the pop music specialist added.

Malawey, chair of music at Macalester College in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, credits Franklin with turning the song into an anthem for both the feminist and civil rights movement in the late 1960s.

“Not only did she add the R-E-S-P-E-C-T chorus, but her remaking of the song gives it a whole different empowerment message, both sexually and politically.

“In my opinion, the extent of her re-authoring grants her status as owner of the song, and makes it a whole new sonic experience. That is why multiple social movements have claimed Franklin’s ‘Respect’ as theirs” over the past half-century, she said.

The hit won Franklin the first two of her 18 Grammy awards, and went on to feature in more than 30 major films including “Platoon”, “The Blues Brothers”, “Mystic Pizza” and “Forrest Gump”.

Malawey said that Franklin, the daughter of a Baptist minister, always denied that there were sexual overtones to the lyrics she added.

– Sexual empowerment –

But Wexler begged to differ. “More respect also involved sexual attention of the highest order. What else would ‘Sock it to me’ mean?” he said.

Others who knew her said she was drawing from her tumultuous marriage at the time.

“Whatever the intention, people have taken a definite female sexual empowerment message from the song,” Malawey said.

“There is a long tradition of black female performers allowing for a variety of meanings from their lyrics to assert their sexuality. You see this right down to Beyonce.”

But Malawey said it was Franklin’s “voice, and the power and soul she gives the song, which has inspired and empowered so many people.

“It is something beyond lyrics or the melody that really moves us and that is all to do with Aretha Franklin’s own vocal delivery. That is what has made the song so powerful, so lasting and so relevant today.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/aretha-franklin-made-respect-feminist-anthem-143229602.html%5D

 

Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin 1968.jpg

Franklin in 1968
Born Aretha Louise Franklin
March 25, 1942
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Died August 16, 2018 (aged 76)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • pianist
Years active 1956–2017
Home town Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Ted White
(m. 1961; div. 1969)
Glynn Turman
(m. 1978; div. 1984)
Children 4
Parent(s) Clarence LaVaughn Franklin
Barbara Siggers Franklin
Relatives Erma Franklin (sister)
Carolyn Franklin (sister)
Awards Aretha Franklin awards
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Labels
Associated acts
Website arethafranklin.net

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist.[1] She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect“, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman“, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think“.

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “the Queen of Soul“. Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, Gifted and Black (1972) and Amazing Grace (1972) before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

In 1998, Franklin received international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards that year, replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that year, she scored her final Top 40 song with “A Rose Is Still a Rose“.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin’s other well-known hits include “Rock Steady“, “Jump to It“, “Freeway of Love“, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who“, “Chain of Fools“, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)“, “Something He Can Feel“, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“.

She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through 1975, and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.[2]

Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.[3] Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.[4]

Early life

Franklin’s birthplace, 406 Lucy Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.[5]

Aretha Louise Franklin was born at 406 Lucy Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara (née Siggers) and Clarence LaVaughn “C. L.” Franklin. Her father was an itinerant preacher originally from Shelby, Mississippi, while her mother was an accomplished piano player and vocalist.[6] Her parents had three other children, and both C. L. and Barbara had children from outside their marriage. The family relocated to Buffalo, New York, when Aretha was two. Before her fifth birthday, C. L. Franklin permanently relocated the family to DetroitMichigan where he took over the pastorship of New Bethel Baptist Church. Aretha’s parents had a troubled marriage due to stories of her father’s philandering and in 1948, the couple separated, with Barbara relocating back to Buffalo with her son, Vaughn, from a previous relationship.[7]

Contrary to popular belief, her mother did not abandon her children; not only did Aretha recall seeing her mother in Buffalo during the summer, but Barbara also frequently visited her children in Detroit.[8] Aretha’s mother died on March 7, 1952, before Aretha’s tenth birthday. Several women, including Aretha’s grandmother, Rachel, and Mahalia Jackson took turns helping with the children at the Franklin home.[9]During this time, Aretha learned how to play piano by ear.[10] Aretha’s father’s emotionally driven sermons resulted in his being known as the man with the “million-dollar voice” and earning thousands of dollars for sermons in various churches across the country.[11][12] His celebrity status led to his home being visited by various celebrities, among them gospel musicians Clara WardJames Cleveland and early Caravans members Albertina Walker and Inez Andrews as well as Martin Luther King Jr.Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.[13][14] Aretha attended Northern High School[15] but later dropped out during her sophomore year.[16][17]

Music career

Beginnings (1952–1960)

Just after her mother’s death, Franklin began singing solos at New Bethel, debuting with the hymn, “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me.”[9][18] Four years later, when Franklin was 14, her father began managing her, bringing her on the road with him during his so-called “gospel caravan” tours for her to perform in various churches.[19] He helped his daughter sign her first recording deal with J.V.B. Records, where her first album, Songs of Faith, was issued in 1956. Franklin sometimes traveled with The Soul Stirrers during this time.[20] At the age of 16, Franklin went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in 1968 sang at his funeral.[21]

After turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke in recording pop music, and moved to New York.[14] Serving as her manager, C. L. agreed to the move and helped to produce a two-song demo that soon was brought to the attention of Columbia Records, who agreed to sign her in 1960. Franklin was signed as a “five-percent artist”.[22] During this period, Franklin would be coached by choreographer Cholly Atkins to prepare for her pop performances. Before signing with Columbia, Sam Cooke tried to persuade Franklin’s father to have his label, RCA, sign Franklin. He had also been courted by local record label owner Berry Gordy to sign Franklin and her elder sister Erma to his Tamla label. Franklin’s father felt the label was not established enough yet. Franklin’s first Columbia single, “Today I Sing the Blues“,[23] was issued in September 1960 and later reached the top ten of the Hot Rhythm & Blues Sellers chart.[24]

Initial success (1961–1966)

In January 1961, Columbia issued Franklin’s first secular album, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo. The album featured her first single to chart the Billboard Hot 100, “Won’t Be Long“, which also peaked at number 7 on the R&B chart. Mostly produced by Clyde Otis, Franklin’s Columbia recordings saw her recording in diverse genres such as standardsvocal jazzbluesdoo-wop and rhythm and blues. Before the year was out, Franklin scored her first top 40 single with her rendition of the standard, “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody“, which also included the R&B hit, “Operation Heartbreak“, on its b-side. “Rock-a-Bye” became her first international hit, reaching the top 40 in Australia and Canada. By the end of 1961, Franklin was named as a “new-star female vocalist” in DownBeatmagazine.[25] In 1962, Columbia issued two more albums, The Electrifying Aretha Franklin and The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin,[26][27] the latter of which reached No. 69 on the Billboard chart.[28]

By 1964, Franklin began recording more pop music, reaching the top ten on the R&B chart with the ballad, “Runnin’ Out of Fools” in early 1965. She had two R&B charted singles in 1965 and 1966 with the songs “One Step Ahead” and “Cry Like a Baby” while also reaching the Easy Listening charts with the ballads “You Made Me Love You” and “(No, No) I’m Losing You”. By the mid-1960s, Franklin was netting $100,000 from countless performances in nightclubs and theaters.[29] Also during that period, Franklin appeared on rock and roll shows such as Hollywood A Go-Go and Shindig!. However, Franklin struggled with commercial success while at Columbia. Label executive John H. Hammond later said he felt Columbia did not understand Franklin’s early gospel background and failed to bring that aspect out further during her period there.[23]

Commercial success (1967–1979)

Aretha Franklin in 1967

In November 1966, after 6 years with Columbia, Franklin chose not to renew her contract with the company and signed to Atlantic Records.[30] In January 1967, she traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record at FAME Studios and recorded the song, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” in front of the musicians of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.[23] The song was later issued that February and reached number one on the R&B chart, while also peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Franklin her first top ten pop single. The song’s b-side, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man“, reached the R&B top 40, peaking at number 37. In April, Atlantic issued her frenetic version of Otis Redding‘s “Respect“, which shot to number one on both the R&B and pop charts. “Respect” became her signature song and was later hailed as a civil rights and feminist anthem.[23]

Franklin’s debut Atlantic album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, also became commercially successful, later going gold. Franklin scored two more top ten singles in 1967 including “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman“. Franklin’s rapport with producer Jerry Wexler helped in the creation of the majority of Franklin’s peak recordings with Atlantic. In 1968, she issued the top-selling albums, Lady Soul and Aretha Now, which included some of Franklin’s most popular hit singles, including “Chain of Fools“, “Ain’t No Way“, “Think” and “I Say a Little Prayer“. In February 1968, Franklin earned the first two of her Grammys, including the debut category for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[31] On February 16, 1968, Franklin was honored with a day in her honor and was greeted by longtime friend Martin Luther King Jr. who gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians just two months before his death.[32][33][34] In June 1968, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine.[35]

Franklin’s success expanded during the early 1970s in which she recorded top ten singles such as “Spanish Harlem“, “Rock Steady” and “Day Dreaming” as well as the acclaimed albums Spirit in the DarkYoung, Gifted and Black, and her gospel album, Amazing Grace, which sold over two million copies. In 1971, Franklin became the first R&B performer to headline Fillmore West, later releasing the live album Aretha Live at Fillmore West.[36] Franklin’s career began to experience problems while recording the album, Hey Now Hey, which featured production from Quincy Jones. Despite the success of the single “Angel“, the album bombed upon its release in 1973. Franklin continued having R&B success with songs such as “Until You Come Back to Me” and “I’m in Love“, but by 1975 her albums and songs were no longer top sellers. After Jerry Wexler left Atlantic for Warner Bros. Records in 1976, Franklin worked on the soundtrack to the film Sparkle with Curtis Mayfield. The album yielded Franklin’s final top 40 hit of the decade, “Something He Can Feel“, which also peaked at number one on the R&B chart. Franklin’s follow-up albums for Atlantic, including Sweet PassionAlmighty Fire and La Diva, bombed on the charts, and in 1979 Franklin opted to leave the company.[37]

Later years (1980–2018)

Franklin performing on April 21, 2007, at the Nokia Theater in Dallas, Texas

In 1980, after leaving Atlantic Records,[38] Franklin signed with Clive Davis‘ Arista Records and that same year gave a command performance at the Royal Albert Hall in front of Queen Elizabeth. Franklin also made an acclaimed guest role as a waitress in the comedy musical, The Blues Brothers. Franklin’s first Arista album, Aretha, featured the No. 3 R&B hit, “United Together” and her Grammy-nominated cover of Otis Redding‘s “I Can’t Turn You Loose“. The follow-up, 1981’s Love All the Hurt Away, included her famed duet of the title track with George Benson while the album also included her Grammy-winning cover of Sam & Dave‘s “Hold On, I’m Comin’“. Franklin achieved a gold record—for the first time in seven years—with the album Jump to It. Its title track was her first top 40 single on the pop charts in six years.[39]

In 1985, inspired by a desire to have a “younger sound” in her music, Who’s Zoomin’ Who? became her first Arista album to be certified platinum. The album sold well over a million copies thanks to the hits, “Freeway of Love“, the title track, and “Another Night”.[40] The following year’s Aretha album nearly matched this success with the hit singles “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“, “Jimmy Lee” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me“, her international number-one duet with George Michael. During that period, Franklin provided vocals to the theme songs of the TV shows A Different World and Together.[41] In 1987, she issued her third gospel album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which was recorded at her late father’s New Bethel church, followed by Through the Storm in 1989. Franklin’s 1991 album, What You See is What You Sweat, flopped on the charts. Franklin returned to the charts in 1993 with the dance song “A Deeper Love” and returned to the top 40 with the song “Willing to Forgive” in 1994.[42]

In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose“, later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of “Nessun Dorma” at the Grammy Awards.[43] Her final Arista album, So Damn Happy, was released in 2003 and featured the Grammy-winning song, “Wonderful”. In 2004, Franklin announced that she was leaving Arista after over 20 years with the label.[44] To complete her Arista obligations, Franklin issued the duets compilation album, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen, in 2007.[45] The following year, she issued the holiday album, This Christmas, Aretha, on DMI Records.[46]

Franklin singing at the 2009 inauguration of President Obama

Franklin performed The Star-Spangled Banner with Aaron Neville and Dr. John for Super Bowl XL, held in her hometown of Detroit in February 2006. She later made international headlines for performing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama‘s inaugural ceremony with her church hat becoming a popular topic online. In 2010, Franklin accepted an honorary degree from Yale University.[47] In 2011, under her own label, Aretha’s Records, she issued the album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love.

