• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

Is Trump A Good Guy? Bad Guy? Political Genius? A Nut?

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High profile clinical psychologist believes Trump is 'unfit for office' and claims he once told her at a New York party: 'Why would I want to talk to you? Look at all the beautiful women in here. I wouldn’t let you suck my d***'

  • A contract psychologist for the FDNY has declared Trump 'unfit for office'
  • Suzanne Lachmann said her work with firefighters qualified her to make the call
  • In 2017, she revealed she had met Trump decades before and he was rude to her
  • Lachmann said she had introduced herself at a social event around 1992
  • 'Why would I want to talk to you? I wouldn't even let you suck my d***,' he said
  • She earlier said President Trump 'directly imperils our safety as US citizens'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...psychologist-believes-Trump-unfit-office.html
 

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'Don't say I never give you anything': Trump threw Starburst candies to Angela Merkel after world leaders 'ganged up' on him during ill-tempered meeting at G7

  • Angela Merkel was pressuring Trump to sign joint statement at the G& summit
  • Trump resisted but eventually caved in before pulling Starburst from his pocket
  • He threw them to the German leader, saying: 'Don't say I never give you anything'
  • Trump later ordered his advisers not to sign the statement in a Twitter outburst
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...tarburst-candies-Angela-Merkel-G7-summit.html
 

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Poll finds nearly a Nixon level of support for impeaching Trump


Analysis by Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
1 hr ago



There is a truly remarkable number in the most recent CNN poll, conducted by SSRS and out this morning.

In it, 42% of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

What makes it remarkable is that he's on par with President Richard Nixon, who 43% of Americans said should be impeached and removed from office in a March 1974 Harris poll. That was after the scale of Watergate came to light, but months before the House started to move against Nixon, who would go on to resign in August 1974 rather than be impeached.

Impeachment requires "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors," according to the Constitution, which also lists it as the the only thing for which a President can't issue a pardon.

Trump has bragged that he certainly has the power to pardon himself but won't need to use it. Nixon got a pardon from Gerald Ford, the man to whom he gave the keys to the White House.

The 43% supporting Nixon's impeachment in that Harris poll, by the way, is much higher than the 29% who supported impeachment for President Bill Clinton in 1998. Or, for that matter, the similar number who wanted Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush impeached. As CNN's Grace Sparks writes, there's basically "a baseline of pro-impeachment sentiment for a modern president" and Trump far eclipses it.

So why aren't top Democrats clamoring to impeach Trump? To be sure, there are efforts on the outskirts of the party and in Congress, but they do not have the backing of party big wigs.

Most Democrats in Congress, for the record, have opposed efforts by Rep. Al Green, a Texas Democrat, to bring the issue to the floor of the House.

"I do not think that impeachment is a policy agenda," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said at a CNN town hall in May.

There's also the fact that it can't feasibly happen right now. Trump is the head of the Republican Party, in name and in practice. The Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the same ones that have supported his policy initiatives, are going to laugh at an impeachment effort, which requires a supermajority.

Congress can't get a supermajority for a simple bill to stop taking children from undocumented parents at the border. A supermajority on impeaching Trump is not happening.

Pelosi's counterpart in the Senate, New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer, has likewise said he'll wait for a "thorough investigation" before entertaining any impeachment talk.

"We need to get all the facts and then we'll come to conclusions," he said.

"Impeachment is, to me, divisive," Pelosi added back in May, although she suggested her view might change depending on what special counsel Robert Mueller finds. "Again, if the facts are there, if the facts are there, then this would have to be bipartisan to go forward. But if it is viewed as partisan, it will divide the country, and I just don't think that's what we should do."

It would be divisive: 87% of Republicans and people who lean toward Republicans oppose the idea, while 71% of Democrats support it.

Pelosi can easily remember the impeachment effort against Clinton, which royally backfired on Republicans since he survived a trial in the Senate and maintained his approval rating, which was over 70% at the time of his impeachment.

Trump's approval rating is much lower -- 39% -- in that new CNN poll.

An impeachment effort would also play right into the "witch hunt" and "deep state" narratives Trump has been pushing.

Schumer and Pelosi might have to form an opinion sooner than they'd like: Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said Mueller should wrap up his investigation by September, which is just before the midterm elections in November, when Democrats would like to take control of the House and Senate.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...rt-for-impeaching-trump/ar-AAyZTW2?ocid=ientp
 

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Poll: 42% of Americans say President Trump should be impeached
CNN



Published on Jun 22, 2018
42% of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS. CNN's Mark Preston has the numbers.
 

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This one is a bit on the religious side.

Is Donald Trump The Rider On The White Horse?! 2023
JoshTolley


Published on Jun 22, 2018
Expert claims that Donald Trump is the Rider on the White Horse. N. Korea is not what it appears to be and he has a warning regarding the Temple being built in Jerusalem in Trump's next term.
 

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There is a truly remarkable number in the most recent CNN poll, conducted by SSRS and out this morning.

In it, 42% of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office.
Whooooooa !!! Dollars to doughnuts, they only polled their listeners/watchers AND only 42% want impeachment, that's great !!!
 

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Anti-Trump protestors demand London Mayor Sadiq Khan to allow them to fly their massive crowdfunded blimp of the US president as a big baby over capital when he visits

  • Organisers have smashed their £5,000 target to create the inflatable president
  • While the project now has the funds, the Mayor of London has objected the plans
  • Creator Leo Murray is now battling the authorities for permission to hit the skies
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...sive-crowdfunded-blimp-president-capital.html

 

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Trump is a lunatic....I luv the guy!

 

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'I'm never going to move on, especially at this moment in my life': Meghan McCain says she will 'never forgive' Trump for his personal attacks on her father as he battles terminal brain cancer

  • Meghan McCain made the remarks on in an interview on Friday in Austin, Texas
  • She was accepting the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award on behalf of her dad
  • Trump has insulted Senator John McCain numerous times since the campaign
  • Most recently he slammed the Senator for voting against the Obamacare repeal
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-says-never-forgive-Trump-attacks-father.html
 

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'I'm never going to move on, especially at this moment in my life': Meghan McCain says she will 'never forgive' Trump for his personal attacks on her father as he battles terminal brain cancer

  • Meghan McCain made the remarks on in an interview on Friday in Austin, Texas
  • She was accepting the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award on behalf of her dad
  • Trump has insulted Senator John McCain numerous times since the campaign
  • Most recently he slammed the Senator for voting against the Obamacare repeal
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-says-never-forgive-Trump-attacks-father.html
Die already!!!!
 

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Meyssan: What Donald Trump Is Preparing


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 23:05


Authored by Thierry Meyssan via Voltairenet.org,

After having observed Donald Trump’s historical references (the constitutional compromise of 1789, the examples of Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon) and the way in which his partisans perceive his politics, Thierry Meyssan here analyses his anti-imperialist actions. The US President is not interested in taking a step back, but on the contrary, abandoning the interests of the transnational ruling class in order to develop the US national economy.



The problem
In 1916, during the First World War, Lenin analysed the reasons which led to the confrontation between the empires of his time. He wrote – Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this book, he clarified his analysis – « Imperialism is capitalism which has arrived at a stage of its development where domination by monopolies and financial capital has been confirmed, where the export of capital has acquired major importance, where the sharing of the world between international trusts has begun, and where the sharing of all the territories of the globe between the greatest capitalist countries has been achieved ».

