The Pronk Pops Show 1357, November 12, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Addresses The New York Economic Club — Why Trump Will Win Second Term In in 2020 — Economic Promises Made — Economic Promises Kept — Trump Landslide 2020 Presidential Election Victory — It’s The Economy — Stupid — Videos Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Addresses The Economic Club of New York — Why Trump Will Win Second Term In in 2020 — Economic Promises Made — Economic Promises Kept — Trump Landslide 2020 Presidential Election Victory — It’s The Economy — Stupid — Videos

 

AMERICAN STRENGTH: President Trump Touts The State of the Economy in New York

 

Remarks by President Trump at the Economic Club of New York | New York, NY

New York Hilton Midtown
New York, New York

12:09 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Barbara.  So sad that this is live.  She said it’s live.  (Laughter.)  It’s always live.  There’s always somebody with a phone.  It becomes live.  Ask a lot of politicians that are no longer in politics.

I want to thank Marie-Josée Kravis for your incredible leadership of the club.  It’s an honor to be here.  It is wonderful also to be back in New York with so many friends and distinguished leaders in business, in finance, academia, and, I have to add, in real estate.  All my real estate friends are here.

I’m especially grateful for, and to, your longtime club members, because it’s a club with a tremendous reputation.  And somebody doing a absolutely incredible job as Director of the National Economic Council, a friend of mine who I got on — I’ve been hearing this voice for 35 years; it’s driving me crazy: Larry Kudlow.  (Applause.)  Always calm.  Always cool.  And he’s just Larry, and he’s terrific — I’ll tell you that.

Three years ago, I came to speak before this storied forum as a candidate for President.  And at that time, America was stuck in a failed recovery and saddled with a bleak economic future.  And it was bleak.  Under the last administration, nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs had been lost; almost 5 million more Americans had left the labor force, and jobs were not exactly what you would call plentiful; and 10 million people had been added to the food stamp rolls.

In 2016, the Department of Labor predicted that Americans would continue dropping out of the workforce in record numbers.  They predicted and projected a decade of sluggish growth, and they expected unemployment over 5 percent — and, really, 6, 7, and even, in some cases, 8 percent — for many years to come.  The so-called experts said the Americans had no choice but to accept stagnation, decay, and a shrinking middle class as the new normal.  That was said all the time.  In short, the American people were told to sit back and accept a slow, inevitable decline.

But I never believed for one moment that our magnificent nation was destined for a diminished future.  I knew that our destiny was in our own hands; that we could choose to reject a future of America and, really, look at a future of American decline unacceptable, and to build a future of American dominance, which is what I wanted.  It couldn’t be any other way, or I would have never done this.  I refused to accept that Americans had to lower their expectations or give up on their dreams.  America is the single greatest country in the world, and I knew that working together we could make it even greater.

In 2016, I stood before you supremely confident in what our people could achieve if government stopped punishing American workers and started promoting American workers and American companies.  Our middle class was being crushed under the weight of a punitive tax code, oppressive regulations, one-sided trade deals, and an economic policy that put America’s interest last, and a very deep last at that.

I knew that if we lifted these burdens from our economy, and unleashed our people to pursue their ambitions and realize their limitless potential, then economic prosperity would come thundering back to our country at a record speed.  And that’s what’s happening.

Today, I’m proud to stand before you as President of the United States to report that we have delivered on our promises and exceeded our expectations by a very wide margin.  We have ended — (applause) — thank you.  I was waiting for that.  Thank you.  I was waiting for that.  (Laughter.)  I almost didn’t get it.

We have ended the war on American workers, we have stopped the assault on American industry, and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before.

I did this despite a near-record number of rate increases and quantitative tightening by the Federal Reserve since I won the election — eight increases in total — which were, in my opinion, far too fast an increase and far too slow a decrease.  Because remember, we are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan — known as negative interest.  Who ever heard of such a thing?  Give me some of that.  (Laughter.)  Give me some of that money.  I want some of that money.  Our Federal Reserve doesn’t let us do it.

I don’t say — (applause) — thank you.  Thank you.  The smart people are clapping.  Only the smart people are clapping.

I don’t say that’s good for the world — I’m not President of the world; I’m President of our country — but we are competing against these other countries nonetheless, and the Federal Reserve doesn’t let us play at that game.  It puts us at a competitive disadvantage to other countries.

Yet, in the face of this reality, our economic policies have ushered in an unprecedented tide of prosperity surging all throughout the nation.  We’re paying interest.  By other comparisons, we’re paying, actually, high interest.  We should be paying, by far, the lowest interest, and yet we’re doing better than any nation, by far, on Earth.  The extraordinary numbers tell the story.

Back in 2016, before I took office, the Congressional Budget Office projected that fewer than 2 million jobs would be created by this time in 2019.  Instead, my administration has created nearly 7 million jobs, and going up rapidly.  We beat predictions — (applause) — thank you.  We beat predictions more than three times the highest estimate that I saw during the campaign.  Nobody thought it was even possible to get close to a 7 million number.  Two million was maxed out, if you were lucky and if you did a great job.

Unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate in 51 years.  African American unemployment, Hispanic American unemployment, and Asian American unemployment, have all reached the lowest rates in history.  Women’s unemployment, the best numbers in 71 years.  We expect that that number of 71 years — which isn’t good compared to the other numbers, is it?  But women also will soon be “historic,” we think.

Blue-collar jobs are leading the way in our middle class boom.  We’ve added 25,000 mining jobs, 128,000 energy jobs, and 1.2 million manufacturing and construction jobs.  And manufacturing was supposed to be dead in our country.  You would need, according to a past administration representative at the highest level of that past administration — you would need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing jobs.  Well, we brought them back, and we brought them back to over 600,000 manufacturing jobs as of today.  (Applause.)  And those are very important jobs.

Nearly 7 million people have been lifted off, very importantly, food stamps.  Seven million people off of food stamps.  (Applause.)  And we’re getting Americans off of welfare and back into the workforce.  (Applause.)  Nearly 2.5 million Americans have risen out of poverty.  That’s a record.  The rate of African American and Hispanic American families in poverty has plummeted to the lowest level ever recorded, by far.  (Applause.)  And most of you people wouldn’t know these numbers because most of you aren’t very active in the market.  (Laughter.)

But since my election, the S&P 500 is up over 45 percent, the Dow Jones is up over 50 percent, and the NASDAQ is up 60 percent, slightly more.  (Applause.)  And if we had a Federal Reserve that worked with us, you could have added another 25 percent to each one of those numbers — I guarantee you that.  (Laughter and applause.)  That doesn’t happen.  But we all make mistakes, don’t we?  Not too often.  We do make them on occasion.

American markets have vastly outpaced the rest of the world.  This exceptional growth is boosting 401(k)s, pensions, and college savings accounts for millions and millions of hardworking families.  You hear so much about inequality and all of the differences and all of the problems.  The single biggest benefactors of what we’ve done are middle-class workers and low-income families.  It’s been amazing, actually.

Altogether, we’ve added nearly $10 trillion of new value to our economy.  That’s in a short period of time.  Remember, I only use numbers from the time of the election because I can’t go to January 20th.  It’s not fair.   We picked up tremendous stock market and economic numbers.  They actually went wild the day after I won.  I think that should be attributed to us, not attributed to somebody else, because it would’ve gone in the opposite direction.  (Applause.)  It would’ve gone in the opposite direction had the other result taken place, which, fortunately, it didn’t.

Last year, GDP growth matched the fastest rate in more than a decade, and it was the best of the G7 countries by far.  By far.  (Applause.)

Perhaps most importantly — after years of stagnation and decline — American wages, salaries, and incomes are rising very fast.  Median household income is now at the highest level in the history of our country.  (Applause.)

The average median income under President Bush rose only $400 over an eight-year period.  Under President Obama, it rose $975 over an eight-year period.  And under my administration, it rose $5,000 over slightly more than just two and a half years.  That’s a big difference.  (Applause.)

And if you remember, President Obama was paying zero percent interest for a long period of time, while we’re paying a much higher rate of interest.  But in addition to the $5,000, we have to add $2,200 for the tax cuts — average tax cuts — and $2,000 to $3,000 for regulatory and energy cuts.  So that would be a total of almost $10,000 versus $400 and versus $975.  So, that’s something.

So you have, over eight years, you have $400.  Over eight years, you have $975.  Over two and a half years — we’re almost up to three — but this was done and calculated only as of two and a half, and it’s only gone up since then — we’re at almost $10,000.

So, our consumers, because of this, are in the best shape, probably, in the history of our country.  And I think it’s going to be very long lasting.  Very, very long lasting.

This also allows me the latitude and timing to take some of the horrible, incompetent, just terrible trade deals that have been made over the years, and make them great.  It’s like “Make America Great Again” — make the trade deals great.  I don’t know if I can use the word “again.”  Make them great. Period.  Because I don’t think they were ever any good.  (Laughter.)  I haven’t seen it.  We were great and then we weren’t so great, but we’re great again.

And, by the way, on jobs — just now — I’m glad this is today because, just now, they just announced we have the highest number of people working in our country in the history of our country.  Almost 160 million people.  We’ve never been close to that number.  (Applause.)

So, we’ve achieved this stunning turnaround because we’ve adopted a new economic policy that finally puts America first.  As President, I understand and embrace the fact that the world is a place of fierce competition.  We’re competing against other nations for jobs and industry, growth and prosperity.  Factories and businesses will always find a home.  It’s up to us to decide whether that home will be in a foreign country, or right here in our country, our beloved USA.  And that’s where we want them to stay, and be, and move to.  (Applause.)

If we want our families and communities to prosper, America must be the best place on Earth to work, invest, innovate, build, pursue a career, hone a craft, or start a business.  We want companies to move to America, stay in America, and hire American workers.  My mission is to put our country on the very best footing to thrive, excel, compete, and to win.

For many years, our leaders in Washington did the exact opposite.  They imposed the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world.  So high that people couldn’t even understand what they were doing and they would leave.  Very, very smart executives didn’t want to leave, but they would leave, sending our jobs and everything else all a flutter.  They waged an unethical regulatory assault on the American people.  They tried to shut down American energy.  And, by the way, they’re still trying.

You want to see energy shut down?  Take a look at what I’m competing against on the other side.  I don’t think they even believe in energy.  So far, I haven’t found any form of energy that’s acceptable to them.  I think they think the factories are just going to work without energy, don’t they?  (Laughter.) They don’t have a clue, these people.  But I don’t want to mention it yet.  (Laughter.)  I want to wait a little bit longer.  Let them go a little bit further so they can’t take it back, because as a campaign, I like it.  I like it very much.  (Applause.)  Let them keep talking.  Every time they talk, I say, “Boy, this looks like it might be easier than I anticipated.”  (Laughter.)

They passed the disastrous trade deals that encouraged the shuttering of American plants and the offshoring of American jobs by the millions.  In short, the failed political class sold out American workers, sold out American prosperity, and sold out the American Dream.

This was the alarming situation I was elected to end.  And ending, it’s never that easy.  And you see that.  You do have people that want to keep it going that way, but they’re losing and they’re losing now rapidly and fast.  Those days are gone, and we’re not going back.

As you know, one of the key insights of economics is the power of incentives.  Unlike past leaders, my goal is to ensure that this power works for America’s favor and for America’s workers and for America’s companies.  We want the incentives created by our tax, trade, regulatory, and energy policies to be pro-growth, pro-worker, and 100 percent pro-American.  And more is yet to come.

If we take back the House in 2020 and retain the Senate and the White House, you will see things that even this room — and you’ve experienced a lot of great times over the last two and a half years, but even you will be surprised to see.  We have tremendous economic potential.  We have tremendous potential.  We have tremendous economic potential.

At the heart of our economic revival is the biggest tax cut and reforms in American history.  We provided massive relief for working families, saving $2,000 a year for a typical family of four.  To bring jobs back, we lowered our business tax rate from the highest tax rate in the developed world down to a very competitive number.  Not quite the lowest, but getting close.  And we may even be able to get there one day not too — in the not-too-distant future.

And, by the way, we’re taking in more tax revenue with these greatly reduced rates — 21 percent.  And it was 39 percent, but when you added everything else, it was well into the 40s, and you couldn’t bring your money back, because that was prohibitive.  Both ministerially and from an economic standpoint, the rate was so high.  But we brought it down to a level that we’re very proud of and we think we can bring it down still more.  And yet, we’re raising — we have more tax revenues coming into our Treasury than we’ve ever had before.  That tells you something right there.

Since then, nearly $1 trillion have returned to our shores where that money belongs.  Couldn’t get it back.  No matter what you did, you couldn’t do it.  It was not only the rate being so high, but the bureaucracy, the documents, the signings.  Nobody could do it.

To promote investment in distressed American communities, our tax plan created nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones, which are one of the biggest successes that you’ve ever seen.  I don’t think there has ever been anything like it.  Worked with Tim Scott — Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina — and many of the great senators that we do work with and, frankly, Congress, and we passed something that nobody thought was possible to get passed, and nobody thought it could ever work the way it is.

Capital gains on long-term investments are now taxed in an Opportunity Zone at zero, and money is flooding in.  Investment is pouring into these long-neglected communities.  The government wasn’t putting money in; nobody was.  They were dying.  And now tremendous — they call it “neighborhood push.”  It’s incredible what’s happening.  It’s one of the — it’s not spoken of by the fake news media, but they should speak about it, because I will tell you, it’s one of the great successes that we’ve all had.  And it’s employing tremendous numbers of people.  And you have communities that were down and totally out, and they’re reviving like nobody has ever seen.  Opportunity Zones.  Remember those two words.

We believe in no American left behind, and we understand the enormous power of investment, capital, and opportunity to revitalize communities and bring hope where it is needed the most.

To liberate our economy, my administration launched the biggest, boldest, and most ambitious campaign to reduce regulation.  Nobody has ever come close.  No administration has ever come close.  In two and a half years, we’ve done far more than any other administration, whether it was four years, eight years, or in one case, more than eight years.  Nobody has come close to doing what we’ve done with regulations.  (Applause.)

And I happen to think, as great as the tax cut was — the largest in our history — I really happen to think that the regulation cuts may have had an even bigger impact on the economy.  And it was quicker because we were able to do them very early in the administration — earlier than the tax cuts.

Within days of taking office, I issued an executive order to end the outstanding, horrible federal intrusions that you saw — it was an onslaught — into business, into people’s lives.  And it was really done by unelected bureaucrats.  They were really accountable, and nobody held them accountable.  And sometimes, it’s not pleasant to hold them accountable, but I do it.  I do it.  And we had no choice, because we were going nowhere, fast.

My order required that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.  But instead of two for one, we have now eliminated nine for one.  And we think that, within the next six months, it will be close to twenty for one instead of two for one.  (Applause.)

And it sounds like a lot, but you have no idea, when you look at the piles and piles and piles of regulation, on each one of our — our great Secretaries, we’ve had some — we have some great people working here.  But you go into rooms that are half the size of this, and they would literally be stacked to the ceiling with regulations.  Nobody has ever seen anything like it.  And we have actually, I think, a fairly long way to go.  We need regulation, but it has to be smart regulation.

Highways were taking 20 years to get built, to get approved.  You’d put in a application; 20, 21 years later, they’d reject it.  It would cost many, many times more — 25, 30, 40 times more.  But they were taking 20 years.  We’re trying to get that down to one.  And it may get rejected, and that’s okay.  But you haven’t spent 20 years on environmental impact statements in order to build a simple highway or roadway that’s desperately needed.

So we have it down close to one year.  We want to hit the one-year number.  And if it doesn’t work, we’re going to reject it.  But it’s going to be rejected fast.  Swiftly.  But mostly, it’s not going to be rejected.

We ended the ridiculous Waters of the United States rule.  What a beautiful name.  The name was beautiful.  The act was a disaster.  It didn’t allow you to do anything.  When I signed it, I said, “You know, Waters of the United States — what could be a more beautiful title?  I’m going to get killed when I sign this.”  To kill it.  I had to kill it.  It was — it made land development prohibitive.  It made impossible situations for farmers, for everybody.  And I had 35 people in my office — farmers, and builders, and ranchers, and others.  Strong people, very strong — men and women — and almost all of them were crying.  They said, “You’ve given our life back.”  These laws were horrible.  They took away everything.  You would have a puddle in your land, and they would call it — you were under river control, you were under lake control, for what is called a “puddle.”  You couldn’t get anywhere near it.  And if you did, you’d literally be arrested.

We’re streamlining approvals for critical infrastructure.  Our regulatory roadblock [rollback] is also leading to major price reductions in healthcare and prescription drugs.  We’ve gotten the prescription drugs down.  First time in 53 years that prescription drug prices have gone down.

And if we had help from the Democrats, which we do not have — you possibly have noticed that — (laughter) — we would have — we would be able to cut prescription drugs by 30, 40, and 50 percent.  I’ve told some of the governors — Ron DeSantis in Florida — “Go buy them from other countries.  I’m okay with it.  I’m going to give them an executive order,” because Canada and other countries sell the exact same drug from the exact same factory for sometimes 50, 60, and 70 percent less than we do.

And rather than going through the political charade and all of the things where — the middleman — I hope we don’t have any middlemen in here, because somebody is not going to like me too much.  (Laughter.)  We have a middleman — any middlemen?  I think they have to be the richest people in the world, if you want to know the truth.  (Laughter.)  They make far more than the drug companies, in most cases.  But I said, “Buy it from other companies — countries.  You go out to other countries.”

And what’s happening already is the companies are coming back, and they want to make great deals, because now I’m giving the right to governors to go to Canada, go to England, go all over — go all over Europe, where the prices are so much less.  Because we were forced to pay for all research and development, and they didn’t pick up any of the cost.  Ridiculous rules.  So unfair to our country.  I said, “Buy them from other countries and pass along the savings.”  The savings will be staggering.  And we’re starting that program.  But as soon as we start that program, watch what happens with the drug prices.  They’ll come down over here.  Because it’s the same companies that make the drugs.  The exact same companies.  Hard to believe.

Altogether, our regulatory cuts, as mentioned, save American households thousands and thousands of dollars every year.

The foundation of American liberty and prosperity has always been the rule of law.  Throughout history, economies have failed when the rule of law is abandoned.  That’s why we must protect the constitutional rule of law in our country at all costs.  (Applause.)  So important.  We’ve got some lawless people in some very high positions.  They’re lawless.

