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The Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2016, Story 1: Renewal of FISA’s Section 702 and Protection of Americans Privacy Rights — National Security Agency Is Spying On American People — Require NSA To Get A Warrant In Court of Law — Support U.S.A. Rights Act — Videos — Story 2: Fusion GPS Dossier and Leaking of Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson Testimony — Videos

Posted on January 10, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Law, Life, Media, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Judge Nap on FISA Act Renewal

FISA bill passes in House, but faces tough road in Senate

House Votes to Recertify FISA Section 702. Dershowitz

FBI use of dossier for FISA warrant is criminal contempt: James Kallstrom

Hannity: FISA abuses are worthy of further investigation

Hannity: Politicization of US intel is the real scandal

Trump Contradicts His Team. Then He Doesn’t

Sara Carter: Trump Dossier Was Used By FBI To Obtain FISA Warrants on Trump Campaign

BREAKING – 4+ Sources Confirm Trump Dossier Used to Obtain FISA Warrants

Senator Lindsey Graham Confirms His Recent Revelation Steele Dossier WAS Used For 2016 FISA Warrant

Trump Dossier Allowed FBI to Spy on Trump, 1974

Wow! Trump Dossier Was Used to Investigate Trump!

The privacy concerns at the heart of the FISA renewal debate

FISA §702: ‘This is the end of probable cause’ — Lionel

Senator Rand Paul & Senator Ron Wyden join Representative Justin Amash

Coats outlines ‘section 702’ surveillance law

The FISA bill in 60 seconds

STOP the Government from Spying on You! | Rand Paul

What is Section 702?

Trey Gowdy on DACA Judge and Surveillance on Americans.

Senator Rand Paul Explains 702 Data Collection at Cato Institute

Rand Paul on FISA. Could Shut Down Gov Over it

FISA §702: ‘This is the end of probable cause’ — Lionel Nation

Powerful Judge Tells Congress To END NSA For Good

End Warrantless Deep State Spying: Don’t Renew 702

Renewal of FISA’s Section 702: Why America Needs the Provision

Rand Paul on Obama Illegally Spying on Americans | NSA Wiretapping

NSA Spying On Americans ‘Widespread’ – Let Sec. 702 Expire!

Bill Binney – The State of Domestic Spying

NSA Whistleblower Tells How NSA Tracks You! w/Bill Binney

Malzberg | Bill Binney discusses his belief that the NSA has all of Clinton’s emails

NSA Genius Debunks Russiagate Once & For All

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, is sponsoring a bill amendment that would extend Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act by four years while making major changes to it.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A yearslong debate over National Security Agency surveillance and protections for Americans’ privacy rights will reach a climactic moment on Thursday as the House of Representatives takes up legislation to extend a program of warrantless spying on internet and phone networks that traces back to the Sept. 11 attacks.

There is little doubt that Congress will extend an expiring statute, known as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, that permits the government to collect without a warrant from American firms, like Google and AT&T, the emails and other communications of foreigners abroad — even when they are talking to Americans.

But it is far from clear whether Congress will impose significant new safeguards for Americans’ privacy. A bipartisan coalition of civil-liberties-minded lawmakers are trying to impose such changes, while the Trump administration, the intelligence community and House Republican leadership oppose them.

Thursday’s vote is seen as the crucial test because more would-be reformers are in the House than in the Senate, which will take up the legislation later. If majority support for imposing new privacy protections on the program does not exist in the House, the Senate is unlikely to add them in.

“The chances are better in the House,” acknowledged Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, at a news conference on Wednesday of House and Senate lawmakers who support surveillance overhaul efforts. “The privacy movement is stronger in the House than the Senate. Maybe we can learn from you guys.”

The N.S.A. began collecting Americans’ international phone calls and emails without a warrant in October 2001 as part of the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 Stellarwind program. In 2008, after the program had come to light, Congress legalized a form of it by enacting Section 702 of the FISA law. That law enabled the program to expand to Silicon Valley firms, not just telecoms, and to all foreign intelligence purposes, not just counterterrorism.

In late 2012, Congress extended the law for five years without changes. But the pending expiration of Section 702 is forcing lawmakers to address its substance for the first time since the 2013 leaks about N.S.A. programs by Edward J. Snowden set off a major debate about 21st-century surveillance technology and privacy rights.

On Thursday, the House will vote on an Intelligence Committee bill that would extend the 702 program for six years with only minor changes. But House leaders are permitting lawmakers first to vote on a single proposed amendment that would make major changes.

Chief among them, the amendment would ban the practice whereby officials at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and other security agencies, without a warrant, search for and read private messages of Americans that the government incidentally swept up under the 702 program. Instead, except in emergencies, officials would need to obtain a court order to query the repository for an American’s information.

The amendment is chiefly sponsored by Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, and Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California. It would substitute in the text of another bill, dubbed the USA Rights Act, which would extend Section 702 by only four years.

The bipartisan coalition backing overhaul efforts — which includes some of the most conservative and most liberal members of the House — say that change is necessary to uphold the meaning and substance of Fourth Amendment privacy rights in light of 21st-century communications technology and surveillance powers.

But the F.B.I. and the intelligence community have balked at that proposal, saying it would impede their efforts to protect the country to require warrants to query information the government already possesses. There are also lawmakers of both parties — backed by House leadership — who oppose the amendment.

Aides to Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, distributed a one-page sheet this week denouncing the amendment as imposing “unnecessarily severe requirements” that would endanger Americans.

Complicating matters, the base bill backed by Mr. Nunes contains a gesture toward a court-order requirement, too. It would apply only under narrow circumstances: if F.B.I. agents have already opened a criminal investigation into the American whose information they are searching for, and if the agents have no national-security rationale.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the warrant requirement in the base bill would be sufficient to “prevent the database from being used as a general tool to gather evidence and introduce it in court in cases that have nothing to do with terrorism.”

But the base bill would still permit routine queries for Americans’ information without warrants. Its warrant requirement would not apply to national-security-related queries by a range of agencies, including the C.I.A., the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. Nor would it apply to F.B.I. queries when agents are merely pursuing tips about an American but do not yet have enough evidence of wrongdoing to open a criminal investigation.

In short, the base bill would give greater privacy protections to criminal suspects than to people the F.B.I. has no solid basis for thinking had committed any wrongdoing.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, dismissed the base bill’s limited warrant provision on Wednesday as “fake reform” that was really just “business as usual.”

Adding to the uncertainty, in 2014 and 2015, the House approved amendments to appropriations bills that would have required warrants to search the 702 repository for Americans’ information, but they were rejected in negotiations with the Senate. When the idea came up again in 2016, shortly after the terrorist attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., the House voted it down.

Another significant difference between the base bill and the amendment centers on the N.S.A.’s old practice of scanning Americans’ international emails and other internet messages and collecting those that mention a foreign target — but are neither to nor from that target. The technique came to light amid the Snowden leaks and ended last year.

Such collection is technically complex, and the N.S.A. shut it down after repeatedly running into trouble adhering to limits imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But the agency wants to retain the flexibility to turn it back on. The base bill would permit it to do so after briefing the congressional intelligence committees. The amendment would ban the practice.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018, Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President? — Videos — Story 2: The Big Lie Media’s and Lying Lunatic Left’s Mantra That President Trump is Mentally Unstable — Nuts — Junk Journalism Progressive Propaganda — Desperate Delusional Democrats — No Evidence of Russian Collusion or Obstruction of Justice — Now Trump is Nuts — Please Keep This Up — Losing All Credibility With American People — Videos — Story 3: The Roaring 2020s with The Unstoppable Trump and Pence Boom — Inflation Less Than 1%, U-3 Unemployment Rate Less Than 3%, Economic Growth Rate Exceeding 5% and Labor Participation Rate Exceeding 67% — Real Tax Reform With Fair Tax Less Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad-based Consumption Tax With A $1,000 Per Month or $12,000 Per Year Tax Prebate For All American Citizens Age 18 and Older — Democratic Socialist Worse Nightmare — 16 Year Peace and Prosperity Presidencies of Trump and Pence! — Videos 

Posted on January 8, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Currencies, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech — Winfrey Running For President?

Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech

Oprah for president? Golden Globes speech stirs speculation of 2020 run

Mark Steyn Reacts to Oprah’s Speech

Ben Shapiro: Oprah Winfrey is a Fraud

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey

The Truth About Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Presidential Run

Ben Shapiro on Oprah’s presidential possibilities

MARK LEVIN GOES NUCLEAR!: Oprah’s Golden Globes ‘Lecture’ Was ‘GROTESQUE’

LIMBAUGH: Oprah Winfrey Is NOT A Nationwide Vote-Getter

Ivanka Gives Surprising Response to Oprah’s Golden Globe Speech, Instantly Attacked by Hollywood

Oprah “Open to” Running for the Presidency: She Won’t Get Nominated if She Does

MILO Explains ‘Oprah 2020’

“Could Oprah DEFEAT Trump in 2020??” Ben Shapiro Gives His Take

‘She Is a Hypocrite’ – Ben Shapiro Reacts To Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech

Ben Shapiro – Here Is Why Oprah winfrey Will NOT Win If She Ran For President

Memo to #MichaelWolff: #Trump Laughs at Your Unverified Lies, You Blatherskite and Pathetic Poltroon

Seth Meyers’ Monologue at the 2018 Golden Globes

 

Trump: I would beat Oprah
President Trump speaks during a bipartisan immigration lunch
Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Following his bipartisan immigration lunch at the White House, President Trump addressed the hype surrounding a potential presidential run by Oprah Winfrey in 2020, telling reporters he would beat her.

“Oprah will be lots of fun. I did one of her last shows…. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run.”

Oprah Presidential Talk Renews Questions About Swiss Race Hoax, Harvey Weinstein

In the wake of her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes gala,talk has revived of Oprah Winfrey challenging Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020. Also revived are questions about Winfrey accusing a Swiss sales clerk of racism and her relationship with Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul accused by dozens of women of everything from harassment to serial rape.

Picking up steam on Twitter is the hashtag #OprahKnew accompanied by photos of an obviously chummy Winfrey nuzzling with and even kissing Weinstein:

Back in late November, Oprah’s name was dragged into the Weinstein scandal when British actress Kadian Noble, who has filed an 11 page complaint against the former mogul, alleged, among other terrible things, that Weinstein got to her through Winfrey and model Naomi Campbell.

“An aspiring actress says Harvey Weinstein used Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell to dupe her into thinking he would help her with her career — only to use her for sex,” Page Six reported.

There is no claim or insinuation that Winfrey was in any way complicit in setting this young woman up for the sexual assault she alleges occurred, but there is also no question that Winfrey is not only very friendly with Weinstein, but that she is a welcome member of his professional circle.

Moreover, Weinstein’s and Winfrey’s names appear together on two films: Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) and The Great Debaters (2007). Which, along with the chummy photos, might help to explain why Weinstein felt comfortable reaching out to Winfrey to help with damage control in the early days of the scandal. Oprah’s response was that she was only interested in booking him for an interview.

Overall, when you factor in the above along with the fact that Oprah herself is now a reigning queen of Hollywood, with a career devoted almost entirely to the entertainment business (via her OWN cable network), it would appear fair to say that any denial from Winfrey about her knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged predations are as credible as those coming from fellow-Queen Meryl Streep, which some say are not credible at all.

This is not the first time the billionaire has been dragged into a sexual abuse case. Shortly after Winfrey opened up a school for girls in South Africa in 2007, one of her matrons was charged with sexually molesting several students. The woman was later acquitted, but Winfrey said she was disappointed with the verdict.

Four years later, ABC News reported that a “dead newborn was found at Oprah Winfrey’s school.”

Winfrey also found herself in hot water in 2013 when, without any proof, she appeared to manufacture a racial controversy in order to promote her latest movie, Lee Daniels’s The Butler. Appearing on Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey accused a Swiss shopgirl of racism.

“I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see that [$38,000 purse] right above your head?’ And she says to me, ‘No, it’s too expensive.’ … She refused to get it,” Winfrey dramatically explained.

But Winfrey refused to back up her story by identifying the store or the “racist” clerk. Eventually, though, the store and the shopgirl were located, and the young woman accused of racism by the most powerful woman in the world, openly declared Winfrey a liar:

I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. … If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it. … I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is OK but not excellent, unfortunately. … I didn’t know who she was when she came into the store. That wouldn’t have made any difference if I had.

And what was Winfrey’s bizarre response to this hideous “racist” adding insult to injury by declaring her a liar? Outrage? Fury? Nope. Winfrey backed off with a non-apology apologyabout being “sorry” that the incident “got blown up.”

Well, it was Winfrey who blew it up, not only on Entertainment Tonight but on Larry King’s CNN show.

A billionaire mogul falsely accusing an innocent sales clerk of racism is about as grotesque an abuse of power as anyone has ever seen, and that is what many believe happened.

It is no longer 2012, and Winfrey’s fawning media no longer has a monopoly on either truth or information. The era of Barack Obama is over — the elitist media can no longer cover up for a Hillary or Oprah.

If Winfrey is serious about running for president, many questions will dog this powerful billionaire, questions that she appears to have no interest in answering.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/08/oprah-presidential-talk-renews-questions-swiss-race-hoax-harvey-weinstein/

 

 

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Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President or Acting President if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office, or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency.[1] The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967.[2]

Text

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.[3]

Background

The Twenty-fifth Amendment in the National Archives
Page 1
Page 2

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution states:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

That clause was unclear regarding Presidential succession and inability; it did not state who had the power to declare a President incapacitated.[1] Also, it did not provide a mechanism for filling a Vice Presidential vacancy before the next Presidential election. The vagueness of this clause caused difficulties many times before the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption:

  • In 1841, President William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. President to die in office. Representative John Williams had previously suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President upon the death of the President.[4] John Tyler asserted that he had succeeded to the presidency, as opposed to only obtaining its powers and duties. He also declined to acknowledge documents referring to him as “Acting President”. Although he felt his vice presidential oath negated the need for the presidential oath, Tyler was persuaded that being formally sworn-in would clear up any doubts about his right to the office. Having done so, he then moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers. Tyler’s claim was not formally challenged, and both houses of Congress adopted a resolution confirming that Tyler was the tenth President of the United States, without any qualifiers. The precedent of full succession was thus established.[5] This became known as the “Tyler Precedent”.
  • There had been occasions when a President was incapacitated. For example, following Woodrow Wilson‘s stroke no one officially assumed the Presidential powers and duties, in part because the First LadyEdith Wilson, together with the White House PhysicianCary T. Graysoncovered up President Wilson’s condition.[1][6]
  • The office of Vice President had been vacant sixteen times due to the death or resignation of the Vice President or his succession to the presidency.[1] For example, there was no Vice President for nearly four years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. During the impeachment of Andrew Johnson there was no Vice President to succeed him. At that time, the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 provided that the President pro tempore of the Senate would succeed Johnson if he was removed from office.[7] Had the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson resulted in Johnson being removed from office, Senator Benjamin Wade, then the President pro tempore of the Senate, would have become acting president pending a special presidential election.[8]

After having been temporarily incapacitated by several severe health problems, President Dwight D. Eisenhower attempted to clarify procedures through a signed agreement with Vice President Richard Nixon, drafted by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. However, this agreement did not have legal authority.[9] Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in September 1955 and intestinal problems requiring emergency surgery in July 1956. Each time until Eisenhower was able to resume his duties, Nixon presided over Cabinet meetings and, along with Eisenhower aides, kept the executive branch functioning and assured the public that the situation was under control. However, Nixon never made any effort to formally assume the status of Acting President or President.

All of these incidents made it evident that clearer guidelines were needed.[1] There were two proposals for providing those guidelines.

Keating–Kefauver proposal

In 1963, Senator Kenneth Keating of New York proposed a Constitutional amendment which would have enabled Congress to enact legislation providing for how to determine when a President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, rather than, as the Twenty-fifth Amendment does, having the Constitution so provide.[10] This proposal was based upon a recommendation of the American Bar Association in 1960.[11]

The text of the proposal read:[12]

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the said office shall devolve on the Vice President. In case of the inability of the President to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the said powers and duties shall devolve on the Vice President, until the inability be removed. The Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then be President, or, in case of inability, act as President, and such officer shall be or act as President accordingly, until a President shall be elected or, in case of inability, until the inability shall be earlier removed. The commencement and termination of any inability shall be determined by such method as Congress shall by law provide.

