WTF Community

What The Fuck Happened Over The Weekend?


#283

Thanks for bringing up the crux of the matter which is ‘now what?’

Now that we have read enough of the Mueller Report to know that the R’s/Barr stole it’s thunder and maneuvered the public opinion to emphasize - ‘nothing to see here…no collusion, and no obstructionism.’

The most viable plan Pelosi is promoting is not to impeach, get those investigations going, get some legislation done…infrastructure perhaps but get the Dems ready to take more seats back come 2020.

The big BUT is that impeachment proceedings will get STOPPED by the R’s clearly wanting to stay in power. And the polling shows that less than 1/3 of the people now want him impeached. That is a very steep climb.

There is a thought that if Dems proceed with more subpoenas and investigation via Congressional powers we could expose more of T’s wrong doing, and get more public sentiment against him, and thereby getting the public to be disgusted by him and want him out…but use impeachment as a cudgel should he get re-elected…(which is beyond abhorrent to believe.)

The messaging from the R’s now is to set up smoke screens and delay, stall, deny the subpoenas…even if it is unlawful to do so. It might take a Supreme Court decision to get the subpoena enacted but there’s the conservative bias and it might not get through to approval in time for the next election.

I do think Dems need to mobilize, and get an actionable plan. Can the 20 candidates be too big a field and too debilitating to get a solid backing…? Anyone but T?

The two things that might break this stalemate is to

  1. get some R’s to be more vocal against T…which they are behind the scenes, but not publicly.

  2. Get some extremely damning evidence, like tax returns…more Russian meddling etc and get the public outraged.

The R’s are quick to shoot down and make up their own narrative which the press and resisters have been battling now for 2 + years.

It will be a multi-pronged approach…but I tend to believe in Pelosi…she is pretty artful in getting things done, seeing the through line (T not worth it, we will take power in 2020, get our legislative needs/messaging out there.) The Maxine Waters and perhaps maybe Nadler, although I do like what they say, may and are getting pegged as zealots, and it is too easy for T to trounce them. I believe in Nadler though…he has a thoughtful manner and is aggressive.

I do believe that most of the public…more than half do not want him any more as president, and he will be voted out. That may be my final answer.:liberia: and I know we need more firepower than a hope that that will happen. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#284

I’m with you on this. I wasn’t for an impeachment investigation just yet either but I expected the Democrats to move faster and with more gravitas. They cancelled Felix Sater’s testimony the week Barr finally released the redacted Mueller Report. Huge mistake. They could have asked him about his work for Trump in Moscow. That would have sucked the air right out of the room.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” - New York Times


#285

Trump responds. As per usual, he is lying and at the same time has no idea what he’s talking about.

President Donald Trump on Monday accused the New York attorney general’s office of illegally investigating the National Rifle Association and called on the group, which has been roiled by a leadership fight, to “get its act together quickly.”

On Saturday, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced in a statement it had launched an investigation into the NRA and had issued subpoenas to the organization, but did not confirm what the probe was in regard to. …

[The subpoenas come] nearly a year after James, during her campaign last summer, said she would investigate the NRA if elected to make sure it is complying with non-profit rules. Her campaign threat helped prompt the group to begin an internal review of its finances, which is part of what triggered the tensions between North and LaPierre.

If James has not announced what the probe is in regard to, how can Trump possibly claim it’s illegal? And since the NRA’s own internal review has triggered such a fracas, it sounds like James is on to something.

President Trump: Stop obstructing the judicial branch of our government – let them do their job protecting us against corruption!


#286

Friendly push back…

How many of that number read the report and know the talking points for impeachment? Because of the botched Barr/media rollout, America hasn’t seen much of the report. I think most folks don’t understand that crimes were found they just can’t charge the President with a crime. Most also don’t understand that Congress has a constitutional duty to impeach the President if evidence of such crimes is exposed.

Folks see this as a PR fight and it is, however the circumstances are so extreme that we need to start rolling out a heavier message to the public so why not start an impeachment investigation even if it doesn’t ultimately lead to impeachment up or down vote?


#287

Oh, yes…I am for having an impeachment investigation…but may have indicated that the House Judiciary would be able to suss out some things too. I see where you are going…Get the information more visible to more of the public, and get it officiated without it having to go to a vote.

That impeachment investigation would expose a LOT of what was illegal obstruction actions…the 10 of the Mueller Report.

