3:57 PM 9/24/2017 – The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump

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The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Huntsville, Alabama, September 22, 2017. (Reuters / Marvin Gentry)

It’s exhausting to have a president who gets angrier at outspoken black athletes than at Nazis. It’s exhausting how shameless he is about his bigotry and his toxicity. This is a president who never played football. He never served in the armed forces. He frets over what conclusions we draw from the size of his hands. His skin is thinner than the gossamer wings of a butterfly. He is the epitome of a bullying but frail brand of masculinity. He belongs in a psychological text book as a case study, not in the White House. Look at Trump’s comments—in their entirety—about the current state of the National Football League, from his speech at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s FIRED!” You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, “That guy disrespects our flag; he’s fired.” And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

Then, the very week that the autopsy of 27-year-old former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez went public, which found he had stage-three CTE, Trump claimed that the game was too soft. He said:

Today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television—his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.

This is Trump, the violent fantasist who dreams of a physical supremacy he never achieved, and has then spent his life expressing this insecurity and hostility through boardroom bullying and, of course, sexually predatory behavior. He has lived his life in thrall to toxic masculinity, but lacked the ability to prove this “manhood” on the football field, and then dodged the armed forces, never attempting to prove his “manhood” on the battlefield. He has chosen instead to spend a lifetime tearing down the people who have dared stand in his path, and the women who dared to say “no.” Call it irony, call it divine coincidence, but it’s stunning that the day Trump publicly yearns for the time when football fulfilled his vicarious desires of physical domination, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday scrapped a key part of government policy on campus sexual assault. It’s so on the nose, a screenwriter would reject the scenario.

But Trump’s speech wasn’t over. His radar, always firmly attuned to the worst impulses of his audience, turned his attention again back to black players who protest, and he said:

But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those players taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is, if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.

Some could argue that this is just a case of a divisive autocrat going after obvious targets of racial animus and of a base that doesn’t care if nuclear Armageddon looms, as long as they get their culture war—while Trump’s party gets its tax cuts for billionaires. But whether Trump realizes it or not, there is something else at play. These athletes are doing a lot more than sitting or kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. They are offering up an alternative model for unity, justice, and even manhood. They are showing that what makes an adult is whom you can help, not whom you can cuss, and certainly not whom you can destroy for shameless and divisive political gain. Look at the work that’s been done by Michael Bennett, Colin Kaepernick, Malcolm Jenkins, the Charlottesville scholarships just funded by Chris Long… the list goes on and on of NFL players attempting to use their platform to highlight a different path for healing this country. The anthem protest is just a means to that end, an effort to highlight the gap between the promises that the flag represents and the lived experience of too many people in this country.

This is a model of politics—as well as manhood—that threatens Trump’s entire agenda of poisonous, divisive narcissism. Look at the outpouring of comments by NFL players following Trump’s remarks. None of them have sunk to his level. Instead, they share the tone of Seahawk Richard Sherman who said, “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!” The cornerback, who is not even 30 years old, is showcasing more adulthood then the 70-year-old president. This is the new reality. And Sherman is absolutely correct. To be silent in the face of this destructive person is to condone his actions. That’s not an option. This president is a child bully, and bullies are emboldened by our silence.

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Trump News In Brief

1. Trump from mikenova (194 sites)
2016 elections and mental health – Google News: Report: Payments for Mental Health Treatment Often Denied – U.S. News & World Report
Trump anxiety – Google News: Book World: Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in. – SFGate
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trump is politically immature – Google News: Book World: Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in. – SFGate
Donald Trump – Google News: ‘Pissed off’ Rex Ryan has some Donald Trump regrets – New York Post
Trump Investigations Report: Manaforts Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska The Washington Post Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 12:38 PM
former FBI agents power influence – Google News: Transcript: Rep. Adam Schiff on “Face the Nation,” Sept. 24, 2017 – CBS News
Trump – Google News: As Trump escalates criticisms, NFL seeks to unite amid more anthem protests – Washington Post
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Trump’s and Putin’s connections with organized crime – Google News: Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post
russian organized crime in us – Google News: Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post
Comey resignation – Google News: Preet Bharara thinks Trump would have asked him to do ‘something inappropriate’ if he’d stayed on the job – New York Daily News
Donald Trump: NFL Protests Expected To Be The Norm Today In Response To Trump
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Check Out Photos of the ‘Goodfellas’ Cast as They Reunite on the Set of Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ – Maxim
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Donald Trump – Google News: The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.
The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.
Anthony Weiner faces sentencing in latest chapter of sexting drama – CBS News
Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World
Anthony Weiner Faces Sentencing in Latest Chapter of Sexting Drama – NBC Bay Area
11:38 AM 9/24/2017 Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World
How to trap Trump – Chicago Tribune
Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post
“Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, theyre suspicious as hell by Bill Palmer
9:11 AM 9/24/2017 No joy in Trumpworld: White House staffers looking to jump ship
Putin Trump – Google News: Trump Goes After NFL Players Harder Than White Supremacists or Putin – Daily Beast
At Trump’s bully pulpit, it’s ‘us’ vs. ‘them,’ with race often used as a device to polarize – Los Angeles Times
Trump: North Korean leaders ‘won’t be around much longer’ if they strike US – Fox News
What Mueller Might Have on Manafort – Slate Magazine
What President Trump doesn’t get about the NFL – Washington Post
Anthony Weiner faces sentencing Monday over video sexting with minor – New York Daily News
House intel Democrat on Russia probe: ‘If you had seen what I have seen, you’d want me to go full throttle’ – Business Insider
Donald Trumps day from Hell
Anthony Weiner’s future rides on Monday’s sentencing over video sexting with minor – New York Daily News
Anthony Weiner’s future rides on Monday’s sentencing over video sexting with minor – New York Daily News
AP News in Brief at 9:04 pm EDT – Washington Post
U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals
7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious – Washington Examiner
Trump and North Korea war of words escalates – BBC News
North Koreans tag Donald Trump with their own nicknames after his ‘Rocket Man’ jibe at Kim Jong-un including the … – The Sun

Merkel: Germany’s ‘Mutti,’ Europe’s skipper

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Germany’s national election Sunday has all the makings of a fait accompli. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on track to gain her fourth term, which would give her 16 years as Germany’s leader. Martin Schulz, her closest rival and leader of the center-left Social Democrats, is behind in the latest polls by double digits. Merkel’s camp can start chilling the Riesling.

In the meantime, Merkel can start thinking about the road ahead — and it’s fair to say it’ll get bumpy.

More than any other leader, the woman Germans affectionately call “Mutti,” or mother, runs the show in Europe. Germany is the European Union’s heftiest, most vibrant economy, and with Britain Brexiting out of the EU, Merkel’s pragmatic leadership has become the dominant voice on the European stage.

But the rules of the game have changed in the eight months that Donald Trump has been president. Europe can no longer count on the White House the way it did in the pre-Trump era. Merkel publicly acknowledged as much last spring when she told Europeans to “take our fate into our own hands. … The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are somewhat over.”

Merkel said “others,” but she meant the U.S. Trump has upended trans-Atlantic relations, pushing positions that are antithetical to the EU agenda. He has said the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, lauded Brexit, promoted protectionist policies and at times showed a vexing admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin leader who digs deep into his toolbox for ways to create fissures in European unity.

It doesn’t help that Europe is more fractured and tenuous than it has been in decades. Great Britain’s departure from the EU takes away the bloc’s second largest economy and leaves it with just one nuclear power, France. To the east, nationalist-minded populist leaders in Poland and Hungary hold power. And the continent is still balancing the accommodation of Middle Eastern and North African refugees with the need to winnow out potential terrorists.

Merkel’s decision to allow as many as a million refugees, primarily from the Middle East, into the country in 2015 made her politically vulnerable, and her popularity dipped. But German officials have since sealed up a major conduit for refugees through the Balkans, and have reimposed border controls. “People are not infused by that feeling any more that this is out of control, that we don’t know what’s going on and who’s coming in,” Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., Peter Wittig, told the Tribune Editorial Board on Thursday. “People now have the feeling that there is an orderly process. And Germans love order.”

Another challenge for Merkel: Turkey has emerged as a major dilemma for Europe as a whole, and Germany in particular. The West recoiled at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s response to last year’s failed coup. After the attempt, Erdogan oversaw a crackdown that jailed 50,000 people and suspended 150,000 from their jobs.

Relations between Germany and Turkey became even more strained last spring, when Erdogan accused German officials of behaving like Nazis after Berlin kept him from campaigning in Germany’s Turkish enclaves ahead of a referendum effectively broadening his presidential powers. Erdogan has since dubbed Merkel’s team “enemies of Turkey.” A NATO member, Turkey also has been edging closer to the Kremlin; it recently bought a surface-to-air missile system from Russia, rankling NATO leaders who see Russia as an aggressive adversary.

Domestically, Merkel likely will have to cope with the emergence of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, which is expected to garner enough votes in Sunday’s elections to gain several seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

In Germany, voters pick a party, not a leader. It’s a party’s performance in the election that decides how many seats it gets in parliament, and who the country’s leader will be. Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, leads the pack. AfD is fiercely anti-immigration and anti-EU, and at one point during the campaign called for an end to atonement for Germany’s Nazi past. It won’t have enough votes to block Merkel’s agenda, but polls suggest it may get enough support to become the third largest force in parliament.

Americans will be watching keenly how Merkel navigates these shoals, mostly because a strong, united Europe is in America’s best interests. A unified Europe is better fit to tackle terrorism, trade, financial crises, energy policy, immigration and, yes, Russia. We know who wants a weak, fragmented Europe — the shirtless ex-KGB agent to the east.

Join the discussion on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Board and on Facebook.

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mitts meaning – Google Search

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Merkel – Google Search

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Story image for Merkel from Washington Post

German Chancellor Merkel on track for 4th term as far right set to …

Washington Post49 minutes ago
BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on course to claim a fourth term in office Sunday even as the far right was set to earn seats …
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Donald Trump – Google News: The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.

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The Nation.
The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump
The Nation.
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 Donald Trump – Google News

The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.

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The Nation.
The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump
The Nation.
This is Trump, the violent fantasist who dreams of a physical supremacy he never achieved, and has then spent his life expressing this insecurity and hostility through boardroom bullying and, of course, sexually predatory behavior. He has lived his 
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Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World

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“I have the highest level of personal regard for her.”

Anthony Weiner Faces Sentencing in Latest Chapter of Sexting Drama – NBC Bay Area

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NBC Bay Area
Anthony Weiner Faces Sentencing in Latest Chapter of Sexting Drama
NBC Bay Area
It seemed as if Anthony Weiner had hit rock bottom when he resigned from Congress in 2011. “Bye-bye, pervert!” one heckler shouted as the Democrat quit amid revelations that he had … Weiner, 53, is set to be sentenced Monday for sending obscene 
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11:38 AM 9/24/2017 – Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World 

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (5 sites) Trump Investigations Report: Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, theyre suspicious as hell … Continue reading “11:38 AM 9/24/2017 – Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World”

How to trap Trump – Chicago Tribune

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How to trap Trump
Chicago Tribune
The law was intended to imprison the leader of an organization who claims that all he did was to order the criminal act (such as obstruction of justice, bribery, extortion, fraud or money laundering). Maybe special counsel Robert Mueller’s  

Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – The Washington Post

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Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post

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Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska
Washington Post
MOSCOW — An aluminum magnate who survived the gangster capitalism of the 1990s and the financial crisis of 2008, Oleg Deripaska is a shrewd self-made billionaire who has managed to stay on the right side of power, whether by marrying into “the family” …
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As “picture” Putin’s refugee sex mobs on the Bundestag election – BILDblog

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So now!

Screenshot from the Bild.de-Homepage - now! While Germany chooses! Huge Russian attack on our choice - robots spread AfD rumors about election fakes

“Bild” -reactor Julian Röpcke has looked at the hashtag #gebahlbetrug times ,

BILD analyzed the hashtag “election fraud”. He is most closely related to the terms “AfD”, “Islamization”, “election observer” and “btw17”. Outside Germany it is mainly pushed by. The USA ranked first, the UK in second place and Russia in third place.

Röpcke and Bild.de could have just as good (and actually even better) titles:  Altered Ami attack on our choice” . But instead:

Screenshot Bild.de - While Germany

For Röpcke and his colleagues it has been clear for many months that today’s Bundestag election is being strongly influenced by Russian forces, more precisely by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. However, they had predicted completely different caliber than only some Bots from Russia, which now continually retreat AfD-Hashtags. Together with his colleague Karina Mößbauer, Röpcke published this dossier on Putin’s colorful propaganda bouquet in December last year:

Screenshot 2 - The Prophecies of the Prophets - Article 3: Consciously dispersed. Article 2: Propaganda campaign with sexmobs - Article 3: Consciously dispersed Fake News - Article 4: Cyber, web and social media manipulation

The author duo writes :

Attack on our Bundestagswahl! It is a hybrid major attack on the perception of the Germans. And he has several concrete goals.

Experts agree: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (64) wants to shatter the confidence of the population in the German state, the authorities, and in particular Angela Merkel (62, CDU), and drive people into the hands of left and right extremists ,

Some points of this “secret war” dossier are a bit funny, for example, those with the “deliberately scattered fake news”. The only known “Fake News” that made it into a big German medium this year was spread by the “Bild” -zeitung and concerned a supposed refugee “Sex-Mob”, which on New Year’s Eve through Frankfurt am Main “beobt” should be. The Frankish “Bild” -reaction was thereby a lie of a AfD-sympathizer.

Not funny, but rather irreversible is the announcement of a “propaganda campaign with sexmobs” :

Screenshot Bild.de - Putin's hybrid major attack on the Bundestag election 2017 - Propaganda campaign even with sexmobs

The article by Mößbauer and Röpcke really has all the ingredients that a ninth-grader would choose if he were to invent a creative conspiracy theory in a homework: Putin, refugees, Syrian intelligence, Iraqi intelligence, mafia, dead, sex mob. Because “beyond disinformation”, says Mössbauer and Röpcke, “it could get worse!”

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In security crises it is already being discussed how Russia could try to force a radical rethinking of the population with disturbances – possibly even with lethal force. (…)

A previously unknown component is the close cooperation between Russian, Syrian and other intelligence services as well as Russian mafia, says Russian expert Gustav Gressel (European Council on Foreign Relations).

“A part of the refugees from Iraq and Syria, if only a very small part, had connections with Assad or Saddam Hussein’s secret services.”

These people could be specifically targeted by secretaries or mafia trips and are instrumentalized for disturbances, warns Gressel.

“What would happen, for example, if a similar event were repeated at a summer festival before the election, as in the Silvesternacht in Cologne? How would Merkel stand? What would be the consequence for the Bundestag election? Of course, this is an extreme example, but it is within reach, “says Gressel.

We have waited until shortly before the end of the Bundestag election. Nowhere did a Putin-Assad-Saddam-Mafia refugee sex mob appear. At no “summer festival” and also nowhere else in Germany. Already at the publication in December 2016 the questions of Gustav Gressel sounded absurdly enough, in order to regard them as highly questionable. But instead of questioning them, Röpcke, Mößbauer and “picture” adopt the conspiracy theory of their experts already in the headline.

Julian Röpcke writes today to the retweeting Twitter accounts from Russia:

It is unclear whether the campaign is more than mere propaganda.

We sometimes ask ourselves this.

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“Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer 

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals by Bill Palmer Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:29 AM Palmer Report 1 Share If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would … Continue reading ““Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer”

9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship … 

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Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:05 AM 1 Share Put psychologist John Gartner on a couch and ask him about his childhood and one of the first stories he will recall is about his mom, Diana, and a touchstone moment in the fight for women’s rights. In … Continue reading “9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship …”

Donald Trump’s day from Hell 

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You’re Donald Trump. You’re less popular than head lice. Your escalating scandals may land you in prison. People are openly questioning your mental health. You try to appease what’s left of your racist base by attacking black athletes. You take it too far. Within a twenty-four hour period you’ve been condemned by everyone from the biggest star in the NBA to the commissioner of the NFL. Donald, you’re having a day from Hell – and it’s just getting started.

Trump’s hellish twenty-four hour cycle began when he referred to NFL quarterback Colin Karpernick a “son of a bitch” at a rally tonight. He thought he could get away with it, because Kaepernick’s kneel-downs are seen as controversial by a number of moderate white Americans. But it turned out he’d taken things too far, even by his low standards. By today, after NFL stars like Lesean McCoy were calling Trump an “asshole” and worse, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement condemning Trump’s remarks. The owners of the New York Giants did the same. But that was just the half of it.

After NBA star Steph Curry hinted that he would decline to visit the White House, Donald Trump tweeted that Curry and his entire Golden State Warriors were no longer invited. This prompted LeBron James, the only NBA star with even more clout than Curry, to respond by calling Trump a “bum.” Kobe Bryant and others piled on. NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement in support of his players.

Donald Trump has been pushing an openly racist agenda for years, and it’s defined his entire time in politics. But these past twenty-four hours feel like a shift has taken place. Trump has taken his racist attacks so far that even moderate white Americans, who would generally prefer to not to get involved in social issues one way or the other, seem to be finally scratching their heads today at just how dementedly racist Trump is. If so, this will indeed go down as Trump’s ultimate day from Hell. Contribute to Palmer Report

The post Donald Trump’s day from Hell appeared first on Palmer Report.

U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals 

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If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would have been a shock; Trump winning along those particular numbers was all but mathematically impossible. If you’ve been paying attention since, you’ve figured out that Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it.

Russia’s fake news stories and fake Facebook ads were enough to con some Americans into voting under mistaken pretenses. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. As Palmer Report has been documenting since November, the actual vote totals were absurd (link). The national polls ended up being accurate within the margin of error, as Hillary Clinton won by three million votes nationwide. But those same polls said Hillary would win the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and they should logically have also been accurate in those states. Instead Trump won all four of them, by the same one percent margin (link) – just large enough to avoid automatic recounts without being large enough raise eyebrows.

Other things stood out as having been just plain wrong about the vote totals in those four states. Exit polls for early voting in Florida, which accounted for the bulk of the vote, gave Hillary Clinton such a huge lead that Donald Trump shouldn’t have been able to overcome it on election day (link). Across the board in these four states, the numbers simply did not add up in the way that numbers are supposed to add up. There were other eyebrow raising issues. Voting equipment broke in suspiciously large numbers in Michigan on election – but it all happened in Detroit, which would have been the most favorable to Hillary (link). Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell.

So this news blip from the Associated Press matters greatly: “US government tells election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems in 2016, but most not breached” (link). Keep two things in mind here. The first is that the Trump administration has been doing everything it could to prevent the federal government from acknowledging that Russia meddled in the election. The only reason for it to put out a statement like this is because it knows it’s all going to come out anyway. The second thing to keep in mind there is the phrase “most not breached.” That’s an acknowledgment that some state voting systems were breached. This story is just getting started.

The post U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals appeared first on Palmer Report.

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious
Washington Examiner
… the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn wasunder federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign 
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Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – The Washington Post Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 12:38 PM

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A composite photo of Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman (right), and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

A composite photo of Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman (right), and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort was looking for an investor, and Oleg Deripaska was his man.

It was 2008, and a famed Manhattan building known as the Drake Hotel was being eyed by the American lobbyist and political adviser Manafort for purchase and development. On June 30, Manafort met with Deripaska, a Russian who had earned his fortune and reputation as a hard-knuckled, take-no-prisoners businessman in the 1990s consolidating control over Russia’s metals industry.

According to a memo generated by Manafort’s then-partner Rick Gates to two Deripaska associates, the Russian billionaire was definitely interested in investing, telling Manafort “to lock the other financing elements and then come back to him for the final piece of investment.”

“Based on the interest in this opportunity expressed by Mr. D during his meeting with Paul, we would like to discuss the parameters of this deal with you further and as soon as possible,” said the memo, which was submitted as evidence in a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court on an unrelated dispute.

The Drake deal, which ultimately fell through, is one of many illustrating Manafort’s dealings with Deripaska, whom U.S. officials consider to be a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller (file photo)

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller (file photo)

Those and other dealings are now under the glaring scrutiny of Robert Mueller, the U.S. special counsel investigating alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and contacts between Russian officials and associates of U.S. President Donald Trump. Three different congressional committees are also investigating.

In e-mails handed over to U.S. investigators, Manafort sought through “an overseas intermediary” of Deripaska to initiate “private briefings” in 2016, when Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman, The Washington Post reported on September 20.

U.S. media reports noted that there is no evidence that Deripaska took Manafort up on the alleged offer.

A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, said on September 21 that the investigations into Manafort’s actions are “entirely politically motivated.”

