The New Unholy Alliance and the results of the joint Russian – Chinese – German – Israeli “Operation Trump”: “It is impossible to ignore that President Trump was able to attract the support of 60 million voters.” | Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know | Trump’s Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany | Facebook scrubs Russia data from fake accounts

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The New Unholy Alliance

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“an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.” 

Deutschland über alles!!!

How the vanquished became the conquerors:

‘In Spite of It All, America’

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Since Germany’s as well as Europe’s security and affluence rest upon the current international order even as President Trump charts a different course for the United States, an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.

2. A president sui generis

It is impossible to ignore that President Trump was able to attract the support of 60 million voters. It is also true that unilateral foreign policy, protectionist moods, and periodic calls for “America First” policies have a long tradition in the United States. Still, Donald Trump is a president sui generis whose ideas about international order do not fit within the modern American politician tradition. These ideas are supported by few in the United States. His disdain for international alliances and institutions is not even shared by many in the government he leads, much less by those outside of government. Donald Trump’s positions on global order are outside the mainstream of the foreign policy expert community in the United States. It is unclear, maybe even unlikely, that his strategy of undermining the international order will ever succeed in the United States and become his country’s policy.

3. Dangerous consequences

Some analysts and political actors in Germany would like to draw far-reaching conclusions from this period of uncertainty about the direction of the United States. They endorse a strategic reorientation for Germany. Some strive to decouple Europe’s foreign and security policy from the United States. Others place their faith in a German-French mini version of Europe. Sometimes, European aspirations only disguise German nationalism as a response to American nationalism. Some recommend that Germany should focus on ad hoc coalitions or maintain equidistance between Russia and the United States. Some even recommend that Germany should go further, and align itself with Russia or China in the future.

All of these propositions are costly or dangerous — or both.

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Trump’s Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany

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BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected move to “de-certify” the international nuclear deal with Iran is driving a wedge between Europe and the United States and bringing Europeans closer to Russia and China, Germany said on Thursday.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has spoken out repeatedly against Trump’s likely step, but his latest comments aimed to spell out the impact it would have in starker terms.

“It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue,” Gabriel, a Social Democrat, told the RND German newspaper group. “We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA.”

Trump is seen unveiling a broad strategy on confronting Iran this week, likely on Friday, including a move to de-certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord, which he has called an “embarrassment” and the “worst deal ever negotiated.”

Senior U.S. officials, European allies and prominent U.S. lawmakers have told Trump that refusing to certify the deal would leave the U.S. isolated, concede the diplomatic high ground to Tehran, and ultimately risk the unraveling of the agreement.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog has repeatedly certified that Iran is adhering to restrictions on its nuclear energy program mandated by the deal to help ensure it cannot be put to developing atomic bombs.

Signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, the deal lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear work.

Germany has close economic and business ties with Russia, although relations have soured since Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Berlin is also working to expand ties with China.

Gabriel is expected to leave his post in coming months since his Social Democrats have vowed to go into opposition after slumping badly in the Sept. 24 election, opting not to reprise an awkward “grand coalition” with Merkel’s conservatives.

Gabriel on Monday urged the White House not to jeopardize the nuclear agreement, saying such a move would worsen instability in the Middle East and could make it more difficult to halt nuclear arms programs in other countries.

In the interview released on Thursday, he said the nuclear agreement was being treated “like a football” in U.S. domestic politics, but the issue could have serious consequences.

He said Russia was watching developments closely, including the divisions between Europe and the United States. “That doesn’t exactly strengthen our position in Europe.”

Ultimately, Gabriel told the newspaper group, there were only three countries – the United States, Russia and China – that could avert a new nuclear arms race.

“But those countries mistrust each other so much at the moment that they are not working together sufficiently. It must be in our interest to press for more trust.”

Reporting by Andrea Shalal

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Facebook scrubs Russia data from fake accounts

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Mark ZuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Getty

  • Facebook scrubbed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 campaign by accounts linked to Russia.
  • The removals came as a Columbia University researcher was examining their reach.
  • Facebook says the posts were removed to fix a glitch.

Facebook removed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 election by accounts linked to Russia after a Columbia University social-media researcher, Jonathan Albright, used the company’s data-analytics tool to examine the reach of the Russian accounts.

Albright, who discovered the content had reached a far broader audience than Facebook had initially acknowledged, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the data had allowed him “to at least reconstruct some of the pieces of the puzzle” of Russia’s election interference.

“Not everything, but it allowed us to make sense of some of this thing,” he said.

Facebook confirmed that the posts had been removed, but said it was because the company had fixed a glitch in the analytics tool — called CrowdTangle — that Albright had used.

“We identified and fixed a bug in CrowdTangle that allowed users to see cached information from inactive Facebook Pages,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman.

Facebook’s decision to remove the posts from public view raised questions about whether the company could be held liable for suppressing potential evidence, given its role in the wide-ranging investigation of Russia’s election interference.

Albright told Business Insider that “because this is clearly a legal and imminent justice-related matter, I can’t provide much critical insight at this stage.

“I feel like my 10 rounds with the $500 billion dollar tech juggernaut are over,” he said.

Trump computer typing laptopPresident Donald Trump. Facebook

Legal experts and scholars on the subject say scrubbing the data Albright used for his research is Facebook’s prerogative as long as it isn’t knowingly removing content sought under a court order or by government request.

“If Facebook has no reason to think that it should retain the data (subpoena, court order), then it can make choices about what appears on its platform,” said Danielle Citron, a professor of law at the University of Maryland, where she teaches and writes about information privacy.

Citron said Facebook and other private tech companies have in the past argued, successfully, that they have free-speech interests and enjoy immunity from liability for the content posted by their users — immunity that extends to their ability to remove it if it violates their terms of service.

Albert Gidari, the director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said it’s likely that Facebook has kept copies of “anything at issue as part of its preservation obligation” in light of special counsel Robert Mueller’s search warrant and the House and Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas.

Gidari said that because there hasn’t been any allegation against Facebook itself, the company has no obligation, absent a court order, to maintain information “that later may be evidence.”

But the question becomes more complicated when considering the ethical obligations of a company whose tools were exploited by a foreign adversary to try to influence a US election.

Gidari, for his part, said he doesn’t think “any platform has an independent or ethical obligation to run a research playground for third-party data analysts.”

But Tom Rubin, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, said that Facebook’s “credibility as a global social platform and its responsibility as an internet giant require it to fully embrace an independent, urgent and public review of the facts.”

“Facebook’s Russia predicament is of its own doing — it controls the platform, runs the ads, and profits mightily,” said Rubin, who previously served as the assistant US Attorney in New York heading investigations and prosecutions of computer crimes.

“The investigation here is as serious as it gets: illegal and hostile foreign influence on the US presidential election,” Rubin said. “The issue confronting Facebook is the extent to which it should commit to complete transparency, and the answer to that is straightforward.”

Citron agreed.

“For transparency’s sake and for our broader interest in our democracy, people should know the extent to which they have been played by the Russians and how a hostile state actor has interfered with, manipulated, and generally hacked our political process,” she said.

That is what Albright said was his mission when he downloaded the last 500 posts shared by six accounts that Facebook has confirmed were operating out of Russia. Those accounts — Blacktivists, Being Patriotic, Secured Borders, Heart of Texas, LGBT United, and Muslims of America — were among the 470 pages Facebook shut down in September as part of its purge of “inauthentic accounts” linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

The data Albright obtained using CrowdTangle showed that the Russians’ reach far exceeded the number of Facebook users they were able to access with advertisements alone — content including memes, links, and other miscellaneous postings was shared over 340 million times between the six accounts.

The other 464 accounts closed by Facebook have not yet been made public. If they are, an analysis of their combined posts would likely reveal that their content was shared an estimated billions of times during the election.