In 2014, Franklin was signed under RCA Records, controller of the Arista catalog and a sister label to Columbia via Sony Music Entertainment, and was working with Clive Davis. An album was planned with producers Babyface and Danger Mouse.[48] On September 29, 2014, Franklin performed to a standing ovation, with Cissy Houston as backup, a compilation of Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” on the Late Show with David Letterman.[49] Franklin’s cover of “Rolling in the Deep” was featured among nine other songs in her first RCA release, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, released in October 2014.[50] In doing so, she became the first woman to have 100 songs on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with the success of her cover of Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep“, which debuted at number 47 on the chart.[51]

Franklin, waiting to perform at the White House in 2015

In December 2015, Franklin gave an acclaimed performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the song.[52][53][54][55] During the bridge of the song, Ms. Franklin dropped her fur coat to the stage, for which the audience rewarded her with a mid-performance standing ovation.[56] She returned to Detroit’s Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day 2016 to once again perform the national anthem before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. Seated behind the piano in a black fur coat and Lions stocking cap, this rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lasted over four minutes and featured a host of improvisations by Franklin.[57]

Franklin released the album A Brand New Me in November 2017 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which uses archived recordings from her past. It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Classical Albums chart.[58]

Music style and image

According to Richie Unterberger, Franklin was “one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged.”[59] She had often been described as a great singer and musician due to “vocal flexibility, interpretive intelligence, skillful piano-playing, her ear, her experience”.[60] Franklin’s voice was described as being a “powerful mezzo-soprano voice”. She was praised for her arrangements and interpretations of other artists’ hit songs.[61] Of describing Franklin’s voice as a youngster on her first album, Songs of Faith, released when she was just fourteen, Jerry Wexler explained that Franklin’s voice “was not that of a child but rather of an ecstatic hierophant“.[62]

Personal life

Aretha Franklin and William Wilkerson watching Roger Federer at the 2011 US Open.

After being raised in Detroit, Franklin relocated to New York City in the 1960s, where she lived until moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. She eventually settled in Encino, Los Angeles where she lived until 1982. She then returned to the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to be close to her ailing father and siblings. Franklin maintained a residence there until her death. Following an incident in 1984, she had cited a fear of flying that prevented her from traveling overseas; she performed only in North America afterwards.[63]

Franklin was the mother of four sons. She first became pregnant at the age of 12 and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. According to the news site Inquisitr, “The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.”[64] On January 22, 1957, then aged 14, Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan.[16]

Both of her children took her family name. While Franklin was pursuing her career and “hanging out with [friends]”, Franklin’s grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children.[65] Franklin’s third child, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964[66] and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts.[67] Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.[68]

Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore “Ted” White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19.[69][70] After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969.[71] Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father’s church. By marrying Turman, Franklin became stepmother of Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984. At one point, Franklin had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson.[72] Franklin and Wilkerson had had two previous engagements stretching back to 1988. Franklin eventually called the 2012 engagement off.[73]

Franklin’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians as well and spent years performing background vocals on Franklin’s recordings. Following Franklin’s divorce from Ted White, her brother Cecil became her manager, and maintained that position until his death from lung cancer on December 26, 1989. Sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma died from throat cancer in September 2002. Franklin’s half-brother Vaughn died two months after Erma in late 2002.[74]

Her half-sister, Carl Kelley (née Jennings; born 1940) is C. L. Franklin’s daughter by Mildred Jennings, a then 12-year-old congregant of New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, where C. L. was pastor.[74]

Franklin was performing at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, on June 10, 1979, when her father, C. L., was shot twice at point blank range in his Detroit home.[75] After six months at Henry Ford Hospital, still in a state of coma, C.L. was moved back to his home with 24-hour nursing care. Aretha moved back to Detroit in late 1982 to assist with the care of her father, who died at Detroit’s New Light Nursing Home on July 27, 1984.[76]

Some of her music business friends have included Dionne WarwickMavis Staples, and Cissy Houston, who began singing with Franklin as members of the Sweet Inspirations. Cissy sang background on Franklin’s hit “Ain’t No Way”.[77] Franklin first met Cissy’s daughter, Whitney, in the early 1970s. She was made Whitney’s honorary aunt, not a godmother as has been occasionally misreported, and Whitney often referred to her as “Auntie Ree”.[78]

Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012.[79] Franklin said she was surprised by her death.[79] She had initially planned to perform at Houston’s memorial service on February 18, but her representative claimed that Franklin suffered a leg spasm and was unable to attend. In response to criticism of her non-attendance, she stated, “God knows I wanted to be there, but I couldn’t.”[80]

Franklin was a registered Democrat.[81] In 2014, she was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Harvard University for her contributions to music.[82]

Health problems

Franklin dealt with weight issues for years. In 1974, she dropped 40 pounds (18 kg) during a crash diet[83] and maintained her new weight until the end of the decade.[84] Franklin again lost the weight in the early 1990s before gaining some back.[85] A former chain smoker who struggled with alcoholism, she quit smoking in 1992.[86] Franklin admitted in 1994 that her smoking was “messing with my voice”,[87] but after quitting smoking she said later, in 2003, that her weight “ballooned”.[88]

In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts after she decided to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor.[85] Discussing the surgery in 2011, she quoted her doctor as saying it would “add 15 to 20 years” to her life. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as it was rumored.[89] On May 19, 2011, Franklin had her comeback show in the Chicago theatre.[90] In May 2013, Franklin canceled two performances to deal with an undisclosed medical treatment.[91] Later in the same month, Franklin canceled three more concerts in June and planned to return to perform in July.[92] A show scheduled for July 27 in Clarkston, Michigan was canceled due to continued medical treatment.[93] In addition, she canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball luncheon in Chicago honoring her commitment to civil rights on August 24.[94] She also canceled a performance of September 21 in Atlanta due to her health recovery.[95]

During a phone interview with Associated Press in late August 2013, Franklin stated that she had a “miraculous” recovery from her undisclosed illness but had to cancel shows and appearances until she was at 100% health, estimating she was about “85% healed”.[96]

Franklin later returned to live performing, including a 2013 Christmas concert at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. She launched a multi-city tour beginning in mid-2014, starting with a performance of June 14 in New York at the Radio City Music Hall.[97]

In 2017, Franklin canceled a series of concerts due to health reasons. During an outdoors Detroit show, Franklin told the audience to “keep me in your prayers”.[98] In July 2017, Franklin reemerged, appearing to lose more weight before a performance at the Wolf Trap in Virginia.[99] In 2018, Franklin also canceled a series of shows citing doctor’s orders. Franklin’s final performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John‘s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation on November 7, 2017.[100]

Final illness and death

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront TowersDetroit.[101] She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie WonderJesse Jackson, and ex-husband Glynn Turman, among others, had visited her at her home a few days before her death.[102] Franklin died at home on August 16, 2018, aged 76.[103] The cause was reported to be advanced pancreatic cancer.[104][105]

Legacy

Franklin wipes a tear after being given the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005, at the White House. She is seated between fellow recipients Robert Conquest (left) and Alan Greenspan.

Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979, had her voice declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985,[106] and became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.[107]

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded her a Grammy Legend Award in 1991, then the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Franklin was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1994, recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999, and was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.[14] She was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.[108]

Franklin became the second woman inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. She was the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year, performing at the Grammys days later. Following news of Franklin’s surgery and recovery in February 2011, the Grammys ceremony paid tribute to the singer with a medley of her classics performed by Christina AguileraFlorence WelchJennifer HudsonMartina McBride, and Yolanda Adams.[109] That same year she was ranked 19th among the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time top artists,[110] and ranked first on the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Singers of All Time.[111] Later in 2013, she was again ranked first in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Singers” list.[112]

Inducted to the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Franklin was described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America” and a “symbol of black equality”.[113][114] Asteroid 249516 Aretha was named in her honor in 2014.[115]

“American history wells up when Aretha sings”, president Obama explained in response to her performance of “A Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll—the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope”.[116] On June 8, 2017, the City of Detroit honored Franklin’s legacy by renaming a portion of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell Streets, “Aretha Franklin Way”.[117]

On January 29, 2018, the Oakland Press‘s correspondent Gary Graff confirmed that the American Idol runner-up Jennifer Hudson will take the role to play Franklin in her coming biopic.[118] The news was announced by the the film’s executive producer Clive Davis, who made public their decision on the choice of actors casting in the film two days before Graff’s article was published.

An all-star tribute concert to Franklin, celebrating her music, is scheduled for November 14, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.[119]

Honorary degrees

Franklin received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2014,[120] as well as honorary doctorates in music from Princeton University, 2012; Yale University, 2010; Brown University, 2009; Berklee College of Music, 2006; New England Conservatory of Music, 1995; and University of Michigan, 1987.[citation needed]

Franklin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Wayne State University in 1990 and an honorary Doctor of Law by Bethune–Cookman University in 1975.[121]

Discography

Studio albums

List of number-one R&B singles

Filmography

See also

References …

Sources

External links

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

 

Story 2: The Press Strikes Back At President Trump’s Fake News Enemy of The People Charge — American People Do Not Trust Big Lie Media (Television News and City Newspapers) Progressive Propaganda — Videos

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Newspapers speak up about Trump’s repeated attacks

Newspapers across the country call out Trump for press attacks – Daily Mail

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Hundreds of US newspapers hit back at Trump, defend free press

Rob Lever

,

AFP

More than 200 US news organizations have joined a campiagn led by the Boston Globe to counter President Donald Trump’s contention that the media is the “enemy of the people”

More than 200 US news organizations have joined a campiagn led by the Boston Globe to counter President Donald Trump’s contention that the media is the “enemy of the people” (AFP Photo/Joseph PREZIOSO)

Washington (AFP) – US newspapers big and small hit back Thursday at Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media with a coordinated campaign of editorials, triggering a fresh tirade from the president on Twitter.

