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The Russian Connection (Page 19)
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reader50
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Jan 4, 2018, 08:55 PM
 
I wouldn't want to work in this White House. However, listening in on the backstabbing could be interesting. A chance to learn new words.

Jeff Sessions, wannabe marijuana cop, seems to be having a lot of bad days. Problems with his boss.

Trump REALLY DOESN'T WANT his business ties with Russia investigated. I'd love to know why.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 4, 2018, 10:32 PM
 
As far as I know Trump has never had successful business with Russia. He has no real ties.

Sessions had a bad summer but I imagine the only thing he dreads nowadays is the quarterly congressional oversight.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 12:16 AM
 
They're out for McGahn. Curious to see how this plays out. Not sure they have any leverage.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 5, 2018, 01:03 AM
 
I read an article a while back about some Russian server that was pinging a Trump server or vice versa and some guy got in deep trying to work out what it was about before it vanished and stopped pinging altogether.
Also, didn't Trump borrow money from Russian banks after the US banks stopped lending to him? Sure I read that too.

In Russia when you want to do any business, there are people that need to get paid. If you don't pay those people, you don't do any business. I'm sure any such arrangement would make Trump look bad if it came to light so I'm guessing thats a part of why he doesn't want the Russian business deals being publicly scrutinised. If he was paying the bribes with borrowed cash there is also the question of where he borrowed it from.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 5, 2018, 03:45 AM
 
Stories of Trump's questionable business practices go back decades, literally whole books have been written about the Trump family's connection to the mob.

I think we should be rather careful not to let others shape the discussion too much: things can be immoral that are not criminal. Even if you suspect criminal misconduct, perhaps you cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Or if the Russia investigation does not unearth collusion, but just shady financial ties to Russia. I feel that a lot of the Republicans now are trying to push the conversation in this direction, just to conclude that if Trump didn't commit a crime, he should stay president.
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Waragainstsleep
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Jan 5, 2018, 09:04 AM
 
What about conflicts of interest? I realise he is already ignoring several/many, but surely being beholden to those who may be connected to a foreign power is a step too far even for Republicans?
Yeah, I was laughing as I typed it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 11:59 AM
 
Duh moment. Mueller will want to listen to Wolffs tapes.
     
Laminar
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Jan 5, 2018, 02:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I read an article a while back about some Russian server that was pinging a Trump server or vice versa and some guy got in deep trying to work out what it was about before it vanished and stopped pinging altogether.
Yes, Snow-i and someone else got into it over that.
     
Paco500
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Jan 5, 2018, 04:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Yes, Snow-i and someone else got into it over that.
That was me. Well the discussion was nominally about the server, but mostly it was just him insulting me.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 5, 2018, 05:38 PM
 
Fun times. That was back when we didn't know anything but mere wisps of of smoke and a pattern of troubling behavior.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 5, 2018, 11:13 PM
 
There is just so much smoke around Trump it could mask a nuclear explosion let alone a fire.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 6, 2018, 12:51 PM
 
http://beta.latimes.com/nation/la-na...106-story.html
Investigators also are exploring the involvement of the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, who did not attend the half-hour sit-down on June 9, 2016, but briefly spoke with two of the participants, a Russian lawyer and a Russian-born Washington lobbyist. Details of the encounter were not previously known.

It occurred at the Trump Tower elevator as the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, were leaving the building and consisted of pleasantries, a person familiar with the episode said. But Mueller's investigators want to know every contact the two visitors had with Trump's family members and inner circle.
Due diligence, but hilarious that another Trump also met them, albeit briefly.
     
reader50
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Jan 6, 2018, 04:19 PM
 
There may be thousands of people who use that elevator each day. What are the odds the two Russian visitors would happen to use it the same time Ivanka did, and going in the same direction.

Probably they waited around awhile, until someone important was going down. Then hopped the elevator, in case she was sympathetic. It doesn't sound like she did anything improper, but she should have reported the contact with foreign agents.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 09:35 AM
 
It's being reported that Mueller interviewing Trump is on the horizon. Sounds like we're nearing the end.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 01:46 PM
 
Feinstein unilaterally released the Fusion testimony?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 01:55 PM
 
Biggest revelation so far: someone from the Trump org who had reservations went to the FBI during the election.

