1/ White House counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation and Trump's lawyers don't know what he's told the special counsel. McGahn has given investigators at least three voluntary interviews lasting a total of 30 hours over the last nine months. McGahn was present for Trump's comments and actions during the firing of James Comey and attempts to fire Mueller, and has provided Trump's lawyers with a limited accounting of what he told investigators. Trump tweeted that he "allowed" McGahn to "fully cooperate" with Mueller's investigation into obstruction of justice. Last fall, Mueller's office asked to interview McGahn, which Trump and his lawyers encouraged. McGahn decided to fully cooperate with Mueller on suspicion that Trump was intent on letting him take the fall for any obstruction of justice-related decisions by claiming that he was only following legal advice from counsel. McGahn's cooperation is also meant to protect himself from becoming the next John Dean, the White House counsel for Nixon, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice. Trump and McGahn have a strained relationship and rarely speak one on one. Trump questions McGahn's loyalty while McGahn calls Trump "King Kong." In response to the report, Trump tweeted that McGahn "must be a John Dean type 'RAT' […] I have nothing to hide……" (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico)
Reporter Kenneth Vogel (NYT)was threatened by a viewer/reader who’d just seen him on MSNBC. Ken Vogel also was the source who saw John Dowd and Cobb eating and talking loudly at a DC restaurant, and reported it as such with a photo and excerpts from their ‘discussion.’
We’ve heard this before…perjury trap. T’s body language alone suggests how he is really doing…
In an interview with Reuters, Trump echoed the concerns of his top lawyer in the probe, Rudy Giuliani, who has warned that any sit-down with Mueller could be a “perjury trap.”
There are a few Reuters entries here…he discusses lifting Russian sanctions, and also how he could run the Mueller probe. Read on…
The president expressed fears that investigators could compare his statements with that of others who have testified in the probe, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and that any discrepancies could be used against him.
“Even if I am telling the truth, that makes me a liar,” Trump said. “That’s no good.”
President Donald Trump mused Monday that he could personally run special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and related matters “if I want,” according to Reuters’ Jeff Mason.
OMG, it’s 1974 all over again, isn’t it? I am sorta slow, I got real world shit to deal with (as I’m sure Matt does too, but Thank God for this website!). I was 16 years old in 1974 and still reading Mad Magazine, so probably not terribly savvy or wise, but I remember that the Nixon impeachment was a slow moving process, although it was evident that the dude had no way out. I am going to spend a few minutes reading about John Dean on Wikipedia, but quite honestly, politics aside, we need to resolve this problem with DJT being the so-called President. It is hurtful to our Democracy and the Great American Society. Mike Pence may be the Anti-Christ, but I think that buys the country 2 years of being a less “crazy” and unstable World Power. It’s all a bit much and I feel that it’s TOTALLY believable that the Russians hacked the voting boxes in a very small targeted way and made this asshat president.
I am sure as I read about John Dean this evening, it will turn out that Trump is again incriminating himself with his “far out” Tweets. And that just keeps begging the question: How long can the country considered, rightly so, to be The Leader of The Free World, continue on with Mr. Trump? Personally, I would tell him to his face that he’s full of shit, but I have met people like him and would save my breath. However, he chooses to tweet and I hope, in the end, it should be considered with the public record because he continues to self incriminate. And if Mr. Trump has full knowledge that his organization, the one that helped him get elected, were guilty of money laundering with Russian investors, well what kind of foolish country would tolerate that level of disqualifications? Why not admit that we’ve let someone on the equivalent level of a Mafia don be put in charge of the country and just quietly (via McGahn/Mueller) move towards putting an end to the madness?
Well now I feel like a real idiot…a few lines in on Wikipedia…
Dean is currently an author, columnist, and commentator on contemporary politics, strongly critical of neoconservatism and the Republican Party, and is a registered Independent. He has been strongly critical of former President George W. Bush and President Donald Trump.
The Tweet was just Donnie’s way of “fighting back”.
It’s not that the tweets about John Dean that are incriminating, it’s how Trump framed him as a villain of the Nixon story. When we all know that Nixon was a criminal president and it was for the good of the country that he resigned. Keep tweeting Donny. Keep trying to reframe history.
We always knew that cutting on Medicare, Social Security would be targeted as a result of the big tax cuts that were voted in by the R’s this year. John Harwood interviews Rep Steven Stivers R-Ohio
A leading Republican urges reform for Medicare and Social Security as deficits balloon after the GOP’s tax cut
Harwood: No misgivings about a tax cut that was not paid for, that’s allowing debt and deficits to rise like it is now?
Stivers: I do think we need to deal with our some of our spending. We’ve got to try to figure out how to spend less.
Harwood**: Entitlements? Social Security, Medicare?**
Stivers: Yeah, I mean, what I think we need to do is get some people who are now on government programs jobs, we have more open jobs than we have people on unemployment. So if we could get people to go from unemployment, or a government program, to become a taxpayer, it’s a twofer because not only are they getting less government assistance, they probably have a better life economically and they’re actually paying taxes.
Harwood: You’re talking here about Social Security disability?
