The Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos — Story 2: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Hits An All Time High — Videos — Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos — Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos —

President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech at MASSIVE Rally in Las Vegas, Nevada – September 20, 2018

Watch Live! Trump Rally in Las Vegas, NV!

Trump pushes for border wall funding during rally in Las Vegas

Trump goes one-on-one with Hannity at Las Vegas rally

‘He’s been there’: Trump stumps for vulnerable Sen. Heller

His own political fortunes intrinsically linked to his party holding control of Congress, President Donald Trump on Thursday offered full-throated support for the most vulnerable incumbent Republican senator, while unleashing a torrent of grievances against Democrats and the news media and claiming they are sabotaging his administration.

Trump, appearing at a boisterous rally in Las Vegas, defended his embattled Supreme Court justice nominee, touted the booming stock market, cited progress in talks with North Korea and pledged to build his long-promised border wall, while also making the pitch for Nevada to re-elect Sen. Dean Heller. The president noted that he and Heller – who once said he “vehemently” opposed Trump – did not always get along.

“We started out, we weren’t friends. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me!” said Trump to laughs. “But as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not we started to respect each other, than we started to like each other, then we started to love each other.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Ever since I won the election, he’s been there for us,” said Trump, who urged Heller’s re-election because the Republican majority in the Senate is so slim, 51-49, that the GOP would lose its advantage if “someone had a cold.” The president also bestowed one of his signature nicknames on Heller’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, dubbing her “Wacky Jacky.”

Heller returned the praise: “Mr. President, I think you just turned Nevada red today,” he said. Trump narrowly lost Nevada to Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite his deep ties to Las Vegas – he has a golden-hued hotel just off the famed Strip – and repeatedly campaigning in the state.

Trump in particular focused his pitch for Heller on the need to confirm more conservative judges, in particular his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose seat on the bench had been thrown into question by allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman while in high school more than 30 years ago.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

While negotiations continued over whether his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, would testify next week, Trump, who has taken pains not to criticize Ford in recent days, appeared to break from that strategy in a pre-rally interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on the convention center floor.

“I think it’s a very sad situation,” said Trump, asking: “Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago? … What’s going on?” While he said Ford should “have her say,” he made clear he was done waiting: “I don’t think you can delay it any longer. They’ve delayed it a week already.”

Trump remained on message at the rally. He did not utter a critical word about Ford, but defended Kavanaugh, saying he was “a great intellect” and “a great gentleman with an impeccable reputation.”

“We have to let it play out but I have to tell you, he is a fine, fine person,” Trump said of the Senate confirmation process. “I think everything is going to be just fine.”

There was one local topic Trump avoided. The Las Vegas rally was held three miles from the Mandalay Bay hotel where a gunman opened fire just over a year ago, killing 58 people and leaving 851 injured.

Trump made no mention of the shooting, though he assured Heller would vote in favor of the Second Amendment.

The rest of the rally was red meat for the crowd, which repeatedly roared its approval for the president but did not quite fill the room at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

As usual, Trump went after the media and many who attended the rally followed his lead. One man stood behind the president’s traveling press corps, repeatedly yelling the word “traitors” at the journalists.

At one point reading from a list of his administration’s accomplishments, Trump spent much of the rally focused on what advisers believe is his – and his party’s – best issue, the strong economy. He took credit for the stock market’s gains and the nation’s low unemployment rate and bragged about boosting the military, while accusing Democrats of doing their best to foster division and stall the growth.

“They are lousy politicians and their policies are terrible,” said Trump, in only his second rally as president in a state he lost two years ago, “but they are good at sticking together and resisting, that’s what they do. You see the signs ‘Resist, Resist.'”

With the chances of Republicans keeping control of the House of Representatives looking increasingly dismal, the White House has fixated on keeping the Senate as a bulwark against any Democratic effort to impeach and then remove Trump from office. Though the Senate midterm map favors Republicans, a few states, including Tennessee and perhaps Texas, could slip away from the GOP.

But no Republican-held seat is considered more endangered than the one in Nevada. The only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, Heller has been locked in a tight race in an increasingly blue-leaning state.

Though he fervently tried to wrap his arms around the president Thursday, Heller’s relationship with Trump has been tumultuous. Weeks before the 2016 election, Heller infamously said that he was “100 percent against Clinton, 99 percent against Trump,” a remark the president has not forgotten.

Heller drew the president’s ire a year ago when he held up Republican efforts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. But Trump saved Heller from a costly and damaging primary battle earlier this year by persuading a very conservative primary challenger, Danny Tarkanian, to drop out of the Senate race and instead seek a House seat.

Heller is now in a close race with Rosen, a first-term congresswoman who stands to benefit from a wave of Democratic and female activism fueled by opposition to Trump. And the senator, at times, has struggled to strike a balancing act of praising the president, who remains popular among Republicans, while distancing himself from Trump’s scandals and provocative positions.

“Eighty percent of what this president has done has been very, very good, very positive,” Heller told reporters last week. “The other 20 percent … he has a reality show. I get it. It’s a reality show.”

___

Associated Press writer Michelle Price contributed to this report. Colvin reported from Washington.

___

This story has been corrected to show the Senate is divided 51-49, not 50-49.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he arrives at McCarran International Airport for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Story 2: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Hits An All Time High — Videos —

See the source image

Markets soar to new records under Trump

Nightly Business Report – September 20, 2018

Dow Jones And S&P Rally For New Record Highs

What Do “Points” On The Dow And S&P 500 Actually Mean?

Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs as bull shrugs off trade worries

Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos

Report: Google working on a censored search engine for China

Google employees revolt against China project

Could the Internet Split in Two?

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split: American vs. Chinese

Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka

 

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two  — and one part will be led by China

  • Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade.
  • Under Sundar Pichai’s leadership, Google has explored the potential to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, stirring up controversy internally and outside the company.

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

n recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

Former Google CEO claims internet will split between U.S. & China  

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

What's next for Schmidt?

What’s next for Google’s Eric Schmidt? Sree Sreenivasan weighs in  

In recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

A business development leader with Facebook, Ime Archebong, asked Schmidt if large tech companies are doing enough good in the world.

Schmidt replied: “The judge of this is others, not us. Self-referential conversations about ‘Do I feel good about what I’m doing?’ are not very helpful. The judge is outside.”

At several points in the private discussion, Schmidt urged entrepreneurs to build products and services that are not merely addictive, but valuable. He also said not enough companies “measure the right things.” Too many focus on short-term revenue growth and satisfying shareholders, rather than what’s best for their users, society and the long-term health of their companies.

Schmidt was the CEO of Google from 2001, when he took over from co-founder Larry Page, through 2011, when Page reclaimed the reins. He remained as executive chairman of Google and then Alphabet until earlier this year.

Correction: Eric Schmidt did not specify a date by which he believed the internet would bifurcate. He was responding to a question from Tyler Cowen which specified “in the next 10 to 15 years.”

GOOGLE BOSSES HAVE forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained “pixel trackers” that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined.

The Dragonfly memo reveals that a prototype of the censored search engine was being developed as an app for both Android and iOS devices, and would force users to sign in so they could use the service. The memo confirms, as The Intercept first reported last week, that users’ searches would be associated with their personal phone number. The memo adds that Chinese users’ movements would also be stored, along with the IP address of their device and links they clicked on. It accuses developers working on the project of creating “spying tools” for the Chinese government to monitor its citizens.

People’s search histories, location information, and other private data would be sent out of China to a database in Taiwan, the memo states. But the data would also be provided to employees of a Chinese company who would be granted “unilateral access” to the system.

To launch the censored search engine, Google set up a “joint venture” partnership with an unnamed Chinese company. The search engine will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to documents seen by The Intercept. Blacklisted search terms on a prototype of the search engine include “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin, said sources familiar with the project.

According to the memo, aside from being able to access users’ search data, the Chinese partner company could add to the censorship blacklists: It would be able to “selectively edit search result pages … unilaterally, and with few controls seemingly in place.”

That a Chinese company would maintain a copy of users’ search data means that, by extension, the data would be accessible to Chinese authorities, who have broad powers to obtain information that is held or processed on the country’s mainland. A central concern human rights groups have expressed about Dragonfly is that it could place users at risk of Chinese government surveillance — and any person in China searching for blacklisted words or phrases could find themselves interrogated or detained. Chinese authorities are well-known for routinely targeting critics, activists, and journalists.

“It’s alarming to hear that such information will be stored and, potentially, easily shared with the Chinese authorities,” said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based researcher with the human rights group Amnesty International. “It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk. Google needs to immediately explain if the app will involve such arrangements. It’s time to give the public full transparency of the project.”

ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory.” However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a “launch-ready state” to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.

“It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk.”

The memo raises new questions about Pichai’s claim that the project was not well-developed. Information stored on the company’s internal networks about Dragonfly “paints a very different picture,” it says. “The statement from our high-level leadership that Dragonfly is just an experiment seems wrong.”

The memo identifies at least 215 employees who appear to have been tasked with working full-time on Dragonfly, a number it says is “larger than many Google projects.” It says that source code associated with the project dates back to May 2017, and “many infrastructure parts predate” that. Moreover, screenshots of the app “show a project in a pretty advanced state,” the memo declares.

Most of the details about the project “have been secret from the start,” the memo says, adding that “after the existence of Dragonfly leaked, engineers working on the project were also quick to hide all of their code.”

The author of the memo said in the document that they were opposed to the China censorship. However, they added, “more than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

The memo was first posted September 5 on an internal messaging list set up for Google employees to raise ethical concerns. But the memo was soon scrubbed from the list and individuals who had opened or saved the document were contacted by Google’s human resources department to discuss the matter. The employees were instructed not to share the memo.

Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as “stopleaks,” which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions.

“More than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

Internal security efforts at Google have ramped up this year as employees have raised ethical concerns around a range of new company projects. Following the revelation by Gizmodoand The Intercept that Google had quietly begun work on a contract with the military last year, known as Project Maven, to develop automated image recognition systems for drone warfare, the communications team moved swiftly to monitor employee activity.

The “stopleaks” team, which coordinates with the internal Google communications department, even began monitoring an internal image board used to post messages based on internet memes, according to one former Google employee, for signs of employee sentiment around the Project Maven contract.

Google’s internal security team consists of a number of former military and law enforcement officials. For example, LinkedIn lists as Google’s head of global investigations Joseph Vincent, whose resume includes work as a high-ranking agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. The head of security at Google is Chris Rackow, who has described himself as a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hostage rescue team and as a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

For some Google employees, the culture of secrecy at the company clashes directly with the its public image around fostering transparency, creating an intolerable work environment.

“Leadership misled engineers working on [Dragonfly] about the nature of their work, depriving them of moral agency,” said a Google employee who read the memo.

Google did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/google-suppresses-memo-revealing-plans-to-closely-track-search-users-in-china/

Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

Facebook and Google Attempting to End California Privacy Laws

California lawmakers pass data privacy bill

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls for national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

The tech industry and consumer groups are gearing up for a fight as lawmakers begin considering whether to draft a national privacy law.

The push to get Congress to enact federal privacy standards is gaining new urgency after California passed what is seen as the nation’s toughest privacy law this June. The measure forces businesses to be more transparent about what they do with consumer data and gives users unprecedented control over their personal information.

But the California law has sparked worries within the tech industry, which fears having to comply with a patchwork of varying state regulations.

Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.

Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.

“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”

“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.

Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.

Consumer groups are concerned that only industry voices will be heard at the hearing and that internet companies will have an outsized role in shaping the legislation. They are now demanding a seat at the table.

On Wednesday, a coalition of public interest groups including the CDD, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center sent a letter to Thune asking him to ensure that consumers have a voice in the process.

“While we have no objection to the participation of business groups in Senate hearings on consumer privacy, the Senate’s first instinct should be to hear from the American public on these important issues,” the letter reads.

Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the committee, told The Hill in an email that the panel will hold more hearings on the issue.

“For the first hearing, the committee is bringing in companies most consumers recognize to make the discussion about privacy more relatable,” Hill said. “We expect there will be opportunities for other voices at future hearings on the subject.”

A source familiar with the committee’s plans told The Hill that it could hold a hearing for privacy advocates to testify in the coming weeks.

The stakes are high for all sides in the privacy debate after a year which saw Facebook rocked by a massive data scandal.

The company disclosed earlier this year that a data firm had accessed the personal data of over 80 million Facebook users. The revelation sparked a firestorm that saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in a pair of marathon hearings to address lawmakers’ concerns.

Overseas, Europe has already passed its own tough privacy law, which took effect this year.

Whether Congress can actually get behind a national privacy framework, though, is an open question. Lawmakers have tried before, unsuccessfully.

In 2012, the Obama White House unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” that it hoped to enact into law. The debate dragged on for several years and the process was eventually derailed by contentious disagreements between business and consumer groups.

As Congress gears up to try again, industry groups in recent weeks have been pushing wish lists for what they hope to see in a federal privacy framework. Lobbying groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the Internet Association and BSA | The Software Alliance have all released their own sets of privacy principles.

The industry proposals include calls for codifying transparency rules that require businesses to disclose their collection practices and giving consumers the right to request copies of their data and request that some data be deleted.

Shaundra Watson, BSA’s policy director, said the group’s privacy principles were not a response to the new California law but the result of a discussion among their members, including companies like Apple and Microsoft, of how to codify the consumer protections they already offer.

“Our companies really are responsible for personal data, and so they not only want to continue to embrace those practices but look more broadly to see what protections should be in place across the board and concluded the best way to do that is a [federal] law,” Watson told The Hill.

But privacy advocates remain skeptical. After a series of data scandals, many tech critics believe that any effective privacy framework needs to restrict the data collection practices that companies like Facebook and Google rely on as a business model.

Chester, who says public interest groups are banding together to come up with their own legislative principles, believes the frameworks being pushed by industry lobbyists don’t go far enough.

“What has to happen is the basic business practices have to change,” he said. “We believe there need to be restrictions on how these companies engage in data collection.

“These so-called principles are really principles to undermine privacy, not to protect it,” he said.