Senators raised concerns that the Congress could either abuse such authority[13] or neglect to enact any such legislation after the adoption of this proposal.[14] Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, a long-time advocate for addressing the disability question, spearheaded the effort until he died of a heart attack on August 10, 1963.[15][16] Senator Keating was defeated in the 1964 election, but Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska took up Keating’s cause as a new member of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.[9]

Kennedy assassination

The assassination of John F. Kennedy showed the need for a clear way for determining presidential disability in the context of the Cold War.[17] The new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had once suffered a heart attack[18] and – with the office of Vice President to remain vacant until the next term began on January 20, 1965 – the next two people in the line of succession were the 71-year-old Speaker of the House John McCormack[17][19] and the 86-year-old Senate President pro tempore Carl Hayden.[17][19] Senator Birch Bayh succeeded Kefauver as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments and set about advocating for a detailed amendment dealing with presidential disability.[17]

Bayh–Celler proposal

On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed S. J. Res. 1 in the Senate and Representative Emanuel Celler (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) proposed H. J. Res. 1 in the House of Representatives. Their proposal specified the process by which a President could be declared “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, thereby making the Vice President an Acting President, and how the President could regain the powers of his office. Also, their proposal provided a way to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice President before the next presidential election. This was as opposed to the Keating–Kefauver proposal, which neither provided for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President prior to the next presidential election nor provided a process for determining presidential disability. In 1964, the American Bar Association endorsed the type of proposal which Bayh and Celler advocated.[20] On January 28, 1965, President Johnson endorsed S. J. Res. 1 in a statement to Congress.[9] Their proposal received bipartisan support.[21]

On February 19, the Senate passed the amendment, but the House passed a different version of the amendment on April 13. On April 22, it was returned to the Senate with revisions.[9] There were four areas of disagreement between the House and Senate versions:

  • the Senate official who was to receive any written declaration under the amendment
  • the period of time during which the Vice President and Cabinet must decide whether they disagree with the President’s declaration that he is fit to resume his duties
  • the time before Congress meets to resolve the issue between the President, Vice President, and the Cabinet
  • the time limit for Congress to reach a decision[9]

On July 6, after a conference committee ironed out differences between the versions,[22] the final version of the amendment was passed by both Houses of the Congress and presented to the states for ratification.[23]

Proposal and ratification

The Congress proposed the Twenty-fifth Amendment on July 6, 1965, and the amendment was ratified by the following states:[2]

  1. Nebraska (July 12, 1965)
  2. Wisconsin (July 13, 1965)
  3. Oklahoma (July 16, 1965)
  4. Massachusetts (August 9, 1965)
  5. Pennsylvania (August 18, 1965)
  6. Kentucky (September 15, 1965)
  7. Arizona (September 22, 1965)
  8. Michigan (October 5, 1965)
  9. Indiana (October 20, 1965)
  10. California (October 21, 1965)
  11. Arkansas (November 4, 1965)
  12. New Jersey (November 29, 1965)
  13. Delaware (December 7, 1965)
  14. Utah (January 17, 1966)
  15. West Virginia (January 20, 1966)
  16. Maine (January 24, 1966)
  17. Rhode Island (January 28, 1966)
  18. Colorado (February 3, 1966)
  19. New Mexico (February 3, 1966)
  20. Kansas (February 8, 1966)
  21. Vermont (February 10, 1966)
  22. Alaska (February 18, 1966)
  23. Idaho (March 2, 1966)
  24. Hawaii (March 3, 1966)
  25. Virginia (March 8, 1966)
  26. Mississippi (March 10, 1966)
  27. New York (March 14, 1966)
  28. Maryland (March 23, 1966)
  29. Missouri (March 30, 1966)
  30. New Hampshire (June 13, 1966)
  31. Louisiana (July 5, 1966)
  32. Tennessee (January 12, 1967)
  33. Wyoming (January 25, 1967)
  34. Washington (January 26, 1967)
  35. Iowa (January 26, 1967)
  36. Oregon (February 2, 1967)
  37. Minnesota (February 10, 1967)
  38. Nevada (February 10, 1967)
    Ratification was completed on February 10, 1967. The following states subsequently ratified the amendment:
  39. Connecticut (February 14, 1967)
  40. Montana (February 15, 1967)
  41. South Dakota (March 6, 1967)
  42. Ohio (March 7, 1967)
  43. Alabama (March 14, 1967)
  44. North Carolina (March 22, 1967)
  45. Illinois (March 22, 1967)
  46. Texas (April 25, 1967)
  47. Florida (May 25, 1967)

The following states have not ratified the amendment:

  1. Georgia
  2. North Dakota[24]
  3. South Carolina

Six days after its submission, Nebraska and Wisconsin were the first states to ratify the amendment. On February 10, 1967, Minnesota and Nevada were the 37th and 38th states to ratify, respectively. On February 23, 1967, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White HouseGeneral Services Administrator Lawson Knott certified the amendment’s adoption.

Effect

Section 1: Presidential succession

John Tyler, first to succeed to the office of President. His succession was initially contested and it was unknown whether he should be considered to be president or acting president.

Section 1 codified the “Tyler Precedent” regarding when a President is removed from office, dies, or resigns. In any of these situations, the Vice President immediately becomes President.

Section 2: Vice Presidential vacancy

Prior to the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s adoption, a Vice Presidential vacancy remained until the next vice-presidential term began. The Vice Presidency has been vacant several times due to death, resignation, or succession to the Presidency. Often these vacancies lasted for several years.

Under Section 2, whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice President, the President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress.

Section 3: Presidential declaration

Section 3 provides that when the President transmits a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, stating that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency, and until the President sends another written declaration to the aforementioned officers declaring himself able to resume discharging those powers and duties, the Vice President discharges those powers and duties as Acting President. The Vice President does not become President and the sitting President is not removed from office.

Section 4: Vice Presidential–Cabinet declaration

Section 4 is the only part of the amendment that has never been invoked.[25] It allows the Vice President, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” by submitting a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As with Section 3, the Vice President would become Acting President, not President, and the sitting President would not be removed from office.

Section 4 is meant to be invoked should the President’s incapacitation prevent him from discharging his duties, but he is unable or unwilling to provide the written declaration called for by Section 3. The President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House.

Should the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet believe the President is still “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, they may within four days of the President’s declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated. If not already in session, the Congress must then assemble within 48 hours. The Congress has 21 days to decide the issue. If within the 21 days two-thirds of each house of Congress vote that the President is incapacitated, the Vice President would “continue” to be Acting President. Should the Congress resolve the issue in favor of the President, or make no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would “resume” discharging the powers and duties of his office. The use of the words “continue” and “resume” imply that the Vice President remains Acting President while Congress deliberates.

However, the President may again submit a written declaration of recovery to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House. That declaration could be responded to by the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet in the same way as stated earlier. The specified 21-day Congressional procedure would start again.

Proposed replacing of Cabinet

On April 14, 2017, Representatives Jamie Raskin and Earl Blumenauer introduced the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act.[26] The bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress.[27]

According to Blumenauer:

It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively.[27]

Invocations

Two women are flanked by two men in suits, standing in a room of the White House.

(L–R): President Richard Nixon, First Lady Pat NixonBetty Ford and Gerald Ford, after President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford to be Vice President
(The White House, October 13, 1973)

The Twenty-fifth Amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification. The first three times were applications of Sections 1 and 2 in the context of scandals surrounding the Nixon Administration. The latter three were applications of Section 3 regarding Presidents undergoing a medical procedure requiring general anesthesia.

Succession to presidency

Nixon’s resignation letter, August 9, 1974.

President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, resulting in Vice President Gerald Ford succeeding to the office of President.[28] Gerald Ford is the only person ever to be Vice President, and later President, without being elected to either office.[29]

Filling vice presidential vacancies

1973: Appointment of Gerald Ford as Vice President[edit]

On October 12, 1973, following Vice President Spiro Agnew‘s resignation two days earlier, President Richard Nixon nominated Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan to succeed Agnew as Vice President.

The United States Senate voted 92–3 to confirm Ford on November 27 and, on December 6, the House of Representatives did the same by a vote of 387–35. Ford was sworn in later that day before a joint session of the United States Congress.[30]

1974: Appointment of Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President[edit]

When Gerald Ford became President, the office of Vice President became vacant. On August 20, 1974, after considering Melvin Laird and George H. W. Bush, President Ford nominated former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to be the new vice president.

On December 10, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 90–7 by the Senate. On December 19, 1974, Rockefeller was confirmed 287–128 by the House and sworn into office later that day in the Senate chamber.[30]

Acting Presidents

1985: George H.W. Bush

On July 12, 1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, during which a villous adenoma (a pre-cancerous lesion) was discovered. When told by his physician (Dr. Edward Cattau) that he could undergo surgeryimmediately or in two to three weeks, Reagan elected to have it removed immediately.[31]

That afternoon, Reagan consulted with White House counsel Fred Fielding by telephone, debating whether to invoke the amendment and, if so, whether such a transfer would set an undesirable precedent. Fielding and White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan recommended that Reagan transfer power and two letters doing so were drafted: the first letter specifically invoked Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment; the second only mentioned that Reagan was mindful of this provision. At 10:32 a.m. on July 13, Reagan signed the second letter and ordered its delivery to the appropriate officers as required under the amendment.[32] Vice President George H. W. Bush was Acting President from 11:28 a.m. until 7:22 p.m., when Reagan transmitted a second letter to resume the powers and duties of the office.

Books such as The President Has Been Shot: Confusion, Disability and the 25th Amendment, by Herbert Abrams, and Reagan’s autobiography, An American Life, argue President Reagan’s intent to transfer power to Vice President Bush was clear. Fielding himself adds:

I personally know he did intend to invoke the amendment, and he conveyed that to all of his staff and it was conveyed to the VP as well as the President of the Senate. He was also very firm in his wish not to create a precedent binding his successor.

2002: Dick Cheney

On June 29, 2002, President George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy and chose to invoke Section 3 of the amendment, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney. The medical procedure began at 7:09 a.m. EDT and ended at 7:29 a.m. EDT. Bush woke up twenty minutes later, but did not resume his presidential powers and duties until 9:24 a.m. EDT after the president’s physician, Richard Tubb, conducted an overall examination. Tubb said he recommended the additional time to make sure the sedative had no aftereffects. Unlike Reagan’s 1985 letter, Bush’s 2002 letter specifically cited Section 3 as the authority for the transfer of power.[32]

2007: Dick Cheney

On July 21, 2007, President Bush again invoked Section 3 in response to having to undergo a colonoscopy, temporarily transferring his powers to Vice President Cheney. President Bush invoked Section 3 at 7:16 a.m. EDT. He reclaimed his powers at 9:21 a.m. EDT. As happened in 2002, Bush specifically cited Section 3 when he transferred the Presidential powers to the Vice President and when he reclaimed those powers.[32]

Considered Section 4 invocations

There have been two instances in which invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment was considered. Both involved the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

1981: Reagan assassination attempt

Following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, Vice President George H. W. Bush did not assume the presidential powers and duties as Acting President. Reagan was unable to invoke Section 3, because he was in surgery. Bush did not invoke Section 4, because he was on a plane returning from Texas. Reagan was out of surgery by the time Bush arrived in Washington.[33] In 1995, Birch Bayh, the primary sponsor of the amendment in the Senate, wrote that Section 4 should have been invoked.[34]

1987: Reagan’s alleged incapacity

Upon becoming the White House Chief of Staff in 1987, Howard Baker was advised by his predecessor’s staff to be prepared for a possible invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment[35] due to Reagan’s perceived laziness and ineptitude.[36][37]

According to the PBS program American Experience,

What Baker’s transition team was told by Donald Regan‘s staff that weekend shocked them. Reagan was “inattentive, inept”, and “lazy”, and Baker should be prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his duties.

Reagan biographer Edmund Morris stated in an interview aired on the program,

The incoming Baker people all decided to have a meeting with him on Monday, their first official meeting with the President, and to cluster around the table in the Cabinet room and watch him very, very closely to see how he behaved, to see if he was indeed losing his mental grip.

Morris went on to explain,

Reagan who was, of course, completely unaware that they were launching a death watch on him, came in stimulated by the press of all these new people and performed splendidly. At the end of the meeting, they figuratively threw up their hands realizing he was in perfect command of himself.[36][37]

See also

References

 

 

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Americans’ Optimism About Job Market Hit Record High in 2017

by Megan Brenan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 56% viewed job market positively in 2017, up from 42% in 2016
  • Confidence in job market buoyed by Republicans since Trump’s inauguration
  • 40% of unemployed adults seeking jobs rated job market as good

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about finding a quality job averaged 56% in 2017, the highest annual average in 17 years of Gallup polling and a sharp increase from 42% in 2016. Coinciding with rising optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from an average 4.9% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017, the lowest rate since 2000.

GoodTimeQualityJob1_new

Since October 2001, Gallup has asked Americans monthly if it is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job. Historically, Americans’ perceptions of the job market have tracked closely with the monthly unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the unemployment rate is low, public perceptions that it is a good time to find a quality job rise. Conversely, when the unemployment rate is high, views of the job market get worse.

Prior to this year, Americans’ assessments of the job market were most positive in 2007 (43%) at the start of the Great Recession and least positive its last year, 2009 (10%). Since the job market bottomed out in 2009, Americans’ ratings of it have improved steadily, rising to the highest level yet in 2017.

Sharp Republican Reversal on Job Market in 2017

Positivity about jobs among all U.S. adults began to rise on a monthly basis in January 2017, reaching 54% in February 2017. By the end of 2017, it hit 62% in November and again in December. This increase was largely driven by a Republican reversal. The monthly reading for Republicans saying it was a good time to find a quality job rose 20 percentage points to 64% after Donald Trump was inaugurated and ultimately ended 2017 at 78%.

GoodTimeQualityJob2_new

Partisans who identify with the sitting president’s party typically hold more favorable views than those of the opposing party concerning the economy and other national metrics. While the shift in Republicans’ view of the job market was dramatic after Trump’s election and inauguration, the change in Democrats’ opinion of the job market following Barack Obama’s exit from the White House was more modest. This was perhaps because the general consensus at the time was that the economy and job market were in poor shape. Shortly after Trump took office, the percentage of Democrats who said it was a good time to find a quality job fell 10 points to 45%, and was 50% last month.

Demographic Differences in Assessments of Job Market

Several demographic groups were less inclined than others to think 2017 was a good time to find a job, including those who were out of work and trying to find a job, blacks and those in households earning less than $30,000 a year. These are typically Democratic groups and less than half of each of them assessed the job market positively in 2017.

Those employed full time, college graduates and those with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more are among the demographic groups that are most likely to say it is a good time to find a quality job. The assessments of the job market by each of these groups improved by double digits from 2016 to 2017. Additionally, the greatest increase in perception on this issue is among whites (21 points), respondents 50 and older (20 points) and men (18 points), all typically Republican groups.

Percentage in U.S. Saying Now is a Good Time to Find a Quality Job, Yearly Averages by Subgroup
Thinking about the job situation in America today, would you say that it is now a good time or a bad time to find a quality job?
Good time in 2016 Good time in 2017
% %
Gender
Men 44 62
Women 41 51
Party ID
Republican 31 66
Independent 41 55
Democrat 53 49
Age
18-29 55 58
30-49 46 59
50-64 37 57
65+ 30 50
Annual Household Income
Less than $30,000 annual income 38 46
$30,000-less than $75,000 42 54
$75,000 or more 48 66
Race/ethnicity
White 38 59
Black 55 48
Hispanic 49 53
Education
College graduate 48 61
Not a college graduate 39 54
Employment
Employed full-time 50 62
Employed part-time 38 53
Unemployed but looking for work 36 40
GALLUP

Americans in the lowest household income bracket and those unemployed and searching for work are undoubtedly discouraged by their personal situations and therefore are less likely to see it as a good time to find a quality job, even though the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2000.

Likewise, black Americans, who experienced record unemployment in December, think the job market is worse than do whites and Hispanics. Yet, unlike those with annual household incomes under $30,000 and the unemployed who are looking for work, blacks and Democrats have grown significantly less positive about the availability of quality jobs since Trump became president. These were the only groups that in 2017 showed a decline in positive ratings compared to 2016.

Bottom Line

Gallup didn’t start gauging the public’s assessment of the job market with the quality jobs question until 2001; thus there are no data to compare against the last time the unemployment rate was as low as it is now. Republicans view the job market much better now than Democrats did during Obama’s presidency. While this overwhelming positivity about the job market by Republicans can certainly be attributed partially to a lower unemployment rate, partisanship also plays a large part.

SURVEY METHODS

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted throughout 2017 with a random sample of 13,185 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/225071/americans-optimism-job-market-hit-record-high-2017.aspx

Dimon thinks even his own economist at J.P. Morgan is dead wrong about GDP, predicts 4% U.S. growth

Published: Jan 9, 2018 4:27 p.m. ET

Those were the thoughts of JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, who offered a forecast for U.S. economic growth that outstrips even some of the more bullish economists.