For this reason, we have now appointed, as of today, 161 — and fully approved — brand-new federal judges, court of appeals judges, to interpret our Constitution as written.  (Applause.)  That will soon be 182 judges.  And, as you know, two Supreme Court justices, who are great gentlemen, both — both fully in and making some very big decisions, even today, as we speak.  The 161, 162 that we have now — we’ll be at 182 within two months.  And then we normalize, meaning we go through the normal system.

When I came into office, one of the first things I said was, “How many federal judges do I have to appoint?”  Because I always heard it was the single-most important thing a President can do — federal judges and Supreme Court justices.  They said, “Sir, you have 142.”  I said, “What?”  Because I was always told you would never have any.  Maybe you’d have one or two, maybe three if the previous President wasn’t doing a good job.  But they said, “You have 142.”  I said, “You have to be kidding.”  And we did.  We had 142.  And we’ve added to that through different things.  And we will be at 182.  That will be a record.  Nobody has ever done that before.  It was shocking.  But I just want to say: Thank you very much, President Obama.  We appreciate it very much, for the 142.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  And I’m sure his party is thrilled with him.  But if they aren’t, they won’t say anything.  Don’t worry about it.

Thanks to these and other policies, last year, the World Economic Forum recognized the United States as the globe’s most competitive economy.  We’ve put it back into this position where we are competitive like no other nation.

To fuel our economic boom, we are bolding — and boldly pursuing American energy independence.  And you see that in the Middle East, where ships are at great danger.  And they keep saying, “What happened to the American ships?”  They don’t see too many American ships over there anymore.  Do you notice that?

We stopped the radical crusade to dismantle U.S. energy production and empower rogue regimes.  We withdrew from the one-sided, horrible, horrible, economically unfair, “close your businesses down within three years,” “don’t frack, don’t drill, we don’t want any energy” — the horrible Paris Climate Accord that killed American jobs and shielded foreign polluters.  It was a disaster for this country.  Ask them, “How are they doing in Paris with your Paris Accord?”  Not too good.

And I will tell you, when I signed — that was another one — Clean Waters of the United States — well, the Paris Accord, too — and I said, “This is going to take guts.”  I just closed my eyes and I signed it.  (Laughter.)  I got one day of a big hit from some of the radical-left newspapers.  And then after that, everybody thanks me.  They thank me so profusely.  You’re talking about trillions and trillions of dollars of destruction would have been done to our country with the Paris Climate Accord.

And it is so unfair.  It doesn’t kick in for China until 2030.  Russia goes back into the 1990s, where the base year was the dirtiest year ever in the world.  India, we are supposed to pay them money because they are a developing nation.  I said, “We’re a developing nation, too.”  (Laughter.)  “Why aren’t we…” Under the WTO, China is called a “developing nation.”  So we wrote them a letter recently; Larry knows it.  I’m not sure Larry liked the idea too much, but he went along with it.  (Laughter.)  We wrote them a very tough letter, Larry, and we said —

MR. KUDLOW:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  What?

MR. KUDLOW:  I wrote the letter.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, Larry wrote it.  (Laughs.)  He said — (Laughter.)  Boy, you hopped on that bandwagon quickly, didn’t you?  (Laughter.)  That’s okay.  But we wrote them a letter and we said, much more strongly than the letter, that — not fair to have China as a developing nation.  One of the reasons they’ve taken advantage of us is because of that.  And we’re considered the big, fat cow.  And no longer.  No longer.  We have a lot of things to work out.

And I will say this: Because they know that I’m very tentative on the WTO, we’re winning cases for the first time.  We just won a 7.5 billion-dollar case.  We never won cases.  They’d rule against us because they said, “Hey, don’t worry about the United States.  They’re the stupid people.  Don’t worry.  Rule against them.”  Keep rule- — we had case after case.  Now, we’re winning cases, because they really think that I’ll do something very powerful, which we have the right to do.  And they’re right when they think that way.  And we’re winning a lot of cases at the WTO level, we never — that we never even would have thought of winning before.

America is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas on the entire planet Earth.  Net energy imports — (applause) — net energy imports — this is so great — set a historic low; it’s a 58-year low, but that’s only because they only go back 58 years, meaning, I assume if it’s low now, it’s lower than it used to be, unless something happened that’s very strange back then.  But it’s at a historic low.  We are now a net exporter of natural gas, and we recently became a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products for the first time in our country’s history.  It’s a big thing.  (Applause.)

According to the Council of Economic Advisers, the astonishing increase in production, made possible by the shale revolution, saves Americans $2,500 for a family of four in lowering electric bills and prices at the pump.  And the number is actually now even higher than that.

My administration is also restoring the principle that to be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation.  These are great jobs.  These are brilliant, great people that know how to manufacture.  These people were under-appreciated and under-taken care of.  But we take care of them.  We cherish them.

Past leaders wrote off American manufacturing as dead, but their policies were the ones that were actually killing it.  We killed manufacturing.  That’s why we were losing all those jobs, because we made it impossible to manufacture.  We opened it all up.

After losing — and this is a number that’s hard to believe, and I’ve been saying it for three years, and I know it’s right because the fake news has never corrected me.  If it was wrong, it would have been headlines: “Trump made a mistake.”  But they can’t say it.  After losing 60,000 — can you believe that? — factories under the previous two administrations, America is now gaining over 10,000 brand-new, beautiful factories, and many, many more than that want to come back in.  Because under my administration, we’re producing jobs and incentives for these companies to come back.  I’m calling, as an example, Prime Minister Abe of Japan.  And I say, “Mr. Prime Minister, Shinzo, we have a tremendous problem.  We have big deficits with your country.  You’ve got to start building plants.”  He’s building many, many car plants now in the United States that he would’ve never built here if you didn’t have this kind of a President.  And he’s very happy to be doing it.

But they’re all coming back to the United States.  They want to be where the action is.  Very simple: They want to be where the action is.  This is where the action is.  There’s nobody close.  There’s no country close.

When I meet with the leaders of countries, as they come in — kings and queens and prime ministers and presidents and dictators — I meet them all.  (Laughter.)  Anybody who wants to come in — dictators, it’s okay, come on in.  Whatever is good for the United States.  We want to help our people.  But the first thing they say to me almost always: “Congratulations on your economy.”  They all say it.  “Congratulations, it’s incredible what’s happened to your country.  It’s incredible what’s happened to your economy.”  First thing they say in almost every instance.

But central to this comeback is a series of bold initiatives to reform a broken system of international trade.  We want thriving commerce with as many countries as possible, but trade must be fair, and to me, it must be my favorite word, “reciprocal.”  It’s not reciprocal.  We’re getting it to be much more reciprocal.

The American market is the most valuable and coveted market anywhere in the world.  Those who want access must play by the rules, and they have to respect our game and our laws, and they have to treat our workers and businesses fairly — not the way they’ve been treating them over the last 25 years.  America will not be taken advantage of anymore.  (Applause.)

Many countries charge us extraordinarily high tariffs or create impossible trade barriers.  Impossible.  And I’ll be honest: European Union — very, very difficult.  The barriers they have up are terrible.  Terrible.  In many ways, worse than China.

We’re working on legislation known as the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, meaning quite simply: What’s good for them is good for us.  If they want to charge us, we charge them.  It’s a very simple thing.  Even people that aren’t well versed in what we all do say — I went to a couple of senators — went to Lindsey Graham.  I said, “Lindsey, let me ask you.  What do you think of that?  They’re charging us 100 percent.  We’ll charge them…”  “That makes sense to me.”  It really does.  It makes sense to everybody because it’s very unfair the way we’re treated by certain countries.  There are certain countries that the average tariff is over 100 percent.  And we charge them nothing.  And then they call it “fair trade.”  That’s not fair trade; that’s stupid trade.  (Laughter.)  Of course, this will be subject to regaining the House, to be able to do these things.

Nowhere has the change in U.S. strategy been more vital or dramatic than in our dealings with respect to China.  Before my election, Washington politicians stood by and did nothing while China ransacked our companies, stole our intellectual property, subsidized their industries at the expense of ours, and dumped their products in a deliberate strategy to close American factories all across our land.

For many years, Americans — leaders have just sat back.  Maybe they didn’t understand what was going on.  It’s impossible to believe that.  But they just let it happen.  And it’s gotten worse and worse and worse.  And now we’ve changed it.  It’s changed a lot.  I’m sure you haven’t noticed, but it’s changed a lot.

In particular, since China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, no one has manipulated numbers better or taken advantage of the United States more.  And I won’t use this word, “cheated.”  I will not say the word, “cheated.”  But nobody has cheated better than China, but I will not say that.  (Laughter.)  We’ll say that off the record, okay?  And there’s only about 600 cameras back there.  In fact, that is a big group up there.  Good.  I hope you use it because it’s true.  And they understand it’s true.

And I don’t blame China, by the way.  I blame our leaders, because we should’ve been doing what they were doing.  They did it to use.  We didn’t do it to them.  We were defenseless.  We had no leadership.  This was for a long time.  This is long beyond the Obama administration.

So I don’t blame them.  I said this to President Xi.  I was making a big speech in China.  I had 5,000 people in front of me and I was talking about how bad China was.  And I said, “This is not going over well.”  (Laughter.)  I was in Beijing — this massive hall.  And I looked down at President Xi.  He was sitting right where Larry is.  He was not as imposing a figure as Larry Kudlow, but he was quite imposing.  (Laughter.)  And I said — I said, “You know, I think he’s getting very angry.”  And I then I realized, “Hmm, how do we save this?  This is going to be a disastrous afternoon.”  (Laughter.)  And I said, “But I don’t blame China.  I blame our leaders.”  And then I realized, that’s true.  I blame our leaders for allowing it to happen.  I’ve told that to you and many people many times.

But the theft of American jobs and American wealth is over.  They understand that.  My administration has taken the toughest-ever action to confront China’s trade abuses.  We are taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs that China is paying for.  We’re not paying.  China is paying because they’re devaluing their currency to such an extent and they’re pouring tremendous amounts of cash into their system.

They’re having their worst year in more than 57 years, more than half a century.  Their supply chains are cracking very badly, and they are dying to make a deal.  We’re the ones that are deciding whether or not we want to make a deal.  We’re close.

A significant phase one trade deal with China could happen.  It could happen soon.  But we will only accept a deal if it’s good for the United States and our workers and our great companies, because we’ve been hit very hard.  We’d have deficits for many years — go back many years — $500 billion a year.  Not million.  Five hundred million dollars a year is a lot.  Five hundred billion dollars a year in trade deficits with China.  And we have it with many other countries, just not nearly as large.  China probably makes up almost 60 percent of our deficits.

We also renegotiated the last administration’s failed trade agreement with South Korea.  It was a terrible agreement.  Our new agreement doubles the number of American cars that can be sold to South Korea under the U.S. standards, and it keeps America’s 25 percent import tax, known as the “chicken tax,” on small trucks, which was all ready to disappear.  It was going to disappear.

The deal from the previous administration was projected by them to add 250,000 jobs, and they were right.  It did add 250,000 jobs.  Unfortunately, the jobs went to South Korea, not to the United States.  That’s what we got stuck with.

We also struck a deal, which is historic, with Japan — it’s just partial because we’re having very tough negotiations and strong negotiations with Japan — to substantially reduce barriers for American agriculture and facilitate $40 billion in digital trade and agricultural purchases.  That deal was signed, and it’s a great deal but it’s only phase one of the Japan deal, too.

A lot of these leaders don’t like me too much, folks.  When you hear that I’m not so popular in various countries, please don’t accept that as, “Gee, he doesn’t have a good personality.”  Just realize what I’m trying to do for you.  It’s about time.  Okay?  Please.  (Applause.)

They recently came out with a poll that President Obama is much more popular in Germany than I am.  I said, “Guess what?  He should be.  He should be.”  (Laughter.)  The day I’m more popular than him, you know I’m not doing my job.  Let’s put it that way.  (Applause.)  Because we’re treated very badly by countries.  They take advantage of us, and they have for many, many years.  It’s hard to break that cycle.  But we’re breaking it and we’re getting along with them, believe it or not.  We’re actually — I think they respect us far more today than they ever have, if you want to know the truth.

We’re replacing one of the worst trade deals ever in history, NAFTA, with a brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — a historic win for American farmers, energy producers, and manufacturers.  And the reason it’s such a good deal for us is, I said, “Listen, if you don’t sign this deal, we’re going to charge you tariffs on your product coming into the United States, including all of those cars that are now manufactured in Mexico.”  Thirty percent of our business was lost over the last 20 years.  It went to Mexico.  And I said, “So, if you don’t sign it — so it’s a good agreement, we’re going to just charge you tariffs.”  And they signed everything we wanted.

The USMCA will create up to half a million American jobs and add at least 1.2 percent more to our total GDP.  And it should be much higher than that.  Yet, Democrats in Washington would rather pursue outrageous hoaxes and delusional witch hunts — which are going absolutely nowhere; don’t worry about it — than pass the USMCA and deliver real stuff for the American workers.  It’s a great bill — USMCA.  And put pressure on the Democrats.  There’s tremendous pressure already.  And, most of them, if you had a vote today, I think most of them would actually vote for it.  But Nancy Pelosi — Nervous Nancy — has to put it out there and sign.  And if she doesn’t, she’s doing her party a tremendous disservice, and she’s doing this country a tremendous disservice.

As we create millions of new jobs, we are also transforming lives.  Under the last administration, nearly 1.8 million Americans in their prime-working years simply gave up — they gave up — looking for work altogether and dropped out of the labor force.  Under my administration, 2 million prime-age Americans have come off the sidelines already — people that we thought maybe would never work again — and they’ve fully rejoined the labor force.  Something we’re very proud of.  (Applause.)

And this includes a group that was having a hard time from the day of our Founders — the day they signed, these people have had a hard time.  They’re former inmates — people that went to jail — who are getting a fresh start thanks to the landmark criminal justice reform bill that I signed into law, but maybe equally so because the economy is so good.  They’re coming out of jail now and they’re getting jobs.

And I will tell you, the people that have been hiring them — and I get reports — they cannot believe how good they’ve been, and obviously, not in all cases.  But it’s incredible.  First time they’ve ever had an opportunity.  They get out of jail, and they end up with a great job.  And they cherish the job more than you would, more than I would.  They cherish — they can’t believe what happened to them.  And they’re doing a phenomenal job.  First time it’s ever happened in the history of our country.  It’s really terrific.  (Applause.)

When we say, “Hire American,” we mean hire all Americans.  By focusing on the needs of people, not the desires of government, we’re helping our citizens realize their ambitions and pursue rewarding careers.  Over 1.1 million fewer Americans are now forced to rely on part-time work today than when I was elected.  That’s a tremendous number.  People were working two jobs, and three jobs, and making less money than they made 21 years ago.  That was the stat.

A record number of Americans are quitting the job that they have to take a job they like even better.  They like the job better.  They like getting up in the morning, like we all do.  They like going to work.  And they have something that they can do, and they’re getting paid more money for it, which is something that’s probably never happened before in this country to the extent it’s happened now.

This increased competition is driving up wages for blue-collar workers who are the biggest beneficiaries of what we’re talking about and all the things that I’m mentioning today.

Real weekly wages for the lowest-paid earners have grown more in the first three years of my administration than in the entire decade before my election — and decade and much more than that.

Since the election, real wages have gone up 3.2 percent for the median American worker.  But for the bottom income group, real wages are soaring — a number that’s never happened before — 9 percent.  And that means you might make a couple of bucks less in your companies.  You know what?  That’s okay.  That’s okay.  This is a great thing for our country when you talk about equality.  This is a great thing for our country.

Our tight labor market is helping them the most.  Yet, Democrats in Washington want to erase these gains through an extreme policy of open borders, flooding the labor market, and driving down incomes for the poorest Americans, and driving crime right through the roof.  They want nothing to do with looking at the people that are coming in.  And some very, very bad people are trying to get in.

But we’re building the wall.  It’s going up rapidly.  We have tremendous help from Mexico, despite what you read.  It was a terrible thing that you read over the last period of a few days, but also, over the last years.

But they have 27,000 soldiers on our border now protecting us from people coming into our country.  And because of that, I’m not tariffing Mexican goods.  So, it works out well for everyone.  But we have 27,000 Mexican soldiers.  And they play by different rules than our people.  If our people speak rudely to a person coming in, it means they get the electric chair.  It’s a very unfair situation.  Our border — our border is so — our laws are so bad — our immigration laws.  It’s so sad.

We have what’s called loopholes.  Many loopholes.  I could fix them in 15 minutes, but the Democrats don’t want to fix them, for two reasons: They don’t want to give us a win.  And, honestly, I think they maybe just don’t care.  And it would solve all of the problems and you wouldn’t need Mexico’s help.  But we want to thank Mexico.  We want to thank the President.

And I’ve likewise offered a lot of help because they have a tremendous problem with the cartels in their country — a problem like nobody would believe, where the cartels are almost ruling a country.  And I am offering to the President of Mexico the ultimate hand.  And he and I have a very good relationship, and let’s ultimately see what happens.  But those cartels are horrible — what they’re doing.  You see it every day.  All you have to do is turn on the news.

I want people to come to our country, but they must come in legally and they must come through a system of merit.

We now know all of our obligations.  Our moral obligation is to the American workers, and we’re committed to helping them climb that great ladder of success.  To equip them with the skills they need, we launched the Pledge to America’s Workers.  Three hundred and sixty-seven private sector partners are providing more than 14 million skills and career-training opportunities for U.S. workers.

And I have to say, I’m very proud of her.  My daughter Ivanka, that’s all she wants to talk about.  I say, “Ivanka, can we please talk about something else?”  “No, Dad.  I met today with Walmart.  They’re taking a million people.  I met…”  She is — she wants to make these people have great lives.  And when she started this two and a half years ago, her goal was 500,000 jobs.  She’s now created 14 million jobs and they’re being trained by these great companies — the greatest companies in the world.  Because the government can’t train them.  It’s a great thing.  (Applause.)

So, Jared is here and you’ll thank — you’ll thank Ivanka.  She’s done an amazing job.  Fourteen million from 500,000.  We’re at 14 million and going up.

Today, the world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and proud and prosperous America.  The world is a better place because of it also.

But everything that we have achieved is under threat from the left-wing ideology that demands absolute conformity, relentless regulation, and a top-down control of the entire U.S economy.

Far-left politicians in our nation’s Capitol want a massive government takeover of healthcare; they want to give government bureaucrats domination over every aspect of your business and your life; they want to eliminate American oil and natural gas; they want to enlist us in global projects designed to redistribute American wealth and kill American jobs all over our nation.