Leading the charge was The Boston Globe, which had called for the drive highlighting the importance of a free press, accompanied by the hashtag #EnemyOfNone.

More than 300 newspapers around the country joined the effort.

“Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the ‘enemy of the people,'” the Globe editorial said.

“This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out ‘magic’ dust or water on a hopeful crowd,” it added in a piece entitled “Journalists are not the Enemy.”

The effort comes amid Trump’s persistent claims that mainstream media outlets that publish articles critical of him are churning out “fake news.”

The New York Times, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism, ran a seven-paragraph editorial under a giant headline with all capital letters that read “A FREE PRESS NEEDS YOU.”

“Insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period,” the Times wrote.

Trump fired back on Twitter by repeating his contention that the “fake” news media is “the opposition party” and claiming the Boston Globe was “in collusion” against him with other media.

“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,” he tweeted.

“The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people.”

The US Senate meanwhile countered the White House by unanimously passing a resolution citing the “indispensable role of the free press” and warning that efforts to undermine the media were “an attack on our democratic institutions.”

Other newspapers joining the campaign said Trump’s attacks diminish the importance of journalists in their communities.

“For more than two centuries.. the press has served as a check on power, informing the American people about corruption and greed, triumphs and tragedies, grave mistakes and misdeeds and even ineptitude and dysfunction,” wrote the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico.

Iowa’s Des Moines Register said, “The true enemies of the people — and democracy — are those who try to suffocate truth by vilifying and demonizing the messenger.”

– Cannot sit back –

Free press advocates argue that Trump’s attacks imperil the constitutional First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press.

“I don’t think the press can just sit back and take it, they need to make their case when the most powerful man in the world tries to undercut the First Amendment,” said Ken Paulson, a former editor-in-chief of USA Today who is dean of communications at Middle Tennessee State University.

But Paulson questioned whether editorials would be effective.

“The people who read editorials don’t need to be convinced,” he said. “They are not the ones trying to shout you down at presidential rallies.”

The campaign also faced the potential for galvanizing supporters of the president around the notion that the media is out to get him.

The San Francisco Chronicle said it would not join the effort because “it plays into Trump’s narrative that the media are aligned against him.”

But the newspaper said it would “continue to speak out against this president’s war on the free press,” doing it “in our own way, on our own timetable.”

– Stakes too high –

But media rights advocates say the stakes are too high to allow the president’s claims to go unchecked.

Some say Trump’s comments have incited threats against journalists covering his events, and may have created a climate of hostility that opened the door to violent attacks like a deadly one in June against the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.

“Trump’s references to us as the ‘enemy of the American People’ are no less dangerous because they happen to be strategic,” the Kansas City Star wrote. “That is what Nazis called Jews. It’s how Joseph Stalin’s critics were marked for execution.”

Trump’s actions are also encouraging strongmen such as Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey to treat journalists like enemies, some newspapers said.

“The messages in today’s newspapers are best read not as a drift toward war footing, but rather as a reminder that journalism is important work,” wrote Pete Vernon in the Columbia Journalism Review.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-newspapers-hit-back-trump-defend-free-press-153154562.htm

Trump flames ‘the fake news media’ on morning 350 newspapers across the country accuse him of a war on press freedom

  • The president launched yet another of his attacks on the press on Twitter 
  • He called the ‘fake news’ the ‘opposition party’
  • His tweet came on a day hundreds of papers coordinated op-eds defending the press
  • ‘Journalists are not the enemy,’ wrote the Boston Globe 
  • ‘Journalists are not the enemy of the people; we’re advocating for the people,’ wrote the New York Post, Trump’s favored paper

President Donald Trump once again attacked the ‘fake news’ media on a day 350 newspapers across the country defended journalists and a free press – then tore into the newspaper that organized the public show of solidarity.

The president went after the Boston Globe, which organized papers around the country to editorialize in favor of free press, for its financial struggles and even accused it of ‘COLLUSION’ with other newspapers – a term normally associated with the Russia probe of Trump associates.

‘The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!’ Trump wrote, singling out the paper that reached out to other newspapers across the country.

President Donald Trump once again went after the media as 'fake news' as 350 papers blasted his attacks on the press

President Donald Trump once again went after the media as ‘fake news’ as 350 papers blasted his attacks on the press

Video playing bottom right…

The president’s slams, in the form of tweets, were the latest in a series of attacks that he has volleyed online, at campaign rallies, and even at official events held at military bases as he did at Fort Drum in New York.

‘THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!’ Trump wrote.

He responded to the criticism in yet another tweet.

‘There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!’ the president wrote.

His missives came on a day more than 350 newspapers, in an effort coordinated by the Boston Globe, defended press freedoms and faulted the president for labeling the press the ‘enemy of the people’ – a term with dark connotations of an era of Soviet repression.

Trump blasted the 'FAKE NEWS MEDIA' as 350 papers defended press freedoms

Trump blasted the ‘FAKE NEWS MEDIA’ as 350 papers defended press freedoms

Trump accused the Boston Globe, which coordinated the effort, of 'COLLUSION'

Trump defended his views on Twitter Thursday amid the barrage of editorials

Trump defended his views on Twitter Thursday amid the barrage of editorials

It also came hours after he stunned the White House press by yanking the security clearance of one of his foremost online critics and a person who helped set in motion the Russia probe, former CIA chief John Brennan. Brennan blasted the move as an effort to crack down on dissent and punish political rivals.

‘Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country,’ wrote the Globe in an op-ed splashed across their online site.

‘Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current U.S. administration are the ‘enemy of the people.’ This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president much like an old-time charlatan threw out ‘magic’ dust or water on a hopeful crowd,’ the paper wrote.

PUSHBACK: The Boston Globe coordinated a campaign where editorial boards around the country defended press freedom

PUSHBACK: The Boston Globe coordinated a campaign where editorial boards around the country defended press freedom

It then quoted hometown patriot John Adams who wrote: ‘The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom.’

Trump’s favorite paper, the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, joined the effort.

‘We support a free and vibrant press, a nation where the powerful are held to account by the Fourth Estate. Journalists are not the enemy of the people; we’re advocating for the people. We stand with our colleagues,’ according to the Post editorial.

The Trump-despised New York Times also joined in. ‘Insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period,’ the Grey Lady wrote.

Many of the rebukes came from papers in swing states Trump needs to carry to win reelection.

Wrote the Tampa Bay Times: ‘In such a toxic environment, Trump’s declarations undermine not just journalists and news organizations but the communities and democracy we endeavor to serve.’

Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against Trump’s attacks on ‘fake news’ Thursday with a coordinated series of editorials speaking up for a free and vigorous press.

The Globe, which set the campaign in motion by urging the unified voice, had estimated that some 350 newspapers would participate.

They did across the breadth of the country. The Portland (Maine) Press-Herald said a free and independent press is the best defense against tyranny, while the Honolulu Star-Advertiser emphasized democracy’s need for a free press.

‘The true enemies of the people – and democracy – are those who try to suffocate truth by vilifying and demonizing the messenger,’ wrote the Des Moines Register in Iowa.

In St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch called journalists ‘the truest of patriots.’ The Chicago Sun-Times said it believed most Americans know that Trump is talking nonsense.

The Hartford Courant was among papers joining the effort

The Hartford Courant was among papers joining the effort

Smaller papers like the Ferndale Enterprise of California took part

Smaller papers like the Ferndale Enterprise of California took part

The San Diego Union-Tribune brought up Trump's attacks on the FBI

The San Diego Union-Tribune brought up Trump’s attacks on the FBI

'We are not the enemy,' wrote the San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times

‘We are not the enemy,’ wrote the San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times

The Fayetteville Observer said it hoped Trump would stop, ‘but we’re not holding our breath.’

‘Rather, we hope all the president’s supporters will recognize what he’s doing – manipulating reality to get what he wants,’ the North Carolina newspaper said.

On Thursday morning, Trump again took to Twitter to denounce ‘fake news.’ He wrote: ‘THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!’

The Morning News of Savannah, Georgia, said it was a confidant, not an enemy, to the people.

‘Like any true friend, we don’t always tell you want you want to hear,’ the Morning News said. ‘Our news team presents the happenings and issues in this community through the lens of objectivity. And like any true friend, we refuse to mislead you. Our reporters and editors strive for fairness.’

Some newspapers used history lessons to state their case. The Elizabethtown Advocate in Pennsylvania, for instance, compared free press in the United States to such rights promised but not delivered in the former Soviet Union.

The New York Times added a pitch.

‘If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers,’ said the Times, whose opinion section also summarized other editorials across the country. ‘Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.’

The coordinated hit came amid repeated attacks by Trump on 'fake news'

The coordinated hit came amid repeated attacks by Trump on ‘fake news’

The editorial by the Press-Enterprise in southern California came with an ad for a gun show

The editorial by the Press-Enterprise in southern California came with an ad for a gun show

Magazines like the Atlantic joined in on the effortMagazines like the Atlantic joined in on the effort
Trump's favorite hometown paper, the New York Post, said journalists are 'not the enemy of hte people'

Trump’s favorite hometown paper, the New York Post, said journalists are ‘not the enemy of hte people’

That last sentiment made some journalists skittish. Some newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote editorials explaining why they weren’t joining the Globe’s effort. The Chronicle wrote that one of its most important values is independence, and going along with the crowd went against that. Both the Chronicle and Baltimore Sun said that it plays into the hands of Trump and his supporters who think the media is out to get him.

Nolan Finley, columnist and editorial page editor of The Detroit News, spoke up for the press but added a scolding. He said too many journalists are slipping opinion into their news reports, adding commentary and calling it context.

‘Donald Trump is not responsible for the eroding trust in the media,’ Finley wrote. ‘He lacks the credibility to pull that off. The damage to our standing is self-inflicted.’

The Radio Television Digital News Association, which represents more than 1,200 broadcasters and web sites, is also asking its members to point out that journalists are friends and neighbors doing important work holding government accountable.

‘I want to make sure that it is positive,’ said Dan Shelley, the group’s executive director. ‘We’re shooting ourselves in the foot if we make this about attacking the president or attacking his supporters.’

It remains unclear how much sway the effort will have. Newspaper editorial boards overwhelmingly opposed Trump’s election in 2016. Polls show Republicans have grown more negative toward the news media in recent years: Pew Research Center said 85 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said in June 2017 that the news media has a negative effect on the country, up from 68 percent in 2010.

Poll: 6 in 10 Americans think traditional news outlets report fake news

A majority of Americans believe traditional media outlets publish fake news reports, and Republicans are more likely to believe that fake news is being pushed to advance an agenda, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by phone during the first week of March, found that 80 percent of respondents believed online news sources reported fake news either regularly or occasionally. Fifty-four percent of respondents, including a majority of Republicans, independents and Democrats, said that fake news reports online were published on purpose in order to advance a specific agenda,

Respondents had only slightly more trust in traditional news outlets, with 60 percent of respondents believing that traditional news outlets reported fake news either regularly or occasionally and 40 percent saying that they believed traditional news outlets reported fake news on purpose to push an agenda.