Speaking during an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday, Dimon said the recently signed tax legislation, which cuts the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, is likely to support higher levels for the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.41% the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.13% and the Nasdaq Composite IndexCOMP, +0.09% which have already rung up all-time highs in first several sessions of 2018, after a record-setting rally for the equity benchmarks last year.

ReadDow set to resume record run after taking a breather

Dimon said he expects the “competitive tax rate” to encourage deal-making on Wall Street, pointing to Europe which he said is on pace to grow at a 3% rate. A reading of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

In the U.S., the economy grew at a 3.1% annual pace in the second quarter and a 3.2% annual rate in the third, according to the Commerce Department, exceeding the postrecession pace of near 2% A fresh estimate of gross domestic product is slated for Jan. 26.

However, few prominent economists are expecting GDP growth to hit a stellar 4% pace this year.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School dean, said corporate tax cuts aren’t likely to have the stimulative effect many are hoping. “It’s not going to raise us off to 4% GDP growth,” he told the newspaper. “But it’s not going to kill 10,000 people a year.”

Moreover, J.P. Morgan’s chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli’s forecast for early GDP readings lands below his boss’s much loftier expectations, even factoring the tax cuts: “We boosted our 1Q18 real GDP forecast from 2.0% to 2.5%…following the recent passage of the tax package. The changes are set to take effect somewhat earlier than we had anticipated a few weeks ago, and also are more frontloaded than we had expected. As a whole, we look for the package to boost GDP growth by about 0.3%-pt in 2018 and 0.2%-pt in 2019, according to his recent research report.

Still, the J.P. Morgan JPM, +0.07%  CEO is bullish on the prospects for further economic growth, even as the Federal Reserve officials said they are mindful that tax-cuts and other measures could overheat the U.S. economy and are likely to raise borrowing costs to quell growth.

Meanwhile, Dimon also said he regretted calling bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.80% a “fraud”, but also said that he believed that blockchain, or distributed-ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies, is “real” but still thinks that digital assets like the No. 1 digital asset in the world is hyped.

“The issue, he said, is “what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dimon-thinks-economists-are-dead-wrong-about-gdp-predicts-4-us-growth-2018-01-09

 

Photo

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 2,500 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event. CreditFabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, in the coming weeks, an administration official said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the president was looking forward to attending the gathering of world leaders and business executives.

“The president welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders,” Ms. Sanders said. “At this year’s World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers.”

Mr. Trump’s planned appearance at an event that is synonymous with wealth and elite prestige comes as he enters the second year of a term he won on a message of economic populism.

Presidents have rarely attended the forum in Davos, in part out of a concern that it would send the wrong message to be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s richest individuals.

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Trump won the 2016 election in part by attacking elites in the United States and promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington of lobbyists, corporate influence and members of the establishment — the very description of those who regularly attend the Davos forum.

The event in Switzerland is a global symbol of everything that Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, railed against during the presidential campaign and the first seven months in the administration.

But Mr. Trump has also spent a lifetime as a real estate mogul and television personality seeking to be accepted by the financial and media elite in New York and around the world. His decision to travel to Davos as president may represent his desire to prove that he has achieved that goal.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were befuddled by his planned trip, coming a year after his team decided not to send a representative to the 2017 gathering.

A year into his term, Mr. Trump’s appearance at the forum is certain to highlight the clash between his America First agenda and the more globalist approach of some of America’s closest allies around the world.

Those disagreements have been highlighted during Mr. Trump’s earlier trips abroad, including arguments with European leaders about the need for action to confront climate change. Mr. Trump’s visit to Asia last year underscored his disagreements on trade issues with countries in the region.

Many of the participants at Davos are sure to embrace the globalist views that Mr. Trump has rejected, providing the potential for dramatic disagreements between the president and others at the meeting.

But the event — which often focuses on global economic issues — also will provide Mr. Trump with a platform to boast about the improving American economy, including the rise in the stock market and the low jobless rate.

The president has eagerly claimed credit for the economic improvements during his first year in office, and has predicted that the tax overhaul passed at the end of last year would accelerate those trends.

The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 3,000 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event.

Those who attend include journalists and columnists, Hollywood celebrities, researchers, corporate chief executive officers and other business titans, and some heads of state. Former President Bill Clinton attended the forum in 2000 and former president George W. Bush attended a meeting of the Word Economic Forum in Egypt in 2008. But former President Barack Obama did not attend the meetings during the time he was in the White House.

Founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German economics professor, the forum has become an annual meeting that includes dinners and over 400 panel discussion sessions, largely about world social and economic trends. Officially, it is an academic conference; unofficially it is a global schmoozefest for the rich and powerful.

The conference is still dominated by corporate executives, but the gathering also now attracts world leaders, some of whom use the venue as a way to hold less formal bilateral conversations.

Last year, President Xi Jinping of China attended the forum, which began just days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, becoming the first Chinese leader to mingle with the corporate and media crowd in the mountain village.

In a speech at the forum, Mr. Xi portrayed his country as a global leader interested in free trade at a time that Mr. Trump was already calling for a turn inward. Mr. Xi challenged the incoming president not to forsake trade with the rest of the world.

“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” Mr. Xi said in Davos last year. “While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”

The forum has also become a way to be seen with the growing number of global celebrities; last year, it was attended by Matt Damon and Forest Whitaker, the actors, and the singer Shakira.

Officials with the World Economic Forum, which takes place from January 23 to 26, said they did not know what dates to expect the president to attend. The White House did not say when Mr. Trump would travel there, or say whether he would make other stops on a broader overseas trips.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/politics/trump-davos-world-economic-forum.html 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017, Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos — Story 2: Corporate Tax Cut Bill Will Pass By December 22, 2017 — Definitively Not Fundamental Tax Reform For The Middle Class — Replace Income Tax System with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax Replacing All Federal Income Based Taxes — Videos — Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

Posted on December 11, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Communications Commission, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Killing, Knifes, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Lying, Media, Middle East, MIssiles, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Turkey, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos —

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US economy adds 228K jobs in November

Analyzing The November Jobs Report Compared To Previous Years | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

U.S. economy continues its strong performance

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Will Help Us Drive Real Wage Growth | CNBC

CNN’s Christine Romans Highlights November’s Really Good Jobs Numbers

Larry Kudlow: Jobs Report Shows We Are On Front End Of “Very, Very Strong Rebound In Manufacturing”

Panel on Strong November Jobs Report; 228K Jobs Added. #Economy #Jobs #Report #November

Stockman: Here’s Why Today’s Jobs Report Is Nothing to Celebrate

Alan Greenspan // We are about to go from stagnation to ‘stagflation’

Ep. 307: Trump Continues What He Once Called the Biggest Hoax in American Politics

The Reason Trump is President – Peter Schiff

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

160,529,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155695(1) 155268 154990 155356 155514 155747 155669 155587 155731 154709 155328 155151
2014 155295(1) 155485 156115 155378 155559 155682 156098 156117 156100 156389 156421 156238
2015 157022(1) 156771 156781 157043 157447 156993 157125 157109 156809 157123 157358 157957
2016 158362(1) 158888 159278 158938 158510 158889 159295 159508 159830 159643 159456 159640
2017 159716(1) 160056 160201 160213 159784 160145 160494 160571 161146 160381 160529
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.6 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.3 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.7 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.6 62.7
2017 62.9 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.7

Unemployment Level

6.6 Million

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12470 11954 11672 11752 11657 11741 11350 11284 11264 11133 10792 10410
2014 10240 10383 10400 9705 9740 9460 9637 9616 9255 8964 9060 8718
2015 8962 8663 8538 8521 8655 8251 8235 8017 7877 7869 7939 7927
2016 7829 7845 7977 7910 7451 7799 7749 7853 7904 7740 7409 7529
2017 7635 7528 7202 7056 6861 6977 6981 7132 6801 6520 6610

U-3 Unemployment Rate

4.1%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1  U-3

U-6 Unemployment Rate

8.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.5 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.7 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.2 12.0 11.8 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.3 9.2
2017 9.4 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.3 7.9 8.0

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1616
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 8, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment 
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, 
and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed 
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate 
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, 
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics 
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. 
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no 
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but 
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they 
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job 
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers 
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for 
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to 
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment 
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November 
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs. 

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in 
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products 
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, 
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.

Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health 
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers. 
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared 
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016. 

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in 
November and by 132,000 over the year.  

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, 
and government, changed little over the month. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour 
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and 
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory 
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and 
B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory 
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With 
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than 
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from 
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the 
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over 
the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5, 
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |               Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
   | 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
   | adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5       |
   | years are subject to revision.                                                       |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |        Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System          |
   |                                                                                      |
   | With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey  |
   | will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American       |
   | Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS   |
   | will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and      |
   | logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and       |
   | business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined    |
   | within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and        |
   | information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated.  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
   | as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries   |
   | due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking      |
   | process, will be available on January 5, 2018.                                       |
   |                                                                                      |
   | For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.  |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|



 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Change from:
Oct.
2017-
Nov.
2017

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,540 255,562 255,766 255,949 183

Civilian labor force

159,456 161,146 160,381 160,529 148

Participation rate

62.6 63.1 62.7 62.7 0.0

Employed

152,048 154,345 153,861 153,918 57

Employment-population ratio

59.7 60.4 60.2 60.1 -0.1

Unemployed

7,409 6,801 6,520 6,610 90

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Not in labor force

95,084 94,417 95,385 95,420 35

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.3 3.9 3.8 3.7 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.2 3.9 3.6 3.7 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.2 12.9 13.7 15.9 2.2

White

4.2 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Black or African American

8.0 7.0 7.5 7.3 -0.2

Asian

3.0 3.7 3.1 3.0 -0.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.7 5.1 4.8 4.7 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.9 3.5 3.3 3.3 0.0

Less than a high school diploma

7.9 6.5 5.7 5.2 -0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.9 4.3 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.9 3.6 3.7 3.6 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.3 2.3 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,542 3,359 3,227 3,159 -68

Job leavers

934 738 742 751 9

Reentrants

2,266 2,079 2,006 2,029 23

New entrants

728 669 629 691 62

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,415 2,226 2,129 2,250 121

5 to 14 weeks

2,133 1,874 1,942 1,878 -64

15 to 26 weeks

1,073 963 853 927 74

27 weeks and over

1,856 1,733 1,621 1,581 -40

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,659 5,122 4,753 4,801 48

Slack work or business conditions

3,485 3,121 2,952 2,983 31

Could only find part-time work

1,902 1,733 1,629 1,559 -70

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,059 21,011 20,923 21,018 95

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,932 1,569 1,535 1,481

Discouraged workers

591 421 524 469

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017(P)
Nov.
2017(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 38 244 228

Total private

178 50 247 221

Goods-producing

35 26 34 62

Mining and logging

7 4 1 7

Construction

28 13 10 24

Manufacturing

0 9 23 31

Durable goods(1)

3 6 13 27

Motor vehicles and parts

1.4 -3.1 -0.8 1.7

Nondurable goods

-3 3 10 4

Private service-providing

143 24 213 159

Wholesale trade

5.6 7.3 8.0 3.4

Retail trade

-12.9 11.7 -2.2 18.7

Transportation and warehousing

21.8 18.3 7.6 10.5

Utilities

0.3 0.6 0.1 -0.2

Information

-12 -5 -8 -4

Financial activities

12 12 7 8

Professional and business services(1)

46 30 54 46

Temporary help services

25.5 10.1 17.9 18.3

Education and health services(1)

31 23 24 54

Health care and social assistance

28.2 8.3 34.6 40.5

Leisure and hospitality

44 -75 104 14

Other services

7 1 18 9

Government

-14 -12 -3 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

179 128 163 170

Total private

178 122 160 173

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.5 49.5 49.5

Total private women employees

48.2 48.1 48.1 48.1

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.3 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.3 34.4 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$25.91 $26.53 $26.50 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$888.71 $912.63 $911.60 $915.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

105.8 107.4 107.7 108.2

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 0.0 0.3 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

131.0 136.3 136.4 137.3

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.5 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (261 industries)

51.5 60.9 65.1 63.0

Manufacturing (78 industries)

48.7 59.0 62.2 59.0

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2016 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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 December 10 at 6:42 PM
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.

Veterans of congressional tax overhauls, particularly the seminal revamp under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, have been stunned and in some cases outraged at how swiftly Republicans are moving on legislation that touches every corner of the economy and all Americans. And although GOP leaders make no apologies, some in their rank and file say that the process would have benefited from a more deliberate and open approach.

“I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,” said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

“Having said that, the goal that everybody had was to reduce the tax rates. . . . So at the end of the day the goal is going to be achieved, but we could have done it in a more transparent manner that probably would have given the voters that are being polled a little more confidence,” Comer said, referring to the effort’s poor showing in opinion surveys.

It has been a little more than a month since the $1.5 trillion legislation was introduced in the House, and in that short time it has cleared the two key committees in the House and Senate and won approval on the floors of both chambers, all without a single Democratic vote. If Trump signs the bill as planned before Christmas, that would mean a journey of less than two months between introduction and final passage.

The specific legislation that probably will become law, sold as a middle-class tax cut but featuring a massive corporate rate reduction at its center, is moving from release toward passage without any hearings, unusual for a bill of such magnitude. And as it tumbled along it picked up some startling new features, to the surprise of affected industries, Democrats and in some cases Republicans themselves.

Some of the most notable changes came in the hours before the Senate’s passage of its version of the plan, which happened about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 2.

The final vote was preceded by hours of inaction as Republicans fine-tuned their legislation behind closed doors, while fuming Democratic staffers ate Chinese food and pored over versions of the bill and lists of amendments that had been leaked by lobbyists on K Street before Republicans had made anything public.

As they got additional drafts of the bill, Democrats were incensed at some of what they found, including new breaks for the oil and gas industry, and a provision that appeared aimed specifically at helping Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan that doesn’t accept federal funding and has a large endowment funded by wealthy conservatives — including the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

An angry Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood on his chamber’s floor to declare that “the federal treasury is being looted.” In their one victory of the debate, Democrats offered an amendment to strike the Hillsdale provision, and with the help of four Republicans it passed.

Democrats weren’t the only ones surprised by what was in the bill. Republicans and the business community were stunned when the final Senate version restored the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The tax, aimed at keeping companies from shirking their tax duties entirely, had been repealed in the House bill and earlier versions of the Senate measure.

Restoring the corporate alternative minimum tax created $40 billion in revenue for the bill, which helped Republicans come in under complex budgetary guidelines saying the legislation can’t go over the $1.5 trillion the GOP has agreed to add to the deficit over the next decade. Still, some Republicans professed not to know how the change had come about.

And under the new tax code the GOP bill would create, including the alternative minimum tax could have the unintended consequence of preventing companies from using other deductions, including the popular research and development tax credit.

“I’m guessing they just needed something quick to make the bill work,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is one of the conferees charged with blending the two bills together.

Now, as quickly as it reappeared, the corporate alternative minimum tax probably will disappear again. Republican lawmakers widely agree that it doesn’t work and can’t be included, but it remains a mystery where they’ll find revenue to offset that change and pay for others they’re looking to include in the final package.

There has been discussion of moving the corporate rate — slashed from 35 percent to 20 percent by the House and Senate — back up to 22 percent, but the backlash against that proposal has been intense and it probably will be dropped. But revenue must be found somewhere because there are some changes that look nearly certain, including adjusting the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. Both the House and Senate legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct only up to $10,000 in property taxes. Some of Trump’s New York friends have taken exception to that provision and have lobbied the president personally against it.

It’s all part of a breakneck pace of the tax plan that contrasts with the nearly a year-and-a-half that passed between when Reagan unveiled his initial version of the 1986 tax plan and its ultimate passage into law. The less far-ranging tax cuts that President George W. Bush signed in 2001 took four months to become law after the release of Bush’s initial blueprint. And the Affordable Care Act took nearly a year to complete, including a congressional summer recess featuring angry town hall meetings that turned public sentiment sharply against the bill.

Democrats accuse Republicans of whisking the legislation along to avoid extended public scrutiny and prevent them from mounting an offensive at public hearings or over lengthy congressional breaks. The GOP bills have endured neither.

“It’s clear that we could have defeated this bill had we gone through regular order and had any expert witness from any blue state or high-tax state come in,” said Rep. John B. Larson (Conn.), who was a member of Democratic leadership during the much lengthier and more open process of passing the ACA. The provision limiting taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes hits high-tax areas such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut particularly hard.