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/407528-fight-looms-over-national-privacy-law

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

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

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

Wall Street 'Charging Bull' statue

Current bull market sets record for longest ever

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

Major averages end mixed as bull market becomes longest in history

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

Record number of 401(K) millionaires

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

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

By Eshe NelsonAugust 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Market has ability to ignore news around president, says pro

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

Trump lays into the Federal Reserve for raising rates

Trump: I disagree with the Fed raising interest rates

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

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

David Stockman Blame the Fed. for USA Trade Deficit

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

 

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

See the source image

Ten Experts On When The Next Recession May Hit | CNBC

Corporate debt could cause the next recession: Expert

The Rapid Growth of Global Corporate Debt

Michael Pillsbury

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

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

 

Career

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

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

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

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

Pillsbury played a role in three Presidential actions:

US–China military and intelligence ties

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

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

Stingers for Afghanistan decision

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

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

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

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

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

Studies of China and the Pentagon’s annual report

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

Criticism

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

VOA commentator

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

Government positions

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

Affiliations

Published works

Books

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

Reports and articles

US China Commission Congressional Reports[edit]

House and Senate testimonies

Journal articles

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

RAND Corporation reports

Some of these are available online:[19]

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

References

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

Further reading

External links

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018, Story 1: Stopping A Nuclear Arms Race in Far East and Middle East By Starting The Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in The Korean Peninsula — Trump and Kim Momentous Beginning In Stopping Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorist Nuclear Attacks  — Videos — Story 2: U.S. Maximum Pressure on China’s Unfair Trade Barriers, Subsidies and Tariffs and Chinese Communist Maximum Pressure on North Korea To Dismantle Nuclear Weapons and Missiles — Videos

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Story 1: Stopping A Nuclear Arms Race in Far East and Middle East By Starting The Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in The Korean Peninsula — Trump and Kim Momentous Beginning In Stopping Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorist Nuclear Attack  — Videos

I’ve studied nuclear war for 35 years — you should be worried. | Brian Toon | TEDxMileHigh

Trump: We want to denuclearize the entire peninsula

Trump: Sometimes I felt foolish for North Korea rhetoric

Woolsey: Trump keeps the North Koreans off balance

Ingraham: Pride, bitterness, refusal to give peace a chance

What does “denuclearization” mean?

Gen. Jack Keane on Kim Jong Un’s denuclearization promise

Tucker Carlson Tonight 6.12 .2018 | Tucker Carlson Fox News June 12, 2018 Breaking News

Breaking down the fallout from the Trump-Kim summit

Trump Leaves Singapore After Summit with Kim

The historic Trump-Kim Singapore summit, in about 2 minutes

President Donald Trump Holds Press Conference After Historic Summit With Kim Jong Un | TIME

South Koreans weigh in on the Trump-Kim summit

Trump celebrates historic summit with NoKo’s Kim Jong Un

Trump celebrates historic summit with NoKo’s Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un commits to ‘complete denuclearization’

Gorka: Singapore summit went beyond all expectations

Trump and Kim hold surprise document signing during summit

Hannity: Obvious that White House felt good after Kim meeting

Hannity: Trump’s peace through strength strategy works

Dr. Sue Mi Terry on Trump, Kim signing historic document

Lt. Col. Davis: Great play by Trump to suspend SoKo drills

Amb. Vershbow: Summit won’t advance denuclearization process

Tara Maller on the problems with the Trump-Kim agreement

‘I do trust him’: Trump reflects on Kim meeting

Ben Shapiro criticizes Trump’s praise of Kim Jong Un

2018 United States–North Korea Singapore Summit: History Made, World Focus and Media Reaction

Gen. Keane: Summit is getting off on the right foot

Kurtz: The hypocrisy in the Trump-Kim coverage

Steyn: Kim-Trump meeting is ‘upside down summit’

This Video Will Change Your Perception of North Korea

Trump arrives in Singapore for summit with North Korea

What to know about North Korea and its weapons programs

With the Trump-Kim summit about to get underway in Singapore here is what we know about the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs.

Who is in charge of North Korea’s military?
Kim Jong Un is the 33-year-old “Supreme Leader” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea. He is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He inherited his position as North Korea’s leader following the death of his father Kim Jong Il in December 2011. North Korea is the world’s only hereditary communist dictatorship: Kim Jong Un’s grandfather was the founder of North Korea.

How large is North Korea’s military?
The Pentagon estimates that North Korea’s army has more than 1 million soldiers, making it the fourth largest army in the world. Some 4 to 5 percent of North Korea’s 24 million people serve on active military duty and another 25 to 30 percent of the population serve in some reserve military capacity.

What is the DMZ?
DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone that divides North Korea and South Korea. The 2.5-mile-wide DMZ stretches for 160 miles along the Korean Peninsula and is a buffer zone created by the 1953 Armistice that halted the Korean War. While the zone itself is demilitarized, the areas beyond it on both sides of the border are some of the most militarized in the world. Panmunjom is the Joint Security Area where occasional meetings are held by representatives of North Korea and the United Nations Command.

Is the North Korean military a threat?
Most of North Korea’s military equipment dates to the Cold War-era and was obtained from the Soviet Union and China. But the large size of its military poses a continual standing threat to South Korea, since 70 percent of its ground forces half its air and navy forces are stationed within 60 miles of the DMZ. And North Korea has been working for the last decade to develop a nuclear weapons program and long-range ballistic missile program.

What is a ballistic missile?
A ballistic missile uses propulsion to launch it into an upward trajectory and then it falls to the earth on its own toward a target using gravity. The use of ballistic to describe these missiles comes from the physics term “ballistic trajectory” that describes the boosted launch and fall to earth by gravity.

What does ICBM stand for?
ICBM stands for intercontinental ballistic missile, a guided missile capable of traveling more than 3,418 miles to deliver a nuclear warhead. ICBMs are usually multi-stage rockets used to boost a payload into a sub-orbital trajectory. At that point, the nuclear warhead inside the payload would re-enter the atmosphere using a guidance system to strike its intended target.

Does North Korea have an ICBM?
Yes. In 2017 North Korea conducted three ICBM tests, the first time they had demonstrated that long range missile capability. The first two tests on July 4 and July 28 were carried out using a new two-stage missile similar to the KN-17 missile that had achieved a high altitude when tested in mid-May. prior to these launches there had been little indication that nation was close to testing this type of missile. The third missile test in November was with a new larger type of ICBM that North Korea called the Hwasong 15. That missile reached an altitude of 2,800 miles, the highest missile test to date, and traveled for 50 minutes, the longest duration flight ever conducted by North Korea.

How many missiles does North Korea possess?
The Pentagon estimates that North Korea has about 200 launchers that can be used to fire short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. It estimates North Korea has fewer than 100 launchers for various versions of the SCUD missile that can travel from 200 to 600 miles. And fewer than 50 launchers for its medium-range No Dong missile that can travel 800 miles. The Pentagon estimates North Korea also has fewer than 50 launchers for intermediate range missiles like the Musudan and KN-11 that can travel up to 2,000 miles.

Can North Korean missiles reach the United States?
Yes. According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea’s recently tested ICBM can traveled 2,800 miles into space. Experts fear that if they angled the trajectory of that missile, it could potentially travel as far as Washington, D.C., or New York.

Why are North Korea’s missile launches a provocation?
Over the past decade North Korea has continued to conduct missile tests and launches in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions barring it from conducting a ballistic missile program.

Does North Korea have nuclear weapons?
Yes. North Korea has a small arsenal of small nuclear weapons as proven by its six nuclear tests. As of last summer, U.S. intelligence believes that North Korea has enough nuclear fissile material for as many as 60 nuclear weapons based on the amount of enriched uranium and separated plutonium it possesses.

Does North Korea have miniaturized nuclear warheads?
No, but it is working toward its stated goal of placing a nuclear warhead small enough to be placed atop an ICBM that could target the United States. In September, 2017 North Korea conducted it’s largest underground nuclear test to date that it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. U.S. intelligence later confirmed that was likely the case.

Where are the closest American troops?
There are 28,500 American troops permanently stationed in South Korea as part of the U.S. security commitment to South Korea after the Korean War. There are there also 54,000 American troops in Japan, the largest number of American forces in Japan are stationed on the island of Okinawa.

What other countries in the region have nuclear weapons?
North Korea is bordered by Russia and China, both which have nuclear weapons arsenals. Russia currently has 1,796 nuclear warheads, a legacy from the Soviet Union’s Cold War arsenal. China does not make available information about its nuclear weapons program, but various think tanks estimate it has 260 nuclear warheads. The Pentagon believes China has between 75 and 100 nuclear-capable ICBMs.

Can the United States defend against a North Korean missile attack?
The United States has a layered missile defense system designed to track and intercept a missile launch from North Korea. It includes missile interceptors aboard Navy ships in the Pacific and large ground-based interceptors located in Alaska and California. However, the viability of the large interceptors has been routinely questioned since they became operational nearly a decade ago. In late May, the Missile Defense Agency successfully tested an interceptor that targeted an ICBM test missile fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific.

What is THAAD?
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is a missile defense shield designed to intercept short and medium range missiles. In April, the United States deployed THAAD to South Korea for the first time, a long-planned move agreed to last summer after a series of North Korean missile tests. The United States has also placed the THAAD system in Guam, which could be the maximum reach for some of North Korea’s long-range missiles.

ABC News’ Jack Arnholz and Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/north-korea-weapons-programs/story?id=45971921

BAN THE BOMB 

What nuclear weapons does North Korea have and has Kim Jong-un agreed to ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’?

In a joint text issued by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader had committed to a ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’

KIM Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, had previously threatened to launch nuclear strikes on the West and its allies but has now committed to a denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula after the Singapore summit

The North Korean dictator had accelerated the country’s nuclear weapons programme under his rule but he has now met with US President Donald Trump and agreed to the removal of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula.

 A North Korea test launch of a Hwasong-12 missile

REUTERS
6
A North Korea test launch of a Hwasong-12 missile

What is the latest on the nuclear situation in North Korea?

On April 21, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the reclusive nation is suspending long-range nuclear missile tests and shutting its test site.

At the Singapore summit on June 11 between Trump and Kim the two leaders agreed to start the denuclearisation “very quickly”.

Trump said the meeting had gone “better than anyone could have expected”.

He told reporters: “It is a tremendous honour, and I have no doubt we will have a terrific relationship.”

Kim said: “The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we’ve overcome all of them, and we are here today”, to which Trump replied “that’s true”.

Kim added: “There were moments when we covered our ears and eyes, but we have overcome them to arrive here.”

After a working lunch, the two leaders signed an unspecified agreement, with Trump promising they would start the denuclearisation process “very, very quickly”.

“We are going to sign this historic agreement,” says Kim. “The world will see a major change.”

In the agreement, Kim committed to “complete denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula”.

 Satellite images show activity at a North Korea nuke site

PLANET/ QUARTZ
6
Satellite images show activity at a North Korea nuke site

What nuclear weapons does North Korea have?

In July 2017, North Korea successfully launched the country’s first inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), which had the capability of reaching US territory.

The Pentagon, the US military headquarters, believes North Korea has around 200 missile launchers across the country, which can be used to fire short and medium-range missiles.

The most likely target of such a missile launch would be South Korea, Japan, Australia and possibly US territories in the Pacific Ocean.

Revised estimates suggest the total number of missiles the rogue state has is believed to be between 13 and 21.

And the regime is estimated to have at least four nuclear warheads.

Satellite images of Jong-un’s main missile test site in August 2017 revealed North Korea’s weapons were more powerful than initially thought.

On November 28, 2017, North Korea launched ICBM Hwasong-15 – which is a new nuclear missile capable of hitting anywhere on the planet.

 Trump and Kim have agreed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
6
Trump and Kim have agreed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

READ MORE: Could World War 3 happen? How North Korea and Kim Jong-un could cause a nuclear apocalypse


Why have tensions between North Korea and the US escalated?

Here’s how the relationship between the US President and North Korean leader has changed since the beginning of 2017:

2018

2017

 North Korea parades nukes through the street at parades marking 105 years since the state’s founder Kim Il-sung was born

AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
6
North Korea parades nukes through the street at parades marking 105 years since the state’s founder Kim Il-sung was born

Could North Korea launch a nuclear strike on the UK?

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said North Korea’s missiles can “threaten everywhere in the world”.

The pariah state claimed a nuclear test in September 2017 – its most powerful yet – was a sophisticated 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb small enough to be carried on a missile.

The regime has successfully tested two Hwasong-14 long-range rockets over the Pacific Ocean causing significant concern for Japan – a crucial American ally.

The intercontinental ballistic missile is said to have a potential range of more than 10,000 kilometres or 6,200 miles.

If that were true, London would fall within its strike zone. The UK capital is 5,388 miles from Pyongyang.

100 kiloton H-bomb blast on central London would dwarf the US nukes dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Experts say 130,000 people would be killed instantly and all brick and concrete buildings within a mile of the epicentre would be destroyed.

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon had previously warned that Britain is at risk from North Korea’s long-range nuclear missile programme as some cities are closer than American targets.

 Relations are improving between the North and South

REUTERS
6
Relations are improving between the North and Southhttps://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2497570/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-kim-jong-un-denuclearisation-trump-singapore/

Trump and Kim Jong-un sign ‘historic document’: What the joint statement says in full

  • The statement was signed by the two leaders after they met in Singapore 
  • In the document President Trump gave security guarantees to North Korea
  • Kim Jong-un committed to ‘complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’

After their historic meeting in SingaporeDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a ‘historic document’. 

In the statement, the US president committed to ‘provide security guarantees’ to North Korean while Kim Jong-un declared his ‘unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’. 

Reaction to the joint statement was greeted with cheers by people in South Korea watching the events unfold.

China, North Korea’s backer, said the two nations were ‘creating a new history’.

Here is the full text of the statement the two leaders issued:

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump sign the statement after their meeting in Singapore 

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump sign the statement after their meeting in Singapore

Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

President Trump shows off a signed copy of the statement with his and Kim Jong-un's signatures on the bottom

President Trump shows off a signed copy of the statement with his and Kim Jong-un’s signatures on the bottom

Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit – the first in history – was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in the joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

DONALD J. TRUMP President of the United States of America

KIM JONG UN Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 12, 2018 Sentosa Island Singapore

How the world reacted to the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The meeting and the joint statement issued by the two adversaries, who until recently were trading insults, has been warming welcomed around the world.