Seventeen percent of respondents said they believed fake news was reported on by traditional outlets by accident or because of poor fact-checking, and about a third of respondents said they did not believe that major outlets reported fake news.

Across the board, self-identified Republican respondents were more suspicious of the motivations behind the publication of fake news in traditional media and online. Fifty-five percent of Republican respondents believed that fake news was reported on intentionally by traditional news outlets to advance a specific agenda, compared to 41 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats.

A plurality of respondents said that they trusted news from ABC News, Fox News and MSNBC more than they trusted news from President Donald Trump. Republicans were far more likely to trust Trump over ABC News and MSNBC, and about 44 percent of Republican respondents said they trusted Trump and Fox News equally.

More than 80 percent of respondents said Trump had a worse relationship with the news media than previous administrations, and 58 percent said that the relationship Trump had with the news media is hurting his image. Thirty-two percent of respondents said that Trump’s relationship with the news media did not affect his image, and 7 percent said that it helped his image. Conversely, 51 percent of respondents said the news media’s image was negatively impacted by its relationship with Trump. Thirty-nine percent said the news media’s image was not affected by its relationship with Trump, and 6 percent said that its image had improved.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/fake-news-monmouth-poll-media-236639

Enemy of the people

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The term enemy of the people is a designation for the political or class opponents of the subgroup in power within a larger group. The term implies that by opposing the ruling subgroup, the “enemies” in question are acting against the larger group, for example against society as a whole. It is similar to the notion of “enemy of the state“. The term originated in Roman times as Latinhostis publicus, typically translated into English as the “public enemy“. The term in its “enemy of the people” form has been used for centuries in literature (see An Enemy of the People, the play by Henrik Ibsen, 1882; or Coriolanus, the play by William Shakespeare, c. 1605). Currently this form is mostly used as a reference to Soviet phraseology.[1]

Origins of the expression

The expression dates back to Roman times.[2] The Senate declared emperor Nero a hostis publicus in AD 68.[3]

The words “ennemi du peuple” were extensively used during the French revolution. On 25 December 1793 Robespierre stated: “The revolutionary government owes to the good citizen all the protection of the nation; it owes nothing to the Enemies of the People but death”.[4] The Law of 22 Prairial in 1794 extended the remit of the Revolutionary Tribunal to punish “enemies of the people”, with some political crimes punishable by death, including “spreading false news to divide or trouble the people”.[5]

Marxist–Leninist states

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union made extensive use of the term (Russian languageвраг народа“vrag naroda”), as it fit well with the idea that the people were in control. The term was used by Vladimir Lenin after coming to power, as early as in the decree of 28 November 1917:

all leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party, a party filled with enemies of the people, are hereby to be considered outlaws, and are to be arrested immediately and brought before the revolutionary court.[6]

Other similar terms were in use as well:

  • enemy of the labourers (враг трудящихся, vrag trudyashchikhsya)
  • enemy of the proletariat (враг пролетариата, vrag proletariata)
  • class enemy (классовый враг, klassovyi vrag), etc.

In particular, the term “enemy of the workers” was formalized in the Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code),[7] and similar articles in the codes of the other Soviet Republics.

At various times these terms were applied, in particular, to Tsar Nicholas II and the Imperial family, aristocrats, the bourgeoisieclericsbusiness entrepreneursanarchistskulaksmonarchistsMensheviksEsersBundistsTrotskyistsBukharinists, the “old Bolsheviks“, the army and police, emigrantssaboteurswreckers (вредители, “vrediteli”), “social parasites” (тунеядцы, “tuneyadtsy”), Kavezhedists (people who administered and serviced the KVZhD (China Far East Railway), particularly the Russian population of HarbinChina), those considered bourgeois nationalists (notably RussianUkrainianBelarusianArmenianLithuanianLatvianEstonian nationalists, ZionistsBasmachi).[8]

An “enemy of the people” could be imprisoned, expelled or executed, and lose their property to confiscation. Close relatives of enemies of the people were labeled as “traitor of Motherland family members” and prosecuted. They could be sent to Gulag, punished by the involuntary settlement in unpopulated areas, or stripped of citizen’s rights. Being a friend of an enemy of the people automatically placed the person under suspicion.

A significant fraction of the enemies of the people were given this label not because of their hostile actions against the workers’ and peasants’ state, but simply because of their social origin or profession before the revolution: those who used hired labor, high-ranking clergy, former policemen, merchants, etc. Some of them were commonly known as lishentsy (лишенцы, derived from Russian word лишение, deprivation), because by the Soviet Constitution they were deprived of the right of voting. This automatically translated into a deprivation of various social benefits; some of them, e.g., rationing, were at times critical for survival.

Since 1927, Article 20 of the Common Part of the penal code that listed possible “measures of social defence” had the following item 20a: “declaration to be an enemy of the workers with deprivation of the union republic citizenship and hence of the USSR citizenship, with obligatory expulsion from its territory”. Nevertheless, most “enemies of the people” suffered labor camps, rather than expulsion.

In his 1956 speech denouncing Stalin’s cult of personality, Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev called for an end to the use of the term, stating “the formula ‘enemy of the people’ was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with Stalin.[5] For decades afterwards, “It was so omnipresent, freighted and devastating in its use under Stalin that nobody [in Russia] wanted to touch it. … except in reference to history and in jokes”, according to an author of a biography of Khrushchev, William Taubman.[5]

The term returned to Russian public discourse in the late 2000s with a number of nationalist and pro-government politicians (most notably Ramzan Kadyrov) calling for restoration of the Soviet approach to the “enemies of the people” defined as all non-system opposition.[9][10][11]

China

In Mao Zedong‘s 1957 speech On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, he comments that “At the present stage, the period of building socialism, the classes, strata and social groups which favour, support and work for the cause of socialist construction all come within the category of the people, while the social forces and groups which resist the socialist revolution and are hostile to or sabotage socialist construction are all enemies of the people.”[12] (According to Philip Short, an author of biographies of Mao and Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, in domestic political struggles Chinese and Cambodian communists rarely if ever used the phrase “enemy of the people” as they were very nationalistic, and saw it as an alien import.)[5]

Nazi Germany

Regarding the Nazi plan to relocate all Jews to Madagascar, the Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer wrote that “The Jews don’t want to go to Madagascar – They cannot bear the climate. Jews are pests and disseminators of diseases. In whatever country they settle and spread themselves out, they produce the same effects as are produced in the human body by germs. … In former times sane people and sane leaders of the peoples made short shrift of enemies of the people. They had them either expelled or killed.”[13]

United States in the 1960s

In the United States during the 1960s leftist organizations such as the Black Panther Party[14][15][16] and Students for a Democratic Society[17] were known to use the term. In one inter-party dispute in February 1971, for example, Black Panther leader Huey P. Newtondenounced two other Panthers as “enemies of the people” for allegedly putting party leaders and members in jeopardy.[15]

Recent usage

United Kingdom

During the aftermath of the referendum on membership of the European Union, the Daily Mail was criticized for a headline describing the judges which ruled (in the Miller case) as “Enemies of the People” for ruling that the process for leaving the European Union (i.e. the triggering of Article 50) would require the consent of the British Parliament. The May administration had hoped to use the powers of the royal prerogative to bypass parliamentary approval.[18] The paper issued character assassinations of all the judges involved in the ruling (Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Sir Terence Etherton, and Lord Justice Sales), and received more than 1,000 complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.[19][20] The Secretary of State for JusticeLiz Truss issued a three line statement defending the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, which some saw as inadequate due to the delayed response and failure to condemn the attacks.[21][22]

United States

On February 17, 2017, President Donald Trump said on Twitter,

The FAKE NEWS media (failing New York TimesNBC NewsABCCBSCNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

Trump declared these news organizations “fake news” and an enemy of the people.[23][24] Trump repeated the assertion on February 24 at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying “A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people and they are. They are the enemy of the people.”[25][5] At a June 25, 2018 rally in South Carolina, Trump singled out journalists as “fake newsers” and again called them “the enemy of the people.”[26][27] Some commentators linked these comments to a mass shooting at the offices of a newspaper publisher in Annapolis, Maryland, that took place only days later, on June 28.[28][29][30] On July 19, 2018, following the critical reaction to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 15, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, Trump tweeted “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”[31] The New York Times noted Trump’s use of this phrase during his “moments of peak criticism”, and the use of the term by Nazi and Soviet propaganda[32]

On August 2, 2018, after Trump tweeted “FAKE NEWS media… is the enemy of the American People”,[33][34][35] Acosta asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders if she would distance herself from that statement. She did not decline nor support the statement. Instead, she argued over her own treatment by the media from a prepared statement she brought to the podium. Acosta’s question came in a wider context of critics by multiple entities (the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, IACHR) for attacks by President Trump on the free press.[36]

See also

References

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

Review

Obesity and pancreatic cancer

Abstract

Background

Pancreatic cancer is an invariably fatal malignancy. Cigarette smoking and diabetes are established risk factors, but over the last two decades studies have shown that excess adiposity is an additional independent risk factor with 30–50% of cases thought to be attributed to nutritional factors. The aim of this narrative review is to analyze all the epidemiological evidence on the topic and possible pathophysiology.

Methods

We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Medline, and all available evidence was included. We firstly analyze meta- and pooled analysis. Then we discuss individual studies to identify sources of discrepancies between studies and attempt to delineate pathophysiology.

Results

It is estimated that obese individuals have a relative risk (RR) ranging between 1.19 and 1.47, when compared with those of normal weight, regardless of diabetes or smoking status. No significant differences were found between gender.

Conclusion

There is a measurable increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer in obese individuals, and excess adiposity is related to the condition with a “dose–response” curve.

Hyperinsulinemia and possibly hyperestrogenism secondary to a metabolic syndrome, and independently from diabetes status, appear to be the key elements of the pathogenesis in pancreatic cancer secondary to excess body fat. Increased efforts should therefore be made in tackling the epidemic levels of obesity in the Western world countries.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960740414000085

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The Pronk Pops Show 1124. August 14, 2018, Story 1: Terrorist Vehicle Attack In London Outside Houses of Parliament with Three Injuries — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Outstanding National Defense Speech on Strengthen Armed Forces — Videos — Story 3: Waiting For Mueller To Wrap Up His Counter Intelligence Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Election — No Evidence of Russian Trump Collusion — American People Want It Completed Now! — Videos — Story 4: Lady and Trump — Dog Fight — Trump Punches Back At Ungrateful Omarosa Manigault Newman — American People Simply Do Not Care About Omarosa — Why Was She Hired in The First Place? — You Are Fired For Good — Videos

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Story 1: Terrorist Vehicle Attack In London Outside Houses of Parliament with Three Injuries — Videos

Suspect is named

It is believed the driver of the car is a 29-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin called Salih Khater, understood to be from Birmingham

British police say suspect in Parliament crash is not cooperating

Westminster car crash: Man arrested as pedestrians injured – BBC News

Police treating London car crash as act of terror

London incident being investigated as terror attack

Witness of London Terror Attack: ‘Thank God I Wasn’t Actually Hit’

Suspected terror attack outside London parliament

Westminster car crash ‘terror attack’: What we know so far about the incident

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences after the crash in central London

By Zara Whelan

Mirror Reporter
  • 14:04, 14 AUG 2018
  • UPDATED16:00, 15 AUG 2018

A man has been arrested on on suspicion of terrorist offences after a car ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists outside Parliament.