“People would have said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’ ” Larson said.

Republican congressional leaders dispute such comparisons, saying that the process on taxes has been going on for years, given that the party has long been debating the idea and an early foundational bill was released by then-Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, nearly four years ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), also campaigned last year on an agenda called “A Better Way,” which featured a tax plank similar in many respects to the bill the House ultimately passed, although it drew scant attention at the time.

“These are relatively small bills, 400 pages or so; they’re not hard to digest. The policy decisions, the thoughtfulness, a lot of these issues we’ve been debating together and apart for years,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). “Bottom line is the American people have been waiting 30 years. So to paraphrase a hardware store: less talking, more doing.”

Even before the late-night Senate dramatics, the process offered surprises and sudden twists.

A provision repealing an Affordable Care Act requirement for most Americans to carry insurance or pay fines was added to the Senate bill with little warning over the course of an afternoon, a major health policy decision that is projected to leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in a decade but that would give Republicans $330 billion to pay for other things they want to do.

And the release of the House bill stunned manufacturers when they discovered it contained an “excise tax” on purchases from American companies’ foreign subsidiaries that some said could drive them out of business. The provision was watered down before passage by the Ways and Means Committee, but companies are still fighting to keep it out of the final bill, said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, which represents global companies with U.S. operations. Despite the years-long focus on tax overhaul, such a provision had not been debated — even after companies beat back a different import tax, she said.

The Senate has a different provision that companies like better, but as far as the cost of going from one to the other or how it will all shake out, “It’s all a Rubik’s cube,” McLernon said.

Many lobbyists, Democrats and other observers expect to find the final version of the plan, which could be filed late this week, just as full of surprises as the various iterations that have appeared. But as they gun for a legislative win that has eluded them this year, Republicans show little interest in slowing down to take a closer look.

“The frenzy, and I would call it a frenzy, to get it done and have a Christmas present for America — number one, I think it’s unnecessary; it’s a self-imposed deadline, and number two, it makes the possibility for error much greater,” said Steve Bell, a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center who was staff director of the Senate Budget Committee during the 1986 tax effort. “This is a rush without a reason other than the political desire for a Rose Garden signing ceremony.”

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/precision-sacrificed-for-speed-as-gop-rushes-ahead-on-taxes/2017/12/10/876ab274-dc62-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.167e53dc0cba

 

The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some

Certain high-income business owners would face backwards incentives; lawmakers work to bridge gap

House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals.
House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their bills, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet on Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by week’s end.

Talking Taxes: What’s Your Fair Share?
What do the 1% pay in taxes? Is it enough? Or too much? WSJ’s tax reporter Richard Rubin breaks it down with lots of candy. Video/Photo: Heather Seidel/The Wall Street Journal

The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

As a taxpayer’s income gets much higher and moves out of those phaseout ranges, the marginal tax rates would go down.

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.

The bill as written would provide incentives for business owners to shift profit across calendar years, move personal expenses inside the business and engage in other economically unproductive maneuvers, said David Gamage, a tax-law professor at Indiana University.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said Mr. Gamage, a former Treasury Department official, who said business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do. “The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures.”

The analyses “raise a valid concern” that lawmakers are examining, said Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee.

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she said. “The goal of Congress’s tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

Marginal tax rates are different from average tax rates. A marginal rate is the tax on the edge, or margin, of one’s earnings, and so it reflects what would be the next dollar of income. The average rate is a way of measuring a taxpayer’s total burden.

The Republican bills are trying to reduce both marginal and average tax rates, and for many taxpayers, they do. The marginal tax rates above 100% affect a small slice of households with very particular circumstances. Similar, though smaller, effects occur throughout the tax system.

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

Here’s how that New Jersey lawyer’s marginal rate adds up to more than 100%:

The household is paying the 35% marginal tax rate on their income range. Or, they are paying the alternative minimum tax, which operates at the same marginal rate in that income range.

The household is paying New Jersey’s highest income-tax rate, which is 8.97%, and now has to pay all of that because the Republican tax plan wouldn’t let such state or local taxes be deducted from federal income.

The household is also losing a deduction the Senate created for so-called pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations. That 23% deduction is fully available to owners of service businesses like law firms, but only if income is below $500,000 for a married couple.

The deduction then phases out over $100,000 in income, according to a complex formula, disappearing entirely once income reaches $624,000. Up to that point, each additional dollar of business income faces progressively steeper tax rates because the deduction and its benefit are shrinking rapidly as income goes up.

The provisions also interact with each other in ways that drive up marginal rates. “The central problem here is that there is a large benefit phasing out over a short range,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The Republican bill doubles the child tax credit to $2,000 but phases it out beginning at $500,000 income for joint filers. The credit shrinks by $50 for every $1,000 in income above that, so a married couple with three children faces a higher marginal tax rate when they’re in that phase-out range.

The analysis assumes that the New Jersey lawyer is paying a 3.8% tax on self-employment income.

Pushing marginal rates lower on these households wouldn’t be easy and would require tradeoffs. Republicans could make the phaseout of the business deduction more gentle, spreading it over, say, $200,000, as opposed to $100,000, of income above $500,000. But that would make the tax cuts bigger, and Republicans are already looking for money to offset other changes they are planning.

They could lower the threshold for the child tax credit, but that would reduce tax cuts for households below $500,000.

Under current law, there are some high marginal tax rates for some lower-income households. Some families just above the poverty line can see their earned income tax credits and food stamps going down as their federal and state taxes go up. That combination can create marginal tax rates of around 75%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Appeared in the December 11, 2017, print edition as ‘Taxman Cometh: Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-taxman-cometh-senate-bills-marginal-rates-could-top-100-for-some-1512942118

Tax Reform Under History’s Light


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux.

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

Tax reform’s chances are better in this Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. Thus, comparisons come naturally to the events leading up to the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86). These comparisons are useful for the similarities and the differences, both of which provide insights as to how to assure success today.

One important similarity is TRA86 brought to conclusion a long and detailed debate about tax policy. Our current efforts also rest on a lengthy debate recently brought to the fore. An important difference, however, is TRA86 was enacted as a widely accepted “should do,” whereas tax reform in 2017 is much more of a “must do.”

‘86 tax reform in 30 seconds

TRA86 culminated as a complex debate starting about 10 years prior with the release of Treasury’s “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform” in the waning hours of the Ford administration. Treasury’s “Blueprints” laid out a coherent approach to tax policy, emphasizing simplification and a reduction in tax distortions that were sapping economic growth.

Two years later, in response to a poorly performing economy, Congress adopted the Steiger Amendment, significantly cutting the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act. While often ignored, the Steiger Amendment marked the bi-partisan recognition of tax policy’s importance for economic growth. Pro-growth tax reform was not just for tax geeks anymore.

Federal tax policy debate took on new energy in 1981 with the passage of the landmark Reagan tax cuts, dominated by substantial rate reduction. Following legislation in 1982 and 1984 to readjust tax levels, the stage was set for fundamental tax reform.

A bipartisan consensus regarding sound tax policy evolved through the years leading up to TRA86. This consensus distilled down to the simple mantra of “lower the rates, broaden the base.”  Like the 1981 legislation, TRA86 would reduce tax rates substantially and install a less punitive system of capital consumption allowances. Unlike the 1981 legislation, however, the focus would also be on simplification, on the wide range of areas of the tax code reformed, and especially on revenue neutrality.

This consensus first took concrete form in two highly-detailed proposals out the Reagan Treasury Department, commonly dubbed Treasury I and its improved version, Treasury II, and released in 1984 and 1985 respectively. With these reports laying the groundwork, Congress then took over a year to legislate, finally producing TRA86.

The years between

TRA86 was the product of an extended period of consensus building and analysis. For those new to the debate, today’s strong momentum for comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform may seem to have arisen out of thin air, but, in fact, this debate has ebbed and flowed almost without pause since 1986.

The appetite for tax reform did not die following TRA86, and so consideration naturally moved on to the “next big thing.” For a period, the big thing seemed to be some kind of European-style Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT momentum quickly petered out, however, and soon revenue pressures shifted the focus of tax policy once again to raising income tax rates, often with distinct “soak-the-rich” overtones. The VAT episode set tax reform’s pattern of ebb and flow for the following years.

Even as the debate toward TRA86 was underway, a very different approach to tax policy appeared in the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. Though the Flat Tax is best known for having a single rate of tax, hence the name, what really distinguishes the Flat Tax is its simplification, the elimination of all taxes on capital income and capital gains, and the adoption of a cash-flow tax on businesses centered on allowing capital purchases to be “expensed,” or deducted immediately.

In the 1990s, as the Flat Tax gained greater acceptance, tax reform topped the national agenda with Steve Forbes leading the charge. But this effort soon deflated along with Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign.

Tax reform again gained traction briefly after the 2004 election with the release of the superb report of the presidential commission led by former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Republican Senator Connie Mack. However, this effort, too, led to naught, a victim of competing priorities and a lack of consensus.

Income tax reform was pushed far onto the back burners during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Despite a historically weak economic recovery, the Obama administration expressed little interest in proposals to reduce the tax code’s drag on growth. The Obama administration contented itself with modest tweaks at the edges and otherwise dedicated its efforts to defending the status quo, especially in the area of international tax where global pressures were felt most profoundly.

Tax reform today

Even as years of inaction passed, pressure to reform the federal income tax code rose steadily from all sides. In part, this pressure arose because the U.S. economy was changing rapidly, and the tax code became an ever-worse fit for a modern economy.

In part, the pressure arose because even as America stood pat, America’s major trading partners did not. They were cutting business tax rates steadily and almost all were moving toward a territorial tax system to allow their businesses to compete more effectively in a global business climate of increasing intensity.

Though on the back burner, tax reform continued to simmer in backchannels. Then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) advanced a series of thoughtful tax reform proposals as part of his broader efforts to reform Federal tax policy. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered his variation on tax reform, differing from but along the same broad lines as the Ryan proposal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also introduced a major, comprehensive tax reform proposal with his own interpretations, and then released subsequent iterations as comments and critiques soon followed. In these years, though President Obama continued to block tax reform’s path, the debate remained alive and well.

In 2014, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced a detailed tax reform proposal. As tax reform would originate in this committee, Camp’s proposal took on greater significance than most. The Camp proposal was intended to serve as a prototype for tax legislation and so offered much more detail and, in some cases, specific options for resolving some of the nagging technical issues in adopting a territorial tax system, for example. However, in the face of President Obama’s determined disinterest, few were willing to contemplate seriously the hard choices the Camp plan laid out and so, again, tax reform was left to simmer on the back burner.

Tax reform played a limited role in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, largely continuing the defense of the status quo established by President Obama. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, suggested a bold change of direction; though, he accompanied it by very few details. Trump’s election, combined with the strong Republican interest in tax reform, quickly moved the issue to the front burner.

The focus on growth

Tax reform today, like its 1986 predecessor, has a long history of debate, evolution, and refinement. TRA86 and the current effort also share an intense focus on improving economic growth, but with one important difference: TRA86 largely responded to a sense borne of the previous, deep recession that the economy needed to be both stronger and more resilient, and that sound tax policy could help. Tax reform was seen as something Congress and the president could and should accomplish.

Tax reform today shares a similar motivation, but with far greater urgency. Just as no business can compete for long if its cost structure substantially exceeds those of its competitors, American businesses cannot continue to compete effectively at home or abroad facing high tax rates, an inadequate capital cost recovery system, and an international tax system long abandoned by competing companies.

American companies are managing to compete successfully today but with ever greater difficulty under the federal tax system. Failure to reform the tax system would not result overnight in significant decline in Americans’ long-run economic prospects. But it would most assuredly do so over the next few years as both financial and human capital is driven overseas.

Tax reform is one task Congress and the president simply have to get right if America is to prosper.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/tax-reform-under-history-s-light

What History Teaches Us About Tax Reform


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist
023275_taxreform_atf_08_22_reagan_getty471341025.jpg

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

An underperforming economy and mounting international competition have propelled tax reform from topic of discussion to front-burner issue. There is no change in federal policy that offers greater potential to strengthen employment and increase wages for American workers than sound, comprehensive tax reform.

Reviewing and respecting the lessons from the last major tax reform over thirty years ago illuminates the road ahead, and provides lessons for how to raise our odds of success. Time provides a dimension worth exploring for similarities and contrasts between 1986 and today. Specifically, the time leading up to the effort, and the time needed for Congress to act.

The Historical On Ramp to Tax Reform

President John F. Kennedy understood the dampening economic effects of high tax rates. Though he died before seeing his program enacted, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the program through Congress and thus the 1964 tax bill is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy tax cuts.” The 1964 bill centered on significant tax rate reductions to achieve a substantially stronger economy.

Thereafter, budget pressures from the Vietnam War and Great Society programs reoriented tax policy once again toward ever-higher tax rates accompanied by a steady accretion of deductions and credits to blunt the effects of higher rates on politically favored constituencies. This process continued unabated into President Jimmy Carter’s administration and not surprisingly coinciding with a languishing economy.

Even as tax rates climbed and new distortions filled the tax code, a countermovement arose. In the final moments of the Ford Administration, Secretary William E. Simon released a landmark Treasury report directed by one of the era’s great economists, David Bradford, called “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform,” guiding concepts of sound tax policy for years to come.

As the economy struggled and President Carter stood by, Congress took the initiative. With strong, bipartisan support over Carter’s objections, Congress substantially cut the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act, marking the first step in a change in tax philosophy culminating in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86).

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) and Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) then picked up tax reform’s guidon, leading the charge for lower tax rates. At the same time, a second dimension in tax policy gained steam – the need for a less punitive capital cost recovery system. This debate was led largely outside Congress by the likes of Charls Walker and Ernie Christian, former Ford Administration Treasury hands, and Norman B. Ture, later Treasury undersecretary under Ronald Reagan.

Spurred by a recession wrought by a disinflationary monetary policy, the tax debate quickly came to a head in the 1981 “Reagan tax cuts.” The 1981 bill cut tax rates and instituted a vastly superior capital cost recovery system among other reforms. In the process, the bill cut revenues far more than Reagan proposed.

Though the 1981 bill was championed by a Republican president, it enjoyed widespread Democratic support. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced and pushed the legislation to passage, joined by almost half the House Democrats and almost a third of Senate Democrats.

The magnitude of the 1981 tax cuts proved politically unsustainable and were quickly followed by a series of tax hikes reversing some of the 1981 revenue reductions. Having settled the issue of how much to tax, the stage was now set for the 1986 reform and deciding who and how to tax.

Building Toward the 1986 Tax Reform Act

At about this time a fundamentally different approach to tax policy appeared: the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. The Flat Tax’s popularity often associates with the simplicity of imposing a single tax rate. However, the real revolution it offered was not the single tax rate,but  what is subject to tax. Despite appearing as a traditional income tax, the Flat Tax was something quite new as it explicitly eliminated tax on investment income and imposed a simple cash flow tax on all businesses, thus adopting the principle of expensing, or allowing a full and immediate deduction for capital purchases.

The Flat Tax was too radical to gain wide acceptance in the early 1980s, but a vigorous bipartisan debate harkening back to Bradford’s 1976 “Blueprints” continued nonetheless. The 1981 tax cuts worked as intended to launch a powerful economic recovery, but memories of poor economic performance under Carter still lingered. A broad, bipartisan consensus championed faster economic growth by reforming the tax code to reduce the distortions to economic decision making it caused and the resulting misallocation of basic resources.

The basic strategy was to lower rates as in the 1981 Act, only further, and to implement a sound cost recovery system as in the 1981 Act. In contrast to 1981, however, the new strategy included a determined effort to “broaden the tax base” by eliminating distorting loopholes and tax credits, thereby intending the overall bill to be revenue neutral. .

The Treasury Department under Secretary Don Regan took the first big step in 1984 with the release of a densely packed 275 page proposal for comprehensive tax reform, dubbed “Treasury I”. While many aspects were well-received, as with most prototypes, Treasury I contained flaws, some of which Treasury addressed in 1985 with “Treasury II”.

Tax reform was off and running in Congress with the release of Treasury II, but the road  was by no means easy. Time and again Reagan had to give Congress another not-always-gentle push. The greatest peril demanding Reagan’s firm hand came when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR) realized he couldn’t pass tax reform on the path it was on. Ironically, the man who had repeatedly saved tax reform, President Reagan, was also now tax reform’s biggest obstacle.

The Price for Overcoming the Greatest Hurdle

Reagan was forced into pushing for the most rate reduction possible. Initially he drew the line at 25 percent for individuals and he held firm for much of the debate. Like most policy, tax reform involves trade-offs and Packwood just couldn’t find enough obvious base broadeners he could economically or politically trade off to hit a 25 percent rate.