South Koreans watching on television at train stations and other public places broke out into applause while a one-page extra edition of a Japanese newspaper was snapped up commuters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: ‘Hopes for peace on the long-divided Korean Peninsula, however, remain tempered by the many failed attempts in the past.

‘The United States and North Korea have been in a state of antagonism for more than half a century.

South Koreans watching the summit on television begin clapping as they watch the meeting of the two leaders in Singapore 

South Koreans watching the summit on television begin clapping as they watch the meeting of the two leaders in Singapore

‘Today, that the two countries’ highest leaders can sit together and have equal talks, has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history.’

An editorial in the official English-language China Daily emphasized China’s role in bringing Trump and Kim together. It called on them to maintain the positive momentum.

‘This would not only reward all those who have spared no efforts in their attempts to make their meeting a reality, it would also enable both to hail it as a success,’ the editorial read.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says his country will reopen its embassy in Pyongyang.

The two countries were embroiled in a diplomatic row after the killing of Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half brother, in 2017.

At a train station in Seoul, the South Korean capital, people cheered and applauded as televisions screens broadcast the Trump-Kim handshake live.

Japan’s largest newspaper, the Yomiuri, printed a special edition in both Japanese and English that was distributed for free in major cities 90 minutes after the meeting began.

World reaction to the meeting of Trump and Kim has been warm, with China emphasising its role in bringing then together

Passers-by outside a Tokyo train station snapped up 500 copies in a flash, excited to have a souvenir of the historic event.

They generally welcomed the meeting as a good first step but wondered if any progress would be made on the fate of Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

‘My biggest concern is the abduction issue, then the nuclear and missile,’ said 70-year-old retiree Tomoaki Kenmotsu.

‘I have no idea how much the abduction issue is being taken up at the summit, but I hope it will be a good start for that issue too.’

The hard work remains to come, said Momoko Shimada, a 20-year-old student: ‘After the handshake and political show will be the real action. I believe that won’t be easy.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5833839/Trump-Kim-Jong-sign-historic-document-joint-statement-says-full.html

‘We’re ready to write a new chapter between our two nations’: Trump declares victory, boasting that he TRUSTS Kim Jong-un and persuaded him to sign a ‘very comprehensive’ agreement for ‘complete denuclearization’ after nearly 5 HOURS of meetings

  • Donald Trump told reporters in Singapore that he expects Kim Jong-un to uphold his part of a landmark agreement that requires him to destroy his entire nuclear weapons and missile programs
  • Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser
  • Sanctions relief also depends on Kim’s follow-through on denuclearization
  • ‘Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,’ Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations
  • Trump said joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will end and called them ‘provocative’ to the North, but hs spun that decision as an economic one, not as a negotiated concession
  • The press conference began with the playing of a video, first in Korean and then in English, that Trump said his delegation showed Kim on an iPad to encourage him to choose the right path 
  • Trump said he spotted inviting-looking beaches in the footage, and said: ‘Look at that beach, wouldn’t that make a great condo? … Think of it from a real estate perspective!’ 
  • Trump called Kim’s stockpile ‘a very substantial arsenal’ but predicted he would be tearing it up
  • He said ‘we’re much further along than I would have thought,’ and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House
  • In an interview taped before the summit, Trump told ABC News of his North Korean adversary that ‘I think he trusts me, and I trust him’

 

Trump, Kim claim big summit success, but details are scant

Claiming success at their whirlwind summit, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Singapore Tuesday, praising their face-to-face progress toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. Yet Trump faced pointed questions at home about whether he got little and gave away much — including an agreement to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea.

Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim had come together for an unprecedented U.S.-North Korea meeting that seemed unthinkable months earlier when the two nations traded insults and nuclear threats. The gathering of the two unpredictable leaders marked a striking gamble by the American president to grant Kim long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North’s nuclear program.

Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks, with Trump thanking Kim afterward “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” Kim, for his part, said the leaders had “decided to leave the past behind” and promised: “The world will see a major change.”

Soon, Kim was on a plane headed home, while a clearly ebullient Trump held forth for more than an hour before the press on what he styled as a historic achievement to avert the prospect of nuclear war. Along the way, Trump tossed out pronouncements on U.S. alliances, human rights, and the nature of the accord that he and Kim had signed.

Then he was off to Guam on the way back to the U.S.

The details of how and when the North would denuclearize appear yet to be determined, as are the nature of the unspecified “protections” Trump is pledging to Kim and his government.

During his press conference, Trump acknowledged that denuclearization won’t happen overnight. But he contended, “Once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over,” an analysis that has proven faulty in the past despite inspection efforts.

Light on specifics, the Singapore accord largely amounts to an agreement to continue discussions, echoing previous public statements and commitments. It does not, for instance, include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the U.S. and North Korea.

Nor does it include a striking concession by Trump, who told reporters he would freeze U.S. military “war games” with ally South Korea while negotiations between the U.S. and the North continue. Trump cast that decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises “inappropriate” while talks continue. North Korea has long objected to the drills as a security threat.

It was unclear whether South Korea was aware of Trump’s decision before he announced it publicly. U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement Tuesday it was unaware of any policy change. Trump phoned South Korean President Moon Jae-in after leaving Singapore to brief him on the discussions.

Trump also said he’d obtained a separate concession from Kim to demolish a missile engine testing site, though it was just one site of many connected to the nuclear program.

As Trump took a victory lap on the world stage, experts and allies struggled to account for what Trump and Kim had agreed to — and whether this agreement could actually be the first of its kind not to be broken by the North Koreans.

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade international inspections. Trump insisted that strong verification of denuclearization would be included in a final agreement, saying it was a detail his team would begin sorting out with the North Koreans next week.

The agreement’s language on North Korea’s nuclear program was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April. Trump and Kim referred back to the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, which contained a weak commitment to denuclearization but no specifics on how to achieve it.

Between handshakes, a White House invitation, and even an impromptu tour of “The Beast,” the famed U.S. presidential limousine known for its high-tech fortifications, Trump sought to build a personal connection with Kim and said they have a “very good” relationship.

The U.S. president brushed off questions about his public embrace of the autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades. He added that Otto Warmbier, an American who died last year just days after his release from imprisonment in North Korea, “did not die in vain” because his death helped bring about the nuclear talks.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s historic face-to-face with Kim, Trump has appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader accused by the U.S. of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners.

In their joint statement, the two leaders promised to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula. Trump has dangled the prospect of economic investment in the North as a sweetener for giving up its nuclear weapons. The longtime property developer-turned-politician later mused about the potential value of condos on the country’s beachfront real estate.

The formal document-signing, which also included an agreement to work to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the Korean War, followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort.

Ahead of the meeting Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But in the hours before the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore earlier than expected — Tuesday evening — raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a “science fiction movie.”

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders’ handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage.

“It’s a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now — if nothing else — has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent,” said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington.

Trump responded that he embracing diplomacy with Kim in hopes of saving as many as 30 million lives.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions for years as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Pompeo held firm to Trump’s position that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea denuclearizes — and said they would even increase if diplomatic discussions did not progress positively.

https://apnews.com/2d80cb7d512c49978e69853a7daa4d5c/Trump,-Kim-claim-big-summit-success,-but-details-are-scant

Trump and Kim agree to more talks but fail to produce nuclear disarmament plan

Trump and Kim agree to more talks but fail to produce nuclear disarmament plan
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump sign an agreement resulting from their historic June 12 summit on Sentosa island in Singapore. (Handout / Getty Images)

President Trump wrapped up his improbable summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, vowing to “start a new history” with the nuclear-armed nation after signing a vaguely worded agreement that contained no concrete plan for disarmament.

Later, at a 65-minute news conference, Trump said he had agreed to North Korea’s longtime demands to stop joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea. The war games have been a mainstay of the U.S. alliance with Seoul for decades.

Trump said halting the drills would save “a lot of money” and he called them “provocative,” the complaint North Korea often made. He also said he hopes eventually to withdraw the 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, although not as part of the current agreement with Kim.

In only the second full solo news conference of his presidency, Trump said he had been awake for 25 hours — he turns 72 on Thursday — but that he was bullish about his day of diplomacy with the young autocrat from Pyongyang.

He lavished praise on Kim as a “great talent,” denied concerns about treating him as an equal and painted a rosy picture of North Korea’s potential future — one laid out in a bizarre, propaganda-style video that the White House had prepared for the North Korean leader.

Asked why he trusted a ruler who had murdered family members and jailed thousands of political prisoners, Trump lauded Kim for taking over the regime at age 26, when his father died in 2011, and being “able to run it, and run it tough.”

While Trump repeatedly portrayed his two-page agreement with Kim as “comprehensive,” it contained little new except a commitment by both sides to continue diplomatic engagement, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leading the U.S. side in future talks.
That is no small achievement considering that the two leaders were threatening each other with nuclear war last summer. But it was far less than the ambitious arms control deal Trump hoped to gain when he agreed to the summit in March.
The document instead reiterated the same vague North Korean commitment to denuclearize that Kim made after he met South Korea’s president in April, but it offered no specifics of how or when any disarmament might take place.
“We will do it as fast as it can mechanically and physically be done,” Trump said, adding it would “take a long time” to wind down the nuclear weapons program. Until recently, Trump had demanded Pyongyang quickly dismantle its vast nuclear infrastructure.
A person familiar with the working-level talks that set the final stage for Tuesday’s summit said the U.S. team had pushed for a commitment from Kim to denuclearize by 2020, when the next U.S. presidential election will be underway.
North Korea’s representatives balked at the demand for a deadline, the person said.
The signed agreement, which was released by the White House, says North Korea will “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” It does not offer the pledge of “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” that Pompeo had insisted was the U.S. objective.
A verifiable and permanent disarmament agreement would require North Korea to let international inspectors in to collect records, monitor sites and ensure it does not cheat. Pyongyang expelled United Nations nuclear inspectors nearly a decade ago and Tuesday’s agreement does not mention bringing them back.
The agreement was weaker than the pledge North Korea made in 2005, during an ultimately unsuccessful bout of nuclear diplomacy, when it committed itself to “abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”
The regime instead tested its first nuclear device the following year. It has conducted five underground tests since then, most recently in September. It is believed to have assembled at least two dozen warheads.
In a largely symbolic U.S. gain, North Korea committed itself to the “immediate repatriation” of any remains it had identified of U.S. soldiers and prisoners of war from the Korean War, which ended 65 years ago. Trump said families had implored him for help on that painful issue.
Tuesday’s agreement does not mention North Korea’s gruesome record of human rights abuses, including a vast internal gulag of prison camps. Asked if he had raised the problem with Kim, Trump said they had discussed it “relatively briefly” because their talks chiefly focused on nuclear weapons.
He suggested that human rights in North Korea, which the U.N. has accused of “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations,” did not differ greatly from other nations.
“I believe it’s a rough situation over there, there’s no question about it,” he said. “It’s rough in a lot of places by the way.”

But Trump suggested that negative publicity about the death last year of Otto Warmbier, a college student from Ohio who was returned home in a coma from a North Korean prison, had helped pave the way for the diplomatic thaw.

“Otto did not die in vain,” Trump said. “He had a lot to do with us being here today.”

Trump denied that he was lending legitimacy to the oppressive leader of a long-marginalized regime by standing shoulder to shoulder with him. He said sitting at the table with Kim wasn’t a concession.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to make the world a safer place,” he said. “All I can say is they want to make a deal. That’s what I do. My whole life has been deals I’m great at it.”

In Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in heralded the agreement, saying, “It will be recorded as a historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on Earth.”

Moon’s statement did not address Trump’s decision to cancel joint military exercises, a crucial part of the close military alliance that emerged from the 1950-’53 Korean War. The exercises involve life-fire drills, bomber flyovers, computer simulations and other operations.

It was not clear if Trump had told Moon of his decision. A defense ministry spokesman said officials were still seeking the “exact meaning and intention” about the exercises, South Korean media reported.

Independent analysts praised the continued diplomacy with North Korea but most found little to like in the agreement and Trump’s concession on military exercises.

“It doesn’t say anything,” Joseph Yun, a former senior U.S. diplomat and special representative for North Korea policy, said on CNN.

Olivia Enos, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, said the decision to suspend military exercises was “concerning” because they help project U.S. strength in the region.

“The joint military exercises … is about more than just countering the North Korean threat,” she said.

Ellen Tauscher, a former member of Congress from California who served as undersecretary of State for arms control in the Obama administration, tweeted that Trump was “conned” by Kim.

“China has to be thrilled with Kim’s haul in Singapore,” Tauscher said. She said Trump had agreed to end valuable military exercises in exchange “for promises by a lying despot of ‘denuclearization’ in [a] bilateral, unverifiable agreement.”

Abraham M. Denmark, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, said Trump gave up the exercises “for little new and nothing in return.”

“Kim got a huge propaganda win and a metric ton of legitimacy,” he said on Twitter. “The silver lining is that dialogue will continue, and where there is diplomacy there is hope.”

Others also expressed hope. Nuclear disarmament “can and will come, if we focus on transforming a relationship that has been deeply hostile, unremittingly hostile,” said John Delury, an associate professor at Yonsei University in Seoul and an expert on the Koreas and China.

To convince Kim to eventually give up his nuclear weapons, Trump said he played for him on an iPad a U.S. government-produced video that looked like a Hollywood movie trailer about an action hero.

“When a man is presented with a chance that may never be repeated, what will he choose?” a narrator said in the video, which was played at the press conference. “The world will be watching, listening, anticipating, hoping. Will this leader choose to advance his country … be the hero of his people?”

7:15 a.m.: This article was updated with quotes from analysts.

3:50 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the news conference.

3:34 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the news conference.

This article was originally published at 2:02 a.m.

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-trump-summit-react-20180612-story.html

Today’s Nuclear North Korea Is Yesterday’s China: Lessons From History

North Korea’s recent successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests have put Pyongyang on the cusp of having the means to credibly threaten the continental United States with a nuclear strike. The Trump administration has vowed to “not allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path” but so far has not put forth specific new policies to stop Pyongyang. Since the latest test, several senior administration officials have stepped up their rhetoric, labeling the DPRK as the most urgent threat facing the United States and stating that it is “unimaginable” to allow North Korea to have the capability to attack the U.S. mainland.