The vehicle was seen careering through Parliament Square in Westminster before smashing into a barrier.

Armed police swooped on the scene and dramatic footage shows officers pull the driver out of the silver Ford at gunpoint.

Those who were nearby have told of how they had to “run” as the scene unfolded in central London at around 7.30am.

The Met Police confirmed a number of pedestrians have been injured in the incident, which occurred during rush hour this morning.

(Image: PA)

Police urged Londoners to remain vigilant, adding: “At this stage, we are treating this as a terrorist incident and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation.”

Terrified eyewitnesses said it appeared the car was deliberately driven into the victims and barriers, and they ran for their lives fearing it was another terror attack in central London, the Mirror reports.

POLICE RESPONDING TO INCIDENT AT WESTMINSTER

The incident happened at the height of the morning commute and put the Palace of Westminster and surrounding area on lockdown.

Afterwards, the man who was arrested was not cooperating with detectives, and police were still trying to formally identify him, said Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terror Command.

Video shows horrifying series of events

Metropolitan Police undated handout photo of the silver Ford Fiesta after it crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack (Image: PA)

The harrowing incident was captured on a number of CCTV cameras in the area.

The footage shows the police pulling up and surrounding the driver of the car that had smashed into security barriers.

TIME LINE

Westminister Incident: Timeline of events

    1. 7.40am: Car is seen careering through Parliament Square

      At around 7.40am a car is seen driving erratically through Parliament Square, first crashing into a group of cyclists. The driver then moves off through the roads in the square before smashing into a barrier.

    2. Hundreds of officers swarm the scene

      Seconds later, police officers storm the scene and pull the driver of the vehicle at gunpoint – understood to be a man in his late 20s.
      Reports say he did not resist arrest and remained in the car until the police arrived.

  1. ‘Smoke and flames were coming out the vehicle’

    Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, was driving passengers past the front of Westminster when he saw the crash.

    “All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle … I just stopped the bus,” he said.

    “The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came.

    “They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier, I didn’t know how it got there.

    “I think someone was inside the vehicle because many police went towards the vehicle.”

    He said officers had their guns out when they arrested the driver.

  2. Car hits cyclists and pedestrians ‘at 40mph’

    There were scenes of panic and chaos as the car crashed at 40mph, leaving victims injured on the floor in the aftermath, say eyewitnesses.

  3. Police assemble cordon

    Police assemble a cordon around Parliament Square and beyond into Westminster.
    Westminster tube station is closed and no-one is allowed in or out of the barriers.
    The cordon remains in place as investigations take place.

  4. Parliament workers told to stay away from windows fearing follow-up attack

    Workers trapped inside parliament square buildings were told to hide in basements and stay away from windows.

    Scott Hawkins, who works in IT support for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster, was given the warning by police – sparking fears of snipers or a follow up attack.
    He said: “Police advised us to stay in the basement of our building as being near windows is a security risk right now.
    “I was walking through Parliament Square just before the crash so I missed the actual event.
    “The police have put our building on lockdown.
    “I have no idea when we will be allowed out.
    “They’re going to give us an update at 11am.”

  5. 11am: London Ambulance confirm third person injured

    London Ambulance Service have confirmed a third patient was treated at the scene – but was not taken to hospital.
    In its latest statement the emergency service said: “Two patients were treated at the scene and taken to hospital and a third patient with minor injuries was assessed at the scene.”

  6. 11.30am: MET Police release official statement

    The Metropolitan Police release an official statement.
    The Met Police’s assistant commissioner speaks to members of the press about the incident.

  7. Suspect is “not cooperating”

    Neil Basu said “The man is not co-operating with authorities at this stage.”

  8. Suspect not known to the authorities

    Neil Basu was asked whether the driver was someone that was known to officers or counter intelligence agencies, to which he replied: “We haven’t formally identified him yet and it’s too early to make that judgement.

    “On the details that we have at this moment we don’t believe this person is known to either MI5 or counter-terrorism police.”

  9. A deliberate attack but unknown motive

    Neil Basu asked whether the vehicle was deliberately driven at police officers in a targeted attack, to which he replied: “We can’t say that at this time. It certainly appears to be a deliberate attack act but the motivation is we can’t say.

  10. Transport police putting on extra patrols throughout the city

    British Transport Police (BTP) said it would be putting extra officers on patrols in England, Scotland and Wales on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening following the Westminster terror attack.

    Superintendent Chris Horton from BTP said: “We know incidents such as this are likely to cause concern, so our officers will be highly visible both on board trains and at stations.

    “We are there to reassure the travelling public, so please don’t be alarmed if you see our officers, including firearms officers, on your journey.”

  11. Cobra meeting to be held at 2pm today

    A meeting of the Government’s emergency cobra committee will be held at 2pm.

    This afternoon’s Cobra session will be a meeting of officials, with no cabinet ministers expected to attend at the moment, No 10 said.

    Prime Minister Theresa May is currently away in Switzerland on the second leg of her summer holiday.

  12. No other suspects

    Scotland Yard says there are no other suspects for the Westminster terror incident at this time, only the man arrested early this morning and there is “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to people in the capital

  13. 12.40pm: Forensic officers continue to work at the scene

    Pedestrians Injured As Car Crashes Into Security Barriers At Westminster

  14. Suspect is ‘believed to be from the midlands’

    Sources from Sky News confirm the suspect is believed to be from the midlands.

  15. Westminster Tube is open again

    Westminster Tube station has re-opened.

  16. Tourists seen posing just a few feet from suspected terror attack

    Photos have emerged of tourists posing for selfies on Westminster Bridge, just metres away from the scene of the suspected terror attack.

  17. Suspect is named

    It is believed the driver of the car is a 29-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin called Salih Khater, understood to be from Birmingham

  18. Police raid tower block in Birmingham

    Police search a 10th floor flat in Brinklow Tower in Highgate Street, Birmingham in relation to the suspected terror attack on Westminster.
    Police in the midlands are carrying out searched in both Birmingham and Nottingham.

Eyewitness says ‘Car hit cyclists on wrong side of road before swerving into barrier’

Barry Williams told the Victoria Derbyshire show: “I heard a commotion and turned around to see a silver car heading towards the cyclists on the other side of the road. They were parked waiting for the lights to change.

“It hit the cyclists then swerved over towards where the safety barrier is where police make sure cars go through.

“It accelerated and hit it at quite a high speed.

“I wasn’t sure whether he meant to hit the cyclist they may just have been in the way but he accelerated hard towards the barrier

“Police were very fast they vaulted over the safety barrier and headed towards the car followed by obviously loads of armed police who were in the area.

He said the police then pushed people back from the crash.

“when it hit the barrier there was quite a lot of smoke and it hit with quite a jog – It actually came off the ground and landed again because it’s quite a light car.

A low-loader arrives at the scene near to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament (Image: PA)

“(Police) rushed to the scene and they grabbed the bloke but then they seemed to walk away.

“After police got to the car they then started pushing us back towards where the lights were and that’s when I walked past and saw lots of pedestrians but also the cyclists -there was a few on the ground – some were holding their arms.

“There was bikes everywhere.”

He then added: “It was frightening but that’s why I was walking backwards – you never know who’s in the car.”

Attack condemned by many

In a statement on the attack, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said “all Londoners, like me, utterly condemn all acts of terrorism on our city”.

“The response of Londoners today shows that we will never be cowed, intimidated or divided by any terrorist attack,” he said.

PM Theresa May has praised the response from the emergency services:

UK Prime Minister

@10DowningStreet

“My thoughts are with those injured in the incident in Westminster and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response.” – PM @theresa_may

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn wrote: “My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside Parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist incident.

“Our thanks go to our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery keeps us safe day in, day out.”

Jeremy Corbyn

@jeremycorbyn

My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside Parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist incident.

Our thanks go to our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery keeps us safe day in, day out.

US President Donald Trump has tweeted a typically inflammatory statement following the incident.

He wrote: “Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!

Official statement from The Met Police from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in relation to this morning’s incident in Westminster:

“At 07:37hrs a silver Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision in front of the Houses of Parliament.

That vehicle collided with cyclists and pedestrians before hitting a barrier and coming to a stop.

Two people have been taken to hospital.

One man has been discharged and one woman remains in hospital being treated for serious but thankfully, non-life threatening injuries.

Another man was also treated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment.

The driver of the Fiesta, who was alone in the vehicle, was arrested at the scene by armed officers who were already nearby.

The man, who is in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site we are treating this as a terrorist incident and it is being led by officers from the counter-terrorism command.

“Officers are searching the vehicle and no other weapons have been found at this time.

“At this early stage of the investigation no other suspects have been identified or reported to police.

“There is no intelligence at this time of further danger to Londoners or the rest of the UK connected to this incident.

“Our priority now is to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivation if we can.

“He is not currently co-operating.

A car that crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament stands to the right of a bus in London, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. London police say that a car has crashed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament and that there are a number of injured. (Image: AP)

“However, as you would expect detectives form the counter-terrorism command are making various other urgent enquiries to ensure there is no outstanding risk to the public.

“Clearly we are treating the scene as a crime scene so cordons are likely to remain outside Parliament for some time.

“Thank you to the public for their patience whilst we deal with the incident.”

“Following questioning about whether police were pursuing the vehicle – as many believed they could see in CCTV of the incident – Mr Basu said: “No, I’ve heard that this morning .There wasn’t a police car in pursuit of the vehicle.

“I believe it was an ambulance on a completely unrelated call.”

A forensic officer attends the scene near the Houses of Parliament, Westminster in central London, (Image: PA)

Mr Basu was then questioned about whether the vehicle was deliberately driven at police officers in a targeted attack, to which he replied: “We can’t say that at this time. It certainly appears to be a deliberate attack act but the motivation is we can’t say.

He was then asked whether the driver was someone that was known to officers or counter intelligence agencies, to which he replied: “We haven’t formally identified him yet and it’s too early to make that judgement.

“On the details that we have at this moment we don’t believe this person is known to either MI5 or counter-terrorism police.”

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call 0800 789 321.

Anyone who may have footage or images of the incident is asked to send them to police via: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

Timeline of recent terror attacks in UK

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed its Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

It comes just 11 months after a partially exploded bomb was left on a Tube train – the last major incident to rock Britain.

Here is a timeline of attacks in recent years:

September 15, 2017: A partially exploded device planted on a District line train left more than 51 people injured.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, was jailed for at least 34 years for planting the Parsons Green tube bomb which caused a huge fireball.

June 19, 2017: One man dies and several others are injured after a man rammed his van into worshippers in north London.