An official with Deripaska’s press office denied any interactions between the businessman and Manafort for years prior to 2016.

“Mr. Deripaska had no communications, meetings, briefings, or other interactions with Mr. Manafort during, after, or in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election. And in fact, Mr. Deripaska had not communicated with Mr. Manafort for years prior to 2016. Thus, any publication suggesting or implying that Mr. Deripaska directly or indirectly communicated with Mr. Manafort in 2016 would be a false statement of fact,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RFE/RL.

Aluminum Fortunes

Deripaska has routinely figured on Kremlin invite lists for years, most recently at a gathering of key business leaders announced on September 21 that Russian media suggests was aimed at gauging the economic climate ahead of a presidential election in 2018.

Deripaska’s net worth has been estimated at $5.3 billion by Forbes magazine, a fortune he built largely in the 1990s during a period some Russian media have dubbed the “aluminum wars.”

Now 49, Deripaska was trained in physics at Moscow State University and later in economics at the Plekhanov Academy of Economics. Amid the often-haphazard mass privatization of state enterprises undertaken by then-President Boris Yeltsin, he founded a metals-trading operation, and in 1994 took control of a Siberian aluminum smelter. That was the seed for a company that became Basic Element, Deripaska’s main investment vehicle.

The Moscow offices of United Company Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum producers. (file photo)

The Moscow offices of United Company Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum producers. (file photo)

In 2000, he became director general of Russian Aluminum, which later became United Company Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum manufacturers. United Company Rusal and Basic Element oversee businesses ranging from aviation to agriculture, as well as metals smelters.

Deripaska has been dogged for years by reports of connections to suspected organized crime groups, including Semyon Mogilevich, a Russian businessman formerly on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List. Mogilevich was among those named in a lawsuit filed by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in which Manafort and Deripaska’s possible business venture was detailed. Deripaska has repeatedly denied any criminal ties.

But, beginning in 2006, the State Department denied Deripaska a visa to enter the United States. The visa difficulties reportedly led him to enlist the lobbying influence of former Republican presidential candidate and Senate leader Bob Dole and, later, the work of one of Washington’s well-known lobbying firms, BGR, run by a former chairman of the Republican Party.

Deripaska reportedly traveled to the United States in 2009 under what The Wall Street Journal said was a secret arrangement with the FBI.

In fact, one U.S. government official and court documents filed in another U.S. lawsuit assert that Deripaska managed to travel to the United States more than a half dozen times between 2011 and 2014 using a Russian government-issued diplomatic passport, underscoring Deripaska’s political connections.

Kyiv Link

Sometime in the mid-2000s, Deripaska connected with a Russian named Konstantin Kilimnik, whose education at Russia’s Military University for Foreign Languages has led to speculation that he is employed by intelligence agencies, something he has denied.

Kilimnik began working for Manafort in 2005, when Manafort was representing Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian oligarch who was said to be a financier of the Party of Regions of Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s president from 2010 until mass unrest forced him from office in February 2014.

Reports from a “black ledger” in Ukraine indicating millions of dollars in payments were directed from Yanukovych’s party to Manafort contributed to his exit from the Trump election campaign in August 2016.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and oligarch Rinat Akhmetov (file photo)

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and oligarch Rinat Akhmetov (file photo)

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Manafort proposed a plan in June 2005 to Deripaska that was aimed at influencing politics, business dealings, and news coverage across the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union in ways that would favor Putin. The AP report, published in March, said Manafort eventually signed a contract worth $10 million with Deripaska. He had a business relationship with him until at least 2009.

Deripaska, who denied the report, later said he would sue AP for libel.

After Yanukovych’s election in 2010, Kilimnik told RFE/RL that he spent 90 percent of his time inside the presidential administration, where he assisted Manafort.

In an interview earlier this year, Kilimnik told RFE/RL that, during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, he briefed Manafort on Ukraine issues. But he said he had been on Manafort’s payroll since 2014.

The Washington Post said Manafort’s offers to Deripaska were made via e-mails sent to Kilimnik. “If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” the July 7, 2016, e-mail, portions of which were read to the Post along with other Manafort correspondence, reportedly said.

Asked about his conversations with Manafort, Kilimnik told RFE/RL on September 21 that they discussed the U.S. election campaign, but he declined to describe the e-mail in detail or to say whether there was an effort to reach out to Deripaska.

“There were millions of emails. […] we worked for 11 years. And we discussed a lot of issues, from Putin to women,” Kilimnik said via text message.

“Of course we discussed trump and everything,” he said in another message. “A lot of things. Our clients owe us money. Is there any violation of the law or proof of my work for KGB or whoever in those discussions?”

“On the political side there is no case that can be made about my involvement in the US elections,” Kilimnik wrote in another September 21 message. “They are tough investigators and probably will get manafort for some financial crap. With that many years of international clients no one can be 100% clean.”

CMZ And Pericles

Sometime around late 2006 or early 2007, Manafort and Rick Davis established a Cayman Islands-based private-equity fund called Pericles into which, according to U.S. court papers, Deripaska later invested $56 million as part of the abortive effort to buy the Drake Hotel. One of Manafort’s business associates in New York was Brad Zackson, who worked in the 1990s as an exclusive broker for Donald Trump’s now-deceased father, Fred.

Pericles, along with the Deripaska investment, also played a part in a bid to purchase a Ukrainian cable and Internet company. That effort later collapsed, and a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court in Virginia in 2015 by Deripaska’s lawyers accused Manafort of a failure to pay Deripaska $19 million related to the failed investment.

The Drake Hotel real estate is not the only investment Manafort has undertaken that has come under scrutiny. Several townhouses and condominiums in New York and elsewhere are reportedly being examined by U.S. investigators and New York Attorney General’s offices, including the loans that Manafort used to buy the properties.

With contributions by RFE/RL correspondent Christopher Miller in Kyiv
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    Christopher Miller

    Christopher Miller is a correspondent based in Kyiv and covers the former Soviet republics. He can be reached at millerjchristopher@gmail.com

Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – The Washington Post

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WorldViews

Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska

 

 September 24 at 12:00 PM

Oleg Deripaska, Russian billionaire and then the chief executive of the aluminum giant Rusal, in St. Petersburg in 2013. (Andrey Rudakov/BLOOMBERG)

MOSCOW — An aluminum magnate who survived the gangster capitalism of the 1990s and the financial crisis of 2008, Oleg Deripaska is a shrewd self-made billionaire who has managed to stay on the right side of power, whether by marrying into “the family” of Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, or by making himself indispensable to its current one, Vladimir Putin.

As my Washington-based colleagues reported this week, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly offered to provide Deripaska, 49, with personal briefings about the 2016 presidential election less than two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican nomination. The emailed offer, said to have been sent to a Russian colleague of Manafort’s, is among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to investigators looking into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia as part of an effort by the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

It is unclear whether such an offer reached Deripaska, and a spokesman for the businessman denied that it did. But Manafort’s apparent readiness to share information with an oligarch known to be part of a trusted circle of businessmen near Putin is one of the most concrete revelations to emerge from the probe into Trump’s Russia links.

Deripaska’s relationship with Manafort began in the mid-2000s, when Manafort was a consultant for a Ukraine-based oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, an associate of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. The Associated Press reported in March that Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska in 2005, a report that Deripaska denied and later contested in a lawsuit against the AP. In 2008, Rick Gates, a partner of Manafort’s, wrote in a memo that Deripaska was considering partnering with the two men to buy the Drake Hotel in Manhattan. But the relationship later soured. By 2014, Deripaska had filed a petition in a Cayman Islands court accusing Manafort and Gates of taking $19 million intended for investment then failing to account for the funds or return them.

Deripaska, now worth about $6.5 billion, according to Forbes, has always stayed close to power. He married the daughter of Yeltsin’s chief of staff, part of “the family,” the coterie of influential advisers around Yeltsin. Under Putin, he survived near-bankruptcy to later invest more than $1 billion in Putin’s pet project, the 2014 Sochi Olympics. A Russian state bank helped Deripaska with billions in loans, Russia’s foreign minister has lobbied to help him get a U.S. visa, and a 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable disclosed by WikiLeaks said he was “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad.”

After graduating from Moscow State University with a degree in nuclear physics, Deripaska began his career as a metals trader in the mid-1990s before buying a stake in a Siberian aluminum smelter, which eventually grew into the Sibirsky Aluminium Group. The group, now called Basic Element, owns a 47 percent stake in Rusal, one of the largest aluminum-producing companies in the world, along with the hydroelectric power producer EuroSibEnergo, the GAZ automotive group, infrastructure, construction companies and the Russian insurance company Ingosstrakh.

The metals business in 1990s Russia, where the legacy of Soviet industry was up for grabs, was notoriously rough-and-tumble. In a 2008 lawsuit heard in a London court, a man named Michael Cherney claimed that he was a former business partner of Deripaska’s and was owed compensation for a 13.2 percent, or more than $1 billion, stake in Rusal. Deripaska said in court that the two had not been partners, but that he had been pressured by violent criminal groups in the 1990s into a “krysha,” or protection, arrangement with Cherney. The two settled out of court in 2012. Deripaska alleged that Cherney was in league with another man, Anton Malevsky, who died mysteriously in a parachuting accident in South Africa.

The business also made Deripaska fantastically wealthy. In 2008, Forbes listed him as the richest man in Russia and the ninth-richest man in the world, with a net worth of $28 billion. By this time Deripaska was meeting with a string of high-profile Western politicians, including Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Deripaska helped spark a scandal in British politics in 2008 when it was revealed that he had hosted the Conservative Party’s chief spokesman on finance, George Osborne, on his $150 million yacht in the Mediterranean.

In 2005, the U.S. State Department revoked a visa issued to Deripaska, possibly because of alleged ties to organized crime, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal. But The Washington Post has reported that Deripaska’s connections to Putin, or at least the Russian government, have been sufficiently close that as recently as 2016, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had lobbied on behalf of Deripaska for the United States to admit him.

Deripaska’s business was blindsided by the financial crisis and collapse in commodity prices of 2008, and he was forced to refinance loans, according to some reports, with support from the Kremlin. In a $50 billion bailout, the state-run Vnesheconombank, or VEB, gave Deripaska one of the largest loans, $4.5 billion, to pay off foreign banks and avoid surrendering stakes in companies he had put up as collateral. When a Financial Times reporter asked him in 2010 how close he had come to going out of business, he replied, “Very close.”

That also brought political trouble. In 2009, workers in the town of Pikalevo (population 22,000) began protesting after Deripaska’s alumina refinery there halted production, triggering layoffs and pay cuts. The protests attracted the attention of Putin, who flew out personally to show that he was engaged in solving an economic crisis that was repeating itself across the country. In a dressing-down of the factory owners later broadcast nationwide, Putin berated Deripaska and forced him to sign a contract restarting the plant. As Deripaska walked away, Putin said: “And give me back my pen.”

Yet Deripaska rebounded, surviving the financial crisis in large part thanks to generous government loans that were extended months after the Pikalevo incident. By 2014, he was investing more than $1 billion in the Sochi Olympics, including building the Olympic Village, a 26-mile road around the Olympic venues and an expansion of the city’s airport. According to Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper, Deripaska received an award from Putin for his investments in the Olympics.

Deripaska was seeking millions of dollars in recompense from Manafort and Gates as recently as August 2015, according to court records from the Cayman Islands, and at one point hired a private investigator to track the two men down. For now, Manafort’s motives for suggesting that briefings be provided to Deripaska remain unclear.

Read more:

‘How do we use [this] to get whole?’: The most intriguing new Paul Manafort-Russia email

At height of Russia tensions, Trump campaign chairman Manafort met with business associate from Ukraine

What can Paul Manafort’s actions tell us about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia?

Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post

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Salon
Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska
Washington Post
MOSCOW — An aluminum magnate who survived the gangster capitalism of the 1990s and the financial crisis of 2008, Oleg Deripaska is a shrewd self-made billionaire who has managed to stay on the right side of power, whether by marrying into “the family” …
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul ManafortSalon
The Metals Magnate And Manafort: A Kremlin Confidant Is Drawn Into The TrumpInvestigationRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
What Scares Paul Manafort More than Mueller?Vanity Fair
CNN –Politico
all 58 news articles »

As “picture” Putin’s refugee sex mobs on the Bundestag election – BILDblog

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So now!

Screenshot from the Bild.de-Homepage - now! While Germany chooses! Huge Russian attack on our choice - robots spread AfD rumors about election fakes

“Bild” -reactor Julian Röpcke has looked at the hashtag #gebahlbetrug times ,

BILD analyzed the hashtag “election fraud”. He is most closely related to the terms “AfD”, “Islamization”, “election observer” and “btw17”. Outside Germany it is mainly pushed by. The USA ranked first, the UK in second place and Russia in third place.

Röpcke and Bild.de could have just as good (and actually even better) titles:  Altered Ami attack on our choice” . But instead:

Screenshot Bild.de - While Germany

For Röpcke and his colleagues it has been clear for many months that today’s Bundestag election is being strongly influenced by Russian forces, more precisely by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. However, they had predicted completely different caliber than only some Bots from Russia, which now continually retreat AfD-Hashtags. Together with his colleague Karina Mößbauer, Röpcke published this dossier on Putin’s colorful propaganda bouquet in December last year:

Screenshot 2 - The Prophecies of the Prophets - Article 3: Consciously dispersed. Article 2: Propaganda campaign with sexmobs - Article 3: Consciously dispersed Fake News - Article 4: Cyber, web and social media manipulation

The author duo writes :

Attack on our Bundestagswahl! It is a hybrid major attack on the perception of the Germans. And he has several concrete goals.

Experts agree: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (64) wants to shatter the confidence of the population in the German state, the authorities, and in particular Angela Merkel (62, CDU), and drive people into the hands of left and right extremists ,

Some points of this “secret war” dossier are a bit funny, for example, those with the “deliberately scattered fake news”. The only known “Fake News” that made it into a big German medium this year was spread by the “Bild” -zeitung and concerned a supposed refugee “Sex-Mob”, which on New Year’s Eve through Frankfurt am Main “beobt” should be. The Frankish “Bild” -reaction was thereby a lie of a AfD-sympathizer.

Not funny, but rather irreversible is the announcement of a “propaganda campaign with sexmobs” :

Screenshot Bild.de - Putin's hybrid major attack on the Bundestag election 2017 - Propaganda campaign even with sexmobs

The article by Mößbauer and Röpcke really has all the ingredients that a ninth-grader would choose if he were to invent a creative conspiracy theory in a homework: Putin, refugees, Syrian intelligence, Iraqi intelligence, mafia, dead, sex mob. Because “beyond disinformation”, says Mössbauer and Röpcke, “it could get worse!”

Support Steady

In security crises it is already being discussed how Russia could try to force a radical rethinking of the population with disturbances – possibly even with lethal force. (…)

A previously unknown component is the close cooperation between Russian, Syrian and other intelligence services as well as Russian mafia, says Russian expert Gustav Gressel (European Council on Foreign Relations).

“A part of the refugees from Iraq and Syria, if only a very small part, had connections with Assad or Saddam Hussein’s secret services.”

These people could be specifically targeted by secretaries or mafia trips and are instrumentalized for disturbances, warns Gressel.

“What would happen, for example, if a similar event were repeated at a summer festival before the election, as in the Silvesternacht in Cologne? How would Merkel stand? What would be the consequence for the Bundestag election? Of course, this is an extreme example, but it is within reach, “says Gressel.

We have waited until shortly before the end of the Bundestag election. Nowhere did a Putin-Assad-Saddam-Mafia refugee sex mob appear. At no “summer festival” and also nowhere else in Germany. Already at the publication in December 2016 the questions of Gustav Gressel sounded absurdly enough, in order to regard them as highly questionable. But instead of questioning them, Röpcke, Mößbauer and “picture” adopt the conspiracy theory of their experts already in the headline.

Julian Röpcke writes today to the retweeting Twitter accounts from Russia:

It is unclear whether the campaign is more than mere propaganda.

We sometimes ask ourselves this.

Read the whole story
· · · · · ·

“Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer 

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals by Bill Palmer Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:29 AM Palmer Report 1 Share If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would … Continue reading ““Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer”

9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship … 

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Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:05 AM 1 Share Put psychologist John Gartner on a couch and ask him about his childhood and one of the first stories he will recall is about his mom, Diana, and a touchstone moment in the fight for women’s rights. In … Continue reading “9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship …”

Donald Trump’s day from Hell 

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You’re Donald Trump. You’re less popular than head lice. Your escalating scandals may land you in prison. People are openly questioning your mental health. You try to appease what’s left of your racist base by attacking black athletes. You take it too far. Within a twenty-four hour period you’ve been condemned by everyone from the biggest star in the NBA to the commissioner of the NFL. Donald, you’re having a day from Hell – and it’s just getting started.

Trump’s hellish twenty-four hour cycle began when he referred to NFL quarterback Colin Karpernick a “son of a bitch” at a rally tonight. He thought he could get away with it, because Kaepernick’s kneel-downs are seen as controversial by a number of moderate white Americans. But it turned out he’d taken things too far, even by his low standards. By today, after NFL stars like Lesean McCoy were calling Trump an “asshole” and worse, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement condemning Trump’s remarks. The owners of the New York Giants did the same. But that was just the half of it.

After NBA star Steph Curry hinted that he would decline to visit the White House, Donald Trump tweeted that Curry and his entire Golden State Warriors were no longer invited. This prompted LeBron James, the only NBA star with even more clout than Curry, to respond by calling Trump a “bum.” Kobe Bryant and others piled on. NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement in support of his players.

Donald Trump has been pushing an openly racist agenda for years, and it’s defined his entire time in politics. But these past twenty-four hours feel like a shift has taken place. Trump has taken his racist attacks so far that even moderate white Americans, who would generally prefer to not to get involved in social issues one way or the other, seem to be finally scratching their heads today at just how dementedly racist Trump is. If so, this will indeed go down as Trump’s ultimate day from Hell. Contribute to Palmer Report

The post Donald Trump’s day from Hell appeared first on Palmer Report.

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals 

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If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would have been a shock; Trump winning along those particular numbers was all but mathematically impossible. If you’ve been paying attention since, you’ve figured out that Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it.

Russia’s fake news stories and fake Facebook ads were enough to con some Americans into voting under mistaken pretenses. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. As Palmer Report has been documenting since November, the actual vote totals were absurd (link). The national polls ended up being accurate within the margin of error, as Hillary Clinton won by three million votes nationwide. But those same polls said Hillary would win the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and they should logically have also been accurate in those states. Instead Trump won all four of them, by the same one percent margin (link) – just large enough to avoid automatic recounts without being large enough raise eyebrows.

Other things stood out as having been just plain wrong about the vote totals in those four states. Exit polls for early voting in Florida, which accounted for the bulk of the vote, gave Hillary Clinton such a huge lead that Donald Trump shouldn’t have been able to overcome it on election day (link). Across the board in these four states, the numbers simply did not add up in the way that numbers are supposed to add up. There were other eyebrow raising issues. Voting equipment broke in suspiciously large numbers in Michigan on election – but it all happened in Detroit, which would have been the most favorable to Hillary (link). Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell.

So this news blip from the Associated Press matters greatly: “US government tells election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems in 2016, but most not breached” (link). Keep two things in mind here. The first is that the Trump administration has been doing everything it could to prevent the federal government from acknowledging that Russia meddled in the election. The only reason for it to put out a statement like this is because it knows it’s all going to come out anyway. The second thing to keep in mind there is the phrase “most not breached.” That’s an acknowledgment that some state voting systems were breached. This story is just getting started.

The post U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals appeared first on Palmer Report.