Washington’s Democrats and their radical agenda of socialism would demolish our economy, reinstate the avalanche of regulations that I have already ended, decimate the middle class, and totally bankrupt our nation.  As long as I’m President, America will never be a socialist country.  (Applause.)

We are reawakening the majestic spirit of enterprise and exploration, discovery, and all of the other things that we need to create that exceptional character that our nation is developing now more than at any time in the past.

We’re a nation of unbridled pioneers, and adventurers, and risk-takers.  We inherit the legacy of courageous, free, and independent souls who ventured across oceans, braved the wilderness, settled the frontiers, tamed the Wild West, and raised up towering cities of concrete, iron, and steel.

Our American ancestors produced miracles of science, lost — this is (inaudible) — lost so many lives, but launched revolutions in technology, created groundbreaking new industries, built the railroads that linked our cities, fashioned the skyscrapers that touched the clouds, and gave us the most prosperous nation to ever exist on the face of the Earth.

This is our American heritage.  This is who we are.  This is who we will forever be.

We believe in the dignity of work and the nobility of each and every American worker.  We believe the future is forged in the mind of the American inventor, the soul of the American craftsman, the heart of the American entrepreneur, and the faith of the American investor.  We know that there is nothing we cannot achieve as one team, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God.

With everyone here today, and millions of patriots across our land, we are making America stronger, prouder, and greater than ever before.  And, ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come.

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

MS. VAN ALLEN:  Thank you, Mr. President, for your insights and the great work that you do, sir.

We’ll now move to the question-and-answer portion of our program.  Our two very able questioners today are Mr. John Hess, CEO of Hess Corporation, and Mr. Mark Gallogly, Managing Principal of Centerbridge Partners.  Mr. Hess, you have the first question.

MR. HESS:  Mr. President, welcome back to New York.  Mr. President, you’ve been a tough negotiator to address unfair trading practices and ensure that U.S. businesses get fair treatment.  But there’s a growing consensus that the trade war has a cost and is weighing on our economic growth and capital spending.  As you know, capital spending in the United States, last year, was up 10 percent.  This year, it’s flat.

While you mentioned in your speech significant progress that has been made on several fronts, a number of industrial sectors have recently been hurt: manufacturing, automotive, and oil.  What are your plans to address these economic headwinds?

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you, John.  They haven’t been hurt.  You know, they were totally down.  Now they are a little bit down because a little big, perhaps, the uncertainty of trade wars.  But there is no uncertainty.  We’re the bank that everyone wants to take from.  We’re the source that everybody needs and everybody wants all over the world.  The real cost, John, would be if we did nothing.  The cost of doing nothing was killing us, as a country — our national debt and so many other things.  But it was killing us.

So when I — when you say, “Gee, let’s just…” — because perhaps this is an assumption based on the question — “Gee, let’s just keep it the way it is with China,” that would be the real cost.  We can’t do that.

One of the things I was able to do with China: As an example — we’ve taken in — I mean, we’ll soon be up to $100 billion in tariffs.  And you haven’t seen inflation and you haven’t seen, in many cases, price increases.

Our farmers — because I have a very good relationship with our farmers — our great American farmers — I call them “patriots” — they were hurt very badly by China because China targeted them because they were my vote.  The whole middle of the country — it’s a beautiful thing to see, I will say.  But they targeted them.

And I said to Sonny Perdue, our Secretary of Agriculture, “Sonny, how much is it?”  And he said, “The year before last, it was $12 billion, and this year it’s $16 billion in orders.”  I said, “That’s okay, Sonny.  We’re going to give them $28 billion.  We’re going to take it right out of the tariffs.  And, hopefully, the farmers will say, “Thank you very much, China.”

And we spread — distributed, two years, $28 billion around to China — around from China, into our farmers and farms and ranchers and all of the people that were targeted.  So, I would say, in a rough manner, “by China.”  I would say in a very rough manner.  And now China is coming back.  And as you know, they’re already starting big buys — very big buys.  And the farmers are very happy.

The incredible thing with the farmers is they don’t want a subsidy, they don’t want a handout.  But in this case, I thought it was something that I wanted to do, and I was able to do it — $28 billion.  And after that, we had tremendous amounts of the billions left over that we could use.  Actually, we could use it for tax reductions.  We could distribute it to people.

And again, if we don’t make a deal with China — look, I had a deal.  We had a deal.  This gentleman can tell you, we were so close to a deal.  The hard points were negotiated: opening up China, intellectual property, all sorts of tremendous penalties.

And then, one day, we get a call — seven months ago, we get a call, they’d like to see us.  And we saw them, and they explained why they can’t do three or four things that were already agreed to.  And I said, “Okay.  Hey, look, I’m in the real estate business in New York.  I’ve heard that before.”  (Laughter.)  Sadly.  It wasn’t like, “Oh, gee, I’m so shocked.”  But I was a little surprised.  You know, it’s China.  They’re not supposed to do that.  But they did.  And I’ll tell you what: I’ll bet you they wished they didn’t do it.

Then I put on 25 percent tariffs on everything coming in — on the first $250 billion of product.  It’s going to 15 percent very soon.  And I tell this to Larry, I tell it to everybody: If we don’t make a deal, we’re going to substantially raise those tariffs.  They’re going to be raised very substantially.

And that’s going to be true for other countries that mistreat us too, because we’ve been mistreated by so many countries.  It’s hard to believe.  There are a few that haven’t mistreated us.  And, you know, I can’t blame them, if you can get away with it.  This is why I blame our past leadership.  I don’t know how it’s gotten this way.  So, we’ll have a trade deficit of — over the last, you know, long period of time, close to $800 billion.  Whoever heard of this?  Eight hundred billion dollars of trade deficit.  It’s supposed to be the other way around.

So, we’re changing it rapidly.  It takes a while.  You have statutory constraint.  You have — in some cases, you take it to one phase, and then you have to, by law, wait six months before you can go to phase two, and phase three, and phase four.  But we’ve made a tremendous amount of progress.  And we are respected on — on many fronts.

We rebuilt our military, John, which is very important.  You know, we can all talk about trade, we can all talk about judges, we can all talk about everything we’re doing.  But if we don’t have a military in this world today — you saw what we did with al-Baghdadi last week.  And we have the greatest military force on Earth.  It was depleted when I took over.  We have to spend money on the military, otherwise — you know, it’s wonderful to have budgets, but if we don’t rebuild our military — and we have rebuilt it: $700 billion; $716 billion, the second year; and $738 billion this year.  And our military will be at a level that nobody can even come close to competing with.

And that’s where we have to be.  We had a military that was so depleted, so bad.  The planes were so old; many of them didn’t fly.  I could tell you stories about ammunition.  They didn’t have ammunition.  We had a real problem.  Well, we have to do that; otherwise, everything we talk about doesn’t matter because we have some very big, very powerful players.

I’m not talking about radical Islam; I’m talking about beyond radical Islam.  We have to look at the even bigger picture.  But we handle radical Islamic terrorism.  In addition, we wiped out ISIS, and now we’d like to bring our people back home.  We kept the oil.  You know, we kept the oil.  (Applause.)   We want to bring our people back home.  (Applause.)

When I took over, three years ago, ISIS was all over various parts of the Middle East.  I’d show you a map.  It was put as a certain color, and that color was very predominant.  And now that color doesn’t exist.  Now, you’re going to have offshoots, and they’ll start building up again.  And it would be nice if other countries could handle it, but maybe they won’t.  But we’ve decimated ISIS and captured many.  But we’ve decimated ISIS, and we’re going to have to keep it that way.  That’s why we got the leader, al-Baghdadi, who, when you saw those orange jumpsuits with the cutting off of the heads standing on the beach — many young men, in this case — that was all Baghdadi.

And we also got his second.  They had just taken a man.  He just became second.  Well, he got it, too.  And guess what?  We have our eye on his third.  His third has got a lot of problems because we know where he is, too.  (Laughter.)  So we have to keep it that way; otherwise, we’re going to continue to have problems.

You look at what’s happened in Europe.  I mean, what’s going on in Europe is very sad when you look at what’s taken place in Europe.  So, they have to be able to straighten out their own problems.  But, John, we’ve rebuilt our military.

Our manufacturing is coming back at a very, very strong pitch.  It’s a little bit down from where it was last year.  But last year, we’re doing record numbers.  It’s coming back very, very powerfully.  And our country is really strong.  And I think one of the things that we can all talk about is the $10,000 per consumer, per person.  But per consumer.  When you look at that, I think, really, we’re going to go forward because our consumer is so strong, and never been strong like this.  So we’re in great shape for the future.  Thank you, John.

MR. HESS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

MR. GALLOGLY:  Mr. President, all the folks in the room are business leaders.  Business works hard to think through and mitigate risk.  How do you think about risk as it relates to trade policy and to, really, big issues like climate change?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know, climate change is a very complex issue.  I consider myself to be, in many ways, an environmentalist, believe it or not.  When I build buildings, I did the best environmental impact statements.  I was — you know, I know the game better than anybody.  And I used to go and see my consultants that I was paying a lot of money — environmental consultants.  They’d be up in Albany.  And I’d say, “What are they doing up here?”  Well, they were trying to make it more difficult so we’d have to hire them and pay them even more money than we were paying them now.  And I know what it is.

But to me, it’s clean air and crystal-clean, clear water. And we have now the cleanest air we’ve ever had in our country, meaning, over the last 40 years.  I guess, 200 years ago was cleaner, but there was nothing around.  Right?  I’m not sure that it was much cleaner, if you want to know the truth.  (Laughter.)  But I want clean air.  I want clean water, environmentally.

If you take a look, we discussed the Paris Climate Accord.  That would just put us out of business.  We’re sending money all over.  We’re doing things that are unnecessary.  It would’ve been a catastrophe.

So I want — I’m very much into climate.  But I want the cleanest air on the planet and I want to have — I have to have clean air — water.  And, you know, when people ask the question — your part of the question about climate — I always say: You know, I have a little problem.  We have a relatively small piece of land — the United States.  And you compare that to some of the other countries like China, like India, like Russia, like many other countries that absolutely are doing absolutely nothing to clean up their smokestacks and clean up all of their plants and all of the garbage that they’re dropping in sea and that floats into Los Angeles, along with other problems that Los Angeles has, by the way.  Isn’t amazing it ends up in Los Angeles?  (Laughter.)  Oh, what a — what a mess that is.

But when you see this happening, it’s — nobody wants to talk about it.  They want to talk about our country.  We have to do this.  We have can’t have planes any longer.  We can’t have cows any longer.  We can’t have anything.  I said, “What about China?”  I don’t think they’re going to subscribe to a poor student coming up with 12 — you know, I actually heard the other day, some pretty good politician.  I’ve seen him around for a long time.  Nice white hair.  Everything is like central casting.  You could put the guy in a movie.

He was talking.  I don’t know if he believes this — but he was a Democrat — he said, “We have 11 years.”  It’s the first time I’ve heard it; I heard 12.  But now, see, it’s been a year, so now they think we have 11 years to live.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know, folks.  I think these people have gone totally loco.  (Laughter.)

But we are — you know, they will kill our industry.  They don’t want oil.  I mean, go to Texas.  Tell Texas there will be no more drilling, there will be no more oil and gas.  We’ll put hundreds of thousands of people out of work.  We won’t fuel our factories.  And now you’re talking about millions and millions of people, and you’re talking about a country that couldn’t even exist.

These people — I almost don’t know.  Is this politics?  Because I think it’s bad politics.  I think it’s bad politics.  But we have to be very careful.  And, you know, recently I walked into a meeting and I was with a group of people that I’ve, you know, generally I didn’t like.  I never liked them. It’s a certain group of people.  I have my likes and dislikes, and my — (laughter) —

And I walked into a room.  There are a couple of hundred people — very substantial people.  And I said, “Listen, I don’t have to make a long speech.  Here’s the story: I don’t like you. You don’t like me.  You have no choice but to vote for me.  And you will do whatever you have to do.”  And they said, “Yes, sir. We will.  We will.  We think you’re doing a great job.”

The truth is, look, you have no choice, because the people we’re running against are crazy.  (Laughter.)  They’re crazy.  (Applause.)

And I have to say this: I don’t think there is that much.  I think the biggest risk is the election, I’ll be honest.  I think the biggest risk — because I actually believe some of these people mean what they say.  I really believe that.  And it’s just not — it’s just not acceptable.  We have a very important election coming up.  I think we’re going to do very well.  I think we’re going to win it.  I think we’re going to win it, hopefully, easily.  But it doesn’t matter as long as we win it by a vote.

But it’s going to be something very important for all of you.  I have to say, I have great respect for what all of you have done.  I know so many of you.  And we want to keep it going that way.  Our country is strong.  Our country is great.  Our economy is probably the best it’s ever been.  And we want to keep it that way.

Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-economic-club-new-york-new-york-ny/

 

 

Economic Club of New York

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Economic Club of New York
Economic Club of New York Logo.jpg
Formation 1907
Founder J. W. Beatson
Purpose Study and discussion of social, economic and political questions
Headquarters New YorkNY
Chairman
Marie-Josée Kravis
President
Barbara M. Van Allen
Website www.econclubny.org

The Economic Club of New York is a U.S. nonprofit and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to promoting the study and discussion of social, economic and political questions.

 

History

The Economic Club of New York was founded in 1907 by J. W. Beatson, Secretary of the National Economic League in Boston, and four business leaders from New York City. Its founders sought to follow the successful example of the Economic Clubs of Boston, Providence, Worcester, Portland, Springfield, and New Haven with the aim of bringing business people and others together for discussions of economic, social and other public issues in a non-partisan forum.[1] For many years, the Economic Club of New York was affiliated with the League for Political Education; their first president Robert Erskine Ely was also director of the League.[2]

Operation

The main activity of the Economic Club of New York is to regularly host prestigious guest speakers at its member (and their guests)-only dinners and luncheons. However, these presentations are open to the news media to help foster public discussion of issues important to the general public as well those in business and public life. These speaker programs are the focal point of large dinner meetings, or occasionally luncheons, in the ballroom of a major hotel in Manhattan. The format is geared to serious discussion. There is no entertainment, no presentations, and no extraneous business. The focus is on the Guest of Honor and the speaking program. As defined by the Club’s founders, the issues for discussion were ones of “live and practical interest” and speakers were to be of national reputation.[3]

Speakers

The Club has been host to more than 1,200 speakers and the stature, caliber, and variety of speakers has become a guiding principle. The audiences have heard from current, and past presidents of the United States including Woodrow WilsonWilliam H. TaftHerbert HooverDwight D. EisenhowerJohn F. KennedyRichard NixonRonald ReaganGeorge H.W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Among the many distinguished foreign leaders to address the Club have been Winston ChurchillMikhail GorbachevIndira GandhiMargaret ThatcherYitzak RabinCorizon Aquino, and Zhu Rongji.[4]

Other Guests of Honor have included central bankers, justices of the Supreme Court, secretaries general of the United Nations, governors and heads of international business enterprises, as well as many key cabinet members, military leaders, ambassadors, and scientists.[4]

Presentations are followed by a questions period in which Club members, selected in advance and seated on the dais, will query the speaker. There are no constraints placed on what speakers may say during their presentation. Questioners are not constrained either.

Club speakers often use the platform to put forth their agendas to members and the media. On December 14, 1962 then-President John F. Kennedy made his famous remarks calling for a sharp cut in tax rates and reform of the tax system in order to grow the economy. In part, he said:

In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out. This country’s own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.[5]

Honor Roll of Speakers hide
Over the years, the Club has been host to over 1,000 prominent leaders and figures on the national and international stage.A partial listing from their honor roll of speakers follows:[6]
King Abdullah, III Dag Hammarskjold George A. Papandreou
Dean Acheson Phillip Hammond George Pataki
Giovanni Agnelli Stephen Harper Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Corazon C. Aquino W. Averell Harriman Peter G. Peterson
Sheila C. Bair William Randolph Hearst General (Ret) David H. Petraeus
James A. Baker, III Felipe Calderon Hinojosa Harvey L. Pitt
Steve Ballmer Reid Hoffman Karl Otto Pohl
Menachem Begin Herbert C. Hoover Ruth Porat
Lloyd Bentsen Charles Evans Hughes Ian Read
Ben S. Bernanke Edward Hyman Ronald Reagan
Jeff Bezos Jeffrey R. Immelt Donald Regan
Lloyd Blankfein Robert Kaplan Walter P. Reuther
Alan S. Blinder Margaret Keane Condoleezza Rice
Michael R. Bloomberg Anthony M. Kennedy Elliot L. Richardson
Roger Blough John F. Kennedy Edward V. Rickenbacker
John A. Boehner Robert F. Kennedy David Rockefeller
Clare Boothe Li Keqiang John D. Rockefeller, III
Erskine Bowles Nikita S. Khrushchev Nelson Rockefeller
Bill Bradley Mervyn A. King Ginni Rometty
Lael Brainard Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick Zhu Rongji
Louis D. Brandeis Henry Kissinger Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
William Jennings Bryan Edward I. Koch Robert E. Rubin
Zbigniew Brzezinski Lawrence Kudlow David M. Rubenstein
James L. Buckley Christine Lagarde Dean Rusk
Warren E. Burger Fiorello H. LaGuardia Paul Ryan
George H.W. Bush Melvin Laird Anwar Sadat
George W. Bush Arthur Levitt Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Nicholas Murray Butler Jacob J. Lew Paul Sarbanes
Michel Camdessus Walter Lippman Antonin Scalia
Fernando Henrique Cardoso Henry R. Luce Mary L. Schapiro
Andrew Carnegie Jack Ma Eric Schmidt
Mark J. Carney John Major Dan Schulman
Robert J. Carr David Malpass Brent Scowcroft
Jimmy Carter Paul Martin William W. Scranton
Stephen Case William McChesney Martin, Jr. Yitzhak Shamir
William J. Casey Larry Merlo Masaaki Shirakawa
Richard B. Cheney William G. McAdoo George Shultz
Brian Chesky John McCain Ben Silbermann
Jacques Chirac William J. McDonough Adam Silver
Jean Chretien Doug McMillon Alan Simpson
Winston Churchill Robert S. McNamara Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.
Mark Clark Anastas Mikoyan Jan Smets
Lucius D. Clay G. William Miller John W. Snow
William Colby Francois Mitterrand John W. Snyder
John B. Connally Walter Mondale Gene B. Sperling
Felipe Calderon Henry Morgenthau Herbert Stein
Jay Clayton Daniel Patrick Moynihan George M. Steinbrenner
Hillary Clinton Robert S. Mueller, III Randall Stephenson
Charlie Cook Brian Mulroney Robert S. Strauss
Michael Corbat Edmund S. Muskie Lawrence H. Summers
Francesco Cossigna Richard B. Myers William H. Taft
Christopher Cox Satya Nadella John A. Thain
Mario Cuomo Richard E. Neal U Thant
Carlos Salinas de Gortari B.K. Nehru Margaret Thatcher
Douglas Dillon Adam Neumann Peter Thiel
Jamie Dimon Enrique Peña Nieto Craig Thompson
Barry Diller Richard Nixon Hans Tietmeyer
Elizabeth Dole Paul H. O’Neill Juan T. Trippe
Valdis Dombrovskis Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. Jean-Claude Trichet
Robert J. Dole Michael Oxley Pierre Elliott Trudeau
William H. Donaldson Justin P.J. Trudeau
Alec Douglas-Home Donald Trump
Mario Draghi C. H. Tung
William C. Dudley Stansfield Turner
Willem F. Duisenberg Peter V. Uberroth
John Foster Dulles Paul A. Volcker
Dwight D. Eisenhower Caspar Weinberger
Ludwig Erhard Mary Jo White
David Farr Christine Todd Whitman
Martin S. Feldstein John C. Williams
Gerald R. Ford Wendell L. Willkie
Henry H. Fowler Harold Wilson
Stuart Fraser Woodrow Wilson
Kenneth C. Frazier James D. Wolfensohn
J. William Fulbright Gao Xi-Qing
Indira Gandhi Janet L. Yellen
Timothy F. Geithner Lee Kuan Yew
Newt Gingrich Ernesto Zedillo
Rudolph Giuliani
Arthur J. Goldberg
Barry Goldwater
Mikhail Gorbachev
Roger Goodell
J. Peter Grace
Phil Gramm
Alan Greenspan