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Germany′s Sigmar Gabriel warns Donald Trump: revoking Iran deal could push EU to Russia and China | News | DW

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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday said that any move by US President Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal would drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

“It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue,” Gabriel told Germany’s RND newspaper group. “We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA.”

Read more: What is the Iran nuclear deal?

Despite countless warnings from global leaders and even from within his own administration, Trump is expected on Friday to unveil a new strategy on confronting Iran, which would include “de-certifying” Iran’s compliance to the nuclear accord.  The deal, which was reached in 2015 between Iran and international powers, saw international sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program lifted in exchange for Tehran dismantling its nuclear program.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog has repeatedly certified that Iran has been adhering to the restrictions imposed by the accord. Trump, however, has decried Iran for violating “the spirit” of the deal, first by backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and then by test firing its newly-developed non-nuclear ballistic missiles.

“The big drama is that the Iran agreement could turn out to be a pawn in American domestic politics,” Gabriel said. Washington wants the agreement to ensure that Iran ceases to fuel conflicts such as in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen. But Gabriel said this could not be a condition for Iran to remain free of nuclear weapons.

Trump has until Sunday to inform Congress whether he believes Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement. Should Trump de-certify Tehran’s compliance, Congress will have to decide within 60 days what new sanctions to impose on Iran.

A ‘hot crisis’ region

Several EU and US officials have warned that Trump’s refusal to certify the deal could leave the US diplomatically isolated. Germany has historically close economic and business ties with Russia, although those have soured in recent years following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Berlin, and Gabriel in particular, have also been working to boost relations with China.

Read more: Berlin sees opportunity to strengthen trade ties with China

“A denunciation of the Iran agreement would turn the Middle East into a hot crisis region,” Gabriel warned, adding that if Iran were to resume developing nuclear weapons, then “the immediate danger of a new war” would return, with Israel potentially involved.

“It would be a devastating signal for nuclear disarmament,” Gabriel said. “Some states might see the failure of the Iran agreement as a signal to arm themselves with nuclear weapons as soon as possible.”

Gabriel’s potential successor weighs in

Gabriel is expected to stand down from his post in the coming months, after his Social Democratic Party (SPD) announced that it would go into opposition after finishing second behind Chancellor Angela Merkel Christian Democrats in last month’s federal election.

One of the candidates widely tipped to succeed him as top diplomat, Green party leader Cem Özdemir, also warned on Twitter against a nuclear arms race and said that Saudi Arabia could even become a new nuclear power in the region.

dm/bk (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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· ·

Russian hackers ‘used Pokemon Go as part of attempts to meddle in US election’

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Russian cyber experts created a Pokemon Go game as part of their attempts to meddle with the US election, according to an investigation by CNN.

Under the banner of Don’t Shoot Us, a collective that seemed to share the aims of Black Lives Matter but which is now believed to be run by Russians, the game was created to inspire online participants.

Users could visit sites where police brutality had been recorded, and were encouraged to give their Pokemon characters names of real-life victims, such as Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island.

The winner of the Pokemon contest would receive an Amazon gift card, the Don’t Shoot Us site said.

CNN said it had no evidence of anyone actually claiming the prize.

“It’s clear from the images shared with us by CNN that our game assets were appropriated and misused in promotions by third parties without our permission,” Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, said in a statement provided to CNN.

“It is important to note that Pokémon Go, as a platform, was not and cannot be used to share information between users in the app so our platform was in no way being used. This ‘contest’ required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not within our game. Niantic will consider our response as we learn more.”

5:40 PM 10/12/2017 – The Brookings Institution says in a report that firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would strengthen the evidence of improper conduct. Source: Top Washington Think Tank: Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice’ 

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» Top Washington Think Tank: Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice’ 12/10/17 16:45 from Saved Stories – None The Brookings Institution says in a report that firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would strengthen the evidence of improper conduct. Source: Top Washington Think Tank: Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice’ » Who bombed USS Cole?- The New Indian Express 12/10/17 16:45 from Saved Stories … Continue reading “5:40 PM 10/12/2017 – The Brookings Institution says in a report that firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would strengthen the evidence of improper conduct. Source: Top Washington Think Tank: Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice’”

Russian hackers ‘used Pokemon Go as part of attempts to meddle in US election’ – Telegraph.co.uk

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Telegraph.co.uk
Russian hackers ‘used Pokemon Go as part of attempts to meddle in US election’
Telegraph.co.uk
Russian cyber experts created a Pokemon Go game as part of their attempts to meddle with the US election, according to an investigation by CNN. Under the banner of Don’t Shoot Us, a collective that seemed to share the aims of Black Lives Matter but 
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Public should be asking FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse WHAT HAPPENED?

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The tragic victims, families, friends and indeed the American citizenry deserve the truth rather than its apparent blockage.


Blame that nagging ‘hinky’ feeling that something’s not right about the information to date on the Las Vegas massacre that cost 58 country and western fans their lives , leaving more than 500 injured on FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse.

It was on Rouse’s watch that the worst mass murder in America’s history went down.  It is on Ruse’s watch that authorities have found no motive some 10 days later.

Blame Rouse , too for the shooter’s Nevada house having been left open for burglary over the weekend.  Blame Rouse because he is the highest ranking FBI agent in charge of Las Vegas.

“The Las Vegas shooter’s Reno home was broken into over the weekend, causing another round of police activity in the normally quiet Del Webb neighborhood, police confirmed Tuesday. (Reno Gazette-Journal, Oct.10, 2017)

“Reno’s Somersett neighborhood has been in the spotlight since Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort onto the crowd of concertgoers below, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds before killing himself. Paddock, 64, purchased the small tan and brown home on Del Webb Parkway in 2013 and lived there with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley.

“Officer Tim Broadway with the Reno Police Department said the suspect or suspects broke into the home through the front door over the weekend, noting he was not sure how exactly the suspects gained entry.”

The Del Webb Parkway home was in the spotlight, yet had no police presence against invaders?

When is the last time a house at the center of a horrific crime, now key evidence,  has been left open for intrusion?

They jimmied the lock or kicked in the door, but the prime question should be did the suspect or suspects carry anything away?

Aaron Rouse was named special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division by FBI Director James B. Comey on July 28, 2016:

“FBI Director James B. Comey has named Aaron Rouse as the special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division. Mr. Rouse most recently served as section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ).

“Mr. Rouse entered on duty with the FBI in 1996 and was first assigned to the Washington Field Office, where he worked violent crime and was on the Joint Fugitive Task Force.

“Throughout his career, Mr. Rouse has held leadership positions in the Tampa Division, the San Antonio Division, and the Counterintelligence Division at FBIHQ.
Mr. Rouse will assume this new role in September.”

“In July 2002, Mr. Rouse was chosen to join the expanding National Security Branch at WFO and worked the asymmetric threat posed by a top tier threat country. (SALT Conference)

Continued below…



“In January 2005, Mr. Rouse became a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the Counterintelligence Division at FBIHQ and worked as a Program Manager for Counterespionage matters.
“In April 2007, Mr. Rouse was selected as the senior liaison to the newly established Community HUMINT Coordination Center at CIA Headquarters. In this position he de-conflicted HUMINT enabled operations worldwide for not only the FBI, but for all federal agencies regarding Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism and Criminal matters.
“In April 2009, Mr. Rouse was promoted and served as an SSA and Program Coordinator for Counterintelligence in the Tampa Division.
“In January 2013, Mr. Rouse received a promotion and served as the National Security Branch Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the San Antonio Division.
“In October 2014, Mr. Rouse was appointed as the Section Chief for the Clandestine Operations Section in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters.
“Prior to entering the FBI, Mr. Rouse was a state trooper in the New York State Police.”

Comey was fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.

 


“In firing FBI Director James B. Comey, the Trump administration cited Comey’s public statements about the FBI  investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State. (Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2017)

“In a letter recommending Comey’s removal, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein focused on remarks Comey made at a July 5 news conference.