The facts confirmed his logic of the concentration of capitalism that he described. In the space of one century, it substituted a new empire for the precedents – « America » (not to be confused with the American continent). By dint of fusions and acquisitions, a few multinational companies gave birth to a global ruling class which gathers every year to congratulate itself, as we watch, in Davos, Switzerland. These people do not serve the interests of the US population, and in fact are not necessarily United States citizens themselves, but use the means of the US Federal State to maximise their profits.

Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States on his promise to return to the earlier state of Capitalism, that of the « American dream, » by free market competition. We can of course claim a priori, as did Lenin, that such a reversal is impossible, but nonetheless, the new President has committed to this direction.



The heart of the imperial Capitalist system is expressed by the doctrine of the Pentagon, formulated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski – the world is now split in two.

On one side, the developed, stable states...
...
and on the other, those states which are not yet integrated into the imperial globalist system and are therefore doomed to instability. The US armed forces are tasked with destroying the state and social structures of the non-integrated regions. Since 2001, they have been patiently destroying the « Greater Middle East », and are now preparing to do the same in the « Caribbean Basin .»​

We are obliged to note that the way in which the Pentagon looks at the world is based on the same concepts used by anti-imperialist thinkers like Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi or Samir Amin.

The attempted solution
Donald Trump’s objective thus consists both of reinvesting the transnational capital in the US economy, and turning the Pentagon and the CIA away from their current imperialist functions with National Defense.

In order to do so, he has to withdraw from international commercial treaties and dissolve the inter-governmental structures which consolidate the old order.


French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaking to US President Donald Trump during the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada, June 2018.

Undoing the international commercial treaties
From the very first days of his mandate, President Trump removed his country from the trans-Pacific partnership agreement, which had not yet been signed. This commercial treaty had been conceived strategically as a means of isolating China.

Since he was unable to cancel the signature of his country on those treaties which were already in force, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he began to unravel them by imposing various customs duties which were contrary to the spirit, but not the letter, of the agreement.

Re-framing or dissolving the inter-governmental structures
As we have often written here, the United Nations Organisation is no longer a forum for peace, but an instrument of US imperialism within which a few states continue to resist. This was already the case during the Soviet policy of the empty chair (Korean War) and, since July 2012, it is once again true.President Trump has directly attacked the two main imperialist tools within the UNO – the peace-keeping operations (which have taken the place of the observation missions which were originally planned by the Charter), and the Human Rights Council (whose sole function is to justify the humanitarian wars waged by NATO). He has deprived the former of their budget, and withdrawn his country from the latter. However, he has just lost the election for Director of the International Organisation for Migration, leaving the road open, for the moment, for the world traffic in human beings. Of course, he has absolutely no wish to destroy the UNO, but only to refocus its activities and bring it back to its original function.

He has just torpedoed the G7. This meeting, initially intended as a moment for the exchange of points of view, had become, as from 1994, a tool for imperial domination. In 2014, it transformed itself into an instrument for anti-Russian activity – thus conforming to what had become the new strategy of the Anglo-Saxon nations, aimed at « cutting our losses », in other words, avoiding a World War by limiting the empire to the borders of Russia and thereby isolating it. President Trump took great care during the meeting in Charleroix to show his confused allies that he was no longer their overlord, and that they would have to make it on their own.

Finally, after having tried to use France to dynamite the European Union, he turned to Italy, where he sent Steve Bannon to create an anti-system government with the help of US banks. Rome has already concluded an alliance with five other capitals against Brussels.

Reinvesting in productive economy
Via diverse fiscal and customs measures, rarely voted by Congress and usually adopted by decree, President Trump encouraged the major companies of his country to repatriate their factories back to the USA. There immediately followed an economic recovery, which is about the only thing for which the Press will recognise him.

However, we are a long way from noting a financial decline. World finance is probably continuing to prosper outside of the USA, or in other words, continuing to suck up the wealth of the rest of the world.

Reorienting the Pentagon and the CIA
This is obviously the most difficult operation. During his election, President Trump could count on the the votes from his troops, but not those of the superior officers and generals

Donald Trump entered into politics on 11 September 2001. He immediately contested the official version of the events. Thereafter, he expressed his astonishment about the contradictions of the mainstream story – while Presidents Bush Jr. and Obama declared that they wanted to eliminate the jihadist movements, we observed on the contrary a drastic multiplication and globalisation of jihadism during their mandates which went as far as the creation of an independent state in Iraq and Syria.

This is why, as soon as he took office, President Trump surrounded himself with officers who enjoyed a recognised authority in the army. It was, for him, the only option, both to guard against a military coup d’etat and to ensure that he would be obeyed in the reforms that he wanted to implement. Then he gave carte blanche to all the military for everything concerning tactics on the ground. Finally, he never lost an opportunity to confirm his support for the armed forces and the Intelligence services.

After having confiscated their permanent chair at the National Security Council from the president of the chiefs of staff and the director of the CIA, he gave the order to cease support for the jihadists. Progressively, we saw Al-Qaeda and Daesh lose ground. This policy continues today with the withdrawal of US support for the jihadists in Southern Syria. From now on, they no longer form private armies, but only scattered groups which are used for occasional terrorist actions.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and US President Donald Trump take a seat during a working dinner meeting at the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) headquarters in Brussels on May 25, 2017 during a NATO summit.

Similarly, he first of all pretended to give up dissolving NATO if it would agree to add an anti-terrorist function to its anti-Russian function. He is now beginning to show NATO that it does not enjoy eternal privileges, as we we saw with his refusal to deliver a special visa for an ex-General Secretary. Above all, he has begun to diminish its anti-Russian function. So he is now negotiating with Moscow the cancellation of Alliance manoeuvres in Eastern Europe. Besides this, he is now taking administrative actions which attest to the refusal of the allies to contribute to collective defence as far as they are able. In this way, he is preparing to dismantle NATO as soon as he sees fit.

This moment will only come when the destructuration of international relations occurs simultaneously at maturity in Asia (North Korea), the Greater Middle East (Palestine and Iran) and in Europe (UE).

Keep in mind
  • President Trump is absolutely not the « unpredictable » character so often described. Quite the contrary, he acts in a clearly thoughtful and logical manner.
  • Donald Trump is preparing a reorganisation of international relations. This change will operate through a complete and sudden upheaval directed against the interests of the transnational ruling class.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-03/meyssan-what-donald-trump-preparing
 

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REVEALED: Trump stunned top aides by asking why the U.S. didn't just invade Venezuela and oust the nation's president-turned-dictator Maduro

  • At a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela, President Trump asked about military intervention
  • The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster
  • Both have since left the administration after disagreements with the president
  • Trump gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, yet publicly talked about a 'military option' to remove Maduro from power
  • He also raised the issue with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...l-Trump-pressed-aides-Venezuela-invasion.html
 

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Why Trump's inauguration money is a major part of Mueller's Russia investigation

Vox
Andrew Prokop
53 mins ago


What happened at Donald Trump’s inauguration 18 months ago, and why does special counsel Robert Mueller appear to be so interested in it?

