“Comey resignation” – Google News: The Calamity of the Weaponized Narrative | Dechert LLP – JD Supra

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The Calamity of the Weaponized Narrative | Dechert LLP  JD Supra

Tim Sloan resigned as the CEO of Wells Fargo a few months ago. I had briefly worked with Tim and much admired him so, on a personal level, this was sad.

“Comey resignation” – Google News


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“Mueller Investigation of voters manipulations online” – Google News: Facebook, Twitter set to fight fake news during Democratic debates – San Francisco Chronicle

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Facebook, Twitter set to fight fake news during Democratic debates  San Francisco Chronicle

In advance of the 2020 Demcoratic primary debates, Facebook and Twitter are working with the DNC to counter potential disinformation operations on their …

“Mueller Investigation of voters manipulations online” – Google News


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“trump authoritarianism” – Google News: Trump’s Middle East peace plan unveiled to anger and derision – The Guardian

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Trump’s Middle East peace plan unveiled to anger and derision  The Guardian

No Israelis or Palestinians present for launch of deal that shreds decades of diplomacy.

“trump authoritarianism” – Google News


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Phase one of US Middle East peace plan greeted with scepticism

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No Israelis or Palestinians present for launch of plan that shreds decades of diplomacy

The first phase of the Trump administration’s long-awaited peace plan for Israel and Palestine has been rolled out to scepticism, anger and outright derision.

A conference hall of regional officials – with no Israelis or Palestinians present – was the first to hear details of the US-brokered deal, an economic blueprint that shreds decades of diplomacy and which even its mooted financial backers seemed reluctant to embrace.

Continue reading…


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NPR News: 06-25-2019 12PM ET

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Jared Kushner Delivers ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Speech at Economic Workshop in Bahrain (Video) – Sputnik International

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Jared Kushner Delivers ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Speech at Economic Workshop in Bahrain (Video)  Sputnik International

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is heading a US delegation which includes presidential adviser Jared Kushner, Special Representative for Iran Brian …


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“political crimes” – Google News: Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda – Crime Report

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Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda  Crime Report

“Agree or disagree with him, but by all means read him.” That’s The New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb’s take on Thomas Abt, whose just-published book, “Bleeding …

“political crimes” – Google News


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Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – fox23maine.com

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Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’fox23maine.com

LONDON (AP) — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets …


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Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – NBC 15 WPMI

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Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’  NBC 15 WPMI

LONDON (AP) — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets …


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A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 126th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

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from Comments on: A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 126th Unpresidented Week As POTUS.

President Donald J. Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday, June 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Source: White House)

President Donald J. Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday, June 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Source: White House)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing his every move. This is week 126.

Volatility, indecisive foreign policy moves, immigrant fear mongering, false treason charges, suspicious transactions under investigation, and a sexual assault allegation – another week in Donald Trump’s America.

This week, President Trump officially launched his 2020 campaign, after having already filed for re-election on the day of his inauguration. In his Orlando rally, Trump decided to use the same old tired messaging he used in 2016. Attacks on Hillary Clinton, cries of persecution, and fear mongering about immigration. While this false rhetoric about the dangers of migrants were spewed at Trump’s rally, news of the poor conditions child migrants are enduring spread.

When it comes to Iran, the Trump Administration has propelled us to this point through their reckless actions. Iran was complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when President Trump withdrew from the deal. Now, the region is on the brink of conflict. Luckily, President Trump couldn’t bring himself to retaliate to Iran’s downing of a US drone with force, backing down from a strike at the last minute. Instead, the Trump Administration opted for a cyber attack and additional sanctions. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and National Security Adviser, and Iran hawk, John Bolton is left curling his mustache in anger that he didn’t get his way.

It wouldn’t be a week in the United States without a new potential corruption scandal involving a Trump family member. Jared Kushner’s Deutsche Bank transactions were reportedly flagged by an anti-money laundering expert in 2016. The transactions included money sent to Russians in 2016. We learned that those transactions are now under scrutiny as part of a broader money laundering investigation by the FBI.

