There are three reasons why it will be difficult for Trump to confront Putin in any meaningful way in Helsinki.
First, he seems to share a mystical affinity with the strongman who rules his nation with apparent impunity.
Second, Trump was the beneficiary of Russia’s meddling. Accepting the existence of election interference
Third, interpersonal conflict doesn’t come naturally to Trump. This may be surprising given his penchant for starting fights. But Trump’s stoushes are usually initiated via media interviews or tweets; rarely does he confront a fellow leader face-to-face. This week Trump bagged German leader Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May behind their back, only to turn docile when they got in the same room.
The indictment issued against 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday, local time, offers Trump a simple choice for the Helsinki summit: to aggressively rebuke Putin – both in rhetoric and policy terms – or to look a coward and a dupe in front of the whole world.
Hundreds of thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators took to the streets of London and in separate protests across the U.K. on Friday in a massive and historic show of opposition to a sitting U.S. president.
Trump, as he tends to, was operating on a different frequency, claiming that he, brilliant chap that he is, had the formula for how May might best get a workable Brexit through. If only the prime minister had listened instead of chasing her own flight of fancy.
May was not the only British politician rostered for a tongue lashing. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who reached some prominence criticising Trump’s election promise to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration to the United States, also came in for special mention. “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.” Reflecting on the problems facing European cities as a result, he told The Sun that London had “a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job.” The mayor had blotted his copybook by doing “a very terrible job on terrorism” and, just for good measure, crime in general.
Having said earlier in the week that the issue of whether May should continue a British prime minister was “up to the people”, Trump had his own views about who would make a suitable replacement. The blundering, now ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a person with his own conditioning of Trumpism, would “make a great prime minister.”
LIAR’s POKER and BLUSTER FUCK all for DOMESTIC POLITICS and FOX NEWS (ODT)
“Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” Trump told reporters. “The commitment was at 2 percent, ultimately that’ll be going up quite a bit higher than that.”
The statement was disproven by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said 29 members of NATO simply reiterated that they were planning to gradually increase defense spending to the 2 percent benchmark. No changes were apparently promised on how fast non-compliers like Germany would raise their military budgets, according to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Everyone agreed to raise spending as they agreed in 2014, and everyone agreed to respect the commitments they made. We reaffirmed a credible budget strategy that meets our needs,” Macron told journalists.
Trump just made the claim that Germany gets 70% of its energy from Russia (via imports of natural gas). It is being pointed out that this assertion, like most things that come out of Trump’s mouth, is completely untrue.
Trump’s is a business failure had he invested his fathers inheritance $200 mill 40 years ago at compound interest and did nothing he’d have $12 Billion today. However he’s got $4 Billion according to those that know. So the man has squandered $8 Billion on bankruptcies and failed ventures which put’s him up there with the worst business brains in the USA and now he’s running the place and proving he’s even worse. (ODT)
Senate Democrats trying to rally opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are portraying him as a potential threat to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that of the 25 names on President Donald Trump’s list of possible high court nominees, “he chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation.
I wrote at the time, and still believe, that Trump was right to meet with Kim. But if the president really trusts the handshake promise of a murderous dictator to give up the nuclear weapons he sees as an airtight insurance policy, then the president is a fool.
Trump is giving power to Russia and China while taking it away from the United States and the Atlantic alliance. Some greatness.
A successful summit will require Trump to reject this neoconservative doctrine. If Trump can pull this off with Bolton sitting by him, Trump’s critics will look very silly. Do Bolton and the Deep State have a way of baking failure into the summit that will ensure the continuation of Russia’s enemy status, thereby sustaining the enormous budget and power of the US military/security complex? Is Trump a superman who can overcome this powerful vested interest about which President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961? How much stronger is this complex more than half a century later after being nourished by decades of Cold War and War on Terror?
Assad and no doubt Iran are convinced that negotiations with Washington are a waste of time. Assad has concluded that “the problem with US presidents is that they are hostage to lobbyists. They can tell you what you want to hear, but they do the opposite. That’s the problem, and it’s getting worse and worse. Trump is a stark example. That’s why when talking to the Americans, discussing something with them does not settle anything. There will not be any results. It’s a simple waste of time.”