Something had to give. At first the rate crept up to 26 and then to 28 percent. But at 28 percent, Reagan would go no further.

As Reagan urged Packwood to press on, Packwood had to get creative. He took fairly innocuous existing individual and corporate minimum taxes and expanded them into full-fledged parallel tax systems; voila, massive back-door base broadening. Packwood’s new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while a superb example of terrible tax policy, had as its one redeeming feature: it raised enough money in a sufficiently confusing manner to hit the 28 percent rate without creating too many political problems, at least not for the duration of the debate. Three months later, the final bill passed the Senate.

Packwood’s AMT offers an important lesson for tax reform today. As important as low tax rates are for economic growth, policy makers and the public need to be honest about the tradeoffs involved. The broadest possible tax base capable of garnering sufficient political support can only raise so much revenue at a targeted tax rate. Demand an even lower tax rate and something (or someone) else will have to give and very likely pro-growth tax policy will suffer as a consequence.

Back to the Present

With respect to time, the current tax reform debate parallels that of 1986 closely. TRA86 concluded a lengthy, evolutionary process regarding accepted beliefs about sound, pro-growth tax policy. That process distilled to the lowest possible rates and applied to a simple, broad tax base, while allowing for a depreciation system for capital costs minimizing the anti-investment aspects of an income tax.

Tax reform today shares these traits, both with respect to the substance of reform – low rates, broad base, and today, expensing – and with respect to time. Like the 1986 episode, tax reform today reflects the product of many years of debate regarding the design of pro-growth tax policy, an evolution that began in 1986.

In one other critical respect regarding time, TRA86 and the current effort offer stark contrasts. Where the legislative starting gun on TRA86 went off in 1984 and the effort then proceeded for over two years, Congress in 2017 will have only a handful of months from introduction to tax reform’s final passage. This difference in time will have significant implications for how Congress defines “comprehensive” as they work toward pro-growth tax reform.

Read Part 2: Tax Reform Under History’s Light

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/what-history-teaches-us-about-tax-reform

 

Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

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Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”

But the orders to bomb the black-clad jihadists never came, and the terrorists melted into their caliphate — living to fight another day. The events came in August 2016, even as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was vowing on the campaign trail to let generals in his administration crush the organization that, under President Obama, had grown from the “jayvee team” to the world’s most feared terrorist organization.

OIR_CROFT

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft said the Trump administration has put a strong leadership team in place  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)

“I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS,” Trump, who would name legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, promised. “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism.”

ISIS CURSED, MOCKED IN MOSUL, WHERE OLD CITY REMAINS A HAUNTED WASTELAND

Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.

“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

– U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom

At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.

OIR_FOLSOM

Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  (Courtesy U.S Army)

The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula.

But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch  (Associated Press)

“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.

“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”

OIR_SOFGE1

U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cole Erickson)

IRAQI KURDS STILL LOVE US DESPITE ITS OPPOSITION TO KURDISH INDEPENDENCE, SAYS KURDISH LEADER

After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters – was completed in July — the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November.

Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then “take six months or more.”

Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days.

mosul

Mosul, and several other cities liberated by ISIS, were largely destroyed in the fighting.  (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

“We really had one mandate and that was enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”

OIR_

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first, but says success on the ground has been swift  (Fox News/Hollie McKay )

“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said.

Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.”

OIR_dillon

Col. Ryan Dillon. Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve Spokesman  (Photo by CJTFOIR)

“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”

The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.”

The coalition also said dozens of reports of civilian casualties have been determined to be “non-credible,” and just .35 percent of the almost 57,000 separate engagement carried out between August 2014 and October 2017 resulted in a credible report of a civilian casualty.

In addition to air support, the U.S.-led strategy also includes training and equipping Iraqi troops on the ground.

While the Trump administration’s success is often underplayed in the U.S. media, it is obvious on the ground in Iraq, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Yahya Rasool.

“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”

FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, contradicting Russia’s claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago.(Militant video via AP, File)

Al-Baghdadi, who once ruled a caliphate the size of California, is now inn hiding and likely badly injured

Despite the victories on the battlefield, U.S. officials cautioned much work remains to be done.

“ISIS is very adaptive,” noted Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman. “We are already seeing smaller cells and pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.”

He said as a result the coalition is “adjusting some training efforts” so the Iraqi forces — upwards of 150,000 have already undergone training — are equipped to address such threats and ensure long-term stability.

Folsom said “the worst thing we could do” is not finish the job.

“If a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11,” he said. “In those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.”

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017, Story 1: Flynn Fibbed FBI — Process Crime — Is That All There Is? — Hillary Clinton and James Comey Conflicted Mueller Gang Should Be Fired — Wasting Taxpayer Money On A Wild Goose Chase — Still No Evidence Trump Colluded With Russians –Indict and Prosecute Clintons Before Statue of Limitations Runs Out — The Party’s Over — Videos — Story 2: Trump Not Pleased With Attorney General Sessions Sweeping Clinton Scandals Under The Rug — Videos — Story 3: Democratic Party No Longer Cares About American Citizens and Workers — Wants Citizenship For 30-60 Million Criminal Illegal Aliens in United States — Pass Katie’s Law Now Senator McConnell — Videos

Posted on December 1, 2017. Filed under: American History, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Elections, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, James Comey, Law, Life, Lying, Media, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Security, Senate, United Kingdom, United States of America, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

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Story 1: Flynn Fibbed FBI — Process Crime — Is That All There Is? — Much Ado About Nothing — Hillary Clinton and James Comey Conflicted Mueller Gang Should Be Fired — Wasting Taxpayer Money On A Wild Goose Chase — Still No Evidence Trump Colluded With Russians –Indict and Prosecute Clintons Before Statue of Limitations Runs Out — The Party’s Over — Videos —

Peggy Lee — Is That All There Is? 1969

Is That All There Is

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself, is that all there is to a fire
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
And when I was twelve years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over
I said to myself, “is that all there is to a circus?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
and when I didn’t I said to myself, is that all there is to love?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
I know what you must be saying to yourselves
if that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment
for I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my first breath, I’ll be saying to myself
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Is That All There Is lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Boom! President Trump Nails The FBI, Unloads On Them As He Issues Bold Warning

Russia Investigation Just Backfired On Obama As It’s Revealed He Gave This Secret Order To Flynn

Michael Flynn’s Big Regret

Gen. Flynn: I am working to set things right

What does Flynn’s plea deal reveal about the Russia probe?

Judge Napolitano: Flynn’s plea deal is a nightmare for Trump

After Flynn plea deal, Mueller likely to target Kushner: Gasparino

Michael Flynn to Plead Guilty. In Depth Report. Watch.

Source: Flynn broken financially and emotionally

Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

Roger Stone reacts to Gen. Flynn Pleading Guilty

Michael Flynn Pleads to Chicken Sh*t Lying Charge to Save His Son and Rat Out Trump, Mueller Prays

William Binney – General Flynn Russia and Trump

James Clapper on Michael Flynn plea: This isn’t fake

Alex Jones: The REAL STORY Behind General Flynn Guilty Plea

Ben Shapiro: Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI (audio from 12-01-2017)

Alan Dershowitz says Michael Flynn isn’t a credible witness

Michael Flynn guilty plea opens pathway to Donald Trump?

Judge Napolitano: What does Flynn have that Mueller wants?

Bombshell? Cortes: Flynn charge ‘isn’t even a firecracker’

LIMBAUGH: CALM DOWN. Mike Flynn Guilty Plea Is ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Ann Coulter Responds to Gen. Flynn Pleading Guilty

Peter Schweizer talks to Laura Ingraham about the totality of evidence in the Uranium One story

Peter Schweizer reacts to Jeff Sessions hearing with Sean Hannity

Ben Shapiro – What Exactly Happened With Uranium One

Judge Napolitano: Clinton Cash Allegations Amount To Bribery

Fox News Sunday Panel Discusses Clinton Cash

Andrew Napolitano – The Lying Class

Democrats Drowning In Scandals – Hannity

Clinton Probe Given ‘Special’ Status By FBI – Uranium One – Ingraham Angle

Tucker: Fake Russia collusion has unintended consequences

Hannity: Exposing the real Russia collusion

Top FBI Investigator Who Led Hillary Email Case Suddenly Resigns Special Counsel!

Judy Holliday – The Party’s Over

Peggy Lee – The Party’s Over

PEGGY LEE

The Party’s Over Lyrics

The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
They’ve burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It’s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paidThe party’s over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friendThe party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friendIt’s all over, my friend

Michael Flynn’s Russia Timeline

CNN: White House claims Obama admin approved Flynn calls with Russian ambassador

Flynn enters guilty plea, will cooperate with Mueller

The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition, according to CNN.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office, the first current or former Trump White House official brought down by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

Court records indicate that his communications with Kislyak were directed by a Trump transition official, with multiple news outlets reporting that official was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said.

“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” he said.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

James Clapper, who served as the Director of National Intelligence under Obama, said that the claim that the Obama administration authorized Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak was “absurd,” adding that the administration was concerned by the communications at the time.

“That’s absurd. That’s absolutely absurd,” Clapper said on CNN.

“There was great concern at the time, not just with this particular contact, but with the violation of the principle that historically been followed of one president, one administration at a time,” he added. “So to say that we blessed it, or acquiesced it is a stretch.”

In a statement released shortly after he entered his guilty plea, Flynn acknowledged that he is cooperating with Mueller’s probe into Russian interference during last year’s election and any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

According to court documents, Flynn lied to investigators when he told them that he did not ask Kislyak to refrain from retaliating against U.S. sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to the Russian meddling.

Flynn also lied when he told the FBI that he did not lobby Kislyak to oppose or delay a United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements, a resolution strongly condemned by Trump.

Flynn resigned from the Trump White House in February — just 24 days into office — after it was reported that he misled Vice President Pence and other officials about his contacts with Kislyak.

The White House sought to distance itself from Flynn on Friday, noting that he only served as Trump’s national security adviser for a few weeks and that he lied to Pence about his interactions with Kislyak in the same vein that he lied to the FBI.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his associate Richard Gates were indicted last month in Mueller’s probe, and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents.

But unlike them, Flynn was part of nearly Trump’s entire presidential campaign and held a high-level national security position in the administration.

Flynn served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under former President Obama, but was removed from that post in 2014. Obama reportedly advised Trump against bringing him back to the White House.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362856-cnn-white-house-claims-obama-admin-approved-flynn-calls-with-russian

FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit


Michael Flynn, U.S. national security advisor, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff on Sunday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
 January 23
The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn — national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump — but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations.

Nonetheless, the fact that communications by a senior member of Trump’s national security team have been under scrutiny points up the challenge facing the intelligence community as it continues its wide-ranging probe of Russian government influence in the U.S. election and whether there was any improper back-channel contacts between Moscow and Trump associates and acquaintances.

Although Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were listened to, Flynn himself is not the active target of an investigation, U.S. officials said. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that U.S. counterintelligence agents had investigated the communications between Flynn and Kislyak.

The controversy about Michael Flynn, Trump’s new national security adviser, explained 

Of particular note was a Dec. 29 telephone conversation, initiated in an exchange of text messages the day before. Trump officials previously had said the call took place on the 28th. On the 29th, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 officials from the Russian Embassy in response to what the U.S. intelligence community has said was interference in the presidential election on Trump’s behalf.

Earlier this month and on Monday, during his first official White House news conference, press secretary Sean Spicer said that the call covered several subjects. They included a Russian invitation to the Trump administration to take part in Russian-sponsored Syrian peace talks that began Monday in Kazakhstan. The men also talked about logistics for a post-inauguration call between Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

Flynn also conveyed condolences for a Russian plane crash that killed a famed military band the day before the call, said Spicer, who said that Kislyak initiated the call after he and Flynn exchanged holiday greetings by text. Spicer also said Monday that the two had followed up with a subsequent call “two days ago . . . three days ago” to further discuss a Trump-Putin call.

In remarks when the Dec. 28 call was first reported this month, Spicer and other officials said there had been no mention of the sanctions that were announced the next day. On Monday, he said he was unaware of any other conversations between Flynn and members of the Russian government. Spicer said he asked Flynn if there had been conversations with any other Russian officials “beyond the ambassador. He said no.”

Earlier news media reports had also cited a Flynn call to Kislyak on Dec. 19 to express condolences for the terrorist killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey that day.

Although Flynn has written critically about Russia, he also was paid to deliver a speech at a 2015 Moscow gala for RT, the Kremlin-sponsored international television station, at which he was seated next to Putin.

The FBI’s counterintelligence agents listen to calls all the time that do not pertain to any open investigation, current and former law enforcement officials said. Often, said one former official, “they’re just monitoring the other [foreign official] side of the call.”

Dmitry Medvedev , the prime minister of Russia, walks with Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S., as he arrives for the G8 Summit at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., May 18, 2012. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Both Flynn, a former head of the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, and Kislyak, a seasoned diplomat, are probably aware that Kislyak’s phone calls and texts are being monitored, current and former officials said. That would make it highly unlikely, the individuals said, that the men would allow their calls to be conduits of illegal coordination.

greg.miller@washpost.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-reviewed-flynns-calls-with-russian-ambassador-but-found-nothing-illicit/2017/01/23/aa83879a-e1ae-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?utm_term=.d3df7f7ededa

House Republicans Prepare Contempt Action Against FBI, DOJ

Updated on 
  • Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, FBI Director Wray named
  • ‘It all starts to make sense,’ Trump says of Russia probe
Rod Rosenstein.Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. House Republicans are drafting a contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, claiming stonewalling in producing material related to the Russia-Trump probes and other matters.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other committee Republicans, after considering such action for several weeks, decided to move after media including the New York Times reported Saturday on why a top FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia-Trump election collusion had been removed from the investigation.

Republicans, including the president, pointed to the reports as evidence that the entire probe into Russian meddling has been politically motivated.

In his statement Saturday, Nunes pointed to the reports that the official, Peter Strzok, was removed after allegedly having exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with his mistress, who was an FBI lawyer working for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Another Trump tweet referred to the agent as “tainted (no, very dishonest?).” The president added that the FBI’s reputation “is in Tatters – worst in History!” In a busy morning of notes to his 44 million followers, Trump earlier said that “I never asked” former FBI Director James Comey “to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”

Agent’s Dismissal

Until now, Nunes said, the FBI and Department of Justice have failed to sufficiently comply with an Aug. 24 committee subpoena — including by refusing repeated demands “for an explanation of Peter Strzok’s dismissal from the Mueller probe.”

“In light of today’s press reports, we now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said.

“By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” he said.

‘Fully Met’

Nunes, in the statement, said the committee will move on a resolution by the end of the month unless it demands are “fully met” by the close of business Dec. 4.

He cited “a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this Committee’s oversight work,” including also withholding subpoenaed information about their use of an opposition research dossier that targeted Trump in the 2016 election.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions would not be a target of any contempt action by the committee, Nunes has said, because he recused himself from any investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the election.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sara Isgur Flores said in an email that “we disagree with the chairman’s characterization and will continue to work with congressional committees to provide the information they request consistent with our national security responsibilities.”

Documents and Briefings

The department has already provided members of House leadership and the Intelligence Committee with “several hundred pages of classified documents” and multiple briefings — including whether any FBI payments were made related to the dossier — and has cleared witnesses including McCabe and Strzok to testify, she said.

The House committee’s top Democrat, Representative Adam Schiff of California, responded in a statement that the Department of Justice inspector general is “properly investigating the handling of the investigation, including the current allegation of bias” by Strzok.

“I am concerned, however, that our chairman is willing to use the subpoena and contempt power of the House, not to determine how the Russians interfered in our election or whether the president obstructed Justice, but only to distract from the core of our investigation,” Schiff said.

Salacious Allegations

The dossier, which included salacious allegations about Trump, was paid for in part by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton through a law firm. Nunes and other committee Republicans — backed by Speaker Paul Ryan — say they want to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI may have improperly relied on the dossier to kick-start federal surveillance that caught up Trump associates, without independently confirming the information they used to justify such spying.

“The DOJ has now expressed — on a Saturday, just hours after the press reports on Strzok’s dismissal appeared — sudden willingness to comply with some of the Committee’s long-standing demands,” Nunes said. “This attempted 11th-hour accommodation is neither credible nor believable, and in fact is yet another example of the DOJ’s disingenuousness and obstruction.”

Those agencies “should be investigating themselves,” he said.

Comity Strained

The committee’s infighting has stepped up since October, coinciding with Democratic complaints that Nunes has returned to a more active capacity for Republicans in the committee’s Russia investigation.