The end of the week brought with it a bombshell. Advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carrol accused the President of the United States of rape.

Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.

This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned, completely ad-free, and take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:

Another False Treason Charge

Day 879: Monday, June 17

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

The New York Times published an article revealing new US cyber operations against Russian power grids. It also revealed that national security officials reportedly had fears about telling Trump about the operations out of concern for how he would react.

Looks like their concerns were justified. President Trump accused one of the largest newspapers in the world of treason.

In other news…

Trump 2020 = Trump 2016

Day 880: Tuesday, June 18

President Donald Trump speaks at the North Side Gymnasium in Elkhart, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, during a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump speaks at the North Side Gymnasium in Elkhart, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, during a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Four years ago this week, President Trump descended down the golden escalators in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for president. And he never really stopped campaigning, even after being inaugurated. Rather than suggest productive solutions to real problems like income inequality, climate change, and student loan debt, Trump has opted to sow anger.

Since he announced in 2015, Trump has been constantly spreading disinformation, fear mongering, manufacturing crises to rally his base, scapegoating immigrants, and villainizing his critics. Rather than the aspirational politics of many of his predecessors, Trump’s core political message is grievance and fear. Today’s kickoff rally for his 2020 campaign was no different.

Vice President Mike Pence began the rally in Orlando, Florida by naming alleged promises President Trump has kept and then lied about Democrats advocating for infanticide. Pence then launched into a misleading tirade about how Democrats are trying to replace America’s way of life with socialism and are targeting “freedom.” How is trying to provide healthcare and education to Americans targeting freedom?

After spending the past few days tweeting about the incoming deportation of “millions” of immigrants (disputed by his administration), Trump’s rally struck a familiar tone. President Trump’s core message is that immigrants are flooding over the border and that Democrats are seeking to rob his supporters of their livelihood. Trump is also relitigating the past, falsely claiming he is a victim of an illegal witch hunt, and complaining more about Hillary Clinton than he is about the 2020 Democratic candidates.

During his rally, President Trump continued his authoritarian tendencies by attacking the media. Of the Democrats, Trump said: “Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage. They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.” It appears Trump forgot one of his supporters mailed pipe bombs to CNN and his Democratic critics or he just doesn’t care.

Trump falsely claimed that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no collusion or obstruction when it actually outlined over 100 pages of collusion evidence and 10 key areas of obstruction. Trump repeated the false claims that his campaign was spied on. Trump accused Democrats of wanting to use the law to target their opponents while he has Attorney General William Barr investigating people he falsely accused of treason. Trump also tried to claim he has drained the swamp in spite of the countless corruption scandals plaguing his administration.

Perhaps the biggest representation of the con that is this presidency, President Trump called “Make America Great Again” the greatest slogan of all time and claimed it is his. It was originally Ronald Reagan’s…

In other news…

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Kushner Transactions Under Investigation

Day 881: Wednesday, June 19

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Whenever Deutsche Bank is in the news, it usually spells trouble for either Jared Kushner or Donald Trump. Today continued that trend. The New York Times reported:

Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, the latest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world’s largest and most troubled banks, according to seven people familiar with the inquiry.

The investigation includes a review of Deutsche Bank’s handling of so-called suspicious activity reports that its employees prepared about possibly problematic transactions, including some linked to President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to people close to the bank and others familiar with the matter.

This reporting comes after earlier reporting from The Times which told the story of how whistleblower Tammy McFadden flagged suspicious transactions involving Kushner’s company in 2016. McFadden is an anti-money laundering expert, and at the time told Deutsche Bank about the transactions and that she found “money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.” In 2017, her colleagues flagged suspicious transactions involving President Trump’s companies, but it’s unclear if Trump’s transactions are part of this new probe. The F.B.I. has contacted McFadden as part of their investigation.