“Rosenstein wrote that the comments were inappropriate, “derogatory” and unfair to the Democratic presidential candidate—  “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.” He said Comey should have left it to the Justice Department to decide what to make public about the investigation.

“Here are highlights of what Comey said:

  • “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
  • Clinton’s emails included seven message chains with information classified as top secret.
  • “None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system.”
  • “The security culture of the State Department …was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.”
  • Comey acknowledged that the FBI did not normally make public its recommendations to prosecutors as to whether to bring criminal charges. He added:  “In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.”
  • “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
  • “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation.”

Continued below…


 


In fact the title of Clinton’s book, would be a better one for Las Vegas in the aftermath of the massacre: ‘WHAT HAPPENED’

Like Hillary Clinton, set free rather than being investigated by him,  Comey is said to now be devoting his time to book writing.

The fateful words Comey used when he let Clinton skate on the email scandal: “they (Clinton and colleagues)  were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” can be reapplied to the brick wall the truth is hitting in Las Vegas where Comey’s handpicked FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse is in charge.

The tragic victims, families, friends and indeed the American citizenry deserve the truth rather than its apparent blockage.

In fact the title of Clinton’s book, would be a better one for Las Vegas in the aftermath of the massacre: ‘WHAT HAPPENED’.

Judi McLeod — Bio and Archives

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13 CommentsCopyright © Canada Free Press

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, <a href=”http://Newsmax.com” rel=”nofollow”>Newsmax.com</a>, Drudge Report, <a href=”http://Foxnews.com” rel=”nofollow”>Foxnews.com</a>.

Older articles by Judi McLeod

Jerry Brown’s California: Devastation, Plunder, Economic Failure

I came to California in 1970, I was 23 years old, single and from red neck Seattle area. Los Angeles and Orange County was full of citrus farms and wonderful freeways, yes the 405 still was backed up in the evenings, but not anywhere like it is today. Wiltshire Blvd. off the 405 was a very beautiful street, full of high class fashion boutiques, financial institutions, just a beautiful downtown neighborhood. South was manhattan beach, the beach communities were a great place for the young and old, living on the beach in the 70s was just really a paradise. We have been run over for years by illegals, they use to hide behind telephone poles in the 70s, and 80s, nobody said anything nor have they ever done anything about this situation. So, when mob man Jerry brownbecame governor in the 70s it was flower power in ca., everybody was high and celebrating free love, it was pretty disgusting, long haired boys and young women with flower headbands. Jerry brown was dating Linda ronstad, he was one of them too, old liberal Jerry brown, then years later, about 30years later after liberal schwartniger, here came old commie Jerry brown out of the woodwork? He has completely taken this whole state over with his mob in Sacramento and San Francisco, it is just terrible and such a damn change we have to live our lives like a prisoner and watch others do nothing but spew against the hard working American slaves and suck from the government trough. I feel better now.

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Report: FBI to investigate Harvey Weinstein – WJLA

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WJLA
Report: FBI to investigate Harvey Weinstein
WJLA
Report: FBI to investigate Harvey Weinstein. by Sinclair Broadcast Group. &nbsp;FILE Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company following the publication of a New York Times article depicting the film producer …and more »

FBI Reviews Allegations Of Puerto Rican Officials Withholding Hurricane Relief – The Daily Caller

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FBI Reviews Allegations Of Puerto Rican Officials Withholding Hurricane Relief
The Daily Caller
“People call us and tell us some misappropriation of some goods and supplies by supposedly politicians, not necessarily mayors, but people that work for the mayors in certain towns,” FBISpecial Agent Carlos Osorio told The Daily Caller Wednesday.and more »

FBI in Puerto Rico investigating if corrupt local officials are ‘withholding’ or ‘mishandling’ crucial supplies – Fox News

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Fox News
FBI in Puerto Rico investigating if corrupt local officials are ‘withholding’ or ‘mishandling’ crucial supplies
Fox News
FBI agents in Puerto Rico have been receiving calls from “across the island” with residents complaining local officials are “withholding” or “mishandling” critical FEMA supplies — with one island official even accused of stuffing his own car full of 
FBI Reviews Allegations Of Puerto Rican Officials Withholding Hurricane ReliefThe Daily Callerall 3 news articles »

Public should be asking FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse WHAT HAPPENED? – Canada Free Press

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Canada Free Press
Public should be asking FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse WHAT HAPPENED?
Canada Free Press
Aaron Rouse was named special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division by FBI DirectorJames BComey on July 28, 2016: “FBI Director James BComey has named Aaron Rouse as the special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division. Mr. Rouse most …and more »

» Facebook still won’t say whether Russia and Donald Trump were targeting the same users – Recode 12/10/17 12:59 from Saved Stories 

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» Facebook still won’t say whether Russia and Donald Trump were targeting the same users – Recode 12/10/17 12:59 from Saved Stories – None Recode Facebook still won’t say whether Russia and Donald Trump were targeting the same users Recode “As the government, the intelligence community , will find more bad actors, that communication to us is … Continue reading “» Facebook still won’t say whether Russia and Donald Trump were targeting the same users – Recode 12/10/17 12:59 from Saved Stories”
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2:17 PM 10/12/2017 – FBI is the bureau of “we don’t know yet” – Google News 

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San Francisco Chronicle FBI director: Motive in Las Vegas shooting still unclear San Francisco Chronicle Wray added: “We don’t know yet what the motive is, but that’s not for lack of trying, and if you know anything about the bureau we don’t give up easy.” Authorities have said Stephen Paddock targeted the country music festival the night of Oct. … Continue reading “2:17 PM 10/12/2017 – FBI is the bureau of “we don’t know yet” – Google News”

Trump’s Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany – Reuters

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Reuters
Trump’s Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany
Reuters
Signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, the deal lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear work. Germany has close economic and business ties with Russia, although 
Press review: Iran to toughen up on Trump and Russia eyes big energy deals on Arab marketsTASS
Europe battles to save commercial ties with IranFinancial Timesall 262 news articles »

Here comes the FBI raid on Donald Trump adviser Carter Page’s house 

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Here comes the FBI raid on Donald Trump adviser Carter Page’s house

Here comes the FBI raid on Donald Trump adviser Carter Page’s house

Robert Mueller is always three steps ahead of the rest of us

Donald Trump’s advisers give away that they think the 25th Amendment is coming 

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Donald Trump’s advisers give away that they think the 25th Amendment is coming

Donald Trump’s advisers give away that they think the 25th Amendment is coming

Even they know it’s coming

9:05 AM 10/12/2017 – Deutschland über alles!!! – that what it means, logically. The results of the joint Russian – Chinese – German – Israeli “Operation Trump”: “an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.”

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Deutschland über alles!!! How the vanquished became the conquerors: ‘In Spite of It All, America’ Thursday October 12th, 2017 at 8:54 AM 1 Share Since Germany’s as well as Europe’s security and affluence rest upon the current international order even as President Trump charts a different course for the United States, an increased responsibility falls to the … Continue reading “9:05 AM 10/12/2017 – Deutschland über alles!!! – that what it means, logically. The results of the joint Russian – Chinese – German – Israeli “Operation Trump”: “an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.””

mysterious death of Sandberg’s husband – Google Search

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Story image for mysterious death of Sandberg's husband from Forward

Sheryl Sandberg Creates College Scholarships In Memory Of Late …

ForwardOct 2, 2017
… on what would have been the 50th birthday of her husband, Dave Goldberg. … The scholarships will be fully funded by the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave … After Dave died, I learned about a beautiful concept called … in 2015 by a mysterious unknown owner, who was eventually revealed to be Adelson.

Story image for mysterious death of Sandberg's husband from The Quint

If Your Birthday is on 2 Oct, Here’s Who All You Share it With!