Edit: This has been clarified to be a reference to the Aussies flagging Pap to the FBI
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 08:53 PM
 

Grassley tells @thedailybeast that the transcript shows Simpson was "uncooperative, he was colluding with the Russians, he was colluding with the Democrats, and he was, all the time, denying those things."
What?


http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...eleased-fusion
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) broke with colleague Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday in saying he was "glad" that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the Senate testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

“I think that’s a good idea," Cornyn said. "I’m glad that it was done.”
That's his candid reaction. He walked it back later because, you know, party before country.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 9, 2018, 09:14 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 13, 2018, 11:00 PM
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...?tid=ss_tw-amp
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes.
Wonder if this connects to the DNC hacks.

Or maybe Hillary's private server! /wink
     
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Jan 16, 2018, 12:07 PM
 
Does this make Moby a CIA tool?

Moby Says CIA Agents Asked Him to Spread the Word About Trump and Russia

Talking with WFPK's Kyle Meredith, Moby cited “active and former CIA agents” who were “truly concerned” about Trump’s collusion with Russia. “They were like, ‘This is the Manchurian Candidate, like [Putin] has a Russian agent as the President of the United States,’” he said. “So they passed on some information to me and they said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these things just in a way that … sort of put it out there.’”
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 12:18 PM
 
Mueller sent Bannon a grand jury subpoena. This explains why he lawyered up last week. First member of the inner circle to get GJ subpoenaed.

Given all the shit he's implied, at the very least Kush has to be sweating.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 02:30 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 16, 2018, 11:00 PM
 
Lewandowski also lawyered up, which makes me wonder if Mueller sent him a subpoena too. Worth noting both Bannon and Lewandowski led the Trump campaign at points.

To shunt some more speculative aspects to this thread:
https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/stat...33410659409921
MORE NEWS: Top Dem on the committee, @RepAdamSchiff, says after committee subpoenaed, Bannon’s lawyer contacted the White House, which “doubled down” on demand he not answer questions.
https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/s...40686501715969
So Bannon’s lawyer called his other client Don McGahn and McGahn objected? Hmm.
The same lawyer is representing McGahn, Bannon, and Preibus.


https://twitter.com/mateagold/status/953474545318612992
Key point: A person familiar with the situation said that any executive privilege asserted by the White House with regard to Bannon would not extend to an interview by Mueller and that Bannon intends to cooperate fully with the special counsel’s investigation.
Word is leaks about Bannon tend to be from Bannon himself. Which, if taken at face value, makes today's performance all the more symbolic.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 18, 2018, 08:17 PM
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/u...interview.html
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, will be interviewed by investigators working for the special counsel in the Russia investigation instead of testifying before a grand jury, according to a person familiar with the matter, a sign that Mr. Bannon is cooperating with the inquiry.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had subpoenaed Mr. Bannon to appear before a grand jury this week. But Mr. Bannon has agreed to cooperate with Mr. Mueller’s investigation and will be interviewed in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in downtown Washington.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ty-cobb...out-interview/
Cobb said if Mueller did interview Mr. Trump, it could be a perjury trap -- that is, a situation in which his story does not match the evidence -- something Cobb said "foolish" was not to consider. But Cobb said he has known Mueller for a long time, and doesn't believe that is his aim.
I guess chongo and Ty get their legal advice from the same source.

Pro-tip: Don't lie.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 18, 2018, 08:27 PM
 
Another Fusion testimony released.
http://www.businessinsider.com/read-...mmittee-2018-1
Simpson said Trump's golf courses in Scotland and Ireland were also "concerning" because financial statements obtained by Fusion showed "enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources."

"At least on paper it says it's from The Trump Organization, but it's hundreds of millions of dollars," Simpson said.
"And these golf course are just, you know, they're sinks. They don't actually make any money."

GOP Rep. Tom Rooney said "the story about [Trump] financing Doonbeg in Ireland through money that we can't really trace but has sort of the fingerprints of Russian mobsters" was "fascinating."
"Roger Stone bragged about having his contact," Simpson replied, referring to Stone's public comments about having an intermediary with Assange. "We tried to figure out who the contact was."