Last week, ABC News’s Matthew Mosk and John Santucci reported that several wealthy Russians were “granted unusual access” to Trump inauguration parties back in January 2017 — and that Mueller was seeking to find out why.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Mueller’s interest in the inauguration. Back in April, CNN reported that the special counsel was investigating “whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration” — and had even questioned some oligarchs directly.

These reports have broken in the months since former Trump aide Rick Gates agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team in exchange for his cooperation. That may not be a coincidence — Gates was heavily involved in planning the inauguration, with a Yahoo News report in 2016 calling him the “shadow chair” of the event.

Yet beyond just Russia, there have long been serious questions about the money behind Trump’s inauguration — and where, exactly, it went. Trump’s inaugural committee raised a truly astonishing $106.7 million, double the previous record set by Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural. But what they did with it isn’t so clear.

In a report for ProPublica and WNYC by Ilya Marritz earlier this year, the chair of George W. Bush’s second inauguration, Greg Jenkins, said he was baffled. “They had a third of the staff and a quarter of the events and they raise at least twice as much as we did,” he said. “So there’s the obvious question: Where did it go? I don’t know.”

Much like a typical Trump Organization project, then, his inauguration combined eye-popping sums of money and opulence with questions of financial mismanagement, corruption, and shady foreign influence. Here’s a guide to the many scandals surrounding it.

Tom Barrack planned Trump’s inauguration — with Rick Gates’s help
After Donald Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 presidential election, he was tasked with setting up an inauguration that would be worthy of his name and opulent reputation. The swearing-in event itself and the surrounding security and logistics are paid for the federal government.

But for all of the big parties and events before and after the swearing-in — the concert on the National Mall beforehand, dinners and events for elite supporters, and the balls on inauguration night — Trump would have to find the cash for those himself.

So he’d need money — a lot of money. It’s not unusual for presidents to raise money for this purpose. Most recently, Barack Obama raised about $53 million for his first inauguration, and $43 million for his second. Trump decided to follow suit. Rather than fund the inauguration himself, the wealthiest president-elect ever decided to follow his predecessors’ lead and raise the cash from billionaires, wealthy financiers, and corporations.

So a week after the election, Trump named a murderer’s row of uber-rich Republicans as “finance vice chairs” for the event. They included casino billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn (the latter of whom was later accused of sexually abusing employees), defense contractor Elliott Broidy (later involved in hush money payments to a Playboy model), and Anthony Scaramucci (later White House communications director for 10 days before resigning over an obscene interview with the New Yorker).

The man in charge of it all, as chair of the inaugural committee, was Tom Barrack. A billionaire real estate investor who’s been a close friend of Trump for decades, Barrack’s business interests have recently been concentrated in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. (The Washington Post’s Michael Kranish and the New York Times’s David Kirkpatrick have both written excellent profiles of him.) His goal, he said, was for the inauguration to have “soft sensuality” and a “poetic cadence.”

To help with the planning and fundraising, Barrack turned to a Trump campaign aide: Rick Gates, the longtime right-hand man to Paul Manafort. (Barrack had known Manafort since the 1970s and helped convince Trump to bring him on to the campaign.)

Even at the time, the choice raised eyebrows, since Manafort had been ousted from the campaign after scandal-laden stories about his work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. But, according to a November 2016 report by Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News, Gates became instrumental in fundraising and planning. Isikoff quoted a source calling Gates the “shadow” chair of the inauguration and Barrack’s “chief deputy.”

Trump’s inauguration raised an incredible amount of money
In the end, the inauguration crowd wasn’t exactly the largest in history — but the inaugural fundraising certainly was. Barrack, Gates, and the team raked in over $106 million, an astonishing sum that doubled the previous record (set by Obama in 2009).

The more you gave, the more exclusive events to which you got access. Among other perks, it took $1,000,000 to get you into the “Leadership Luncheon” at Trump’s hotel, $500,000 for a dinner with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and $250,000 for a candlelight dinner at Union Station with the Trumps and Pences, according to a document obtained by the Center for Public Integrity’s Carrie Levine.

You can read through the full donor list at OpenSecrets.org, but among those willing to fork over such sums were:

  • Finance industry bigshots: Robert Mercer (who the New Yorker later dubbed “the reclusive hedge-fund tycoon behind the Trump presidency”), Paul Singer (another hedge fund billionaire who, oddly enough, had paid the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump during the primaries), and Steve Cohen (whose hedge fund group was closed down due to insider trading allegations) all donated $1 million each.
  • Corporate America: The inaugural committee raised $2 million from AT&T; $1 million each from Bank of America, Boeing, Dow Chemical, Pfizer, and Qualcomm; at least $500,000 each from JP Morgan Chase, FedEx, Chevron, Exxon, Fidelity, Intel, Citgo, and BP America.
  • Secretive conservative groups: The American Action Network, a dark money nonprofit that’s spent tens of millions on elections since 2010, gave $1 million. Another million came in from a mysterious shell company called “BH Group, LLC,” and its true source remained mysterious for over a year. Only recently did journalist Robert Maguire trace that contribution to a group tied to the conservative legal movement and Federalist Society executive Leonard Leo, who’s found a prominent role advising Trump on judicial nominations.
And then there were those donors with major ties to Russia and other foreign countries, who have reportedly caught Mueller’s interest.

Mueller has been investigating Trump’s inauguration. We have some indications about why.
The inauguration caught law enforcement’s attention back while it was happening. According to a Washington Post report, counterintelligence officials at the FBI were “concerned” by an unusual presence of politically connected Russians in DC during the event — including some of the exact people who “had surfaced in the agency’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.”

But in the last few months specifically, much of Mueller’s team’s questioning of witnesses has reportedly focused on matters related to the inauguration and possible foreign money.

  • In early April of this year, CNN’s Kara Scannell and Shimon Prokupecz reported that Mueller had recently stopped and questioned at least two Russian oligarchs who had been traveling to the US — to ask “whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration.”
  • The following month, ABC News reported that Mueller was questioning witnesses “about millions of dollars in donations to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee” — specifically about “donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.”
  • The Associated Press reported that Mueller’s investigators interviewed inauguration chair Tom Barrack. The AP’s sources, however, gave conflicting accounts on what Barrack was asked about. One said he was asked only about Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Another claimed the questioning included “financial matters about the campaign, the transition and Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.”
  • And in June another ABC News report stated that Mueller’s investigators wanted to know why several billionaires with “deep ties to Russia” got access to “exclusive, invitation-only receptions” during the inauguration.
Despite all that, the exact reason why Mueller has become so focused on the inauguration remains elusive, and he hasn’t shed light on it publicly. There are several possibilities, though.