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious
Washington Examiner
… the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn wasunder federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign 
Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretappingThe Hill
What Robert Mueller has on Paul Manafort could be the key line of …Slate Magazine
Mueller Scorches the EarthNational Review
Business Insider –RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty –The Guardian –CNN
all 53 news articles »

Trump and North Korea war of words escalates – BBC News

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BBC News
Trump and North Korea war of words escalates
BBC News
US President Donald Trump has made new threats against North Korea in response to the country’s foreign minister’s fiery speech at the UN on Saturday. Ri Yong-ho described Mr Trumpas a “mentally deranged person full of megalomania” on a “suicide …
Trump cranks up North Korea threats as Pyongyang holds anti-US rallyReuters
Trump threatens ‘Little Rocket Man,’ says Kim may ‘not be around much longer’USA TODAY
North Korea foreign minister says Trump’s insults make rocket attack on US ‘inevitable all the more’Los Angeles Times
Aljazeera.com –ABC News
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Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping – The Hill

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The Hill
Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping
The Hill
Manafort has reportedly drawn federal interest for years related to his work for a Russian-backed political candidate in Ukraine — although it is unclear what information sparked the warrant investigators obtained as part of the Russia probe. CNN 
Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia huntThe Guardian
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul ManafortSalon
Week 18: The Further Perils of Paul ManafortPoliticoall 53 news articles »

Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse? – Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Free Press
Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse?
Detroit Free Press
The Trump administration’s grown-ups want to believe they have counterparts in the North Korean intelligence community who are just as quick to discount the U.S. president’s public provocations as they are to dismiss Kim’s. But journalists who’ve 
North Korean president raises the ante in new anti-Trump tiradeGears Of Bizall 10,606 news articles »

A Group of Experts Wrote a Book About Donald Trump’s Mental Health—and the Controversy Has Just Begun – Mother Jones

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Mother Jones
A Group of Experts Wrote a Book About Donald Trump’s Mental Health—and the Controversy Has Just Begun
Mother Jones
Moyers: Some of the descriptions used to describe Trumpnarcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder, malignant narcissist—even some have suggested early forms of dementia—are …
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“Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase…” 

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Here’s why many legal experts say that some in President Trump’s orbit should be worried. Source: 7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious 7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 6:19 AM 1 Share While President Trump made headlines this week for his provocative rhetoric on North Korea and … Continue reading““Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase…””

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From: Trump
Duration: 04:44

International security expert Jim Walsh provides insight

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Duration: 00:34

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1:33 PM 9/24/2017 – Mutti Mitte Merkel and her Iron Mitts | 11:38 AM 9/24/2017 – Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World

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Image result for mitts meaning

Mutti Mitte Merkel and her Iron Mitts

Extra! Extra! The winner of the U.S. 2016 Presidential elections was Angela Merkel, with the added fringe benefit of the Chancellorship of the World.

See also: Ms. Merkel, and the concept-custom of plausible deniability.

M.N. 9.24.17

Merkel – Google Search

1 Share

Story image for Merkel from Washington Post

German Chancellor Merkel on track for 4th term as far right set to …

Washington Post49 minutes ago
BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on course to claim a fourth term in office Sunday even as the far right was set to earn seats …
Merkel heads for German poll win, hard-right AfD for first seats
InternationalThe Local Germany10 hours ago
Merkel: Germany’s ‘Mutti,’ Europe’s skipper
OpinionChicago TribuneSep 21, 2017 

Merkel: Germany’s ‘Mutti,’ Europe’s skipper

1 Share

Germany’s national election Sunday has all the makings of a fait accompli. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on track to gain her fourth term, which would give her 16 years as Germany’s leader. Martin Schulz, her closest rival and leader of the center-left Social Democrats, is behind in the latest polls by double digits. Merkel’s camp can start chilling the Riesling.

In the meantime, Merkel can start thinking about the road ahead — and it’s fair to say it’ll get bumpy.

More than any other leader, the woman Germans affectionately call “Mutti,” or mother, runs the show in Europe. Germany is the European Union’s heftiest, most vibrant economy, and with Britain Brexiting out of the EU, Merkel’s pragmatic leadership has become the dominant voice on the European stage.

But the rules of the game have changed in the eight months that Donald Trump has been president. Europe can no longer count on the White House the way it did in the pre-Trump era. Merkel publicly acknowledged as much last spring when she told Europeans to “take our fate into our own hands. … The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are somewhat over.”

Merkel said “others,” but she meant the U.S. Trump has upended trans-Atlantic relations, pushing positions that are antithetical to the EU agenda. He has said the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, lauded Brexit, promoted protectionist policies and at times showed a vexing admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin leader who digs deep into his toolbox for ways to create fissures in European unity.

It doesn’t help that Europe is more fractured and tenuous than it has been in decades. Great Britain’s departure from the EU takes away the bloc’s second largest economy and leaves it with just one nuclear power, France. To the east, nationalist-minded populist leaders in Poland and Hungary hold power. And the continent is still balancing the accommodation of Middle Eastern and North African refugees with the need to winnow out potential terrorists.

Merkel’s decision to allow as many as a million refugees, primarily from the Middle East, into the country in 2015 made her politically vulnerable, and her popularity dipped. But German officials have since sealed up a major conduit for refugees through the Balkans, and have reimposed border controls. “People are not infused by that feeling any more that this is out of control, that we don’t know what’s going on and who’s coming in,” Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., Peter Wittig, told the Tribune Editorial Board on Thursday. “People now have the feeling that there is an orderly process. And Germans love order.”

Another challenge for Merkel: Turkey has emerged as a major dilemma for Europe as a whole, and Germany in particular. The West recoiled at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s response to last year’s failed coup. After the attempt, Erdogan oversaw a crackdown that jailed 50,000 people and suspended 150,000 from their jobs.

Relations between Germany and Turkey became even more strained last spring, when Erdogan accused German officials of behaving like Nazis after Berlin kept him from campaigning in Germany’s Turkish enclaves ahead of a referendum effectively broadening his presidential powers. Erdogan has since dubbed Merkel’s team “enemies of Turkey.” A NATO member, Turkey also has been edging closer to the Kremlin; it recently bought a surface-to-air missile system from Russia, rankling NATO leaders who see Russia as an aggressive adversary.

Domestically, Merkel likely will have to cope with the emergence of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, which is expected to garner enough votes in Sunday’s elections to gain several seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

In Germany, voters pick a party, not a leader. It’s a party’s performance in the election that decides how many seats it gets in parliament, and who the country’s leader will be. Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, leads the pack. AfD is fiercely anti-immigration and anti-EU, and at one point during the campaign called for an end to atonement for Germany’s Nazi past. It won’t have enough votes to block Merkel’s agenda, but polls suggest it may get enough support to become the third largest force in parliament.

Americans will be watching keenly how Merkel navigates these shoals, mostly because a strong, united Europe is in America’s best interests. A unified Europe is better fit to tackle terrorism, trade, financial crises, energy policy, immigration and, yes, Russia. We know who wants a weak, fragmented Europe — the shirtless ex-KGB agent to the east.

Join the discussion on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Board and on Facebook.

Read the whole story
· · ·

mitts meaning – Google Search

_________________________________

1:33 PM 9/24/2017

Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts

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The World Web TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds | News reading lists, review of media reports, digests, reviews, summaries, editors selected important articles

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals
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A Group of Experts Wrote a Book About Donald Trump’s Mental Healthand the Controversy Has Just Begun – Mother Jones
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In defiance of President Donald Trumps interjections in the debate around anthem protests in the NFL, around 25 players from both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens took to one knee during the US national anthem before their match at Wembley. Players and officials, including Jaguars franchise owner Shahid Khan, linked arms to lodge their protest at the White House and at police brutalityContinue reading…Donald Trump | The Guardian
Do police officers shootings increase trump election chances? – Google News: Thousands flee Bali volcano – Castanet.net
 

Thousands flee Bali volcano
Castanet.net
More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing it will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. … The two sides in the nation’s most popular 

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CBS News
Anthony Weiner faces sentencing in latest chapter of sexting drama
CBS News
The strategy “is fraught with peril since an attack on a victim can be read by the judge as undermining the defendant’s claim that he has accepted full responsibility,” said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor. He added that he expects Weiner toand more »

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CBS News
Anthony Weiner faces sentencing in latest chapter of sexting drama
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NEW YORK — It seemed as if Anthony Weiner had hit rock bottom when he resigned from Congress in 2011. “Bye-bye, pervert! … But Weiner’s attorneys contend he is a changed man who has finally learned his lesson, calling his compulsive sexting a “deep 
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TBN (blog)
Steve Kerr: Racism Is More Disrespectful Than Kneeling For Anthem
TBN (blog)
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Donald Trump: Donald Trump Repeats Call For NFL Boycott To Stop Anthem Protests

Under fire, the president characteristically digs in.Donald Trump
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Round-Trip Tickets: How Will Authorities Know When Foreign Fighters Have Returned?
Lawfare (blog)
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organized crime and intelligence – Google News

Donald Trump | The Guardian: Donald Trump defied at Wembley as Jaguars and Ravens kneel for anthem

US president suggested players should be fired for disrespecting anthem
Up to 25 players in NFL game at Wembley take knee as others support moveAround 25 players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens took a knee during the singing of the US national anthem at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as the protest against the US president, Donald Trump, intensified.Trump had increased his criticism of NFL players on Saturday, not only suggesting that fans of the sport should refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country but also urging any players who took a knee to be fired or suspended.Related: ‘Fire or suspend’: Trump launches fresh attack on NFL players as more protests loomContinue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

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Boston Herald
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Dozens of players kneel, coaches link arms in solidarity as Trump asks NFL teams to ‘fire or suspend’ protesting players
Washington Post
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Nirgends trat ein Putin-Assad-Saddam-Mafia-Flüchtlings-Sex-Mob auf. Auf keinem Sommerfestival und auch sonst nirgendwo in Deutschland. Schon bei der Veröffentlichung im Dezember 2016 klangen die Aussagen von Gustav Gressel abwegig genug, …

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The Root
This Was Never About The Anthem
The Root
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The San Diego Union-Tribune
A year after Alfred Olango’s death, local activists buck national ‘law and order’ tide
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Although the bishop had demonstrated against the El Cajon Police Department after the Olango shooting, he offered his services to police Chief Jeff Davis. Davis accepted. El Cajon’s diverse …. But supporters, including Harris, are optimistic aboutand more »

Do police officers shootings increase trump election chances? – Google News

trump psychological assessment – Google News: Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump enter sick dynamic – The Australian
 


The Australian
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump enter sick dynamic
The Australian
They are not moral, psychological or even political equivalents. Kim is a murderous dictator illegally pursuing nuclear weapons and threatening … Kim apparently thinks Trump is bluffing, although it was interesting that Ri warned against any attempt and more »

trump psychological assessment – Google News


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“Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals 

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If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would have been a shock; Trump winning along those particular numbers was all but mathematically impossible. If you’ve been paying attention since, you’ve figured out that Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it.

Russia’s fake news stories and fake Facebook ads were enough to con some Americans into voting under mistaken pretenses. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. As Palmer Report has been documenting since November, the actual vote totals were absurd (link). The national polls ended up being accurate within the margin of error, as Hillary Clinton won by three million votes nationwide. But those same polls said Hillary would win the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and they should logically have also been accurate in those states. Instead Trump won all four of them, by the same one percent margin (link) – just large enough to avoid automatic recounts without being large enough raise eyebrows.

Other things stood out as having been just plain wrong about the vote totals in those four states. Exit polls for early voting in Florida, which accounted for the bulk of the vote, gave Hillary Clinton such a huge lead that Donald Trump shouldn’t have been able to overcome it on election day (link). Across the board in these four states, the numbers simply did not add up in the way that numbers are supposed to add up. There were other eyebrow raising issues. Voting equipment broke in suspiciously large numbers in Michigan on election – but it all happened in Detroit, which would have been the most favorable to Hillary (link). Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell.

So this news blip from the Associated Press matters greatly: “US government tells election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems in 2016, but most not breached” (link). Keep two things in mind here. The first is that the Trump administration has been doing everything it could to prevent the federal government from acknowledging that Russia meddled in the election. The only reason for it to put out a statement like this is because it knows it’s all going to come out anyway. The second thing to keep in mind there is the phrase “most not breached.” That’s an acknowledgment that some state voting systems were breached. This story is just getting started.

The post U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals appeared first on Palmer Report.

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious
Washington Examiner
… the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn wasunder federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign 
Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretappingThe Hill
What Robert Mueller has on Paul Manafort could be the key line of …Slate Magazine
Mueller Scorches the EarthNational Review
Business Insider –RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty –The Guardian –CNN
all 53 news articles »

Trump and North Korea war of words escalates – BBC News

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BBC News
Trump and North Korea war of words escalates
BBC News
US President Donald Trump has made new threats against North Korea in response to the country’s foreign minister’s fiery speech at the UN on Saturday. Ri Yong-ho described Mr Trumpas a “mentally deranged person full of megalomania” on a “suicide …
Trump cranks up North Korea threats as Pyongyang holds anti-US rallyReuters
Trump threatens ‘Little Rocket Man,’ says Kim may ‘not be around much longer’USA TODAY
North Korea foreign minister says Trump’s insults make rocket attack on US ‘inevitable all the more’Los Angeles Times
Aljazeera.com –ABC News
all 11,402 news articles »

Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping – The Hill

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The Hill
Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping
The Hill
Manafort has reportedly drawn federal interest for years related to his work for a Russian-backed political candidate in Ukraine — although it is unclear what information sparked the warrant investigators obtained as part of the Russia probe. CNN 
Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia huntThe Guardian
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul ManafortSalon
Week 18: The Further Perils of Paul ManafortPoliticoall 53 news articles »

Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse? – Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Free Press
Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse?
Detroit Free Press
The Trump administration’s grown-ups want to believe they have counterparts in the North Korean intelligence community who are just as quick to discount the U.S. president’s public provocations as they are to dismiss Kim’s. But journalists who’ve 
North Korean president raises the ante in new anti-Trump tiradeGears Of Bizall 10,606 news articles »

A Group of Experts Wrote a Book About Donald Trump’s Mental Health—and the Controversy Has Just Begun – Mother Jones

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Mother Jones
A Group of Experts Wrote a Book About Donald Trump’s Mental Health—and the Controversy Has Just Begun
Mother Jones
Moyers: Some of the descriptions used to describe Trumpnarcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder, malignant narcissist—even some have suggested early forms of dementia—are …
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“Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase…” 

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Here’s why many legal experts say that some in President Trump’s orbit should be worried. Source: 7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious 7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 6:19 AM 1 Share While President Trump made headlines this week for his provocative rhetoric on North Korea and … Continue reading““Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase…””

Anthony Weiner, Once a Congressman, Faces Jail As a Sex Offender – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Anthony Weiner, Once a Congressman, Faces Jail As a Sex Offender
NBCNews.com
“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” Abedin said in a statement. “Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life.” Will 
Prosecutors want two-year prison sentence for Anthony Weiner …The Hill (blog)
Anthony Weiner could be behind bars on Monday – NY Daily NewsNew York Daily News
NYC Court CalendarLos Angeles Timesall 6 news articles »

Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health

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Put psychologist John Gartner on a couch and ask him about his childhood and one of the first stories he will recall is about his mom, Diana, and a touchstone moment in the fight for women’s rights.

In 1969, Diana Gartner and other leaders of the relatively new National Organization for Women made a reservation at the Oak Room Bar in New York under the name “Dr. Gartner.” The showdown that followed when the women arrived during the establishment’s male-only hours would lead to an early victory for feminism: The storied bar ultimately changed its gender policy.

John Gartner was 10 years old when the incident made headlines.

“It does run in our family to be mavericks,” he said. “Or rebels with a cause.”

These days Gartner is gaining national attention for a cause of his own — and creating a stir in his field — by trying to convince voters that President Donald Trump has a mental illness, and should be removed from his job because of it.

From a small office at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Gartner has emerged as a leader of a group of mental health professionals called Duty To Warn. The campaign began as an internet petition seeking to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, which broadly lays out the procedure for booting a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

The <a href=”http://Change.org” rel=”nofollow”>Change.org</a> petition, launched in January and aimed at Trump’s cabinet, has garnered more than 62,000 signatures. But it has also drawn substantial criticism, and not just from Trump supporters. Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association advise members against assessing the mental health of individuals they haven’t personally examined .

And yet the campaign by Gartner and others appears to be expanding. Duty to Warn is planning to hold conferences in cities across the country on Oct. 14, many drawing established psychologists and psychiatrists. Gartner and others, meanwhile, have contributed to a book to be published next month: “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”

Gartner — a Princeton graduate and former assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins medical school, specializes in borderline personality disorder and depression. He describes Trump as a “malignant narcissist,” a condition that includes paranoia, anti-social behavior, sadism and other traits along with narcissism.

Gartner points to the president’s insistence that President Barack Obama bugged his office, or that the crowds at his inauguration were historically large, as validating signs.

“Unless he doesn’t believe a word he’s saying, there’s evidence here of someone, really, who’s actually disconnected from reality,” said Gartner, 59. “We have someone in charge of the nuclear codes who is not in touch with reality. I can’t imagine anything more dangerous.”

Among Gartner’s most notable critics is psychiatrist Allen Frances, who wrote the guidelines for diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder — and who rejects any claim that Trump has it.

To meet the criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder, Frances said, Trump would have to display distress or impairment himself. One could argue he’s caused distress, Frances said, but he doesn’t appear to experience it.

“I think that this guy and other people like him mean well and are sincere and believe that somehow they have a professional responsibility to warn America about the horrors of Trump,” said Frances, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke University. “But I don’t see them as knowing much about diagnoses.”

Frances, who published a book this month titled “Twilight of American Sanity,” is hardly a fan of the 45th president. He describes Trump as “the biggest threat to democracy since the Civil War.” But he says that doesn’t mean he has a mental illness.

The effort to apply a diagnosis to Trump, Frances said, “confuses bad behavior for mental illness.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump supporters frequently say the president’s brazen rhetoric is a big part of the reason why he was elected. His voters did not want another carefully scripted, play-it-safe politician.

And as with any politician, it’s impossible to sort out what Trump believes from political theater.

Gary Collins led the Trump campaign in Baltimore.

“Time and again on the campaign and in the White House, while something might sound a little different, the reality is that it usually comes out in weeks, months or even days that what he’s saying has a lot of validity to it,” he said.

Collins said Gartner “is clearly pushing a political agenda, and clearly doesn’t like the president.”

Duty to Warn has reopened a heated discussion in the psychiatric community over the Goldwater Rule, the 1973 prohibition on analyzing people from afar. It’s named for Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican nominee for president. When Fact magazine published an article in which psychiatrists opined that Goldwater was mentally unfit for the presidency, the Arizona senator successfully sued.

The policy was reaffirmed this spring by the American Psychiatric Association.

“The complexity of today’s media environment demands that we take special care when speaking publicly about mental health issues,” the association says on its website.

The Goldwater rule doesn’t apply to Gartner, who is a psychologist. But the American Psychological Association takes a similar — if less ironclad — position.

“APA’s Code of Ethics counsels psychologists against diagnosing living individuals whom they have not personally assessed,” spokeswoman Kim I. Mills said. “Singling out mental illness is misguided and tends to further stigmatize mental health problems.”

Gartner dismisses the rule and similar guidelines as a product of professional associations concerned primarily with protecting members from lawsuits. It is preferable to meet with patients before assessing them, he agrees, but in cases where that’s not possible it shouldn’t be a requirement.

Much can be gleaned, he says, by observing years of public interactions.

“The only people who aren’t allowed to comment on Donald Trump’s mental health are the people who are most expert and qualified to do it,” Gartner said.

The phrase “duty to warn” has its antecedent in a similar ethical dilemma. It’s based on the name used for laws on the books in at least 28 states, including Maryland, that require mental health professionals to break patient confidentiality rules and report information about a patient if they believe that person may become violent.

Garter isn’t alone in his assessment of the Goldwater Rule.

Justin A. Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center, has written books analyzing Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, and expects to publish a third in the series, on Trump, next year.

“My feeling is that the rule was based on a very specific kind of thing: Financial fear,” he said.

Frank said he relies on principles of applied psychoanalysis to build profiles of presidents.

“It’s true that I don’t get them in my office — and that’s a serious issue,” he said. “But there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Asked whether he has come to any conclusions yet about Trump, Frank declined to offer a diagnosis.

“He’s Donald Trump,” Frank said. “I really think that he’s a fairly unique person.”

The Duty to Warn effort has drawn some attention on Capitol Hill, but almost entirely from Democrats — making it an easy target for Trump supporters and others to dismiss as a partisan endeavor.

Supporters of the group point to a private conversation caught on an open microphone this summer between Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. During a conversation about the federal budget, Reed was heard describing the president as “crazy,” and Collins responded with “I’m worried.”

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters last month that Trump had failed to display the “stability nor some of the competence” to be a successful president.

But those comments have been exceptions to the rule in both parties.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, introduced legislation this year to create a commission that would determine whether a president is unable to meet the responsibilities of the office under the 25th Amendment.

Raskin, a constitutional law professor from the liberal wing of the party, says he is addressing a long-term process issue, not targeting the current president.

Raskin, whose bill has 31 Democratic co-sponsors, declined to say whether he agrees with Gartner on Trump’s mental health.

“I do not take a position on that and I don’t think it’s my role to take a position on that,” he said. “There are enough signs of chaos in some of the dealings of the president that it reminds us of the importance of the 25th Amendment, but I personally will reserve judgment on presidential fitness — that’s why we have the process.”