As U.S. policymakers ponder how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, it is important to remember that we are not in uncharted territory. The United States found itself in a similar situation more than 50 years ago, when faced with the prospect of Maoist China going nuclear. Then as now, experts questioned if rational decision makers were behind the nuclear controls of a reclusive communist state and military options — no matter how risky — were seriously considered. Despite initially having great fears about the prospect of a nuclear China, both the Kennedy and the Johnson administrations came to realize that China’s modest nuclear arsenal failed to alter the underlying balance of power in East Asia or undermine the confidence of U.S. allies in the credibility of Washington’s security guarantees. And even though nuclear-armed China continued to champion global revolutionary causes and provide direct military assistance to North Vietnam against the United States, Chinese rhetoric on nuclear weapons gradually moderated and began to show evidence of calculated restraint vis-à-vis the United States.

A Rogue China   

n December of 1960, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) warned that, “[China’s] arrogant self-confidence, revolutionary fervor, and distorted view of the world may lead [Beijing] to miscalculate risks. This danger would be heightened if Communist China achieved a nuclear weapons capability.” Revolutionary fervor aside, the same assessment could be written about North Korea today. North Korea continues to be one of the most isolated regimes in the world, run by the mercurial Kim Jong-un. In addition, the country engages in kidnappings and assassinations, hurls utterly bizarre imprecations against the United States, and regularly threatens preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korea. When observing North Korea from afar it is easy to mistake it for an exceptional case of obdurate despotism.

As the NIE suggests, however, the same rogue state description fit the profile of China in the 1960s. Throughout the decade, Chinese leaders routinely dismissed the dangers of nuclear war and would stress the inevitable victory of the “people’s war” against U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism. At the same time, Chinese leaders greatly exaggerated the capabilities of their own nuclear program and downplayed the risks posed by potential counter force strikes against the Chinese mainland.

In reality, China’s belligerent rhetoric was a strategic bluff to compensate for the great disparity between China and the two superpowers in nuclear capabilities. When looking today at uncannily similar boasts by North Korean state press that their country is now “a strong nuclear power state” and has “a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world” it is important to remember that North Korea continues to have a small nuclear arsenal, has no second strike capability, and will never be able to shift the military power balance in the region on its own. North Korean saber rattling is a screen to deflect from the regime’s weakness and fear of the future.

North Korea’s Nuclear Doctrine

The DPRK does not have a publicly available official nuclear doctrine, which leaves analysts the sole option of piecing together a strategy from open-source statements. Kim Jong-un has spoken about the importance of breaking the “nuclear monopoly” held by the United States. Pyongyang has stated that it has a “no first use” policy and that it is in favor of complete global disarmament. Despite the “no first use” language, North Korea has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons in preventive strikes against either the United States or South Korea. Since pulling out of the Six Party Talks, North Korea has effectively rejected efforts to denuclearize the North Korean peninsula.

North Korea’s commentary on nuclear weapons closely parallels China’s official positions on nuclear weapons during the 1960s. Following China’s first nuclear test in 1964, Beijing also stressed three points: China’s goal for developing nuclear weapons was “to break the superpower monopoly;” China holds a “no first use” policy; and that China supports the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Despite the cautious public stance, China was vehemently opposed to the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) and did not moderate its hostile position toward nonproliferation until its nuclear program reached a more mature stage in the 1970s. China’s record suggests that North Korea is purposely adopting a hostile stance to compensate for the overall weakness of the North Korean arsenal.

Dealing with North Korea Effectively  

As William Burr and Jeffrey T. Richelson document in Whether to “Strangle the Baby in the Cradle”: The United States and the Chinese Nuclear Program, 1960-64, John F. Kennedy viewed a potential Chinese nuclear test as “likely to be historically the most significant and worst event of the 1960s.” The Kennedy Administration was so concerned about the specter of a nuclear China that every measure from direct U.S. strikes to parachuting Chinese Nationalist commandos from Taiwan was considered. Kennedy even authorized officials to approach America’s archrival, the Soviet Union, regarding joint preventive action against China.

Kennedy was hardly alone in his fears that a nuclear China was the greatest threat to world peace. As the Cultural Revolution unfolded, the U.S. Navy was concerned that China would quickly gain submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) technology and would launch them in a way to fake a Soviet strike, triggering a global nuclear war. (See Lyle J. Goldstein in When China Was a ‘Rogue State’: The Impact of China’s Nuclear Weapons Program on US-China Relations during the 1960s.)  To counter this putative threat, the Navy recommended the sinking of China’s first missile-armed submarine on its maiden voyage. Not only did these fears border on paranoia, they greatly exaggerated China’s technological capabilities. In the case of SLBMs, China would not test its first submarine-launched missile until 1982. The press was also highly critical of Mao possessing nuclear weapons and called for military action to curtail Beijing’s nuclear ambitions.

Kennedy’s fears over the prospect of China going nuclear were not shared by everyone in government. The State Department’s Policy Planning Council produced an influential study that questioned the consequence of China’s nuclear test. The study argued that the Chinese nuclear arsenal could not pose a major threat to the United States and would hardly alter the balance of power in the region. Moreover, China’s nuclear arsenal was vulnerable to a U.S. counter force strike. Hence, a nuclear China would not feel emboldened to further challenge the United States. Although initially controversial, proponents of this view eventually won out in the Johnson administration.

The report acknowledged that there could be some adverse political ramifications of a Chinese nuclear test (i.e., proliferation), but they could be addressed by U.S. reassurances to its allies. Indeed, even though in the wake of China’s first nuclear test Japan expressed a strong desire to develop its own bomb, the Johnson administration was able to provide security reassurances combined with diplomatic pressure to dissuade Tokyo from going down the nuclear path. In the subsequent years, the United States applied similar pressure to block Taiwan and South Korea from going forward with their own nuclear weapons programs.

If China’s nuclear program did not pose a serious threat to the United States in the 1960s, then there is even less reason to fear North Korea’s today. Even with improvements in North Korean missile capabilities, the United States and its allies still enjoy an overwhelming military and economic advantage over the North. Just as during the 1960s, the United States simply needs to be public and credible in its reassurances to its regional allies and partners. Any North Korean effort to split the U.S.-ROK alliance will fail if the United States continues to provide a broad security guarantee to South Korea. As long as the Trump administration continues to offer its public support to Japan, Tokyo too will feel that there is no need for drastic action.

Lastly the United States needs to forcefully come out against the linkage of the North Korean nuclear question with unrelated issues in the U.S.-China relationship to address Taiwanese concerns that Washington will trade away the de facto independence of the island in exchange for Chinese assistance in reigning in North Korea. It has become clear that either due to a lack of leverage or deliberate unwillingness, Beijing will not apply the necessary level of pressure to compel Pyongyang to reverse course. The United States should not fall into the trap of expanding the scope of talks in the hope of eliciting additional Chinese cooperation on North Korea.

Conclusion

After the 1964 Chinese nuclear test, President Johnson used trade controls and extra intelligence monitoring to slow down the pace of China’s nuclear development. Despite continued apprehension, the U.S. learned to live with China’s nuclear program. This was made possible in large part due to swift and credible U.S. reassurances to key regional allies such as Japan. Over time, as Chinese leaders decided to shift strategies and pursue greater engagement with the Western world, China’s nuclear positions underwent a gradual evolution. North Korea is not China, but a similar policy of strategic patience combined with robust security assurances to South Korea and Japan is the best bet for getting North Korea back to the negotiating table. The alternative is untenable.

Yevgen Sautin is a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University working on a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history.

https://thediplomat.com/2017/08/todays-nuclear-north-korea-is-yesterdays-china-lessons-from-history/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018, Story 1: President Trump New Brand — Sypgate Shorthand for Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — What Did Clinton and Obama Know and when Did Clinton and Obama Know It? Clinton and Obama Activated “Spygate” or Secret Surveillance Spying Security State on Republican Party Trump Campaign for President — Read Ed Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, Guilty As Sin, and Blood Feud — Videos — Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off — Videos

Posted on May 25, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Blogroll, Bribery, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Government, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Killing, Language, Life, Lying, Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Corruption, Robert S. Mueller III, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump New Brand — Sypgate Shorthand for Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — What Did Clinton and Obama Know and when Did Clinton and Obama Know It? Clinton and Obama Activated “Spygate” or Secret Surveillance Spying Security State on Republican Party Trump Campaign for President — Read Ed Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, Guilty As Sin, and Blood Feud — Videos —

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‘Spygate’: Trump unveils new nickname for Russia probe

The Ingraham Angle – Wednesday May 23 2018

Tucker: Obama administration hacks were all lying

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

What we know about Trump’s ‘Spygate’ claims

Sean Hannity Blasts James Comey: ‘Did You Have a Spy in the Clinton Campaign?’

President Donald Trump Seizes On ‘Spygate’ To Discredit Russia Investigation | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Ed Klein details the rift between Bill and Hillary Clinton

All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump | Ed Klein And Alex Jones

All Out War – The Plot To Destroy Donald Trump by Ed Klein Ch 1-6

Ed Klein Discusses His New Book “All Out War”, Antifa, and More

Malzberg | Edward “Ed” Klein: Obama was “aware of HRC’s private server” and “warned her” about it

Ed Klein: Why Comey jumped at chance to reopen Clinton case

Ed Klein discusses the Hillary Clinton email story

Hillary Clinton surrounded by scandals and investigations

Ed Klein on Hillary Emails controversy – Stuart Varney March 9, 2015

The Joe Pags Show | Ed Klein discusses Hillary’s reaction after losing

Ed Klein – What Happened To Hillary’s “What Happened”?

Hillary ‘won’t drink water’? ‘Red Eye’ investigates

Ed Klein: Not the first time Clinton has collapsed

Ex-Secret Service agent: Hillary must be kept out of the WH

Former Secret Service agent: Why video of Clinton scares me

Author says Hillary Clinton is ‘two different people’

Ed Klein: It seems Obama is having a tough time letting go

Ed Klein: Clintons and Obamas Are Like Two ‘Mafia Families’

Rush Limbaugh Doesn’t Trust Ed Klein

Ed Klein talks ‘Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary’

Hillary Clinton Is ‘Fat And Old’ According To Author Ed Klein

Jeremiah Wright offered bribe of $150,000.00 by Obama campaign to keep silent

Sorry, But Obama White House, Not Dossier, Was Behind Trump Investigation

pyGate: Did the Obama administration spy on the Donald Trump campaign because it feared Russian hacking of the 2016 election? Or was it merely a smokescreen to cover up the real reason: to keep Trump from winning the presidency or take him down if he did?

As the saying goes, timing is everything. Recent revelations keep pushing back the beginning of the CIA and FBI investigation into “Russian hacking” or “meddling” in the 2016 election further and further in time.

This is significant, since the farther back in time the actual origin of the spying on Trump, the less likely it is that it had anything to do with Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, but everything to do with stopping the surprising surge of Trump during the GOP primaries and beyond.

Increasingly, a political motive seems not only likely, but almost certain.

In a recent piece that warrants a thorough reading, Andrew C. McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now writes for the National Review, painstakingly dismantles the multiple lies told about how and when the spying on Trump began.

There is what he calls “The Original Origination Story” that involves little-known Trump adviser Carter Page. He visited Moscow in July 2016, three months after hooking on to the Trump campaign.

According to former MI6 British spy Christopher Steele’s now infamous dossier on Trump, Page’s trip was when the alleged Trump-Russia plan to hack the Democratic National Committee was born.

The only problem is, the Steele dossier has been exposed as a fanciful product of the Clinton campaign and the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Steele. And the main assertions were based on hearsay from Russian officials, and never validated.

Even so, the FBI and Justice Department used the dossier to apply to the FISA court to tap Page’s communications and, as a result, much of the rest of the Trump campaign.

In doing so, the FBI broke its own rules and, worse, the Obama Justice Department withheld the fact from the FISA court that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee were responsible for the dossier.

Then there was what McCarthy calls “Origination Story 2.0.”

This involves George Papadopoulos, a young, also little-known Trump aide. At a May 2016 meeting in a London pub, he told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about an academic named Josef Mifsud with Kremlin ties who told Papadopoulos that the Kremlin had a huge number of emails that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Democrats point to this as proof that Trump had colluded to hack the DNC. But as McCarthy notes, there’s a major flaw in that logic: “If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking.”

Moreover, Democrats insist Mifsud’s comments about emails referred to the DNC emails that were, in fact, hacked by Russians.

But that’s not the case. Papadopoulos has said he thought Mifsud was talking about the more than 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton “accidentally” had deleted from her illegal unsecured home email server.

So if those didn’t set up the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, what did?

In fact, says McCarthy, the real origin of the investigation appears to have been in Spring of 2016, before Papadopoulos’ conversation with the Australian ambassador in May and also before Page’s visit to Moscow in July.

It started with James Comey briefing President Obama’s National Security Council about Carter Page, likely sometime in mid-Spring.

Why? Well, both Page and Paul Manafort, another Trump adviser, had business ties to Russia, which, perhaps justifiably, concerned the FBI.

But rather than telling the Trump campaign about their concerns, or even moving against the Russians, the Justice Department and the FBI starting treating Trump’s campaign like a criminal enterprise.

Instead of continuing to interview Page, or Manafort, or Papadopoulos, they inserted a spy, Stefan Halper, in the campaign, and tapped its phones. It had the earmarks of a political hit, not an actual investigation.

As for the CIA, another line of inquiry finds they also were busy early on pursuing Trump.

George Neumayr, writing in The American Spectator, notes that CIA Director John Brennan used the flimsy excuse of a tip from the Estonian intelligence agency that Putin was giving money to the Trump campaign to form an “inter-agency taskforce” on supposed Trump-Russia collusion in 2016. It met at CIA headquarters, spy central.

The Estonian tip didn’t pan out, but the task force remained.

“Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016,” wrote Neumayr, “Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House.”

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” program to spy against the Trump campaign.

What we’re discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.

And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.

As McCarthy concluded: “The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.”

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/obama-behind-trump-investigation/

Byron York: When did Trump-Russia probe begin? Investigators focus on mystery months

Revelations that an FBI informant insinuated himself into the Trump campaign have led some congressional investigators to rethink their theories on how and why former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department began investigating the 2016 Trump presidential effort.