  • Illegal foreign donations: It is against the law for foreign nationals to donate to a presidential inaugural committee. No such donations to Trump’s inauguration are currently known. But CNN reported that Mueller is exploring whether wealthy Russians used “straw donors” with American citizenship to steer money into the inauguration.
  • Rick Gates’s cooperation: Intriguingly, the recent stories on Mueller’s interest in the inauguration were published after Gates, the inauguration “shadow chair,” struck a plea deal in which he’d cooperate with Mueller, on February 23. It hasn’t been confirmed that Gates is providing information about inauguration shadiness to Mueller, but the timeline certainly lines up.
  • Gulf connections: Another somewhat mysterious focus of Mueller’s investigation in recent months has been links between the Trump team and the rulers of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. George Nader, an adviser to the UAE’s crown prince, was stopped at Dulles airport, had his electronics seized by Mueller’s team, and has since given extensive testimony to Mueller’s grand jury. And one ABC report suggested that inaugural donations tied to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were all being scrutinized by Mueller too. (Those are the three countries where Tom Barrack’s business interests have been heavily focused.)
  • Russian collusion with Trump’s team: Finally, there’s the big question looming over all this: did Trump’s allies, in fact, collude with the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 election? The inauguration of course happened after the election was over, but could be important in understanding Russia’s ties to the Trump team and how their relationship progressed once he won. It also happened shortly after several curious contacts between Trump associates and Russians — Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and banker Sergey Gorkov’s visits to Trump Tower in December, Kislyak’s calls with Michael Flynn in late December, and Erik Prince’s Seychelles sitdown with a Russian fund manager (organized by George Nader) in mid-January, nine days before the inauguration.

What, if anything, all of this adds up to isn’t yet clear, but it’s clear enough that Mueller has had a lot to chew on here.

Certain Russia-tied donors and inaugural attendees have drawn particular scrutiny from Mueller
Sometime around March of this year, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg flew in to a New York-area airport on a private plane — and was met there by Robert Mueller’s investigators, who questioned him and searched his electronic devices.

Vekselberg is the main owner and president of the Renova Group, a massive Russian conglomerate with aluminum and oil interests, and is one of the richest people in Russia. He didn’t directly give any money to Trump’s inauguration. But his cousin, Andrew Intrater, an American citizen who runs a US company tied to Vekselberg’s company, donated $250,000. Intrater had also kicked in $35,000 to the Trump Victory Committee during the campaign, despite having no previous history as a major political donor.

Vekselberg and Intrater attended Trump’s inauguration together, and at the January 19 candlelight dinner, they were seated with Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to ABC News. Later that year, that company run by Intrater paid Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, $500,000 — for, they claimed, real estate advice.

Another hefty inaugural donation, of $1 million, came from Leonard Blavatnik, who runs a company called Access Industries. Blavatnik was on the guest list for the January 19 candlelight dinner too, as well as a more exclusive “chairman’s global dinner” with top Trump allies and foreign dignitaries, per ABC.

Blavatnik is a Soviet-born, UK-based billionaire who is a US citizen. He also spent years partnered with Vekselberg in Russia’s aluminum industry, according to a 2014 New Yorker profile. Together, they built the second-largest aluminum company in Russia — and eventually became part of the largest, by merging with Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal. (Deripaska also appears to be a player in the collusion investigation — he employed Paul Manafort, and Manafort tried to get in touch with him during 2016.)

Other donations and guests, too, have raised eyebrows. Alexander Mashkevitch, a Kazakh mining billionaire, was on the guest list for the “candlelight dinner,” per ABC —and happens to have been in the Seychelles around the same time as Erik Prince, Erin Banco has reported for the Intercept.

And Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, who attended Don Jr’s infamous Trump Tower meeting, were in town too — they attended an inauguration night party thrown by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who’s widely viewed as the biggest supporter of Putin’s regime in Congress.

No one mentioned here has been charged with any wrongdoing in Mueller’s probe. And it’s at least possible that many of the donations here are garden-variety influence peddling, rather than indicative of some larger and more sinister scheme. But if the Trump-Russia investigation is pursuing the time-tested strategy of following the money, this is clearly a good place to start.

What happened to the money?
Beyond the many questions about money collected by the inaugural committee, there have long been many questions about money going out of it.

In Ilya Marritz’s great piece on this topic for WNYC and ProPublica, she quoted people involved in previous inaugurations expressing puzzlement over how Trump’s team could have possibly spent over $100 million for what they got.

Unlike a campaign, the inaugural committee isn’t legally required to disclose very much about its spending. In its nonprofit tax form, the committee is required to break down its expenses in broad categories and to list its five biggest vendors. But it is not required to explain every line item.

In any case, according to the tax form, about half the money — over $50 million — went to just two vendors. $25.8 million went to WIS Media Partners, an event production firm started by a now-former adviser to Melania Trump. Another $25 million went to Hargrove Inc. for “event production.” What these firms did with those massive sums of cash is unknown.

That leaves about $50 million or so remaining. From that, about $10 million in total went to another three vendors, $4.6 million was paid out as salaries, and $5 million was left over and given out as grants. But where tens of millions more went remains a mystery, beyond the broadest of categories given on the disclosure forms.

For now, whether this was sloppy financial mismanagement or something shadier, is unclear. But if there is anyone who might know where much of the money went, it is Rick Gates. And whatever he knows, Robert Mueller now knows too.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...rs-russia-investigation/ar-AAzC9j6?ocid=ientp
 
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Mueller Taps More Prosecutors to Help With Growing Trump Probe

Bloomberg
Chris Strohm
2 hrs ago


(Bloomberg) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand.

As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents -- a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.

Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.

According to his most recent statement of expenditures, more money is being spent on work done by permanent Department of Justice units than on Mueller’s own dedicated operation. The DOJ units spent $9 million from the investigation’s start in May 2017 through March of this year, compared with $7.7 million spent by Mueller’s team.

Trump’s Allies
Mueller’s probe has come under attack from President Donald Trump and his allies who say it’s going on too long, expanding too far and costing too much. But the special counsel’s charter, issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, includes investigating whether Trump or associates colluded with Russia and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Read More: Mueller Poised to Zero In on Trump-Russia Collusion Allegations

Investigators in New York; Alexandria, Virginia; Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been tapped to supplement the work of Mueller’s team, the officials said. Mueller has already handed off one major investigation -- into Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen -- to the Southern District of New York.

“Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart,” Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina told Rosenstein during a June 28 hearing. Rosenstein said Mueller knows he must move expeditiously.

A heavy investigative load for Mueller had been anticipated from the start, the officials said. The special counsel has already issued 20 indictments and secured guilty pleas from five individuals, and some of the defendants are mounting stiffer-than-expected battles in court.

“I don’t think he’s getting in over his head,” said Solomon Wisenberg, who served as deputy independent counsel investigating President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. “These things have a tendency to balloon. Yes, it may be taxing on them. No, it’s not that unusual.”

Nor is it unusual for Mueller to turn to U.S. attorneys or to Justice Department headquarters, said Wisenberg, who’s now a partner at the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.


Subpoena Decision
Mueller is dealing with the legal battles as he considers whether to subpoena Trump for an interview and as he accelerates his investigation into potential collusion.

The first -- and perhaps biggest -- court case for Mueller is over his indictment of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for an array of financial crimes. Manafort is fighting the indictment in two federal courthouses, and he expanded his case last week to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Both sides are now gearing up for a trial to begin later this month.

“It’s going to be all hands on deck when they go to the Manafort trial," Wisenberg said.

Other court fights may have come as a surprise.

Russians Fight Back
Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three entities in February on charges of violating criminal laws with the intent to interfere with the U.S. election through the manipulation of social media.