Raskin is set to receive an award from Duty to Warn at its meeting in Washington next month.

“They appreciate the work that I’m doing in trying to flesh out the constitutional process,” he said.

Gartner is a registered Democrat, and has contributed to Democratic campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s. But Gartner insists Duty to Warn isn’t a political exercise.

“I didn’t like George Bush, but I never circulated a petition about him,” he said. “I’d be grateful for a President Pence, even though I disagree with everything he believes in. … He’s conservative, [but] he’s not mentally unstable.”

Gartner says the petition will be sent to each member of Trump’s cabinet next month.

He acknowledges he’s unlikely to get the kind of quick response his mother received decades ago at the Oak Room Bar.

“All along I’ve felt, even if it was a hopeless cause, that we still needed to speak out,” Gartner said. “Bearing witness to these things is important. And I think bringing out the truth is important.”

john.fritze@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jfritze

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‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship … – Raw Story

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Raw Story

Today in Trumpworld — September 22

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TRUMP’S SCHEDULE TODAY

5 p.m.: President Donald Trump will depart the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey en route to Alabama.

Story Continued Below

7:30 p.m.: Trump will arrive at Huntsville International Airport.

8 p.m.: Trump will arrive at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville.

8:15 p.m.: Trump will participate in a rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.).

9:10 p.m.: Trump will depart the Von Braun Civic Center en route to Bedminster, New Jersey.

11:50 p.m.: Trump will arrive at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

TRUMP’S TWITTER THIS MORNING: “Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.’ … Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before! … The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary? … The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media “screaming” for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate! … Will be in Alabama tonight. Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close. He loves Alabama, and so do I!”

INSIDE THE HEALTH CARE PUSH: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey and Burgess Everett: “In public, President Donald Trump is all-in on the Senate’s final chance to repeal Obamacare. But privately, there’s ambivalence in the White House about the bill’s contents and its chances of clearing the tightly divided chamber next week. Trump spent time between meetings at the United Nations calling senators and other senior White House officials about the Graham-Cassidy bill, asking for updated vote tallies and how to woo senators for the bill. White House officials have considered tweaking the state funding to win a vote from GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — and others. Trump has also publicly excoriated Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for voting against the legislation, telling aides he would go after other senators.”

SCRAMBLE TO LEAVE THE WEST WING: From POLITICO’s Nancy Cook: “A fast-growing number of White House staffers are starting to look for the exits, even though the one-year mark of President Donald Trump’s first term is still months away. Many who joined the administration in January did so with the explicit idea that they’d stay for at least a year, enough to credibly say they’d served. But in the aftermath of a wave of abrupt, high-profile departures over the summer that culminated with former strategist Steve Bannon’s ouster in August, aides up and down the chain are reaching out to headhunters, lobbyists, and GOP operatives for help finding their next job.”

FACEBOOK TO COOPERATE: From POLITICO’s Nancy Scola, Josh Dawsey and Ali Watkins:“Facebook has agreed to provide details to congressional investigators about ads purchased by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential campaign, and on Thursday vowed greater transparency in political advertising. But some Democratic senators want to make those pledges mandatory. The moves come amid mounting pressure from Congress to release the Russian-related ads, particularly criticism from Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Two people familiar with the matter disclosed the deal to POLITICO on Thursday shortly before Facebook announced it publicly.”

MUELLER’S WORK: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought phone records concerning the statement written aboard Air Force One defending a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower last year that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., according to two people familiar with the investigation. Mueller has also asked the White House for documents and emails connected to a May 3 press briefing where Sean Spicer said the president had confidence in James Comey as FBI director, these people said. The request seeks to determine what White House officials – particularly Spicer – knew about the president’s plans to fire Comey in the days before it happened, according to one of the people familiar with it.”

PRICE UPDATE: From POLITICO’s Rachana Pradhan and Dan Diamond: “Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, according to people with knowledge of his travel plans and a review of HHS documents. … The cost of the trips identified by POLITICO exceeds $300,000, according to a review of federal contracts and similar trip itineraries.”

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Paul Manafort Has A Bad Week; Twitter, Facebook In The Hot Seat : NPR

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Paul Manafort speaks on the phone while touring the floor of the Republican National Convention on July 17, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Paul Manafort speaks on the phone while touring the floor of the Republican National Convention on July 17, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Last week in the Russia imbroglio: Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, got some bad news; members of Congress put social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, under the interrogation lights; and with all these many lawyers now running around — the meter is running too.

Much more below.

The Russia story is so vast, has been running for so long — and may continue for so much longer — that NPR journalists have been getting an update inside the newsroom every day to try to keep them in step. On the theory that other readers also might find the reports useful, here’s a version of our newsletter called “The Daily Imbroglio,” which also includes a look back at events from the past week you might have missed.

Reports: U.S. Government Surveilled Manafort … Sometime … Somewhen

Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was under U.S. government surveillance at some point, according to reports this week — although they do not agree as to the particulars. CNN was first out of the gate with its story about surveillance on Monday, which called what the FBI or other spy agencies were doing “a wiretap.” The eavesdropping took place before, during and after the campaign, according to CNN.

CBS News also cited a source confirming CNN, but not many other news organizations reported this development. That stood until Friday, when the Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris reported that the U.S. put Manafort under surveillance after he resigned from the Trump campaign in August of 2016.

But the monitoring the Journal describes is very different. Not a “wiretap” like you might have seen on The Sopranos, where FBI agents listen in real-time, but surveillance after the fact, “possibly by obtaining copies of his emails and other electronically stored communications, or by having agents follow him or conduct physical searches of his property.”

NPR has not confirmed any of these reports, and U.S. government officials have declined to comment about these kinds of law enforcement operations. A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, told NPR’sGeoff Bennett that if the stories are true, it’s evidence of abuse of power by then-President Obama and also evidence of criminal leaking by whatever sources revealed the surveillance was taking place.

Why would the Feds want to spy on Manafort? Former U.S. intelligence officials, including ex-CIA Director John Brennan, have said they’ve documented evidence of a lot of clandestine communications between people in Trumpworld and Russians. The latest data point came on Wednesday, when the Washington Post reported that Manafort had offered a private briefing on the U.S. election to to Oleg Deripaska, a Ukrainian billionaire friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The FBI wants to know whether Manafort was colluding with the Russians whose interference in the U.S. was aimed at helping Trump be elected.

Timeline Of Trump And Russia In Mid-2016: A Series Of Coincidences Or Something More?

That’s one example of what are believed to be tens of thousands of emails and other documents the Trump campaign has given congressional investigators looking into the Russia imbroglio — but it also confirms what Brennan and others have suggested. The frustration in trying to understand this story from the outside is how more evidence is deemed classified, possibly from Congress or the Justice Department, which U.S. spy agencies might not want to reveal because it compromises the sources or methods they used to collect it.

Learn More About The Trump-Russia Imbroglio

In Manafort’s particular case, investigators’ focus appears to be on alleged money laundering, foreign advocacy or other such crimes — sources told The New York Times that prosecutors working for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller have warned Manafort they intend to indict him.


Next In The Hot Seat: Facebook And Twitter

Russian influence-mongers used more overt tools to attack the election last year than anyone first appreciated, including Facebook ads, public accounts (of fake Americans) and others. And as NPR’s Ryan Lucas reports, members of Congress want answers about what social media platforms knew at the time about what was happening — and what they’ve learned in retrospect.

The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media

“The moves on Capitol Hill follow concerns that the social media giants have been less than forthcoming about how Russia may have used their platforms to try to undermine the American election,” Lucas writes.

“Facebook has acknowledged that it sold ads to some 500 fake Russia-linked accounts between 2015 and 2017. The ads addressed socially divisive issues like gun control, immigration and race relations. It also conceded in a statement that it may discover more.”

Russia's Election Meddling Part Of A Long History Of 'Active Measures'

The Intelligence Committee’s leaders, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, had been turning up the heat on Facebook especially: The social behemoth had shown the content of some ads to committee staffers in a briefing, but not permitted the Hill investigators to keep them. Burr and Warner said they wouldn’t abide any deflection or soft-pedaling, so Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday the company would turn over the contents and cooperate with the congressional investigations. More from Facebook.

In a file photo taken on May 15, 2012, a login page of Facebook reflects in a glass panel in Kuala Lumpur. Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

In a file photo taken on May 15, 2012, a login page of Facebook reflects in a glass panel in Kuala Lumpur.

Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election

The Intelligence Committee has scheduled a hearing about the social media aspect of the Russian influence campaign for next month. And ahead of that, representatives for Twitter — much smaller in terms of users and business throw-weight, but still highly visible in key areas — are set to meet with the Intelligence Committee next week.

Here’s what Facebook does not want: Regulations it considers onerous. So company leaders are expected to go along to get along in the hope that if they’re cooperative and forthright, Congress will not mandate restrictions on the way it does business. That might not be good enough for Warner, however, who has broached the idea of new requirements for disclosures about ad-buyers or other such new policies.


All These Lawyers Are Getting Expensive

President Trump and several administration officials have retained their own lawyers in the Russia matter, and all that advice is not cheap. So donors are covering the costs: The Republican National Committee has directed more than $427,000 to attorneys representing Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Matea Gold reported in the Washington Post.

Separately, family members of former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn announced on Monday that they have set up a legal defense fund to help Flynn continue to pay the lawyers helping him in the Russia matter. Joe Flynn and Barbara Redgate, Flynn’s brother and sister, made a case based on Flynn’s record of service.

“Mike devoted 33 years of his life to our country serving in the United States Army, spending years away from his family while he fought this nation’s battles overseas, including the war on terror,” they wrote.

Attorneys say Flynn’s fund will not accept contributions from foreign nationals, anonymous givers or Trump’s business or campaign. But the fund is not expected to disclose how much it raises or the identities of its donors, as NPR’s Tom Bowman reported.


Briefly:

Mueller Wants White House Phone Records

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House for records specifically about President Trump’s role in drafting Donald Trump Jr’s initial statement about the June 2016 meeting between campaign aides and a Russian delegation, reports Josh Dawsey for Politico.

Businessman Paints Terrifying And Complex Picture Of Putin's Russia

Meaning what? Trump had a hand in drafting the original statement that said Trump Jr., Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with Russians to talk about “adoptions.” But “adoptions” is the code word that Russians use when they talk about the 2012 sanctions imposed by the U.S. under the Magnitsky Act. So Mueller wants to know who in the White House was involved, what discussions took place and what the intentions of the principals were.

Rosenstein: Trump Knew Comey Ouster Wouldn’t End Russia Probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told Mueller’s team that he believes Trump knew he’d encounter a political backlash by firing FBI Director James Comey, but that he didn’t expect it would end the Russia investigation, report Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber for the Wall Street Journal.

The James Comey Saga, In Timeline Form

Meaning what? Mueller is reported to be weighing whether Trump has obstructed justice: Comey said the president asked him to ease off of Flynn, there are reports he also asked other intelligence agency bosses how to get the FBI off the case and then Trump went ahead and fired Comey. Although Trump has said in subsequent interviews that he fired Comey (among other reasons) because of the whole “Russia thing,” Rosenstein may be trying to put in a word for his boss. He could be making the case, in so many words, that Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction because he didn’t actually expect that getting rid of Comey would get rid of the Russia matter.

Howard Students to Comey: You, Sir, Are Not Our Homey

'You're Not Our Homey,' Howard University Protesters Tell Ex-FBI Director James Comey

The former FBI director addressed the students of Howard University in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Sept. 22, in the first of what’s set to be a series of speeches as he takes a lecturer post there. Comey has built a relationship with the president of the historically black university because, in part, he wanted to bring more non-white recruits into the FBI.

It did not go over well, as NPR’s Ryan Lucas reports: Protesters interrupted with chants of “no justice, no peace” and “James Comey, you’re not our homey.” They also sang the civil rights song “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious

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While President Trump made headlines this week for his provocative rhetoric on North Korea and the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, several major developments related to the ongoing probe of possible collusion between his associates and Russia flew quietly under the radar.

Each new disclosure about the direction and breadth of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation lent credence to what many legal experts have been saying since the former FBI director began hiring lawyers with expertise in corruption, foreign bribery, and white collar crime: This is serious, and some in Trump’s orbit should be worried.

“Combined with a flurry of stories about subpoenas, grand-jury appearances and other activity, it’s reasonable to expect that Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase,” Brookings Institution fellows Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote earlier this week.

Here are seven key signs that indicate Mueller and his high-powered team are digging deep and may be nearing the “litigation phase,” as Hennessy and Wittes put it.

1. Indictment warning

During the FBI’s raid of an apartment belonging to Paul Manafort earlier this summer, Mueller explicitly told the former Trump campaign chairman he “planned to indict him,” the New York Times reported Monday. According to the report, Manafort and several FBI agents picked the lock of Manafort’s home in the predawn hours of July 26 and left with “binders stuffed with documents” and photographs of “expensive suits in his closet.”

The report shed light on the aggressive tactics Mueller has employed as he reportedly seeks to “flip” Manafort against several other persons of interest in the special counsel’s investigation, including the president.

2. Record requests

It was widely reported this week that Mueller has begun requesting exhaustive records from White House aides who were clued in to the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn was under federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign governments.

Beyond Comey and Flynn, the Washington Post claimed Mueller demanded that any correspondence related to the following individuals or incidents be turned over to his team: Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney last June; Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; Manafort; the FBI’s interview of Flynn shortly after the inauguration; and a statement issued by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer the night Comey was fired.

3. Spicer’s notes and texts

Spicer made news Thursday for being snappish with Axios co-founder Mike Allen during an exchange about the notes he kept during his time in Trump’s circle, which could become a valuable resource for Mueller.

“From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities,” Spicer said in an email, later adding that he would “contact the appropriate legal authorities to address [Allen’s] harassment” if he continued to receive requests for comment.

A source close to Spicer said the exchange, which the former press secretary later apologized for, showed how current and former White House officials are trying to be “careful … and want to avoid attracting attention to themselves” as long as the Russia investigation is ongoing.

Spicer is one of several former and current Trump aides whom Mueller has expressed an interest in interviewing, ABC News reported earlier this month. The others include: former chief of staff Reince Priebus, White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, senior associate counsel James Burnham, and White House spokesman Josh Raffel.

4. Surveillance of Manafort

A bombshell report by CNN late Monday night alleged that U.S. government officials wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who remains at the center of Mueller’s investigation, before the November election and during the subsequent transition phase. The surveillance was conducted after federal investigators obtained a so-called FISA warrant, which almost always requires the demonstration of probable cause.

Sources told CNN that “some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.”

5. Grand jury testimony

Mueller is beginning to bring in lobbyists and public relations consultants who have worked with Manafort to testify before a federal grand jury in Washington. One such individual – Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni – did so last week at a courthouse in downtown D.C.

Maloni, who began working for Manafort after the 2016 election, testified for more than two-and-a-half hours, telling reporters on his way in that “hell yeah” he was ready to appear before the grand jury. It was not immediately clear what investigators sought from Maloni’s testimony, though the longtime public relations executive may have been aware of potential errors on Manafort’s foreign-agent filing amendments, which he retroactively disclosed in June.

Mueller also issued a grand jury subpoena in August to Melissa Laurenza, a lawyer and former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer who represented Manafort until recently.

6. Facebook ads

The social media giant turned over detailed records to congressional committees and Mueller’s team this week regarding ads purchased by a Russian company during the 2016 election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed earlier this month that the company bought approximately $3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017, totalling $100,000.

There is a good chance Mueller will probe whether the advertisements “showed any of the kind of sophisticated targeting that might indicate that Americans had provided assistance,” the Atlantic’s David Graham wrote earlier this week.

7. James Quarles

Former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate investigation James Quarles is the latest to emerge as a central figure assisting with Mueller’s probe. The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Quarles was added to the team as its “point person” for interactions with the White House, noting that he has been constantly in touch with Trump’s legal aides to check in on document requests and confirm the status of upcoming interviews.

Quarles left his position as a partner at the global law firm WilmerHale to join Mueller’s team in June.

Read the whole story
· · · · ·

Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM 

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Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM Trump And Intelligence Community – Google News 1 Share The Hill (blog) Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory The Hill (blog) The former director of National Intelligence said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought … Continue reading “Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM”

These Are The 21 States Russian Hackers Targeted In The 2016 Election

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State election officials didn’t know whether their systems had been targeted until Friday.

Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

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Source: Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

Mueller Scorches the Earth – National Review

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National Review
Mueller Scorches the Earth
National Review
It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators.Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick …
Robert Mueller Has Requested Air Force One Phone Records in the Russia InvestigationGQ Magazine
What Scares Paul Manafort More than Mueller?Vanity Fair
What the FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort Tell us About Mueller’s InvestigationJust Security
The Hill –The Guardian –Conservative Review –CNN
all 39 news articles »

FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress – MyAJC

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MyAJC
FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress
MyAJC
When FBI agent Ken Hillman was assigned to Northwest Georgia, his aim was clear: catch sex predators who target children online. But on Friday, Hillman stood in front of a federal judge and pleaded guilty to a crime of his own; disclosing sensitive law …and more »
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Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider 

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Donald Trump’s election victory was called into question by the US intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s election interference, Clapper said. Source: Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider

Facebook to give Congress copies of 3,000 political ads bought through Russian accounts, reversing previous decision

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The company had previously shown some of the ads to Capitol Hill investigators but took back copies before they could be studied carefully, citing concerns over user privacy at the time. Facebook has reversed that position amid rising complaints from Capitol Hill that the company was not cooperating fully with its investigation. Chief Executive Mark […]

‘James Comey, you’re not our homie’: Protesters disrupt former FBI director’s speech at Howard University – Washington Post

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Washington Post
‘James Comey, you’re not our homie’: Protesters disrupt former FBI director’s speech at Howard University
Washington Post
A group of protesters chanting “no justice, no peace,” interrupted former FBI director James B. Comey as he tried to address the convocation ceremony at Howard University on Friday morning. “Get out James Comey, you’re not our homie,” the group of 
James Comey: Protests disrupt speech to Howard studentsBBC News
Protesters disrupt James Comey’s Howard University convocation speechPolitico
Comey convocation address derailed by angry protesters at Howard UniversityFox News
NBCNews.com –Newsweek –ABC News –CNN International
all 41 news articles »

Russia wants Trump and Kim Jong Un to calm down – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Russia wants Trump and Kim Jong Un to calm down
Business Insider
Vladimir Putin Sergey Lavrov Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stand while waiting for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their talks at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Saturday, July 
The Week in Pictures: Sept. 15 – 22NBCNews.com
What Is the Difference Between a Hydrogen Bomb and an Atomic Bomb?TIME
Trump: North Korea’s ‘Little Rocket Man’ should have been handled long agoThe Hill
Politico –PBS NewsHour –Washington Examiner –Albany Times Union
all 1,610 news articles »

US student trapped in Indiana cave for three days – BBC News

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BBC News
US student trapped in Indiana cave for three days
BBC News
A US student spent almost three days trapped inside a cave after he was left behind on a university field trip. Lukas Cavar, 19, was visiting the Sullivan Cave in southern Indiana with the Indiana University Caving Club on Sunday. He was separated from 
Forgotten IU freshman locked in cave for 60 hoursIndianapolis Star
College student spent 60 hours in cave before rescue, licked walls for waterFox News
Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and waterTelegraph.co.uk
Sky News –WISH-TV –Newser –Daily Mail
all 25 news articles »

Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and water – Telegraph.co.uk

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Telegraph.co.uk
Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and water
Telegraph.co.uk
A US student was trapped in a cave for three days without food or water after he was left behind on a group excursion. Lukas Cavar, a first year student at Indiana University, was on a spelunking trip when he became separated from the rest of the group.and more »
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Iran conducts new ballistic missile test despite Trump pressure – The Hill

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The Hill
Iran conducts new ballistic missile test despite Trump pressure
The Hill
Iran announced Saturday that the country has conducted a successful test of a new ballistic missile design despite pressure from the Trump administration to stop, and vowed to continue its weapons development. The new missile design has a range of 1 
Iran tests missile despite Trump pressureBBC News
Iran releases video of new ballistic missile being test-firedFox News
Iran Tests New Ballistic Missile, State Media ReportsNBCNews.com
USA TODAY –Bloomberg –Washington Examiner –Daily Beast
all 321 news articles »

Pragmatism is the real frontrunner in Germany’s election – The Hill

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The Hill
Pragmatism is the real frontrunner in Germany’s election
The Hill
Despite this reality, the suggestion resonates strongly with German voters — in a 2016 poll 83 percent of Germans wanted U.S. nuclear weapons out of the country. In theory this could have …Putin’s continued antagonization of the West, including his 
With Germany’s Election Around The Corner, What’s Putin’s Play?NPRall 990 news articles »