Chairmen

The Chairman of the Board is the chief executive officer of the Club and presides at meetings of the Club and the Board, and has general charge of the business and affairs of the Club. The first chairman was A. Barton Hepburn, who served from 1907 to 1909. Hepburn was U.S. Comptroller of the Currency from 1892 to 1893 and later president of the Chase National Bank. Other notable chairmen included: Wendell L. Willkie (1938 to 1940), the Republican Party nominee for president in 1940; radio and television pioneer David Sarnoff (1940-1942); James P. Warburg (1934 to 1936), financial advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Rand V. Araskog (1987 to 1990), former CEO of ITT Corp.; Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. (1979 to 1980), former CEO and President of Pfizer, Inc. for whom the Duke University engineering school is named and Barbara H. Franklin (2003-2007), one of the first women graduates of Harvard Business School. She also served as s United States Secretary of Commerce under President George H.W. BushWilliam C. Dudley, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, served as chair from 2010-2016. The immediate past Chair is Terry J. Lundgren, retired President and Chairman of Macys, Inc.[7] The current chair is Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Presidents

The president is the chief operating officer of the Club. The Club has had only six presidents since its founding over a century ago. They were: Robert Erskine ElyEdwin A. Locke, Jr.Raymond K. Price, Jr.;[8] Paul W. Bateman;[9] Jan Hopkins, and the current President, Barbara M. Van Allen.[10]

Barbara Van Allen is the current President of the Economic Club of New York. Immediately prior to becoming President, she ran her own boutique consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, stakeholder outreach and government affairs. Over the course of her career, she served in senior leadership roles with award-winning results in the non-profit, trade association, corporate and government sectors based in New York, NY, Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA.

While working in Washington, DC she served as senior director of communications and stakeholder relations for an association representing the audit profession (CAQ); as senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Mortgage Bankers Association, and as chief marketing officer for SourceAmerica.

Earlier in her career she served in senior management positions in New York with ITT Corporation and Cushman & Wakefield. She began her career on Capitol Hill where she rose to become senior legislative adviser to former Rep. Beverly B. Byron of Maryland while attending graduate school at night.

Ms. Van Allen graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She holds an MBA in marketing from New York University and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University. Ms. Van Allen has served on various nonprofit boards and committees in New York City and Washington, DC and currently serves on the Governing Board of the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in Anacostia, Washington, DC. She is a member of the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women. She and her husband Peter C. Van Allen have two children, Caroline K. Van Allen and Peter C. Van Allen Jr.

References

External links

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

5 Takeaways From Trump’s Trade Speech That Could Impact Businesses

Economics

Just over a month remains before the United States is scheduled to impose a new round of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products. On Dec. 15, Washington is expected to slap a 15% duty on a wide variety of consumer goods, including footwear, apparel and other accessories.

As such, businesses, investors and consumers have been keeping a close eye on President Donald Trump’s speech today at the Economic Club of New York, where he addressed trade relations with foreign countries, as well as providing an update on the ongoing trade war with China and whether a “phase one” deal could soon put an end to tit-for-tat tariffs.

Here, FN rounds up the five takeaways from Trump’s much-anticipated speech.

On the “phase one” trade deal with China:

“My administration has taken the toughest-ever action to confront China’s trade abuses. We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs that China is paying for. We’re not paying; China is paying because they’re devaluing their currency to such an extent, and they’re poring tremendous amounts of cash into their system. They’re having their worst year in more than 57 years, more than half a century. Their supply chains are cracking very badly, and they are dying to make the deal. We’re the ones that are deciding whether or not we want to make a deal. We’re close. A significant ‘phase one’ trade deal with China could happen. [It] could happen soon. But we will only accept a deal if it’s good for the United States and our workers and our great companies because we’ve been hit very hard.”

On moving production back to the U.S.:

“As president, I understand and embrace the fact that the world is a place of fierce competition. We’re competing against other nations for jobs and industry growth and prosperity. Factories and businesses will always find a home. It’s up to us to decide whether that home will be in a foreign country or right here in our country, our beloved USA — and that’s where we want them to stay and be and move to. If we want our families and communities to prosper, America must be the best place on earth to work, invest, innovate, build, pursue a career, hone a craft or start a business. We want companies to move to America, stay in America and hire American workers. My mission is to put our country on the very best footing to thrive, excel, compete and to win.”

On the state of the U.S. job market:

“When we say hire American, we mean hire all Americans by focusing on the needs of people, not the desires of government. We’re helping our citizens realize their ambitions and pursue rewarding careers. Over 1.1 million fewer Americans are now forced to rely on part-time work today than when I was elected — that’s a tremendous number. People were working two jobs and three jobs and making less money than they made 21 years ago — that was the stat. A record number of Americans are quitting the job they had to take the job they like even better … This increased competition is driving up wages for blue-collar workers, who are the biggest beneficiaries of what we’re talking about.”

On the U.S.’s trade relationship with other countries:

“Many countries charge us extraordinarily high tariffs or create impossible trade barriers. Impossible and, I’ll be honest, the European Union [is] very, very difficult. The barriers are terrible. Terrible. In many ways, worse than China. We’re working on legislation known as the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, meaning quite simply what’s good for them is good for us. They wanna judge us, we judge them — it’s a very simple thing. … It’s very unfair the way we’re treated by certain countries. There are certain countries where the average tariff is 100%, and we charge them nothing. And then they call it fair trade. That’s not fair trade. That’s stupid trade.”

On the broader U.S. economy:

“We have delivered on our promises and exceeded our expectations by a very wide margin. We have ended the war on American workers, we have stopped the assault on [the] American industry and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before. … Our middle class was being crushed under the weight of a punitive tax code, oppressive regulations, one-sided trade deals and an economic policy that put America’s interest last — and a very deep last at that. I knew that if we lifted these burdens from our economy and unleashed our people to pursue their ambitions and realize their limitless potential, then economic prosperity would come thundering back to our country at a record speed.”

5 Takeaways From Trump’s Trade Speech That Could Impact Businesses

Trump Puts Economic Growth at Center of His 2020 Campaign

 Updated on 
  • President has built his case for re-election around economy
  • Repeats criticism of Fed for not cutting rates more quickly
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York, on Nov. 12.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York, on Nov. 12.Photographer: Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump laid out the central pillar of his 2020 re-election campaign on Tuesday, telling the Economic Club of New York that his policies have generated a boom in growth and jobs.

“We have delivered on our promises and exceeded our expectations by a very wide margin,” Trump told guests at the New York Hilton.

The president’s remarks were closely watched on Wall Street for any signals about the future of the U.S. economy, including prospects for a limited trade agreement with China or any indication he’s worried about a slowdown. Trump routinely touts his handling of the economy, which he says is enjoying its fifth year of uninterrupted expansion and near record-low unemployment thanks to his trade, tax and deregulation policies.

Trump laced his speech with criticism of “far left” and “radical” Democrats, whose policies he said would bankrupt the nation and hurt the middle class. He criticized the opposition party’s proposals on energy and climate change.

“You have no choice because the people we are running against are crazy,” Trump said.

Trump said he reversed policies imposed by his predecessors that restrained the economy. He faulted regulations and trade deals advanced by other presidents and said the “political class sold out American workers.”

The economy expanded at a 1.9% pace in the third quarter and unemployment is close to its lowest in a half-century, government data showed last week. While manufacturing has been hurt by the U.S.-China trade war, consumers continue to spend in a sign voters are still confident about the economy. A Bloomberg Economics model sees the chances of an election-year recession at just 26%.

The president said China is “dying” to make a trade deal with the U.S. and the first step of a broader agreement is close to being completed. “We’re close — a significant phase one deal could happen, could happen soon,” he said.

Trump said he’s not popular in some countries because he’s a tough negotiator on trade.

“Just realize what I’m trying to do for you,” he said. “It’s about time.”

The president took credit for the 2017 GOP tax cuts that Democrats said benefited the wealthiest Americans. “At the heart of our economic revival is the biggest tax cut and reforms in American history,” Trump said.

Trump reiterated his criticism of the Federal Reserve, which he has repeatedly blasted for not cutting interest rates sooner and more drastically.

When Trump got only a smattering of applause after praising negative interest rates in other countries, the president said: “Thank you, thank you — only the smart people are clapping.”

Trump also said that India and China were taking advantage of the U.S. by being designated developing countries.

“We’re a developing country, too,” Trump said.

Trump has frequently pointed to indicators including unemployment and stock-market highs to argue that he should not be impeached. The House will begin public hearings Wednesday in its probe of Trump’s effort to force Ukraine’s government to investigate his political rivals.

“How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country,” Trump tweeted on Sept. 28.

Trump said his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement boosted the U.S. economy. He called the pact unfair to the U.S. “Trillions and trillions of dollars of destruction to our economy would have been done,” he said.

U.S. presidents and policy makers are regular speakers at the Economic Club, which draws its membership from major corporations, banks and investment companies, academia and other prominent nonprofits.

In a March 2008 speech to the group, President George W. Bush attempted to calm investors on the brink of the financial crisis by touting an emergency loan for Bear Stearns Cos. The investment bank ultimately collapsed and was sold to JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Markets have recently see-sawed in response to mixed messages from Washington and Beijing over how much tariffs would be lowered as part of a so-called “phase one” trade deal between the countries.

Trump said Saturday on Twitter that unspecified reports about the U.S.’s willingness to lift tariffs were “incorrect,” but added that talks with China are progressing “very nicely” and that leaders in Beijing want a deal “much more than I do.”

— With assistance by Katia Dmitrieva

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-12/trump-puts-economic-growth-at-center-of-his-2020-re-election-bid

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1356, November 11, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Honors Veterans at 100th New York City Veterans Day Parade — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Back Channel To Ukraine And Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani — Cashing In As Trump’s Trusted Adviser? —  Video — Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

Posted on November 18, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Anthropology, Banking System, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, College, Communications, Computer, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Religion, Government, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Joe Biden, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Mike Pence, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Nuclear Weapons, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Private Sector Unions, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Science, Security, Senate, Social Sciences, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Ukraine, Unemployment, Unions, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1356 November 11, 2019

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump Honors Veterans at 100th New York City Veterans Day Parade — Videos

See the source image

President Trump and The First Lady Attend the New York City Veterans Day Parade

Trump is first sitting president to attend Veterans Day Parade

Trump speaks at the New York City Veterans Day parade

President Trump kicks off the 100th annual NYC Veterans Day Parade at Madison Square Park in Manhattan. He will be the first president to participate in the parade. Trump gives an address at the park, the site of the Eternal Light Flagstaff memorial. #FoxNews

Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks on Veterans Day 2019

Vice President Pence Attends a National Veterans Day Observance

WATCH: Trump speaks at Veterans Day Parade in New York

USA: Veterans Day Parade sees anti-Trump protests

100th Annual NYC Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day observances from across the country

VP Pence speaks at Arlington Cemetery

WATCH: Vice President Pence observes Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery

 

Story 2: President Trump’s Back Channel To Ukraine And Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani — Cashing In As Trump’s Trusted Adviser? —  Video

Trish Regan: Corruption, payouts and quid pro quos

Fitton: This is a fundamental threat to our republic

WATCH: Giuliani had a campaign against former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John Sullivan says

How Rudy Giuliani went from ‘America’s mayor’ to Ukraine business broker

Giuliani’s globetrotting complicates US foreign policy

Giuliani: Shouldn’t Biden be investigated over Ukraine if Trump can be impeached over it?

Giuliani rips ‘corrupt’ media, defends Trump’s calls for Biden probe

Giuliani slams ‘swamp media’, says it’s time to fight back against Dems

PBS News Hour full episode November 11, 2019

‘He’s Gonna Sing’: Giuliani Hires 3 Lawyers Amid Ukraine Scandal | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

What diplomat George Kent said about Rudy Giuliani — and Hunter Biden

‘I wouldn’t cooperate with Adam Schiff’: Giuliani | ABC News

 

Rudy Giuliani’s diplomatic backchannel was both ‘irregular’ and ‘outlandish’

Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

PHONY SCAM: President Trump Says Democrat “Witch Hunt” MUST END

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

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The Pronk Pops Show 1355, November 8, 2019, Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos –Story 2: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — “Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Education, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Exercise, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Fraud, Free Trade, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Islam, James Comey, Joe Biden, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Mexico, Middle East, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, Obesity, People, Pete Buttigieg, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1355 November 8, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos —

 

Nowhere Man

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, the world is at your command
He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all ’til somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You

The Beatles – Nowhere Man (live!)

 

Trump: Democrats are trying to find people that hate me

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

What The World Never Knew About The Beatles

I am the Walrus The Beatles

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I’m crying
Sitting on a corn flake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you’ve been a naughty boy
You let your face grow long
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Mr. City policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I’m crying
I’m crying, I’m crying, I’m crying
Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog’s eye
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess
Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for

 

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Oct. 4, 2019 at 2:00 a.m. CDT

“We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

 Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sept. 17

We recently took Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to task for misleading reporters about the fact that he was a participant in the call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was the subject of a whistleblower complaint and now an impeachment inquiry in Congress. He earned Four Pinocchios for being disingenuous in his remarks to reporters to obscure his firsthand knowledge of what took place.

But politicians spin all across Washington, often to deflect uncomfortable facts. Now let’s look at comments by Schiff, who is heading the impeachment inquiry, as reporters probed about the whistleblower before the details of the allegation were revealed.

 Schiff’s answers are especially interesting in the wake of reports in the New York Times and The Washington Post that the whistleblower approached a House Intelligence Committee staff member for guidance before filing a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general. The staff member learned the “very bare contours” of the allegation that Trump has abused the powers of his office, The Post said.

When the Fact Checker asked what “bare contours” meant, a committee spokesman pointed to an exchange of letters. In a Sept. 13 letter to the committee, the general counsel of the director of national intelligence said that “complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.” In his own letter that day, Schiff wrote that because of that language, and because the DNI refused to affirm or deny that White House officials were involved in the decision not to forward the complaint, the committee can conclude only that “the serious misconduct involves the president of the United States and/or other senior White House or administration officials.”

Our suspicion is that the unidentified staff member learned the potential complaint involved “privileged” communication, which is code for something having to do with the president.

So, with this new information, let’s look back at how Schiff handled questions about his knowledge of the whistleblower complaint.

The Facts

Sept. 16, interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN

Cooper: “Just to be clear, you don’t know who this alleged whistleblower is or what they are alleging?”
Schiff: “I don’t know the identity of the whistleblower.”
Cooper: “And they haven’t contacted you or their legal representation hasn’t contacted you?”
Schiff: “I don’t want to get into any particulars. I want to make sure that there’s nothing that I do that jeopardizes the whistleblower in any way.”

This is a classic dodge — “don’t want to get into any particulars” — and Cooper failed to follow up. Notice how Schiff quickly answered whether he knew the identity of the whistleblower — “I don’t know” — but then sidestepped the questions about whether the committee had been contacted. But in doing so, he managed not to mislead; he just simply did not answer the question.

Sept. 17, interview on “Morning Joe”

Sam Stein: “Have you heard from the whistleblower? Do you want to hear from the whistleblower? What protections could you provide to the whistleblower?” …
Schiff: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation.”

This is flat-out false. Unlike the quick two-step dance he performed with Anderson Cooper, Schiff simply says the committee had not spoken to the whistleblower. Now we know that’s not true.

“Regarding Chairman Schiff’s comments on ‘Morning Joe,’ in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the Committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not,” a committee spokesman told The Fact Checker. “As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the Acting DNI as to how the whistleblower could contact the Committee. Nonetheless he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear.”
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The spokesman pointed to an interview with Schiff by the Daily Beast, in which he said that he “did not know definitively at the time if the complaint had been authored by the same whistleblower who had approached his staff.” But he added that he “should have been much more clear.”

Sept. 19, meeting with reporters at the Capitol

Schiff: “In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern.”

Here’s some more dissembling. Schiff says that if not for the IG, the committee might never have known about the complaint. But his committee knew that something explosive was going to be filed with the IG. As the New York Times put it, the initial inquiry received by the committee “also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.”

Schiff, however, does qualify that this was a complaint alleging “an urgent concern,” and it’s not clear whether the initial inquiry had tipped off the committee staff that it would rise to that level. Still, Schiff’s phrasing was misleading because he gives no hint that the committee was aware a potentially significant (“privileged”) complaint might have been filed.