As we know, Deutsche Bank is the German bank that was the only major financial institution willing to do business with businessman Donald Trump when he was deemed too risky an investment for US banks. According to reports, the Trump Organization currently owes Deutsche Bank $364 million (his companies have received over $2.5 billion in loans over two decades) and his son-in-law, and White House Adviser, Jared Kushner’s company owes the bank $285 million. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank was raided in a money laundering investigation and has a documented history of money laundering for Russians.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank related to loans President Trump’s company has received from the bank, according to multiple reports. This came after Michael Cohen claimed Trump inflated his assets in an effort to try and obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank for the purchase of the Buffalo Bills – a loan he didn’t receive. The New York Times reported in March that President Trump inflated his wealth to Deutsche Bank, citing bank officials.

When House Democrats subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank pertaining to Trump’s family, President Trump responded by suing Deutsche Bank to prevent them from complying with the subpoena. President Trump’s lawsuit failed in court. A federal judge in New York ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over Trump’s financial records to Congress.

Several questions come to mind. Why were Kushner’s companies paying Russians during the height of Russia’s attack on US democracy that the Trump Campaign benefitted from? Were these transactions money laundering related? Why did Deutsche Bank executives refuse to report these transactions to the government? Will President Trump lash out at FBI Director Christopher Wray or try and obstruct this investigation? It’s not clear exactly what these transactions were, but given Deutsche Bank’s history and Donald Trump’s alleged history of money laundering for Russian oligarchs, this is an important story to watch.

In other news…

Iran On The Brink: How We Got Here

Day 882: Thursday, June 20

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton (AP, Gage Skidmore)

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton (AP, Gage Skidmore)

We are living with the inevitable results of President Trump’s unjustified withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal. A US drone has been shot down by Iran. While officials claim it was shot down in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, Iran claims that it was in Iranian airspace. The Trump Administration has yet to announce its retaliatory measures, but President Trump has said it could’ve been unintentional, seemingly signaling he’s not too keen on conflict.

There are reports that President Trump disagrees with National Security Adviser John Bolton on exactly how the US should retaliate.

Top members of Congress huddled with President Trump today to talk next steps. Given the new hardline leadership in Iran, this is an important story to watch. As we wait to see whether the US will perform a limited strike or something significantly more measured, some context about Bolton’s hawkish worldview, and how it’s helped us get to this point, is important. As we’ve covered before here at Rantt, Bolton’s hawkish stance on Iran has been well documented. Bolton’s calls for regime change in Iran long predate his tenure in the White House. When he was appointed by President Trump in April 2018, pundits and Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about what could come.

In a nutshell, Bolton has helped to propel President Trump’s foreign policy towards a conflict with Iran. If the Trump administration wanted to reduce Iran’s nuclear capacity, they would’ve stayed in the Iran Nuclear deal, more officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Bolton wanted an excuse to levy more sanctions on Iran, apply economic pressure on the country, and cause regime change by sparking an uprising among the Iranian people. With that in mind, let’s break down all the developments that led us here.

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised he would tear up the JCPOA. Under the terms of the deal, Iran received relief from economic sanctions in exchange for reducing their nuclear material and uranium enrichment. This was President Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement and took cooperation with the UN Security Council to pull it off. It was signed in 2015. Trump’s criticized the deal and alleged violations on the part of Iran, even as his own administration’s officials, like then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, said none existed.

President Trump withdrew from the deal in May of 2018 – one month after John Bolton took H.R. McMaster’s position as National Security Adviser. It’s more accurate to say the Trump administration violated the JCPOA, because Iran was complying with the deal and was overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – who validated Iran’s compliance 9 separate times. In the immediate aftermath, Iran did not choose to violate the terms of the JCPOA and worked with the European signatories (UK, France, and Germany) to continue to receive the deal’s benefits even without America’s participation.

In response, President Trump threatened to sanction America’s own allies if they did business with Iran – mainly by purchasing Iranian oil which is the bedrock of their economy. Those moves crippled Iran’s economy thoroughly, causing them to get frustrated, triggering what we’ve seen since.