The QuintOct 1, 2017
But many have raised questions over his mysterious death. … Sandberg, in her emotional speech after her husband’s death, she spoke about …

Story image for mysterious death of Sandberg's husband from Forward

Amazon Expanding ‘Alexa’ Offices In Israel

ForwardOct 2, 2017
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the creation of a … what would have been the 50th birthday of her husband, Dave Goldberg. … After Dave died, I learned about a beautiful concept called … it was purchased in 2015 by a mysterious unknown owner, who was eventually revealed to be Adelson.

Story image for mysterious death of Sandberg's husband from USA TODAY

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘I felt like a ghost’ after husband’s death

USA TODAYApr 24, 2017
The last words Sheryl Sandberg said to her husband Dave Goldberg were, “I’m falling asleep.” The two were on vacation in Mexico in 2015.
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Germany–United States relations – Wikipedia

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German–American relations are the historic relations between Germany and the United States at the official level, including diplomacy, alliances and warfare. The topic also includes economic relations such as trade and investments, demography and migration, and cultural and intellectual interchanges since the 1680s.

us german relations – Google Search

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‘In Spite of It All, America’

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Since Germany’s as well as Europe’s security and affluence rest upon the current international order even as President Trump charts a different course for the United States, an increased responsibility falls to the European Union and its member state Germany to safeguard and strengthen the international order.

2. A president sui generis

It is impossible to ignore that President Trump was able to attract the support of 60 million voters. It is also true that unilateral foreign policy, protectionist moods, and periodic calls for “America First” policies have a long tradition in the United States. Still, Donald Trump is a president sui generis whose ideas about international order do not fit within the modern American politician tradition. These ideas are supported by few in the United States. His disdain for international alliances and institutions is not even shared by many in the government he leads, much less by those outside of government. Donald Trump’s positions on global order are outside the mainstream of the foreign policy expert community in the United States. It is unclear, maybe even unlikely, that his strategy of undermining the international order will ever succeed in the United States and become his country’s policy.

3. Dangerous consequences

Some analysts and political actors in Germany would like to draw far-reaching conclusions from this period of uncertainty about the direction of the United States. They endorse a strategic reorientation for Germany. Some strive to decouple Europe’s foreign and security policy from the United States. Others place their faith in a German-French mini version of Europe. Sometimes, European aspirations only disguise German nationalism as a response to American nationalism. Some recommend that Germany should focus on ad hoc coalitions or maintain equidistance between Russia and the United States. Some even recommend that Germany should go further, and align itself with Russia or China in the future.

All of these propositions are costly or dangerous — or both.

4. The United States remains indispensable

Turning away from the United States would bring insecurity to Germany and ultimately to Europe.

The bond with the United States was born from dependence, but it has long been in Germany’s core national interest. Today, no other actor in the world can offer the same advantages to Germany that it gains from its alliance with the United States. No other power takes on such far-reaching security guarantees and offers such comprehensive political resources.

As a liberal hegemon, the United States made European integration possible. The majority of the political establishment in the United States continues to see the country as a supporter of European integration – also because it suits its own interest. The country needs allies that share its values and interests.

If Germany wants to be an effective actor in Europe, it needs the United States. If the ties to the United States are cut, with them go the reassurance that other European countries need in order to accept a strong Germany in the center of the continent. The more leadership that Germany can and should take on, the closer the coordination must be with the United States.

Decoupling from the United States would fundamentally question one of the most important political and cultural achievements of the past 70 years: Germany’s integration in the West.

In aligning itself with the West Germany also committed itself to the values of freedom and democracy, and to cooperation with all those who stand for these values. Freedom is the precondition for human beings to lead a self-determined and dignified live. Germany has committed itself to this set of ideas in its constitution, the Basic Law. Its anchoring in the West gave Germany the steadfastness to resist the Communist regimes and make possible Germany and European reunification. A departure from this trans-Atlantic orientation will renew the threat of a special path (Sonderweg) of Germany, it will strengthen nationalists on the left and the right, and it will endanger the peaceful European order.

The West, even today, does not exist without the United States, neither as a concept, nor as a political subject America is the anchor of liberal universalism and the open world order. Even if Donald Trump’s presidency carries significant risks for the liberal order, these perils will not diminish if Germany puts its strategic partnership with the United States at stake. A strategic decoupling from the United States would ultimately endanger the liberal international order more than prudent cooperation with a United States whose leadership currently rattles this order. Autocracies such as China and Russia can be important ad hoc partners for single projects; the United States, however, must remain the strategic partner for a democratic and European Germany.

The relationship with the United States is a values-based partnership built on our democratic political systems. Even if the current U.S. president challenges significant elements of the political system, the United States remains a democracy. President Trump is not America, nor is the illiberal movement for which he stands a solely American phenomenon. In Europe too it has made its mark. What we see today is not a divergence between Europe and the United States; it is a conflict within the West unfolding on both sides of the Atlantic.

Finally, the economic, scientific, and cultural linkages with the United States are far stronger than with any other region in the world. The interplay with the United States remains a central element of Europe’s capacity for innovation.

5. Yet, no business as usual

So, how do we engage with the United States in times of Donald Trump?

Even if turning away from the United States is not a responsible option for Germany, business as usual is not an option with the current presidency either. It would be equally unhelpful to stay silent and look the other way, waiting until this presidency is finally over and a successor occupies the White House. Four or even eight years is too long to sit it out, especially since there will not be a return to the supposed good old times.

6. Ideas for a new U.S. Strategy

German policy now requires something that it did not need before: a U.S. strategy.

A responsible policy toward the United States must be long-term and build a bridge into the post-Trump age. This policy must look beyond an exceptional period of U.S. skepticism toward any multilateral commitment. However, Germany must not fall prey to the illusion that there will be a return to the status quo ante following the Trump Presidency. Several political trends in the United States will outlive Trump’s time in office — for example, the demand for more balanced burden-sharing between Europe and the United States within NATO. However, the end of the Trump presidency should be the end of the inner Western conflict about the fundamentals of the world order. Once this fundamental consensus is reestablished policy disagreements can be resolved or bridged more easily and more constructively.

This long-term goal must be the point of reference for Germany’s short-term engagement with the Trump administration.

In the short term, Germany must learn to distinguish between the problems that are solvable, those that are unsolvable, and those in between that require pragmatic management.

It goes without saying that the German government should double down on those policy areas where it finds common ground with the current U.S. administration. But successful relationship management in times of Donald Trump may also require to adjust an increasingly untenable position or — vice versa — to enter into a limited conflict. Finally, we will need to look for partners not only at the highest federal levels, but elsewhere in the administration, in the U.S. Congress, in the states, in civil society, and in business.

It will be more important than ever to manage differences responsibly. In its own long-term interest, Germany should attempt to handle these differences with the Trump administration in such a way that does not escalate them or allow them to spiral out of control.

Germany should not succumb to illusions: large scale joint projects with the Trump government will have little chance for success in policy areas that are central to President Trump’s populist agenda. Trying to do too much in these key policy areas will only cause new disagreements.

In short, Germany’s U.S. strategy must allow for multitasking: to actively pursue key national interests in collaboration with the United States, to moderate conflicts, to avoid unrealistic ambitions, and to thus build a bridge to a better future for trans-Atlantic relations.

This nuanced approach will have different consequences for the different policy areas.

7. Trade policy — aim only for conflict management

Soberingly, the signs are not favorable for larger projects in several policy areas that would actually be vital, such as trade policy. Despite all controversies, the strategic and economic reasons for a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement (TTIP) have not disappeared since November 2016. Some in Berlin and Brussels hope that one can resurrect TTIP in an adapted version. This idea is illusory, maybe even dangerous. A president who castigates all free trade agreements as unfair toward the United States will not easily compromise in international negotiations. A negotiating failure will be more devastating to the project than a long hibernation.

There are signs already that the United States and the European Union might be headed toward trade disputes. The European Union must react to punitive tariffs. But it should do so exclusively in a legal, proportional, and symmetrical manner. Everything else could trigger an unwanted escalation.