“As Chairman Schiff has made clear, he does not know the identity of the whistleblower, has had no communication with them or their attorney, and did not view the whistleblower’s complaint until the day prior to the hearing with the DNI when the ODNI finally provided it to the Committee,” the spokesman said. “Whistleblowers frequently come to the committee. Some whistleblowers approach the IG without notice to the Committee, and some who do go to the IG do not necessarily file a complaint. However, this was the first whistleblower complaint provided to the Committee this year that the IC IG determined to be of ‘urgent concern’ and ‘credible,’ and Chairman Schiff would have raised the alarm regardless when it was illegally withheld.”

The spokesman added: “The focus should not be on the whistleblower, but rather the complaint which the IC IG determined was credible and urgent and which has been thus far confirmed by the call record released by the White House and statements by the President and his personal attorney.”

The Pinocchio Test

There are right ways and wrong ways to answer reporters’ questions if a politician wants to maintain his or her credibility. There’s nothing wrong with dodging a question, as long as you don’t try to mislead (as Pompeo did).

But Schiff on “Morning Joe” clearly made a statement that was false. He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record. He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication.

The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity.

Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios

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Story 2: Billionaire”The Nanny” Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos —

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Trump on Bloomberg: ‘He’s got some personal problems’

What impact could Michael Bloomberg have on the presidential race?

Bloomberg opens door to 2020 presidential bid

RAW VIDEO] Trump to Bloomberg: ‘Little Michael will fail’

Varney: Bloomberg is a huge problem for Biden

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Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

PHONY SCAM: President Trump Says Democrat “Witch Hunt” MUST END

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

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The Pronk Pops Show 1354, November 7, 2019, Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Clinton Obama Democratic Political Scandal About To Rock America — Videos — Story 2: Hell on Earth and Paradise Lost In Hours 85 Dead and One Year Later California Is Still Burning As Fires Spreading By Humans Moving To Harm’s Way As Death Toll Mounts: Camp Fire in Northern California & Hill Fire and Woolsey Fires in Southern California — Update — Fire Approaching Hollywood — Videos — 

Posted on November 15, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Religion, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Mexico, Military Spending, National Security Agency, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Senate, Social Networking, Subversion, Treason, Ukraine, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Major Obama Scandal About To Hit — Videos —

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The politics of declassifying Russian probe intelligence

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
November 8, 2019 at 9:15 a.m. CST

The Post reports on the release of the transcript of a senior State Department official’s testimony: “Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, who oversaw Ukraine policy, told lawmakers that to get an Oval Office meeting, [President] Trump was demanding that the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, promise to open investigations into the 2016 U.S. election, Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden, a possible 2020 challenger.” (It is not clear whether “Hillary Clinton” meant simply the hacking and release of emails during the 2016 election, or whether there was some other fishing expedition on Trump’s list of demands.)

Kent becomes a critical witness, and a good opening witness, because he can cover a lot of ground. There are a number of critical topics about which he can testify in public next week.

First, he can attest to the parallel foreign policy run by Rudolph Giuliani that was not a foreign policy at all, but rather a personal mission for Trump. As the New York Times reports, “The detail suggests that Mr. Trump was thinking of his political fortunes — not a broad interest in Ukraine’s anti-corruption agenda, as many of his defenders have claimed — as he pressed Mr. Zelensky to take action.” This is critical because the central issue here is whether Trump was demanding something of personal benefit to him (an announced investigation) in return for a public act (a meeting, release of aid). Kent confirms that what was going on was corrupt, a bribe for Trump’s personal benefit, not a bargain in the context of foreign policy.

Second, Kent can attest that Giuliani was out to smear a distinguished diplomat, someone Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to publicly support. Kent testified behind closed doors at the impeachment hearing: “Mr. Giuliani, at that point, had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies.”

Why is this important? The Post explains, “Giuliani had aligned himself with corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors, including one official who was ‘essentially colluding’ with other corrupt officials to undermine a Ukrainian probe into a fake passport ring that threatened U.S. security, Kent told impeachment investigators.” Again, Giuliani has been empowered by Trump to conduct activities that promote corruption, not investigate corruption, as Trump’s defenders implausibly argue. (When was Trump ever concerned about corruption?) This also paints Pompeo is a bad light, showing him to be unwilling to defend his employee or push back against Giuliani, who was helping to hijack U.S. policy. Was Pompeo weak or ruthlessly ambitious (in never crossing Trump)? Both, perhaps.

Third, Kent suggests an effort in the State Department to be less than forthcoming in response to congressional investigators. Kent described a confrontation in a 20-person meeting with a State Department lawyer who objected strenuously to Kent’s insistence that the House request for documents extend to Carl Risch, the assistant secretary for consular affairs. The lawyer pulled Kent out of the meeting. The Post recounts what occurred, with Kent speaking first.

“I said, ‘That was unprofessional.’ And he then said, ‘You were unprofessional.’ He got very angry. He started pointing at me with a clenched jaw,” arguing that Congress could interpret Kent’s comments as trying to influence the collection of document.
“I said, ‘That’s called projection,’ ” he continued. “What I hear you saying is that you think that I am doing that. What I was trying to do was make sure that the department was being fully responsive.”

The State Department, you might recall, issued a statement accusing House investigators of “bullying” employees to testify. Kent seems to have taken issue with that as well.

In other words, Kent is describing a campaign to be as unresponsive as possible. Whether this rises to the level of a cover-up remains to be seen. Once again, Pompeo comes off as less than attentive to his constitutional obligations.

Fourth, Kent implicates acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Kent testified, “It was clear to me that Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland had a direct connection with Chief of Staff Mulvaney. . . . It was not, to the best of my knowledge, done through the national security staff and Ambassador [John] Bolton. It was done [through] Ambassador Sondland directly to Chief of Staff Mulvaney.” Trump’s refusal to allow Mulvaney to testify is one of many examples of Trump’s obstruction of the investigation.

Fifth, Kent echoes many other witnesses who point to the impropriety if not the illegality of what Trump was doing:
On Aug. 15, Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s new assistant, Catherine Croft, went to Kent’s office and asked, “Have we ever asked the Ukrainians to investigate anybody?”
Kent suspected that she was really asking whether U.S. officials had ever gone to the Ukrainians “and asked them to investigate or prosecute individuals for political reasons,” he testified. “And if that was the question, the answer is, ‘I hope we haven’t’,’ ” he said he told her. “And we shouldn’t because that goes against everything that we are trying to promote in the post-Soviet states for the last 28 years, which is the rule of law.”
The following day, he said, he spoke with the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., who “amplified” the theme. Taylor told him that Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak made a remark referring to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a formal process by which one government requests legal help from another.
“And I told Bill Taylor, that’s wrong, and we shouldn’t be doing that as a matter of U.S. policy,” Kent said. He said Taylor agreed.

Finally, we get a glimpse of how Trump is manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and where he came up with this cock-and-bull story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in our election. Kent testified that it was Putin and Hungary’s strongman Viktor Orban “along with former Mayor Giuliani, [whose] communications with President Trump shaped the President’s view of Ukraine and Zelensky, and would account for the change from a very positive first call on April 21 to his negative assessment of Ukraine when he had the meeting in the Oval Office on May 23.” Once more, whatever Trump does in foreign policy always seems to inure to Putin’s advantage. Strange.

Kent is a compelling witness who can cover a lot of ground. No wonder he is on the schedule for the critical first week of testimony.

Read more:

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George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Kent
George Kent.jpg
Education Harvard University (AB)
Johns Hopkins University (MA)
National Defense University (MS)

George P. Kent is an American diplomat serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs since September 4, 2018.[1]

 

Education

Kent graduated in 1989 with an AB in Russian history and literature from Harvard University. He then earned an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1992.[1] Kent later graduated with an MS in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University in 2012.[2]

Career

Kent has been in the State Department‘s foreign service since 1992.[3][4] He speaks UkrainianRussian, and Thai, as well as some PolishGerman, and Italian.[1] His work as a US Foreign Service Officer has included service in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Uzbekistan.[2]

From 1995 to 1997, he was posted in Warsaw, Poland, as an economics officer dealing with trade, environmental, and counter-narcotics issues.[2] Kent was later assigned to serve as deputy political counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2004 to 2007, which include the time period of the Orange Revolution.[2] From 2012 to 2014, Kent served as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[1] He served as a senior anti-corruption coordinator in the European bureau in 2014–2015,[1] and as deputy chief of mission in Kyiv, from 2015 to 2018.[4] On September 4, 2018, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[2][4]

On October 15, 2019 Kent testified in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, serving as a key witness on whether Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.[5] Kent’s warnings regarding the disinformation campaign are documented in State Department emails submitted to Congress by the organization’s inspector general. Kent protested a “fake news smear” directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch by media commentators supportive with President Trump. He also criticized the Ukrainian prosecutor undermining Yovanovitch, calling the disinformation “complete poppycock.”[6]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e “George P. Kent”United States Department of StateArchived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e “USUBC Members welcomed George Kent, new Deputy Assistant Secretary, Europe, U.S. State Department, in Washington, D.C”U.S.–Ukraine Business Council. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (October 15, 2019). “Another career diplomat caught in the Ukraine scandal speaking to impeachment probe Tuesday”CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “State Department official to face questions about Ukraine and Giuliani”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Kane, Paul; Demirjian, Karoun; Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Shear, Michael D. (October 15, 2019). “Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him”The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2019.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Kent

Marie Yovanovitch

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Marie Yovanovitch
Marie L. Yovanovitch.jpg
9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
In office
August 29, 2016 – May 20, 2019
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Geoffrey Pyatt
Succeeded by Kristina Kvien (Acting)
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
September 22, 2008 – June 9, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John Evans
Succeeded by John Heffern
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
In office
February 4, 2005 – February 4, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Stephen Young
Succeeded by Tatiana Gfoeller
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 60–61)
MontrealQuebecCanada
Education Princeton University (BA)
National Defense University (MS)

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958),[1] also known as Masha Yovanovitch,[2] is an American diplomat and member of the senior ranks of the United States Foreign Service. She served in a variety of State Department posts, including Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2004–2005); U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (2005–2008); U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (2008–2011); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2012–2013); and Ambassador to Ukraine (2016–2019). Yovanovitch is a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.[3][4]

While ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was subjected to a conspiracy-driven smear campaign, amplified by President Donald Trump and his allies. In May 2019, Trump abruptly recalled Yovanovitch from her post following claims by Trump surrogates that she was undermining Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden. Yovanovitch’s removal preceded a July 2019 phone call by Trump in which he attempted to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. Following revelation of a whistleblower complaint about the phone call and attempts to cover it up, an impeachment inquiry against Trump was initiated by the House of Representatives. In October, Yovanovitch testified in three House committee depositions in the inquiry.

Contents

Early life and education

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Mikhail Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch,[5] who fled the Soviet Union and later the Nazis.[3] She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut at age three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.[3]

Yovanovitch graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut in 1976; her parents were longtime foreign language teachers at the school.[6] Yovanovitch earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies from Princeton University in 1980.[7] She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University‘s National War College in 2001.[7]

Career

Early diplomatic career

Yovanovitch joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including MoscowLondon, and Mogadishu. From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.[7]

From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.[8] From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the senior advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.[9] Yovanovitch also served as International Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the National Defense University‘s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy and as dean of the School of Language Studies within the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.[9]

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia and subsequent service

Yovanovitch is “well known in diplomatic circles for her measured demeanor and diligence in representing both Republican and Democratic administrations.”[10] Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on November 20, 2004; she presented her credentials on February 4, 2005, and remained in this post until February 4, 2008.[1][11] Her nomination as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[12]

Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Armenia on August 4, 2008; she presented her credentials on September 22, 2008, and remained in this post until June 9, 2011.[11] Her nomination as ambassador to Armenia was again confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[13] During confirmation hearings, Yovanovitch acknowledged that Turks had committed mass killings, rapes, and expulsions of Armenians between 1915 and 1923, calling this “one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century,” but, in line with U.S. policy, declined to use the phrase Armenian Genocide, saying that the use of this politically sensitive phrase was a policy decision that could be made only by the highest-ranking U.S. officials, namely President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[14]

While in Armenia, Yovanovitch pushed Armenian authorities to give fair treatment to Armenians arrested in post-election protests in 2008.[10] Yovanovitch received the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award,[9] a department award honoring ambassadors who demonstrate “extraordinary commitment to defending human rights.”[10]

After returning to Washington in 2012 and 2013, Yovanovitch served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.[4] In that position, Yovanovitch was a key State Department headquarters contact for U.S. diplomats in Europe, working with, among others, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein, regarding issues such as U.S. missile defense in Poland.[10] Yovanovitch received the department’s Senior Foreign Service Performance Award six times and the Superior Honor Award five times.[9] She was promoted to the rank of Career Minister in 2016.[15]

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Yovanovitch was announced as the nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt;[16] the nomination was sent to the Senate the next day, and confirmed by voice vote of the Senate on July 14, 2016.[17] Yovanovitch was sworn in on August 12, 2016, and presented her credentials on August 29, 2016.[1]

Anti-corruption work and other activities

Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption,[18] and during her tenure had sought to strengthen the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, which had been created to bolster efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine; these efforts earned Yovanovitch some enemies within the country.[19] In a March 2019 speech to the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Yovanovitch said that the Ukrainian government was not making sufficient progress to combat corruption, saying: “It is increasingly clear that Ukraine’s once-in-a-generation opportunity for change has not yet resulted in the anti-corruption or rule of law reforms that Ukrainians expect or deserve.”[20]

Smear campaign against Yovanovitch and ouster

As U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was the target of a conspiracy-driven smear campaign.[21] Unfounded allegations against her were then made by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as conservative commentator John Solomon of The Hill and Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, who accused her of being part of a conspiracy involving anti-corruption probes in Ukraine and efforts by the Trump administration to investigate ties between Ukrainian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign.[3][22][23] Lutsenko, who has been accused by Ukrainian civil society organizations of corruption,[20] claimed that Yovanovitch, an Obama administration appointee, had interfered in Ukraine politics, had given him a “do-not-prosecute” list and was interfering in his ability to combat corruption in Ukraine.[22][19] The U.S. State Department said that Lutsenko’s allegations against Yovanovitch were “an outright fabrication”[22] and indicated that they were a “classic disinformation campaign.”[21] Lutsenko subsequently recanted his claims of a “do-not-prosecute” list.[22] Lutsenko’s unfounded allegation was nonetheless amplified by President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Giuliani, Solomon, and conservative media outlets.[22][24] Ukrainians who opposed Yovanovitch were also sources for Giuliani, who “was on a months-long search for political dirt in Ukraine to help President Trump.”[20]

In May 2019, after complaints from Giuliani and other Trump allies that Yovanovitch was undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden, Trump ordered Yovanovitch’s recall.[25][26] In a July 25, 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (the contents of which became public in September 2019), Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and disparaged Yovanovitch to his foreign counterpart.[24][18]

Yovanovitch’s abrupt ouster shocked and outraged career State Department diplomats.[19][27] Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, the chief diplomat for U.S. policy for Europe, testified that he had urged top State Department officials David Hale and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, to issue a statement expressing strong support for Yovanovitch, but that top State Department leadership rejected this proposal.[21] Former senior U.S. diplomats Philip Gordon and Daniel Fried, who served as assistant secretaries of state for European and Eurasian Affairs and as National Security Council staffers under presidents of both parties, praised Yovanovitch and condemned Trump’s “egregious mistreatment of one of the country’s most distinguished ambassadors,” writing that this had demoralized the U.S. diplomatic corps and undermined U.S. foreign policy.[28] The American Foreign Service Association and American Academy of Diplomacy, representing members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, expressed alarm at Trump’s disparagement of Yovanovitch in his call with Zelensky.[29] Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer who served as ambassador to four countries and had been chief adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, resigned in October 2019 in protest of Trump’s attacks against Yovanovitch and “the State Department’s unwillingness to protect career diplomats from politically motivated pressure.”[30][31] Yovanovitch’s ouster became one of the issues explored in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump;[25] her recall was termed “a political hit job” by Democratic members of Congress.[18][22]

Congressional testimony

On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave closed-door deposition testimony before the House Oversight and ReformForeign Affairs and Intelligence committees.[32][19][33] A transcript of Yovanovitch’s full testimony was released to the public on November 5, 2019.[33]

The State Department sought to stop Yovanovitch from testifying before Congress, in line with Trump’s policy of refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.[19] The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena, stating that “the illegitimate order from the Trump Administration not to cooperate has no force”—and Yovanovitch proceeded to give testimony.[19]

In her testimony, Yovanovitch testified that Trump had pressured the State Department to remove her, and that she was “incredulous” to be removed based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”[19] Yovanovitch stated that after her removal, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan had told her that she had done nothing wrong but that the State Department had been under political pressure from Trump to remove her since summer 2018.[19] Sullivan, in his own testimony to Congress, corroborated Yovanovitch’s testimony, confirmed that Yovanovitch was the target of a smear campaign, and publicly affirmed that Yovanovitch had served “admirably and capably” as ambassador.[34]

Yovanovitch testified that her removal was the result of “significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways,” and that false narratives were pushed from an “unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it.”[35] Yovanovitch described the State Department under Trump as “attacked and hollowed out from within,” and warned that the Russia and other U.S. rivals would benefit “when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system.”[19] Yovanovitch testified that when she sought advice from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on how to respond to the smear campaign, Sondland recommended that she tweet praise for Trump.[36][37]

Yovanovitch also detailed attempts by Giuliani to interfere in the State Department’s consular decisions, by attempting to override a U.S. visa denial for former Ukrainian official Viktor Shokin, who had been declared ineligible for travel in the United States based on his “known corrupt activities.”[38][36] Yovanovitch also said that she was “shocked” and felt threatened by Trump’s statement, in a phone call with Zelensky, that “she’s going to go through some things,” testifying that she was very concerned “that the President would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.”[36]

Subsequent posting

After being ousted as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch became a Senior State Department Fellow at Georgetown University‘s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.[4]

See also

References…

External links

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

In Testimony, American Envoy to Ukraine Outlines Trump’s Quid Pro Quo

Not pulling any punches. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

In dramatic testimony Tuesday morning, William Taylor, the American envoy to Ukraine, provided the most complete picture yet of how centrally the Trump administration’s Ukraine policy revolved around a quid pro quo: military aid and a White House visit in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son and another involving the origins of the FBI’s investigation into President Trump.

In a long opening statement that prompted sighs and gasps among lawmakers, Taylor made it clear that those who were steering the White House’s Ukraine policy, including U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, were preoccupied with the investigations. Sondland, Taylor said, had cited them as a reason the White House held up Ukraine military aid for months. Taylor also said Sondland had heard about the Biden investigation from the president himself, contradicting Sondland’s testimony last week. Taylor drew on extensive notes he had taken at the time of the events he described.