In April of this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would designate the Iran Revolutionary Guard, an Iranian military branch, as a terrorist organization. In early May, Iran said that it would begin to withdraw from some components of the JCPOA, by enriching small amounts of uranium. On May 5th, the US sent an aircraft carrier to the region, warning of potential attacks from Iran. On May 9th, The New York Timereported that upon Bolton’s request, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presented plans for the potential deployment of 120,000 to the Middle East if Iran executed an attack – a plan that wasn’t acted upon.

On May 15th, the US cited intelligence indicating that there was an impending threat from Iran and ordered an evacuation of the US embassy in Iraq. It’s important to note that US allies at the time said they saw no impending threat. Even Republican members of Congress like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had expressed anger at how they were being left in the dark on the intelligence. On June 13, we had an attack on two oil tankers that Iran was allegedly behind. While many were understandably skeptical to trust the Trump administration’s intelligence on the attack, US allies have validated the intelligence. There was then the US’ subsequent announcement of 1,000 additional troops to the region. Now, we have this drone being shot down.

Here is a good thread on the drone.

The American people do not want a war with Iran. The prospect of a lengthy, deadly, and frivolous war might make conservative hawks like Bolton curl their mustaches but there is no other constituency for this. Given the fact he campaigned on avoiding frivolous wars, President Trump himself has reportedly grown frustrated with some of his more hawkish advisers and told Shanahan he does not want a war with Iran back in May. Trump is well aware that war with Iran would tank his support, and even chip away at his seemingly ironclad base. But if Trump was serious about avoiding conflict, he wouldn’t have hired National Security Adviser John Bolton in the first place.

In other news…

New Rape Allegation

Day 883: Friday, June 21

President Donald Trump during a joint conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump during a joint conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Well-regarded advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carroll just published a profound article. In her piece that is presented on the cover of New York Magazine, Carroll chronicles the stories of several “hideous men” who have allegedly sexually assaulted her – including Donald Trump.

The New York Magazine’s Intelligencer succinctly summarizes the alleged assault on the then-23-year-old Carroll:

When Carroll meets Donald Trump in Bergdorf Goodman, the encounter starts as a friendly one. Trump recognizes her as “that advice lady”; Carroll recognizes him as “that real-estate tycoon.” Trump tells Carroll that he’s there to buy a gift for “a girl,” and though we don’t learn the identity of this mystery woman, Carroll places the ensuing incident in late 1995 or early 1996, during which time Trump was married to Marla Maples.

When Trump asks Carroll to advise him on what to buy, she agrees, and the two eventually make their way to the lingerie section. Trump suggests a lace bodysuit and encourages Carroll to try it on; she, deflecting, jokingly suggests that he try it on instead. After they reach the dressing rooms, events turn violent. In Carroll’s account, Trump shoves her against a wall inside a dressing room, pulls down her tights, and, “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.”

New York Magazine corroborated Carroll’s claim that she disclosed the alleged assault to two of her friends. This brings President Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations to a total of 24, according to Business Insider. The allegations range from sexual harassment to groping. 16 of the 24 are sexual assault allegations.

President Trump infamously bragged about sexual assault in the Access Holywood tape that was released just before the 2016 election.

Whether this new allegation will factor into the voting decisions of his supporters is unclear, but given the fact they elected him in spite of his other allegations, and the GOP’s reaction to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s allegations, may tell you all you need to know.

In other news…

Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and completely ad-free. We strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:


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Merkel’s party debates the unthinkable — power sharing with the far-right

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Michael_Novakhov
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.

BERLIN (AFP)  — Until now, a possible tie-up between any of Germany’s mainstream parties and the rising far-right AfD movement has always been strictly seen as a political taboo.

But what was previously unthinkable could become a reality as Angela Merkel’s embattled center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party feels compelled to consider other power-sharing options.

One possibility is an alliance with the fiercely anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), at least at a regional level.


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Local elections in three states in the east of the country where polls suggest that the AfD could become the strongest political force — Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia — are forcing the CDU to rethink its stance.