None of the targets are in the U.S., but one of them, the Internet Research Agency, has forced Mueller into another legal fight in federal court. The two sides have been sparring most recently over how to protect sensitive investigative materials from disclosure. Mueller has enlisted prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington to handle the case.

Another surprise came last week when Andrew Miller, a former aide to Trump adviser Roger Stone, filed a sealed motion to fight one of Mueller’s grand jury subpoenas.

Mueller also plans to move eventually to sentencing for Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, both of whom pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

‘Busy Guy’
“He’s a busy guy,” said Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor.

“There’s certainly multiple fronts going on right now,” said Cramer, who’s now managing director of the international investigation firm Berkeley Research Group LLC. “Some of them are more active than others.”

Cramer doesn’t think Mueller’s in over his head but says he might be taking timing into consideration when it comes to making additional moves.

“You don’t have unlimited resources in a sense that you’ve got an unlimited cadre of prosecutors and agents,” Cramer said. “There does come a time where they can only do so much.”

Mueller has already shown that in some situations he will hand off cases, such as with the Cohen investigation. Additionally, Mueller is getting help from Rosenstein, who is fielding congressional demands for documents and testimony.

In the end, though, Mueller knew what he was signing up for.

“While there’s a lot on the plate, they’re not all going on all at once," Cramer said. “His office is doing their job. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington at cstrohm1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Larry Liebert

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ith-growing-trump-probe/ar-AAzBIqw?ocid=ientp
 

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Trump's visit to Britain faces mass protest — and a big blimp

NBC News
Alastair Jamieson
2 hrs ago


LONDON — A 20-foot-tall inflatable orange baby with the face of President Donald Trump will float over Britain's parliament next week, one of many acts of protest planned to coincide with Trump's first visit to the U.K. since taking office.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to march in London, Scotland and elsewhere during his trip, which takes place amid a growing transatlantic trade war and global dismay at the treatment of immigrant families at the U.S. border.

Britain is keen to reinforce its special relationship with Washington as it prepares to leave the European Union, a divorce that will shape the country's standing in the world.

But Trump's visit has already been scaled down after months of back-and-forth; the president canceled plans to open the new U.S. Embassy in January and his official state visit — opposed in a petition by at least 1.9 million Brits — appears to be on ice.

Trump will instead pay a working visit on July 13 for bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, a meeting with the queen and possibly a round of golf in Scotland, where he owns two resorts.

Sir Christopher Meyer, a former British ambassador to Washington and author of "D.C. Confidential," said Trump's "deeply controversial" reputation made it "unlikely he'll be strolling around Trafalgar Square" or any other prominent sites that could pose a security risk.

"The easiest answer to avoiding demonstrators is using helicopters," he said. "That makes it possible to get about without being much bothered by protests at all."

Ridicule
Mass anti-Trump marches have been more than a year in the planning, after May first extended an invitation for Trump to visit the U.K. in early 2017.

The largest are planned in London, where organizers of Together Against Trump estimate up to 100,000 people, including labor unions and rights groups, will march through the center of the city to Trafalgar Square.

The people behind last year's successful Women's March are staging a Bring The Noise rally earlier on the same day to end in Parliament Square, opposite the House of Commons. (You can already buy the t-shirt.)

"We're planning a proper British welcome for Trump," said Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, 42, a co-organizer of the march and founder of Women in Leadership.

"Change for tolerance, justice and equality is no longer jurisdictional but global," she said. "We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. I cannot stand by and be complicit through silence as intolerance, injustice and discrimination shape hostile policies, laws and environments for many. If all I have is my voice and vote, I will make them count."

A quieter but eye-catching protest is planned by Leo Murray, 41, who received permission Thursday to fly a helium-filled blimp of Trump as a baby during the visit.

"Moral outrage has no affect on Trump because he has no shame, he's immune to it," the climate campaigner said.

"But he has a tremendously fragile ego so ridicule is an effective form of protest," he added. "So we want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him."

Crowdsourced funding for the specially-commissioned $6,500 balloon was easily achieved, but Murray has yet to secure permission from city officials to tether the blimp to Parliament Square. However, he remains confident that his "Trump Baby" will be in the skies over London. "This is exactly the kind of non-violent but effective protest that they should be encouraging," he said.

'Deeply controversial'
Permission for the blimp came from London Mayor Sadiq Khan's Greater London Authority. Khan is among a series of high-profile British figures to have publicly clashed with Trump over everything from immigration to health care.

Londoners were angered by the president's politicization of the deadly London Bridge terror attack in June 2017 in which he called Khan "pathetic" even as the city mourned the eight victims. The two had locked horns previously. Khan, a Muslim, said in 2016 that Trump's proposed travel ban on Muslim nations was "ignorant." Trump, then still a candidate, responded by challenging Khan to an IQ test.

Last month, the president said in a speech to the National Rifle Association that British hospitals were "like a war zone" because of stabbing wounds — an assertion apparently based on the comments of a doctor. "Knives, knives, knives, knives," Trump said.

He has also been rebuked, twice, by Prime Minister May: in January, for retweeting inflammatory anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant videos originally shared by a far-right U.K. political group, and again last month when she called the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border "deeply disturbing" and "wrong."

"Trump is a disruptor in diplomatic relations just as he is at home," said Meyer, the former ambassador. "He is deeply controversial overseas and anyone who bothers to read poll figures from the U.K. will see that public opinion of him in Britain is very low."

However, he added: "It is my view that none of that is an argument for withdrawing an invitation to turn up. There is a clear need to talk candidly with him."

Indeed Trump's not the first American president to visit the U.K. at a time of controversy. When President George W. Bush arrived for a full state visit in 2003, months after the invasion of Iraq, he was met by widespread anti-war protests but still attended a formal banquet with the queen.

"If we can complete a full state visit under those circumstances then it should be possible to keep Trump away from the mob," Meyer said.

British officials are reportedly pushing for Trump to visit May at her official country residence, Chequers, 40 miles northwest of London, rather than at 10 Downing Street.

The queen's home at Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on May 19, might also be favored by the Secret Service over Buckingham Palace because of its more secure location.

"Trump can inspect all the royal guards he wants there," Meyer said.

'Shared values'
On the windblown cliffs of western Scotland, there are whispers that Trump could also squeeze in a round of golf during his brief trip.

He owns two golf resorts in the country — Turnberry in Ayrshire and Menie in Aberdeenshire — and his mother, Mary, was born on the remote Scottish island of Lewis before immigrating to America.

Trump will reportedly spend the night at Turnberry before returning across the Atlantic. But in Scotland there are more planned protests.

Kirsty Haigh of Scotland Unite Against Trump, said: "Trump likes to talk up his Scottish connections, but we are going to show that his politics are not welcome here."

Among those attending a demonstration in Glasgow will be Andrea Mullaney, 43, and her two-year-old son.

"When you have a child that is the same age as those crying and being put in cages at the U.S. border it makes you think how horrific that is and we have to make it clear that this kind of behavior is beyond the pale," she said.

She said the fact Trump was not a British leader did not diminish the need for protest.

"People marched against apartheid and the Iraq war," she said. "The international community has got a role to play in showing that what Trump stands for is out of order.