Would a Mueller interview be part of the House Judiciary’s job? That could get some good momentum as well.

But the carpet bombing PR job, and all the R’s messaging, and T’s is all about the Dems wanting to create a coup…is laying the groundwork for appeasing a recalcitrant base.

I agree…Dems have to be more firey. But I do know that half the US population do not care about anything having to do with Russia investigation…and are blind to the real story here. They are not thinking about it.

Thanks for circling back…we’re going to have to press on and harder on arguing for his removal (and not taking down the party.)


#288

Let’s hope our President responds with sincere words of peace that help heal and bring us together, not divide us further.

A 26-year old former US Army soldier who served in Afghanistan has been charged with plotting terror attacks in the Los Angeles area, the Justice Department said Monday.

Mark Steven Domingo allegedly sought to detonate improvised explosive devices containing nails this past weekend at a rally in Long Beach that was organized by a white nationalist group.

He was arrested Friday night after he took receipt of what he thought were pressure cooker bombs, US Attorney Nick Hanna announced at a press conference.

“Law enforcement was able to identify a man consumed with hate, and bent on mass murder and stop him before he was able to carry out his attack,” Hanna said.

Domingo allegedly wanted to “seek retribution for attacks against Muslims” and also considered attacks on Jewish people, churches and law enforcement.

He is accused of targeting “Jews as they walked to synagogue, police officers, a military facility, and crowds at the Santa Monica Pier.”


#289

:clap: Letitia James!

FYI, Letitia James will appear on Rachel Maddow’s show tomorrow (Tuesday, April 30, MSNBC, 6pm and 9pm PT).


#290

In response to this early am tweet from T, George Conway III takes aim at all of T’s weak arguments and stunts all of it. No victim here T, you do not get a pass.

Take that :boom:

@ realDonaldTrump

Think of it. I became President of the United States in one of the most hard fought and consequential elections in the history of our great nation. From long before I ever took office, I was under a sick & unlawful investigation concerning what has become known as the Russian…

4:04 AM - 12 May 2019

1/Think of it. The Russia investigation was a legitimate investigation, with a legitimate basis, into how a hostile foreign power tried to interfere with and undermine our democracy. It was in the best interests of the nation—in the interests of all Americans, no matter who …

2/… they voted for—that this investigation be allowed to proceed to its rightful conclusion, without improper attempts to obstruct it, if only so that we could all know what really happened and take steps to see that it never happens again. But because …

3/… you are a malignant narcissist—a person with both narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders—you couldn’t view it that way. Instead of complying with your oath of office, and instead of taking stock of what was in the best interests of …

4/… the nation whose Constitution and laws you swore to uphold, you viewed the matter purely in terms of your own ego: You viewed the investigation as casting doubt on what you perceive as your great election victory (in which your opponent garnered …

5/… nearly three million more votes than you did), and so you took multiple steps to obstruct, and repeatedly lied about, the investigation from the outset. Even today, despite the well-founded assessments of the intelligence community, and despite the …

6/… damning evidence laid out in the Mueller report, you refuse to take what the Russians did seriously. Instead, you continue to lie, calling the investigation a “hoax” and an “attempted coup,” and you didn’t even mention Russia’s …

7/… conduct in your recent 90-minute conversation with Putin, the man who seeks to undermine our institutions. Put simply, you put your own perceptions of your self-interest above the national interest, which you seem unable to comprehend or respect. …

8/… That is your greatest offense against the country, an offense that incorporates but vastly exceeds the statutory crimes you’ve committed. It is the ultimate high crime or misdemeanor under the Constitution, and under the Framers’ wise design, …

9/… it is an offense for which you should pay with your office, regardless of whether you are ultimately brought to justice in the courts of law.


#291

During an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow, who is the director of the National Economic Council, was pressed by anchor Chris Wallace about Trump’s repeated, inaccurate claim that China itself pays for the tariffs.

“It’s not China that pays tariffs,” Wallace said. “It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, in effect, is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.”

“Fair enough,” Kudlow responded. “In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.”

Later, Kudlow said China does not pay the tariffs, but “will suffer GDP losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market.”

:point_up_2:Yet offers zero evidence to support this last claim.


#292

Finally! One Republican, just one lone Republican, but this gives me a ray of hope. :sun_with_face:

Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash said Saturday he had concluded President Donald Trump committed “impeachable conduct” and accused Attorney General William Barr of intentionally misleading the public.