Most reporting has focused on the July 31, 2016, creation of a document formally marking the beginning of the FBI counterintelligence probe targeting the Trump campaign. The document, known as the electronic communication, or EC, is said to have focused on the case of George Papadopoulos, the peripheral Trump adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller about his contacts with people connected to Russia.

Most of the key events of the Trump-Russia investigation — the Carter Page wiretap, the wiretap of Michael Flynn’s conversations, the presentation of Trump dossier allegations to the president-elect — took place after the formal start of the FBI counterintelligence investigation.

But now comes word of the FBI informant, described in various accounts as a retired American professor living in England. The Washington Post reported that, “The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium.”

A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?

And that has taken them back to March 21, 2016, when candidate Donald Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post.

At the time of that meeting, Trump had been under criticism for not having the sort of lists of distinguished advisers that most top-level campaigns routinely assemble. That was particularly true in the area of foreign policy. A frustrated Trump ordered his team to compile a list of foreign-affairs advisers.

Trump was preparing to announce his advisory board when he met with the Post. The paper’s publisher asked Trump if he would reveal the names of his new team.

“Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names,” Trump said. He then read a brief list, among them Page and Papadopoulos.

Trump’s announcement did not go unnoticed at the FBI and Justice Department. The bureau knew Page from a previous episode in which Russian agents had tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him. It’s not clear what the FBI knew about the others. But then-Director James Comey and number-two Andrew McCabe personally briefed Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the list of newly-named Trump foreign policy advisers, including Page, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Lynch told the House Intelligence Committee that she, Comey, and McCabe discussed whether to provide a “defensive briefing” to the Trump campaign. That would entail having an FBI official meet with a senior campaign official “to alert them to the fact that … there may be efforts to compromise someone with their campaign,” Lynch said.

It didn’t happen, even though it was discussed again when Comey briefed the National Security Council principals committee about Page in the “late spring” of 2016, according to Lynch’s testimony. (The principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.)

So the nation’s top political appointees, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies were watching Trump campaign figures in the spring and early summer of 2016.

In early July, Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, the former British spy, approached the FBI with the first installment of the dossier. (It was the part that alleged Trump took part in a kinky sex scene with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013.) Also in early July — just a few days later — Page made a much-watched trip to deliver a speech in Moscow. Also in July, FBI officials say they learned about Papadopoulos’ meeting a few months earlier with a Russian-connected professor. And still in July, hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were released.

Somewhere around the time all that was happening, according to the latest reporting, the FBI informant began his work.

And that was all before what is called the formal beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation. It is in those mystery months — late March, April, May, June, and early July of 2016 — with the presidential campaign going at full force, that the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Republican candidate geared up.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/when-did-trump-russia-probe-begin-investigators-focus-on-mystery-months

The Real Origination Story of the Trump-Russia Investigation

Former President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 28, 2015. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Carter Page or George Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.Exactly when is the “late Spring”?

Of all the questions that have been asked about what we’ve called the “Origination Story” of the Trump-Russia investigation, that may be the most important one. It may be the one that tells us when the Obama administration first formed the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative.

Obama’s spying on Trump campaign included the use of secret “national security letters” reserved for the most serious threats

See, it has always been suspicious that the anonymous current and former government officials who leak classified information to their media friends have been unable to coordinate their spin on the start of “Crossfire Hurricane” — the name the FBI eventually gave its Trump-Russia investigation.

The Original Origination Story: Carter Page

First, they told us it was an early July 2016 trip to Moscow by Carter Page, an obscure Trump-campaign adviser.

As we’ve observed, that story became untenable once a connection emerged between the Bureau’s concerns about Page and the Steele dossier. The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, portrayed Page’s Moscow trip as seminal to a Trump-Russia conspiracy to hack Democratic email accounts and steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

It turned out, however, that the dossier was a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project, the main allegations of which were based on third-hand hearsay from anonymous Russian sources. Worse, though the allegations could not be verified, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used them to obtain surveillance warrants against Page, in violation of their own guidelines against presenting unverified information to the FISA court. Worse still, the Obama Justice Department withheld from the FISA court the facts that the Clinton campaign was behind the dossier and that Steele had been booted from the investigation for lying to the FBI.

Origination Story 2.0: George Papadopoulos

With the Page origination story cratering, Team Obama tried to save the day with Origination Story 2.0: Papadopoulos did it. In this account, George Papadopoulos, an even more obscure Trump-campaign aide than Page, triggered the investigation by telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, in May 2016, that he’d heard from a Kremlin-connected academic, Josef Mifsud, that Russia had thousands of emails potentially damaging to Clinton.

But this rickety tale had the signs of an after-the-fact rationalization, an effort to downplay the dossier and the role of Obama officials in the genesis of the probe. There were curious questions about how the twentysomething Papadopoulos came to be meeting with Australia’s highest-ranking diplomat in the United Kingdom, and about how and when, exactly, this Australian information came to be transmitted to the FBI.

Moreover, there are two basic flaws in version 2.0. First, Papadopoulos’s story is actually exculpatory of the Trump campaign: If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking. Second, there is confusion about exactly what Mifsud was referring to when he told Papadopoulos that the Russians had emails that could damage Clinton. Democrats suggest that Mifsud was referring to the Democratic National Committee emails. They need this to be true because (a) these are the emails that were hacked by Russian operatives, and (b) it was WikiLeaks’ publication of these hacked DNC emails in July 2016 that spurred the Aussies to report to their American counterparts about the encounter, two months earlier, between Papadopoulos and Downer — to whom Papadopoulos reported Mifsud’s emails story. But if the Australians really did infer that Mifsud and Papadopoulos must have been talking about the hacked DNC emails, the inference is unlikely. As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross has reported, Papadopoulos maintains that he understood Mifsud to be talking about the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton had deleted from her homebrew server. That makes more sense — it was those emails that Donald Trump harped on throughout the campaign and that were in the news when Mifsud spoke with Papadopoulos in April 2016. While there are grounds for concern that Clinton’s emails were hacked, there is no proof that it happened; Clinton’s 30,000 emails are not the hacked DNC emails on which the “collusion” narrative is based.

There was also the curiosity of why, if Papadopoulos was so central, the FBI had not bothered to interview him until late January 2017 — after Trump had already taken office.

The Real Origination

With the revelation last week that the Obama administration had insinuated a spy into the Trump campaign, it appeared that we were back to the original, Page-centric origination story. But now there was a twist: The informant, longtime CIA source Stefan Halper, was run at Page by the FBI, in Britain. Because this happened just days after Page’s Moscow trip, the implication was that it was the Moscow trip itself, not the dossier claims about it, that provided momentum toward opening the investigation. Then, just a couple of weeks later, WikiLeaks began publicizing the DNC emails; this, we’re to understand, shook loose the Australian information about Papadopoulos. When that information made its way to the FBI — how, we’re not told — the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation was formally opened on July 31. Within days, Agent Peter Strzok was in London interviewing Downer, and soon the FBI tasked Halper to take a run at Papadopoulos.

 

The real origination story begins in the early spring of 2016 — long before Page went to Russia and long before the U.S. government was notified about Papadopoulos’s boozy conversation with Downer.

Last week, as controversy stirred over the possibility that the Obama administration had used a spy against the Trump campaign, the eagle eye of the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel caught a couple of key passages from the House Intelligence Committee’s recent report on Russian interference in the election — largely overlooked passages on page 54.

It turns out that, in “late spring” 2016, the FBI’s then-director James Comey briefed the principals of the National Security Council on “the Page information.” As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York observes in a perceptive column today, NSC principals are an administration’s highest-ranking national-security officials. In Obama’s National Security Council, the president was the chairman, and among the regular attendees were the vice-president (Joe Biden), the national-security adviser (Susan Rice), and the director of national intelligence (James Clapper). The heads of such departments and agencies as the Justice Department (Attorney General Loretta Lynch) and the CIA (Director John Brennan) could also be invited to attend NSC meetings if matters of concern to them were to be discussed.

We do not know which NSC principals attended the Comey briefing about Carter Page. But how curious that the House Intelligence Committee interviewed so many Obama-administration officials who were on, or who were knowledgeable about, the NSC, and yet none of them provided a date for this meeting more precise than “late spring” 2016.

The other meeting outlined on page 54 of the House report is one that Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, had with Attorney General Lynch. It probably occurred before the “late spring” Obama NSC meeting, and it was also “about Page.”

So . . . what exactly was “the Page information”? Well, we know that Page, an Annapolis alumnus and former naval intelligence officer, is . . . well, he’s a knucklehead. He is a Russia apologist whose “discursive online blog postings about foreign policy,” Politico noted, “invoke the likes of Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and Rhonda Byrne’s self-help bestseller, ‘The Secret.’” More to the point, Page blames American provocations for bad relations with the Kremlin and advocates, instead, a policy of appeasing the Putin regime. Page, who has also been an investment banker, has also had business ties to Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy behemoth.

Most importantly, we know that Page was one of several American businessmen whom Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit in 2013. Yet, the main reason we know that is that Page cooperated with the FBI and the Justice Department in the prosecution of the Russian operatives. See Sealed ComplaintUnited States v. Evgeny Buryakov, pp. 12-13 (Page is identified as “Male-1” — whom one of the Russian spies refers to as “an idiot”).

What would have been the reason for Lynch, Comey, and McCabe to discuss Carter Page? Well, on March 21, 2016 — i.e., early spring — the Trump campaign announced the candidate’s foreign-policy advisory team. Trump had been spurned by the Republican foreign-policy clerisy and was under pressure to show that he had some advisers. So the campaign hastily put out a list of five little-known figures, including Page. Young George Papadopoulos (whose idea of résumé inflation was to claim, apparently falsely, that he’d been a participant in the Geneva International Model United Nations) was also among the five; but he was a virtual unknown at the time — he did not cause the FBI the consternation that the appearance of Page’s name did.

Another source of consternation: On March 29, just a few days after Page was announced as a foreign-policy adviser, Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign. Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates (who also joined the Trump campaign), had been on the FBI’s radar over political-consultant work they’d done for many years for a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine — the party deeply enmeshed in Russian aggression against that former Soviet satellite state.

In discussing Page, one of the things Lynch, Comey, and McCabe discussed was the possibility of providing the Trump campaign with a “defensive briefing.” This would be a meeting with a senior campaign official to put the campaign on notice of potential Russian efforts to compromise someone — Page — within the campaign.

In retrospect, that is an interesting piece of information. Back in February, after House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) put out the Republican majority’s memo on FISA abuse, Committee Democrats responded. As I pointed out at the time, the memo by ranking member Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) let slip that the FBI had interviewed Carter Page in March 2016. (See Schiff Memo, p. 4 — the relevant footnote 10 is redacted.)

Was the interview of Page a reaction to his joining the Trump campaign? Was it an effort to gauge whether Page was still a recruitment target? Was it a substitute for giving the campaign a defensive briefing, or a preparatory step in anticipation of possibly giving such a briefing? We don’t know.

But here is what we can surmise.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign.

Carter Page and Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign in early spring, and the FBI was concerned about their possible ties to Russia. These were not trifling concerns, but they did not come close to suggesting a Trump-Russia espionage conspiracy against the 2016 election.

These FBI concerns resulted in a briefing of the Obama NSC by the FBI sometime in “late spring.” I suspect the “late spring” may turn out to be an earlier part of spring than most people might suppose — like maybe shortly after Page joined the Trump campaign.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign. It could have given the campaign a defensive briefing. It could have continued interviewing Page, with whom the FBI had longstanding lines of communication. It could have interviewed Manafort. It could have conducted a formal interview with George Papadopoulos rather than approaching him with a spy who asked him loaded questions about Russia’s possession of Democratic-party emails.

Instead of doing some or all of those things, the Obama administration chose to look at the Trump campaign as a likely co-conspirator of Russia — either because Obama officials inflated the flimsy evidence, or because they thought it could be an effective political attack on the opposition party’s likely candidate.

From the “late spring” on, every report of Trump-Russia ties, no matter how unlikely and uncorroborated, was presumed to be proof of a traitorous arrangement. And every detail that could be spun into Trump-campaign awareness of Russian hacking, no matter how tenuous, was viewed in the worst possible light.

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-obama-administration-origins/

 

How the Clinton-Emails Investigation Intertwined with the Russia Probe

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Obama administration officials in the DOJ and FBI saw the cases as inseparably linked.‘Cruz just dropped out of the race. It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.”

It was a little after midnight on May 4, 2016. FBI lawyer Lisa Page was texting her paramour, FBI counterespionage agent Peter Strzok, about the most stunning development to date in the 2016 campaign: Donald Trump was now the inevitable Republican nominee. He would square off against Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ certain standard-bearer.

The race was set . . . between two major-party candidates who were both under investigation by the FBI.

In stunned response, Strzok wrote what may be the only words we need to know, the words that reflected the mindset of his agency’s leadership and of the Obama administration: “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE.”

MYE. That’s Mid-Year Exam, the code-word the FBI had given to the Hillary Clinton emails probe.

“It sure does,” responded Page. Mind you, she was not just any FBI lawyer; she was counsel and confidant to the bureau’s No. 2 official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

If the thousands of text messages between Ms. Page and Agent Strzok are clear on anything, they are clear on the thinking of the bureau’s top brass.

In its Trump antipathy, the media-Democrat complex has admonished us to ignore the Strzok-Page texts. FBI officials are as entitled as anyone else to their political opinions, we’re told; and if they found Trump loathsome, they were no different from half the country.

That’s the wrong way to look at it. Regardless of their politics (which, the texts show, are not as left-wing as some conservative-media hyperbole claims), these FBI officials are a window into how the Obama administration regarded the two investigations in which Strzok and Page were central players: Mid Year Exam and Trump-Russia — the latter eventually code-named “Crossfire Hurricane.”

The two investigations must not be compartmentalized. Manifestly, the FBI saw them as inseparably linked: Trump’s victory in the primaries, the opening of his path to the Oval Office, meant — first and foremost — that the Hillary investigation had to be brought to a close.

And that is because bringing it to a close was already known, by May 4, to mean closing it without charges — opening her path to the Oval Office. It was the calculation of the FBI, the Obama Justice Department, the Obama-led intelligence agencies, and the Obama White House that wrapping up MYE was essential to stopping Donald Trump.