We started going into who Stone was and who his relationships were with, and essentially the trail led to sort of international far right. And, you know, Brexit happened, and Nigel Farage became someone that we were very interested in, and I still think it's very interesting."
Blast from the past: I posted this back in June
https://www.theguardian.com/politics...e_iOSApp_Other
Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March.
The source mentioned Farage’s links with Roger Stone, Trump’s long-time political adviser who has admitted being in contact with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker whom US intelligence agencies believe to be a Kremlin agent.
---

Simpson pointed to Farage's trips to New York, and said he had been told, but had not confirmed, that "Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran Embassy...and that he provided data to Julian Assange."

"What kind of data?" Schiff asked.

"A thumb drive," Simpson replied.

Now, here's something with amazing timing:
A McClatchy article published on Thursday morning revealed that the FBI is investigating whether Russian money flowed into the NRA via a Kremlin-linked banker named Alexander Torshin, which was then donated to the Trump campaign.

"It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA," Simpson said. "And there is more than one explanation for why. But I would say broadly speaking, it appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations."
Why does Torshin sound familiar?
While Kushner told Dearborn and other campaign officials on the email not to accept Torshin's offer, Torshin was seated with the candidate's son, Donald Trump Jr., during a private dinner on the sidelines of an NRA event during the convention in Louisville, according to an account Torshin gave to Bloomberg. Congressional investigators have no clear explanation for how that came to be, according to sources familiar with the matter.
What a wild coincidence.

http://amp.mcclatchydc.com/news/nati...mpression=true
The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
However, the NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.
Torshin, a leading figure in Putin’s party, has been implicated in money laundering by judicial authorities in Spain, as Bloomberg News first revealed in 2016. Spanish investigators alleged in an almost 500-page internal report that Torshin, who was then a senator, capitalized on his government role to assist mobsters laundering funds through Spanish properties and banks, Bloomberg reported
Money-laundering you say?
     
Chongo
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Jan 22, 2018, 07:19 PM
 
Is Rose Mary Woods ghost haunting the FBI IT department?
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 23, 2018, 08:24 PM
 
https://twitter.com/ABC/status/955938936530128896
JUST IN: Robert Mueller has indicated to Pres. Trump's lawyers that the special counsel’s office will seek answers directly from the president on circumstances around Flynn, Comey firings, @ABC confirms.
No having the lawyers do your homework for you, I guess. Unsurprising, but still good news.

---

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.11b9f6bcd9ab

Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting.

The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?

McCabe said he didn’t vote, according to the officials, who like others interviewed for this article requested anonymity to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.
Yeah, not a good look.

A year into his presidency, it is clear Trump still harbors a deep dislike of McCabe. Another White House official said Trump frequently complained about the FBI official, labeling him a Democrat. Over the past seven months or so, Trump has repeatedly tweeted criticisms of McCabe, erroneously saying McCabe headed the Clinton investigation while his wife was taking Clinton money for her state Senate campaign.

In August, a former Justice Department senior official, Christopher A. Wray, became FBI director. In recent months, he has been under increasing political pressure to remove top officials linked to Comey.

Sessions has pressed Wray to replace McCabe, as well as James A. Baker, until recently the general counsel. It is customary for a new director to bring in his own team. The political controversy surrounding Comey and those of his leadership team who remain at the bureau has increased the pressure on Wray.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 23, 2018, 09:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckra...donation-trump
The NRA did not respond to McClatchy’s requests for comments for its story on the FBI probe, published Thursday morning. And although McClatchy’s report reverberated widely in the media, the group still has offered no response, including to multiple inquiries from TPM.
A communications staffer for the NRA-ILA told TPM Monday that NRA Managing Director of Public Affairs Andrew Arulanandam was handling questions on the issue.

Arulanandam hasn’t responded to multiple phone and email messages asking whether the NRA has been contacted by the FBI, and whether the group accepted any donations from Torshin during the 2016 campaign. Asked Tuesday if anyone else at the NRA could field questions on the topic, Jennifer Baker, the NRA-ILA’s director of public affairs, again directed TPM to Arulanandam.
That's kind of surprising. This seems like the kind of thing you'd deny immediately and forcefully.
     
reader50
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Jan 23, 2018, 10:14 PM
 
If it were true, denying it on the record could lead to consequences. In their position, I'd only deny it if I could be certain. Even if they're still investigating internally, but uncertain, the smart move would be to not say anything.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 23, 2018, 10:34 PM
 
I did think they're probably investigating internally. If they never asked where the money was coming from, they might only now be realizing they ****ed up.