"Besides, Scotland has been protesting Trump long before he was president; he has had business interests here and has shown that he doesn't care about the local environment."

Ian Blackford, a senior Scottish National Party lawmaker, said Scotland's historic ties to the U.S. would not "be undermined by the policies of one president."

"We share values with the American people of equality, diversity and support for human rights and must always stand up for those values when they are threatened," he said.

Others remain incredulous that Trump still has an open invitation to return for a full state visit, complete with public ceremonies, at a later date.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in an interview with Sky News on Friday that the trip should be delayed over Trump's immigration policies.

"I wouldn't have invited him and I think the prime minister's got ample reasons to withhold the invitation if she wants to," Corbyn said.

"We need to say very clearly to Donald Trump, We live in a multicultural society, we're proud of it. Get over it and start living in one yourself."

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Labour Party lawmaker Gavin Shuker asked May: "What does this man have to do to have the invitation … revoked?"

The prime minister replied: "When we disagree with the United States, we tell them so. But we also have some key shared interests … and it is right that we are able to sit down and discuss those with the president of a country with which we have had a longstanding — and will continue to have a longstanding — special relationship."

So Trump will come to Britain, and Brits will almost certainly be out in force to make their feelings clear.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...otest-—-and-a-big-blimp/ar-AAz4J0z?ocid=ientp
 

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Life in Trump Cabinet: perks, pestering, power, putdowns

AP
1 hr ago

WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross came in for an Oval Office tongue-lashing after he used a can of simple soup as a TV prop. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis got overruled by President Donald Trump's announcement that a new "Space Force" is in the offing. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt caught a sharp admonition from Trump to "knock it off" after his ethics problems dominated cable television.

Welcome to the Trump Cabinet, where broad opportunities to reshape the government and advance a conservative agenda come with everyday doses of presidential adulation, humiliation, perks and pestering. Sometimes all at roughly the same time.

Members of the president's Cabinet have a measure of prestige and power. They can streak across the skies in Air Force One with Trump, act unilaterally to roll back regulations not to their liking and set policies with far-reaching implications for millions of Americans. But they also can quickly find themselves in a harsh spotlight when an administration policy comes under question.

With the issue of migrant children separated from their families dominating headlines, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was so determined to get a better handle on the 12,000 migrant children under his department's care that he was up until 1 a.m. one night last week personally poring through cases in the operations center of the bunker-like HHS building at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The Cabinet members are lashed to a mercurial president who has been known to quickly sour on those working for him and who doesn't shy from subjecting subordinates — many of them formerly powerful figures in their own rights — to withering public humiliation. Think Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator whom Trump early on labeled "beleaguered" by presidential tweet and who has since been repeatedly subjected to public criticism.

Trump's Cabinet, a collection of corporate heavyweights, decorated generals and influential conservatives, has been beset by regular bouts of turnover and scandal. A Cabinet member's standing with Trump — who's up, who's down; who's relevant, who's not —is closely tied to how that person or their issue is playing in the press, especially on cable TV.

Over the last 16 months, that dynamic has resulted in a Cabinet with varying tiers of influence with the president. Though all 24 Cabinet members, including the vice president, can have the president's ear at times, some have been able to consistently influence Trump behind the scenes and mostly retained his respect. Others have fended off — so far — a swarm of accusations of ethical violations and moved steadily forward enacting the president's agenda. A third group has largely flown under the radar, their names out of the headlines and their jobs seemingly secure.

Trump, like many modern presidents, has consolidated power in the West Wing and largely judges his Cabinet members by how well they reflect upon him, according to nearly two dozen administration officials, outside advisers and lawmakers. Most of those interviewed for this account spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about private discussions.

THE POWERFUL

One key measure of the effectiveness of Cabinet members has been their ability to manage up to the president — and manage their disappointment when he ignores their counsel.

Mike Pompeo, first as Trump's CIA director and now as his secretary of state, has seemingly cracked that code.

During a classified briefing on economic assistance for one African nation, the then-CIA director whipped out an annotated map, pointing out where U.S. troops were located and showing how aid contributed to their counter-terrorism mission. One official in the room said Pompeo presented the map as though he had worked it up the night before, rather than as something produced by his teams of analysts, earning brownie points and a sympathetic response from the president.

Pompeo's stock with the president ran deep as an early supporter. But as CIA director, he worked with the national security team to try to steer the unconventional president toward more conventional approaches. Their personal relationship grew as Pompeo attended nearly every presidential daily intelligence briefing he could — always bringing visual aids.

His predecessor as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, never clicked with the president and often voiced his objections in a passive-aggressive manner that infuriated the president, delivering retorts like "if you say so" and "you know best, sir," according to the official. Tillerson was fired in March, months after word leaked that he had reportedly privately referred to Trump as "a moron."

Other officials have also remained in close orbit around Trump, in part by lavishing frequent praise on the president both publicly and privately. Trump has remained fond of hard-charging Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, praising his combative briefings with the press. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Ross, despite his mocked TV appearance, also have largely remained in Trump's good graces. The president attended Mnuchin's Washington wedding last year and the treasury secretary has become a regular on the Sunday talk shows.

Administration officials believe the Cabinet member who has been most successful in managing Trump has been Mattis. The retired Marine general, thought of as a warrior monk for his academic mindset, is soft-spoken in his interactions with the president — often passing up the chance to speak in meetings — but his advice carries outsized weight.

Mattis is a frequent guest at White House lunches and dinners, a sign of his elevated status. He frames his suggestions to the president in terms of his expertise, and when Trump is leaning in a different direction calmly makes his case. White House officials have noticed that Trump sometimes later repeats historical military anecdotes that Mattis related to him — evidence the president was really listening.

But even Mattis has seen his influence wane in recent weeks — he opposed the Space Force plan before Trump announced it — as the president has grown less tolerant of dissenting viewpoints in the Oval Office.

THE EMBATTLED

Winding down a presidential monologue extolling the EPA for rolling back regulations and shrinking staff, Trump turned to Pruitt across the Oval Office to discuss one other matter.

"Knock it off," Trump said at the end of the April meeting.

With that terse yet mild reprimand, Pruitt retained his job despite the long run of bad headlines he's generated for a series of questionable ethical moves. The incidents number more than a dozen, including renting a lobbyist's Capitol Hill home at below-market rate, spending millions on security and travel, and using government staff to try to get his wife a fast-food chicken franchise.

Congressional Democrats, some influential Republicans and even much of the West Wing, including chief of staff John Kelly, have urged Trump to fire Pruitt. But the president so far has refused, believing that Pruitt's effectiveness on the job outweighs his personal transgressions.

For now.

Pruitt is far from alone in drawing scrutiny for possible ethical violations. Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on office renovations and private flights. David Shulkin was fired from his post as veterans affairs secretary amid a mutiny from his own staff after an internal review found ethics violations related to his trip to Europe with his wife last summer.

Trump berated his first health and human services secretary, Tom Price, for a series of misstatements last year that the president felt was complicating the administration's push to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, according to a former administration official. Price was later fired amid his own ethical scandal involving spending hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars on private travel.

All told, Trump has had more turnover of Cabinet-level positions than any president at this point in their tenure in the last 100 years.