Trump had won the nomination, so now the pressure was on to remove the cloud of felony suspicion hanging over Mrs. Clinton.

The mistake is often made — I’ve made it myself — of analyzing the tanking of the Clinton emails case in a vacuum. There are, after all, reasons unrelated to Donald Trump that explain the outcome: Obama was implicated in Clinton’s use of a non-secure email system; Obama had endorsed Clinton; many high-ranking Obama Justice Department officials stood to keep their coveted positions, and even advance, in a Hillary Clinton administration; the Obama Justice Department was hyper-political and Clinton was the Democratic nominee.

But the Clinton investigation did not happen in a vacuum. It happened in the context of Donald Trump’s gallop through the Republican primaries and, just as important, of the Obama administration’s determination to regard the Trump campaign as a Kremlin satellite.

Conveniently, the Strzok-Page text occurred in what we might call the “late spring.” As I outlined in yesterday’s column, the “late spring” is the vague timeframe former Obama-administration officials gave to the House Intelligence Committee when asked when the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, briefed the president’s National Security Council about Carter Page. An obscure Trump campaign adviser, Page was regarded as a likely clandestine Russian agent by the Obama administration, on what appears to be flimsy evidence.

So . . . let’s think this through.

By May 4, the Obama administration has already concluded that the Trump campaign is part of a Russian covert op that must be stopped — or at least has rationalized that the Trump-Russia storyline can work politically to damage the Republican candidate.

At the same time, even though MYE is not yet formally “finished,” even though key witnesses (including Clinton herself) have not been interviewed, even though essential evidence (including the laptops used to store and vet Clinton’s emails) are not yet in the FBI’s possession, Director Comey and his top aides are already drafting the exoneration speech he will give two months later, recommending against prosecution.

And everybody knows the fix is in. The Strzok-Page texts show that the pressure to schedule the Clinton interview is based on the imperative to shut down the case, not to weigh what she had to say for investigative purposes. Clinton is permitted to have her co-conspirators represent her as lawyers at her interview — in violation of federal law, professional-ethics canons, and rudimentary investigative practice — precisely because no one regards the interview as a serious law-enforcement exercise.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s shameful Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Clinton becomes a scandal in late June, she tries to mitigate the damage by announcing an intention to accept whatever recommendation the FBI makes. Lisa Page spitefully texts Peter Strzok. “And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.”

To accomplish this, he effectively rewrites the classified-information statute Clinton violated; barely mentions the tens of thousands of official government business emails that she destroyed; claims without any elaboration that the FBI can see no evidence of obstruction; and omits mention of her just-concluded interview in which — among other things — she pretended not to know what the markings on classified documents meant.

On the very same day, the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome travels to London to interview Christopher Steele, who has already started to pass his sensational dossier allegations to the bureau. And with the help of CIA director John Brennan and British intelligence, the FBI is ready to run a spy — a longtime CIA source — at Carter Page in London on July 11, just as he arrives there from Moscow.

With the pressure to finish MYE in the rearview mirror, Hillary Clinton looked like a shoo-in to beat Donald Trump. By mid September, Lisa Page was saying as much at a meeting in Deputy Director McCabe’s office. But Strzok was hedging his bets: Maybe “there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Soon, as the campaign wound down, the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were on the doormat of the FISA court, obtaining a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, substantially based on allegations in the Steele dossier — an uncorroborated Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed. Meanwhile, the FBI/CIA spy was being run at George Papadopoulos, and even seeking a role in the Trump campaign from its co-chairman, Sam Clovis.

Or maybe you think these things are unrelated . . .

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-clinton-email-fbi-linked-cases/

How the FBI informant’s outreach to Trump staffers fits into overall investigation

May 22

Stefan A. Halper, the informant who assisted the FBI’s Russia investigation during 2016, is drawing the ire of President Trump and House Republicans.

On Monday evening, The Washington Post revealed the identity of the FBI informant at the center of President Trump’s recent frustrations. Over the course of 2016, emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge Stefan A. Halper contacted three people affiliated with Trump’s foreign-policy advisory team, two of whom were subjects of known FBI investigations beginning that summer.

Trump and his allies have criticized Halper’s contribution to the FBI’s investigation as an unwarranted intrusion into Trump’s campaign itself. Trump has repeatedly insisted that reports about Halper’s work showed bias on the part of the FBI that was a scandal “bigger than Watergate.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!

What’s known about Halper’s outreach, though, suggests a modest effort to get information from particular people who were already the subject of FBI scrutiny. Two people he contacted, foreign policy advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, initially met Halper in London — not, as some have implied, after Halper took some sort of position with the Trump campaign. (He did not do so.)

In light of the attention drawn to Halper by the president’s criticisms, we’ve put together a timeline showing how his known outreach overlapped with other investigatory efforts on the part of the FBI. Both Papadopoulos and Page were already being investigated by the FBI or had already been interviewed by the agency before Halper contacted them.

Items in bold involve Halper directly.

Pre-campaign

2012. Halper begins a relationship with the Defense Department, working with a Pentagon group called the Office of Net Assessment.

January 2013. Page meets a Russian foreign intelligence officer named Victor Podobnyy at a conference in New York.

March 2013. The FBI interviews Page after surveillance picks up Podobnyy mentioning Page as a potential target for recruitment.

Aug. 25, 2013. In a letter to a publisher, Page claims that for six months he has “had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month.”

Feb. 28, 2014. Michael Flynn participates in a national security seminar at Cambridge University organized by Halper and Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service.

The Trump campaign begins

June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy.

Summer 2015. Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Aug. 25, 2015. Sam Clovis joins Trump’s campaign after working with the failed presidential bid of Rick Perry. He serves as a policy adviser and works with Trump’s foreign policy team.

Dec. 10, 2015. Flynn travels to Moscow to participate in an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today (now RT).

March 2016. The FBI again interviews Page.

March 6, 2016. Papadopoulos is asked to join the Trump campaign as an adviser on foreign policy issues. He had previously been advising Ben Carson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. His initial conversation about joining the campaign was with Clovis, who, Papadopoulos told prosecutors, suggested that improving relations with Russia was a key campaign goal. (Clovis has denied that.)

March 14, 2016. Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Until he learns that Papadopoulos is tied to the Trump campaign, Mifsud is uninterested in talking.

March 21, 2016. Trump publicly identifies Papadopoulos and Page as part of his foreign policy advisory team.

March 31, 2016. The foreign policy advisory team meets. Trump tweets about it.

April 18, 2016. Papadopoulos is introduced via email to someone who has contacts at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos and the contact begin communicating regularly to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

April 26, 2016. Papadopoulos is told by Mifsud that the Russians have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “They have thousands of emails,” he is told. The next day, he emails senior campaign adviser Stephen Miller to say he had “some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”

May 2016. During a night of drinking in London, Papadopoulos tells Australian High Commissioner to Great Britain Alexander Downer that he is aware that Russia has dirt on Clinton.

July 7, 2016. Page travels to Moscow to give a speech. The next day, he sends a memo to campaign staff with an overview of his travel. It reads, in part, “Russian Deputy Prime Minister and [New Economic School] Board Member Arkadiy Dvorkovich also spoke before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.”

July 11 and 12, 2016. Page meets Halper at a Cambridge conference called Race to Change the World. It is focused on “the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the implications that this will have for future U.S. foreign policy.” The two continue to communicate over email.

July 11 or 12, 2016. Trump campaign staffers apparently intervene with the committee developing the Republican Party’s national security platform to remove language calling for arming Ukraine against Russian aggression.

July 22, 2016. WikiLeaks begins releasing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee.

The investigation begins

July 31, 2016. The FBI opens its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The investigation is triggered when Australian authorities contact the agency — realizing that Papadopoulos’s May mention of Russian dirt to Downer, the diplomat, was validated by the release of stolen data.

August 2016. Papadopoulos seeks permission to travel to Russia to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Putin. After being discouraged from doing so earlier in the year, Clovis tells Papadopoulos to do so “if feasible” — but not as a representative of the campaign.

Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, 2016. Halper has coffee with Clovis. Clovis says that the subject of conversation was China, not Russia. Halper requests a second meeting, but it doesn’t happen.

Sept. 2, 2016. Halper contacts Papadopoulos offering to pay him to write a paper about oil fields in the Mediterranean and inviting him to London. Papadopoulos does so later that month, receiving $3,000 in payment.

Sept. 15, 2016. While in London, Papadopoulos has drinks with a woman who identifies herself as Halper’s assistant. He meets Halper at the Traveler’s Club. According to the New York Times, Halper asked if Papadopoulos knew about any interference efforts, which Papadopoulos denied — to Halper’s annoyance.

Sept. 23, 2016. Yahoo News reports on possible contacts between Page and Russian authorities, based on information collected by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as part of his work for the firm Fusion GPS.

Sept. 26, 2016. Page announces his departure from the Trump campaign.

Oct. 21, 2016. The FBI is granted a warrant to surveil Page.

Nov. 8, 2016. Trump is elected president.

Sept. 2017. Page and Halper are in contact for the last time, according to an interview Page gave the Daily Caller.

Late September 2017. The warrant to surveil Page, extended three times, expires.

 

 

Edward Klein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward J. Klein (born 1937) is an American author, tabloid writer and gossip columnist who is a former foreign editor of Newsweek, and former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine (1977–1987). He has written about the KennedysBill ClintonHillary ClintonBarack ObamaMichelle Obama, and Donald Trump.

Early life

Born in Yonkers, New York, Klein attended Colgate University, graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies,[1] and received an MS degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.[2]

Professional life

Klein is the former foreign editor of Newsweek and served as the editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987. He frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade and writes a weekly celebrity gossip column in Parade called “Personality Parade” under the pseudonym “Walter Scott.” (The Walter Scott pseudonym had originally been used by Lloyd Shearer, who wrote the column from 1958 to 1991.[3]) He also writes books, many of which have been on the New York Times Bestseller list. Additionally, he was the principal for the Business Communications School at The Euclid High School Complex. He was photographed by popular Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton, on June 12, 2014, which led to his personal website crashing due to a high volume of visitors.[4] Klein is also a contributor for the New York Post.[5]

Personal life

Klein is the father of two grown children, Karen (former manager of The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City), and Alec (a professor at Northwestern University).[6] He has been divorced twice. He was married to Dolores J. Barrett, senior vice president for Worldwide Public Relations at Polo Ralph Lauren, who died on 24 December 2013 in Manhattan.[7][8] Klein is the stepfather-in-law of Ruth Shalit.

Criticism

Klein received extensive criticism for his 2005 biography of Hillary Clinton, The Truth About HillaryPolitico criticized the book for “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.”[9]The conservative columnist John Podhoretz criticized the book in the New York Post, “Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.”[10] In the National Review, conservative columnist James Geraghty wrote, “Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain’t it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.”[11]

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review asked Klein in a June 20, 2005 interview, “Why on earth would you put such a terrible story in your book … that looks to be flimsily sourced at that?,” regarding his suggestion that Chelsea Clinton was conceived in an act of marital rape.[12] Facing criticism from both the left and right for making the claim, Klein eventually backed away from the insinuation in an interview with radio host Jim Bohannon on June 23, 2005.[13]

The British newspaper The Guardian pointed out a number of verifiable factual errors in Klein’s 2014 book Blood Feud.[14]

Questions of credibility of sources in work

Klein has also come under fire for his use of anonymous quotes, purported to be from the subjects of his books, which he claims he received from anonymous insiders. The credibility of such quotes has been questioned by writers such as Joe Conason,[15] Salon’s Simon Maloy [16] and conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh[17] and Peggy Noonan.[18] “Some of the quotes strike me as odd, in the sense that I don’t know people who speak this way,” Limbaugh said of Klein’s work, describing the sources as “grade school chatter.”

Books

References

  1. Jump up^ Traister, Rebecca. “The man behind the book”.
  2. Jump up^ “About”.
  3. Jump up^ Woo, Elaine (2001-05-26). “Lloyd Shearer; Leader of the ‘Personality Parade'”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 February 2014. Also printed in: “Lloyd Shearer, Wrote `Personality Parade’” In: Sun Sentinel. May 28, 2001.
  4. Jump up^ “Humans of New York – Timeline – Facebook”.
  5. Jump up^ Klein, Edward (March 15, 2015). “Obama adviser behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal”New York Post.
  6. Jump up^ Alec Klein, Professor and Director of The Medill Justice ProjectMedill School of Journalism
  7. Jump up^ Cotto, William (30 December 2013). “Obituary: Dolores J. Barrett, Ralph Lauren Exec”. WWD. Retrieved 30 December2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Dolores Barrett Wed to Edward Klein”New York Times. October 25, 1987. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
  9. Jump up^ “Ed Klein’s Obama book debuts at No. 1 on Times list”Politico. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ New York Post: Which is more a criticism of the subject matter than the author or the content.“Smear for Profit”. Archived from the original on April 18, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2013. . June 22, 2005.
  11. Jump up^ “Now That is a Tough Review”National Review.
  12. Jump up^ “The Truth About Hillary”National Review.
  13. Jump up^ “Klein vs. his own book: Author backed off claim about Hillary pregnancy, contradicted his only source for rape claim”. Media Matters. October 10, 2007.
  14. Jump up^ Swaine, Jon (July 14, 2014). “Edward Klein: the difference between the truth and a lie”The Guardian.
  15. Jump up^ “News Hounds: Joe Conason Verbally Clobbers Ed Klein”NewsHounds. 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  16. Jump up^ Maloy, Simon. “Ed Klein’s new hack job: A credibility-vacant opportunist strikes again”.
  17. Jump up^ “Limbaugh Claims “Nobody Ever Denies” Ed Klein’s Credibility, Despite Previously Calling It Into Question”. March 16, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Noonan, Peggy (June 24, 2005). “Eine Kleine Biographie” – via Wall Street Journal.

External links

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

Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Videos

Trump speaks after canceling North Korea summit

North Korea is willing to resolve issues with US following cancelled summit: report

North Korea responds to Trump’s cancellation of meeting

North Korea: We are willing to sit down with US anytime

North Korea expresses willingness to resolve issues with US

Trump welcomes North Korea’s ‘warm’ response to canceled summit

Pelosi: Kim Jong Un ‘Must Be Having A Giggle Fit’

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off HQ

Trump dictated ‘every word’ of letter canceling North Korea summit

The White House offered new details Thursday on President Trump‘s decision to cancel a planned June 12 summit with North Korea, saying he did so after a U.S. team was stood up by the North Koreans and that the letter announcing the decision to leader Kim Jong Un was 100 percent Trump.
“The president dictated every word of the letter himself,” a senior White House official said.
The letter cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States in explaining why the meeting was being scrapped.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter released by the White House.