“We should not rule out a coalition” with the AfD, Ulrich Thomas, one of the regional leaders of the CDU in the central state of Saxony-Anhalt, told local daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

“It is not possible now, but we don’t know what the situation will be like in two or five years’ time.”

For the time being, the CDU’s central leadership rules out any suggestions the party could join forces with the AfD, especially in the wake of the murder of local politician Walter Luebcke earlier this month, allegedly by a right-wing extremist.

In a sign of the prevailing nervousness, Merkel’s favoured successor, CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said Sunday night she would like to ban any attempt to cooperate with the AfD.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christian Democratic Union, CDU, chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer attend a parties board meeting at the headquarters in Berlin, Monday, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

“I’m going to ask the party leadership for permission … to look at all the means to really prevent any rapprochement or cooperation with the AfD,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, or “AKK” as she is dubbed in Germany, said on the ARD television channel.

Signs of weakening

Saxony-Anhalt will elect a new regional parliament in 2021 and another local CDU leader, Lars-Joern Zimmer, pointed out that voters of his party and the AfD often held similar views and felt themselves to be part of Germany’s “conservative majority”.

Recently, Germany’s former domestic spy chief and a member of the CDU’s right-wing, Hans-Georg Maassen, also refused to rule out an alliance at national level, saying “you never know.”

Thuringia’s AfD faction leader Bjoern Hoecke attend a rally in Erfurt, Germany, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

On Sunday, the deputy chief of the AfD, Georg Pazderski, suggested that “the united front (against his party) is beginning to crumble”.

“In particular, the CDU base — which has been massively disappointed by its own leaders — cannot be told that the party should be closer to the left than to AfD,” he told the Sunday edition of Welt newspaper.

There is media speculation that the CDU might team up with the environmentalist Greens party, which made significant gains in the recent European elections, in a power-sharing coalition.

But at the head of the CDU, general secretary Paul Ziemiak, 33, has tried to shut down any debate about an alliance with the far-right.

“Just to make it clear to everyone: the CDU strictly rejects any coalition or cooperation with AfD,” tweeted Ziemiak on Thursday.

Under pressure

Nevertheless, Merkel’s party is under pressure and, after a disappointing victory in the 2017 elections, is continuing to struggle at the polls.

A survey by broadcaster RTL published Saturday puts the CDU only second with the Greens top and AfD third.

September could prove to be a turbulent month for Merkel’s CDU in the regional elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, the AfD’s heartland.

The Greens insist any local alliances between the CDU and the far-right would be an obstacle to a possible CDU-Green coalition at national level.

“It would suddenly increase the distance between us,” admitted Greens leader Michael Kellner on Friday.

More worrying for both the CDU and Merkel is the pressure being piled on Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is facing increasing challenges within the party.

Kramp-Karrenbauer came under heavy fire particularly among younger voters last month when she called for limits to free speech around elections.

Earlier this month, Merkel, 64, criticised her own party, saying it was too “defensive” and not “open enough.”


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Trump Shrugs Off Killing of Khashoggi by Saudi Agents, Saying Saudi Arabia Is an Important Trading Partner – The New York Times

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VOA Newscasts

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Give us 5 minutes, and we’ll give you the world. Around the clock, the Voice of America keeps you in touch with the latest news. We bring you reports from our correspondents and interviews with newsmakers from across the world.

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NPR News: 06-22-2019 9AM ET

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: Sadiq Khan hits back at Trump, calling him ‘six-foot-three child’

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Comment is latest retort in long-running feud after US president called London mayor a ‘loser’

Sadiq Khan has described Donald Trump as a “six-foot-three child in the White House” in an ongoing war of words with the US president.

The mayor of London made the comment in a room of teachers at the Together For Education event at Central Hall in Westminster on Saturday.