8. International refugee policy — no chance for a joint vision

Joint initiatives regarding international refugee policy do not look very promising either. The global system of protection, however, urgently needs to be reformed to cope with modern conditions. The rights of refugees need to be protected while illegal migration needs to be curtailed, organized trafficking should be combated so that the universal refugee regime is not undermined. Equally important will be a push toward new and improved United Nations’ resettlement programs. However, it appears difficult to imagine that the Trump administration will agree to such initiatives. Consequently, Europe must become active itself here — as best as it can.

Therefore, trade and refugee policies fall in the category of currently difficult, hardly resolvable issues. The best we can expect is limited progress, but no large scale initiatives.

9. Security policy — strive for progress, also with President Trump

Security policy is a different matter. Without the United States there will be no security for and in Germany for the foreseeable future. This applies to territorial as well as alliance defense within NATO, but also to nuclear deterrence, to combating cyber crimes and money laundering, and finally to counterterrorism and the cooperation of intelligence agencies. No single European country, not Germany, not any other country, and not the European Union, can provide the necessary resources to guarantee the continent’s security. Therefore, the existing cooperation must be strengthened. Remaining committed to NATO also provides a way to integrate the United States into the structures of multilateral security policy and may dissuade Washington from going it alone.

Alliance defense is the most cost-effective form of defense. Germany should thus take seriously the call for fairer burden-sharing within the alliance. Acting against its own core interest, Germany has not done enough in this respect. Germany still has a long way to go until it’s NATO goals and commitments are met. To be clear: Germany agreed to increase its defense expenditures toward 2 percent of its GDP. Germany should keep its word. To present this commitment as a threat to the military balance in European is to get it backwards. It is precisely our European neighbors and partners that are asking for more German commitment within the NATO framework and within European defense policy.

It would be even better if Germany were to invest an extra percentage point of GDP into development assistance, international police operations, UN missions, conflict prevention, and diplomacy. With this linkage, nonmilitary aspects of security would also be upgraded. This would substantially strengthen European defense capabilities within the trans-Atlantic alliance. Germany would do something that is in its own interest and would stabilize the trans-Atlantic alliance at the same time. It would address concerns of the Trump administration and build good will for the time after Donald Trump. The chances of success for this strategy are high: Despite all of the skeptical rhetoric about NATO, the Trump administration has fulfilled America’s NATO commitments so far.

Security policy cooperation with the Trump government should be central to Germany and should also include security guarantees for the central and eastern European NATO members, support for an independent Ukraine, as well as the stabilization of the North African coast.

In the conflict over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the uncertainties around future Iran policy, a trans-Atlantic schism should be avoided. We should do whatever possible to convince the Trump administration of joint approaches.

10. Energy security policy — giving up Nord Stream 2 is in Germany’s interest

There is one more policy area in which the German government should reconsider its position to open the door for productive cooperation: energy security policy. The United States has identified Nord Stream 2, the planned pipeline running through the Baltic Sea to Russia, as a geostrategic project. They are correct. More important: This pipeline project is not in the joint European interest. Nord Stream 2 contradicts a policy of greater energy independence and undermines the envisaged European Energy Union. We should try to identify a joint approach with our European partners and the United States.

11. Climate, energy, and digital policy — manage conflicts responsibly

After having addressed the solvable issues and set aside the unsolvable issues for now, one will need to turn to those policy areas that require responsible conflict management. It would be useless to try to convince the U.S. administration of the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, but it is equally wrongheaded to isolate President Trump on international climate and energy policy. Necessary criticism should not turn into dogmatism.

Instead, Germany should seek concrete steps forward in climate protection together with the United States. Germany does not need President Trump in order to engage with partners who are interested in climate policy cooperation. A number of states (not just California) and large cities are already rapidly reducing their CO2 emissions. Political, scientific, and technical cooperation with local partners is possible. There is no shortage of potent allies on climate policy in the United States, in the private sector as well as in civil society. Here, the key is to be proactive, to invest money, and to build networks that will endure and outlast the Trump administration.

Digital policy is another policy area where confrontation is possible — about regulatory questions as well as about market shares. It is important to identify points of contention as soon as possible and to avoid unnecessary escalation. Sealing off Europe’s and the United States’ digital markets from each other will seriously damage the outlook for jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic. European consumer and data protection standards might be able to be maintained globally if they have U.S. support, but certainly not without it.

12. Final point — more Europe within the Alliance

Making progress with the Trump administration wherever possible, moderating conflicts and avoiding escalation, expanding the spectrum of trans-Atlantic partners beyond the current U.S. administration — these are all core aims of a U.S. strategy that can preserve the trans-Atlantic partnership with and if necessary against this American President, and function beyond his time in office. The United States has proved its capacity for self-correction repeatedly. America remains the indispensable power for those countries that stand for freedom and democracy and strive for an open world order. But Europe — and thus Germany — must do more to support and preserve these values. More European self-reliance is imperative. It would be an error of historical proportions to play out “more Europe” against the trans-Atlantic alliance. The new German government’s foreign policy will be measured by how clearly it pursues this course.

Authors:

• Deidre Berger, Ramer Institute, American Jewish Committee, Berlin

• James D. Bindenagel, Center for International Security and Governance, University of Bonn

• Ralf Fücks, Centre for Liberal Modernity, Berlin

• Patrick Keller, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Berlin

• Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin

• Anna Kuchenbecker, Aspen Institute Deutschland, Berlin

• Sergey Lagodinsky, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin

• Rüdiger Lentz, Aspen Institute Deutschland, Berlin

• Daniela Schwarzer, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin

• Jan Techau, Richard C. Holbrooke Forum, American Academy, Berlin

• Sylke Tempel, German Council on Foreign Relations, “Internationale Politik” Magazine, Berlin

The text solely reflects the personal opinions of the authors.

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Breaking News: Trump Resigns! | Vanity Fair

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It’s been a bleak decade since President Donald J. Trump put his hand on the Bible eight months ago. After the Charlottesville debacle, former Vice President Al Gore offered Trump a one-word piece of advice: “Resign.” Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal, claimed resignation would come before the end of the year. And Steve Bannon reportedly thinks Trump has just a 30 percent chance of finishing out his term.

While we wait for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into money laundering, bank fraud, foreign influence, election rigging, and hotel-mattress wetting, I asked eight TV and screenwriters and astute observers of human behavior to come up with two scenarios of how Trump will leave the Oval Office. I offered these examples:

Plausible scenario:
Trump isn’t happy unless he’s humiliating someone so he’ll claim that his sons are doing a terrible job running the Trump Organization, fire them both, and say he’s stepping down to save the family empire.

Writer-enhanced scenario:
The Trump presidency should end like the soap opera it is. The final scene starts with Donald and Jared arguing in Trump Tower. Jared takes off, but Donald pursues. (They both just stand on the escalator then pick up the chase at the bottom.) Jared runs out of the building but before he can get far, Donald pulls out a gun. Just like he bragged, Donald’s gonna shoot someone on Fifth Avenue . . . and it’s gonna be his son-in-law. Donald squeezes the trigger. Suddenly out of the crowd, Ivanka throws herself in front of the bullet intended for her husband. Her father watches in horror as his daughter takes the hit. She crumples to the ground—dead (but still incredibly put together.) Donald falls to his knees and cries in despair. What twist of cruel fate allowed him to kill the one thing he kind of, sort of loved?!

Parting shot:
(a la Nixon’s “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” in 1962) America—you blew it, losers.

Here are their answers:

DANNY ZUKER

Executive producer, Modern Family, five-time Emmy Award winner. The president of the United States once tweeted at him: “Danny—you’re a total loser.”