The point is, the notion has merit, if only because the NRA's response implies they're taking it seriously.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 23, 2018, 10:37 PM
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.e7bdceabdf7b
But there are increasing signs that Sessions has indeed done plenty of Trump's bidding behind closed doors. And he's done it on some dicey and very politically tinged issues — so much so that he made Trump's second FBI director deeply uncomfortable with the whole thing.

The Post's Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker report that Sessions has pressured FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to get rid of his deputy Andrew McCabe, a holdover from James B. Comey's FBI and favorite target for Republicans alleging bias in federal law enforcement.
In other words, Trump has publicly stated his preference for Sessions to try to get rid of McCabe, and he has suggested Wray do it as well. Now we find out Sessions did indeed attempt it, and Wray resisted it.
The New York Times reported recently that a Sessions aide went to Capitol Hill last year seeking derogatory information about Comey at a time when Trump clearly had his eyes on firing Comey. (A Justice Department spokesman has denied this occurred.) There are also reports that the Justice Department is considering a revival of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, which Trump has repeatedly called for. And back in August, Sessions announced a ramped-up effort to root out leakers in the federal government — just days after Trump tweeted that Sessions had taken “a VERY weak position” on the issue.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 24, 2018, 07:35 PM
 
There's so much news, likely because Mueller is getting close to interviewing Trump.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/don...-trump-n840491
By the end of 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team had spoken with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; former FBI Director James Comey; and numerous members of Trump’s campaign and White House inner circle.
NBC News also has learned that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who informed the White House about Flynn’s interview two days after it took place, has cooperated with the special counsel. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has also been interviewed, according to people familiar with the inquiry. Pompeo was present at a meeting where Trump allegedly asked for help in leaning on Comey to drop his investigation.

One person familiar with the matter described Pompeo, Coats and Rogers as "peripheral witnesses" to the Comey firing. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who played a key role in Comey's departure and was a top adviser on the Trump campaign, was interviewed by Mueller last week as the special counsel's team inches closer to possibly questioning the president himself.
Two people familiar with the matter said Trump was unaware that Flynn had spoken with the FBI until two days after the interview took place. An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

A brief phone call from the office of Andrew McCabe, the deputy FBI director, to a scheduler for Flynn on Jan. 24 set the interview in motion, according to people familiar with the matter. The scheduler was told the FBI wanted to speak with Flynn later that day, these people said, and the meeting was placed on Flynn’s schedule. The scheduler didn't ask the reason for the meeting, and the FBI didn't volunteer it, one person familiar with the matter said.

Later that day, two FBI agents arrived at the White House to speak with Flynn. A lawyer for the National Security Council typically would be informed of such a meeting and be present for it, one person familiar with the procedures said. But that didn't happen in this instance, and Flynn didn't include his own personal lawyer, two people said. He met with the two federal agents alone, according to these people.

"No one knew that any of this was happening," said another senior White House official who was there at the time.

"Apparently it was not clear to Flynn that this was about his personal conduct," another White House official said. "So he didn't think of bringing his own lawyer."
Stupid watergate
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 24, 2018, 07:39 PM
 
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...mueller-366653
Two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday pressed the committee's Republican chairman to provide special counsel Robert Mueller with transcripts of the panel's interviews with key witnesses in its Russia probe, including Donald Trump Jr.
It also amounted to a suggestion that witnesses — potentially including Donald Trump Jr., who sat for an interview in September — may have made false statements to the committee. In a recent interview, Blumenthal predicted the Trump Jr. transcript would be “explosive” if released.

The Democrats recalled the early-January decision of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to refer Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial intelligence dossier on Trump's alleged Russia ties, to the FBI for criminal investigation into possible false statements.

"You have stated publicly that you believe it is important for the Special Counsel to carry his investigation through to completion and determine the facts," the Democratic duo wrote to Grassley. "It is hard to see how withholding the transcripts achieves that goal."