Related: Timeline: Donald Trump’s feud with Sadiq Khan

.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me……

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian


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Palmer Report: The saga of Donald Trump’s Russian money laundering partner Felix Sater takes another surreal turn

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If it weren’t widely documented that Felix Sater is a real person, one could easily mistake his life story for that of a cartoon villain created by a writer who’d spent a little too much time at the punch bowl. Sater was busted for laundering money for the Russian mafia. He was also busted for stabbing a man in the face with a glass. Then he became a government informant. Then he partnered with Donald Trump on a money laundering front called Trump Soho. Now his story has taken yet another surreal turn.



Even as most of Donald Trump’s associates and former underlings have decided not to testify before the House until the courts inevitably rule that they must testify, Felix Sater went ahead and agreed to show up and testify now. The trouble: he didn’t show up as scheduled yesterday. When he had to explain himself, he claimed that it was because he’d overslept. Because of course he did.




For all we know, perhaps Sater’s sob story about feeling ill and oversleeping might be true. But this is the kind of guy who lost the benefit of the doubt a long time ago. Did he get nervous? Did Trump get to him at the last minute? At least Sater gets credit for coming up with a novel excuse – sort of. This is, after all, the guy who once tried to disguise his identity by briefly changing his name from “Felix Sater” to “Felix Satter.” We’re not making that up.


For his efforts, Felix Sater – or Felix Satter, or whatever his name is now – earned himself a subpoena requiring him to show up and testify. He says that yes, of course he’ll show up next time, and the subpoena wasn’t necessary. Perhaps the House Intel Committee should have skipped the subpoena and sent him an alarm clock.



The post The saga of Donald Trump’s Russian money laundering partner Felix Sater takes another surreal turn appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report


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Felix Sater Wanted to Testify Publicly but Democrats Balked, Lawyer Says

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House Intelligence Committee Democrats rejected real estate developer Felix Sater’s request to testify publicly about his role in helping Donald Trump pursue a deal to put his name on a tower in Moscow, Sater’s lawyer said Friday. Instead, Democrats arranged for Sater to testify behind closed doors.

This account seems to support complaints by some Democrats and activists that senior House Democrats have been reluctant to hold high-profile hearings on Trump’s ties to Russia in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s completion of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. While insisting publicly that they will not flinch in investigating Trump, Democrats in reality appear hesitant in the face of the president’s claims that they are seeking a “do-over” after Mueller said his team had not established that the Trump campaign illegally coordinated with Russia.

Sater’s attorney, Robert Wolf, spoke to Mother Jones after Sater did not appear for his scheduled closed-door testimony before the committee on Friday due to what Wolf, in a statement, said were “unexpected health reasons.” Sater’s no-show drew an announcement by the committee that they would subpoena him. Wolf called that decision “entirely unnecessary.” Sater told Politico that he had missed the interview because “he was feeling ill and slept through his alarm on Friday morning.”

“Mr. Sater previously testified voluntarily before the House Intelligence Committee in December, 2017 and agreed to their more recent requests to voluntarily appear on numerous other dates, including Chairman [Adam] Schiff’s [D-Calif.] request for public testimony on April 10, 2019, all of which were postponed by the committee,” Wolf said in a statement. He said that Sater had met in New York with committee staff to prepare for his public testimony.

Sater was expected to detail for the committee his role—alongside that of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney—in helping Trump pursue the Moscow deal while running for president. Despite signing a letter of intent to pursue the deal, Trump lied about it in public remarks, claiming he had no business in Russia and that he had nothing to do with Sater.

Wolf told Mother Jones that Sater was disappointed when the panel postponed the April 10 hearing. “It was the most important day of his life,” Wolf said. “He was looking forward to it. He was proud to speak about his patriotism and his national security work. He was happy to answer any question they asked.” Wolf said had Sater had offered to appear in an open hearing on subsequent dates the committee offered and that he had also asked that Friday’s scheduled hearing be conducted in the open.

“I was always willing to testify publicly,” Sater told Mother Jones Thursday.

Patrick Boland, a spokesman for the committee, declined to comment on why Sater was not asked to testify in open session.