But what has angered Trump more than the substance of the scandals are the bad images they produced, according to four White House officials and outside advisers. The president has complained to confidants that more members of his Cabinet "weren't good on TV." He fumed to one ally in the spring, at the height of the ethical questions surrounding Pruitt, Zinke and Housing and Urban Development head Ben Carson, that he was only seeing his Cabinet on TV for scandals and not for fulfilling campaign promises.

Trump has also complained that he wants to see more of them on cable television defending his administration and showcasing his accomplishments. In recent months, the White House has pushed Cabinet members to make more public shows of support: They were encouraged to tweet about Trump's 500th day in office; were asked to stop by an opioid exhibit on the Mall; and were urged to show up at the annual congressional baseball game.

Zinke may have gone a bit overboard. He showcased his support for Trump by tweeting out a photo of himself in late June wearing socks with Trump's face and the slogan "Make America Great Again." He later deleted it after outside groups complained he was violating federal law by endorsing a political slogan.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, for her part, had an angry exchange with protesters outside a Washington restaurant while defending her husband — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — and the president's policy of separating migrant families at the border.

"Why don't you leave my husband alone?" she demanded.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders plays down reports of tension between Trump and his Cabinet, saying the president typically talks to at least one member a day and now has a better sense of "what he wants and what his expectations are" from them.

"The president likes to engage," Sanders said. "He likes to talk to his team. He likes to get their feedback. He likes to throw out ideas."

THE QUIET ONES

Every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., up to a dozen Cabinet members leave their staffs behind and quietly gather, often at the mammoth Department of Agriculture building just south of the National Mall.

There, they dive into Bible study. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Carson are among the regular attendees, and at times they are joined by Vice President Mike Pence and others.

The members rarely speak about the sessions, reflecting the low-key, keep-their-heads-down approach most have taken to their positions. Some have had boomlets of bad press — Carson over a $31,000 dining set ordered for his office, DeVos for a disastrous television interview in which she had trouble with basic facts about her department — but they have mostly avoided the devastating headlines and cable chyrons generated by the likes of Pruitt and Price.

Perry has told allies that he wants to stay in his lane and build relationships on Capitol Hill while frequently turning up in the West Wing — including popping up at key events, like Pompeo's swearing-in — to get valuable face time with the president. The former Texas governor, who turned down a chance to succeed Shulkin at the VA, has taken pride in his lower profile, joking about how he doesn't get bad press like some of his colleagues.

While many of the Cabinet members are collegial, there have been moments of strain between agencies. During the onslaught of heartbreaking images from the border as migrant families were separated, a quiet turf battle emerged among the Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments. Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen, who had been on shaky ground with Trump for an increase of border crossings, later became the public face of the policy and was heckled at a Mexican restaurant.

Trump likes to take Cabinet secretaries along with him on Air Force One trips — in part to defray the costs for the White House, according to a former administration official. Past administrations, including Obama's, used the same tactic.

The White House tries to hold Cabinet meetings every two weeks — the beginnings are open to the press — to foster better interaction, aides have said, but also to project the feel of a corporate boardroom with Trump presiding as America's CEO and overseeing the nation's business.

Those sessions, held more frequently than under Obama, have become a signature image of the Trump White House. Cabinet members, accomplished individuals in their own rights, take turns around a table praising the president in a manner reminiscent of "Dear Leader" sessions in authoritarian nations.

Chao in June 2017 said, "I want to thank you for getting this country moving again, and also working again." Price: "I can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me, and the leadership you've shown." Mnuchin: "It's been a great honor traveling with you around the country for the past year, and an even greater honor to be serving you on your Cabinet."

Trump returned the favor last month at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, turning a meeting on the upcoming hurricane season into a storm of compliments.

—To Chao: "All you do is produce. You do it in a very quiet way and so effective and so incredible."

—To Azar: "Alex, I'm very proud of what you've done. We're going to have a great health care bill planned."

—To Carson: "What you're doing is great, Ben. That's really inspirational. More than just brick and mortar."

On it went, as Trump went around the room to shower all of the present Cabinet members with praise. All but one, that is.

"Thank you, Jeff. Thank you very much," is all Trump said to his attorney general.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

About a half-dozen members of Trump's inner circle, including then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, then-chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, were hurriedly summoned to the Oval Office on a chilly Friday afternoon in March 2017. Once they were inside, Trump erupted.

The day before, Sessions had announced his recusal from the Russia probe, blindsiding the president. Trump screamed at the staffers, according to one person with direct knowledge of the conversation, demanding to know how Sessions could be so "disloyal" while musing that he should fire the attorney general, who had been one of his earliest and most loyal supporters.

From that moment forward, Sessions became a singular figure in Trump's Cabinet. No Cabinet member in recent memory has been the target of so many broadsides from his own boss yet has still managed to hang onto his job.

In an onslaught of tweets and interviews, Trump has tormented Sessions publicly, while in private often refusing even to speak his name, sometimes just referring to him simply as "one of my attorneys." He unloads to confidants whenever Sessions appears on the TV in his private West Wing kitchen or his office on Air Force One. And he has accused the Justice Department of conspiring against him.

But to his deep frustration, Trump has been restrained from firing Sessions, for at least as long as special counsel Robert Mueller's probe continues. The attorney general has support from conservatives and Republican senators, and Trump's confidants, including attorney Rudy Giuliani, believe that dismissing Sessions would upend the special counsel's investigation.

Sessions, for his part, has largely been silent in the face of Trump's attacks, his defense limited to a statement defending the department's "integrity and honor" and a highly visible dinner with his two top lieutenants in February that was interpreted by some as a sign of a solidarity pact in case the president moved to fire one, or all, of them.

The attorney general has told allies that the post is his dream job and he aims to keep pushing his agenda, including a hawkish immigration stance, even if it means coming under fire from the White House. Earlier this year, to mark the one-year anniversary of his confirmation, his senior aides gave him a gift: a bulletproof vest emblazoned with his name.

___

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin, Sadie Gurman, Juliet Linderman, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Matthew Daly contributed reporting.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire, Lucey at http://twitter.com/@catherine_lucey and Miller at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller
 

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Trump says he'll pay 'Pocahontas' Elizabeth Warren $1M to take a DNA test, blasts 'low-IQ individual' Maxine Waters, says Putin is 'fine' and defends ICE in freewheeling speech at Montana rally (but doesn't mention his departing EPA chief)

  • President Donald Trump went on the attack at a Montana campaign rally while praising the Russian President
  • Swiped at 'liberal' Montana senator Jon Tester and said he wanted to DNA test 'Pocahontas' Elizabeth Warren
  • Dismissed critics who he said claimed 'Putin is KGB and this and that' and said he is 'prepared' for a summit
  • Claimed Democrats want 'anarchy' and for violence central American gangsters MS-13 to be able to 'run wild'
  • But no mention of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned on Thursday after months of scandals
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-Warren-DNA-kit-says-Vladimir-Putin-fine.html
 

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Gloria Allred to Trump after 'Me Too' comments: ‘Keep your hands off Elizabeth Warren’

The Hill
John Bowden
1 hr ago

Women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred slammed President Trump during an awards gala on Friday, demanding the president keep his "hands off Elizabeth Warren."