"The transcripts of congressional testimony may reveal other, and better-founded, concerns about witness false statements," they wrote.
---

https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.03a7e2abd59f
President Trump said Wednesday he is “looking forward” to testifying before special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and that he would speak under oath.

“I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible,” Trump said at the White House. “I would do it under oath, absolutely.”
FWIW

“Oh well, did he fight back?” Trump said, “You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction.”
“I don’t think I did,” he said. “I don’t know what’s the big deal with that. I would ask you who you voted for. . . . I don’t remember asking him that question.”

“I think it’s also a very unimportant question,” he added.

During the quick session with reporters, Trump also attacked Hillary Clinton, his Democratic foe in the 2016 election, saying she did not testify under oath while being investigated for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
Doesn't remember, but if he did, it's not a big deal.

Greatest memory. Tremendous memory.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 24, 2018, 10:07 PM
 
Trump lawyers already trying to downplay his unscripted comments
https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/956357422603554817
WH statement on Trump’s comments tonight about speaking under oath to Mueller: “While Mr. Trump was speaking hurriedly before departing for Davos, he remains committed to continued complete cooperation with the OSC and is looking forward to speaking with Mr. Mueller.” - Ty Cobb
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 25, 2018, 10:23 PM
 
Well, this is it. The big one.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/u...el-russia.html
President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.
Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mr. Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said.
First, he claimed that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., had prompted Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director at the time, to resign his membership. The president also said Mr. Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Finally, the president said, Mr. Mueller had been interviewed to return as the F.B.I. director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May.

After receiving the president’s order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said.

Mr. McGahn disagreed with the president’s case and told senior White House officials that firing Mr. Mueller would have a catastrophic effect on Mr. Trump’s presidency. Mr. McGahn also told White House officials that Mr. Trump would not follow through on the dismissal on his own. The president then backed off.

Mr. Trump has long demonstrated a preoccupation with those who have overseen the Russia investigation. In March, after Mr. McGahn failed to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the inquiry, Mr. Trump complained that he needed someone loyal to oversee the Justice Department.

The former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said Mr. Trump asked him for loyalty and encouraged him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Comey said he sidestepped those requests. He was soon fired.

In an interview with The New York Times in the Oval Office in July, the president pointedly kept open the option of firing Mr. Mueller, saying that the special counsel would be passing a red line if his investigation expanded to look at Mr. Trump’s finances. Mr. Trump said he never would have made Mr. Sessions the attorney general if he had known he would recuse himself from the investigation.
Wapo is confirming the story.

Some circumstantial evidence.

From June 2017: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...mueller-239496
After spending hours with senior administration figures, President Donald Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy walked out of the White House on Monday, took an Uber to the PBS studio and said on TV that he thought Trump might fire special counsel Robert Mueller — a bombshell revelation even by 2017 Washington standards.
Ruddy’s remarks drew widespread head-scratching, even by Trump standards. Why would a Trump friend go on TV and say that, even if it were true? What would be the repercussions? Would the president actually consider doing that? Why would a Trump friend openly criticize the president’s press secretary? Why would reporters take a friend as seriously — or more seriously — than White House aides?

Ruddy said he was simply calling it like he saw it.

“I think the big story is that Mueller is an illegitimate special counsel. He’s a threat to the president, even though I don’t think the president has done anything wrong,” Ruddy said Tuesday morning. He added: “I still think it would be a mistake to fire him.”
Also from that time:


https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/...05776403349510
To recap: Trump asked Comey for loyalty; asked him to drop the Flynn probe; fired Comey; pressured Sessions not to recuse; pressured Sessions to fire McCabe; pressured Coats, Rogers, Pompeo &multiple congressmen to say he wasn’t under FBI investigation; and tried to fire Mueller.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 25, 2018, 11:02 PM
 
For skeptics on the right, Fox News is partly confirming NYTs report
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018...urce-says.html
President Trump told top officials this past June that he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but was talked out of doing so by White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides, a source close to the White House told Fox News late Thursday.

The source could neither confirm nor deny a New York Times report that Trump ordered Mueller's dismissal, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign instead.