The committee initially postponed Sater’s public testimony amid aggressive pushback launched by Trump and his backers after Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress on March 24 stating that Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller outlined evidence that Trump obstructed justice in an effort to block the investigation, but the the special counsel did not explicitly allege that Trump had violated the law. In his letter, Barr said he had decided that Mueller’s evidence “is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” 

Barr’s summation of Mueller’s findings has since been substantially discredited. Mueller himself said it “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the full report.” A redacted version of Mueller’s report released weeks after Barr’s letter detailed extensive contact by Trump campaign officials with Russian operatives and said the campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

But it is not clear that Democrats have recovered their appetite for publicly exploring these issues.  

In remarks Wednesday at the National Press Club, Schiff said he wants to “present a fuller account of Trump Tower Moscow because that remains such a potentially compromising circumstance.”

“I think getting out as much information ultimately about the efforts to build that tower will be salutary by [shinning] a spotlight on it,” he said.

Sater is a flawed witness. He once went to jail for assault and became an FBI informant after he was caught in mafia-linked stock scam. He has been regularly described as prone to exaggerating his exploits. But if Schiff wants to put a spotlight on the Trump tower Moscow deal, Sater is the guy to help achieve that. It seems that for at least now, Democrat are reluctant to do so.


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“russia helping trump” – Google News: Felix Sater Wanted to Testify Publicly but Democrats Balked, Lawyer Says – Mother Jones

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Felix Sater Wanted to Testify Publicly but Democrats Balked, Lawyer Says  Mother Jones

House Intelligence Committee Democrats rejected real estate developer Felix Sater’s request to testify publicly about his role in helping Donald Trump pursue a …

“russia helping trump” – Google News


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VOA Newscasts

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Give us 5 minutes, and we’ll give you the world. Around the clock, the Voice of America keeps you in touch with the latest news. We bring you reports from our correspondents and interviews with newsmakers from across the world.

Tune in at the top of every hour, every day of the week, for the 5-minute VOA Newscast. VOA — your trusted source for news and information.

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NPR News: 06-21-2019 6PM ET

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Palmer Report: Donald Trump Jr reaches a whole new low

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Late last week while I was getting a haircut, I heard another customer say to his barber, “Let’s talk politics!” I cringed, fearing my ears were about to be flooded with some cultish, low-information nonsense. Sure enough, he said, “So, what do you think of Joe Biden? What’s his latest? He’s now going to cure cancer! What a moron! Sleepy Joe!” The customer and the barber shared a laugh as they high-fived each other, and that was the end of their entire political “discussion.”


The customer was referring to a comment Biden made at an Iowa rally earlier that week: “I’ve worked so hard in my career that I promise you, if I’m elected President, you’re going to see the single most important thing that changes America: We’re going to cure cancer.” I found it interesting that just as Trump’s admission to George Stephanopoulos that he would welcome foreign collusion and not necessarily report it to the FBI was grabbing headlines, this customer zeroed in on Biden’s cancer comment as the epitome of presidential disqualification.



Days after my haircut, Donald Trump Jr. took the stage Tuesday night at his father’s reelection campaign kickoff in Orlando, Florida. He decided to lambast Biden for that same cancer comment, shouting with faux outrage: “What was the good one last week, remember? Joe Biden comes out, ‘Well, if you elect me President, I’m going to cure cancer.’ Wow! Why the hell didn’t you do that over the last 50 years, Joe?”




Biden’s pursuit of a cancer cure is no political stunt. In 2015, he lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer, then spent the remainder of his term as Vice President running the White House Cancer Moonshot before launching the Biden Cancer Initiative Pulse on Progress in early 2017. Politicians often make promises in highly aspirational terms in an effort to convey confidence and leadership. You can argue that politicians who do this are making promises they know they can’t keep in a shameless attempt to win votes. So, you can criticize Biden for not having said something more along the lines of “We’re going to work tirelessly to cure cancer” instead of “We’re going to cure cancer.” Or you can take no issue with such statements, arguing that these candidates are well intentioned and their meaning is obvious.