Amash is a rare GOP critic of Trump and previously said Trump’s conduct in pressuring then-FBI Director James Comey could merit impeachment. In a Twitter thread on Saturday, Amash said he believed “few members of Congress even read” special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and that the report itself established “multiple examples” of Trump committing obstruction of justice.

"Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment," Amash said in a string of messages on Twitter.


Congressional Committee Investigations into Trump 2019
#293

As seen on CurrentStatus.io/

Well, well, well…some fissures…some cracks in the suspicions over the Deutsche Bank holdings of both T and Kushner. But given that Deutsche Bank has been a known money-launderer and lax with their clients, it might be a far climb to get at what alerts were set off.

It only raises more questions to the never-ending questions about the legitimacy of the transactions that this family engages in…and the family would like to keep that information away from prying eyes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

The nature of the transactions was not clear. At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious.

Real estate developers like Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner sometimes do large, all-cash deals, including with people outside the United States, any of which can prompt anti-money laundering reviews. The red flags raised by employees do not necessarily mean the transactions were improper. Banks sometimes opt not to file suspicious activity reports if they conclude their employees’ concerns are unwarranted.

But former Deutsche Bank employees said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank’s generally lax approach to money laundering laws. The employees — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their ability to work in the industry — said it was part of a pattern of the bank’s executives rejecting valid reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients.

“You present them with everything, and you give them a recommendation, and nothing happens,” said Tammy McFadden**, a former Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering specialist who reviewed some of the transactions. “It’s the D.B. way. They are prone to discounting everything.”**


#294

:mag_right: :moneybag:

Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia — the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.

The loan was issued by Berkadia, a lender co-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., in a deal that’s backed by government-owned Freddie Mac, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the private transaction.

The arrangement increases the government’s exposure to Kushner Cos. at the same time that its former chief executive officer is one of the most powerful people in the White House. Jared Kushner divested ownership in many of the company’s assets to close family members when he joined the government. Kushner Cos. had more than $500 million in loans from Fannie and Freddie at that time.


#295

:mag_right: :moneybag:

…when Mr. Zekelman saw a chance to address his greatest frustration — a flood of cheap steel tube imports into the United States that was undermining sales at his family-owned, Chicago-based company — he went all out to win in another intensely competitive arena: influencing policy in Washington.

He called on well-placed connections, including a lawyer who had done work for him and had gone on to a senior position helping oversee trade policy in the Trump administration. He put his Washington-based lobbyist into action, and his company took a high-profile role with a trade group that was backing his cause. He funded his own advertising campaign to build public support for his efforts to protect makers of steel tube in the United States.

And Zekelman Industries made political donations in the United States — skirting or possibly violating a ban on contributions by foreigners — including $1.75 million last year to a group supporting President Trump.

That lobbying effort was how he and his wife found themselves being ushered into a private dining room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington last spring for a small dinner with the president and his son Donald Trump Jr. Mr. Zekelman said they discussed quotas the United States was about to impose on imports of steel from competitors in South Korea. …

Zekelman Industries now stands out as the biggest steel industry donor to Mr. Trump’s affiliated political committees, records show.

The $1.75 million in contributions were delivered in three chunks last year to America First Action SuperPAC, which was created in January 2017 by former Trump campaign aides to push Mr. Trump’s agenda.

Federal Election Commission rules prohibit any foreigner from “directing, dictating, controlling, or directly or indirectly participating in the decision-making process” related to any campaign contribution, including super PACs.

Mr. Zekelman, who does not have United States citizenship, said in an interview that he did not play a role in the decision to donate. But he added that he did discuss the matter with other company executives, after a representative from America First Action approached one of Zekelman Industries’ lawyers and asked for a contribution.

The federal rule is clear. It prohibits “any foreigner from ‘directing, dictating, controlling, or directly or indirectly participating in the decision-making process’ related to any campaign contribution, including super PACs.”

Zekelman himself admits that he discussed the matter with company executives. When you own a company and you “discuss” matters that require a decision with the executives who work for you, then you are “directly or indirectly participating in the decision-making process.” Zekelman and the Trump PAC, America First Action, clearly violated federal campaign laws – a foreigner illegally shaped U.S. policy. When will this scourge of corruption end?


#296

More from The NY Times about the risk of declassifying US intelligence on the origins of the Russia Investigation.