The U.S. and North Korea had agreed to hold a meeting to set up the summit in Singapore last week, the White House official said.

But when the U.S. sent a deputy chief of staff and other advance team personnel to Singapore for that meeting, the North Koreas never showed up.

“They simply stood us up,” the official said.

The senior White House official also cast doubt on whether North Korea truly destroyed its nuclear test site, saying international inspectors were not allowed to attend
“We certainly hope that’s the case, but we really don’t know.”
“Secretary Pompeo and the South Korean government were promised by the North Koreans that international experts and officials would be invited to witness and verify today’s demolition,” the official said, but that promise was “broken.”
North Korea’s statement calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” and threatening the U.S. appeared to be a breaking point for Trump. The president first saw the comments last night and “he took it in stride, he slept on it,” according to the official.
In the morning, Trump met with his national security team, including Pence, chief of staff John Kelly and Pompeo, and made his decision to call off the talks.

The official said it was “hard to miss” the implicit threat of nuclear war in North Korea’s statement, which threatened to “make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy.”

“The president sought to remind North Korea of the real balance of power here,” the official added.
In the letter, Trump said North Korea was taking a step backward with actions that forced his hand.
“I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump wrote in the letter.
But he also offered a warning to Pyongyang in his note, which was alternately bellicose and complimentary.
Trump said the United States nuclear weapons are “so massive and so powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”
He then thanked Kim for the release of three prisoners earlier this month that had appeared to signal the talks were on course.
“Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” Trump wrote. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

The rising tensions between China, US

AFP
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing (AFP Photo/FABRICE COFFRINI, MANDEL NGAN)
More

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump has often bragged of his friendship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing.

This week, the Pentagon pulled its invitation for China to participate in maritime exercises in the Pacific, then Trump on Thursday scrapped a summit with North Korea after suggesting Xi may have exacerbated a breakdown in communications.

And all this against a backdrop of simmering trade tensions — and a bizarre case involving a US official and a possible “sonic attack.”

– Summit sunk –

Trump on Thursday scrapped the historic summit with Kim Jong Un — set to take place June 12 in Singapore — to discuss the “denuclearization” of North Korea.

Before he pulled the plug, Trump had suggested Xi might have played a role in a recent toughening of North Korean rhetoric.

“There was a difference when Kim Jong Un left China the second time,” Trump said.

“There was a different attitude after that meeting and I was a little surprised. … And I think things changed after that meeting so I can’t say that I am happy about it.”

On Monday, Trump suggested China might have prematurely eased up on enforcing economic sanctions against Pyongyang, a move that runs counter to the US leader’s “maximum pressure” campaign.

China insists it is strictly enforcing sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council.

– Pacific exercise –

The Pentagon on Wednesday withdrew its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing’s “continued militarization” of the South China Sea.

China hit back at the decision to disinvite it from the Rim of the Pacific exercises, calling it “very non-constructive” and saying it was taken without due reflection.

“It’s also a decision taken lightly and is unhelpful to mutual understanding between China and the US,” China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said.

– Trade war –

China and the US have stepped back from a potential trade war after Beijing officials were reported to have offered to slash the country’s huge surplus by $200 billion.

But no formal deals have been struck, and China has denied that any figure was set during negotiations in Washington.

Trump — who once accused China of “raping” the US — said he was “not satisfied” with the agreement and the issue is sure to keep grating on relations with Beijing.

– Sonic strains –

On Wednesday, the US embassy in Beijing issued a warning after reporting that an employee in the southern city of Guangzhou was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) apparently linked to “abnormal sounds.”

“The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

In Cuba last year, 24 diplomats and their family members were left with mysterious injuries resembling brain trauma, which were suspected of being caused by a “sonic attack.”

China said it had investigated the issue but hadn’t found that any organization or individual had “carried out such a sonic influence.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/rising-tensions-between-china-us-014346160.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Negotiating Deal With North Korea Communist Dictator Kim Jong Un — Destroy Missiles and Nuclear Weapon or Face The Consequences — Total Trade Embargo with Communist China Starting January 1, 2019 For Enabling North Korea Nuclear Weapons and Missile Programs Proliferation — The Big Squeeze of Kim By Trump and Xi — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Negotiating Deal With North Korea Communist Dictator Kim Jong Un — Destroy Missiles and Nuclear Weapon or Face The Consequences — Total Trade Embargo with Communist China Starting January 1, 2019 For Enabling North Korea Nuclear Weapons and Missile Programs Proliferation — The Big Squeeze of Kim By Trump and Xi — Videos

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018, Story 1: North Korea Willing To Talk To US And Freeze Nuclear and Missile Tests — Videos — Story 2: President Trump and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven Joint Press Conference — Videos — Story 3: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn Resigns — Was Not Made Chairman of Federal Reserve — Video — Story 4: Federal Reserve Monetary Policy Under Fed Chair Jerome Powell — Videos

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Story 1: North Korea Willing To Talk To US And Freeze Nuclear and Missile Tests — Videos —

The Latest: Pres. Trump says North Korea ‘acting positively’

North Korea said to be open to talks with the U.S.

Breaking News – North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says

North Korea Willing To Talk To US And Freeze Missile Tests

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North Korea’s Kim Jong-un meets South Korean envoys

China joins US in imposing sanctions against North Korea

China urges North Korea to stop missile tests

Despite worldwide pressure, North Korea unlikely to give up nuclear weapons

 

North Korea says it’s willing to hold talks with US and halt nuclear pursuit while negotiations last: South Korea

  • North Korea is willing to hold talks with the U.S. on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, South Korea said.
  • The news comes after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.
  • North and South Korea will also hold their first summit in more than a decade next month at the border village of Panmunjom.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

North and South Korea agree to hold summit talks  

North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, the South said on Tuesday after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.

North and South Korea, still technically at war but enjoying a sharp easing in tension since the Winter Olympics in the South last month, will also hold their first summit in more than a decade next month at the border village of Panmunjom, the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.

“North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear programme if military threats against the North are resolved and its regime is secure,” the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.

“The North also said it can have frank talks with the United States on denuclearization and the normalisation of ties between North Korea and the United States,” Chung added.

He cited the North as saying it would not carry out nuclear or missile tests while talks with the international community were under way. North Korea has not carried out any such tests since November last year.

Reacting to the news, President Donald Trump tweeted: “We will see what happens!”

Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war. North Korea has regularly vowed never to give up its nuclear programme, which it sees as an essential deterrent and “treasured sword” against U.S. plans for invasion.

A photograph of a British nuclear weapons test over Christmas Island in the 1950s at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Who owns the world’s nuclear weapons?  

The United States, which stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the Korean War, denies any such plans.

To ensure close communication, the two Koreas, whose 1950-53 conflict ended in a mere truce, not a peace treaty, will set up a hotline between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, Chung said.

The last inter-Korean summit was in 2007 when late former president Roh Moo-hyun was in office.

The agreement came on the heels of a visit made by a 10-member South Korean delegation led by Chung to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Monday in hopes of encouraging North Korea and the United States to talk to one another.

Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it was his “firm will to vigorously advance” inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North’s official news agency said.

“Through this delegation visit, the South Korean government created a very important opportunity to manage North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, prevent war on the Korean peninsula and create military trust going forward,” said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute.

Tensions between the two Koreas eased during the Olympics in South Korea, where Moon hosted a high-level North Korean delegation and the two sides presented a joint women’s ice hockey team. Kim Jong Un had invited Moon to North Korea for a summit, which was the first such request from a North Korean leader to a South Korean president.

US-South Korea drills to go on

North Korea has boasted of developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, but Pyongyang and Washington both say they want a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

The first inter-Korean talks in more than two years were held early this year to bring North Korea to the Winter Olympics, when South Korea and the United States also postponed an annual joint large-scale military exercise that North Korea views as a preparation for invasion.

During this week’s visit, a senior Blue House official said North Korea was informed it was not feasible to postpone the joint military drills between South Korea and the United States again and that Kim Jong Un acknowledged the situation.

Kim Jong Un said he understood the drills, expected in April, would be of a similar scale seen in previous years, the official said. The North Korean leader also had a request for the world: that he be seriously acknowledged as a dialogue counterpart, said the official.

The South’s delegation leader, Chung, said he would travel to the United States to explain the outcome of the visit to North Korea and that he had a message from North Korea he will deliver to Trump.

Chung will later visit China and Russia, while Suh Hoon, the head of South Korea’s spy agency and another member of the delegation, will head to Japan.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/06/south-north-korea-to-hold-summit-in-april-south-korea-says.html

 

U.S. Considers Broad Curbs on Chinese Imports, Takeovers

 Updated on 
  • USTR investigating China’s intellectual-property practices
  • Trump administration considering tariffs on consumer goods

The Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office last year began investigating China’s IP practices under a seldom-used trade law that gives President Donald Trump powers to impose trade restrictions to protect American commerce from unfair trading actions by foreign nations. An announcement about the investigation is anticipated in the coming weeks.

The move would escalate tensions already running hot over Trump’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, risking retaliation from allies and major trading partners like China and rankling Republican lawmakers over the economic costs. Trump struck a defiant tone this week, tweeting that he’d welcome a trade war.

In a blow to the free-trade wing of Trump’s team, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn announced on Tuesday he is resigning. The dollar fell and an exchange-traded fund linked to U.S. stocks tumbled in after-hours trading.

Gary Cohn to Resign as Trump Adviser Amid Dispute Over Tariffs

Wide Tariffs

Under the most severe scenario being weighed, the U.S. could impose tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, from shoes and clothing to consumer electronics, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public.

The Trump administration could combine the tariffs with restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., which are reviewed for national-security risks by Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., the people said. The new measures being considered by the administration could go beyond even domestic security considerations.

The U.S. has long been wary of China’s push to develop its own semiconductor industry that could compete with American firms. That concern was highlighted in a letter made public Tuesday, in which the Treasury Department said Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd.’s hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm Inc. could pose a national security risk. The worry is Broadcom could harm Qualcomm’s innovation, allowing China to expand its influence in key wireless technology, according to the letter dated March 5.

Forced Reciprocity

With the probe into China, known as a Section 301 action, U.S. officials are also considering a more targeted approach that would seek to rein in Chinese investments, the people said. The administration is looking at ways to enforce reciprocity with China on foreign investment, meaning the U.S. would only allow takeovers in sectors that U.S. companies can access in China, according to the people.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has already urged closer vetting of foreign takeovers, and Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation aimed at curbing China’s influence.

U.S. officials are still examining various options, and USTR could decide to do nothing, the people said, adding that an announcement is expected next month. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on an ongoing process, adding that no final decisions have been made.

A senior Chinese official warned that potential tariffs could harm the global trading system, and the Chinese government has been studying curbs on U.S. products such as soybeans.

Trump has fanned the flames, declaring that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” Mnuchin, speaking before a congressional panel on Tuesday, said the administration’s objective is to achieve a “fair and balanced” trading relationship with China. America’s trade gap in goods with the Asian nation surged 8 percent last year to a record $375 billion.

Mnuchin said the U.S. isn’t trying to provoke a trade war with the tariffs, an action that he backed. “The good news” is that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump have a “very good relationship and communicate regularly,” said Mnuchin.

Trade Backlash

Wide-ranging tariffs on goods made in China may also provoke a backlash from U.S. retailers such as Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. The retail industry successfully pushed back last year against a proposal by Republican leaders in Congress to apply a border tax on imports.

USTR has argued in the past that Beijing uses a range of practices to force companies to transfer IP, and Chinese entities engage in widespread theft of U.S. trade secrets. U.S. businesses in China have long complained about being forced to hand over technology as the price of gaining access to the Asian market.

American officials are concerned China will piggyback off their nation’s technology as part of its strategy to become a leader in artificial intelligence and other advanced industries.

U.S. companies have been urging the Trump administration to negotiate with Beijing before imposing any penalties, according to industry lobbyists. That may be difficult, given that the main channel of economic dialogue between the two countries has broken down. However, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said this week that China will host talks on trade issues with U.S. officials.

Under the law, the U.S. can impose duties or other barriers on the goods and services of the foreign country that undermined American commerce. It can also negotiate agreements under which the foreign nation would commit to end the offending tactic.

The government is supposed to come up with a solution that impacts foreign goods and services at a level equivalent to the damage done to American industry. Last year, an independent commission on U.S. intellectual property estimated that the annual cost to the U.S. economy in counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets from all sources exceeds $225 billion and could be as high as $600 billion. China is the world’s principal IP infringer, the commission said.

— With assistance by David McLaughlin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-06/u-s-said-to-consider-broad-curbs-on-chinese-imports-takeovers

China Spends More on Domestic Security as Xi’s Powers Grow

Beijing invests in policing at home amid push by president to solidify authority

China has hired more police and invested in domestic surveillance technology; above, security personnel on duty in Beijing on Tuesday during the annual meeting of the national legislature.
China has hired more police and invested in domestic surveillance technology; above, security personnel on duty in Beijing on Tuesday during the annual meeting of the national legislature. PHOTO: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

BEIJING—China has substantially increased spending on domestic security, official figures show, reflecting mounting concern about threats inside its borders as President Xi Jinping moves to acquire more power and reassert the authority of the Communist Party.

Beijing’s budgets for internal and external security have grown faster than the economy as a whole for several years, but domestic security spending has grown far faster—to where it exceeds the national defense budget by roughly 20%.

Home SecurityChina’s spending on domestic securityoutpaces military spending, driven in part byan increase in Xinjiang.National security spending
.trillion yuanMilitary*Domestic2008’10’12’14’160.000.250.500.751.001.251.50
Regional security spendingSources: China’s National Bureau of Statistics;Chinese regional finance departments (regions);Ministry of Finance (domestic, 2017); Adrian Zenz(estimates).Note: 1 yuan = $0.16 *2017 data are Adrian Zenz’sestimates
.yuan per personTibet*XinjiangBeijingAll provinces2008’10’12’14’1601,0002,0003,0004,000
China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one’s every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology. Video: Clément Bürge/WSJ; Image: DeepGlint

Across China, domestic security accounted for 6.1% of government spending in 2017, the Ministry of Finance said. That translates into 1.24 trillion yuan ($196 billion) and compares with 1.02 trillion yuan in central-government funding for the military.