Plausible scenario:
I don’t think he’ll leave over collusion, conflicts of interest, or even the release of the pee-pee tape. (Although one can dream.) I think he will ultimately resign because the job is harder than he thought. He’s discovering that he can’t simply put a TRUMP sign on the White House and pretend to be president the way he puts one on a building and pretends to be a builder. He’ll say something like, “Over the last nine months, I took a country where the streets were literally full of sewage and crime and people with accents and turned it into a paradise kingdom that rivals heaven itself. Better than heaven, because we all have guns. So tremendous is my creation that it basically runs itself. No president can rule for more than eight years, and I’ve already squozen a decade’s worth of achievements into my first year—and it’s not even Thanksgiving. So, I’m leaving office to spend more time with my son . . . (Melania whispers in his earBarron.

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Fade in: intelligence briefing. We are close on Trump’s bloated, porcine face, the kind of face that would immediately disqualify a person from judging others’ appearances. He yawns, wipes some KFC extra-crispy batter from his most northern chin. Then he gets an idea. A light-bulb moment. Not a bright light bulb—more like the bulb in that emergency flashlight you find buried in your junk drawer. He stands up and exclaims . . .

TRUMP: I quit.
INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Wah wah wah wah wah?
TRUMP: I SAID, I QUIT!

He races out of the briefing room and makes his way outside, where we see a HELMETED FIGURE on a motorcycle.
TRUMP: I did it! I QUIT.
The helmeted figure takes off the helmet and we see SARAH PALIN
SARAH PALIN: Good boy. Hop on.

Trump hops on the back of the hog and the two quitters drive off into the sunset. FADE OUT:

Parting shot:
I’m moving outta here like a bitch.

MEGAN AMRA

Writer for The Good Place and Silicon Valley

Plausible scenario:
Donald Trump will be impeached after evidence surfaces that he met with Russians clandestinely on multiple occasions specifically to sabotage Hillary’s run for president. This will occur approximately one week before the election in 2020. By then, cities won’t exist, and the average temperature in America will be 130 degrees Trump (the new nomenclature for Fahrenheit).

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Donald Trump will resign after a secret Russian sex tape surfaces, one that involves Trump sexually harassing his daughter Ivanka. He will then brag that he was the “fastest president ever,” and that he can resign since he’s brought back “all of the jobs. Literally all of them. Look at them—they’re all back now.” He will spend the rest of his days doing exactly what he did in the presidency, playing golf and pretending to drive fire trucks.

Parting shot:
“Ffffffffpllllplplplplplplplppppluuuuuuuuuuugggffffffff.” (This is the sound of Donald Trump publicly shitting himself at a rally, then trying to cover his butt with Mike Pence’s sweater, but the sweater isn’t big enough to cover his big butt, so he slips and falls and can’t get up ’cause he’s covered in his own shit, so he’s pulled off by the Secret Service, never to be seen again.)

ANDY BOBROW

Executive producer, The Last Man on Earth

Plausible scenario:
I remember learning that when L. Ron Hubbard died, they announced to the rank-and-file Scientologists that he had merely “discarded his body” so he could continue his work on other planes of existence. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say I believe this is how Trump’s impeachment and resignation will go. I think he’ll call it something else, and Congress will happily play along. An impeachment will be called a “Constitutional Hearing,” or a “Congressional Adjustment,” or an “Unholy Witch Hunt.” A resignation will be called an “Executive Realignment,” or a “Presidential Ascension,” or simply a “Nothingburger.” So my most plausible scenario is that something happens that’s not an impeachment, and he does something that’s not a resignation. And he lives many more years acting like he is still president, and the whole country silently agrees to never talk about that one time we had a constitutional crisis and pretended we didn’t.

Writer-enhanced scenario:
A second White House will be built a few blocks from the official White House, and Trump will stay there three days a week. This new White House will be a full replica, but five-times bigger and gold.

Parting shot:
This one’s easy. The quote will be “I’m still president.”

I mean, that’s what the NYT headline will be. The full quote will not be so pithy.

“Am I resigning? No. Where did you hear that, by the way? That’s, if you believe that, I’ll sell you a bridge on top of the World Trade Center. Which, terrible deal by the way. Whoever built that, I like buildings that don’t collapse, O.K.? Terrible deal. They got a lot of things (garbled). It’s nuts. And I hear everyone asking “is he resigning, is he impeaching?” I’m not impeaching, O.K.? I’m president. They still call me president, don’t they? Everybody calls me President Trump. You hear it everywhere you go, President Trump this, President Trump that, President Trump, I love you, President Trump, don’t go. So I’m president. It’s silly. It’s dumb (garbled). Mike Pence is a helluva guy. Mike Pence, President Pence if you wanna call him that. Great guy, terrific guy. I also heard there’s gonna be a new vice president, which you can do. A lot of people don’t know that. You can bring the vice president up to president, I just learned this, a lot of people don’t know. And then he can bring up a guy. I don’t know who they’ll choose, but it should be my daughter. Not the ugly one. (Large applause). No, come on. Come on. You’re nasty. So I’m gonna travel and do great things. Dubai. Russia. China. And wherever I go, I’m the president there, too, they love me there and we’re only gonna make it bigger. Maybe I’ll do another TV show, would you like that? I’ll do a TV show, “where’s Hillary?” Has anyone seen her? She’s gone, maybe she’s in jail, I don’t know. They tell me (garbled) and all of this and that. But she’s not in jail and I’m gonna put her in jail. Maybe she’s with ISIS (huge applause). I beat ISIS. ISIS is no longer a threat because of me. But they’re still a threat and I’ll continue to beat them. But as to the question, who’s president? I’m president. They call Obama president and he was never even president. So believe me, I’m still president.”

ROBIN THEDE

Creator/executive producer/host of BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede; former head writer and correspondent of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show

Plausible scenario:
At the height of his paranoia, Trump will start accusing everyone in his administration of plotting against him. He will openly start leaking damning audio tapes of his conversations with Bannon, Sessions, Kushner, et al. and fire them one by one until no one is left. He will then declare the government “illegitimate” and return to private business, where he can “truly make a difference.” Oh, and he’ll find a way to blame Obama for it all.

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Trump will spearhead the “New Civil Rights Movement” where he positions himself as this era’s Martin Luther King Jr. for rich white men. He will lead protests of “poor” areas and host “sit-ins” on golf carts on the country’s finest courses as his way of demanding more “white rights.” Convinced his mission is accomplished after only two weeks of this campaign, he will rename Martin Luther King Jr. Day “Donald J. Trump Day.”

Parting Shot:
I NEVER got credit for anything! I had women peeing on me WAY before R. Kelly!

ED SOLOMON

Writer of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, Now You See Me, and Steven Soderbergh’sMosaic (on HBO)

Plausible:
Trump will have to find a way to package his departure as a “win,” which means deciding the game is over and he’s walking away with the trophy. He’ll declare that the whole “four-year thing” is an arbitrary number—after all, there’s no set time frame for a C.E.O. to turn a company around, is there? And look—he did it quickly: he made America great in 16 months. Now that he’s “won” at politics, it’s time for him to give up his pro-bono work and go back to running his company (a company which, by the way, has tripled in value in the short 16 months he was the best president ever).

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Donald’s day is slammed with meetings. Today it’s Jesus, and Rambo, and early-1980’s running-on-the-beach Bo Derek. Oh, and also Jamie Lee Curtis in that moment from Trading Places. Again. Followed by Hillary—coming to beg for a job—which he promises . . . and then rescinds. Again. And later? A rally! This one in the Grand Canyon—which he’s packed beyond capacity (there’s an overflow canyon—with a two-mile-long video screen—300 miles away at Bryce). As he flies there (he has his own wings now), he soars over Obama, who’s giving a sparsely attended speech outside a Fotomat in Tonopah. Barack looks up in envy as Donald waves with giant hands. As he approaches the canyon, he can hear the crowds singing the “Make America Great” song and we:

PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

Donald has never left his desk. His V.R. headset is permanently affixed to his face. He is fed liquid Kentucky Fried Chicken through a Heparin Lock. “What’s next?” he says. We don’t see what he’s seeing, but we DO see a big smile on his face. “I love you, too, dad.” He smiles, a single tear rolling down his cheek. “I love you so, so, so much, too. What’s next?” And now we:

PULL BACK FURTHER:

And realize that the desk is in fact in a giant plexiglass cube floating on a barge somewhere.