WSJ: GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe… – By  Rebecca Ballhaus 

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GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People Payment arrangement is legal, but ethics experts warn that reliance on party and campaign accounts could raise thorny political issues By Rebecca Ballhaus Sept. 22, 2017 3:46 p.m. ET By Rebecca Ballhaus President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the probe … Continue reading “WSJ: GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe… – By  Rebecca Ballhaus”

Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election Ads – CBS San Francisco Bay Area

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CBS San Francisco Bay Area
Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election Ads
CBS San Francisco Bay Area
It has provided the ads and other information to Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, Facebook said in a statement, although it declined to elaborate. The company that nudges its users to reveal intimate details 
Facebook may be facing an ‘era of accountability’Lowell Sunall 29 news articles »

Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters – Swift County Monitor

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CBS San Francisco Bay Area
Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters
Swift County Monitor
For instance, one study found that college basketball fans, viewing the same video of a game, were likely to believe the rival team committed at least twice as many fouls as their own,” Gregory Ferenstein, a fellow at the University of California 
Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election AdsCBS San Francisco Bay Areaall 44 news articles »

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says anti-Semitic targeting was ‘a fail on our part’ – The Verge

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The Verge
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says anti-Semitic targeting was ‘a fail on our part’
The Verge
In a post today, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg made her first public statement on a recent ProPublica investigation of ad-targeting to hate groups, calling the issue “a fail on our part.” Last week, ProPublica’s investigation found and more »
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Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress – New York Times

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The Guardian
Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress
New York Times
6 that Russian agents covertly bought ads on the site during last year’s campaign has brought intense scrutiny on the social network and on Twitter, entangling both companies in theinvestigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel 
‘Russia hoax continues’: Trump attacks investigation into Facebook adsThe Guardian
The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social MediaNPR
The Latest: Democratic lawmakers praise Facebook disclosureMiami Herald
NJ.com –Yahoo Finance –NBC Chicago –Facebook Newsroom
all 769 news articles »

Facebook to crack down on election ads, turn 3000 over to congressional investigators – MarketWatch

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MarketWatch
Facebook to crack down on election ads, turn 3000 over to congressional investigators
MarketWatch
Zuckerberg’s announcement, made via a Facebook Live video, comes alongside the company’s decision Thursday to release 3,000 Russia-linked ads to congressional committees investigating that country’s meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The and more »

The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media – NPR

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NPR
The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media
NPR
… investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election. Now they’re in the spotlight. Congressional investigators are digging in on Russia’s use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to try to influence the 
‘Russia hoax continues’: Trump attacks investigation into Facebook adsThe Guardian
Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to CongressNew York Times
Facebook Russian ads that influenced election released to CongressCBS News
NJ.com –Miami Herald –Newsy
all 507 news articles »

State Investigations Could Play Powerful Adversary Role Against Trump Administration – NPR

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State Investigations Could Play Powerful Adversary Role Against Trump Administration
NPR
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has continued to investigate PresidentTrump’s business interests. His work could lead him to being a key figure in the president’s future. Facebook; Twitter. Google+. Email …

A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations – The New Yorker

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The New Yorker
A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations
The New Yorker
The possible outcomes of the Russia investigation have always been wildly divergent. On one end of the spectrum, it is possible that the Russian government penetrated deep inside theTrump campaign—perhaps with the candidate’s knowledge—and the …
The Paradox of an Explosive Week in the Mueller InvestigationThe Atlantic
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s frightening and tightening legal nooseFox News
Senator asks FBI if it warned Trump campaign about Russian meddlingReuters
CNN –Politico –TPM
all 349 news articles »

Grassley asks FBI if Trump was warned of Russian efforts to infiltrate his campaign – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
Grassley asks FBI if Trump was warned of Russian efforts to infiltrate his campaign
USA TODAY
Grassley wrote the letter Wednesday after reports by CNN that the FBI began investigatingformer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business dealings with the Russians in 2014. Those reports, cited by Grassley on Thursday, also allege that …
Senator asks FBI if it warned Trump campaign about Russian meddlingReuters
A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia RevelationsThe New Yorker
The Paradox of an Explosive Week in the Mueller InvestigationThe Atlantic
Fox News –Politico –Washington Examiner
all 349 news articles »
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GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

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Wall Street Journal (subscription)
GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
The Trump-Russia Investigations: Who Are the Russians Involved? U.S. investigators are looking into contacts between several current and former associates of Donald Trump and Russian individuals—some with direct ties to the Russian government or …and more »

Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)
Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory
The Hill (blog)
The former director of National Intelligence said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought to influence the 2016 election “cast doubt on the legitimacy” of PresidentTrump’s victory. “Our intelligence community assessment did 
JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of …Business Insider
Ex-intel chief: Findings on Russian interference “cast doubt on legitimacy of the election”Shareblue Media
James Clapper: Russia’s US Campaign Included Social Media ‘Trolls’Newsmaxall 5 news articles »

12:09 PM 9/23/2017 – Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt – The Guardian

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NFL Distances Itself From Trump After He Says Protesting Players Should Be Fired Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:05 PM Donald Trump 1 Share “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect.” “Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM by mikenova Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:04 PM … Continue reading “12:09 PM 9/23/2017 – Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt – The Guardian”

Russia: Relations with US poor over ‘Russo-phobic hysteria’ – The Ledger

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The Ledger
Russia: Relations with US poor over ‘Russo-phobic hysteria’
The Ledger
Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russiainterfered in the U.S. election to ensure victory for President Donald Trump — “but we do not see any facts.” When he asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 
Lavrov Blames `Small-Minded’ Obama for USRussia DivisionsBloomberg
Russia’s Lavrov continues to scoff at ‘so-called interference’ in US electionWENY-TV
Russia, China push back on a US-led world order – CNNPoliticsCNN
TASS
all 443 news articles »

The Importance Of Civil Discourse

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Polarizing hostile discourse will only breed more division while, at the same time, making real debate over issues less likely.

“Prewar period of global disorder”: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM 

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Weekend Roundup: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM Donald Trump 1 Share We are leaving the postwar era that saw the U.S foster the founding of the U.N. and entering what may be a prewar period of global disorder. who shot john – Google Search Saturday … Continue reading ““Prewar period of global disorder”: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM”
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10:32 AM 9/23/2017 – FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort and Mueller’s Investigation 

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Quotes Mueller’s investigation is first and foremost a counterintelligence investigation  we know that with the Facebook search warrant that Mueller is potentially interested in pursuing Russians living in Russia who tried to disseminate disinformation in the U.S. He would surely be as interested in identifying and nailing the Russian operatives who participated in active measures to influence … Continue reading “10:32 AM 9/23/2017 – FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort and Mueller’s Investigation”

Media says Trump is just like crazy dictator Kim Jong-un, and other absolutely moronic press comments – Fox News

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Fox News
Media says Trump is just like crazy dictator Kim Jong-un, and other absolutely moronic press comments
Fox News
Over at MSNBC, we got proven liar and “The 11th Hour” host Brian Williams making the comparison: “[C]an you remind the good folks watching just how unusual this kind of wording from an American president is? Almost borrowing the vocabulary and …and more »

NFL Distances Itself From Trump After He Says Protesting Players Should Be Fired

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“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect.”

“Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM 

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“Who shot John”?! “Who shot John”?! – GS Michael Novakhov comments:  Mr. Clapper, dear sir:  Where were you in 2015 and 2016?  Wasn’t it a part of your duties to prevent these type of  disasters, and to recognize them in advance, well in advance?  But I do not blame you. No one has a right … Continue reading ““Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM”

manafort trump tower – Google Search

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Story image for manafort trump tower from Washington Post

Is President Trump vindicated on his claim of ‘wires tapped’ by …

Washington PostSep 22, 2017
Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before … wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Former CIA Officer: On Wiretapping, Trump Was Right All Along
In-DepthThe Daily CallerSep 20, 2017

Media image for manafort trump tower from RealClearPolitics

RealClearPolitics

Media image for manafort trump tower from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for manafort trump tower from The Hill

The Hill

Media image for manafort trump tower from TIME

TIME

Media image for manafort trump tower from Salon

Salon

Media image for manafort trump tower from Yahoo News

Yahoo News
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Meet the notorious characters who call Trump Tower home

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New York City’s most high-profile residential buildings are often home to some of the wealthiest—and shadiest—figures in the world. Take, for instance, the Time Warner Center, where members of the Saudi royal family and known corrupt Russian officials knowingly shack up. Or Walker Tower, where the purchase of a $50.9 million penthouse has been named by the U.S. government in connection to an international money laundering scheme.

It should come as no surprise that Trump Tower is no exception. Bloomberg has compiled an extensive, and rather epic, list of the building’s past and present occupants, shedding light on the international cast of characters who traverse the building’s gilded halls.

At that, following is a list of a handful of Trump Tower’s current residents, who include an embattled former sports administrator who plead guilty in a crime connected to the FIFA scandal, and Trump’s former campaign manager.

Donald Trump, Floors 66 through 68

Of course the Republican presidential nominee shacks up in the top floors of his namesake tower, hidden behind a grand entryway gilded in gold and diamonds. The palatial penthouse, Bloomberg reports, takes a tip from Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi: “One reason Trump’s triplex is so vast, he has written, is a trip he took to…Khashoggi’s condo nearby, where he stepped into a living room bigger than his own.” Trump, who has the best temperament, wanted to level up with a Saudi arms dealer. That’s reassuring.

Guido Lombardi, Floors 62 through 63

Real estate investor Guido Lombardi is a self-proclaimed Italian count, Trump supporter, and sympathizer with Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party.

Helly Nahmad, Floor 51

Art dealer Hillel Nahmad, of the Nahmad collecting dynasty, has been snatching up apartments on the 51st floor of Trump Tower since at least 1999, when he paid $2.5 million for Unit 51J. Years, and millions, later, Nahmad amassed the entire floor for a total $18.4 million. Nahmad was sent to prison for five months in 2014 for running a high-stakes gambling ring.

Related: the massive Panama Papers leak from earlier this year identified Nahmad’s father, David, as the owner of a Modigliani that the grandson of a Jewish art dealer claims was snatched from his grandparent’s shop in Paris during the Nazi occupation.

Ernie Garcia, Floors 48 through 49

The chairman of used car dealer DriveTime plead guilty to bank fraud in 1990 in connection to the collapse of Charles Keating’s Savings and Loan. Garcia was sentenced to probation, and currently takes up residence in the tower.

Paul Manafort, Floor 43

Trump’s former campaign manager, who resigned in August, has lived in Trump Tower since 2006. Manafort transferred the apartment from an LLC to his name in 2015.

Jose Maria Marin, Floor 41

If one must serve house arrest, Trump Tower is not too shabby of a place to do it. That’s the case with Jose Maria Marin, a former administrator of the Brazilian Football Confederation who’s serving a sentence in connection with bribery charges stemming from the FIFA crisis, to which he plead guilty.

Susetta Mion, Floor 32

Ivana Trump’s pal Susetta Mion, of the Italian fashion family, has been shacked up in a Trump Tower pad after allegedly looting her mother’s bank accounts and possessions and carting it all across the Atlantic in 2007. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mion called the issue a “family quarrel that’s being resolved.”

Juan Beckmann Vidal, Floor 31

Vidal’s name is not as well known as the liquor brand he controls: Jose Cuervo. The tequila bigwig owns three apartments in the building.

For a list of the colorful characters who formerly purchased in the building, including Andrew Lloyd Weber and Haitian dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier, head on over to Bloomberg.

Watch: Architecture that comes to life in Game of Thrones

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Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt 

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Trump’s ex-campaign chair is a major target for special counsel Mueller, and an indictment may not be far off – which could change everything for the president

When Paul Manafort, the former Washington super-lobbyist, bought an apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan for $3.7m in 2006, there was no reason at the time to read the hand of destiny in it.

Related: Kim Jong-un, the NFL and ‘screaming at senators’: Trump’s Strange night in Alabama

Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money

Related: Paul Manafort: FBI used search warrant to raid ex-Trump chair’s home

Related: Trump’s debut at the UN: threats, taunts – and gasps of alarm from the diplomats

Continue reading…

How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul Manafort – Salon

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Salon
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul Manafort
Salon
Speculation flew after the latest Manafort revelations this week that Russian money had found its way into the Trump campaign and that Manafort may have had something to do with it, which was not a surprise given his contacts with shady political 
‘Of course we discussed Trump‘: Russian-Ukrainian operative explains his emails with ManafortBusiness Insider
Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia huntThe Guardian
How the Latest Paul Manafort Revelations Fit with Trump’s Business ModelThe New Yorkerall 37 news articles »

Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ does not tell what really happened – Irish Times

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Irish Times
Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ does not tell what really happened
Irish Times
In the months since Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the White House to Donald Trump, the Democrat has poured her thoughts and considerable ire into a book running to almost 500 pages that tries to explain “What Happened”. … She makes the point and more »

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“Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase…”

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Here’s why many legal experts say that some in President Trump’s orbit should be worried.

Source: 7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious

7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious

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While President Trump made headlines this week for his provocative rhetoric on North Korea and the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, several major developments related to the ongoing probe of possible collusion between his associates and Russia flew quietly under the radar.

Each new disclosure about the direction and breadth of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation lent credence to what many legal experts have been saying since the former FBI director began hiring lawyers with expertise in corruption, foreign bribery, and white collar crime: This is serious, and some in Trump’s orbit should be worried.

“Combined with a flurry of stories about subpoenas, grand-jury appearances and other activity, it’s reasonable to expect that Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase,” Brookings Institution fellows Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote earlier this week.

Here are seven key signs that indicate Mueller and his high-powered team are digging deep and may be nearing the “litigation phase,” as Hennessy and Wittes put it.

1. Indictment warning

During the FBI’s raid of an apartment belonging to Paul Manafort earlier this summer, Mueller explicitly told the former Trump campaign chairman he “planned to indict him,” the New York Times reported Monday. According to the report, Manafort and several FBI agents picked the lock of Manafort’s home in the predawn hours of July 26 and left with “binders stuffed with documents” and photographs of “expensive suits in his closet.”

The report shed light on the aggressive tactics Mueller has employed as he reportedly seeks to “flip” Manafort against several other persons of interest in the special counsel’s investigation, including the president.

2. Record requests

It was widely reported this week that Mueller has begun requesting exhaustive records from White House aides who were clued in to the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn was under federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign governments.

Beyond Comey and Flynn, the Washington Post claimed Mueller demanded that any correspondence related to the following individuals or incidents be turned over to his team: Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney last June; Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; Manafort; the FBI’s interview of Flynn shortly after the inauguration; and a statement issued by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer the night Comey was fired.

3. Spicer’s notes and texts

Spicer made news Thursday for being snappish with Axios co-founder Mike Allen during an exchange about the notes he kept during his time in Trump’s circle, which could become a valuable resource for Mueller.

“From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities,” Spicer said in an email, later adding that he would “contact the appropriate legal authorities to address [Allen’s] harassment” if he continued to receive requests for comment.

A source close to Spicer said the exchange, which the former press secretary later apologized for, showed how current and former White House officials are trying to be “careful … and want to avoid attracting attention to themselves” as long as the Russia investigation is ongoing.

Spicer is one of several former and current Trump aides whom Mueller has expressed an interest in interviewing, ABC News reported earlier this month. The others include: former chief of staff Reince Priebus, White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, senior associate counsel James Burnham, and White House spokesman Josh Raffel.

4. Surveillance of Manafort

A bombshell report by CNN late Monday night alleged that U.S. government officials wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who remains at the center of Mueller’s investigation, before the November election and during the subsequent transition phase. The surveillance was conducted after federal investigators obtained a so-called FISA warrant, which almost always requires the demonstration of probable cause.

Sources told CNN that “some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.”

5. Grand jury testimony

Mueller is beginning to bring in lobbyists and public relations consultants who have worked with Manafort to testify before a federal grand jury in Washington. One such individual – Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni – did so last week at a courthouse in downtown D.C.

Maloni, who began working for Manafort after the 2016 election, testified for more than two-and-a-half hours, telling reporters on his way in that “hell yeah” he was ready to appear before the grand jury. It was not immediately clear what investigators sought from Maloni’s testimony, though the longtime public relations executive may have been aware of potential errors on Manafort’s foreign-agent filing amendments, which he retroactively disclosed in June.

Mueller also issued a grand jury subpoena in August to Melissa Laurenza, a lawyer and former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer who represented Manafort until recently.

6. Facebook ads

The social media giant turned over detailed records to congressional committees and Mueller’s team this week regarding ads purchased by a Russian company during the 2016 election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed earlier this month that the company bought approximately $3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017, totalling $100,000.

There is a good chance Mueller will probe whether the advertisements “showed any of the kind of sophisticated targeting that might indicate that Americans had provided assistance,” the Atlantic’s David Graham wrote earlier this week.

7. James Quarles

Former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate investigation James Quarles is the latest to emerge as a central figure assisting with Mueller’s probe. The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Quarles was added to the team as its “point person” for interactions with the White House, noting that he has been constantly in touch with Trump’s legal aides to check in on document requests and confirm the status of upcoming interviews.

Quarles left his position as a partner at the global law firm WilmerHale to join Mueller’s team in June.

Read the whole story
· · · · ·

Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM 

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Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM Trump And Intelligence Community – Google News 1 Share The Hill (blog) Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory The Hill (blog) The former director of National Intelligence said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought … Continue reading “Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM”

These Are The 21 States Russian Hackers Targeted In The 2016 Election

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State election officials didn’t know whether their systems had been targeted until Friday.

Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

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Source: Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

Mueller Scorches the Earth – National Review

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National Review
Mueller Scorches the Earth
National Review
It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators.Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick …
Robert Mueller Has Requested Air Force One Phone Records in the Russia InvestigationGQ Magazine
What Scares Paul Manafort More than Mueller?Vanity Fair
What the FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort Tell us About Mueller’s InvestigationJust Security
The Hill –The Guardian –Conservative Review –CNN
all 39 news articles »

FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress – MyAJC

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MyAJC
FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress
MyAJC
When FBI agent Ken Hillman was assigned to Northwest Georgia, his aim was clear: catch sex predators who target children online. But on Friday, Hillman stood in front of a federal judge and pleaded guilty to a crime of his own; disclosing sensitive law …and more »

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Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider 

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Donald Trump’s election victory was called into question by the US intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s election interference, Clapper said. Source: Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider

Facebook to give Congress copies of 3,000 political ads bought through Russian accounts, reversing previous decision

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The company had previously shown some of the ads to Capitol Hill investigators but took back copies before they could be studied carefully, citing concerns over user privacy at the time. Facebook has reversed that position amid rising complaints from Capitol Hill that the company was not cooperating fully with its investigation. Chief Executive Mark […]

‘James Comey, you’re not our homie’: Protesters disrupt former FBI director’s speech at Howard University – Washington Post

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Washington Post
‘James Comey, you’re not our homie’: Protesters disrupt former FBI director’s speech at Howard University
Washington Post
A group of protesters chanting “no justice, no peace,” interrupted former FBI director James B. Comey as he tried to address the convocation ceremony at Howard University on Friday morning. “Get out James Comey, you’re not our homie,” the group of 
James Comey: Protests disrupt speech to Howard studentsBBC News
Protesters disrupt James Comey’s Howard University convocation speechPolitico
Comey convocation address derailed by angry protesters at Howard UniversityFox News
NBCNews.com –Newsweek –ABC News –CNN International
all 41 news articles »

Russia wants Trump and Kim Jong Un to calm down – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Russia wants Trump and Kim Jong Un to calm down
Business Insider
Vladimir Putin Sergey Lavrov Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stand while waiting for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their talks at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Saturday, July 
The Week in Pictures: Sept. 15 – 22NBCNews.com
What Is the Difference Between a Hydrogen Bomb and an Atomic Bomb?TIME
Trump: North Korea’s ‘Little Rocket Man’ should have been handled long agoThe Hill
Politico –PBS NewsHour –Washington Examiner –Albany Times Union
all 1,610 news articles »

US student trapped in Indiana cave for three days – BBC News

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BBC News
US student trapped in Indiana cave for three days
BBC News
A US student spent almost three days trapped inside a cave after he was left behind on a university field trip. Lukas Cavar, 19, was visiting the Sullivan Cave in southern Indiana with the Indiana University Caving Club on Sunday. He was separated from 
Forgotten IU freshman locked in cave for 60 hoursIndianapolis Star
College student spent 60 hours in cave before rescue, licked walls for waterFox News
Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and waterTelegraph.co.uk
Sky News –WISH-TV –Newser –Daily Mail
all 25 news articles »

Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and water – Telegraph.co.uk

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Telegraph.co.uk
Forgotten student trapped in cave for three days without food and water
Telegraph.co.uk
A US student was trapped in a cave for three days without food or water after he was left behind on a group excursion. Lukas Cavar, a first year student at Indiana University, was on a spelunking trip when he became separated from the rest of the group.and more »

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Iran conducts new ballistic missile test despite Trump pressure – The Hill

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The Hill
Iran conducts new ballistic missile test despite Trump pressure
The Hill
Iran announced Saturday that the country has conducted a successful test of a new ballistic missile design despite pressure from the Trump administration to stop, and vowed to continue its weapons development. The new missile design has a range of 1 
Iran tests missile despite Trump pressureBBC News
Iran releases video of new ballistic missile being test-firedFox News
Iran Tests New Ballistic Missile, State Media ReportsNBCNews.com
USA TODAY –Bloomberg –Washington Examiner –Daily Beast
all 321 news articles »

Pragmatism is the real frontrunner in Germany’s election – The Hill

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The Hill
Pragmatism is the real frontrunner in Germany’s election
The Hill
Despite this reality, the suggestion resonates strongly with German voters — in a 2016 poll 83 percent of Germans wanted U.S. nuclear weapons out of the country. In theory this could have …Putin’s continued antagonization of the West, including his 
With Germany’s Election Around The Corner, What’s Putin’s Play?NPRall 990 news articles »

WSJ: GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe… – By  Rebecca Ballhaus 

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GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People Payment arrangement is legal, but ethics experts warn that reliance on party and campaign accounts could raise thorny political issues By Rebecca Ballhaus Sept. 22, 2017 3:46 p.m. ET By Rebecca Ballhaus President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the probe … Continue reading “WSJ: GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe… – By  Rebecca Ballhaus”

Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election Ads – CBS San Francisco Bay Area

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CBS San Francisco Bay Area
Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election Ads
CBS San Francisco Bay Area
It has provided the ads and other information to Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, Facebook said in a statement, although it declined to elaborate. The company that nudges its users to reveal intimate details 
Facebook may be facing an ‘era of accountability’Lowell Sunall 29 news articles »

Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters – Swift County Monitor

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CBS San Francisco Bay Area
Manipulating Facebook To Manipulate Voters
Swift County Monitor
For instance, one study found that college basketball fans, viewing the same video of a game, were likely to believe the rival team committed at least twice as many fouls as their own,” Gregory Ferenstein, a fellow at the University of California 
Facebook Faces ‘Era Of Accountability’ Over Russia-Backed Election AdsCBS San Francisco Bay Areaall 44 news articles »

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says anti-Semitic targeting was ‘a fail on our part’ – The Verge

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The Verge
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says anti-Semitic targeting was ‘a fail on our part’
The Verge
In a post today, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg made her first public statement on a recent ProPublica investigation of ad-targeting to hate groups, calling the issue “a fail on our part.” Last week, ProPublica’s investigation found and more »

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Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress – New York Times

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The Guardian
Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress
New York Times
6 that Russian agents covertly bought ads on the site during last year’s campaign has brought intense scrutiny on the social network and on Twitter, entangling both companies in theinvestigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel 
‘Russia hoax continues’: Trump attacks investigation into Facebook adsThe Guardian
The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social MediaNPR
The Latest: Democratic lawmakers praise Facebook disclosureMiami Herald
NJ.com –Yahoo Finance –NBC Chicago –Facebook Newsroom
all 769 news articles »

Facebook to crack down on election ads, turn 3000 over to congressional investigators – MarketWatch

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MarketWatch
Facebook to crack down on election ads, turn 3000 over to congressional investigators
MarketWatch
Zuckerberg’s announcement, made via a Facebook Live video, comes alongside the company’s decision Thursday to release 3,000 Russia-linked ads to congressional committees investigating that country’s meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The and more »

The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media – NPR

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NPR
The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media
NPR
… investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election. Now they’re in the spotlight. Congressional investigators are digging in on Russia’s use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to try to influence the 
‘Russia hoax continues’: Trump attacks investigation into Facebook adsThe Guardian
Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to CongressNew York Times
Facebook Russian ads that influenced election released to CongressCBS News
NJ.com –Miami Herald –Newsy
all 507 news articles »

State Investigations Could Play Powerful Adversary Role Against Trump Administration – NPR

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State Investigations Could Play Powerful Adversary Role Against Trump Administration
NPR
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has continued to investigate PresidentTrump’s business interests. His work could lead him to being a key figure in the president’s future. Facebook; Twitter. Google+. Email … 

A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations – The New Yorker

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The New Yorker
A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations
The New Yorker
The possible outcomes of the Russia investigation have always been wildly divergent. On one end of the spectrum, it is possible that the Russian government penetrated deep inside theTrump campaign—perhaps with the candidate’s knowledge—and the …
The Paradox of an Explosive Week in the Mueller InvestigationThe Atlantic
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s frightening and tightening legal nooseFox News
Senator asks FBI if it warned Trump campaign about Russian meddlingReuters
CNN –Politico –TPM
all 349 news articles »

Grassley asks FBI if Trump was warned of Russian efforts to infiltrate his campaign – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
Grassley asks FBI if Trump was warned of Russian efforts to infiltrate his campaign
USA TODAY
Grassley wrote the letter Wednesday after reports by CNN that the FBI began investigatingformer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business dealings with the Russians in 2014. Those reports, cited by Grassley on Thursday, also allege that …
Senator asks FBI if it warned Trump campaign about Russian meddlingReuters
A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia RevelationsThe New Yorker
The Paradox of an Explosive Week in the Mueller InvestigationThe Atlantic
Fox News –Politico –Washington Examiner
all 349 news articles »
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GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

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Wall Street Journal (subscription)
GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
The Trump-Russia Investigations: Who Are the Russians Involved? U.S. investigators are looking into contacts between several current and former associates of Donald Trump and Russian individuals—some with direct ties to the Russian government or …and more »

Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)
Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory
The Hill (blog)
The former director of National Intelligence said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought to influence the 2016 election “cast doubt on the legitimacy” of PresidentTrump’s victory. “Our intelligence community assessment did 
JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of …Business Insider
Ex-intel chief: Findings on Russian interference “cast doubt on legitimacy of the election”Shareblue Media
James Clapper: Russia’s US Campaign Included Social Media ‘Trolls’Newsmaxall 5 news articles »

12:09 PM 9/23/2017 – Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt – The Guardian

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NFL Distances Itself From Trump After He Says Protesting Players Should Be Fired Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:05 PM Donald Trump 1 Share “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect.” “Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM by mikenova Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:04 PM … Continue reading “12:09 PM 9/23/2017 – Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt – The Guardian”

Russia: Relations with US poor over ‘Russo-phobic hysteria’ – The Ledger

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The Ledger
Russia: Relations with US poor over ‘Russo-phobic hysteria’
The Ledger
Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russiainterfered in the U.S. election to ensure victory for President Donald Trump — “but we do not see any facts.” When he asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 
Lavrov Blames `Small-Minded’ Obama for USRussia DivisionsBloomberg
Russia’s Lavrov continues to scoff at ‘so-called interference’ in US electionWENY-TV
Russia, China push back on a US-led world order – CNNPoliticsCNN
TASS
all 443 news articles »

The Importance Of Civil Discourse

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Polarizing hostile discourse will only breed more division while, at the same time, making real debate over issues less likely.

“Prewar period of global disorder”: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM 

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Weekend Roundup: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM Donald Trump 1 Share We are leaving the postwar era that saw the U.S foster the founding of the U.N. and entering what may be a prewar period of global disorder. who shot john – Google Search Saturday … Continue reading ““Prewar period of global disorder”: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 10:20 AM”
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10:32 AM 9/23/2017 – FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort and Mueller’s Investigation 

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Quotes Mueller’s investigation is first and foremost a counterintelligence investigation  we know that with the Facebook search warrant that Mueller is potentially interested in pursuing Russians living in Russia who tried to disseminate disinformation in the U.S. He would surely be as interested in identifying and nailing the Russian operatives who participated in active measures to influence … Continue reading “10:32 AM 9/23/2017 – FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort and Mueller’s Investigation”

Media says Trump is just like crazy dictator Kim Jong-un, and other absolutely moronic press comments – Fox News

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Fox News
Media says Trump is just like crazy dictator Kim Jong-un, and other absolutely moronic press comments
Fox News
Over at MSNBC, we got proven liar and “The 11th Hour” host Brian Williams making the comparison: “[C]an you remind the good folks watching just how unusual this kind of wording from an American president is? Almost borrowing the vocabulary and …and more »

NFL Distances Itself From Trump After He Says Protesting Players Should Be Fired

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“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect.”

“Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM 

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“Who shot John”?! “Who shot John”?! – GS Michael Novakhov comments:  Mr. Clapper, dear sir:  Where were you in 2015 and 2016?  Wasn’t it a part of your duties to prevent these type of  disasters, and to recognize them in advance, well in advance?  But I do not blame you. No one has a right … Continue reading ““Who shot John”?! | Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 7:33 AM”

manafort trump tower – Google Search

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Story image for manafort trump tower from Washington Post

Is President Trump vindicated on his claim of ‘wires tapped’ by …

Washington PostSep 22, 2017
Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before … wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Former CIA Officer: On Wiretapping, Trump Was Right All Along
In-DepthThe Daily CallerSep 20, 2017

Media image for manafort trump tower from RealClearPolitics

RealClearPolitics

Media image for manafort trump tower from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for manafort trump tower from The Hill

The Hill

Media image for manafort trump tower from TIME

TIME

Media image for manafort trump tower from Salon

Salon

Media image for manafort trump tower from Yahoo News

Yahoo News
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Meet the notorious characters who call Trump Tower home

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New York City’s most high-profile residential buildings are often home to some of the wealthiest—and shadiest—figures in the world. Take, for instance, the Time Warner Center, where members of the Saudi royal family and known corrupt Russian officials knowingly shack up. Or Walker Tower, where the purchase of a $50.9 million penthouse has been named by the U.S. government in connection to an international money laundering scheme.

It should come as no surprise that Trump Tower is no exception. Bloomberg has compiled an extensive, and rather epic, list of the building’s past and present occupants, shedding light on the international cast of characters who traverse the building’s gilded halls.

At that, following is a list of a handful of Trump Tower’s current residents, who include an embattled former sports administrator who plead guilty in a crime connected to the FIFA scandal, and Trump’s former campaign manager.

Donald Trump, Floors 66 through 68

Of course the Republican presidential nominee shacks up in the top floors of his namesake tower, hidden behind a grand entryway gilded in gold and diamonds. The palatial penthouse, Bloomberg reports, takes a tip from Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi: “One reason Trump’s triplex is so vast, he has written, is a trip he took to…Khashoggi’s condo nearby, where he stepped into a living room bigger than his own.” Trump, who has the best temperament, wanted to level up with a Saudi arms dealer. That’s reassuring.

Guido Lombardi, Floors 62 through 63

Real estate investor Guido Lombardi is a self-proclaimed Italian count, Trump supporter, and sympathizer with Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party.

Helly Nahmad, Floor 51

Art dealer Hillel Nahmad, of the Nahmad collecting dynasty, has been snatching up apartments on the 51st floor of Trump Tower since at least 1999, when he paid $2.5 million for Unit 51J. Years, and millions, later, Nahmad amassed the entire floor for a total $18.4 million. Nahmad was sent to prison for five months in 2014 for running a high-stakes gambling ring.

Related: the massive Panama Papers leak from earlier this year identified Nahmad’s father, David, as the owner of a Modigliani that the grandson of a Jewish art dealer claims was snatched from his grandparent’s shop in Paris during the Nazi occupation.

Ernie Garcia, Floors 48 through 49

The chairman of used car dealer DriveTime plead guilty to bank fraud in 1990 in connection to the collapse of Charles Keating’s Savings and Loan. Garcia was sentenced to probation, and currently takes up residence in the tower.

Paul Manafort, Floor 43

Trump’s former campaign manager, who resigned in August, has lived in Trump Tower since 2006. Manafort transferred the apartment from an LLC to his name in 2015.

Jose Maria Marin, Floor 41

If one must serve house arrest, Trump Tower is not too shabby of a place to do it. That’s the case with Jose Maria Marin, a former administrator of the Brazilian Football Confederation who’s serving a sentence in connection with bribery charges stemming from the FIFA crisis, to which he plead guilty.

Susetta Mion, Floor 32

Ivana Trump’s pal Susetta Mion, of the Italian fashion family, has been shacked up in a Trump Tower pad after allegedly looting her mother’s bank accounts and possessions and carting it all across the Atlantic in 2007. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mion called the issue a “family quarrel that’s being resolved.”

Juan Beckmann Vidal, Floor 31

Vidal’s name is not as well known as the liquor brand he controls: Jose Cuervo. The tequila bigwig owns three apartments in the building.

For a list of the colorful characters who formerly purchased in the building, including Andrew Lloyd Weber and Haitian dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier, head on over to Bloomberg.

Watch: Architecture that comes to life in Game of Thrones

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Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia hunt 

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Trump’s ex-campaign chair is a major target for special counsel Mueller, and an indictment may not be far off – which could change everything for the president

When Paul Manafort, the former Washington super-lobbyist, bought an apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan for $3.7m in 2006, there was no reason at the time to read the hand of destiny in it.

Related: Kim Jong-un, the NFL and ‘screaming at senators’: Trump’s Strange night in Alabama

Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money

Related: Paul Manafort: FBI used search warrant to raid ex-Trump chair’s home

Related: Trump’s debut at the UN: threats, taunts – and gasps of alarm from the diplomats

Continue reading…

How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul Manafort – Salon

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Salon
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul Manafort
Salon
Speculation flew after the latest Manafort revelations this week that Russian money had found its way into the Trump campaign and that Manafort may have had something to do with it, which was not a surprise given his contacts with shady political 
‘Of course we discussed Trump‘: Russian-Ukrainian operative explains his emails with ManafortBusiness Insider
Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia huntThe Guardian
How the Latest Paul Manafort Revelations Fit with Trump’s Business ModelThe New Yorkerall 37 news articles »

Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ does not tell what really happened – Irish Times

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Irish Times
Clinton’s ‘What Happened’ does not tell what really happened
Irish Times
In the months since Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the White House to Donald Trump, the Democrat has poured her thoughts and considerable ire into a book running to almost 500 pages that tries to explain “What Happened”. … She makes the point and more »

What the FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort Tell us About Mueller’s Investigation 

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The Trump-Russia saga has more characters than War and Peace and plot twists harder to follow than Game of Thrones. So making sense of the latest news – that the FBI had taken out not one, but two surveillance orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – can be difficult to put into context. But in fact, this new piece of information actually can help connect the counterintelligence and criminal investigations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is overseeing, and show how a FISA warrant may have played a role in each.

I have already provided a detailed description of the (onerous) process of obtaining a FISA order, and the legal standards it requires. The only thing to add in Manafort’s case is that since he is a U.S. person (or USPER, in intel slang), the standards to obtain a FISA warrant on him are slightly higher than the generic process I described in my earlier piece. First, the probable cause standard required the FBI to provide evidence that Manafort was “knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence activities” (rather than merely being “an agent of a foreign power”)– in other words, that he wasn’t just acting on behalf of a foreign power, but that he was doing so with full knowledge that what he was doing involved spying. Second, in order to continue monitoring Manafort, the FBI would have been required to check in with the FISA court every 90 days and show that their surveillance had, in fact, produced foreign intelligence information. Only with this continuing, additional evidence would the FISA order be renewed for an additional 90 days at a time.

Keeping these factors in mind, let’s look at what we know. We know that the FBI had one FISA surveillance order on Manafort on or about 2014. This was in relation to his consulting work on behalf of the pro-Russia ruling party in Ukraine at the time. We also know that the surveillance ceased at some point before Manafort joined President Trump’s campaign in 2016. It then recommenced at some point after that, based on his connections with Russian intelligence and evidence suggesting that he was encouraging them to interfere in the presidential election. That surveillance continued into at least early 2017. The “gap” covered the period of time when Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner met with Russians at Trump Tower to discuss – depending on whose version you believe – “adoptions” or incriminating information the Russians claimed to have on Hillary Clinton. Following along so far? Good.

Let’s look at the “gap.” According to reporting, the initial FISA surveillance ceased after a court found that the FBI was no longer collecting foreign intelligence based on that order. This likely would have occurred at one of the 90-day renewal points after the surveillance began. Now, one conclusion might be that there was no foreign intelligence activity actually happening – or perhaps that the basis for this order itself was somewhat flimsy. However, if the order had been renewed at least once since it commenced, which would be likely even if it began in late 2014 or early 2015, that was probably not the case: After all, in order to renew the order at any point prior to it ceasing, the FBI would have had to produce ongoing foreign intelligence collection.

I invite you to consider another possibility. If Manafort was already being developed by Russian intelligence since 2014, and was approached in a more concrete, operational way around summer 2016, then they would likely want him to begin communicating with them through other means than he was already using. If this happened, collection on the lines, accounts, or facilities targeted by the initial FISA order would go dry, and would explain why the surveillance ceased. In other words, there was no longer any foreign intelligence activity happening on the first FISA – but that’s because it was happening somewhere else.

(It’s worth noting here that a FISA order would not necessarily need to cover only phone lines, or even a single mode of communication; as long as the FBI could prove that the mode of communication was being used by the target and likely to produce foreign intelligence, multiple communication channels could be authorized in the same order – you don’t need to obtain a separate FISA warrant for a phone number and an email address, for example, as long as you can demonstrate that both belong to and are used by the target.)

That the first FISA order ceased because Manafort became “operational” is admittedly purely speculative.  But based on my experience working against foreign intelligence targets, this would be consistent with the timeline in several respects.  First, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting has been characterized by many intelligence experts as a “test run” – an experiment to see how open members of the Trump campaign might be to engaging in some potentially illegal behavior in order to benefit the campaign. Having Manafort already on board would make sense in this scenario: Even if this might have been only an initial approach to Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner, the Russians would know they had at least one person in the campaign – Manafort – at that point who was “all in,” and could make the meeting less threatening for the newbies.

Second, it helps explain why a second FISA order was brought before the FISA court. It would make sense that after the initial FISA surveillance ceased and Manafort “went dark,” the FBI would be trying to determine what he was up to.  We know that in this period the FBI obtained new intelligence that Manafort was in contact with the Russians and had enough evidence to substantiate a second FISA application. The new intelligence may have formed the basis to go back on the same lines or accounts as in the initial FISA.  But if the FBI uncovered new channels or modes of communication that Manafort was using with the Russians, this could also be the reason for the second FISA warrant: Just because the FBI went up for a second time on the same target does not mean that they recommenced surveillance on the same channels as before. (This latter possibility implies some uncharacteristic operational sloppiness on the part of the Russians, but considering that Manafort was taking notes from the Trump Tower meeting on his iPhone and emailing directly with a Russian oligarch in code about offering secret briefings on the Trump campaign, this is not necessarily a stretch.)

Third, this theory would explain Mueller’s keen interest in Manafort in particular. Mueller’s investigation is first and foremost a counterintelligence investigation. Regardless of whether Don Jr. or Jared Kushner had any subsequent meetings or contacts with the Russians or colluded with them in their active measures, the FISAs suggest that Manafort holds the real keys to the kingdom. Namely, how was election interference plan conceived? What operational measures were involved? Was there any quid pro quo? Who else was in on it? This is to emphasize that Mueller may be just as – if  not, more – interested in Manafort spilling the identities and methods of the Russians in this whole scenario as in those of any Americans members of the Trump campaign who were involved. After all, we know that with the Facebook search warrant that Mueller is potentially interested in pursuing Russians living in Russia who tried to disseminate disinformation in the U.S. He would surely be as interested in identifying and nailing the Russian operatives who participated in active measures to influence the election here in the States.

Which brings us to Mueller’s criminal investigation on Manafort. To get Manafort to talk, Mueller needs some, shall we say, “incentives.” The prospect of serious jail time for not cooperating is usually effective. The problem is, that for all of Manafort’s redflaggy behavior with the Ukranians and the Russians, there aren’t really a lot of laws against spying. There’s the Espionage Act, which relates to defense and classified information and doesn’t apply in the current scenario. And there’s the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which as Steve Vladeck explains is a procedural statute: People or entities designated as foreign agents must register if the Department of Justice asks them to, but as long as they comply they are out of the crosshairs of criminal prosecution. Manafort retroactively registered as a foreign agent in June.