This passage stands out:

The most prominent of the C.I.A.’s sources of intelligence on Russia’s election interference was a person close to Mr. Putin who provided information about his involvement, former officials have said. The source turned over evidence for one of the last major intelligence conclusions that President Barack Obama made public before leaving office: that Mr. Putin himself was behind the Russia hack.

Long nurtured by the C.I.A., the source rose to a position that enabled the informant to provide key information in 2016 about the Russian leadership’s role in the interference campaign, the officials said.

John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under Mr. Obama, would bring reports from the source directly to the White House, keeping them out of the president’s daily intelligence briefing for fear that the briefing document was too widely disseminated, according to the officials. Instead, he would place them in an envelope for Mr. Obama and a tiny circle of aides to read.


#297

Bizarrely, Trump made the comments not only just hours after his own national security adviser condemned North Korea for testing ballistic missiles, but also right before his scheduled meeting in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also spoke out about the missile testing.

The country’s test of ballistic missiles earlier this month was seen as an aggressive escalation that violates United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton.

“In terms of violating Security Council resolutions, there’s no doubt about that,” Bolton told reporters on Saturday morning. Bolton also said Trump is working to maintain sanctions pressure on the North Korean regime until it backs down. …

Trump’s tweet has baffled many in Washington, including members of Joe Biden’s team. Brandon English, a senior digital adviser for the presidential candidate, retweeted Trump and wrote, “… I honestly have no idea what to do with this.”

And Lt. General Mark Hertling (Ret.), appearing on CNN, said, “I’m not even sure what that means.” I’m with him. I reread the tweet several times and the last half remains complete gibberish to me.

Could someone please inform our delusional President that this is not an episode of “The Apprentice” where a bad outcome is getting fired, rather it is a negotiation with a rogue nuclear power where a bad outcome is Armageddon.

:exploding_head:


#298

Yes, no joke with him going every which-way…with his scattershot approach and contradictions galore. Yes, the corollary of Reality TV drama hype, spin and heighten anticipstion and ultimately confuse everyone is confounding…

I like what Wapo writer Ashley parker has to say…it really is not a proven strategy like good cop bad cop…it is helter skelter and whatever his reptilian brain is urging him to do.

Excerpt from Wapo Article

TOKYO — President Trump appeared to contradict his national security adviser on foreign soil in an early morning tweet Sunday, noting that while some in his administration were “disturbed” by North Korea’s testing of ballistic missiles earlier this month, the president himself was unbothered.

In the missive, Trump also used North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a foil against a domestic political rival — former vice president Joe Biden — and complicated his relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the first full day of visit here.

Trump’s tweet was a direct rebuke of his national security adviser, John Bolton, who on Saturday had warned reporters here that there is “no doubt” North Korea’s missile tests violated United Nations Security Council resolutions, adding that Trump is determined to maintain sanctions pressure on the regime until it backs down.

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump wrote. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me.”


#299

@ PreetBharara

Elected officials keep making casual, ignorant, idiotic accusations of “treason.” Trump does it. Just saw Liz Cheney do it. Read the Constitution and knock it the hell off.


#300

Don’t get too excited, this book was written by Michael Wolff. If true, wow! :hushed: It’s quite the allegation.

According to a document seen by the Guardian, the first count, under Title 18, United States code, Section 1505, charged the president with corruptly – or by threats of force or threatening communication – influencing, obstructing or impeding a pending proceeding before a department or agency of the United States.

The second count, under section 1512, charged the president with tampering with a witness, victim or informant.

The third count, under section 1513, charged the president with retaliating against a witness, victim or informant.


(David Bythewood) #301

Navy: Oh, by the way, we did get a request to hide the USS John S. McCain during Trump’s visit

‘A Request Was Made’: Navy Admits Someone Wanted USS McCain Hidden For Trump Visit

The Navy admits it DID receive a request to hide the USS John McCain during Trump’s trip to Japan - but says no sailors from the ship were excluded from participating in the state visit

  • Navy statement on Saturday acknowledged there was a request to hide the ship
  • But there was no confirmation of who in the executive branch made the request
  • Trump has said he was not involved and had no knowledge of the request

My note: this last statement, that no sailors were excluded, still seems to be a lie according to multiple accounts.


#302

Anytime anyone learns from the Mueller Report is time well spent…