Allred's comments during an acceptance speech at the National Organization for Women's awards ceremony came after Trump attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during a campaign rally this week.

"Mr. Trump, #MeToo is alive and well. Keep your hands off Elizabeth Warren and every mother and her daughter," Allred said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Allred also attacked the president over charges from Democrats that his forthcoming Supreme Court nominee would likely be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion across the country.

"It is very personal to me because ... I was one of the millions of women who was forced to have an unsafe abortion," Allred said, adding that she "almost bled to death in a bathtub and had to be taken to the hospital."

"We're going to have to fight for our rights, plantation by plantation. State by state. And who's going to be the most vulnerable? It's women," she said.

Her comments come after Trump mocked the #MeToo movement against sexual assault during his campaign rally on Thursday in Montana while making a jab at Warren's claims of Native American heritage.

Trump said he would challenge Warren to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage, adding, "We will take that little [DNA] kit and say — but we have to do it gently because we're in the Me Too generation, so we have to be very gentle."

"I promise you I'll do this, you know those little kits they sell on television for $2? Learn your heritage," Trump added.

Warren responded on Twitter, slamming Trump for the comment and going after his administration's separation of migrant families at the border.

"Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying," the senator tweeted.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...s-off-elizabeth-warren’/ar-AAzIjIm?ocid=ientp
 

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Jenna Bush Hager shares George H.W. Bush 'point of light' letter after Trump jab

USA Today
Ryan W. Miller
2 hrs ago


After President Donald Trump took a jab at her 94-year-old grandfather, Jenna Bush Hager responded by sharing a letter former president George H.W. Bush wrote her explaining his "point of light" motto and how he found happiness in service.

"A point of light was a vision about serving others, one that lit up our country, one I hope our country hasn’t lost," Bush Hager, the granddaughter of the 41st president, wrote in a tweet.

Bush Hager's response came after Trump dismissed her grandfather's "thousand points of light" phrase, asking "What the hell was that?" at a rally in Montana earlier this week.

In text of the 1997 letter Bush Hager shared, the former president reflects on how he didn't need to pursue happiness because he was already happy.

"I was right when I said, as President, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. So I do that now, and I gain happiness," Bush wrote. "I have found happiness. I no longer pursue it, for it is mine."

The former president also wrote about how he did not want a Pulitzer Prize or press attention.

"Thousand points of light" is a term Bush used to reference community volunteer organizations that "spread like stars" throughout the country.

The phrase later spawned the creation of the group Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on volunteer work.

More: President Trump takes swipe at George H.W. Bush's 'thousand points of light'

"What did that mean? Does anyone know," Trump told rally goers in Montana. "I know one thing: Make America Great Again, we understand.

Putting America first, we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one."

The organization also tweeted about its origin after Trump's comments.

Read the full excerpt of the letter Bush Hager shared on Twitter Friday:

You ask about The Pursuit of Happiness at a good time in my life. I have pursued life itself over many years now and with varying degrees of happiness. Some of my happiness still comes from trying to be in my own small way a true "point of light." I believe I was right when I said, as President, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. So I do that now, and I gain happiness. I do not seek a Pulitzer Prize. I do not want press attention. I don't crave sitting at the head table or winning one of the many coveted awards offered by the many organizations across the land. I have found happiness. I no longer pursue it, for it is mine.

Contributing: Brett Molina. Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/je...-letter-after-trump-jab/ar-AAzHErT?ocid=ientp
 

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Kellyanne Conway's husband lambasts 'stable genius' Trump on Twitter and retweets link to DOJ indictment of 12 Russians

  • George Conway retweeted a Politico story with headline: 'European leaders do not think Trump is a stable genius'
  • He responded by writing: 'What could possibly make them think that'
  • The longtime Trump critic is married to presidential counsel Kellyanne Conway
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...us-Trump-Twitter-retweets-DOJ-indictment.html
 

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Former White House stenographer on Trump's vulnerability
CNN


Published on Jul 18, 2018
Beck Dorey-Stein, a former White House stenographer, says if President Trump wants to fight fake news, he would have a stenographer present and a transcript ready.
 

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Ex-CIA director and defense secretary says there is 'no question' the Russians have something which intimidates Trump

  • Former CIA Director Leon Panetta says he is convinced the Russians have leverage over the U.S. president
  • He slammed President Trump for holding a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • Said there is something that 'intimidates' the president
  • Another former CIA Director, John Brennan said Trump is 'in the pocket' of Putin
  • Putin said Monday: 'I do know how dossiers are made up'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...s-no-question-Russians-intimidates-Trump.html
 

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Trump: John Brennan is a total low-life
CNN


Published on Jul 18, 2018
CBS's Jeff Glor asks President Donald Trump if he believes members of the intelligence community are out to get him.
 

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Pentagon says Trump's much desired military parade could cost tax payers an estimated $12 million, nearly as much as now canceled joint exercises with South Korea

  • The Pentagon said the Freedom Guardian joint exercise originally schedule with Seoul next month would have cost the U.S. about $14 million
  • Trump announced suspension of the war games shortly after his historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month
  • North Korea had long sought an end to the joint military exercises, which they viewed as a provocation and threat
  • One official called the DoD estimate a 'planning figure,' noting that costs associated with the celebration could still change
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5969103/Pentagon-says-military-parade-cost-12-million.html
 

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Anderson Cooper laughs at Sanders explanation: That’s rich
CNN



Published on Jul 23, 2018
President Donald Trump is considering stripping a half-dozen former national security officials of their security clearances, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, calling their public commentary about the ongoing Russia probe inappropriate.
 

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Trump warns Russia WILL meddle in November's midterm elections but says the Kremlin will help Democrats because he's been so 'tough' on Putin

  • Trump swings from calling Russian election interference a 'hoax' to predicting it will happen again
  • This time he warns Moscow will side with Democrats because he has been too tough on the Kremlin
  • During last week's post-summit press conference, Vladimir Putin acknowledged that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election
  • Trump avoided challenging him publicly about his government's meddling
  • White House has expelled Russian agents, closed Russian diplomatic buildings, hit Russian oligarchs with economic sanctions and attacked Moscow's ally Syria
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...vembers-midterm-elections-help-DEMOCRATS.html
 

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Trump has been better than expected. Rand Paul is coming up strong for VP. He could do it via a VP slot with Nunes
 

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White House stops summarizing calls with world leaders
CNN



Published on Jul 24, 2018
The White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries of President Donald Trump's phone calls with world leaders, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, bringing an end to a common exercise from Republican and Democratic administrations.
 

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Paul Ryan: I think Trump is trolling people
CNN


Published on Jul 24, 2018
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he thinks President Trump is trolling people by threatening to strip security clearances from former top intelligence chiefs who disagree with him.
 

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Furious Trump exploded when he saw Melania's Air Force One television tuned to CNN instead of Fox – and officials ordered new TVs for their SEPARATE hotel rooms on trips

  • Trump raged at his staff for violating a rule TVs should be turned to Fox News
  • An email among staff shows he 'caused a bit of a stir' aboard on Air Force One
  • The incident reveals the isolated world President Trump lives in
  • He also encourages supporters to believe him over others: 'Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...rce-One-television-tuned-CNN-instead-Fox.html