Nunes said April 6 he was stepping back amid criticism of his handling of classified material, reportedly obtained from White House officials, that he said showed officials of former President Barack Obama’s administration “unmasked” the identities of people close to Trump who were mentioned in legal surveillance of foreign individuals.

Representative Michael Conaway of Texas officially has taken over the Republican reins from Nunes on the investigation. But Nunes’s statement Saturday is another signal he’s returned to a leading role.

 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-03/u-s-house-republicans-prepare-contempt-action-against-fbi-doj-jaqegooo

Mueller aide fired for anti-Trump texts now facing review for role in Clinton email probe

Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Strzok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.

A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok’s roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by “very early next year.”

The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok’s consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI’s fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

Key figure

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The “dossier” was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm’s bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017. Nunes said Friday that Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, volunteered to be interviewed by committee members. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.

While Strzok’s removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad “personnel” grounds.

When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.

That turned out to be 12 days after DOJ and FBI had made Strzok available to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation into the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Contempt citations?

Responding to the revelations about Strzok’s texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray. Unless DOJ and FBI comply with all of his outstanding requests for documents and witnesses by the close of business on Monday, Nunes said, he would seek a resolution on the contempt citations before year’s end.

“We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said in a statement.

“We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview.”

– House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Early Saturday afternoon, after Strzok’s texts were cited in published reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post – and Fox News had followed up with inquiries about the department’s refusal to make Strzok available to House investigators – the Justice Department contacted the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan to establish a date for Strzok’s appearance before House Intelligence Committee staff, along with two other witnesses long sought by the Nunes team.

Those witnesses are FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI officer said to have handled Christopher Steele, the British spy who used Russian sources to compile the dossier for Fusion GPS. The official said to be Steele’s FBI handler has also appeared already before the Senate panel.

The Justice Department maintained that the decision to clear Strzok for House interrogation had occurred a few hours prior to the appearance of the Times and Post stories.

In addition, Rosenstein is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13.

The Justice Department maintains that it has been very responsive to the House intel panel’s demands, including private briefings for panel staff by senior DOJ and FBI personnel and the production of several hundred pages of classified materials available in a secure reading room at DOJ headquarters on Oct. 31.

Behind the scenes

Sources said Speaker Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes to try to resolve the clash over dossier-related evidence and witnesses between the House intel panel on the one hand and DOJ and FBI on the other. In October, however, the speaker took the unusual step of saying publicly that the two agencies were “stonewalling” Congress.

All parties agree that some records being sought by the Nunes team belong to categories of documents that have historically never been shared with the committees that conduct oversight of the intelligence community.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during a press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC136EFF4EB0

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Federal officials told Fox News the requested records include “highly sensitive raw intelligence,” so sensitive that officials from foreign governments have emphasized to the U.S. the “potential danger and chilling effect” it could place on foreign intelligence sources.

Justice Department officials noted that Nunes did not appear for a document-review session that his committee’s ranking Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., attended, and once rejected a briefing by an FBI official if the panel’s Democratic members were permitted to attend.

Sources close to the various investigations agreed the discovery of Strzok’s texts raised important questions about his work on the Clinton email case, the Trump-Russia probe, and the dossier matter.

“That’s why the IG is looking into all of those things,” a Justice Department official told Fox News on Saturday.

A top House investigator asked: “If Mueller knew about the texts, what did he know about the dossier?”

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, said: “Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation.”

Carr declined to comment on the extent to which Mueller has examined the dossier and its relationship, if any, to the counterintelligence investigation that Strzok launched during the height of the campaign season.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/03/mueller-aide-fired-for-anti-trump-texts-now-facing-review-for-role-in-clinton-email-probe.html

Mueller reportedly ousted an investigator on his team over possible anti-Trump texts

What the Flynn Plea Means

 by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY December 1, 2017 12:20 PM

There’s less to the news than meets the eye.

Former Trump-administration national-security adviser Michael Flynn is expected to plead guilty today to lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Flynn, who is reportedly cooperating with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, is pleading guilty in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to a one-count criminal information (which is filed by a prosecutor in cases when a defendant waives his right to be indicted by a grand jury).

The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. It is believed to have been recorded by the FBI because Kislyak, as an agent of a foreign power, was subject to monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions. In being questioned by the agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”

Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it.

Thus, in all, four lies are specified in the one count. The potential sentence is zero to five years’ imprisonment. Assuming Flynn cooperates fully with Mueller’s investigators, there will be little, if any, jail time.

Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed.

Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials. Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.

While initial reporting is portraying Flynn’s guilty plea as a major breakthrough in Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump-campaign collusion with the Russian regime, I suspect the opposite is true.

Speculation that Flynn is now cooperating in Mueller’s investigation stirred in recent days due to reports that Flynn had pulled out of a joint defense agreement (or “common interest” arrangement) to share information with other subjects of the investigation. As an ethical matter, it is inappropriate for an attorney whose client is cooperating with the government (or having negotiations toward that end) to continue strategizing with, and having quasi-privileged communications with, other subjects of the investigation and their counsel.

Nevertheless, as I explained in connection with George Papadopoulos (who also pled guilty in Mueller’s investigation for lying to the FBI), when a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme. In his guilty-plea allocution (the part of a plea proceeding in which the defendant admits what he did that makes him guilty), the accomplice explains the scheme and the actions taken by himself and his co-conspirators to carry it out. This goes a long way toward proving the case against all of the subjects of the investigation.
That is not happening in Flynn’s situation.
Instead, like Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime.
A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a “collusion” case arising out of Russia’s election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime — he’d be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.
Understand: If Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador had evinced the existence of a quid pro quo collusion arrangement — that the Trump administration would ease or eliminate sanctions on Russia as a payback for Russia’s cyber-espionage against the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic party — it would have been completely appropriate, even urgently necessary, for the Obama Justice Department to investigate Flynn. But if that had happened, Mueller would not be permitting Flynn to settle the case with a single count of lying to FBI agents. Instead, we would be looking at a major conspiracy indictment, and Flynn would be made to plead to far more serious offenses if he wanted a deal — cooperation in exchange for sentencing leniency.
To the contrary, for all the furor, we have a small-potatoes plea in Flynn’s case — just as we did in Papadopoulos’s case, despite extensive “collusion” evidence. Meanwhile, the only major case Mueller has brought, against former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate, has nothing to do with the 2016 election. It is becoming increasingly palpable that, whatever “collusion” means, there was no actionable, conspiratorial complicity by the Trump campaign in the Kremlin’s machinations.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454269/michael-flynn-plea-no-breakthrough-russia-investigation

Trump’s lawyer attacks Mike Flynn as a liar and says guilty plea does NOT implicate the president in attack on credibility of Mueller’s star witness

  • Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer, says nothing in Mike Flynn’s guilty plea ‘implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn’
  • Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition period
  • Cobb insisted Friday that Flynn’s dishonesty is consistent with how he lied to White House officials about those contacts after the inauguration
  • Flynn was fired after less than a month as the president’s National Security Advisor, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about it 

Donald Trump‘s lawyer insisted Friday that Michael Flynn’s guilty plea hasn’t implicated the president in any wrongdoing, despite a report that the former National Security Advisor plans to testify that Trump himself directed him to reach out to Russians before Inauguration Day.

‘Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days during the Trump Administration, and a former Obama administration official, entered a guilty plea to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI,’ Ty Cobb said.

‘The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year.’

‘Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn,’ Cobb continued.

Scroll down for video

Liar: Admitted liar Mike Flynn is under attack from the Trump legal team who say he lied to the president to, an assault on his credibility in the hope that his testimony can be seen as flawed

My client isn't implicated: Trump's lawyer Ty Cobbs tried to pain Flynn as a liar who was barely in the administration - and mentioned his service in the Obama administration

HE LIED TO US TOO: TRUMP’S LAWYER’S FULL STATEMENT

‘Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days during the Trump Administration, and a former Obama administration official, entered a guilty plea to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI.

The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year.

‘Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.

The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.’

– Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer

‘The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.’

The White House itself remained mum on Friday, clamping down on communications after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Flynn agreed to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate, according to ABC News.

That revelation cast a pall over the West Wing as senior aides geared up for an annual Christmas reception that could be less than merry.

Fox News Channel reports that the federal government said in court Friday that it was a ‘senior member’ of the Trump transition team – not an aide during the campaign itself – who directed Flynn to contact nations including Russia about a United Nations vote.

Trump is expected to deliver holiday remarks at the afternoon party. The room will be full of reporters, but the White House insists it’s strictly ‘off the record.’

Cobb represents Trump in the ongoing saga over whether his campaign colluded with Russians to swing the 2016 election.

Neither did White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her deputy Raj Shah.

The White House has typically referred questions about Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe to Trump’s personal lawyers.

Those attorneys have insisted in the past that the president himself is not under investigation.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One last month during his trip to Asia that ‘everybody knows there was no collusion’ between his campaign and the Kremlin.

‘There is no collusion. There’s nothing,’ he said.

TEAM TRUMP FOR PRISON 2018: THE OTHER AIDES ALREADY FACING JAIL – SO WHO WILL MUELLER TARGET NEXT?

PAUL MANAFORT 

Trump campaign manager March – August 2016

Manafort, 68, was charged with conspiracy against the US, conspiracy to launder, and other charges, after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia undertook a campaign of hacking and misinformation to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. He pleaded not guilty in October to a 12-count indictment by a federal grand jury.

RICK GATES 

Business associate and deputy to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort

Gates, 45, was indicted along with his business associate, Paul Manafort after the first charges from the probe of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election were unsealed. He pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment

George Papadopoulos

Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, March 2016 – January 2017

Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to investigators about his conversations with overseas sources about potential Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Flynn spoke with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak after the 2016 election concerning a raft of sanctions the Obama administration had just imposed on Moscow.

Intelligence intercepts established what he talked about, but he hid the truth from the FBI.

Flynn reportedly asked Kislyak to delay reaction to the Obama sanctions until after Trump took office, a hint that the incoming president might reverse them.

A law called the Logan Act established that only the incumbent administration can negotiate with foreign powers. At the time of Flynn’s contact with Kislyak, Trump had won the election but was not yet sworn in.

ABC News reported Friday morning that Flynn is cooperating with the Mueller probe, and is prepared to testify that Trump ‘directed him to make contact with the Russians’ – back when he was still a candidate.

But a Fox Business Network report portrays Trump as confident that he is still not a target of the investigation.

‘I spoke to one person who spoke to the president directly,’ an FBN reporter said on-air.

‘The president has been telling associates of his – I would say associates as friends and people that talk to the president regularly – that he believes, based on his conversations with his lawyer Ty Cobb, that he believes that he will be cleared in the Russian probe,’ he said.

‘The president is saying on the Russian matter, he believes it is done for him and he is going to be able to announce that soon.’

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said last week on the Fox news Channel that the investigation would stop short of implicating his former boss.

‘That’s where it stops,’ he predicted, ‘and there has been never any indication that the President of the United States, or anyone else within that circle of the President of the United States, has done anything wrong.’

The FBI interviewed Flynn just a few days after Trump’s inauguration. The president fired him in February after White House officials learned that he had lied to the vice president about whether he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak.

‘My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the special counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interest of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions,’ Flynn said in a statement on Friday.

He pleaded guilty to making ‘false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements’ – an offense which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5137167/Trumps-lawyer-attacks-Mike-Flynn-liar.html#ixzz502rGqewG

 

Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The charge against Flynn is the first in Mueller’s probe that has reached someone in the Trump White House
  • The charges mark yet another stunning downfall for Flynn

Washington (CNN)Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.

Flynn is the first person inside President Donald Trump’s administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. The developments are a sign that the investigation is intensifying, and details revealed Friday provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in their contact with Russian officials to influence international policy.
According to an FBI statement, Flynn communicated with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak after being asked by a senior Trump transition official to find out how foreign governments stood on a coming UN Security Council resolution about Israel. The prosecutors did not name any transition officials.
In court Friday morning, Flynn’s only comments were to answer yes and no to questions from the judge. He told the judge he has not been coerced to plead guilty or been promised a specific sentence. Flynn faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines, though the judge Friday morning stressed he could impose a harsher or lighter sentence.
In a statement, Flynn said he acknowledged that his actions “were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.
“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
The White House said late Friday morning that “nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.
“The conclusion of this phase of the special counsel’s work demonstrates again that the special counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion,” Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer, said in a statement.
Flynn is the fourth person connected to Trump’s campaign to be charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted last month; they pleaded not guilty. And Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for making a false statement to the FBI over contacts with officials connected to the Russian government.
Flynn’s plea agreement stipulates that he’ll cooperate with federal, state or even local investigators in any way Mueller’s office might need, according to a document filed in court Friday. He could also be required to participate in covert law enforcement operations (such as wearing a wire) if asked, or share details of his past dealings with the Trump transition and administration.
The agreement adds that Mueller’s office won’t prosecute Flynn for additional crimes they outlined in his statement of offense Friday, such as his misreported foreign lobbying filings about his work for Turkey. If other prosecutors outside the special counsel’s office, such as US attorneys or state law enforcement, wanted to charge Flynn with alleged crimes, they still could, and he’s not protected if he lies to investigators again in the future or breaks the terms of his plea agreement.

What Trump has said about Michael Flynn

What Trump has said about Michael Flynn 01:33

Calls made during transition

In court, prosecutors detailed calls made by Flynn in late December 2016 to the senior Trump transition team at Mar-a-Lago to discuss conversations with Kislyak. There were multiple conversations with the transition while he was having conversations with Kisyak about Russia sanctions and the Russian response.
According to a statement of offense filed in court, Flynn conducted several calls with senior officials on the Trump transition team about his discussions with Kislyak related to US sanctions of Russia.
Flynn and Trump advisers discussed US sanctions three times. Their first call discussed the potential impact on the “incoming administration’s foreign policy goals,” according to the court filing, from which details were partially read during Flynn’s plea hearing.
Flynn then called Kislyak to ask that Russia not respond too harshly to US sanctions, the statement of offense said. He told a Trump transition official about that call. Russia responded by choosing not to retaliate to the sanctions.
The bulk of the back-and-forth calls from Flynn to the Russian ambassador and to Trump advisers happened around December 29, while the advisers were at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
They “discussed that the members of the presidential transition team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation,” the filing said.
Flynn lied to investigators about these calls with the ambassador, according to his guilty plea and the criminal statement of offense.
The charging document states that Flynn made a false statement to the FBI when he stated that in December 2016 he did not ask Kislyak “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and Flynn did not recall the Russian ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
The document also says that Flynn falsely said he did not ask Kislyak to delay the vote on a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.
Flynn’s other instance of lying to investigators involved what he told them about his conversations with foreign officials related to their planned UN Security Council votes on Israeli settlements.
A “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team, who sources familiar with the matter told CNN was Jared Kushner, told Flynn on December 22 to contact officials from foreign governments about how they would vote and “to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.”
An attorney for Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, did not comment.
Flynn then asked Kislyak to vote against or delay the resolution, the statement of offense said.
Toobin: Flynn's actions an insult to veterans
‘This is a win for the White House’
White House allies initially tried to put a positive spin on the news.
One person familiar with the mood in the West Wing insisted top White House officials were breathing a sigh of relief.
“People in the building are very happy,” the source said. “This doesn’t lead back to Trump in any way, shape or form.” The source noted that Flynn is being charged for making false statements, but not for any improper actions during the campaign.
“This is a further indication that there’s nothing there,” the source said. “This is a win for the White House.”
A source with knowledge of the legal team’s thinking tells CNN the Flynn plea “is not going to be a problem” for the President, though it could be a problem for people who worked with Flynn. The source said legal exposure for others would depend on what they might have said to the special counsel.
Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 general election and was the focus of the “lock her up” chant first popularized by Flynn at the Republican National Convention, declined through a spokesman to comment on Friday’s developments.

See Michael Flynn walk into court

Stunning downfall for Flynn

Flynn’s lawyers have previously criticized media reports about his connection to the Russia investigation as peddling “unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against him.” Flynn hasn’t spoken publicly since his ouster in February.
The charges mark yet another stunning downfall for Flynn, 58, a retired general who rose to the highest ranks of the Army over a three-decade career — only to see him fired from the military by the Obama administration before unexpectedly rising again on the heels of Trump’s election victory.
A key campaign surrogate and adviser during Trump’s presidential campaign, Flynn was tapped as Trump’s national security adviser in November 2016, a senior White House job that put him in a vital role for all of the administration’s national security and foreign policy decisions.
Though he wasn’t initially considered for the top job, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner made it clear to the Trump transition team that they wanted him there, CNN has reported.
Flynn would hold the job less than a month, resigning from the post after he misled Pence and then-chief of staff Reince Priebus about his conversations with Kislyak in which they discussed US sanctions against Russia.
Flynn is also the spark of potential trouble for the President in Mueller’s probe, as the special counsel is investigating potential obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Comey testified before the Senate intelligence committee that Trump asked him to drop the Flynn probe during a February Oval Office meeting not long after Flynn resigned as national security adviser.