Stivers: I’m talking about a lot of programs. A lot of those people, there’s a skills gap. You have to give them the skills they need for the jobs that are available today. I don’t want to be, you know, mean and kick people off of programs, but the way I’d like to see us do it is in the benefit cliffs and create ramps where the more people earn. It might cost them a little more for their social subsidy, but they actually can keep their Medicaid expansion, or they can keep their housing, but they actually have an incentive to take that pay raise and do better and pay more taxes.
Harwood: Your speaker, Paul Ryan, has said the biggest spending issues are in those big entitlement programs, Medicare and Social Security, as opposed to food stamps or welfare or that sort of thing.
Stivers: They are. And we have 10 million people on Social Security disability now — actually, 11 million — more than any time in history. And some of those people can’t work at all, but many of those people can’t work in the job they used to be in. And if we gave them some training, let them keep making a portion of the Social Security disability, but put them back to work, it would be a net win for the individual.
I hate the language they use, entitlements?! They are earned benefits, people worked for those programs. They sit there and try to pass this off as though they aren’t planning on literally stealing from the most vulnerable people in our country, retired folks, poor folks, folks who can’t work and children. Makes me livid.
There is something very punitive about the approach to providing help for those who have less resources, and needy. In a country so deeply divided by income, advantage and those in need, these options are the only way people can survive.
The headline should actually read: New Russian Hacking Targeted Anti-Trump Republican Groups, Microsoft Says.
The Russian military intelligence unit that sought to influence the 2016 election appears to have a new target: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump and are seeking continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs or pressing for human rights.
One of the groups is the International Republican Institute:
The International Republican Institute’s board of directors includes several Republican leaders who have been highly critical of Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Putin, including a summit meeting last month between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland. Among them are Senator John McCain of Arizona; Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate; and . . . Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who was replaced in the spring as the White House national security adviser.
While I was reading this NYT article, something rang a bell. It names the International Republican Institute (IRI) as one of the anti-Trump groups being targeted by recent hacks from the GRU. Then I realized that the IRI is the same group that “Manafort’s Kremlin Connection” worked for for over a decade. I’m referring to Konstantin Kilimnik who was revealed as the mysterious “Person A” in Manafort’s court filings.
It appears that while Kilimnik was working inside the IRI, he was spying on the group for Russian intelligence. This is supported by IRI insider testimonials and by the fact that even while Kilimnik was working for the IRI, he began working part-time for Manafort whose lobbying efforts for a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician (basically a Putin puppet) ran directly counter to the goals of the IRI. It was at this point that Kilimnik was expelled from the IRI, ostensibly for an “ethics violation,” but, in reality, for being a Russian mole. He then became Manafort’s “right hand man in the Ukraine” and, along with Rick Gates, helped Manafort relieve the country of over $60 million (a considerable portion of which Manafort is now accused of evading taxes on).
The Manafort/Kilimnik/IRI connection is interesting in light of these new GRU hacks – something we should keep on our radar.
Here is the supporting material for my comments:
Kilimnik left the [Russian] army and eventually landed at the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute (IRI) in 1995, where he worked for over a decade. An IRI spokeswoman told me that “he was asked to leave because he violated IRI’s code of ethics,” and that, to her knowledge, “no one had any reason to believe that he was affiliated with Russian intelligence.” The spokeswoman would not elaborate on Kilimnik’s alleged ethics breach, but it may have had something to do with his overlapping work as a translator for Manafort in 2005. Kilimnik soon began working for Manafort’s firms full time.
Note that the spokesperson says the IRI had no “reason to believe that Kilimnik was affiliated with Russian intelligence,” but, as it turns out, she was misinformed because he did indeed have affiliations with them. This association was long-standing and continued into at least 2016 when Manafort and Gates were in contact with Kilimnik while they headed up the Trump campaign – this is according to Mueller’s team (Manafort associate had Russian intelligence ties during 2016 campaign, Chicago Tribune).
And here’s another article, this one from the AP, documenting Kilimnik’s ties to Russian intelligence, Manafort, and the IRI.
Plus this stellar, deep-diving investigative piece from The Atlantic.
So much happening today. This is a strong signal that there are more shoes to drop in Mueller’s investigation.
Tuesday’s filing indicates that Mueller’s team could believe Flynn has more information that is useful to the investigation, or that sentencing hearings might reveal parts of the investigation that Mueller would like to keep under wraps.
More breaking news in one day than we’ve seen in weeks! Cohen’s plea hearing is today!
A hearing related to the Cohen case is scheduled to take place at a courthouse in lower Manhattan for 4 p.m. Tuesday. Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami will speak at the courthouse entrance following the hearing.
Reading what he’s actually saying, Stivers has some very valid points and is actually addressing very real issues with those programs. The biggest thing is his repeated use of “can keep…”; that’s a huge and actually majorly progressive reform if implemented correctly.
At current wage and earning cut offs for some of these programs are hard lines, meaning there are people who literally have to turn down pay raises to keep their families alive; cause if they accepted it would put them over the income limit and immediately eject them from the programs they were in. Get a raise and lose your housing and medical benefits is an actual situation for people.
These proposed ideas actually combat systemic poverty. However, only if implemented correctly.
Now Harwood’s language and approach to everything is just prickling and gross… “entitlement programs” seriously?
Edit: apologies for no back up links, will look up and provide later. Currently on phone at work.