Democrats framed his statements as deeply damaging to the president, while Republicans attempted to shrug them off. “What he said was incredibly damning to the president of the United States,” Representative Ted Lieu said, echoing others’ assessments of the testimony.

Taylor was involved in a now-notorious text-message exchange with Sondland and former special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker involving the administration’s unusual posture toward the country. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor texted at one point. Sondland assured him there was no quid pro quo, in a text he has said he wrote after speaking with the president.

Multiple Democrats suggested that Sondland, who testified last week, needed to return to clear up statements that conflicted with Taylor’s.

Taylor took over as envoy after Marie Yovanovitch, the previous ambassador, was fired under suspicious circumstances in May.

As with other witnesses involved in the proto-impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration attempted to block Taylor from talking to lawmakers. But after Democrats issued a subpoena compelling him to appear, Taylor, like previous witnesses, complied.

The White House has vociferously denied the existence of a quid pro quo, though the White House chief of staff admitted the existence of one in a bungled press conference last week.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Taylor was acting ambassador to Ukraine.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/william-taylor-ukraine-trump.html

Two summits with Italian spy chiefs and a tape of the vanished professor who kicked off claims of Russian ‘collusion’: How Bill Barr launched criminal inquiry into his OWN department and Washington’s spies after ‘breakthrough’ in Rome

  • Professor Joseph Mifsud met Trump campaign adviser George Popodopolus in April 2016 and allegedly offered him ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails 
  • Popodopolus is thought to have relayed that information to an Australia diplomat, who in turn informed Washington, sparking the Russia investigation 
  • After the probe opened Mifsud asked for protection in Italy, fearing for his safety
  • As part of the application he gave taped testimony to the security services, which was listened to be Attorney General Barr and prosecutor John Durham 
  • After listening to the tape, Barr decided to launch a full criminal probe 

Attorney General William Barr decided to launch a criminal investigation into his own department after hearing taped testimony from a professor at the centre of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

The ‘breakthrough’ came on Barr’s second trip to Rome this summer, in which he and prosecutor John Durham are understood to have sat down and listened to a tape containing a deposition from academic Josef Mifsud.

Mifsud is alleged to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails in April 2016. When word of the meeting reached Washington, it provided the basis for what became the Mueller investigation.

Barr is now investigating Mifsud as part of a counter-investigation into how the Mueller probe – which found no clear evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government – got started.

Durham and Barr reportedly heard a recording of Joseph Mifsud in Italy - the professor widely credited with sparking the counterintelligence probe into Trump campaign officials

Probe: Bill Barr, the attorney general, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

Probe: John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

While it is not clear what Barr (left) and Durham (right) heard on the tape, sources said their investigation into the Russia probe ‘expanded significantly’ afterwards, before being upgraded to a criminal inquiry

Mifsud went into hiding in 2017 and Italian justice ministry records show he applied for police protection around the same time, giving a taped deposition about why people might want to harm him.

It is thought that is the tape that Barr and Durham listened to when they visited Rome in September – their second journey to Italy after another visit in August.

While it is not clear what they heard on the tape, Fox News reported earlier this week that Durham’s investigation ‘expanded significantly’ after the second Rome visit.

Two sources told the news site on Thursday that the administrative review has now become a full criminal investigation.

Papadopoulos – who was jailed in 2018 for lying to FBI investigators – has previously accused Mifsud of being planted by the intelligence services to cook up a pretext to investigate Trump. 

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has acknowledged the existence of both meetings with Barr, saying that he was seeking information about the activities of FBI agents assigned to Italy.

Conte insisted on the complete legitimacy of both the meetings and his own role, after local media accused him of violating protocols in permitting the meetings.

Barr visited and called world leaders from around the world over the summer, collecting evidence into how the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's connections to Russia got started

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Conte said Barr’s request arrived via normal diplomatic channels for ‘a preliminary exchange of information with our intelligence aimed at verifying activities of American agents. This must be clear.’

Conte argued that Italian law gives the country’s premier sole responsibility for responding to intelligence requests, and that he could not seek, for example, preliminary clearance from the parliamentary intelligence committee or legally discuss the request with any minister or political leader.

Conte also emphasized that the Americans showed no interest in the activities of Italian intelligence, and that the Italian intelligence services were ‘completely extraneous to these events.’

Conte said that Barr first held a ‘preliminary technical’ meeting with intelligence officials in offices at Rome’s Piazza Dante on Aug. 15. That was followed up with another meeting in the same offices on Sept. 27.

‘I hate to disappoint you but there were no meetings in bars or hotels,’ Conte said, referring to media speculation. ‘They were all held in institutional settings.’

Referring to domestic criticism that the meetings came at a moment when the previous Conte-led government was in crisis, Conte emphasized that the American request for the meetings was made in June – before Interior Minister Matteo Salvini sought to push Conte out of power – and that the request arrived by normal diplomatic channels.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7613295/How-Bill-Barr-launched-criminal-inquiry-breakthrough-meeting-Rome.html

Joseph Mifsud

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

Disappeared 6 November 2017 (aged 56–57)
RomeItaly
Nationality Maltese
Education University of Malta (BA)
University of Padua (MA)
Queen’s University Belfast(PhD)

Joseph Mifsud (born 1960)[1] is a Maltese academic. In 2016, he became involved with George Papadopoulos, an advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and was later accused of being a link between that campaign and Russia. In 2018, he was described as missing, and an Italian court listed his location as “residence unknown”.[2] According to media reports he was in Rome as of April 2019.[3]

Education

Mifsud holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Malta (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Padua (1989).[1] He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from Queen’s University Belfast; his thesis was titled “Managing educational reform: a comparative approach from Malta (and Northern Ireland); a headteachers’ perspective”.[4]

Career

From 2006 to 2008, Mifsud served as the chef de cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta.[1] He later became a principal in the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). In 2008, he was named President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia (EMUNI).[1][5] At least as early as 2010, he began making numerous trips to Russia.[6] He was a professorial teaching fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland,[7] as well as director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, where he served as director from 2012 until it closed in 2016. The academy was partnered with the University of Stirling.[8][9][10] He has also served as president of the University Consortium of the Province of Agrigento in Sicily; in September 2018, an Italian court ordered him to repay the Consortium 49,000 euros ($56,700) in overpayments.[2]

In a 2017 interview, he claimed to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR),[11] although the ECFR website in 2018 did not list him as a member.[12] He regularly attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Russia, backed by the Kremlin and attended by Vladimir Putin.[13] According to a BBC report, Mifsud was in Moscow in April 2016 to speak on a panel run by the Valdai Club alongside Stephan Roh, the German multimillionaire lawyer and investor described as a “wheeler-dealer” by the BBC Newsnight program.[14] Roh is Mifsud’s former employer,[15] he could not be reached for comment by the BBC. Another speaker at the Valdai Club was Ivan Timofeev, who works for a think tank close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whom Mifsud subsequently introduced to Papadopoulos via email.[14] Mifsud reportedly claimed to his former girlfriend that he was friends with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[16]

Mifsud denied having any contact with the Russian government, saying “I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian.”[7] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, said that Mifsud “maintained various Russian contacts while living in London”, including an unnamed person (name redacted), who was a former staff member of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm based in Saint Petersburg.[17]

Connection to George Papadopoulos

In March 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos was named as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, Mifsud met Papadopoulos in Rome. They later met again in London, where Mifsud allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman that he falsely claimed was Putin’s niece; Mifsud has denied this.[7][13] At a meeting in April, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had learned that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the information to the Australian High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, who later reported to American authorities that Papadopoulos had apparently known about Russia’s theft of emails from Democratic sources before it was publicly reported. Papadopoulos has since publicly declared that he did tell Downer about the fact that he was offered “dirt” on Clinton but he has denied any recollection of communicating this theft of emails with Downer. The FBI then launched an investigation into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.[18]

Volume 1 of the Mueller Report stated that Mifsud travelled to Moscow in April 2016, and upon his return told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.[19][17] It also mentions that Papadopoulos “suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton”. This would appear to corroborate the contact with Downer.

According to Mifsud, he was interviewed by the FBI in February 2017 while visiting the United States to speak at a conference.[20][21] The FBI has not confirmed that they interviewed him, but he is listed as a featured speaker at the February 2017 national meeting of Global Ties, an event sponsored by the US Department of State.[22] Mifsud left the United States on 11 February 2017. Prosecutors with the investigation into Russian interference in the election suggested, in a 17 August 2018 sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos, that they might have wanted to challenge, detain, or arrest Mifsud if Papadopoulos had told the truth about their interactions.[23]

Papadopoulos and some critics of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign have asserted that Mifsud was actually a Western intelligence operative who was instructed to entrap Papadopoulos in order to justify the investigation.[24][25] During Robert Mueller‘s testimony to two congressional committees on 24 July 2019, Republicans Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes portrayed Misfud as a central figure in what they asserted was an investigation based on false and politically motivated premises, while Democrats tried to frame their assertion as a diversion and conspiracy theory.[26] Jim Jordan asked Robert Mueller why he never charged Mifsud with lying to the FBI while George Papadopoulos was charged for lying about Mifsud.[27]

Connection to Stephan Roh

Stephan Roh, the Russian-speaking[28] German lawyer and multimillionaire with close ties to Russia,[29] has worked alongside Mifsud for years. Papadopoulos’s wife, who briefly worked for Mifsud, has described Roh as Mifsud’s lawyer, best friend, and funder.[citation needed] Roh owns multiple businesses, many headquartered in Moscow or Cyprus. Roh also is an investor in Link Campus University, holding a 5% stake.[30][unreliable source?] The university is known for its diplomatic, intelligence and analytical studies, such as the School of Analysis–Security and Intelligence section, and a place where Mifsud taught.[31]

Link Campus University was founded 1999 by Vincenzo Scotti as a subsidiary of the University of Malta, with help from Mifsud, who was then the head of the university’s education department. Scotti was Italian interior minister from 1990 to 1992, when he oversaw the country’s domestic intelligence apparatus. Scotti has been the ″director″ at Link Campus University, while Mifsud was its “director of international relations” and recruited foreign students for Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?] After Robert Mueller in May 2017 took over the Trump Russia collusion investigation Mifsud could not start classes at that academic year.[33] Mifsud lived in university housing until summer 2018.[34]

The Mueller Report made no mention of Mifsud’s longtime association with Italian Ex-Minister Vincenzo Scotti or with the institution that Scotti headed in Rome, Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?]

In his book, Roh claimed that he was detained and questioned by investigators on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team in October 2017.[29]

Missing report

According to a filing in a U.S. federal court in the case Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation in September 2018, Mifsud was “missing and may be deceased”. Mifsud’s whereabouts were unknown and he could not be served with the complaint.[35] He spoke to his girlfriend on 31 October 2017. The next day an Italian newspaper revealed that the “professor” referred to in news reports about Papadopoulos was Mifsud, and she has not heard from him since then.[36] According to CNN, he has “gone to ground” and was last seen on 6 November 2017 at Link University, a private university in Rome where he was teaching at the time.[20] In September 2018, an Italian court described his location as “residence unknown”.[2]

According to media reports Mifsud was in Rome as of April 2019.[3] On October 1, 2019, the Italian newspaper il Foglio published a photo of Mifsud in Switzerland with a copy of the Swiss newspaper Zürichsee-Zeitung dated May 21, 2018, as proof that he was still alive.[34]

See also

References

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

 

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Five people are burned alive in their cars in California wildfires as 240,000 are forced to evacuate and millions more are warned their homes are under imminent threat

  • The fires fueled by the notorious Santa Ana winds and low humidity are expected rage on into the weekend
  • In Northern California, the Camp Fire has spread across 70,000 acres in Butte County north of Sacramento 
  • Camp Fire killed five people trapped in their cars, burned 2,000 structures and destroyed town of Paradise
  • In Southern California, the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire have already scorched more than 40,000 acres
  • Nearly 150,000 residents near Ventura and Los Angeles counties have been ordered to evacuate 
  • Winds of up to 70mph are blowing the westward toward the Pacific Ocean, forcing total evacuation of Malibu
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s Malibu home was destroyed, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s home is under threat
  • Lady Gaga’s home and Will Smith’s are also at risk of being consumed by the wildfire
  • The fires are flanking Thousand Oaks, threatening the community still reeling from Wednesday’s shooting 
  • Actor James Woods has retweeted nearly 20 posts from families pleading for information about loved ones

 

Five people have been burned alive in their cars by a wildfire in Northern California while officials warn that two other blazes ravaging the southern part of the state are zero percent contained, threatening to destroy thousands of homes.

The notorious Santa Ana winds are expected to continue fueling the three fast-moving wildfires as they tear across large swaths of the coastal state. Over 240,000 have been evacuated across the state.

In Southern California, nearly 150,000 people are under evacuation orders as a pair of life-threatening fires have overtaken more than 40,000 acres, with dry winds of up to 70mph push them westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has scorched as least 35,000 acres north of Los Angeles since igniting near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting on Wednesday night.

The massive Woolsey Fire was a zero containment on Friday night, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as the flames approach.

To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 6,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon Thursday afternoon.

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

 

In Southern California, the fire has spread toward the Pacific, forcing the total evacuation of Malibu. Caitlyn Jenner’s home was destroyed by the flames, and other celebrity homes under fire threat are seen on the map above

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

In Northern California, the Camp Fire has raced across 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning, destroying 2,000 structures and killing at least five people who had no time to escape.

That fire has devastated the town of Paradise, where officials say nearly every structure has been razed by out-of-control flames and five people were found dead in burned out vehicles early Friday afternoon. The Camp Fire is 5 per cent contained.

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.

People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

‘There was really no firefight involved,’ said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate. ‘These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday.’

The causes of all three fires are under investigation. The Camp Fire began at 6.29am on Friday, while in the south the Hill and Woolsey Fires began on Friday afternoon.

Over 2,500 fire personnel are fighting the three blazes on the ground as challenging fire conditions are expected to continue through the weekend.

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise+56

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area+56

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday+56

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

In Southern California, wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued, warning wind gusts could reach 70mph and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.

No injuries have been reported in either southern fire as of Friday morning, but officials have warned that they will remain life-threatening through the weekend.

At around 7am local time Friday, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu as the Woolsey Fire raged toward the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department punctuated the evacuation message with the declaration: ‘Imminent threat!’

‘We’re in a situation where this fire is moving quickly – conditions are changing rapidly,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Buschow said at a press conference.

The Woolsey fire jumped US Highway 101 in the Calabasas area overnight and is now continuing it’s path into the Santa Monica Mountains.

The approximate area touched by the Woolsey and Hill Fires as of midday Friday is shown on the map above. Thousands of residents living in the areas marked in yellow, including Calabasas and Malibu, have been ordered to evacuate as the fires move west toward the Pacific with help from fierce dry winds

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company's headquarters in Burbank, California

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu+56

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu

The Southern California fires are flanking the city of Thousand Oaks, threatening the beleaguered community as it tries to mend itself after a gunman stormed a bar holding ‘College Night’ on Wednesday, killing 12 people and himself.

‘Just 48 hours ago our city experience tragedy that had national implications,’ Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said at a press conference on Friday night.

He pointed out that many of those affected by the shooting had probably been forced to evacuate their homes, and noted that the loss of property was never comparable to the loss of life.

‘Those lives will never be recovered. Tonight we are talking about a serious fire situation, but thankfully we have not lost a single life,’ the mayor said.

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill less than 24 hours earlier.

The Thousand Oaks Teen Center that was used as meeting point after the massacre has now been transformed into a shelter from the fire.

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire+56

 

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Kanye West's office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Kanye West’s office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano have been forced to evacuate as the flames surrounded their homes.

West’s offices in Calabasas also had to be evacuated after the raging wildfire encroached on the area.

Around the same time reports emerged that Caitlyn Jenner’s 3,500 square foot, 4-bedroom pad overlooking the Malibu beach was destroyed by fierce flames from the same blaze.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s mansion nearby in Malibu was seen surrounded by a blanket of thick smoke as the wildfire overtook the beachside city before moving toward Oxnard.

Will Smith posted a video to his Instagram story expressing worry that his own home would be hit by the flames as the path of destruction continues.

In Agoura Hills, the Woolsey Fire destroyed Paramount Ranch, the set of HBO’s Westworld and many other western films and shows.

HBO said that no cast or crew were at the Paramount Ranch location when it burned down.

Among the films that have been shot at the ranch are Caught in the Draft with Bob Hope, The Lake House with Sandra Bullock, and TV shows including The Mentalist, Weeds and Quickdraw.

Dr Quinn Medicine Woman was also shot there from 1992 to 1997.

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night's shooting

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night’s shooting

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches+56

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes 

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate+56

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it 

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday's shooting

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting

The fire has been spread by powerful winds that pushed it through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated.

More than 165 firefighters were rushed to the area and eight aerial air tankers have been ordered to tackle the fierce blaze from above.

A ‘red flag’ warning came into effect at 10am today in the San Diego County mountains and valleys and will last until 10pm Friday.

In nearby Newbury Park where ex-marine Ian Michael Long lived, residents stood and watched two scenes unfolding – one of reporters standing outside of home of the suspected shooter, the other a brush fire raging behind their homes.

Connor Chaney, 21, told the LA Times: ‘You feel hopeless. There’s nothing you can do over there or there.’

This morning the flames were said to be only three miles from the Borderline Bar and Grill.

The Hill Fire is burning in the same area as the Springs Fire from 2013, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

‘The wind is definitely pushing this thing toward the ocean just like the Springs Fire a few years ago,’ Ventura County Fire Capt Brian McGrath told the Los Angeles Times. ‘It’s very fast.’

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Kim Kardashian and three children given just one hour to evacuate wildfire-threatened Calabasas mansion

Kim Kardashian and her three children were given just one hour to evacuate her home as wildfires swept through California.

The reality TV star flew back from San Quentin jail, where a death row inmate she is campaigning to have released is being held, when she was told to quickly flee the devastating blazes.

As the 38-year-old came into land in her private plane she took aerial videos and pictures of the flames spreading around the around Los Angeles and Ventura County.

The star has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires.

She took to Instagram to share aerial photos of the Woosley fire in California and praise the efforts of firefighters.

However once she landed, Kim revealed her and kids North, Chicago and Saint only ‘had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home’.