Financial crimes, by contrast, carry significant penalties, particularly when multiple charges are added together. Here is where the FISA orders could have come into play again. It’s important to emphasize that the goal of using a FISA warrant is not to collect evidence of a crime; it’s to collect foreign intelligence information. However, since 9/11 and the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, evidence of criminal activity that is obtained through the course of a FISA investigation can be used to open a criminal case, as long as a “significant purpose” of the FISA inquiry was to obtain foreign intelligence. Here, the FISA warrants on Manafort were based on his intelligence connections. But if he was engaging in financial shenanigans, related or unrelated to his alleged intelligence activities, signs of it may have become apparent during the FISA monitoring, allowing the FBI to open a separate criminal case on Manafort – which is where we are now.

We don’t know the content of the communications monitored under the FISA orders, which might really add the missing links to what connections, if any, existed between the Trump campaign and Russia. But the existence of the FISA warrantss themselves on Manafort, and their timing, gives us a way to understand the facts so far. So even if, like me, you’ve never made it all the way through War and Peace (I don’t even watch Game of Thrones), you can still follow along with Mueller: There’s a method to his madness against Manafort.

Image: Getty/Chip Somodevilla

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Trump Withdraws White House Invite To NBA Champions

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“Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota among states targeted by Russian hackers in 2016 race – Reuters

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Reuters
Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota among states targeted by Russian hackers in 2016 race
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wisconsin, Ohio and several other states said on Friday they were among 21 states that Russian government hackers targeted in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump though no votes were changed 
States finally find out: Did Russian hackers target them?Politico
DHS tells 21 states they were Russia hacking targets before 2016 electionThe Hill
Feds tell 21 states they were targeted during electionCBS News
USA TODAY
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Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking – WFLA

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WFLA
Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking
WFLA
6, 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the Americanpresidential election in favor of electing Donald Trump, according to the report issued by U.S.intelligence agencies. The unclassified version was the most detailed and more »

State: Russians tried to hack Washington elections – KOMO News

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KOMO News
State: Russians tried to hack Washington elections
KOMO News
The security protocols we already have in place made us aware of these attempted intrusions by Russian IP addresses throughout the course of the 2016 election,” Wyman said. “There was no successful intrusion and we immediately alerted the Federal …and more »

Trump And Kim Are Trading Personal Threats As Millions Of Lives Hang In The Balance

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Experts are concerned the pair are edging dangerously close to war.

Weekend Roundup: Trump’s U.N. Speech Marks The End Of Global U.S. Leadership

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We are leaving the postwar era that saw the U.S foster the founding of the U.N. and entering what may be a prewar period of global disorder.

who shot john – Google Search

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Churchill’s definition of Russia still rings true

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The Kremlin has given the West little cause for reassurance.

In recent weeks, Russia and its tycoons have displayed their sense of nationalist interest with unmistakable clarity in a manner that suggests an inherently adversarial, if not downright hostile, attitude to Western governments, interests and companies.

Robert Dudley, the chief executive of TNK-BP, the joint venture between BP and wealthy Russian-connected shareholders, left Russia because of complications with his work visa. Those problems coincided mysteriously – and, for the Russian side, conveniently – with broader disputes about the company’s investment policies and senior personnel appointments.

Since leaving, Dudley has been trying to run the company from somewhere outside Russia, even though his partners in the joint venture no longer recognize him as chief executive. BP accused them of enlisting state agencies to pursue their battle – a familiar combination of commercial and government forces in Russia’s quest to restrict foreign influence in its oil industry.

At around the same time, Russia put forward a proposal to NATO for a new treaty that would subsume NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe into a new security architecture designed by the Kremlin to reflect Russia’s re-emergence as a power on the global stage. There were reports, too, that Russia planned to renationalize part of its huge grain exports, raising concerns that Moscow would add food to its armory of economic and diplomatic weapons alongside state-dominated gas, oil and arms exports.

As indicators of Russia’s sense of national interest, those events sent out clear signals: after the chaos and decline of the Yeltsin era in the 1990s, the Kremlin was flexing economic and diplomatic muscle in pursuit of influence and wealth.

But there was an equally clear flip side, a mirror-image of the West’s readiness to cast Moscow in the role of villain and spoiler.

From Russia’s viewpoint, NATO has been a meddlesome force, extending influence within what used to be the Soviet fief, a sense of encroachment magnified by the U.S. plan to station anti-missile defenses in the Czech Republic and Poland.

That rankles with Moscow. Imperial memory is a powerful force, instilling a yearning for lost glories and an urge for new modes of influence, acknowledgment and respect.

It should surprise no one that, once the Kremlin made a strategic decision under Putin to reassert control over its own energy resources, outsiders would have a hard time navigating the oil and gas business that gives the Moscow elite control over such massive wealth and power.

There is a sense, too, that by projecting itself as a pole of opposition to Western plans, Moscow is offering itself as an alternate, a counterweight and an equal player, defining itself quite deliberately as the West’s muscular opposite, as much the “other” as in 1939.

Sometimes that divide takes on the trappings of a redefined cold war. Moscow maintains as many secret agents in Britain as it did in the hey-day of Soviet intelligence-gathering, according to the British security services. After the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer, in London in 2006, Britain and Russia expelled four of each other’s embassy personnel. Each side has accused the other of conducting unacceptable espionage.

On a more ominous scale, Putin himself compared the American plan for a missile shield in Eastern Europe to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and threatened to turn Russian missiles against new European targets.

But the power these days lies in pipelines, not warheads. Russia provides an increasingly significant proportion of Europe’s natural gas supplies and controls the pipeline network that distributes it.

Europe is the prime market for Russia’s gas, a font not only of burgeoning revenue but also of vital technology and investment to broaden and develop Russia’s economy. That should give the West some leverage: by instilling trepidation among potential western partners, Moscow jeopardizes its access to the West’s technology.

Yet, European divisions over dealings with Moscow leave the West vulnerable to the Kremlin’s manipulation.

Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, was asked the other day what suggestions he would offer to companies planning to do business in Russia.

“My advice,” he said, “would be: tread with caution.”

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Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory

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James Clapper intelligence NSAJames Clapper. AP

  • The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said an assessment by the US intelligence community on Russia’s US election interference “cast doubt” on President Donald Trump’s legitimacy.
  • Clapper’s comments follow an avalanche of recent news about Russia’s efforts to sway American voters in 2016.
  • The Russia investigation has gained significant momentum in recent weeks, with several current and former Trump insiders under scrutiny for their ties to, and contacts with Russian operatives.

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said Friday that the US intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election “cast doubt on the legitimacy” of President Donald Trump’s victory.

“Our intelligence community assessment did serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory in the election,” Clapper said of Trump in a CNN interview Friday evening.

“I think that, above all else, is what concerned him, and I think that transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process which, by the way, is going to continue,” Clapper said.

Watch the segment below:

It was the most direct assertion about the effects Russian operatives had in the US election — the investigation of which has evolved exponentially in the last four months under special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the Russia probe on behalf of the US Justice Department.

Mueller and his investigators have focused on several people close to Trump who have ties to, or have made contact with, the Kremlin — including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and others. Information gleaned from US government surveillance of Manafort prompted concerns that he had encouraged Russians to “help with the campaign,” according to a CNN report on Monday.

Paul ManafortPaul Manafort. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Kremlin operatives reportedly bragged about trying to use people close to Trump — like Flynn, Manafort, and former foreign-policy adviser Carter Page — to make inroads with the campaign.

And Donald Trump Jr. became the subject of heavy scrutiny in July when it was discovered that he, along with Manafort and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner attended a meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who promised to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Russia’s efforts to sway the US election were further revealed this month when Facebook announced that Russian-associated Facebook accounts had purchased $100,000 in ads during the election. The ads were used to target voters in some battleground states.

Donald TrumpDonald Trump. Alex Wong/Getty Images

A soft spot for Trump

Clapper’s assertion that Russia’s activities cast doubt on Trump’s legitimacy will likely strike a nerve with the president. Aides and allies have said previously that Trump’s ire toward the Russia investigation stems from that exact notion that Russia’s meddling potentially diminishes his November 2016 victory.

Trump himself is a subject of Mueller’s investigation for possible obstruction of justice, for his part in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Trump has said that he had the Russia probe in mind when he made his decision, and later said that firing Comey took “great pressure” off of him in the investigation.

To date, neither Trump nor anyone subject to Mueller’s investigation has been accused of any wrongdoing, and Trump has denied the same.

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton. Screenshot via CNN

For her part, Clinton has made crystal clear whom she blames for Russia’s interference.

In an interview with USA Today published Monday, Clinton said she thought some Trump associates had an “understanding” that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted her to lose and Trump to win.

“There certainly was communication, and there certainly was an understanding of some sort,” Clinton said.

“And there’s no doubt in my mind that there are a tangle of financial relationships between Trump and his operation with Russian money,” Clinton said, adding that she was confident the Trump campaign “worked really hard to hide their connections with Russians.”

The federal government told election officials in 21 states on Friday that hackers had tried to break into their systems before the 2016 election, The Associated Press reported.

Key battleground states like Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were among those targeted, the report said. The AP said the government did not specify who the hackers were, but election officials in several affected states told the news wire service that the attempts were linked to Russia.

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JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of … – Business Insider

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Business Insider
JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of …
Business Insider
… intelligence community on Russia’s US election interference “cast doubt” on President Donald Trump’s legitimacy. Clapper’s comments follow an avalanche of recent news about Russia’s efforts to sway American voters in 2016. The Russia investigation and more »

Trump Doubles Down On Criticism of Kim Jong Un During Alabama Rally

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The newest attack was just the latest in a back and forth feud between the president and the North Korean leader.

Senate has obtained Donald Trump’s Russian money laundering records 

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In addition to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s far reaching investigation into all of Donald Trump’s various past and present criminal activities, a number of congressional committees are also investigating various aspects of Trump’s connections to Russia. Just before Trump entered the election, his Taj Mahal casino paid a multimillion dollar fine for money laundering violations. Now we have confirmation that one Senate committee has in fact obtained those damning records.

On behalf of the Senate Finance Committee, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden requested the money laundering records from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which levied the penalty against Trump’s casino in the first place. According to CNN, FinCEN’s response to Wyden is that it has already provided the records to the Senate Intelligence Committee (link). This is crucial because it gives us a definitive answer after a prolonged battle between Senate Intel and Trump’s Treasury Department.

What this means is that the Senate, or at least the Senate Intel Committee, now has access to the confidential records which provide the details of Trump’s casino’s money laundering bust. Thus far the only publicly available information regarding that bust is largely limited to what was contained in FinCEN’s original press release (link), which is that the violations went back several years to when Donald Trump still had a significant ownership stake in the Taj Mahal. No mention was made of whowas laundering money in Trump’s casino. Was this how the Russians were funneling money into Trump’s hands ahead of the election?

This comes even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is knee deep into his own investigation into Donald Trump’s various criminal activities past and present. Considering that Mueller has added multiple prosecutors to his team with expertise in money laundering, it seems nearly a given that he’s also aggressively pursuing Trump’s financial crimes.

The post Senate has obtained Donald Trump’s Russian money laundering records appeared first on Palmer Report.

US States Say Voting Systems Were Targeted By Russian Hackers – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
US States Say Voting Systems Were Targeted By Russian Hackers
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
… battleground states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, and Minnesota, where Democraticcandidate Hillary Clinton lost in some cases by only a few thousand votes to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, were among those that blamed Russian hackers.
Trump calls Facebook ad controversy part of ‘Russia hoax’ as he says ‘screaming’ biased media tried to tilt election …Daily Mail
Russian hackers targeted Florida, 20 other states in 2016 electionThe Sun Heraldall 171 news articles »

Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty to call out Trump as danger to others

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Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty to call out Trump as danger to others

There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial thanThe Dangerous Case of Donald Trumpthe work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had come together last March at a conference at Yale University to wrestle with two questions. One was on countless minds across the country: “What’s wrong with him?” The second was directed to their own code of ethics: “Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty to Warn” if they conclude the president to be dangerously unfit?

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As mental health professionals, these men and women respect the long-standing “Goldwater rule” which inhibits them from diagnosing public figures whom they have not personally examined. At the same time, as explained by Dr. Bandy X Lee, who teaches law and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, the rule does not have a countervailing rule that directs what to do when the risk of harm from remaining silent outweighs the damage that could result from speaking about a public figure — “which in this case, could even be the greatest possible harm.” It is an old and difficult moral issue that requires a great exertion of conscience. Their decision: “We respect the rule, we deem it subordinate to the single most important principle that guides our professional conduct: that we hold our responsibility to human life and well-being as paramount.”

Hence, this profound, illuminating and discomforting book undertaken as “a duty to warn.”

The foreword is by one of America’s leading psychohistorians, Robert Jay Lifton. He is renowned for his studies of people under stress — for books such as Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (1967), Home from the War: Vietnam Veterans — Neither Victims nor Executioners (1973), and The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide(1986). The Nazi Doctors was the first in-depth study of how medical professionals rationalized their participation in the Holocaust, from the early stages of the Hitler’s euthanasia project to extermination camps.

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump will be published Oct. 3 by St. Martin’s Press.

Here is my interview with Robert Jay Lifton — Bill Moyers


Bill Moyers: This book is a withering exploration of Donald Trump’s mental state. Aren’t you and the 26 other mental health experts who contribute to it in effect violating the Goldwater Rule? Section 7.3 of the American Psychiatrist Association’s code of ethics flatly says: “It is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on a public figure] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization.” Are you putting your profession’s reputation at risk?

Robert Jay Lifton: I don’t think so. I think the Goldwater Rule is a little ambiguous. We adhere to that portion of the Goldwater Rule that says we don’t see ourselves as making a definitive diagnosis in a formal way and we don’t believe that should be done, except by hands-on interviewing and studying of a person. But we take issue with the idea that therefore we can say nothing about Trump or any other public figure. We have a perfect right to offer our opinion, and that’s where “duty to warn” comes in.

Moyers: Duty to warn?

Lifton: We have a duty to warn on an individual basis if we are treating someone who may be dangerous to herself or to others — a duty to warn people who are in danger from that person. We feel it’s our duty to warn the country about the danger of this president. If we think we have learned something about Donald Trump and his psychology that is dangerous to the country, yes, we have an obligation to say so. That’s why Judith Herman and I wrote our letter to The New York Times. We argue that Trump’s difficult relationship to reality and his inability to respond in an evenhanded way to a crisis renders him unfit to be president, and we asked our elected representative to take steps to remove him from the presidency.

Moyers: Yet some people argue that our political system sets no intellectual or cognitive standards for being president, and therefore, the ordinary norms of your practice as a psychiatrist should stop at the door to the Oval Office.

Lifton: Well, there are people who believe that there should be a standard psychiatric examination for every presidential candidate and for every president. But these are difficult issues because they can’t ever be entirely psychiatric. They’re inevitably political as well. I personally believe that ultimately ridding the country of a dangerous president or one who’s unfit is ultimately a political matter, but that psychological professionals can contribute in valuable ways to that decision.

Moyers: Do you recall that there was a comprehensive study of all 37 presidents up to 1974? Half of them reportedly had a diagnosable mental illness, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It’s not normal people who always make it to the White House.

Lifton: Yes, that’s amazing, and I’m sure it’s more or less true. So people with what we call mental illness can indeed serve well, and people who have no discernible mental illness — and that may be true of Trump — may not be able to serve, may be quite unfit. So it isn’t always the question of a psychiatric diagnosis. It’s really a question of what psychological and other traits render one unfit or dangerous.

Moyers: You write in the foreword of the book: “Because Trump is president and operates within the broad contours and interactions of the presidency, there is a tendency to view what he does as simply part of our democratic process, that is, as politically and even ethically normal.”

Lifton: Yes. And that’s what I call malignant normality. What we put forward as self-evident and normal may be deeply dangerous and destructive. I came to that idea in my work on the psychology of Nazi doctors — and I’m not equating anybody with Nazi doctors, but it’s the principle that prevails — and also with American psychologists who became architects of CIA torture during the Iraq War era. These are forms of malignant normality. For example, Donald Trump lies repeatedly. We may come to see a president as liar as normal. He also makes bombastic statements about nuclear weapons, for instance, which can then be seen as somehow normal. In other words, his behavior as president, with all those who defend his behavior in the administration, becomes a norm. We have to contest it, because it is malignantnormality. For the contributors to this book, this means striving to be witnessing professionals, confronting the malignancy and making it known.

Moyers: Witnessing professionals? Where did this notion come from?

Lifton: I first came to it in terms of psychiatrists assigned to Vietnam, way back then. If a soldier became anxious and enraged about the immorality of the Vietnam War, he might be sent to a psychiatrist who would be expected to help him be strong enough to return to committing atrocities. So there was something wrong in what professionals were doing, and some of us had to try to expose this as the wrong and manipulative use of our profession. We had to see ourselves as witnessing professionals. And then of course, with the Nazi doctors I studied for another book — doctors assigned, say, to Auschwitz — they were expected to do selections of Jews for the gas chamber. That was what was expected of them and what for the most part they did — sometimes with some apprehension, but they did it. So that’s another malignant normality. Professionals were reduced to being automatic servants of the existing regime as opposed to people with special knowledge balanced by a moral baseline as well as the scientific information to make judgments.

Moyers: And that should apply to journalists, lawyers, doctors —

Professor Robert Jay Lifton, photographed at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rick Friedman ©2003)

Lifton: Absolutely. One bears witness by taking in the situation — in this case, its malignant nature — and then telling one’s story about it, in this case with the help of professional knowledge, so that we add perspective on what’s wrong, rather than being servants of the powers responsible for the malignant normality. We must be people with a conscience in a very fundamental way.

Moyers: And this is what troubled you and many of your colleagues about the psychologists who helped implement the US policy of torture after 9/11.

Lifton: Absolutely. And I call that a scandal within a scandal, because yes, it was indeed professionals who became architects of torture, and their professional society, the American Psychological Association, which encouraged and protected them until finally protest from within that society by other members forced a change. So that was a dreadful moment in the history of psychology and in the history of professionals in this country.

Moyers: Some of the descriptions used to describe Trump — narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, delusional disorder, malignant narcissist — even some have suggested early forms of dementia — are difficult for lay people to grasp. Some experts say that it’s not one thing that’s wrong with him — there are a lot of things wrong with him and together they add up to what one of your colleagues calls “a scary witches brew, a toxic stew.”

Lifton: I think that’s very accurate. I agree that there’s an all-enveloping destructiveness in his character and in his psychological tendencies. But I’ve focused on what professionally I call solipsistic reality. Solipsistic reality means that the only reality he’s capable of embracing has to do with his own self and the perception by and protection of his own self. And for a president to be so bound in this isolated solipsistic reality could not be more dangerous for the country and for the world. In that sense, he does what psychotics do. Psychotics engage in, or frequently engage in a view of reality based only on the self. He’s not psychotic, but I think ultimately this solipsistic reality will be the source of his removal from the presidency.

Moyers: What’s your take on how he makes increasingly bizarre statements that are contradicted by irrefutable evidence to the contrary, and yet he just keeps on making them? I know some people in your field call this a delusional disorder, a profound loss of contact with external reality.

Lifton: He doesn’t have clear contact with reality, though I’m not sure it qualifies as a bona fide delusion. He needs things to be a certain way even though they aren’t, and that’s one reason he lies. There can also be a conscious manipulative element to it. When he put forward, and politically thrived on, the falsehood of President Obama’s birth in Kenya, outside the United States, he was manipulating that lie as well as undoubtedly believing it in part, at least in a segment of his personality. In my investigations, I’ve found that people can believe and not believe something at the same time, and in his case, he could be very manipulative and be quite gifted at his manipulations. So I think it’s a combination of those.

Moyers: How can someone believe and not believe at the same time?

Lifton: Well, in one part of himself, Trump can know there’s no evidence that Obama was born in any place but Hawaii in the United States. But in another part of himself, he has the need to reject Obama as a president of the United States by asserting that he was born outside of the country. He needs to delegitimate Obama. That’s been a strong need of Trump’s. This is a personal, isolated solipsistic need which can coexist with a recognition that there’s no evidence at all to back it up. I learned about this from some of the false confessions I came upon in my work.

Moyers: Where?

Lifton: For instance, when I was studying Chinese communist thought reform, one priest was falsely accused of being a spy, and was under physical duress — really tortured with chains and in other intolerable ways. As he was tortured and the interrogator kept insisting that he was a spy, he began to imagine himself in the role of a spy, with spy radios in all the houses of his order. In his conversations with other missionaries he began to think he was revealing military data to the enemy in some way. These thoughts became real to him because he had to entered into them and convinced the interrogator that he believed them in order to remove the chains and the torture. He told me it seemed like someone creating a novel and the novelist building a story with characters which become real and believable. Something like that could happen to Trump, in which the false beliefs become part of a panorama, all of which is fantasy and very often bound up with conspiracy theory, so that he immerses himself in it and believing in it even as at the same time recognizing in another part of his mind that none of this exists. The human mind can do that.