Adam Schiff Trump Russia lied wolf_00000000

Schiff: Trump lied about Russia 01:36

Talking about sanctions

Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, which amounted to the crux of his guilty plea Friday, were the main reason for his firing shortly after Trump took office. The calls were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomat, CNN has reported.
The Trump transition team acknowledged that Flynn and Kislyak spoke on the day in December 2016 that the Obama administration issued new sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 diplomats, but they insisted the conversation did not include sanctions — including denials that Pence and Priebus later repeated on national television.
Flynn resigned on February 13 after reports that he and Kislyak had spoken about sanctions and that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.
Details of how the DOJ warned the White House about Flynn’s conduct were revealed months later in stunning testimony from former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who said that she “believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians” because of the misleading denials.

Flynn lawyers cut off talks with Trump team

Flynn lawyers cut off talks with Trump team 02:32

Warnings before Trump took office

Flynn’s legal issues stem from foreign payments he received after he started his own consulting firm.
Flynn founded the Flynn Intel Group after he retired from the military in 2014. The Obama White House pushed him out of his role as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the military’s intelligence arm. Flynn was fired over claims he was a poor manager, though he says he was ousted by Obama administration officials unwilling to listen to his warnings about the rise of ISIS and an increasingly aggressive Iran.
Before he was named national security adviser, the FBI began investigating Flynn for secretly working during the presidential campaign as an unregistered lobbyist for Turkey, an investigation he disclosed to the Trump transition team before Trump took office.
Flynn wasn’t the only Trump associate who faced scrutiny over foreign lobbying laws — Manafort also filed a retroactive registration earlier this year for work he previously did in Ukraine.
Federal investigators were probing whether Flynn was secretly paid by the Turkish government as part of its public campaign against Fethullah Gulen, a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan blames Gulen and his supporters for plotting the failed Turkish coup last summer.

Michael Flynn in less than 2 minutes

Payments from Russian businesses

Flynn has also been scrutinized for his work with Russian businesses.
In his initial financial disclosure form filed in February with the Office of Government Ethics, Flynn left off payments of thousands of dollars from RT, the Russian government-funded television network and two other Russian companies. Flynn subsequently added the payments in an amended disclosure.
Among the payouts, Flynn received $33,000 of a $45,000 speaking fee for a 2015 speech at a Moscow event hosted by RT, where he sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Flynn’s presence at the gala celebrating RT’s 10th anniversary raised eyebrows among his critics. The US intelligence community said earlier this year that the Kremlin uses RT to push propaganda on American audiences, and that the English-language channel was involved in the effort to interfere in the election.
Trump said in May that he hadn’t known that Flynn took payments from Russia and Turkey.

Flynn’s son also faces scrutiny

Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., has also faced scrutiny from Mueller’s investigation, though he was not charged on Friday.
Flynn Jr. served as his father’s chief of staff and top aide at their consulting firm, the Flynn Intel Group. In that capacity, Flynn Jr. joined his father on overseas trips, such as Moscow in December 2015 when Flynn dined with Putin at the RT gala.
The younger Flynn has a penchant for spreading conspiracy theories on Twitter. He has smeared Trump’s opponents — ranging from Clinton to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio — as well as Muslims and other minorities. Most prominently, he peddled the debunked claim that a Washington pizzeria was a front for Democrats to sexually abuse children.
Flynn Jr. has remained defiant as the investigation has heated up. Days after Manafort and Gates were indicted, Flynn Jr. sent a message to his critics: “The disappointment on your faces when I don’t go to jail will be worth all your harassment.”

Justice Dept. to Weigh Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation

The Shootaring Canyon uranium mill in the desert outside Ticaboo, Utah, last month.CreditGeorge Frey/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate political rivals President Trump has singled out for scrutiny, including Hillary Clinton.

The department, in a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee, said the prosecutors would examine allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation were tied to a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow a Russian nuclear agency to buy Uranium One, a company that owned access to uranium in the United States, and other issues.

The letter appeared to be a direct response to Mr. Trump’s statement on Nov. 3, when he said he was disappointed with his beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and that longstanding unproven allegations about the Clintons and the Obama administration should be investigated.

Any such investigation would raise questions about the independence of federal investigations under Mr. Trump. Since Watergate, the Justice Department has largely operated independently of political influence on cases related to the president’s opponents.

Mr. Trump’s statement galvanized conservative news outlets — like Fox News and Breitbart News — which have since beaten the drum for a special prosecutor to be appointed.

People close to the White House said there might be another issue at play: Mr. Sessions might be able to forestall the president’s firing him by appointing a special counsel to investigate the uranium deal.

Mr. Trump blames Mr. Sessions for the cloud of the Russia investigation that has hovered over his 10-month presidency, saying that if Mr. Sessions had never recused himself from the inquiry this year, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, would never have been appointed.

On Tuesday, Mr. Sessions is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, where he is expected to be questioned sharply by both Republicans and Democrats. The letter was a reply to formal requests from congressional Republicans for a Justice Department inquiry into various Clinton-related issues.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions this month in New York.CreditSam Hodgson for The New York Times

Although Mr. Sessions has recused himself from all matters related to the election, he and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, will oversee the prosecutors’ decision to appoint the special counsel, the letter said.

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit a special counsel,” Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, said in the letter to the House Judiciary Committee.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, criticized the Justice Department’s letter.

If the AG bends to pressure from President Trump and his allies, and appoints a special counsel to investigate Trump’s vanquished rival, it could spell the end of the DOJ as an independent institution. https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/930251722341089280 

Republicans have long tried to link Mrs. Clinton to the uranium deal, which was revealed in the run-up to her 2016 presidential campaign. The deal was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States when she was secretary of state under President Barack Obama and had a voting seat on the panel.

Conservative news outlets have kept the story line alive and pushed the allegations as part of a continuing narrative that the Clintons are corrupt. They claim Mrs. Clinton was part of a quid pro quo in which the Clinton Foundation received large donations in exchange for support of the deal.

As the special counsel’s investigation into Mr. Trump and his associates has intensified in recent weeks, Mr. Trump has asked allies and advisers why Mr. Mueller is not investigating the Uranium One case, according to a person familiar with the president’s discussions on the matter.

The allies and advisers have told Mr. Trump that Mr. Mueller’s purview is only to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the person said. In response, Mr. Trump has protested that Uranium One also relates to Russia.

However, White House officials in recent days have played down questions about whether the president or his immediate advisers were seeking a new special counsel.

It was before leaving for a 12-day trip to Asia this month that Mr. Trump publicly vented about how the Justice Department had operated under Mr. Sessions.

“I’m really not involved with the Justice Department,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I’d like to let it run itself.”

Read the Justice Department Letter Saying Prosecutors Will Consider Special Counsel for Clinton Investigation

In a letter to Congress, an assistant attorney general said prosecutors would recommend whether a special counsel should investigate “alleged unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation.”

“But, honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”

Mr. Trump has been repeatedly criticized for trying to intervene in the Justice Department’s investigations since he took office.

In May, it was revealed that Mr. Trump had asked James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to end the investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser — a disclosure that led to the appointment of Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized Mr. Mueller’s investigation — which has intensified in recent weeks as three Trump campaign members were charged — as a witch hunt.

During his Senate confirmation hearing this year, Mr. Sessions said he would not name a special prosecutor to investigate Mrs. Clinton even if ordered to do so by the president.

“This country does not punish its political enemies,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Trump, who closely monitors the conservative news media ecosystem for ideas on how to attack his opponents, has cited reports from those outlets to aides and friends as examples for why a special counsel should be appointed.

One commentator in particular, the Fox News host Jeanine Pirro — who is a friend of Mr. Trump’s and whose show he rarely misses — has aggressively denounced Mr. Sessions as weak for not investigating the uranium deal. In addition to making scathing critiques on her show, Ms. Pirro — who had interviewed to be the deputy attorney general, according to three transition officials — recently met with the president to excoriate the attorney general.

In an Oval Office meeting on Nov. 1, Ms. Pirro said that a special counsel needed to be appointed, according to two people briefed on the discussion. Through a Fox News spokeswoman, Ms. Pirro said, “Everything I said to President Trump is exactly what I’ve vocalized on my show, ‘Justice with Jeanine.’”

After his victory last November, Mr. Trump struck a far different tone on prosecuting Mrs. Clinton.

“Look, I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. “And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t.”

“She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways. And I am not looking to hurt them at all,” he said. “The campaign was vicious. They say it was the most vicious primary and the most vicious campaign. I guess, added together, it was definitely the most vicious; probably, I assume you sold a lot of newspapers.”

Michael S. Schmidt reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

A Uranium One sign that points to a 35,000-acre ranch owned by John Christensen, near the town of Gillette, Wyo. Uranium One has the mining rights to Mr. Christensen’s property. CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

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Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation run by former President Bill Clinton, left.CreditJoaquin Sarmiento/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

American political campaigns are barred from accepting foreign donations. But foreigners may give to foundations in the United States. In the days since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy for president, the Clinton Foundation has announced changes meant to quell longstanding concerns about potential conflicts of interest in such donations; it has limited donations from foreign governments, with many, like Russia’s, barred from giving to all but its health care initiatives. That policy stops short of a more stringent agreement between Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration that was in effect while she was secretary of state.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

GRAPHIC

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover

Uranium investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved in approving a Russian bid for mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

A Seat at the Table

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

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Ian Telfer was chairman of Uranium One and made large donations to the Clinton Foundation.CreditGalit Rodan/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

(In a statement issued after this article appeared online, Mr. Giustra said he was “extremely proud” of his charitable work with Mr. Clinton, and he urged the media to focus on poverty, health care and “the real challenges of the world.”)

Though the 2008 article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with Mr. Clinton as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

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Bill Clinton met with Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow in 2010. CreditMikhail Metzel/Associated Press

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government substantially upped the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation

Frank Giustra
$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Ian Telfer
$2.35 million
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Paul Reynolds
$1 million to $5 million
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Frank Holmes
$250,000 to $500,000
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Neil Woodyer
$50,000 to $100,000
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
GMP Securities Ltd.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

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President Putin during a meeting with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, in December 2007.CreditDmitry Astakhov/Ria Novosti, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Undisclosed Donations

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on the activities of her husband’s foundation. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

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Uranium One’s Russian takeover was approved by the United States while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Giustra and several companies linked to Uranium One or UrAsia, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

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John Christensen sold the mining rights on his ranch in Wyoming to Uranium One.CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those in the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

Photo

Moukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested in 2009 while the chief of Kazatomprom.CreditDaniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

“This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

Correction: April 23, 2015 
An earlier version of this article misstated, in one instance, the surname of a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Peter Schweizer, not Schweitzer.An earlier version also incorrectly described the Clinton Foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. It was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.
Correction: April 30, 2015 
An article on Friday about contributions to the Clinton Foundation from people associated with a Canadian uranium-mining company described incorrectly the foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. The foundation was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.

Story 2: Trump Not Pleased With Attorney General Sessions Sweeping Clinton Scandals Under The Rug — Videos —

See the source imageImage result for cartoons Kate Steinle

Trump Goes On Rampage After Learning What Sessions Did To Bury Biggest Scandal In American History

Special Council in Hot Water, after Letter to AG Sessions Accuses Mueller of High Treason

ROBERT MUELLER SHOCKS THE NATION WITH TRUMP ANNOUNCEMENT!

Seconds Ago Jeff Sessions Did Something That Should Get Him Fired From Office Immediately – Hot News

SHOTS FIRED: If Jason Chaffetz Is Right, Then Jeff Sessions Should Be Fired Immediately – Hot News

Jason Chaffetz: Jeff Sessions ‘worse’ than Loretta Lynch

Rep Jim Jordan angrily GRILLS Attorney General Jeff Sessions in capitol hill

Trey Gowdy ŠHÓĆKŠ Jeff Sessions and Jim Jordan “We Don’t Need A Special counsel to Investigate”

Fireworks between Jeff Sessions and Trey Gowdy

Russian Linked Company Got Control of Key Strategic Asset After Paying $6 million to Bill Clinton.

Whistle-blower Has Tapes of Russian Bribes to Hillary —Dick Morris

Trump finally discovered he can’t force the feds to prosecute Clinton — and he’s not happy

“The saddest thing is because I’m president of the United States, I’m not supposed to be involved in the Justice Department.”

Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

A year after defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump is still really, really angry that the federal government he runs isn’t going after her.

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

….People are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!

But while the president has been known to use tweets to set federal policy (as he did while announcing a ban on trans service members in the US military, without warning the Pentagon he would be doing so), Friday morning’s tweets don’t actually mean he’s ordering the federal government to prosecute his electoral opponent based on the president’s own conviction that she committed a crime.

They actually mean that Trump may have finally accepted, apparently belatedly, that he can’t actually order the federal government to go after his political opponents — and he’s really, really not happy about it.

Trump opened up to talk-radio host and Mediaite contributor Larry O’Connor on Thursday, in an interview broadcast on Washington radio station WBAL. “The saddest thing,” Trump told O’Connor, “is because I’m the president of the United States, I’m not supposed to be involved in the Justice Department.”

The idea that the head of the government can’t use his power to prosecute his enemies is literally at the core of the idea of the “rule of law” as it’s understood in America. Outside legal experts and lawmakers from both parties have been making that argument for months.

But it seems that it came as a nasty surprise to President Donald Trump, and it’s not clear when he found out that he couldn’t manipulate the activity of the Justice Department — of if he has, in fact, made a decision he won’t try to soon reverse.

Remember that he certainly didn’t seem to know that he wasn’t “supposed to be involved” when he (allegedly) demanded the loyalty of FBI Director James Comey; fired Comey (ostensibly for being too harsh on Hillary Clinton), and later admitted that he’d fired Comey because he thought the FBI’s investigation of ties between his campaign and the Russian government was “fake news.”

And he certainly didn’t know he wasn’t “supposed to be involved” when for months he held a grudge against his own attorney general and close adviser Jeff Sessions, because Sessions felt that his entanglement in the Russia scandal was a reason to recuse himself from the federal investigation rather than trying to quash it. (That move led to the eventual appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort earlier this week.)

It is not ideal, to say the least, for a president to learn on the job about fundamental principles of American governance. But it appears that at some point, someone got through to him, and explained that Comey and Sessions weren’t acting deliberately to spite the president but were trying to uphold the integrity of their offices. So on one level, Trump’s petulant tweets about the need for the FBI and DOJ to listen to public outcry and start going after “Crooked Hillary” are just that: petulant.

But there’s also the more sinister possibility that Trump is trying to use his public platform to make the FBI, and the ongoing Mueller investigator, to feel public and congressional pressure to reopen their case against Clinton. Put another way, he’s deliberately using his Twitter account as a literal bully pulpit.

That is also not how the federal government is supposed to work. The DOJ doesn’t poll the public about which cases it should open. But it’s not clear that Donald Trump knows just how deep prosecutorial independence is supposed to go — or if he cares.

https://www.vox.com/2017/11/3/16602182/trump-prosecute-hillary-clinton

Story 3: Democratic Party No Longer Cares About American Citizens and Workers — Wants Citizenship For 30-60 Million Criminal Illegal Aliens in United States — Pass Katie’s Law Now Senator McConnell — Videos

BREAKING NEWS TRUMP 12/1/17: Kate Steinle’s family has received no justice

Ted Cruz: Kate Steinle Would be Alive if ‘Kate’s Law’ Was Enacted

Rep. Steve King on the future of ‘Kate’s Law’

Breaking News – US prosecutors seek arrest of illegal immigrant…

Trump calls Kate Steinle verdict “disgraceful”

Ben Shapiro FURIOUS at the Kate Steinle’s Trial Verdict – Illegal Immigrant Acquitted

Trump Urges Senate To Pass Kate’s Law: ‘These Deaths Were Preventable’

Justice for Kate Steinle: Trump Has to Get Medieval on Illegal Multiple Deportee Dirtbag Jose Zarate

 Lionel Nation

Published on Dec 1, 2017

A jury found seven-time felon, five times deported illegal alien Jose Garcia Zarate not guilty in the case of the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle Thursday evening. The only count Zarate was found guilty on was felony possession of a weapon. Thirty-two-year-old Steinle was shot and killed on a pier in San Francisco in 2015 while walking with her father. Her final words were pleas to her father for help, as she died in his arms. Zarate faces a maximum sentence of three years for the weapons charge, according to Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak. The time Zarate has served thus far will likely be factored in as time already served on the sentence, meaning he will likely be released soon. Zarate, previously known as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, previously confessed to shooting Steinle in a jailhouse interview with a local ABC News affiliate. He also told the outlet that he had chosen to go to San Francisco because he knew it was a sanctuary city. Breitbart News reported: An ICE official told Breitbart News that ICE Enforcement and Removal had begun processing the suspect for reinstatement of removal from the U.S. in March. But instead, Lopez-Sanchez was transferred on March 26 from the Bureau of Prisons in another city to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) because of a drug warrant. ICE then filed the detainer request to be notified prior to Lopez-Sanchez’s release from custody. California lawmakers have since voted to make California a sanctuary state.