However, the source added that then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steven Bannon believed last summer that Trump would fire Mueller and were very worried about the political fallout.
     
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Jan 26, 2018, 09:38 PM
 
Crazily, April Ryan actually had the story in June when it happened. I didn't believe it because both because of the source and the lack of confirmation.

https://www.mediaite.com/tv/april-ry...ueller-firing/
Ryan tonight told Erin Burnett, “One of my sources reached out to me just before we went on air and they said there’s mass hysteria in the West Wing about this.”

If he fires Mueller, she added, “it shows that he’s impeding the process yet again.”
     
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Jan 26, 2018, 10:45 PM
 
So we have confirmation that he intended to obstruct justice, but got talked/threatened out of it? Interesting defense. I'm not sure if it will fly, but this is D.C. after all.
     
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Jan 26, 2018, 10:55 PM
 
“And I told her repeatedly that I unsuccessfully tried to cheat on her. Yet my wife still wants a divorce.”
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Jan 27, 2018, 01:39 PM
 
i thought he was the 'greatest leader'. Does he only (try to) do things that other people tell him to do?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jan 27, 2018, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
So we have confirmation that he intended to obstruct justice, but got talked/threatened out of it? Interesting defense. I'm not sure if it will fly, but this is D.C. after all.
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
“And I told her repeatedly that I unsuccessfully tried to cheat on her. Yet my wife still wants a divorce.”
My armchair reading is at worst, this is evidence of intent to obstruct. At best he did obstruct, but was disobeyed.

I don't think anyone would argue a general who told his officer to kill all civilians, and the officers disobeys, is innocent of trying to kill all civilians.
     
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Jan 27, 2018, 06:18 PM
 
Shapiro gets held up as one of the better conservative voices but Jesus is he prone to saying dumb shit
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 27, 2018, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I don't think anyone would argue a general who told his officer to kill all civilians, and the officers disobeys, is innocent of trying to kill all civilians.
I agree, but I think it is important to not get bogged down on legal issues. Because a lot of people base their arguments off of that: there is not sufficient proof that Trump did do anything illegal, so it's ok. (Which is a non-sensical argument in the context here.)
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Jan 27, 2018, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Shapiro gets held up as one of the better conservative voices but Jesus is he prone to saying dumb shit
Shapiro makes a living off of the outrage machine, and he has to cater to an audience. I've heard his mental contortions after Trump's shit hole comment whether or not Trump is a racist. Of course, he is not alone, on The Editors, the main podcast associated to the National Review, they were inching more and more towards calling him a racist, but they argued that perhaps ignorant is a more apt label (because he doesn't seem himself as a racist).

The sad thing is that these people are mostly aware of what the discussion would look like if the roles were reversed. And perhaps in private or a few years from now they'll be more reasonable still — like the neocons that are now gaining prominence again as conservative anti-Trumpers, forgetting their roles in how the US got where it is now, hyperpolarized and living in two seemingly separate realities.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jan 29, 2018, 07:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I agree, but I think it is important to not get bogged down on legal issues. Because a lot of people base their arguments off of that: there is not sufficient proof that Trump did do anything illegal, so it's ok. (Which is a non-sensical argument in the context here.)
Funny, I take the exact opposite view. Basically, opposition to Trump's actions will mostly be rebutted by whataboutism and moral relativism/consequentialism. Since the nation is so divided, I think its more important that any action taken against Trump be justified by being able to cite laws he violated, rather than murky ethical issues.

Hence, the focus on obstruction rather than more nebulous cronyism or profiteering.
     
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Jan 29, 2018, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Funny, I take the exact opposite view. Basically, opposition to Trump's actions will mostly be rebutted by whataboutism and moral relativism/consequentialism.
I know what you are saying here, but in practice motivated reasoning will dismiss even the most clear cut cases with proof straight from the horse's mouth. Going to legal issues is an attempt to put yourself beyond reproach, although if you just have a look at how Mueller is treated, you will see that even if you are absolutely pedantic about dotting your i's and crossing your t's, this will be an exercise of futility.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Since the nation is so divided, I think its more important that any action taken against Trump be justified by being able to cite laws he violated, rather than murky ethical issues.
I disagree for two reasons: first of all, a democracy rests on people upholding political norms, and those norms go beyond what a politician can do. It is not illegal for the President to lie under a great many circumstances, but it is nevertheless a violation of norms. Trump agitating against the press is a violation of norms but legal. These norms go beyond what the laws state. The President has the legal authority to pardon anyone for federal crimes (with the exception of people who have been impeached). There would be plenty of pardons which would be completely legal but also immoral.