Trump’s the problem. She is the solution. Vote them out!!
The president has appointed an array of judges who are anti-choice, anti-union, anti-immigrant and pro-gun. They could cause permanent harm
Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened Harley-Davidson with a “big tax” and said the motorbike company’s decision to shift some motorcycle production overseas, “will be the beginning of the end”.
Trump campaigned in 2016 on being tougher against radical Muslim movements such as ISIL, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. He even went so far as to blame all of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims for these tiny groups (which have largely been defeated by other Muslims).
But one of the horrible practices of these radical groups was stealing children from their parents– especially female children, and making them disappear into social death.
Social death is a conception put forward by Orlando Patterson to help define slavery. Slaves are cut off from their families on a permanent basis.
Now it transpires that the Department of Homeland Security (which is lying to us assiduously) cannot even account for the whereabouts of the children taken, who have disappeared into a huge bureaucratic gulag. One Federal judge expressed astonishment, pointing out that arrestees are given a receipt for their personal property when sent to jail but that the parents here don’t appear to have been given a way of rediscovering their children. The militarization of the situation only makes it seem more like an Islamic State operation.
Confusion over President Donald Trump’s order to allow migrant families to remain together after they illegally enter the United States led to a tense argument at the White House late Thursday as senior officials across the federal government clashed over how to carry it out, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
Media reports alleging SDTX cases were dropped or dismissed are inaccurate and misleading,” the office said in its statement, referring to the Southern District of Texas. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent 35 prosecutors to the southwest border to help handle the surge in cases created by the zero-tolerance policy; the Defence Department deployed an additional 21 lawyers to handle immigration prosecutions.
Federal immigration courts faced a backlog of more than 700,000 cases in May, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, at Syracuse University. In some courts, the average wait for an immigration hearing was over 1400 days; some hearings are being scheduled beyond 2021 before an available slot on the docket is found.
Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Pentagon is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four military bases: Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas; Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas; Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas; and Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas.
It was not immediately clear Friday where the parents of children would go if they will no longer be separated from their families.
The United States military drops an explosive with a strength you can hardly comprehend once every 12 minutes. And that’s odd, because we’re technically at war with—let me think—zero countries. So that should mean zero bombs are being dropped, right?
The Trump administration is separating immigrant children from their parents or legal guardians after they cross the border, with at least 2,000 children taken from their parents since April 19. The administration’s merciless and inhumane policy has spurred numerous heartbreaking stories, including reports of a breastfeeding baby who was ripped from her mother, a Honduran father separated from his family who took his own life, and children who are held in cages alongside strangers. Yet right-wing media figures have been quick to defend the policy and dismiss its inherent cruelty:
Separating children from their parents, as Trump, Sessions and their myrmidons are doing, is monstrous and has been characteristic of the biggest dictators of the modern era. Here are a few instances in case you don’t believe me:
Some 46% of Republicans approve of separating children from their parents at the border, according to an Ipsos poll done for the Daily Beast
“Free Press America” is Trump’s “greatest enemy” except for Fox News of course also according to Donald Trump himself. Have you heard of “fake news”? It’s been his most useful idea to date. (ODT)
After triumphantly boasting in a tweet on Friday that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” following just a few hours of vague discussions, an absolutely “bonkers” video presentation, and several photo ops with Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump declared that the “biggest enemy” of the United States is now “fake news”—otherwise known as journalism Trump doesn’t like.”They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to journalists who have highlighted the fact that the “deal” reached with North Korea is thin on substance, non-binding, and just the first step in a long diplomatic process.”Our country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!” Trump added.
It’s important to understand that the JCPOA is not just an agreement between the US and Iran, but one negotiated alongside our partners in the P5+1 – the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – and endorsed by the United Nations security council. Trump’s withdrawal further deepens tensions with our most important democratic allies, France, the UK and Germany, who all continue to support the agreement and have consistently said that it is in their own national security interests to see it upheld.
Trump also rejected the advice of his own top national security officials like the joint chiefs chairman, Gen Joseph Dunford, and defense secretary, James Mattis, both of whom have repeatedly stated that staying in the agreement is in the national security interests of the US. Nuclear non-proliferation and national security professionals around the world share that assessment. Just as he has done on the issue of climate change with his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, Trump has chosen to ignore the overwhelming expert consensus and sided instead with a small ideological faction, with disastrous consequences for our global security.