The numbers, revealed in an annual budget report released this week, help illustrate the scale of a recent intensification of security and surveillance across China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet, minority-heavy areas on the country’s periphery.

The spending numbers are “very consistent with the heavy securitization that’s going on,” said Adrian Zenz, a lecturer at the European School of Culture and Theology in Germany who discovered the numbers in Monday’s report and whose research into Chinese security spending is due to be published soon by the Jamestown Foundation.

In Xinjiang the government has woven a web of surveillance, with checkpoints, high-definition cameras, facial scanners and street patrols; the region spent $9.1 billion on domestic security in 2017, a 92% increase from 2016, according to local government budget data.

Spending across the country on domestic security rose 12.4% last year; in 2016, spending increased 17.6%, official data show.

The budget for domestic security covers regular and paramilitary police, courts, prosecutors and prisons. Chinese authorities are experimenting with cutting-edge tracking tools, tapping social-media accounts to punish politically incorrect speech and, in some places, trying to get residents to inform on each other using smartphone apps.

The Finance Ministry stopped including the domestic-security budget in its annual report in 2013, after media reports highlighted its growth. This year, the number appeared only as a percentage of the total budget in a graph and wasn’t mentioned in the text. It isn’t clear why the ministry decided to publish the number again.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, shown arriving for the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on Monday, has moved to consolidate authority and boost the Communist Party.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, shown arriving for the opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday, has moved to consolidate authority and boost the Communist Party. PHOTO: DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

The budget report was released as China’s National People’s Congress convenes in Beijing, where delegates are set to approve changes to the country’s constitution that would permit Mr. Xi to remain president indefinitely.

Premier Li Keqiang, addressing the legislature on Monday in an annual government work report, highlighted a crime crackdown called the “Peaceful China initiative,” vowing to stamp out terrorism, violent crime, pornography, gambling and other ills.

“With these steps we will safeguard national and public security,” he said.

The security escalation is particularly striking in Xinjiang, in China’s far west, where the government has armed tens of thousands of police with the latest technology. Cameras and checkpoints blanket the region’s cities and villages, and street patrols use hand-held devices to scan ID cards and smartphones.

Authorities have invested in data platforms used to identify “unsafe” members of the region’s Uighur population, and in construction of a network of detention centers.

Xinjiang’s police are also engaged in a blood-collection effort designed to further expand China’s DNA database, already the world’s largest.

Per capita security spending in Xinjiang and the Tibetan Autonomous Region to the south are comparable to the national average in the U.S., with adjustments for differences in costs for personnel and equipment, said Mr. Zenz. The U.S. spends around $520 per person on policing and other forms of law enforcement, Mr. Zenz said.

Children and police watch passing Buddhist monks during a ceremony on March 1 in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, where authorities have invested in surveillance and policing.
Children and police watch passing Buddhist monks during a ceremony on March 1 in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, where authorities have invested in surveillance and policing. PHOTO: JOHANNES EISELE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Chinese officials say the increase in surveillance in Xinjiang and Tibet is necessary to snuff out separatist movements among minority groups they say are influenced by hostile forces abroad. Human-rights groups say discriminatory policies in both regions are partly to blame for ethnic strife and that the heavy security exacerbates the tension.

China’s military is also investing to develop its capabilities and this week unveiled its largest annual increase in outlay in three years—an 8.1% rise, after a 7% bump in 2017.

That pales with the ramp-up in policing at home.“Growth in China’s defense budget remains in the single digits, and broadly in line with economic conditions,” said William Choong, an Asian security specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, a global affairs think tank.“A one-percentage-point increase isn’t much to shout about.”

In China, as in many other countries, actual spending on internal and external security is likely higher than official budget numbers suggest, according to Mr. Zenz and other analysts.

Chinese police in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, where surveillance has escalated to monitor the local Uighur population.
Chinese police in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, where surveillance has escalated to monitor the local Uighur population. PHOTO: GIULIA MARCHI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Ministry of Finance said in its budget report that domestic security spending would decrease slightly as a proportion of total spending this year. That is based on the budget; last year domestic security agencies went 22.9% over budget, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Ministry of Public Security responded to requests for comment.

A significant portion of this year’s expenses likely came from payments for infrastructure such as new police stations and big-data platforms, said Mr. Zenz.

His research into the growing security apparatus in Xinjiang and elsewhere has included the compiling of authorities’ advertising for new police positions. In Xinjiang, around 100,000 new positions were announced in a one-year period to September 2017, and the advertising for more police continues, he said.

Corrections & Amplifications 
The U.S. spends around $520 per person on policing and other forms of law enforcement, according to Adrian Zenz. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that sum to be about $570 per person. (March 6)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-spends-more-on-domestic-security-as-xis-powers-grow-1520358522

 

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Stefan Löfven

Kjell Stefan Löfven (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈsteːfan lœˈveːn]; born 21 July 1957) is a Swedish politician who has been the Prime Minister of Sweden since 2014 and the Leader of the Social Democrats since 2012.[1]

Prior to becoming Prime Minister and Leader of the Social Democrats, Löfven had worked as a welder before becoming an active trade unionist. He rose to become chairman of the trade union IF Metall from 2006 until being elected Leader of the Social Democrats in 2012.[2][3]

Early life and education

Löfven was born 21 July 1957 in Aspudden district, Stockholm. He was placed in an orphanage 10 months after his birth. Löfven was later looked after by a foster family from Sunnersta, Sollefteå. According to the agreement with this family, his birth mother would regain custody of him when she was able to; however, this did not happen. After meeting his brother, Stefan found out that his last name is Löfven, (spelled as Löfvén, in the Swedish population register).[4]

His foster father Ture Melander (1926–2003) was a lumberjack and then a factory worker, while his foster mother, Iris Melander (1929– ), worked as a health visitor.[5] He studied at Sollefteå High School before going on a welding course for 48 weeks at AMU in Kramfors. Löfven studied social work at Umeå University, but dropped out after a year and a half.[4]

Trade unionist

After completing his compulsory military service in the Swedish Air Force at the F 4 Frösön airbase 1976-77, Löfven began his career in 1978 as a welder at Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik. Two years later he was chosen as the group’s union representative, and went on to hold a succession of union posts. In 1995 he started as an employed ombudsman in the Swedish Metalworkers’ Union, working in the areas of contract negotiations and international affairs. In 2001 he was elected vice-chairman of the Metalworkers’ Union, and in November 2005 was elected as the first chairman of the newly formed trade union IF Metall.[2]

Political career

Stefan Löfven elected to become the party’s new leader on 27 January 2012.

Löfven has been a member of the Social Democrats since the age of 13 and was active in SSU, the youth league, in his teens. Löfven was elected to the executive board of the Social Democrats in 2006, shortly after becoming chairman of trade union IF Metall.

Leader of the Social Democrats

In January 2012, following the resignation of Håkan Juholt, it was reported that Löfven was being considered as his successor. On 26 January 2012 the executive board nominated Löfven to become the party’s new leader[6][7][8] On 27 January 2012, Löfven was elected Leader in a party-room ballot.[9][10] Löfven was confirmed as party leader at the party’s bi-annual congress on 4 April 2013.[11]

Löfven led his party through the 2014 European Parliament election where the Social Democrats retained their position as the largest party from Sweden in the European Parliament. However, the election results at 24.19% was a slightly inferior than the result in 2009 European Parliament election, the party’s seats in the European Parliament was reduced from six to five[12] and the party’s results was the lowest in an election at the national level since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921.

Prime Minister

Main article: Premiership of Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven and his Cabinet on 3 October 2014.

Löfven led his party through the September 2014 general election, which resulted in a hung parliament.[13] The election result of 31.0% – up from 30.7% – was slightly better than the result in the 2010 general election but the result was also the party’s second worst result in a general election to the Riksdag since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921.

He announced that he would form a minority coalition government consisting his own party and the Green Party. On 2 October 2014, the Riksdag approved Löfven to become Prime Minister,[14] and he took office on 3 October 2014 alongside his Cabinet. The Social Democrats and the Green Party voted in favour of Löfven becoming Prime Minister, while close ally the Left Party abstained. The opposition Alliance-parties also abstained while the far-right Sweden Democrats voted against.

Löfven has also expressed a desire for bipartisan agreement between the Government and the opposition Alliance parties and together they have marked three areas where enhanced cooperation will be initiated. The three areas are the pension system, future energy development, and security and defence policy.

Domestic policy

The Stockholm Pride parade, 2 August 2014

2014 Government crisis

The Government is a minority coalition government and the Government’s budget was introduced to the Riksdag on 23 October 2014. The Left Party, which had been given influence over the budget, supported the budget. The non-socialist coalition, the Alliance, introduced a competing budget to the Riksdag on 10 November 2014, as promised prior to the 2014 general election, and the Sweden Democrats also introduced their own budget on 10 November 2014.

According to Riksdag practice the parties support their own budget and if the budget falls they abstains from voting. However, on 2 December 2014, the far-right Sweden Democrats announced that, after their own budget fell in the first voting round, they would support the Alliance parties’ budget in the second voting round, thus giving that budget a majority in the Riksdag.

On 3 December 2014, the Government’s budget was voted down by the Alliance parties and the Sweden Democrats and as a consequence, Löfven announced that he would call for a fresh election to be held on 22 March 2015.[15]

On 22 December 2014, sources within the Riksdag leaked information that the Government was negotiating with the Alliance parties (Moderate PartyCentre PartyLiberal People’s Party and the Christian Democrats) to find a solution and to avoid a fresh election.[16] On 27 December 2014, the Government and the Alliance parties held a joint press conference where they announced that the six major parties had reached an agreement designed to ensure that minority governments would be able to get their own budget through the Riksdag. The agreement, dubbed “Decemberöverenskommelsen” (December Agreement), was called historical by Löfven and will be in force until the 2022 general election, regardless of the results of the next general election due to be held in 2018.[17][not in citation given]Subsequently, Löfven announced that he no longer intended to call a snap election.[18] The centre-right Alliance withdrew from the agreements in 2015, but allowed the minority government to continue governing.

2015 European migrant crisis

In 2015, when a rising number of refugees and migrants[19] began to make the journey to the European Union to seek asylum, Europe was hit by a migrant crisis and Sweden allowed over 150,000 refugees to cross borders into the country in 2015.

During the autumn of 2015, the reception of refugees increased significantly to over 80,000 in two months and with terror group Islamic state rampage in the Middle East and the following attacks in Paris in November 2015, the cabinet of Löfven introduced revolutionary changes to Sweden’s migration policy. On 23 October 2015, a bipartisan migration agreement was signed between the cabinet parties and the oppositional Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats which included, among many other changes, temporary residency permits, total supply requirements for family reunification and by law forcing municipalities to accept refugees, which is distributed, throughout Sweden.[20]

On 12 November 2015, the cabinet introduced temporary border controls with immediate effect. The cabinet also proposed identity checks for every individual passing the Danish-Swedish border and closing of the Öresund Bridge, giving up the latter on 8 December 2015 after severe criticism.[21] On 17 December 2015, the Riksdag passed legislation to introduce identity checks with the votes 175 in favor, 39 against and 135 abstained.[22] On 4 January 2016, the identity checks was introduced,[23] which means that people who can not show a valid identity card, license or passport are not allowed to cross the border into Sweden, breaking with the Nordic Passport Union for the first time since 1954. Only twelve hours later the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced that Denmark will implement temporary border controls along the German-Danish border with immediate effect as a consequence of Sweden’s identity checks.[24]

2017 National Security crisis

In July 2017, it became known to the public that Maria Ågren, a former Director-General of the Swedish Transport Agency, had been investigated after having cleared confidential information threatening the security of the country. The act was made in connection with a procurement of IT services with a non-governmental company in 2015. Among the cleared data were wanted vehicles, armored vehicles, the entire Swedish vehicles register, Swedish company secrets, the Swedish police criminal record- and suspicion registers, the Swedish state’s internal security system and information about agents within the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service.[25]

Several days after it first became public, Löfven held a press conference on 24 July 2017 where he said that “there’s been an accident at the Transport Agency”.[26] Responsible cabinet minister Anna Johansson said she had been aware of the situation since January 2017 and blamed her former state secretary Erik Bromander for not having informed her earlier.[27] Cabinet ministers Anders Ygeman and Peter Hultqvist were reported to have been aware of the situation since the beginning of 2016, but chose not to inform the head of government.[28]

All parties within the Swedish opposition have opened up for a vote of confidence against cabinet ministers Anna JohanssonAnders Ygeman and Peter Hultqvist in order to remove them from office, with some parties calling for vote of confidence against Löfven as Prime Minister. Such a vote would, if supported by several parties, result in a removal of the Löfven cabinet.[29] In a press conference on 27 July Löfven announced a government reshuffling with Ygeman and Johansson resigning. He also stated that he would not resign himself over the incident.

Same-sex marriage

Löfven does not believe a priest working for the Church of Sweden should be allowed to refuse to wed same-sex couples. [30][31][32]

Foreign policy

Foreign trips made by Stefan Löfven as Prime Minister (as of 3 January 2015)

In his Policy Statement, introduced to the Riksdag on 3 October 2014, Löfven said that his Government would recognize the State of Palestine. On 30 October 2014 the Government, through Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, announced that the Government had decided to officially recognize the State of Palestine and explained the recognition by saying that it is the only solution to get to a two-state solution between Israel and the State of Palestine. Sweden is the first country within the European Union to do so after gaining membership (with other members, such as Poland, withholding recognition previously issued under Communist rule).[33] Israel called the move unconsidered and Israel recalled its ambassador, Isaac Bachman, following the recognition. Bachman returned to Sweden on 29 November 2014.[34] In December 2015 Löfven caused an outrage in Israel by claiming that stabbing attacks are not considered terrorism by international standards. Later he reiterated himself, explaining that it is now known that the stabbing attacks are sanctioned by some terror organisations.[35]