But you can’t exactly do both. Shortly after Don Jr. condemned Biden for promising to cure cancer, Trump inadvertently thrust his son into an oddly embarrassing position. Outdoing Biden, Trump declared: “We will push onward with new medical frontiers. We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases — including cancer and others, and we’re getting closer all the time. We will eradicate AIDS in America once and for all and we’re very close.” It is now hard to imagine Don Jr. bringing up Biden’s cancer comment again with any credibility. But I know a barber who will probably listen.



The post Donald Trump Jr reaches a whole new low appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report


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Why Ukraine’s former president and current prime minister can’t get along with each other – Poroshenko vs. Groysman: Essence of pre-election conflict

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from News 112.international.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said that the parties of Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko should bite the dust. The prime minister also noted that when he worked under the Poroshenko presidency, “the whole system around was absolutely hostile.” In turn, Poroshenko called Groysman’s statement the loss of dignity and common sense. But first things first.

Canary in the coal mine

At the end of May, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman announced his intention to participate in early parliamentary elections, together with his own party, Ukrainian Strategy. It was noted that Groysman will head this party and wants to form a team of young people with experience and state needs. In addition, the current prime minister ruled out the possibility of uniting his party with the political force of Petro Poroshenko European solidarity, adding that such proposals were received from the team of the ex-president.

“I think that we are just different (with Petro Poroshenko) … I made the decision, I will go on my own, and this decision is final for me,” the then head of the Cabinet of Ministers said.

Groysman’s Ukrainian Strategy

On June 7, Groysman headed the electoral list of the Ukrainian Strategy party. The top five of the party included four more officials of the Cabinet: three ministers (education – Lilia Grynevych, minister of the Cabinet – Oleksandr Saenko and culture – Yevgen Nishchuk), as well as deputy minister of information policy Emine Dzhepparova. During his speech, the prime minister reminded about his work as a mayor and stressed that he had created his own team because he did not intend to be a member of the others.

“Almost 8.13% of people want Groysman to be the next prime minister. My passage to Rada gives you the opportunity to lead a professional team and be responsible. And then I can qualify for the post of the prime minister,” he said.

The new round of conflict

June 16, Groysman stated that the parties of Petro Poroshenko (Groysman was elected by its lists to the Verkhovna Rada in 2014) and Yulia Tymoshenko (Batkivshchyna) should go the way of the dodo. He also added that in the new Verkhovna Rada should have “new forces”, but, according to Groysman, the criterion of “new faces” should not be decisive.

“I see today that Servant of the People party is subjected to high hopes, it was shown by the presidential election. There is Golos party of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. And there is the Ukrainian Strategy party, which unites professionals today. I can say that my team and I personally will do everything in order to put into practice the dreams and hopes that exist today. I believe that in such unification of views, voices, and practices can be the key to success,” PM assured.

Groysman said that when he worked under the Poroshenko’s presidency, “the whole system around was absolutely hostile.” The prime minister also hopes that under President Zelensky, they will be able to unshadow the economy and “clear” the law-enforcement system.

What’s next

In response to Groysman’s statements, Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of Batkivshchyna party, said that the Prime Minister “changed his shoes in the air.”

“This is ridiculous, but in fact, it’s like a manual on Ukrainian politics. Groysman says that Bloc of Petro Poroshenko and Batkivshchyna are old parties, and cynicism needs to be assessed. Groysman is Poroshenko’s right kidney,” Tymoshenko stated.

Poroshenko did not comment on the statement, at the same time, MP from his party Iryna Gerashchenko spoke on this subject:

“You know, the casting for the future prime minister’s office has begun, although the contest did not seem to have been announced. And some politicians lose their dignity and common sense. Obviously, this does not correspond to European culture and European practice. And it’s a shame to see such a loss of dignity and common sense from politicians of different generations united by the old political culture,” said Gerashchenko.

“We will not play these games and we urge our colleagues to draw conclusions,”  she added.

Read the original text at 112.ua


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