The socialite was returning from a business trip when she spotted the fires from the air.

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

And once on the ground, Kim made sure to document the action, sharing pictures and videos of first responders to the tragedy.

She captioned as video with: ‘Fire fighters are arriving. Thank you for all that you do for us!!!’ wrote the mother-of-three.’

Kim and rapper Kanye West’s 15,000 sqft estate in Hidden Hills is thought to be worth around $20million.

The fire first erupted on Thursday afternoon east of neighboring city Chatsworth and has since grown to 4,000 acres in Ventura County.

It rapidly burned down several houses as mandatory evacuations were ordered in areas like the Kardashian neighborhood of Hidden Hills.

Kim and her sister Kourtney, 39, both live in exclusive Calabasas, near their mother Kris Jenner and brother Rob.

Kourtney left her Calabasas home and posted an Instagram picture of suitcases in her car as she went to stay with sister Kendall Jenner’s house in Beverly Hills and joked she was raiding her pantry for food.

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to 'pray for Calabasas' after the reality TV star was 'evacuated' from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

She wrote alongside the picture: ‘I pray that everyone is kept safe and protected from these fires. No Calabasas tonight.’

Kris Jenner’s upmarket Hidden Hills neighborhood was evacuated, but she was also not at her $9.9m home as the drama unfolded as she was watching daughter, Kendall, take to the catwalk and star in the Victoria Secrets fashion show in New York.

Kylie was not in California at the time as she was supporting boyfriend, Travis Scott, at his Astroworld tour in Baltimore, Maryland.

Khloe Kardashian revealed that she and daughter True were staying with Rob Kardashian and his daughter, Dream, who live near Kris, but were not forced out of their home.

She tweeted last night: ‘I am with Rob, Dream and True and I am up keeping watch! Saying prayers and thanking all of the brave firefighters who risk their lives for us.’

Reporting by Chris Dyer for MailOnline 

On Friday officials confirmed that five people had been found dead in their vehicles after having been burnt alive by ferocious flames in Northern California’s Camp Fire.

In the northern part of the state, the town of Paradise has been ‘pretty much destroyed’ by a raging wildfire that forced some 27,000 terrified residents to flee their homes.

All of the city’s 27,000 residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday as the wildfire quickly turned into an inferno. Many residents said traffic jams developed as they left as panicked people fled, some abandoning their cars to try to escape on foot.

Evacuees were seen clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the blaze that engulfed the town, destroying hundreds of buildings and causing highway pylons to collapse into roads.

One witness Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene as she fled the town as the flames took over, saying: ‘Things started exploding. People started getting out of their vehicles and running.’

 

Towering “firenado” seen swirling amid the that has scorched at least 20,000 acres in Northern California.

The Butte County Sheriff has received reports of multiple fatalities, but officials are trying to confirm those reports, authorities say. https://abcn.ws/2DtY1QD 

Embedded video

An ABC News crews caught the 'firenado' in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California 

An ABC News crews caught the ‘firenado’ in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California

A red flag warning was in effect from Friday morning, meaning firefighters face a battle against the high dry winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire.

On Thursday night fire officials said the blaze was ‘growing uncontrollably’ as it swept across Butte County at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute, and more than 2,200 firefighters fought against the flames.

Cal Fire Capt Scott McLean late last night: ‘Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation. The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.’

McLean says a wind-whipped wildfire destroyed thousands of structures but he said they won’t have an exact count, nor have an idea over the extent of any injuries until they can get into the dangerous area.

Little remains of the the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past it taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

 

Officials say nearly every structure in Paradise has been razed by out-of-control flames and multiple people have likely died. Pictured are the remains of the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past, taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday+56

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles 

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California+56

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. 'I'll be darned if I'm going to let those horses burn in the fire' said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, 'It has to be true love.' The horses all survived

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. ‘I’ll be darned if I’m going to let those horses burn in the fire’ said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, ‘It has to be true love.’ The horses all survived

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

‘Ominous’ piece of burnt paper descends from sky amid fast-moving California blaze

As a vicious wildfire rages through Northern California, the warning to flee came to one woman in the form of a small ‘ominous’ piece of charred paper that descended from the sky.

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, said she stepped outside her home on Thursday around 9am to assess the menacing cloud of black smoke taking over the sky about 10 miles away from her home.

As she stood outside the single piece of burnt parchment floated down from above.

‘I thought, “If this is a piece of the Bible, this is going to be crazy,”‘ she said to the San Francisco Gate. ‘It looked very ominous. It was kind of a like a leaf…how they fall down.’

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

But upon a closer look she said the singed piece of paper appeared to be from a fire manual and included information about fire hose pressure.

She shared it to social media where writing: ‘I was standing outside looking at the smoke in the sky with the #campfire near my office and this fell out of the sky.’

The  picture racked up more than 500 likes with some Twitter users saying the paper looked like a ‘holy message’.

‘Wow. At least it’s not a piece of a page from the #Bible. Then, I would be getting in my vehicle and heading for the ocean…’ twitter user David Nyro wrote.

‘Dang…don’t scare me….there for a minute, I thought it was the Constitution,’ one Twitter user wrote.

‘That’s a poignant photo. Hope you aren’t too close,’ another added.

‘This is disconcerting to see. Burned debris falling from sky from #CampFire is a page from a fire truck manual,’ yet another Twitter fan said.

Some online users said they had eerily similar incidents happen to them.

‘I’ll never forget that happening years ago during the huge Oakland fires. Just heartbreaking,’ Twitter user Kim O’Connor said.

‘I had a VERY similar thing happen to me during the Carr Fire a few months ago in Redding. The page was from a Self Help/Inspirational book, but nearly the whole page fell at my feet during the fire tornado.’

While officials say there have likely been a number of fatalities from the rapidly expanding Camp Fire, no official number has been reported.

Meanwhile, families in search of missing loved ones have received aid from an unlikely source: actor James Woods.

The award-winning actor has filled his Twitter page -@RealJamesWoods – with retweets of nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about their missing loved ones.

Woods tweeted: ‘To all my wonderful followers: I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts tonight connecting people with lost loved ones in the terrible #CampFire. Your thousands of retweets of invaluable information literally saved lives. God bless you all.’

At the top of the profile Woods pinned a link to a running list of missing persons, which stood at a total of 40 as of 10am PST Friday morning.

The award-winning actor has retweeted nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about loved ones

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account - @RealJamesWoods - into a missing persons database

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account – @RealJamesWoods – into a missing persons database

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6371393/Southern-California-fires-force-evacuation-1-000-homes.html

 

 

 

2019 California wildfires

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2019 California wildfires
Statistics[1]
Total fires 6,402
Total area 250,349 acres (101,313 ha)
Cost $163 million in suppression[2]
Fatalities 3
Non-fatal injuries 22
Season
← 2018
2020 →

The 2019 wildfire season is the current-running fire season in California. So far, over 6,402 fires have been recorded according to Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, totaling an estimated of 250,349 acres (101,313 ha) of burned land as of November 3.[1] Although the 2019 fire season had been relatively quiet in California through mid-September as compared to past years,[3] October through December is still expected to have the greatest fire potential as the Diablo winds and the Santa Ana winds pick up.[4]

In late October, the Kincade Fire became the largest fire of the year, burning 77,758 acres (31,468 ha) in Sonoma County by November 6.

Massive preemptive public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events have been controversial. PG&E and other power utilities have preemptively shut off power to over one million residents due to perceived risk of wildfires starting in high winds due to high-voltage power lines. While large areas have been without power for days, people in fire danger areas had trouble getting updates and critical life support equipment would not work without backup power.[5]

 

Early projections

Smoke from the Kincade Fire on October 24 as viewed from GOES-17

Fire behavioral experts and climatologists have warned that heavy rains from months early in the year have produced an excess of vegetation that would become an abundance of dry fuel later in the year as the fire season gets underway.[6] According to the US Forest Service and Interior Department officials, early projections indicated that the fire season would possibly be worse than the year prior, stating that “if we’re lucky, this year will simply be a challenging one.” This assessment was written on the basis of noting that the state has recently been seeing consistently destructive fires more often than ever before.[7]

Wildfires

The following is a list of fires that burned more than 1,000 acres (400 ha), or produced significant structural damage or casualties.

Name County Acres Start date Containment date Notes hideRef
Refuge Kern 2,500 May 7 May 9 1 structure destroyed [8]
Boulder San Luis Obispo 1,127 June 5 June 11 [9]
Sand Yolo 2,512 June 8 June 17 7 structures destroyed, 2 injuries [10][11]
West Butte Sutter 1,300 June 8 June 10 [12][13]
McMillan San Luis Obispo 1,764 June 12 June 14 [12][14]
Lonoak Monterey 2,546 June 25 June 26 Downed PG&E power line was the cause[15] [16]
Rock Stanislaus 2,422 June 25 June 27 [17]
Cow InyoTulare 1,975 July 25 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [18]
Springs Mono 4,840 July 26 October 7 Caused by lightning strike [19]
Tucker Modoc 14,150 July 28 August 15 Unintentionally caused by vehicular traffic along California State Route 139[20][21] [22][23]
W-1 McDonald Lassen 1,020 August 8 August 11 Caused by lightning strike [24][25]
Gaines Mariposa 1,300 August 16 August 20 [26]
Mountain Shasta 600 August 22 August 26 14 buildings destroyed, 7 damaged and 3 people injured [27]
Long Valley Lassen 2,438 August 24 August 27 [28]
R-1 Ranch Lassen 3,380 August 28 September 5 Caused by lightning strike [29]
Tenaja Riverside 1,926 September 4 September 14 [30]
Walker Plumas 54,608 September 4 September 25 9 structures destroyed [31]
Taboose Inyo 10,296 September 4 Active (85% contained) Caused by lightning strike [32]
Lime Siskiyou 1,872 September 4 September 19 Caused by lightning strike [33][34]
Middle Trinity 1,339 September 5 October 5 Caused by lightning strike [35]
Red Bank Tehama 8,838 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike; 2 buildings destroyed [36]
South Tehama 5,332 September 5 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [37][38]
Lone Modoc 5,737 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike [39][40]
Springs Mono 4,840 September 6 September 23 Caused by lightning strike [41][42]
Briceburg Mariposa 5,563 October 6 October 24 1 structure destroyed [43][44]
Sandalwood Riverside 1,011 October 10 October 14 Trash in a garbage truck caught fire and spread to nearby brush
74 structures destroyed, 16 structures damaged, 2 civilian fatalities
[45][46]
Caples El Dorado 3,435 October 10 November 1 Caused by a controlled burn that went out of control [47]
Saddleridge Los Angeles 8,799 October 10 October 31 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage SCE transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
19 structures destroyed, 88 structures damaged, 1 civilian fatality, 8 firefighter injuries
[48][49]
Kincade Sonoma 77,758 October 23 November 6 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage PG&E transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
374 structures destroyed, 40 structures damaged, 0 reported deaths, 2 firefighters injured
[50][51][52][53]
Tick Los Angeles 4,615 October 24 October 31 22 structures destroyed, 27 structures damaged [54]
Getty Los Angeles 745 October 28 November 6 Caused by a tree branch that fell on a power line during high winds
12 homes destroyed, 5 homes damaged
[55][56][57]
Easy Ventura 1,806 October 30 November 2 Threatened the area near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley[58] [59][60][61]
Hillside San Bernardino 200 October 31 Active (95% contained) 6 homes destroyed, 18 homes damaged [62]
Maria Ventura 9,999 October 31 November 5 Brush fire broke out at around 6:15 p.m. October 31 on South Mountain in Santa Paula[63] [64]
Ranch Tehama 2,534 November 3 Active (55% contained) 3 injuries, acreage reduced from 3,768 due to better mapping [65][66] [67]

Other fires

Three people were injured during the Moose Fire (August 12–17).[68] Two people were injured and four structures were destroyed during the Country Fire (September 3–6).[69] Four people were injured during the Lopez Fire (September 21–27),[70] and one during the Electra Fire (September 25).[71] A small brush fire ignited in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles County on October 21. The fire burned 42 acres (17 hectares) within a few hours,[72] forcing the evacuation of 200 homes. Three firefighters suffered injuries while one civilian was treated for respiratory illness.[72][73]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_California_wildfires

 

List: The 20 largest wildfires in California history

Since modern record keeping began in the 1930s, California has had dozens of major fires

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

The Kincade Fire, threatening towns in Sonoma County and causing major evacuations, expanded to 66,231 acres as of Monday morning. That’s more than twice the size of the city of San Francisco. So far, however, the fire isn’t yet among the 20 largest in modern California history. The list, ranked by acres burned:

1) Mendocino Complex – July 2018 – Colusa County, Lake County,
Mendocino County & Glenn County – 459,123 acres, 280 structures destroyed, 1 death

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

2) Thomas – December 2017 – Ventura & Santa Barbara counties – 281,893 acres, 1,063 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Flames come close to a house as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County seaside communities on December 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

3) Cedar – October 2003 – San Diego County – 273,246 acres, 2,820 structures destroyed, 15 deaths

A San Jose firefighter battles a portion of the Cedar Fire using a water spout from atop a firetruck October 27, 2003 near Lakeside in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) 

4) Rush – August 2012 – Lassen County – 271,911 acres in California, 43,666 acres in Nevada, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

5) Rim –  August 2013 – Tuolumne County – 257,314 acres, 112 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Inmate firefighters walk along Highway 120 after a burnout operation as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) 

6) Zaca – July 2007 – Santa Barbara County – 240,207 acres burned, 1 structure destroyed, 0 deaths

The Zaca Fire, burning in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Calif., illuminates the smoke covering the mountain top while smaller fire descend toward rural homes, ranches and campgrounds along Paradise Road, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, as seen in this time-lapse exposure. (AP Photo/ Michael A. Mariant) 

7) Carr – July 2018 – Shasta and Trinity counties – 229,651 acres, 1,614 structures destroyed, 8 deaths

The Carr Fire burn activity surges along Highway 299 near the Trinithy-Shasta county line, near Lewiston, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group Archives) 

8) Matilija – September 1932 – Ventura County – 220,000 acres burned, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

9)  Witch – October 2007 – San Diego County – 197,990 acres, 1,650 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

A helicopter prepares to drop water on the Witch Fire on October 23, 2007 in the Del Dios area of Escondido, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) 

10) Klamath Complex –  June 2008 – Siskiyou County – 192,038 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

11) Marble Cone – July 1977 – Monterey County – 177,866 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Firefighters at the Marble Cone Fire in Big Sur on August 15, 1977. (Monterey County Herald Archives) 

12) Laguna – September 1970 – San Diego – 175,425 acres, 382 structures destroyed, 5 deaths

13) Basin Complex – June 2008 – Monterey County, 162,818 acres, 58 structures, 0 deaths

The Basin Complex Fire on the east side of Highway One near the Esselen Institute in Monterey County on Monday, July 7, 2008. (Vern Fisher/Monterey County Herald) 

14) Day – September 2006 – Ventura County – 162,702 acres, 11 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

A crew member from the California Department of Forestry lights a backfire to try and stop the Day Fire from reaching Interstate 5 Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, near Castaic, Calif. (AP Photo/The Ventura Star, Juan Carlo) 

15) Station – August 2009 – Los Angeles County – 160,557 acres, 209 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Los Angeles County fire fighters mop up hot spots as they fight the Station Fire August 30, 2009 in Acton, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

16) Camp – November 2018 – Butte County – 153,336 acres, 18,804 structures destroyed, 86 deaths

The massive plume from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon and near Paradise, wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico on Thursday November 8, 2018. (David Little/Bay Area News Group) 

17) Rough – July 2015 – Fresno County – 151,623 acres, 4 structures destroyed, 0
deaths

18 McNally -July 2002 – Tulare County -150,696 acres, 17 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Flames of the McNally Fire are reflected in the North Fork of the Kern River July 23, 2002 in the Sequoia National Forest north of Kernville, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

19) Stanislaus Complex – August 1987 – Tuolumne County – 145,980 acres, 28 structures destroyed, 1 death

20) Big Bar Complex – August 1999 – Trinity County – 140,948 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Looking to the southwest from the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation about 50 miles east of Eureka, Calif., a thick blanket of fog-like smoke drifts far to the southwest as the Big Bar Complex wildfires continue to burn Oct. 7, 1999. (AP Photo/Times-Standard, Shaun Walker) 

Source: CalFire, US Forest Service

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/28/list-the-20-largest-wildfires-in-california-history/?shared=email&msg=fail

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1353, November 6, 2019, Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos — Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Opinions/Here Say on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos — Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes — Videos

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Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos —

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

Mark Levin Goes Off On “Political Hack” Whistleblower, His Lawyers, Dems & Impeachment Inquiry

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

The Five’ reacts to House Dems taking impeachment probe public

PBS NewsHour full episode November 6, 2019

Washington Post calls out Schiff over false whistleblower comments

 

Whistleblower Protection Act

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Whistleblower Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to amend title 5, United States Code, to strengthen the protections available to Federal employees against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
Enacted by the 101st United States Congress
Effective April 10, 1989
Citations
Public law 101-12
Statutes at Large 103 Stat. 16
Codification
Titles amended 5 U.S.C.: Government Organization and Employees
U.S.C. sections amended 5 U.S.C. ch. 12 § 1201 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 20 by Carl Levin (DMIon January 25, 1989
  • Passed the Senate on March 16, 1989 (97-0, Roll call vote 24, via Senate.gov)
  • Passed the House on March 21, 1989 (Agreed voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush onApril 10, 1989

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant.[1]

 

Authorized Federal Agencies

  • The Office of Special Counsel investigates federal whistleblower complaints. In October 2008, then-special counsel Scott Bloch resigned amid an FBI investigation into whether he obstructed justice by illegally deleting computer files following complaints that he had retaliated against employees who disagreed with his policies. Then-Senator Barack Obama made a campaign vow to appoint a special counsel committed to whistleblower rights. It was not until April 2011 that President Obama’s appointee Carolyn Lerner was confirmed by the Senate. Today, the primary mission of OSC is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that adjudicates whistleblower complaints, uses appointed administrative law judges who often back the government. Since 2000, the board has ruled for whistleblowers just three times in 56 cases decided on their merits, according to a Government Accountability Project analysis. Obama appointed a new chairperson and vice chairperson with backgrounds as federal worker advocates, but Tom Devine of GAP says, “It’s likely to take years for them to turn things around.” Currently, this office works to protect the Merit System Principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of Prohibited Personnel Practices.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established under Article III of the Constitution on October 1, 1982. It is the only court empowered to hear appeals of whistleblower cases decided by the merit board, has been criticized by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and others in Congress for misinterpreting whistleblower laws and setting a precedent that is hostile to claimants. Between 1994 and 2010, the court had ruled for whistleblowers in only three of 203 cases decided on their merits, GAP’s analysis found.[2]

Legal Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 04-473, ruled in 2006 that government employees do not have protection from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when they speak pursuant to their official job duties.[3] The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) uses agency lawyers in the place of administrative law judges to decide federal employees’ whistleblower appeals. These lawyers, dubbed “attorney examiners,” deny 98% of whistleblower appeals; the Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals give great deference to their initial decisions, resulting in affirmance rates of 97% and 98%, respectively.[4] The most common characteristics for a court claim that are encompassed within the protection of the Act include: that the plaintiff is an employee or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for action, that the defendant is an employer or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for the action, that the plaintiff engaged in protected whistleblower activity, that the defendant knew or had knowledge that the plaintiff engaged in such activity, that there was retaliatory action taken against the one doing the whistleblowing and that the unfair treatment would not have occurred if the plaintiff hadn’t brought to attention the activities.[5] Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the fact that the TSA had cut its funding for more air marshals. In 2009 MacLean, represented by the Government Accountability Project, challenged his dismissal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, on the grounds that “his disclosure of the text message was protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, because he ‘reasonably believe[d]’ that the leaked information disclosed ‘a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety’.” MacLean won the case in a ruling of 7–2 in the Supreme Court in January 2015.[6]

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and Presidential Policy Directive 19

President Barack Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information”. According to the directive signed by Obama on October 10, 2012, it is written that “this Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.[7]

However, according to a report that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs submitted to accompany S. 743, “the federal whistleblowers have seen their protections diminish in recent years, largely as a result of a series of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over many cases brought under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Specifically, the Federal Circuit has accorded a narrow definition to the type of disclosure that qualifies for whistleblower protection. Additionally, the lack of remedies under current law for most whistleblowers in the intelligence community and for whistleblowers who face retaliation in the form of withdrawal of the employee’s security clearance leaves unprotected those who are in a position to disclose wrongdoing that directly affects our national security.”[8] S. 743 would address these problems by restoring the original congressional intent of the WPA to adequately protect whistleblowers, by strengthening the WPA, and by creating new whistleblower protections for intelligence employees and new protections for employees whose security clearance is withdrawn in retaliation for having made legitimate whistleblower disclosures.[9] S. 743 ultimately became Pub.L. 112-199 (S.Rep. 112-155).