PULLING BACK EVEN FURTHER:

The barge is on a river flowing through a grayish, overcast city. Hard to know where we are, exactly, because the only signs are in Cyrillic.

Parting shot:
It will be something like: “Fine—if the Fake News won’t let me tell the truth, we’ll have our own REAL News.” And thus begins TNN.

DOUG COUPLAND

Author of Worst. Person. Ever.

Plausible scenario:
The manner in which Trump leaves is not a big deal in his mind. I suspect he’ll probably just get bored and stop showing up for work, moving into second-term Reagan, phone-it-in mode before the 2018 races.

Writer-enhanced scenario:
All White House staff members show up one morning wearing the exact same Claire Underwood pencil skirt but nobody’s sure why. An expression of solidarity? Ambition? Overly effective Nair lobbyists? Following an awkwardly quiet morning briefing comes a bathroom break, at which point staffers are deadlocked in a Tarantino multi-gun standoff: who—who!—will enter which bathroom? In an unexpected turn of events, everyone chooses the wrong bathroom and everyone gets fired. Donald huffs in disgust, saying that Melania is hotter than any of them, and who needs this? If you want me I’ll be in Scotland.

Parting shot:
Hey, Mike Pence—you won’t see Melania wearing some spooky sister-wife dress.

MERRILL MARKOE

Head writer of Late Night with David Letterman, winner of four Emmy Awards

Plausible scenario:
When figuring out what he will say, you have to put yourself in the mind-set of a humiliated and rage-filled narcissist who has to retreat with his dignity intact but leave a wound. The real scenario, should it happen, will be, “I’m a billionaire. I didn’t need this job. The only reason I took it was a mandate from my fans to Make America Great Again. The fake-news media, Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats who are all determined to ruin this country refused to let me. #Sad.”

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Donald Trump is forced by a mysterious angel to look at what life in the United States would have been like if he’d never been born or been elected. Hillary would be in the White House; there is Medicare for everyone, and the economy is booming as the U.S. leads the fight against climate change. None of his horrible sons would have been born, so wild animals in Africa would be safe. Ivanka would be sitting in a tower in another dimension, sewing shoes by hand as she stares longingly at the moon and waits to be born to someone who had a profitable tech start-up. Kellyanne Conway would be hanging around the greenrooms of morning-talk shows, waiting for someone to drop out at the last minute so she could give horoscope predictions. Melania would be preparing for her wedding to Sumner Redstone. Donald is so moved that he begins to sob and calls a press conference. “My fellow Americans,” he says, “I want to resign. I have been such a fool.” Then he and his family go to work to preserve the environment and save endangered species. In the last frame, they’d all be standing in line to volunteer for the Peace Corps.

Parting shot:
Look, all I can say at this point is, and I’m leaving in a few minutes—but check my Twitter, and there will still be rallies. I can still hold my rallies, because as far as I know, we still have the First Amendment—they will be incredible rallies. My uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at M.I.T.; good genes, very good genes, very smart. Wharton School of Finance. And if I was a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican oh, do they do a number—but when you look at what’s going on with the Persians who are great negotiators, the Iranians who are great negotiators, and the North Koreans who have tremendous rallies, they hold those placards up, we will have rallies and we will do placards. Our rallies will be better attended than Kim Jong Un, even when it’s a birthday or an anniversary or whatever they do there. Wait and see.

DAVID YAZBEK

Composer and lyricist for The Band’s Visit

Plausible scenario:
Some version of “I have decided to resign because you’re all losers, and I quit.”

Writer-enhanced scenario:
Trump announces that he can no longer serve as president of the United States of America because the pee tape that the Failing New York Times has finally uncovered and released is “obviously doctored” to give him a “much, much smaller penis than the really, actually big, some say very big, strong penis that I actually have.”

Parting shot:
I’m suing all of you. You, your families, your fucking pets . . .

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Full ScreenPhotos:Donald Trump’s Short Fingers: A Historical Analysis

“O.K., you, in the third row… Yes, you… I’m calling on you… Yes, that’s why I’m pointing… I’m pointing with my finger… My FINGER. This one… Why would you think I’m holding up a cocktail frank?”

Photo: By Justin Lane/EPA/Corbis.

In Iowa last January, Trump regales voters with a humanizing personal anecdote about how he once bit his right index finger after mistaking it for a half-eaten French fry.

Photo: By Jerry Mennenga/ZUMA Press/Corbis.

A wax figure of “Duke” Wayne looks on in disgust as Trump strains to reach his fingers all the way around daughter Aissa Wayne’s frankly rather petite shoulder. (Fun fact: you could load the barrel of Wayne’s pistol with 14 of Trump’s pinkies.)

Photo: By Tannen Maury/EPA/Corbis.

As Trump talks straight through a lunch-hour town hall in February, hungry New Hampshire voters appear mesmerized by the five chicken-tender-like appendages radiating from his sausage-patty-size palm.

Photo: From The Washington Post/Getty Images.

At this 2005 gala, Trump, thinking quickly, uses both hands to keep wife Melania from getting a good look at the size of a single Puff Daddy hand.

Photo: By Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images.

Trump’s delicate right hand is nearly crushed by his nine-year-old daughter Ivanka’s huge, burly mitt at a 1991 event.

Photo: From The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

Presented without comment.

Photo: By Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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Who bombed USS Cole?- The New Indian Express

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US warship USS Cole was bombed in the Yemeni port of Aden on this day 17 years ago. Seventeen American sailors lost their lives in the suicide attack that almost sank the massive ship

Money to a mystery man

By the end of October 2000, the Yemeni authorities had arrested a man named Fahd al-Quso, writes Lawrence Wright in The Looming Tower. Quso had admitted that he and one of the suicide bombers had delivered money to “Khallad”

Bin Laden’s errand boy

Ali Soufan, a Lebanese-American FBI agent was in charge of the USS Cole bombing probe. His source from Afghanistan had described a fighter named Khallad with a metal leg who was in charge of a guesthouse in Kandahar. He called Khallad, Osama bin Laden’s “errand boy”. “That was the first real link between the Cole bombing and al-Qaeda,” Wright adds in his Pulitzer-winning book. Khallad was the mastermind behind the Cole bombing and was also part of the failed attempt to blow up USS The Sullivans in the Aden harbour

Connection to 9/11

Quso had also told Soufan he was supposed to meet Khallad in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. So the FBI agent sent an official request to the CIA asking if they had any information about Khallad or any al-Qaeda meeting in the region. But the agency did not respond

There was in fact a meeting in Kuala Lumpur in January that year and the CIA knew about it. The four men who had originally been selected for the 9/11 operation went to the city and among them were two Yemenis who adopted the name Khallad. “The meeting was not wiretapped, so the opportunity to discover the plots that culminated in the bombing of the USS Cole and the 9/11 attack was lost”

Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know

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The Kremlin and President Donald Trump have each denied allegations that Russia and the Trump campaign colluded in the 2016 presidential election – but the probe into Russia’s meddling is forging ahead.

Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s oldest son, came under fire earlier this year when it was found that he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign after it was promised that she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

But that lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told Fox News that she would have met with Clinton, too, if she had believed that the former secretary of state could have helped her with her anti-sanctions push.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel tasked with investigating Russia’s influence in the election, impaneled a grand jury in August – widely seen as an indicator that his investigation is entering a new phase.

Mueller is also seeking to speak with White House staffers – but has not requested to speak to the president as of yet – sources told Fox News.

From the firing of the nation’s F.B.I. director to Trump’s oldest son’s meeting with a controversial Russian lawyer, here’s what you need to know about the Russian investigation so far.