Proposed Kate’s Law would not have saved Kate Steinle

July 3, 2017 Updated: July 4, 2017 1:51pm

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week called “Kate’s Law” (HR3004). The bill is named for Kate Steinle, the young woman whose unfortunate death in San Francisco in 2015 has been exploited as a recurrent shibboleth in efforts across the nation to instigate anti-immigrant fervor.

Were it in effect in 2015 however, nothing in this proposed law — which increases maximum sentences for immigrants who re-enter the country illegally after a deportation — would have prevented Steinle’s death. Her death was the result of systemic defects and individual errors that the bill does not address. What the law will do is fill our already overcrowded prisons with nonviolent immigrants.

The bill would do two things:

• Increase the maximum sentence for previously deported people who re-enter the U.S. from two years to 10, and increase the maximum sentences for people who re-enter after being convicted of certain criminal offenses — including for immigration offenses — to up to 25 years.

These law changes have nothing to do with the circumstances preceding Steinle’s death. Had the bill been law in 2015, it would have had no effect on Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, the man accused of causing her death. That’s because Lopez Sanchez already faced a 20-year prison sentence each time he entered the country, based on a minor narcotics conviction from 1993 in the state of Washington — an offense that aggravates any illegal entry he committed (8 U.S. Code §1326).

The facts of this case are largely unknown to the public. Lopez Sanchez didn’t travel to San Francisco voluntarily. He was transferred here by federal authorities, because San Francisco maintained a 20-year-old warrant in a marijuana offense. Lopez Sanchez then appeared in San Francisco Superior Court, where his case was promptly and predictably dismissed and he was released. Alone, unemployed, in a city he did not want to be in, Lopez Sanchez wandered the streets. In statements to ABC-7 news while incarcerated, Lopez Sanchez described picking up an object wrapped in a T-shirt that discharged while he handled it. What is uncontested: He did not know the victim, she was 100 feet away from him when shot, and the single bullet ricocheted off the concrete pier near where Lopez Sanchez was seated. The Sig Sauer .40 caliber automatic pistol, known for having a hair trigger, is documented in hundreds of accidental discharges, even when handled by trained law enforcement.

The firearm should never have been on the streets. The Bureau of Land Management official who left his loaded weapon unsecured in a car that was burglarized has never accounted for his negligence in starting the chain of events that resulted in Steinle’s death.

The frenzy surrounding the House’s passage of this law — and the repeated false assertions that being tougher on immigrants would have averted this tragedy — now threatens Lopez Sanchez’s chances of a fair trial. Yet, none of the tragic events that led to Steinle’s death would have been affected by Kate’s Law. It wouldn’t have prevented Lopez Sanchez’s transfer to San Francisco or subsequent release, nor prevented the negligence and theft that placed a firearm in his path.

For those who want to whip up fear of immigrants, it is politically expedient to cast Lopez Sanchez as dangerous. But the truth is he’s never previously been charged with a crime of violence. He is a simple man with a second-grade education who has survived many hardships. He came to the U.S. repeatedly because extreme poverty is the norm in many parts of Mexico. He risked going to jail so that he could perform a menial job that could feed him. Each time, he came to the U.S. because American employers openly encourage illegal immigration to fill the jobs U.S. citizens don’t want.

Matt Gonzalez is one of the attorneys representing Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, whose trial is scheduled to begin later this month. He is the chief attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.

Kate Steinle’s Killer An Illegal Immigrant To Be Set Free – Hannity

Trump to city of San Fran – “I will handle Kate Steinle case”

Jury Finds Illegal Immigrant Not Guilty In Murder Of Kate Steinle – Defense Attorney Attacks Trump

Ben Shapiro: Big injustice in Kate Steinle’s case (audio from 12-01-2017)

Bill O’Reilly Reacts to Kate Steinle Verdict

Kate Steinle Murderer Found NOT Guilty, Def. Attorneys Attack Trump

Michelle Malkin Powerfully Reacts to Kate Steinle Trial Decision

The murder of Kate Steinle

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Kate Steinle’s Father (Jim Steinle) Testifies At Senate Hearing on Illegal Immigration

In Memory Of Kate Steinle

Ted Cruz Calls on Senate to Pass ‘Kate’s Law’ After Acquittal

Image: Ted Cruz Calls on Senate to Pass 'Kate's Law' After Acquittal
(Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

By Todd Beamon    |   Friday, 01 Dec 2017 03:54 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday called on the Senate to pass “Kate’s law” after an illegal immigrant was acquitted Thursday for fatally shooting Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier with her father in 2015.

“The verdict was frustrating — and it makes you angry,” the Texas Republican told Dana Perino on Fox News. “Kate Steinle, a beautiful 32-year-old young woman, shot down in the prime of her life.

“The grief makes it harder to deal with,” Cruz said, adding that “this should’ve never happened.”

The illegal, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, was acquitted by a San Francisco court jury of charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon.

He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation on drug felonies when Kate Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father on the pier in July 2015.

Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle and said it was an accident.

The incident came in the middle of the presidential campaign and touched off a fierce debate over the country’s immigration policies.

Republican candidate Donald Trump relentlessly slammed San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which limits local officials from cooperating with U.S. immigration authorities.

Cruz told Perino that passing “Kate’s law”— which imposes a mandatory aggravated felony charge and prison term on immigrants who illegally re-enter the U.S. a second time — was “the best response” for the Senate after the acquittal.

“The person who shot Kate Steinle had been deported five times,” Cruz said. “He had been in and out of jail.

“If case law had been on the books, the person who pulled the trigger would’ve been in a federal prison cell instead of out there on that pier that night.

“And Kate Steinle would still be alive and with us today.

“The best thing Congress can do is pass Kate’s law right now to prevent the next tragic murder we saw in California.”

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/ted-cruz-senate-pass-kates-law/2017/12/01/id/829396/

Senate Has Not Voted On ‘Kate’s Law’ Five Months After It Passed House With Bipartisan Support

 By WILL RACKE
Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

The Senate has yet to take up a bill that would toughen penalties for illegal aliens who re-enter the country after being deported, almost five months after the measure passed the House in a bipartisan vote.

In June, the House approved “Kate’s Law,” a Trump administration-backed bill that would raise the maximum prison sentence for illegal aliens caught re-entering the U.S. following deportation and increasing penalties for repeat offenders.

The bill is named after Kate Steinle, the woman who was shot and killed when an illegal immigrant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, discharged a firearm on the San Francisco pier in 2015. Zarate, a Mexican national who had been deported five times, was acquitted Thursday of Steinle’s murder as well as involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. (RELATED: Jury Finds Illegal Immigrant NOT GUILTY In Kate Steinle Murder)

The shooting sparked a nationwide debate over sanctuary city policies and later became a key refrain in President Donald Trump’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration.

This summer, GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia introduced “Kate’s Law” to near-universal Republican approval. The bill also received backing across the aisle, with 24 Democrats voting yes in a floor vote on June 29.

In the wake of Zarate’s acquittal, conservative activists and immigration hawks are likely to pressure Senate lawmakers to take up the bill in the next legislative session. Trump has also seized on the verdict to attack Democrats, tweeting Friday that the party would “pay a big price” in the midterm elections for failing to support tougher immigration policies.

An earlier version of Kate’s Law was considered by the Senate in 2016, it but failed to get to the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Only three Democrats — Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — voted with Republicans.

Since then, electoral circumstances have changed in favor of passing Kate’s Law. In addition to Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly, seven other Democratic senators are up for re-election in states that Trump won in 2016, which could motivate them to support some aspects of Trump’s immigration agenda in order to shore up political support at home.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/01/senate-has-not-voted-on-kates-law-five-months-after-it-passed-house-with-bipartisan-support/

DOJ files arrest warrant for illegal immigrant acquitted in Kate Steinle case

The Department of Justice unsealed an arrest warrant Friday for Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant acquitted Thursday in Kate Steinle’s murder trial.

Zarate was found not guilty of murdering Steinle on a pier in San Francisco in July 2015. Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend when she was shot, collapsing into her father’s arms.

Zarate had been released from a San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting, despite a request by federal immigration authorities to detain him for deportation. The case sparked a widespread national debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.

He was acquitted of first- and second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and found not guilty of assault with a semi-automatic weapon. He was found guilty of posessing a firearm by a felon.

DOJ WEIGHING FEDERAL CHARGES IN KATE STEINLE MURDER CASE, AFTER NOT GUILTY VERDICT

The arrest warrant was originally drafted in 2015 and amended this week to include violations related to the charges of a felon in possession of a firearm, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, all of which were filed after the defendant’s initial arrest, according to Friday’s warrant.

Officials at the Department of Justice told Fox News that there is an existing federal detainer that requires Zarate to be remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals to be transported to the Western District of Texas pursuant to the arrest warrant.

After the verdict, U.S. immigration officials announced late Thursday that Zarate would be deported.

“Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

KATE STEINLE MURDER CASE EXPLAINED, FROM TRUMP’S COMMENTS TO DOJ ARREST WARRANT

ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan added, “San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law. This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets.”

San Francisco is a sanctuary city, with local law enforcement officials barred from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding to cities with similar immigration policies, but a federal judge in California permanently blocked his executive order last week.

Trump tweeted late Thursday night calling the Steinle verdict “disgraceful,” adding “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”

SANCTUARY CITIES: WHAT ARE THEY?

He tweeted again early Friday morning saying, “The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement saying that despite California’s attempt at a murder conviction, Zarate was able to walk away with only a firearm possession conviction because he was not turned over by San Francisco to ICE.

“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” the statement said. “San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/01/doj-files-arrest-warrant-for-illegal-immigrant-acquitted-in-kate-steinle-case.html

 

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The Pronk Pops 1007, November 28, 2017, Story 1: North Korea Launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) — Flies 50 Miles High Toward Japan — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Big Push To Pass Something In The Senate — Tax Cut Yes, Tax Reform No — Something Maybe — Videos — Story 3: Repeal Government Control and Regulation of Internet — Let Consumer Sovereignty and Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Reign — Videos — Story 4: Obama Appointed Inspector General Charles McCullough Found 22 Top Secret and Beyond In Hillary Clinton’s E-Mails with Over 2,100 Containing Classified Information — Extremely Reckless Said Clapper — Clinton and Campaign Lied To American People — Prosecute Now! — The Statute of Limits Runs Out In February 2018 — Videos

Posted on November 28, 2017. Filed under: American History, Applications, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Independence, Law, Life, Media, MIssiles, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Security, Software, South Korea, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Treason, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: North Korea Launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) — Flies 50 Miles Toward Japan — Videos —

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Mattis: North Korean missile launch ‘went higher’ than previous tests

North Korea celebrates ICBM launch, harsh sanctions promised

US sanctions may not be enough to stop North Korea

Fox News confirms North Korea fires ballistic missile

Japanese Coverage Of North Korea Ballistic Missile Launch

 

North Korea ICBM test may show Washington within range.

by Reuters
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 03:06 GMT

 

* N.Korean missile test first since September

* Missile reached altitude of at least 4,000 km – officials

* Some scientists say Washington D.C. may now be within range

* N.Korea announcement 0330GMT-Yonhap cites N.Korean media

* For multimedia coverage of North Korea https://www.reuters.com/north-korea/

By Christine Kim and Phil Stewart

SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – North Korea launched what officials said was likely an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that flew high into space before landing near Japan on Wednesday, showing Pyongyang may now be able to reach Washington, D.C. with its weapons.

The missile test, North Korea’s first since mid-September, came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions.

North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of international sanctions. Trump has vowed not to let North Korea develop nuclear missiles that can hit the mainland United States.

The South Korean military said the missile reached an altitude of around 4,500 km (2,800 miles) – more than 10 times the height of the international space station – and flew 960 km (600 miles) before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials all agreed it was likely an ICBM but it did not pose a threat to the United States, its territories or allies, the Pentagon said.

“It went higher frankly than any previous shot they’ve taken, a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the White House.

Trump spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In, with all three leaders reaffirming their commitment to combat the North Korean threat.

“It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

President Moon told Trump during their call that North Korea’s missile technology seemed to have improved, a spokesman for the South Korean leader’s office said.

Trump, who was briefed on the missile while it was in flight, said it did not change his administration’s approach to North Korea, which has included new curbs to hurt trade between China and North Korea.

ALL OPTIONS

Washington has said repeatedly that all options, including military ones, are on the table in dealing with North Korea.

“Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Other than carrying out existing U.N. sanctions, “the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic” traveling to North Korea, Tillerson said in a statement.

The U.N. Security Council was scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the launch, which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned.

“This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and shows complete disregard for the united view of the international community,” his spokesman said in a statement.

North Korea will make an announcement at 0330 GMT, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing North Korean media which gave no further details.

U.S. EAST COAST IN RANGE?

An official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they presumed the missile was a Hwasong-14 – a two-stage ICBM North Korea tested twice in July.

Japanese officials said the missile flew for 53 minutes and broke up before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“If these numbers are correct, then if flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,000 km (8,100 miles) … Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States,” the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists said.

However, it was unclear how heavy a payload the missile was carrying, and it was uncertain if it could carry a large nuclear warhead that far, the nonprofit science advocacy group added.

Either way, experts believe North Korea will soon have the ability to threaten the continental United States, if it doesn’t already.

“We don’t have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies.

Minutes after the North fired the missile, South Korea’s military conducted a missile-firing test in response, the South Korean military said.

South Korea’s Moon said the launch had been anticipated and the government had been preparing for it. There was no choice but for countries to keep applying pressure and sanctions against North Korea, he added.

“The situation could get out of control if North Korea perfects its ICBM technology,” Moon said, according to the Blue House after a national security council meeting.

“North Korea shouldn’t miscalculate the situation and threaten South Korea with a nuclear weapon, which could elicit a possible pre-emptive strike by the United States.”

U.S. stocks briefly pared gains on the news but the S&P 500 index was up almost 1 percent at the close and Asian markets largely shrugged off the news.

After firing missiles at a rate of about two or three a month since April, North Korea paused its missile launches in September, following a missile it fired that passed over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island on Sept. 15 and far out into the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea has said its weapons programs are a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.

Last week, North Korea denounced Trump’s decision to relist it as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a “serious provocation and violent infringement.”

A U.S. government source said the U.S. assessment was the launch was the latest in a well-calculated and serious series of tests to develop and perfect North Korea missile systems rather than any response to Trump.

Trump has traded insults and threats with Kim and warned in September that the United States would have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies.

(Reporting by Christine Kim in Seoul, Linda Sieg, William Mallard, Timothy Kelly in Tokyo, Mark Hosenball, John Walcott, Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Yara Bayoumy, David Brunnstrom and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Grant McCool, Michael Perry & Simon Cameron-Moore)

http://news.trust.org/item/20171128192754-trq9s

Trump says North Korea missile launch ‘a situation that we will handle’

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States “will take care of” the North Korea issue after its latest missile launch, and that the basic U.S. approach to dealing with Pyongyang will not change.

Trump has tightened sanctions on North Korea and pressured China to do more to help rein in Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear ambitions. North Korea fired what the U.S. Pentagon said appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that landed close to Japan on Wednesday.

Trump said the missile launch did not change what he called the “very serious” U.S. approach, a week after he put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries that Washington says support terrorism.

“I will only tell you that we will take care of it… It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Republican congressional leaders at the White House.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was also at the meeting, said the ICBM launch was a higher trajectory than any test conducted thus far by North Korea and called it part of a research and development effort.

“It went higher frankly than any previous shots they have taken,” Mattis said.

He said South Korea retaliated by firing some pinpoint missiles into the water to show North Korea that the U.S. ally would not be rattled by Pyongyang’s launch.

North Korea has said its weapons program is a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Grant McCool)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-5126451/Trump-says-North-Korea-missile-launch-situation-handle.html#ixzz4zmdW5hXm

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