Darren Osborne, 47, of no fixed address in Cardiff – who had been radicalised by far-right material, was jailed for at least 43 years after being found guilty in February of murder and attempted murder.

June 3, 2017: Eight people are killed in a terror attack around London Bridge.

A van ploughed into people on the bridge before the three attackers carried out a knife rampage in Borough Market. The perpetrators – Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22 – were shot dead by police.

May 22, 2017: Twenty-two people – including children – are killed in a bombing at a pop concert in Manchester.

Lone suicide attacker Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device as crowds of music fans, many of them youngsters, left Manchester Arena following a performance by US singer Ariana Grande.

March 22, 2017: Five people are killed in a car and knife attack in Westminster.

Khalid Masood drove a hire car over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament, mounted the pavement and hit pedestrians before crashing into railings outside the Palace of Westminster.

He stabbed Pc Keith Palmer, 48, to death. Also killed in the atrocity were US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, and Britons Aysha Frade, 44, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes. Masood was shot dead by police.

June 16, 2016: Labour MP Jo Cox is murdered outside her constituency office in Batley, West Yorkshire.

The mother-of-two, 41, was shot and stabbed multiple times by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair. He was later handed a whole-life prison sentence for her murder.

May 22, 2013: Fusilier Lee Rigby is murdered by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.

The 25-year-old serviceman was walking near his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, when the pair rammed him with a car before attempting to hack off his head with knives. The killers were jailed at the Old Bailey in February 2014.

July 7, 2005: Four suicide bombers kill 52 and injure hundreds of others in blasts on the London Underground network and a bus.

Twenty-six died in the bombing at Russell Square on the Piccadilly line, six in the bombing at Edgware Road on the Circle line, seven in the bombing at Aldgate on the Circle line, and 13 in the bombing on a bus at Tavistock Square.

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/westminster-car-crash-terror-attack-15028520

 

Trump blasts ‘another terror attack in London’ as he hits out at ‘animals’ and hints Britain isn’t being tough enough in tackling extremists

  • Trump hit out following London terror attack which he blamed on ‘crazy animals’
  • He said attackers ‘must be dealt with through toughness and strength’ 
  • At least 10 cyclists were hit by the car, leaving three injured, one seriously
  • A black man in his 20s has been arrested and is being treated as a terror suspect 

President Donald Trump has hit out following ‘another terrorist attack’ in Londonwhich he blamed on ‘crazed animals’.

In an early-morning string of tweets from Washington, Trump wrote: ‘Another terrorist attack in London… These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!’

Trump has previously accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to tackle extremism and crime in the city while blaming high levels of immigration.

At least ten cyclists were hit when a silver Ford Fiesta was driven across the sidewalk in central London around 7.30am local time before accelerating toward police outside the Houses of Parliament.

Donald Trump has spoken out after the terror attack in London, hitting out at what he called 'crazy animals' and saying they should be dealt with 'through toughness and strength'

Donald Trump has spoken out after the terror attack in London, hitting out at what he called ‘crazy animals’ and saying they should be dealt with ‘through toughness and strength’

 

Latest Westminster terror attack comes 17 months after Khalid Masood killed five people and injured 50

  • Today’s crash is 18 months after Westminster Bridge attack which left five dead 
  • Muslim convert Khalid Masood drove car into crowds on bridge in March 2017
  • 52-year-old abandoned car then stabbed and killed unarmed PC Keith Palmer 
  • Parliament’s security barriers of steel and concrete were extended after attack

Today’s suspected terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament comes 17 months after the Westminster Bridge attack which left five people dead and 50 injured.

Khalid Masood, 52, ploughed a car into crowds on the bridge in London in March 2017, in the first of five terrorist attacks on Britain last year.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed PC Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

This graphic shows Khalid Masood's attack in March 2017, and the latest attack today (in red)

This graphic shows Khalid Masood’s attack in March 2017, and the latest attack today (in red)

Khalid Masood

Pc Keith Palmer,

Khalid Masood (left) ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge in March 2017, before abandoning his vehicle then stabbing and killing unarmed PC Keith Palmer (right)

A policeman points a gun at Masood on the ground at the Houses of Parliament in March 2017

A policeman points a gun at Masood on the ground at the Houses of Parliament in March 2017

Kurt Cochran (above) from Utah, was one of the victims of the attack. He was on a trip with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

Kurt Cochran (above) from Utah, was one of the victims of the attack. He was on a trip with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

Masood’s rampage left five people dead – 48-year-old PC Palmer, who was on duty at the Palace of Westminster, along with US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, and Britons Aysha Frade, 44, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes, who were mown down on the bridge.

Security expert Chris Phillips said: ‘The whole point of those barriers is they are to stop and slow down any vehicles getting close to the building and people inside.’

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, he added: ‘If you tried to crash through those barriers, it just wouldn’t work. They’re strong enough to stop a vehicle at 50mph.’

Masood was a Muslim convert with a history of violent crime – and unleashed his rampage more than a decade after turning his back on his family in Birmingham.

People stand near the crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground after the attack

People stand near the crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground after the attack

The scene on Westminster Bridge in London following the terrorist attack in March 2017

Scotland Yard says they ‘treating this as a terrorist incident’

The father-of-three, born Adrian Elms in Kent, changed his name after amassing a series of criminal convictions and spent years living in a series of terrorist hotbeds.

After Masood’s rampage, there were four further attacks – at the Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Finsbury Park in North London and Parsons Green in West London.

Last week, a Muslim convert admitted plotting to kill more than 100 people by driving a truck into pedestrians on Oxford Street in the capital’s West End.

Britain is on its second highest threat level of ‘severe’, meaning an attack by militants is ‘highly likely’. Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit is leading today’s probe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6058517/How-todays-crash-comes-17-months-Westminster-Bridge-attack.html

 

Story 2: President Trump Outstanding National Defense Speech on Strengthen Armed Forces — Videos —

Image result for president trump at fort drum speech august 13, 2018

 

SIMPLY AMAZING: President Trump Speech in Fort Drum, New York – August 13, 2018

AMAZING 🔴 President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech in Fort Drum NY, Signs National Defense Authorization Act

President Trump Delivers Remarks and Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 5515, the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” – President Trump Speech in Fort Drum, New York – August 13, 2018 – President Trump Press Conference

 

Story 3: Waiting For Mueller To Wrap Up His Counter Intelligence Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Election — No Evidence of Russian Trump Collusion — American People Want It Completed Now! — Videos —

CNN’s Poll on the Mueller Investigation Reveals the Exact OPPOSITE of What They Wanted

Judge Jeanine: I want the Mueller probe to go on and on

Gowdy: Peter Strzok didn’t need my help to get fired

Sekulow: Russia investigation ‘corrupt at its inception’

Here’s How Much Americans Bitterly Disagree About The Mueller Investigation

CNN poll: Most say Mueller should try to end investigation before Election Day

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/14/politics/cnn-poll-trump-russia-election/index.html

 

 

Story 4: Lady and Trump — Dog Fight — Trump Punches Back At Ungrateful Omarosa Manigault Newman — American People Simply Do Not Care About Omarosa — Why Was She Hired in The First Place? — You Are Fired For Good — Videos

 

 

See the source image

Trump and Omarosa exchange barbs over bombshell book

Omarosa: ‘I Had A Blind Spot Where It Came To Donald Trump’ (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

 

WH insists Trump’s no racist as he vilifies another minority

President Donald Trump unloaded on former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman Tuesday, calling her a “crazed, crying lowlife” and “that dog,” as a clash rooted in the reality star’s accusations of racism focused new attention on his frequent disparagement of prominent African-Americans.

The public conflict showed no signs of slowing, as Manigault Newman did another round of interviews to promote her tell-all book and Trump’s presidential campaign filed arbitration action against her alleging she breached a confidentiality agreement.

Manigault Newman, who has painted a damning picture of Trump and alleged there is a videotape of him using a racial slur, told The Associated Press she is not going away.

“I will not be silenced. I will not be intimidated. And I’m not going to be bullied by Donald Trump,” she said.

Trump, who has denied the existence of any such tape, assailed Manigault Newman in language that stood out even by his trash-talking standards, praising his chief of staff, John Kelly, “for quickly firing that dog!”

That slam follows a pattern of inflammatory language about women and minorities. In 2015, shortly before he launched his campaign, Trump described Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington as “a dog.” He has recently targeted California Rep. Maxine Waters, basketball star LeBron James and TV journalist Don Lemon, all African-Americans, and has repeatedly attacked black football players for kneeling during the national anthem in social protest.

Manigault Newman told the AP that “at every single opportunity he insults African-Americans,” and she accused him of trying to start a “race war.”

During the campaign and her White House tenure, Manigault Newman, who was the highest ranking black official in the West Wing, stood by Trump even at moments of racial strife, including the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Trump’s targeting of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in social protest.

Fired by Kelly in December, Manigault Newman now says many of Trump’s actions gave her pause but she was sympathetic to him as a longtime friend and mentor.

In her book, she casts herself as a strong black woman who overcame humble beginnings and has often navigated hostile work environments with aplomb.

Now she is aligning herself with Trump’s victims, said Leah Wright Rigueur, a historian at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“She’s drawing a direct line of comparison between herself and other black women Trump has attacked,” Rigueur said. “She’s suggesting that the president is racist and sexist and using herself as evidence.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Tuesday that the president’s insults were not racially motivated, saying: “This has absolutely nothing to do with race and everything to do with the president calling out someone’s integrity.”

A contestant on the first season of Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice” and a veteran of reality television, Manigault Newman has managed her explosive book tour for maximum effect, conducting back-to-back interviews and teasing out new bits of information in each one, successfully baiting the television-watching president.

Central to her argument that Trump is racist is her claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using the N-word. Trump has pushed back hard, tweeting that he had received a call from the producer of “The Apprentice” assuring him “there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said she could not guarantee Trump had never used a racial slur. Asked if she could say with certainty that Trump had never used the N-word, she said, “I haven’t been in every single room,” though she stressed that the president has addressed the question and denied ever using such language.

Manigault Newman continued to stir the pot Tuesday, providing CBS another audio recording that she said showed campaign workers discussing the alleged recording.

Her allegations put Trump allies on their heels and clearly got under the president’s skin.

Trump insisted, “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have.” He said Manigault Newman had called him “a true champion of civil rights” until she was fired.

Manigault Newman writes in her book that she’d heard such tapes of Trump language existed. She said Sunday that she had listened to one after the book closed.

Asked if the book can be backed up by email or recordings, Manigault Newman said on CBS that every quote in the book “can be verified, corroborated and it’s well documented,” suggesting she may have more information to release.

She told MSNBC that she’s been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election interference, though she did not provide any details to the network or the AP. A person familiar with the White House response to the investigation said that at no time prior to her departure did the Mueller team request documents related to her or seek an interview with her. The person insisted on anonymity to discuss the investigation.

Manigault Newman also asserted on MSNBC that Trump knew in advance about the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails by WikiLeaks, but did not provide any evidence.