Related legislation

On July 14, 2014, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197; 113th Congress), a bill that gives authority to federal employees who want to appeal their judgment to any federal court, and which allows whistleblowers to appeal to any U.S. Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction. The bill would extend from three years after the effective date of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (i.e., December 27, 2012), the period allowed for: (1) filing a petition for judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board decisions in whistleblower cases, and (2) any review of such a decision by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).[10][11]

See also

References

External links

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

Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Policy Differences, Opinions/Heresay (Acting Ambassador Bill Taylor and Others) on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos

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An Introduction to The Back Channel

William J. Burns, “The Back Channel”

What Is And What Is Not A Diplomatic Backchannel | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

‘I would quit’: Takeaways from diplomat Taylor’s testimony

 

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Wednesday.

Taylor last month methodically recounted his conversations with other diplomats and expressed his concerns about the influence of the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. Referring to his own detailed notes – he has a notebook in his pocket at all times, he said – he told lawmakers about his efforts to restore the military aid.

House Democrats released a 324-page transcript of Taylor’s interview as part of a rolling release of documents in the new, public phase of the impeachment inquiry. Taylor’s transcript was the fifth released this week, and more are expected. Taylor is also scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Takeaways from the Taylor transcript:

AN ‘IRREGULAR’ DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

Taylor told investigators he began to realize, after taking the top job in Ukraine in May, that were two diplomatic channels on Ukraine: one regular and an “irregular” one that was “guided by Mr. Giuliani.” The military aid, and a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was blocked by the second channel, Taylor said.

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country's president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The irregular channel included Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Giuliani. Taylor says the two channels eventually began to diverge in their goals as Trump pushed for investigations of political rival Joe Biden’s family and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s calls for those probes, and the delay in military assistance to Ukraine, are the center of the Democrats’ investigation.

___

“A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING”

Taylor told the investigators he understood that the military aid – not just the White House meeting – was conditioned on Ukraine opening the investigations. Sondland had told him that “everything” was dependent on Zelenskiy making such an announcement.

“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President committed to pursue the investigation,” Taylor told the lawmakers, even though Sondland insisted, after talking to Trump, that there was no “quid pro quo.”

Taylor said he understood the reason for investigating Burisma, a gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, was “to cast Vice President Biden in a bad light” and that it could help Trump’s reelection.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked Taylor in the questioning: “So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor said.

“Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?” Schiff asked.

“I am,” Taylor said.

___

WARY OF THE JOB

Taylor recounts his own struggles with the decision to take the job in Ukraine after Trump had ordered the ouster of the previous ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. He said he was worried about “snake pits” in Washington and Kyiv and raised his concerns with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he was offered the job.

Later in the summer, after a few months in Ukraine, he told Volker and Sondland that he would quit if Zelenskiy gave an interview promising the investigations Trump had sought and then the military aid was never released. In a text, he described that scenario as his “nightmare.”

When asked to explain that text, Taylor told lawmakers: “The Russians want to know how much support the Ukrainians are going to get in general, but also what kind of support from the Americans. So the Russians are loving, would love, the humiliation of Zelenskiy at the hand of the Americans, and would give the Russians a freer hand, and I would quit.”

___

WORRIES ABOUT MILITARY AID

Taylor said he decided, at the encouragement of then-national security adviser John Bolton, to write a cable to Pompeo outlining his concerns about the holdup in military aid. He did not get a reply, but he was told that Pompeo had brought the cable with him to at least one White House meeting at which the secretary argued in favor of releasing the aid to Ukraine.

“I know that Secretary Pompeo was working on this issue, that he wanted it resolved,” Taylor said. “I was getting more and more concerned that it wasn’t getting resolved. And so I wanted to add my concern and my arguments, from the perspective of Kyiv and the Ukrainians, about how important this assistance was.”

Taylor told the lawmakers that he wrote the cable in the first person, which he thought would get Pompeo’s attention. He also hinted in the cable that he might resign.

In the deposition, Taylor described the importance of the military aid that Ukraine was receiving from the U.S. to fight the insurgency backed by Russia in the east. “What we can say is that that radar and weapons and sniper rifles, communication, that saves lives. It makes the Ukrainians more effective. It might even shorten the war.”

___

FOCUS ON UKRAINE … OR GREENLAND?

Taylor testified that as he was pushing for the aid to Ukraine to be released, he was hearing from colleagues in Washington that it was difficult to arrange a meeting with Trump on the issue.

He said that may have had to do with travel schedules, but also the president’s keen interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, which the National Security Council was looking into.

“I think this was also about the time of the Greenland question, about purchasing Greenland, which took up a lot of energy in the NSC,” Taylor told the lawmakers.

Schiff responded: “Okay. That’s disturbing for a whole different reason.”

Trump sparked a diplomatic dispute with U.S. ally Denmark in August after he proposed that the U.S. buy Greenland and the Danish government rejected the idea.

___

GOP PUSHBACK

In a preview of the public hearing, Republicans criticized Taylor by arguing that he received none of the information firsthand. Taylor says in the interview that he hadn’t spoken directly to Trump or Giuliani.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., grilled Taylor on whether he had primary knowledge that Trump was demanding that Ukraine investigate the Bidens. Republicans also suggested in the interview that Ukrainians wanted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump in 2016.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7658395/I-quit-Takeaways-diplomat-Taylors-testimony.html

 

William Joseph Burns

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William Joseph Burns
AmbassadorBurns.jpg
17th United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
July 28, 2011 – November 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Steinberg
Succeeded by Tony Blinken
United States Secretary of State
Acting
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 21, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Condoleezza Rice
Succeeded by Hillary Clinton
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
May 13, 2008 – July 28, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by R. Nicholas Burns
Succeeded by Tom Shannon (Acting)
5th United States Ambassador to Russia
In office
November 8, 2005 – May 13, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexander Vershbow
Succeeded by John Beyrle
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
In office
June 4, 2001 – March 2, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Edward S. Walker Jr.
Succeeded by David Welch
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
August 9, 1998 – June 4, 2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Wesley Egan
Succeeded by Edward Gnehm
Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State
In office
January 16, 1996 – February 27, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Kenneth C. Brill
Succeeded by Kristie Kenney
Personal details
Born April 4, 1956 (age 63)
Fort BraggNorth Carolina, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lisa Carty
Children 2
Education La Salle University (BA)
St John’s College, Oxford(MPhilDPhil)

William Joseph Burns (born April 11, 1956) is a former career Foreign Service Officer,[1] and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since February 2015.[2] Previously, he was Ambassador of the United States to the Russian Federation from 2005 until 2008, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, and United States Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014.

 

Early life and education

Burns was born at Fort BraggNorth Carolina. He earned a B.A. in History from La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and M.Phil and D.Phil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. His dissertation was expanded and published in 1985 as Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955–1981.

Career

U.S. Foreign Service

Ambassador Burns entered the Foreign Service in 1982, and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2014. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 until 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 until 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001. Before these, he was also Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns, together with George Tenet was instrumental in forcing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease fire agreement of June 2001.[3][4] He played a leading role in the elimination of Libya’s illicit weapons program, and the secret bilateral channel with the Iranians that led to a historic interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.[5] He also played a major role in efforts to re-set relations with Russia early in the Obama Administration and in the strengthening of the strategic partnership with India. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded his “quiet, head-down, get-it-done diplomacy”, stating that it had earned him the trust of both Republican and Democratic administrations; The Atlantic called him a “secret diplomatic weapon” deployed against some of the United States’ thorniest foreign policy challenges.[6]

A cable Burns signed as ambassador and released by WikiLeaks[7] describing “a high society wedding in the Caucasus — complete with massive quantities of alcohol, lumps of gold and revolver-wielding drunkards” attended by President Ramzan Kadyrov,[8] received widespread international coverage, with historian Timothy Garton Ash writing that “Burns’s analyses of Russian politics are astute,” with the “highly entertaining account” of the wedding “almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh.”[9]

Retirement from the Foreign Service

On April 11, the State Department announced Burns would step down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014, after he twice delayed his retirement first at the request of Secretary John Kerry and then at the request of President Obama.

In a press statement announcing Ambassador Burns’ decision to retire, Secretary Kerry said that “Bill is a statesman cut from the same cloth, caliber, and contribution as George F. Kennan and Chip Bohlen, and he has more than earned his place on a very short list of American diplomatic legends”.[10] President Obama, in his own statement, said Ambassador Burns “has been a skilled advisor, consummate diplomat, and inspiration to generations of public servants…the country is stronger for Bill’s service”.[11]

On October 29, 2014, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced that Ambassador Burns would begin his tenure as its ninth President on February 4, 2015.

Burns was widely assumed to be on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s shortlist of Secretary of State nominees, had she won.[12]

His memoir of his diplomatic career The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal was published in 2019.

Awards

Burns with CMU President Subra Suresh (middle) and ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson (left), 2016

Burns is the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and a number of Department of State awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award, the 2006 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the 2005 Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award, and the James Clement Dunn Award. He also received the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service and the U.S. Intelligence Community Medallion. In 1994, he was named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40”, and its list of “100 Young Global Leaders”. Burns holds four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[13] He was also awarded Foreign Policy‘s “Diplomat of the Year” award in 2013;[14] and the Anti-Defamation League‘s “Distinguished Statesman Award” (2014).[15] He is also an Honorary Fellow, St. John’s College, Oxford (from 2012).[16]

Personal life

Burns and his wife Lisa Carty have two daughters.

References

  1. ^ “NNDB Article”. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  2. ^ “Ambassador William J. Burns Named Next Carnegie President”. National Endowment for Democracy (NEFD). 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ephron, Dan (13 June 2001). “US rokers a cease-fire in Mid-East 11th hour Deal Spells Out Steps; Disputes Remain”. Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ “The Tenet Plan : Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire and Security Plan, Proposed by CIA Director George Tenet; June 13, 2001”Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Michael (April 11, 2014). “Diplomat Who Led Secret Talks with Iran Plans to Retire”New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (April 4, 2013). “The White House’s Secret Diplomatic Weapon”The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. ^ “US embassy cables: A wedding feast, the Caucasus way”, 1 Dec 2010, The Guardian
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/wedding-in-the-caucasus-the-us-ambassador-learns-that-cognac-is-like-wine-a-732370.html
  9. ^ Garton Ash, Timothy (November 28, 2010). “US Embassy Cables: A Banquet of Secrets”. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  10. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns’ Decision to Retire in October 2014”http://www.state.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  11. ^ “Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns”. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/hillary-clinton-john-kerry-secretary-state-226740
  13. ^ http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1014
  14. ^ “Bill Burns Honored as Diplomat of the Year”foreignpolicy.com. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  15. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns Presented with ADL Award”http://www.adl.org. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  16. ^ “RAI in America”http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2014.

External links

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

 

Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes  — Videos

 

Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andy Beshear, shown with running mate Jacqueline Coleman, held a lead of more than 5,000 votes. PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race and pressed ahead with transition plans, despite Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s refusal to concede and his request for a formal review of vote totals.

With 100% of counties reporting results, Mr. Beshear led Mr. Bevin by 5,189 votes out of more than 1.4 million cast, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. The race was too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, with his wife, Glenna, in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I feel confident in declaring Andy Beshear Gov.-elect Beshear,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in an interview. But she said she would follow established procedures in response to any petitions from Mr. Bevin.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bevin’s campaign formally requested a recanvass, or review of the vote totals in each county, citing an “election too close to call and multiple reports of voting irregularities.” At a news conference Wednesday, Mr. Bevin said the campaign was seeking to corroborate alleged incidents such as voting machines that didn’t work properly, and he criticized Ms. Grimes for calling the race.

“We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted,” Mr. Bevin said.

Ms. Grimes said her office hadn’t received substantiated reports of irregularities. She scheduled the recanvass for Nov. 14.

Eric Hyers, Mr. Beshear’s campaign manager, said he hoped Mr. Bevin would honor the results of the recanvass.

Mr. Beshear, Kentucky’s attorney general and son of the state’s most recent Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, said at a news conference Wednesday that he hadn’t spoken with Mr. Bevin and was moving ahead with transition plans.

“We’re confident in the outcome of the election,” he said. “Today is about moving forward. The election is over.”

Mr. Beshear detailed some early priorities: rescind a Medicaid work requirement pursued by Mr. Bevin, appoint a new state Board of Education and restore voting rights for about 140,000 felons who were disenfranchised under state law.

Apart from the recanvass, Mr. Bevin can pursue another option under the state’s election laws: contest the results. He would need to do so within 30 days of their certification by the Board of Elections, and the process would be guided by a committee formed by the state House and Senate.

Contests of elections are rare in the state, and the last time one occurred in a governor’s race was in 1899, said Joshua Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recanvasses are more common, but “the likelihood this would change the numbers materially is extremely low,” he said.

Andy Beshear stands with his wife, Britainy, as he delivers a speech at the Kentucky Democratic Party election night watch party on Tuesday.PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mr. Bevin, a 52-year-old former businessman who never held elected office before winning in 2015, ran as a staunch ally of President Trump, often invoking national issues like abortion, immigration and the impeachment inquiry into the president.

President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016 and heavily backed Mr. Bevin, pushed for his victory with a rally in the state ahead of the election and a barrage of tweets voicing his support. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to secure a victory for the Republican.

Mr. Beshear carried a number of counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country that are bastions of support for Mr. Trump and some that Mr. Bevin won in 2015, including Kenton and Campbell in northern Kentucky, a conservative part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

The Democrat also won by wide margins in the counties that include Louisville and Lexington, far exceeding the totals for the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

“In urban and suburban counties, Beshear’s victory was unprecedented,” said Matt Erwin, a Democratic political consultant.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday—including capturing the attorney general’s seat for the first time in decades. Republican Daniel Cameron will become the first African-American to hold that office in the state. Former elections board member Michael Adams, a Republican, was elected as Kentucky’s next secretary of state.

Mr. Beshear, 41, focused on what he said are the issues Kentuckians care most about: education, jobs, the state’s troubled pension system and health care.

Mr. Beshear had campaigned heavily on rolling back the Medicaid work requirement, and Democrats viewed their gains Tuesday as evidence that they hold an advantage on health care heading into the 2020 elections. A state estimate projected 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage under the work rules, which were stalled by a lawsuit. Rescinding the work mandate could end the lawsuit.

While Mr. Bevin held an advantage as a GOP incumbent in a state that Republicans have come to dominate, his tenure at times has been rocky.

Last year, he called teachers who opposed plans to overhaul the pension system “selfish” and “ignorant,” and tangled with state lawmakers over the issue. He was rated the most unpopular governor in the U.S. earlier this year in a survey by polling firm Morning Consult. Mr. Bevin dismissed the poll, saying it wasn’t credible.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Beshear specifically thanked the state’s teachers for their support.

“To our educators: Your courage to stand up and fight against all the bullying and name-calling helped galvanize our state,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/election-results-2019-tight-kentucky-governor-race-sparks-fight-11573051470

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1352, November 5. 2019, Story 1: Ukraine Was Interfering in United States 2016 Election For DNC and Clinton and President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by New Ukraine Government — Videos — Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Videos — Story 3: United States Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accord Agreement — Videos– Story 4: Trump’s New Stump Speech — Why Trump is President? — One of Life’s Mysteries, Sir — Videos —

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Story 1: Ukraine Government Officials Were Interfering in United States 2016 Election For Clinton and Democrat National Committee (DNC) And President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by Current Ukraine General Prosecutor — Many Countries Including United States Provide Other Countries Aid (Quid) Provided They Meet Certain Conditions (Que) Such As Publicly Acknowledging There Will Be An Investigation of 2016 Election Interference and Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma — Videos

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

What Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker said about U.S. aid to Ukraine

Hannity: I have never talked to anyone from Ukraine

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Testimony suggests “quid pro quo” relationship between Trump and Ukraine

Dems set to release new transcripts from two key impeachment figures

PBS News Hour full episode November 5, 2019

First excerpts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker transcripts released

Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Vid