Early problems

Before Trump ever took office, tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other officials connected to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were leaked.

Those emails – released in July 2016 ahead of the Democratic National Convention – purportedly showed the party favoring Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and led to the resignation of party chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

But more than just ousting Wasserman Schultz, intelligence officials concluded that those responsible for leaking the emails were connected to the Russian government. In its assessment of the hack, the CIA concluded that Russia intervened in the election in order to help Trump secure the presidency.

MUELLER’S RUSSIA PROBE: WHAT TO KNOW

Before he handed over the White House to Trump, former President Barack Obama sanctioned Russiafor its alleged involvement in the election – a move that would eventually come back to dismantle one of Trump’s senior aides.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also got the administration into hot water for his own actions during the campaign.

Trump Jr. confirmed in July 2017 that he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign as she was supposed to have damaging information about Clinton.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” an email about the meeting said in part.

Trump Jr. maintained that the Veselnitskaya, did not have any information to share and instead wanted to discuss other matters.

TRUMP ORGANIZATION EXEC EMAILED PUTIN’S PRESS SECRETARY FOR HELP ON MOSCOW PROJECT

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, were at the meeting as well. The two are also being investigated.

Flynn’s fall

Michael Flynn’s tenure as Trump’s national security adviser was short but rife with controversy that still bedevils the administration. But Flynn didn’t come without a warning.

Only a few days after the November election, Obama met with Trump to share his concerns about Flynn, a retired lieutenant general. Flynn had served under Obama as head of military intelligence until he was fired in 2014 following reports of insubordination and questionable management style.

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, tne-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Flynn has opened a new consulting firm called Resilient Patriot, LLC that is advising private equity firms, according to one of his brothers, who says Flynn is “moving on with his life." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during a White House press briefing.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Still, Trump ignored Obama’s apparent apprehensions and selected Flynn as his national security advisor. Not a month later, Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation.

HOW IS JARED KUSHNER LINKED TO RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION?

As Obama issued the sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the election, Flynn reportedly called the Russian ambassador to discuss the move. Flynn initially denied speaking to the ambassador, but when intelligence officials revealed proof, he said he just didn’t remember speaking on that topic.

Flynn resigned under harsh scrutiny for misleading the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his ties to and conversations with Russian officials.

He remains under multiple investigations by congressional committees and the Pentagon’s inspector general. Mueller has included Flynn in his probe, and his investigators are reportedly trying to determine if he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the campaign, the New York Times reported in August.

Flynn registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department in March 2017.

Firing the FBI director

Trump sacked F.B.I. Director James Comey on May 9 – less than two months after Comey publicly proclaimed that the agency was investigating ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

The White House maintained that Comey was relieved from his duties due to his handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure of secretary of state. But days later, Trump alluded that he had considered the Russian investigation when he fired Comey.

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR SERGEI KISLYAK, AT CENTER OF ELECTION CONTROVERSY, CONCLUDES ASSIGNMENT

Comey told a Senate intelligence committee in June that he was concerned about the “shifting explanations” that came from the White House regarding his firing.

He also claimed that Trump had asked for the F.B.I. to drop its investigation into Flynn during a February meeting. The White House has denied that Trump was attempting to influence the F.B.I. director.

Before the committee, Comey confirmed that he had reassured Trump repeatedly that he was not under investigation by the F.B.I.

Russians in the Oval

In the wake of Comey’s dismissal, the Trump administration was rocked with reports of the president’s own controversial dealings with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

A television plays a news report on U.S. President Donald Trump's recent Oval Office meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as night falls on offices and the entrance of the West Wing White House in Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX35ZV9

A White House television plays a news report on President Donald Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian officials.  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The Washington Post reported on May 15 that Trump shared classified information regarding ISIS threats with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador at the time. The information was reportedly given to the U.S. from Israel and not meant to be shared.

Later that week, the New York Times reported that Trump told those officials the day after firing Comey – who he allegedly called a “nut job” – that the personnel change took “great pressure” off of him.

Special counsel called

The Department of Justice announced the appointment of former F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russia’s alleged influence on the election on May 17.

The appointment followed a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the probe.

TRUMP SAYS SESSIONS ‘SHOULD NEVER HAVE RECUSED HIMSELF’ FROM RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Mueller was given wide berth to carry out his investigation, and he expanded the probe to look into whether Trump obstructed justice with Comey’s firing.

Trump has criticized Mueller’s friendship with Comey as “very bothersome.” The two were former colleagues at the Justice Department.

Mueller has reportedly impaneled a grand jury to continue the investigation. A grand jury gives prosecutors the ability to subpoena documents and gather on-the-record witness testimonies. It doesn’t necessarily mean criminal charges will be sought.

Trump faces Putin

Trump finally met with Putin for the first time face-to-face at the G-20 summit in June.

He immediately pressed his Russian counterpart on the allegations of election meddling – which Putin denied, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC14D22F5350

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Germany in July 2017.  (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

KELLYANNE CONWAY ON COLLUSION: ‘WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION?’

Lavrov told reporters after the meeting that Trump had accepted Putin’s assurances that Moscow was innocent of interfering in the election.

Trump Tower Moscow

While Trump was actively running for president, his business attempted to secure a new real estate development in Moscow, according to records reviewed by the Washington Post.

The Trump Organization pursued building a Trump Tower in Moscow from late 2015 to early 2016, according to the paper. And Russian-born real estate developer Felix Sater was hoping to bring Trump himself to the country.

Sater reportedly urged Trump to come to Moscow to promote the business venture and promised that he could get Putin to say “great things” about the Manhattan business mogul, sources told the Washington Post.

A top executive with Trump’s real estate company also emailed Putin’s press secretary in 2016 for help to expedite the project, according to an email obtained by Fox News.

“Over the past few months, I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City,” Michael Cohen, the company’s executive vice president and Trump’s special counsel at the time, said in a Jan. 14, 2016 email. “Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled. As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance.”

Cohen later told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence  that the project was “similar” to other business ideas “contemplated years before any campaign.”

“The Trump Tower Moscow proposal was not related in any way to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign,” Cohen said.

“As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance.”

Trump never went to Russia, and the project was abandoned in January 2016.

Anyone else under investigation?

Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign manager in August 2016 amid questions regarding his business dealings in Ukraine.

The special counsel has taken over a criminal investigation into Manafort’s financial dealings, which began even before the 2016 election, according to The Associated Press. F.B.I. agents raided Manafort’s Virginia home in July, taking with them documents related to the Russia investigation.

DONALD TRUMP JR. AGREES TO PRIVATE MEETING WITH SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

Manafort has been the subject of multiple investigations into his financial dealings and lobbying work. He has denied any colluding with Russia.

In June 2017, Manafort officially registered as a foreign agent for work he did with a Ukrainian political party from 2012 to 2014.

Kushner, too, has been under F.B.I. scrutiny.

Kushner, married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, may possess substantial information relevant to the Russian investigation, officials told NBC in May.

He also held private meetings with lawmakers regarding the controversial meeting Trump Jr. set up with the Russian lawyer. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who is leading the House intelligence committee’s probe into Russia’s involvement in the election, said Kushner was “straightforward, forthcoming [and] wanted to answer every question we had.”

Kushner has denied colluding with Russia or knowing anyone who did so.

Social media, too, is the subject of congressional investigations as Facebook, Twitter and Google executives have said advertisements linked to Russian operatives were bought during the election.

Facebook said about $100,000 in ad purchases connected to “inauthentic accounts” that violated its policies were uncovered as well as another $50,000 on “potentially politically related ad spending” that were in Russian. Twitter said a group with “strong links to the Russian government” spent $274,000 in ads, and the social media site suspended almost two dozen accounts that were possibly linked to Russian officials.

As for Google, Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on YouTube, Google Search products and Gmail regarding the election, Fox Business reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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