Secondly, I wouldn't call many of the ethical issues murky at all: just him personally benefitting financially from the Presidency is not a murky issue. He has not divested. It is not a murky issue when President Trump stated that there were good people on both sides (i. e. also on the side of the Nazis and white supremacists). Whether the former violates the Emoluments Clause I cannot say, but the second certainly falls under freedom of speech.

I get the point that democratic norms aren't as tangible and clear cut as laws. Thus, you may even find people that no harm has been done at all. But these are the really important bits, least of all because believing in the rule of law is also a democratic norm. Moreover, you can make laws that make the immoral legal. Norms is what allows us to work together as a community and to interact with others.
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Jan 30, 2018, 10:01 PM
 
https://www.thedailybeast.com/julian...er&via=desktop

Assange reaching out to Hannity with info on Warner.
*thinking emoji*


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...emo?CMP=twt_gu
The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.

However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the “Shearer memo” and is pursuing intriguing leads.
The Shearer memo was provided to the FBI in October 2016.

It was handed to them by Steele – who had been given it by an American contact – after the FBI requested the former MI6 agent provide any documents or evidence that could be useful in its investigation, according to multiple sources.

The Guardian was told Steele warned the FBI he could not vouch for the veracity of the Shearer memo, but that he was providing a copy because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.
This is a bizarre revelation.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 1, 2018, 08:05 PM
 
I want to say this was mentioned before. A name pop backs up: https://www.wsj.com/articles/mueller...eam-1517363052
Mr. Corallo’s resignation followed the revelation that Donald Trump Jr. , the president’s eldest son, had arranged a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin and top campaign aides, including senior adviser Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Mr. Corallo had privately expressed frustration over the administration’s handling of reports about that meeting, the Journal previously reported.
Mr. Corallo hired a lawyer earlier this month after he was featured in Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a book the president has repeatedly attacked. Mr. Wolff wrote that Mr. Corallo quit after “privately confiding that he believed the meeting on Air Force One represented a likely obstruction of justice.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/u...T.nav=top-news
Mr. Corallo is planning to tell Mr. Mueller about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, according to the three people. Mr. Corallo planned to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting — in which the younger Mr. Trump said he was eager to receive political dirt about Mrs. Clinton from the Russians — “will never get out.” That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice, the people said.

Re: Flynn
https://twitter.com/johnson_carrie/s...29825799663622
Lawyers for Michael Flynn & Robert Mueller: "due to the status of the special counsel's investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time." He's talking & they're not ready to tell the world what he's saying.

More loyalty fishing
http://abcnews.go.com/ABCNews/trump-..._twitter_abcnp
A source familiar with the matter confirms that during a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in December, President Donald Trump asked Rosenstein about the direction of the FBI's Russia investigation and asked Rosenstein whether the deputy attorney general was part of Trump's team.

Rick Gates popping up as well
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.98e517179d07
Lawyers for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s co-defendant, Rick Gates, have asked a federal judge in Washington to leave the case in a shake-up in the pending fraud and money laundering prosecution by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

In a court filing Thursday, Gates attorneys Shanlon Wu of Washington and Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy of New York moved to withdraw as counsel for reasons they said they would file shortly under seal.
CNN reported Jan. 23 that Gates had added white-collar lawyer Thomas C. Green of the Sidley law firm in Washington to his defense team, after Green was spotted at Mueller’s office, fueling speculation about ongoing negotiations with prosecutors.
     
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Feb 1, 2018, 08:27 PM
 
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckra...act-fbi-russia
“We have not been contacted by the FBI about anything related to Russia,” Steven Hart, an outside lawyer for the NRA, told McClatchy in a statement posted Tuesday evening as an update to McClatchy’s original story, which appeared January 18.
     
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Feb 4, 2018, 07:56 PM
 
This thread needs a meme.
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
 
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