In her interviews, Manigault Newman has also revealed two audio recordings from her time at the White House, including her firing by Kelly, which she says occurred in the high-security Situation Room, and a phone call with Trump after she was fired.

She also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to accept a “senior position” on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement.

https://apnews.com/e90365d3ea744dd790bfd874b65a5fc4/Trump-lashes-out-at-Omarosa,-calls-her-‘that-dog’

 

Omarosa’s memoir marks a new peak in disgrace: EW review

August 14, 2018 at 10:06 AM EDT

Omarosa Manigault Newman has a story to tell. It’s certainly not a wholly truthful one, nor — for those who’ve been paying attention — is it a particularly surprising one. But it’s the one we get: the one to take hold of a weekend news cycle, to force a reexamination of the president’s racist and dishonest tendencies, to have the nation on the edge of their seat as they ponder, What does she know?

We’ve been here before. There was Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, a lurid foray into the White House’s day-to-day. There was James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, an earnest, bitter, rather disingenuous image rehabilitation project disguised as a leadership manifesto. Both topped best-seller lists, dominated headlines, and inspired many an infuriated @realDonaldTrump tweet before fading into the ether of Trump takedowns, come and gone.

Now there’s Omarosa’s tell-all: the logical next step in our collective, steep, seemingly endless descent toward disgrace.

Above all else, Unhinged is a meta-commentary on the bleakness of our political culture. Trump’s former Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison has, admittedly, executed an impressive rollout — of a style and, yes, substance more newsworthy than the book’s contents. The memoir’s very existence was leaked just weeks before publication to The Daily Mail; its juiciest material made its way online early, and came with receipts. Indeed, the prologue, in which Manigault Newman describes how Chief of Staff John Kelly met with her in the Situation Room last December and effectively fired her, is (ta-da!) backed up by a tape recording. So too, it turns out, is the conversation which appears near the book’s end, between President Trump and his former Apprentice villain after she’d been let go, as he bafflingly expresses confusion over her departure — as if he knew nothing about it.

On Meet the Press and Today, respectively, Manigault Newman quietly reveled in the implications of what she was revealing — that she could record a sensitive conversation in the uber-sensitive Situation Room. That she could record a sensitive conversation with the president of the United States. That she could prove, as The Washington Post authenticated, that she’d been offered a healthy sum of money by the Trump machine in exchange for her silence. Here was what would hurl her memoir toward legitimacy.

It’s useless to review Unhinged as a standalone written product. It’s engineered as a media tool, structured in a fashion that complements what its author says on TV and reveals in a steady stream of recorded semi-bombshells. The book itself reads mostly like the Fire and Fury sequel you never wanted: a swift account of the major events to surround Trump since he began his campaign for president, filled out with one adviser’s observations, opinions, and insider “knowledge.” Like her old boss, she “hears” many things. She throws out, for instance, that she “heard” Trump was having a sexual relationship with evangelical leader Paula White. “I could not stop myself from contemplating whether her position as his spiritual advisor had ever been missionary,” she writes. (Really.)

https://ew.com/books/2018/08/14/omarosa-memoir-review/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018, Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform and First Step Act — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos — Story 2: Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis On Establishing United States Space Force Plan As Sixth Military Service — Space Arms Race — Videos — Story 3: Attorney General Jeff Session on Importance of Religious Liberty — Videos –Story 4: U.S. vs. China Trade Dispute — Who Will Cry Uncle First? — China — Videos

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Image result for prison reform trump meeting august 9, 2018Image result for pence and mattis on united states space force august 9, 2018Image result for attorney general jeff sessions speech at ADF summit august 7, 2018Image result for cartoons us space forceImage result for branco cartoons us space force

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Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos

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BREAKING 🔴 President Trump URGENT Speech at IMPORTANT Roundtable in Bedminster, NJ August 9, 2018

Pastor says he faced backlash over meeting with Trump

Published on Aug 3, 2018

Trump pushes for prison reform bill

Published on May 18, 2018

Trump takes on prison reform

Published on Jan 12, 2018

Van Jones is teaming up with the White House on prison reform

Trump, Congress try to breathe life into long-delayed criminal justice reform package

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The Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Congratulates Rush Limbaugh For Thirty Years Of Outstanding Talk Show — Videos — Story 2: Trump Rally in Florida — Promises Made Promises Kept — Taxes and Regulations Cut — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve Keeps Federal Funds Target Rate Unchanged a 1.75-2.0 Percent — Videos — Story 4: Trump Tweets To Attorney General Sessions on Closing Down Special Counsel Mueller Investigation or Rigged Witch Hunt! — Videos

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Election season was clearly on the president's mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirtSee the source image

See the source image

Image result for branco cartoons mueller investigationSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageImage result for branco cartoons mueller investigationImage result for cartoons mueller investigationImage result for cartoons mueller investigationImage result for cartoons mueller investigation

 

Story 1: President Trump Congratulates Rush Limbaugh For Thirty Years Of Outstanding Talk Show — Videos

audio 8/1/18 PRESIDENT TRUMP SURPRISES RUSH LIMBAUGH w/ PERSONAL PHONE CALL on 30th ANNIVERSARY

Rush Limbaugh talks Trump’s relationship with the news media

Rush Limbaugh ANALYSIS after Donald Trump WIN for President

Rush Limbaugh Interviews Donald Trump April 15,2011

Published on Apr 15, 2011

Donald Trump Teases a President Bid During a 1988 Oprah Show | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

RUSH: So I have this note on the call screener computer: “On the hotline…” We don’t have a hotline. “On the hotline, you’re receiving a phone call in recognition of your anniversary broadcast. You’ll want to take this immediately.” Okay. So we’re going to the phones and we have a special guest. Who is it?

THE PRESIDENT: So, Rush, I just wanted to congratulate you on 30 years.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: This is your favorite president, and I think you are fantastic.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: I heard about it, and today’s the big day, 30 years. I wanted to call personally and congratulate you.

RUSH: I am floored. I… (laughing) I thought there was nothing anybody could do to surprise me today. I’ve been preparing for anything. Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: You’re a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you. I’m one of them. But you’re a very, very special guy. What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is. So I just wanted to personally make this one and I said, “I’ll even dial the number myself if I have to.”

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: But I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years in that tough business is incredible — and you’re stronger now than ever before.

RUSH: Well, I — I thank you so much. It’s such a thrill to hear from you.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s a thrill to be on.

RUSH: I told you, any time you want to appear here, you are more than welcome. I don’t want to hound you by asking you because everybody’s doing that, trying to get you. But, man, this is great. I’m so flattered. While I have you, can I say something back at you here?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead, Rush. Go ahead.

RUSH: Are you aware…? I have to think you are when you go to your rallies.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

RUSH: Are you aware of what you mean to everybody who voted for you and I think a bunch of who didn’t who want to the next time around? People have invested their hopes and their futures in this country being made great again and saved in you. Are you…? When you’re alone — which you may not ever be. But when you’re alone in the White House, do you think about that? Do you ponder what you’ve come to mean to people?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I love these people. And, you know, you probably saw last night I was in Florida and we had 9,000 seats in the auditorium.

RUSH: Oh, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: That was packed, and we had thousands outside and in these rooms all over the place. I guess they had at least 15,000, 18,000 people that couldn’t get in last night — which I hate. So we’re actually starting to put up big screens. I must tell you, it’s such an honor to me to see this. This love! I don’t know if you were able to see it last night, any of them. I mean, there’s such tremendous love. I’m going to Ohio on Saturday, and tomorrow I’m going to Pennsylvania, and it’s the same thing.

It’s like the enthusiasm — and part of it is that they’ve really been mistreated for so many years by the politicians. The country’s been mistreated. The trade deals were so bad. The taxes were so high. The tax cuts are so good; they’ve been so appreciated by so many people. The cut in regulations maybe is just as important as the tax cuts because businesses are hiring like they haven’t, like they’ve never hired before. And, you know, we have a more interesting stat: We have more people working in the United States today than at any time in our history. And it’s been so many different things are happening. So there’s a tremendous amount of love in the room, and I am aware of it; there’s no question about it.

RUSH: Mr. President, it was just a little over year and a half ago where your predecessor said that what is happening now couldn’t happen again, that those days were gone, that those jobs that were lost were not coming back. And he would tell audiences this. And look at what you’ve done with the entirety — seemingly the entirety — of Washington’s political class opposed to you. In a year and a half, you have reversed the direction the country was going. We have 4.1% economic growth. When you promised that, they accused you of misleading people because it couldn’t happen.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s right, Rush. You have a lot of bad people in Washington. You knew that a long time ago. Frankly, before I knew it. I had no idea how evil some of them are, but you have a lot of great people too. And outside of Washington you have the greatest people in the world. And you’re right. You know, I’ve been saying 4%, but it should be much higher than that. You know, if you do good trade deals — which I will. You see what’s going on with China. You look at what’s going on.

I will tell you, NAFTA? They want to make a deal very badly. And, you know, we’re putting ’em back in shape. They’re horrible deals, the worst deals ever made by any country. You do that; you start lifting your GDP numbers way up also. Nobody ever ever talks about that. We’re doing 4.1% with bad trade deals. We have horrible trade deals. And our farmers, we’re gonna open up markets for them. You know, but they’re great patriots. They’re… I watch them all the time where they’re saying, “We trust our president.”

And, you know, they may take a short-term hit. But you look at farm and farming, it’s been going down for 15 years. Soybeans, five years before the election, was cut in half! The price was cut in half. I wasn’t there. So it’s going to… A lot of things are happening that are very exciting. And, you know, you look at the job numbers. You look at African-American, best ever. Hispanic, Asian, women, best ever! And it’s been a lot of fun for me, but I see the happiness and the faces.

Like last night in Florida with that, you know, really massive crowd, you see the happiness and the love — and nobody left. It’s like you. Nobody turns off your show. It’s like you can’t. Nobody leaves. You know, I’ll speak for an hour and 10 minutes, hour and 20 minutes. There wasn’t a person that left that room. It was just… It was an absolute love fest, and it’s going on all over the country, and a lot of it’s the same message. Most of it, I think — probably all of it — is the same message that you give out so well every day, better than anybody.

RUSH: Well, but your key… You know, I do understand it. I understand the bond that those people attending your rallies have with you and you with them. I’ve seen it. I know why it exists. And you are consistent. Things you said during the campaign are things you still say today. You haven’t given anybody reason to doubt you. You haven’t betrayed anybody or made them think that you’re going to. An example: Here you are suggesting that you’d be willing to maybe — you’d talk about — shutting down the government if that’s what it took to get this wall built.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

RUSH: Now the traditional Republican says, “Oh, no! No! Don’t say that!” There you are saying, “Oh, yeah. I’ll be glad to do it if that’s what it takes.”

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I actually think it would be positive.

RUSH: People don’t understand your voters rally to you for that.

THE PRESIDENT: We had Obamacare repealed and replaced, and a man — I won’t mention his name. But a man at 2 o’clock in the morning went thumbs down, and he campaigned for years on repeal and replace. We had the chance. Nobody even spoke to him about it, because it was something that was unthinkable what he did, and because of that… But still, I have just about ended Obamacare. We have great health care. We have a lot of great things happening right now. New programs are coming out.