Moyers: It’s as if he believes the truth is defined by his words.

Lifton: Yes, that’s right. Trump has a mind that in many ways is always under duress, because he’s always seeking to be accepted, loved. He sees himself as constantly victimized by others and by the society, from which he sees himself as fighting back. So there’s always an intensity to his destructive behavior that could contribute to his false beliefs.

Moyers: Do you remember when he tweeted that President Obama had him wiretapped, despite the fact that the intelligence community couldn’t find any evidence to support his claim? And when he spoke to a CIA gathering, with the television cameras running, he said he was “a thousand percent behind the CIA,” despite the fact that everyone watching had to know he had repeatedly denounced the “incompetence and dishonesty” of that same intelligence community.

Lifton: Yes, that’s an extraordinary situation. And one has to invoke here this notion of a self-determined truth, this inner need for the situation to take shape in the form that the falsehood claims. In a sense this takes precedence over any other criteria for what is true.

Moyers: What other hazardous patterns do you see in his behavior? For example, what do you make of the admiration that he has expressed for brutal dictators — Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the late Saddam Hussein of Iraq, even Kim Jong Un of North Korea — yes, him — and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who turned vigilantes loose to kill thousands of drug users, and of course his admiration for Vladimir Putin. In the book Michael Tansey says, “There’s considerable evidence to suggest that absolute tyranny is Donald Trump’s wet dream.”

Lifton: Yes. Well, while Trump doesn’t have any systematic ideology, he does have a narrative, and in that narrative, America was once a great country, it’s been weakened by poor leadership, and only he can make it great again by taking over. And that’s an image of himself as a strongman, a dictator. It isn’t the clear ideology of being a fascist or some other clear-cut ideological figure. Rather, it’s a narrative of himself as being unique and all-powerful. He believes it, though I’m sure he’s got doubts about it. But his narrative in a sense calls forth other strongmen, other dictators who run their country in an absolute way and don’t have to bother with legislative division or legal issues.

Moyers: I suspect some elected officials sometimes dream of doing what an unopposed autocrat or strongman is able to do, and that’s demand adulation on the one hand, and on the other hand, eradicate all of your perceived enemies just by turning your thumb down to the crowd. No need to worry about “fake media” — you’ve had them done away with. No protesters. No confounding lawsuits against you. Nothing stands in your way.

Lifton: That’s exactly right. Trump gives the impression that he would like to govern by decree. And of course, who governs by decree but dictators or strongmen? He has that impulse in him and he wants to be a savior, so he says, in his famous phrase, “Only I can fix it!” That’s a strange and weird statement for anybody to make, but it’s central to Trump’s sense of self and self-presentation. And I think that has a lot to do with his identification with dictators. No matter how many they kill and no matter what else they do, they have this capacity to rule by decree without any interference by legislators or courts.

In the case of Putin, I think Trump does have involvements in Russia that are in some way determinative. I think they’ll be important in his removal from office. I think he’s aware of collusion on his part and his campaign’s, some of which has been brought out, a lot more of which will be brought out in the future. He appears to have had some kind of involvement with the Russians in which they’ve rescued him financially and maybe continue to do so, so that he’s beholden to them in ways for which there’s already lots of evidence. So I think his fierce impulse to cover up any kind of Russian connections, which is prone to obstruction of justice, will do him in.

Moyers: I want to ask you about another side of him that is taken up in the book. It involves the much-discussed video that appeared during the campaign last year which had been made a decade or so ago when Trump was newly married. He sees this actress outside his bus and he says, “I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” and then we hear sounds of Tic Tacs before Trump continues. “You know,” he says, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet, just kiss, I don’t even wait.” And then you can hear him boasting off camera, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the…. You can do anything.”

Lifton: In addition to being a strongman and a dictator, there’s a pervasive sense of entitlement. Whatever he wants, whatever he needs in his own mind, he can have. It’s a kind of American celebrity gone wild, but it’s also a vicious anti-female perspective and a caricature of male macho. That’s all present in Trump as well as the solipsism that I mentioned earlier, and that’s why when people speak of him as all-pervasive on many different levels of destructiveness, they’re absolutely right.

Moyers: And it seems to extend deeply into his relationship with his own family. There’s a chapter in The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump with the heading, “Trump’s Daddy Issues.” There’s several of his quotes about his daughter, Ivanka. He said, “You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody, and I helped create her? Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall. She’s got the best body.”

Again: “I said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” Ivanka was 22 at the time. To a reporter he said: “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married — and, you know, her father…”

When Howard Stern, the radio host, started to say, “By the way, your daughter —” Trump interrupted him with “She’s beautiful.” Stern continued, “Can I say this? A piece of ass.” To which Trump replied, “Yeah.” What’s going on here?

Lifton: In addition to everything else and the extreme narcissism that it represents, it’s a kind of unbridled sense of saying anything on one’s mind as well as an impulse to break down all norms because he is the untouchable celebrity. So just as he is the one man who can fix things for the country, he can have every woman or anything else that he wants, or abuse them in any way he seeks to.

Moyers: You mentioned extreme narcissism. I’m sure you knew Erich Fromm —

Lifton: Yes, I did.

Moyers: — one of the founders of humanistic psychology. He was a Holocaust survivor who had a lifelong obsession with the psychology of evil. And he said that he thought “malignant narcissism” was the most severe pathology — “the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity.” Do you think malignant narcissism goes a long way to explain Trump?

Lifton: I do think it goes a long way. In early psychoanalytic thought, narcissism was — and still, of course, is — self-love. The early psychoanalysts used to talk of libido directed at the self. That now feels a little quaint, that kind of language. But it does include the most fierce and self-displaying form of one’s individual self. And in this way, it can be dangerous. When you look at Trump, you can really see someone who’s destructive to any form of life enhancement in virtually every area. And if that’s what Fromm means by malignant narcissism, then it definitely applies.

Moyers: You said earlier that Trump and his administration have brought about a kind of malignant normalcy — that a dangerous president can become normalized. When the Democrats make a deal with him, as they did recently, are they edging him a little closer to being accepted despite this record of bizarre behavior?

Lifton: We are normalizing him when the Democrats make a deal with him. But there’s a profound ethical issue here and it’s not easily answered. If something is good for the country — perhaps the deal that the Democrats are making with Donald Trump is seen or could be understood by most as good for the country, dealing with the debt crisis — is that worth doing even though it normalizes him? If the Democrats do go ahead with this deal, they should take steps to make clear that they’re opposing other aspects of his presidency and of him.

Moyers: There’s a chapter in the book entitled, “He’s Got the World in His Hands and His Finger on the Trigger.” Do you ever imagine him sitting alone in his office, deciding on a potentially catastrophic course of action for the nation? Say, with five minutes to decide whether or not to unleash thermonuclear weapons?

Lifton: I do. And like many, I’m deeply frightened by that possibility. It’s said very often that, OK, there are people around him who can contain him and restrain him. I’m not so sure they always can or would. In any case, it’s not unlikely that he could seek to create some kind of crisis, if he found himself in a very bad light in relation to public opinion and close to removal from office. So yes, I share that fear and I think it’s a real danger. I think we have to constantly keep it in mind, be ready to anticipate it and take whatever action we can against it. The American president has particular power. This makes Trump the most dangerous man in the world. He’s equally dangerous because of his finger on the nuclear trigger and because of his mind ensconced in solipsistic reality. The two are a dreadful combination.

Moyers: One of your colleagues writes in the book, “Sociopathic traits may be amplified as the leader discovers that he can violate the norms of civil society and even commit crimes with impunity. And the leader who rules through fear, lies and betrayal may become increasingly isolated and paranoid as the loyalty of even his closest confidants must forever be suspect.” Does that sound like Trump?

Lifton: It’s already happening. We see that it’s harder and harder to work for him. It’s hard enough even for his spokesperson to affirm his falsehoods. These efforts are not too convincing and they become less convincing from the radius outward, in which people removed from his immediate circle find it still more difficult to believe him and the American public finds it more difficult. He still can appeal to his base because in his base there is a narrative of grievance that centers on embracing Trump without caring too much about whether what he says is true or false. He somehow fits into their narrative. But that can’t go on forever, and he’s losing some of his formerly loyal supporters as well. So he is becoming more isolated. That has its own dangers, but it’s inevitable that it would happen with a man like this as his falsehoods are contested.

Moyers: You bring up his base. Those true believers aren’t the only ones who voted for him. As we are talking, I keep thinking: Here we have a man who kept asking what’s the point of having thermonuclear weapons if we cannot use them; who advocates using torture or worse against our prisoners of war; who urged that five innocent young people here in New York, black young people, be given the death penalty for a sexual assault, even after it was proven someone else had committed the crime; who boasted about his ability to get away with sexually assaulting women because of his celebrity and power; who urged his followers at political rallies to punch protesters in the face and beat them so badly that they have to be taken out on stretchers; who suggested that maybe some of his followers might want to assassinate his political rival, Hillary Clinton, if she were elected president, or at the very least, throw her in prison; who believes he would not lose voters if he stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot someone. And over 63 million people voted to elect that man president!

Lifton: Yes, that’s a deeply troubling truth. And I doubt the people who voted for him were thinking about any of these things. What they were really responding to was a call for change, a sense that he was connecting with them in ways that others never had, that he would express and represent their interests, and that he would indeed make this country one dominated again by white people, in some cases white supremacists. But as you say, these people who embraced that narrative unquestioningly are a lesser minority than the ones who voted for him. And of course, he still didn’t win the popular vote. But it’s true — something has gone wrong with our democratic system in electing a man with all these characteristics that make up Donald Trump. Now we have to struggle to sustain the functional institutions of our democracy against his assault on them. I don’t think he’ll succeed in breaking them down, but he’s doing a lot of harm and it’ll take a lot of effort on the part of a lot of people to sustain them and to keep the democracy going, even in its faltering way.

Moyers: He still has the support of 80 percent of Republican voters — 4 out of 5. And it seems the Republican Party will tolerate him as long as they’re afraid of the intensity of his followers.

Lifton: Yes, and that’s another very disturbing thought. Things there could change quickly too. What I sense is that the whole situation is chaotic and volatile, so that any time now there could be further pronouncements, further information about Russia and about obstruction of justice, or another attempt of Trump to start firing people, including Mueller, and that this would create a constitutional crisis which would create more pressure on Republicans and everybody else. So even though that is an awful truth about the Republicans’ hypocrisy in continuing to support him, that could change, I think, almost overnight if the new information were sufficiently damning to Trump and his administration.

Moyers: Let’s talk about the “Trump Effect” on the country. One aspect of it was the increase in bullying in schools caused by the rhetoric used by Trump during the campaign. But it goes beyond that.

Lifton: I think Trump has had a very strong and disturbing effect on the country already. He has given more legitimacy to white supremacy and even to neo-fascist groups, and he’s created a pervasive atmosphere that’s more vague but still significant. I don’t believe that he can in his own way destroy the country, just as he can’t eliminate climate awareness, but he can go a long way in bringing — well, in stimulating what has always been a potential.

You mentioned Erich Fromm. I met him through [the sociologist] David Riesman. David Riesman was a close friend, a great authority on American society. He emphasized how there’s always an underbelly in American society of extreme conservatism and reactionary response, and when there’s any kind of progressive movement, there’s likely to be a backlash of reaction to it. Trump is very much in that backlash to any kind of progressive achievement or even decent situation in society. He is stimulating feelings that are potential and latent in our society, but very real, and rendering them more active and more dangerous. And in that way, he’s having a very harmful effect that I think mounts every single day.

Moyers: Some people who have known Trump for years say he’s gotten dramatically worse since he was inaugurated. In the prologue to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, Dr. Judith Lewis Herman writes this: “Fostered by the flattery of underlings and the chants of crowds, a political leader’s grandiosity may morph into grotesque delusions of grandeur.” Does that —

Lifton: That’s absolutely true. It’s absolutely true. And for anyone with these traits — of feeling himself victimized, of seeking to be the strongman who resolves everything, yet sees truth only through his own self and negates all other truth outside of it — is bound to become much more malignant when he has power. That’s what Judith Herman is saying, and she’s absolutely right. Power then breeds an intensification of all this because the power can never be absolute power — to some extent it’s stymied — but the isolation while in power becomes even more dangerous. Think of it as a vicious circle. The power intensifies these tendencies and the tendencies become more dangerous because of the power.

Moyers: But suppose that if Donald Trump is crazy, as some have said, he’s crazy like a fox, which is to say all this bizarre behavior is really clever strategy to mislead, distract and deceive others into responding in precisely the manner that he wants them to.

Lifton: I don’t think that’s quite true. I think that it’s partly true. As I said before, Trump both disbelieves and believes in falsehoods, so that when he did thrive on his longstanding and perhaps most egregious falsehood — the claim that Obama was not born in the United States — he’s crazy like a fox in manipulating it because it gave him his political entrée onto the national stage — and also, incidentally, was not rejected by many leading Republicans. So he was crazy like a fox in that case. But it’s more extreme even than that. In order to make your falsehoods powerful, you have to believe in them in some extent. And that’s why we simplify things if we say that Trump either believes nothing in his falsehoods and is just manipulating us like a fox or he completely believes them. Neither is true. The combination of both and his talent as a manipulator and falsifier are very much at issue.

Moyers: You may not remember it, but you and I talked l6 years ago this very week — a few days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. ll — and PBS had asked me to go on the air to talk to a variety of people about their response to those atrocities.

Lifton: I haven’t forgotten it, Bill.

Moyers: And in our discussion, we talked about your book, Destroying the World to Save It, about that extremist Japanese religious cult aum shinrikyo that released sarin nerve gas in Tokyo subways, you compared their ideology to Osama bin Laden: “He wanted to destroy a major part of the world to purify the world. There was in this idea, or his ideology, a sense of renewal.” We saw it in that Japanese cult. So the issue I am getting at is that such an aspiration can take hold of any true believer — the desire to purify the world no matter the cost.

Lifton: It is a very dangerous aspiration, and it’s not absent from the Trump presidency, although I don’t think it’s his central theme. I think it’s a central theme in Steve Bannon, for instance, who is an apocalyptic character and really wants to bring down most of advanced society as we know it, most of civilization as we know it, in order to recreate it in his image. I think Trump has some attraction to that, just as he had attraction to Bannon as a person and as a thinker, and that influence is by no means over. He’s still in touch with Bannon. So there is this apocalyptic influence in the Trumpean presidency: The world is destroyed in order to be purified and renewed in the ideal way that is projected by a Steve Bannon. And there is a sense of that when Trump says we’ll make America great again, because he says it’s been destroyed, he will remake it. So there is an apocalyptic suggestion, but I don’t think it’s at the very heart of his presidency.

Moyers: So our challenge is?

Lifton: I always feel we have to work both outside and inside of our existing institutions, so we have to really be careful about who we vote for and examine carefully our institutions and what they’re meant to do and how they’re being violated. I also think we need movements from below that oppose what this administration and administrations like it are doing to ordinary people. And for those of us who contributed to this book — well, as I said earlier, we have to be “witnessing professionals” and fulfill our duty to warn.

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Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty call out Trump as danger to others – Raw Story

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Raw Story
Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty call out Trump as danger to others
Raw Story
There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial thanThe Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had come and more »

Donald Trump’s attorney fees in Russia scandal are being paid for by a Kremlin oligarch 

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Earlier this week a curious storyline emerged: the Republican National Committee was paying Donald Trump’s attorney fees in the Russia scandal for no apparent reason. Now the other shoe has dropped, and it’s become clear why the RNC has been willing to shovel six figures worth of money in Trump’s direction: the money is being funneled through the RNC to Trump by way of a Kremlin oligarch.

Len Blavatnik was born in Ukraine, raised in Russia, and now has dual U.S. citizenship – but he’s a Kremlin oligarch who makes his money by doing business with his fellow Kremlin oligarchs. According to the Wall Street Journal, he’s donating money to the RNC legal fund, which is in turn being funneled to Donald Trump’s Russia attorneys (link). Because of the dual citizenship, Blavatnik’s donations to American political entities are technically legal, but in practical terms this reads like the Kremlin finding a way to pay Trump’s legal bills in the Russia scandal. This is not the first time Blavatnik has surfaced in this role.

Back on May 24th of this year, Palmer Report brought you the story of how Len Blavatnik had donated millions of dollars to key Republican political leaders including Mitch McConnell and Scott Walker in 2016 (link). Months later, in August, the Dallas Morning News confirmed our reporting (link). Now the same Kremlin oligarch is funneling money through the Republican National Committee to fund Donald Trump’s legal defense.

Each of Blavatnik’s largest donations just happened to go to a Republican who played a convenient role in ushering Donald Trump into office. McConnell worked behind the scenes during the election to try to prevent the Russia meddling from becoming public. Walker is the Governor of Wisconsin, a state which Trump won in nearly statistically impossible fashion. Now, after Blavatnik paid off these two politicians, he’s paying for Trump’s attorneys.

The post Donald Trump’s attorney fees in Russia scandal are being paid for by a Kremlin oligarchappeared first on Palmer Report.

Donald Trump’s attorney fees in Russia scandal are being paid for by a Kremlin oligarch Friday September 22nd, 2017 at 6:52 PM 

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Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing Friday September 22nd, 2017 at 7:45 PM Boing Boing 1 Share Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC Who’s paying for the attorneys representing President Donald Trump in the … Continue reading “Donald Trump’s attorney fees in Russia scandal are being paid for by a Kremlin oligarch Friday September 22nd, 2017 at 6:52 PM”

Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation Is Moving Really Fast. Here’s Why – TIME

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Daily Kos
Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation Is Moving Really Fast. Here’s Why
TIME
It’s hard to know what special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation is doing, but it’s clear that it’s going quickly. Experts on independent investigations, including some who have worked with them in the past, say that the former FBI director is 
House Intelligence Democrat warns Trump is ‘prepping’ his base for firing MuellerDaily Kosall 3 news articles »

blavatnik – Google Search

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V&A ‘honoured’ to get donation from Trump donor Len Blavatnik

The GuardianSep 6, 2017
“I am very honoured that [Blavatnik] supports this development … he is a supporter of arts and culture across the UK and across the world.

Story image for blavatnik from Boing Boing

Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding …

Boing Boing40 minutes ago
In April, billionaire Len Blavatnik gave $12,700 to the RNC’s legal fund, on top of donations of about $200,000 to other RNC accounts. He also …

Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

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Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC

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Who’s paying for the attorneys representing President Donald Trump in the federal probe of Russian election interference? His legal defense is in part funded through a Republican Party account with a number of rich donors. Among them are a “billionaire investor, a property developer seeking U.S. government visas and a Ukrainian-born American who has made billions of dollars doing business with Russian oligarchs,” reports the WSJ. Oh, and there’s a Rosneft connection, you Putin conspiracy hounds.

The RNC account in question has been historically used to pay for the RNC’s own legal bills, but just last month paid over $300,000 to help cover Trump’s personal legal expenses, Federal Election Commission filings reveal.

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Oh, and that same fund also paid about $200,000 to attorneys representing the President’s dumbest son, Don Jr.

From Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal,

In April, billionaire Len Blavatnik gave $12,700 to the RNC’s legal fund, on top of donations of about $200,000 to other RNC accounts. He also gave the legal fund $100,000 in 2016, according to FEC filings.

The contribution from Mr. Blavatnik came during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe of U.S. intelligence agencies’ findings of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, a month before the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to oversee its probe of Russian interference—which subsequently prompted Mr. Trump to hire a private legal team.

Moscow has denied interfering in the election. Mr. Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Russia and called the investigations a “witch hunt.”

A spokesman for Mr. Blavatnik didn’t return a request for comment. The White House referred questions to the RNC.

Mr. Blavatnik, who was born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, and moved to the U.S. in his early 20s, amassed his fortune in Russia in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He is a longtime business partner of Viktor Vekselberg, who is one of the richest men in Russia and has close ties to the Kremlin.

In 2013, Mr. Blavatnik earned billions when he, Mr. Vekselberg and two other partners sold their stake in the oil company TNK-BP to Rosneft, a Kremlin-controlled oil company.Rosneft’s chief executive is Igor Sechin, a top ally of Russian President Vladmir Putin.

During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Blavatnik through his company donated to several Republican presidential campaigns, including for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. He didn’t donate to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

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