WTF Community

Day 504

Updated 6/7/2018 11:14 AM PDT

1/ Rudy Giuliani to Stormy Daniels: "I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career women or a women of substance." Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, called Giuliani an "absolute, disgusting pig" and demanded Trump fire him "immediately." He added that "it doesn't matter what a women's profession is. It has nothing to do with their credibility or whether they should be respected." Giuliani defended his statement, saying: "I don't have to undermine her credibility. She's done it by lying." (NBC News / ABC News / CNN)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

When a vacuum appears because T’s belligerent attitude towards our allies alienates them, Putin sees an opportunity to fill in the gaps at G7 meeting. Putin looking for more economic alliances despite Europe’s wariness of Putin’s meddling in elections.

It is as if a door had opened for Putin, by way of T being a misanthrope (a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.)

Mr. Putin was now gaining considerable traction by casting himself as a reliable friend and trading partner to Europe even as the Trump administration was treating its closest allies there as strategic and economic competitors.

“It is not our aim to divide anything or anybody in Europe,” Mr. Putin said in a television interview before he went to Vienna. “On the contrary, we want to see a united and prosperous European Union because the European Union is our biggest trade and economic partner. The more problems there are within the European Union, the greater the risks and uncertainties for us.”

Many European governments remain deeply concerned about Russian meddling in their internal politics, ranging from spreading false information on social media to fostering far-right opposition to trying to widen divisions among European states themselves over Russia.

Still, Russia is cognizant of the fact that Mr. Trump has created a sudden opportunity for them.

“A battle for Russia has begun in international politics!” Vladimir R. Solovyov, the host of a prime-time talk show on Russian state-run television that often reflects the government line, said on Sunday. “Europe is compelled to change its policies on the fly since Trump has declared a trade war.”

This is just being reported tonight, in the NYT, where telephone records had been seized by Federal prosecutors for a reporter, Ali Watkins. The Fourth Estate is not safe from getting entangled in the push for what T deems as a ‘leak.’

It could be linked to a Senate Intelligence staffer, who had dated this reporter who was also reporting on National Security issues.

But there were procedures in place under Holder that would allow for some kind of negotiation between the Justice Dept and the news organization. This did not happen in this instance.

More to come I would suppose.

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. It was the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.

The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump has complained bitterly about leaks and demanded that law enforcement officials seek criminal charges against government officials involved in illegal and sometimes embarrassing disclosures of national security secrets.

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In late news today, from The Atlantic.


Just breaking… This arrest is related to the seizure of a reporter’s email and phone records flagged by @dragonfly9 above. Here’s the DOJ press release:

Wolfe was arrested on June 7, 2018, and is expected to make his first appearance Friday, June 8, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. [emphasis is mine – KJ]

Expect a media circus at his hearing tomorrow.

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Although Trump’s emoluments violations are not as sensational (or “sexy”) as many of his other scandals, they are nonetheless cause for grave concern. By ignoring the Constitution’s foreign emoluments ban, Trump is normalizing a form of government corruption while undermining our national security.

Today, the proceedings on one emoluments case against Trump gave cause for some cautious optimism:

Lawyers representing about 200 Democratic members of Congress urged a federal judge on Thursday to allow them to press ahead with a lawsuit seeking to block President Donald Trump from taking payments and other benefits from foreign governments doing business with his corporate empire.

Nearly a year after the suit was filed, Judge Emmet Sullivan of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held the first hearing in the case on Thursday. . . .

For the Democratic lawmakers involved . . . it may have been worth the wait. Sullivan sounded sympathetic to their arguments, although he repeatedly cautioned observers not to read too much into his questioning of the attorneys.

[Plaintiffs Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York] said Trump’s receipt of foreign payments presents national security concerns because the payments make it impossible to determine whether the president is offering concessions in security-related disputes with countries like China because of arm’s-length diplomatic negotiations or because of benefits his businesses receive from foreign governments.

And meanwhile, Politico notes, another emoluments case, this one in Maryland, is making good progress:

. . . A suit brought by the state of Maryland jointly with the District of Columbia cleared a key hurdle in March. A judge said D.C. and Maryland had shown they could be suffering competitive harm if Trump’s hotel in Washington is diverting business from a D.C.-owned convention center and businesses in Maryland. Another hearing on that suit is set for Monday in Greenbelt, Maryland.

More to come . . .


It’s hard to tell what to make of this story, but a distinct foul odor is emanating from it. Take this, for example:

Though his background is in the restaurant business and he has little political experience, [Joey] Allaham had emerged in recent months as an important behind-the-scenes player in the stateside influence battle touched off by the Gulf crisis [involving Qatar] . . .

As part of his charm offensive on Qatar’s behalf, Allaham said, he set up meetings for Qatari officials and “distributed several charitable donations as an introductory show of goodwill.” [emphasis is mine – KJ]

Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.


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