We got rid of the individual mandate. But that was very disappointing to me that night — and he did it because of me, probably. But that was very disappointing. That was a horrible thing he did to our country. And, frankly, it cost $1 trillion because we would have saved $1 trillion, on top of which we would have had good health care. But we’re doing it a different way. We have to go a different route. But he cost us a trillion dollars. And the other thing is the wall. We’ve started it. It’s like pulling teeth, though, getting these guys to get it done is. You have no idea how tough I’ve been.

I say, “Hey, if you have a shutdown, you have a shutdown.”

Now, the shutdown could also take place after the election. I happen to think it’s a great political thing, because people want border security. It’s not just the wall, Rush, as you know. It’s border security. It’s getting rid of catch-and-release, where you catch somebody, he can be a criminal of the highest order, and you have to release him! You catch him, you take his name, and you release him. And then you have the visa lottery. It’s a lottery system where you pick people out of a lottery. Well, the countries aren’t giving us their best people. They’re giving us people that they don’t want. So we’re taking people out of a lottery that the country doesn’t want. We’re getting some beauties.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: And then you have, you know, so many other things.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: We have to change the laws. We have the worst laws! How about chain migration? One person comes in and you end up with 32 people. The person that ran down 18 people on the West Side Highway, he’s allowed to have — and I think eight died. He has 22 members of his family in the United States because of chain migration. So we have to change this stuff, Rush. And we’ll get it done, but we have to change it, Rush. If we don’t change it, it will just go down, down, down. And it will get done. One way or the other, it’s getting done. But I’d be willing to do it. And you could do it before the election or after the election.

RUSH: Well, speaking of before, as a campaign issue, I saw a couple consultants say… I don’t need to mention their names. They’re Washington, D.C., professionals.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

RUSH: They said that you need to drop this immigration stuff, Mr. President. You’re cruising for defeat if you base the midterms on this.

THE PRESIDENT: I know. I’ve heard that. (chuckles)

RUSH: You need to pivot back onto the economy, start telling people what a great economy we have, ’cause that’s the only way the Republicans can have a chance of holding the House in the midterms. What do you think about that advice?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve heard them. Probably different people than you, but I’ve heard a lot of people saying, “Oh, don’t do it before the election, we’ll upset the applecart,” and because we are doing so well economically we should do well — and, you know, the polls are okay. It’s very interesting. My polls are great, but the question is, “Is it transferable?” Now, it certainly was in Florida because you saw Ron DeSantis, who’s gotten a tremendous — you know, many, many, many points. The governor of Georgia where he was down by five and he won by 40 after I endorsed him. (chuckling) That was pretty good. That was almost like your endorsement.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: But, you know, we’ve had tremendous —

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: If you take a look at Congressman Donovan from Staten Island where he was down by 10 and he wins by 24. So we’ve had a lot of impact. And that’s why I’m going around. But I have to say that I have heard this theory. I happen to think it’s a good thing politically. I’m not doing it for politics. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. So I’m not looking at politics. But I happen to think that border security would be a good thing before the election, but there are many people within our party that are good people that are like you that agree with you on everything you say. But they’d rather do it after. They don’t agree on doing it before, and I accept their opinion, but I happen to think it would be a good thing to do before. I actually think we’d get more and there’d be more pressure on the other side, because we’re doing it because the Democrats are not giving us the votes.

RUSH: I think immigration is the largest reason you got elected, your consistency on that.

THE PRESIDENT: Well…

RUSH: I mean, it reverberates all across the country. There are people that the media, the inside-the-Beltway denizens are never gonna understand about this issue that you do. You’ve just articulated it, and you have articulated the thinking of what I think is a vast majority of people in this country. It’d be silly for you to abandon this issue now, going into the midterms.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you do it before, there’s a lot more pressure to get a great solution. But it’s riskier. If you do it afterwards, there’s less pressure; there’s less risk. I’m just not sure you’d make as good a deal. I will say a lot of people — good people — you know, would ask me in the nicest of ways, “Could we do it after the election?” So —

RUSH: I’ll bet. (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, and they’ve been good to me. I’ve had a lot of good support within the Republican Party, and you saw the poll numbers in the Republican Party. They like me so I have to keep them a little bit happy. But whether it’s before or after? But I actually think it’s a great campaign issue. I think it would be great before. But I don’t want to disappoint a lot of very good people that are working with me — and, Rush, I have to tell you, I’ve got some really good support within the Republican Party, too.

RUSH: Well, you do, and you have your staff. Are you basically…? Are you still following your gut, your instinct, or are you relying more and more on the circle of advisers you trust?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s largely instinct. I have some great people. I really do. You know, you heard me tell the story last night maybe where, you know, I’ve been in Washington 17 times. In my whole life, I never stayed here. Now, all of a sudden, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue and I’m president. So I don’t know a lot of people. Now I think I know everybody in Washington. I never stayed a night in Washington, I don’t believe. And, you know, I’ve probably been here 17, 18 times.

I’m from New York. But very rarely. And, all of a sudden, I’m president. And like Mike Pompeo. What a change that was. Mike is doing an incredible job. What a terrific guy — and I know you like him and he likes you. But we have some great people, and I’ve made some changes. But we’re really close to getting a fantastic — really just a fantastic group of people. We have some really great ones, and I think that’s reflective on the success that we’re having as an administration.

RUSH: Well, I thank you again for calling me today. This is the pinnacle, the greatest thing that could happen today. The last thing I expected was to hear from anybody ’cause I’ve given orders not to do anything unusual, and here you are. You’ve made the day for me. I can’t thank you enough, and God bless you.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. You know, people don’t realize what a great achievement 30 years is in that cutthroat business that you happen to be in. You know, you might not find that ’cause you’re so good at what you do. But that is a cutthroat business, and for you to do this for 30 years is truly an amazing accomplishment, and there’s no voice like it. Even your friend Hannity agrees with that.

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: He said, “There’s nobody like this man.”

RUSH: (laughing)

THE PRESIDENT: So I said, “Oh, gee, I guess. I thought you two would be competitors.” He said, “Nope. He’s the dean.”

RUSH: No way!

THE PRESIDENT: He calls you “the dean.”

RUSH: No way. He was a guest host. He guest hosted for me when we first started. Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he’s great. He’s a tremendous fan of yours. They all are. Everybody is. So I just want to congratulate you. Thirty years of… Just do it for another 30 years. After that, you can take it easy, okay?

RUSH: I will do that. Just that. I will stay around as long as you do.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. You have a deal.

RUSH: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And thank you very much, Rush. So important what you do. Thank you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, again, very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Take care of yourself. Good-bye.

RUSH: President Trump. We went a little long there, but that’s okay.

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/08/01/president-trump-calls-the-show/

Story 2: Trump Rally in Florida — Promises Made Promises Kept — Taxes and Regulations Cut — Videos

Trump hosts ‘MAGA’ rally with Rep. DeSantis in Tampa, FL

LIVE: President Donald Trump MASSIVE Rally in Tampa, Florida – July 31, 2018

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Trump whips Florida campaign rally into a frenzy with calls for a voter ID system ‘because you need ID to buy groceries’, then touts his economic success … but does not mention Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ or Manafort’s trial

  • Donald Trump sent crowds into a frenzy Tuesday night at a rally in Tampa, Florida
  • Trump is reviving his call for a national voter ID system as the country heads into the midterm election and he eyes his own reelection campaign
  • The president said ‘the time has come for voter ID’, which sent crowds cheering
  • He touted his many victories, such as ending the war on Christmas: ‘Everybody is happy to say Merry Christmas’ 
  • The president spent considerable time talking about his trade policies, including tit-for-tat tariffs with China that he said would eventually pay dividends for the U.S. 
  • His supporters showed up to the rally wearing Make America Great Again hats and t-shirts
  • Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he reminded the crowd of 
  • His daughter Ivanka and son Eric and his wife Lara also attended the rally to support their father 

President Donald Trump is reviving his call for a national voter ID system as the country heads into the midterm election and the president eyes his own reelection campaign.

‘The time has come for voter ID,’ Trump said Tuesday night at a rally in Tampa, Fla., which earned him a roar of approval and sustained applause from the crowd.

‘If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need I.D. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need I.D. And you need your picture. In this country the only time you don’t need it in many cases is when you want to vote,’ he said.

Most grocery stores don’t require identification unless the customer is buying something age restricted, like alcohol. 

Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt. They waved signs that featured Trump’s new campaign slogan ‘Keep America Great,’ ‘Trump, Pence,’ ‘Women for Trump,’ and ‘Blacks for Trump.’

He failed to address Robert Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ or Paul Manafort’s trial, which begun today, during his speech.

In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall. The Sunshine State will also be critical to the president’s reelection efforts in 2020.

Scroll down for video 

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Florida

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Florida

 Trump was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Florida rally. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida's crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall

 Trump was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Florida rally. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall

Supporters cheer as Trump arrives for the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa

Supporters cheer as Trump arrives for the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa

Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he was happy to remind the crowd of.

But he also talked about his own time in office, reassuring the crowd he would occupy the Oval for seven years. He reminisced about inauguration and mentioned his family – Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump were with him – as was Eric’s wife Lara – but he also talked about the first lady and how ‘everybody loves Melania.’

He also gave shout outs to two former campaign officials who were with him: ex campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and his former deputy campaign manager David Bossie.

He even got in a dig at ‘Crooked Hillary,’ prompting the crowd to shout ‘lock her up’.

And he touted other victories such as ending the war on Christmas – making that claim on a muggy day in July in Florida.

Trump acknowledged it was early in the year to be talking about the holidays. ‘it’s awfully early to be thinking this, but I always think it,’ he said.

‘Remember the attack on Merry Christmas? They are not attacking it anymore. Everybody is happy to say Merry Christmas,’ he said. ‘You have these big department stores that say happy holidays. They say where’s the Merry Christmas. Now they are all putting up Merry Christmas again.’

He also teased the crowd, which had filled the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, and been hyped up since before his arrival. Supporters swarmed CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the media area to scream ‘fake news’ before the president began his remarks and they were on their feet for all of Trump’s speech, often cheering and shouting.

‘I said we might be a little bit wild, they say he’s not acting presidential and I would say it’s a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do. Anybody can act presidential,’ he said as the crowd cheered him on.

‘Ladies and gentlemen of the state of Florida, thank you very much for being here. You are tremendous people and I will leave now because I am boring you to death, thank you,’ he joked as the crowd gave him sustained applause.

Trump’s call for a national voter ID system came he railed on Democrats for their stance on illegal immigration, an issue the president has lasered in on in the last few weeks, claiming it was a policy stance that got him elected in the first place.

His first called for voter ID in January after he disbanded his controversial commission investigating allegations of voter fraud.

Trump created the commission after claiming that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election — enough to make up for Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote.

Election season was clearly on the president's mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt

Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt

Supporters waved signs that featured Trump's new campaign slogan 'Keep America Great,' 'Trump, Pence,' 'Women for Trump,' and 'Blacks for Trump'

Supporters waved signs that featured Trump’s new campa