Many American union workers who voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election are increasingly beginning to regret their decision—and realize that Trump has been firmly on the side of the rich all along.
That’s according to new survey data published by Reuters on Friday, which shows that between March of 2017 and March of this year, Trump’s support among union members has fallen by 15 percent.
This “is a chillingly authoritarian thing to do.”
Andrea Germanos, staff writer
US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
An ethics expert is declaring the Trump team “out of control” following a bombshell report by the UK’s Observer that aides for the sitting president hired Israeli spies to dig up dirt on two officials in the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal.
“The idea,” said an unnamed source familiar the campaign, “was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.”
The individuals targeted in the “dirty ops” campaign were Ben Rhodes, who served as deputy national security advisor for strategic communications for former President Barack Obama, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama and national security advisor to former Vice President Biden. Neither had known of the campaign, journalists Mark Townsend and Julian Borger write.
Rhodes, for his part, told the Observer, “I would say that digging up dirt on someone for carrying out their professional responsibilities in their positions as White House officials is a chillingly authoritarian thing to do.”
The contact with the Israeli private intelligence agency took place last May, just after Trump’s visit to Israel, the second stop of his first trip abroad as president. The line of attack include was to get information on “personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal,” the news outlet reports.
Australia supports strikes: Turnbull
“Australia supports these strikes, which demonstrate a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement.
“They send an unequivocal message to the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.
“The use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is illegal and utterly reprehensible. The Assad regime must not be allowed to commit such crimes with impunity.
US President Donald Trump says an FBI raid on the offices and home of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen is “an attack on our country”.
Federal agents raided the offices of Michael Cohen and seized documents, Mr Cohen’s lawyer Stephen Ryan said.
He said the search warrants were executed by the office of the US Attorney for Southern District of New York but they were “in part” related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce says China would fight unilateral US protectionism “at any cost” in response to Donald Trump’s announcement that he had instructed trade officials to consider $US100 billion ($130 billion) in additional tariffs.
WICHITA, Kan. ― Three anti-Muslim militia members, on trial for plotting to slaughter Somali refugees in southwest Kansas, have adopted a defense strategy that could’ve been culled directly from President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed: suggesting that a biased FBI conspired against them in the lead-up to the 2016 election due to their political beliefs.
Curtis Allen, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright are on trial in connection with their arrest in a FBI domestic terrorism sting just weeks before the 2016 election. Their defense attorneys, in turn, are putting the FBI on trial ― accusing the nation’s premier law enforcement agency of improperly targeting the three men due to their conservative ideology.
In 2016, Orbis was subcontracted to investigate Donald Trump’s links to Russia.
Steele compiled a dossier containing astonishing allegations against the then-presidential candidate, including a claim the Russians had cultivated Trump and traded favours with him for at least five years, and handed him intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton and other political rivals.
Rachel Crooks tells The Washington Post Donald Trump forcibly kissed her in an encounter at Trump Tower in 2005
Mr Trump denies the allegations saying he “doesn’t know” and has “never met” Ms Crooks
Ms Crooks is calling for the release of a video tape which allegedly shows the encounter
What Robert Mueller delivered in Friday’s indictment were the first charges for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He is getting to the heart of the matter.
Robert Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump
The special counsel also buried once and for all Donald Trump’s mealy-mouthed obfuscations over whether Russia was responsible for this confidence trick of breathtaking scope and scale. Former CIA director-general Michael Hayden has described it as the political equivalent of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
But what Mueller has not yet produced is compelling evidence that demonstrates the president or his campaign knowingly coordinated with Russians to cheat Hillary Clinton out of the election.
Mr Trump directly addressed children who may feel ‘lost alone, confused or even scared’
No specific policy recommendations were made but he pledged to help secure schools and tackle mental health issues
Barack Obama tweeted out an emotional plea for ‘common-sense gun safety laws’
He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.
When Donald Trump tweeted his go-to response full of “prayers and condolences,” some students responded to him, demanding he acknowledge gun control laws.
“Why was a student able to terrorize my school mr president,” one student tweeted.
When Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren tweeted the standard conservative line that “this isn’t about a gun,” multiple students responded to her on Twitter.
“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours,” one tweeted back. “It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt.”
Trump, in a pointed response to the uproar over charges of domestic violence by two top aides, cautioned on Saturday that lives can be shattered by a “mere allegation” and asked whatever happened to “due process?”
Self serving Trump seems to forget due peocess begins with ‘allegations” and the presumption of innocence. That presumption is squandered when 13 ++ persons are called liars as in the case of Wienstein and the even the President. Trump has the option and the wealth to take his accusers to court but it seems under advice he never will.
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee made “material changes” to a secret memo he shared with lawmakers before sending it to the president to approve for final release, the top Democrat on the committee said Wednesday night.
Nunes has gone through thousands of pages of that material, or had his young staffers do so, and picked out passages here and there that support some sort of conspiracy theory about the FBI versus Trump, alleging that the FBI improperly relied on the Steele dossier in looking into Trump’s connections with Russia.
Here is a caution against the Nunes memo that the Republican Party intends to release: it is the sort of thing that got us into the disastrous Iraq War Cherry-picking raw intelligence is one of the ways the hawks around Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld bamboozled Washington and the American people into overthrowing a major Middle Eastern country.
Fascism pretends to incorporate the good of the masses (hence the phony Nazi claim on the word “socialism”) while in fact acting in barracuda fashion solely for the benefit of the corporations and elite. It is plutocracy dressed up as a mass movement. Its rhetoric separates out the good workers (white, native-born) from the bad workers (brown or black or Semite, immigrant) in hopes of setting them against one another, for the benefit of the rich spectators. Fascism separates out the poor (about 15 percent of Americans) as lazy burdens on the other workers and enacts punitive policies toward them. Thus, Trump portrays taking away health care insurance from 26 million people as a triumph for workers.
Attacks against Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities in the US were up a staggering 45 percent in 2017.
Like most of Trump’s pronouncements, this was boilerplate projection. If anything is full of lies, it is the president himself. As The Washington Post documented back in November, Trump had made 1,628 “false or misleading claims” in less than 300 days in office ― for an astonishing average of 5.5 false statements a day. That pace has not abated.
China has already stolen a march on the US with regard to trade with Africa. Beijing does $200 bn a year in trade with the continent, while the US does only $100 bn. The next time an American firm is competing with a Chinese one for a contract and the offers are similar, you could well see a tilt away from the US on the basis of Trump’s filthy language.
“To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true,” Durbin said. “He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly. I cannot believe in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”
For Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, however, his business has reportedly requested hundreds of visas to bring in foreign workers, including from Haiti.
It took nearly a year, but finally Trump’s racism oozed out all over the White House today during a discussion on immigration.
According to a Washington Post report, Trump went off during a discussion on immigration reform and the DREAM act compromise reportedly agreed to by lawmakers, asking “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Trump was specifically referring to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa as lawmakers proposed restoring protections for immigrants from those countries.
the clinical definition of narcissistic personality disorder.”
Using the Mayo Clinic’s formulation, “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others,”To now reread the behavioral markers I listed is eerie, for they could serve as a précis for Trump’s first year in office:
An exaggerated sense of self-importance. An unwarranted belief in your own superiority. A preoccupation with fantasies of your own success, power and brilliance. An unreasoning fury at people you perceive as thwarting your wishes or desires. A tendency to act on impulse…
A need to always be right. An inability to tolerate criticism or critics… A compulsion to conform your ever–shifting sense of “reality” to satisfy your inner requirements… A tendency to lie so frequently and routinely that objective truth loses all meaning.”
By his own account, in 1976, when Trump was starting his career, he was worth about $200 million, much of it from his father. Today he says he’s worth some $8 billion. If he’d just put the original $200 million into an index fund and reinvested the dividends, he’d be worth $12 billion today.
President Donald Trump gave an impromptu half-hour interview with The New York Times recently. Reporters combed through the transcript and here’s a quick round-up of the false, misleading or dubious claims that he made, at rate of one claim every 75 seconds. (Some of the interview was off the record, so it’s possible the rate of false claims per minute is higher.)