Trump’s foreign policy looks a lot like Rapture Christians’ plan to welcome the apocalypse

By Heather Timmons

In 1995, the US Congress voted to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. But until Donald Trump, presidents both Republican and Democratic resisted implementing the move, worried it could set off deadly violence. Yesterday, Trump’s advisors and family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner finally inaugurated the new Jerusalem embassy—while the death toll of Palestinian protestors ticked steadily up to over 50, including several children.

Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama all faced pressure from wealthy potential campaign donors to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but Trump is listening to a voice they were not: evangelical Christians who appear to believe in the “Rapture.” Some, like vice president Mike Pence and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, hold posts inside his cabinet. For Rapture Christians, returning Jerusalem to the Jewish people is a key to the second coming of Christ.

Robert Jeffress, a pastor who preaches the Rapture, delivered the new embassy’s opening prayer. Jeffress has previously said that Mormons are heretics, Jews fated to hell, Islam promotes pedophilia, and homosexuals are filthy. He prayed, “We thank you everyday that you have given us a president who boldly stands on the right side of history, and more importantly on the right side of you, oh God, when it comes to Israel.”

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65 COMMENTS

  1. So as Trump launches into an illegal trade war attempting to bully, Canada, Mexico, and most of the rest of the word:-

    Mattis says China ‘intimidating neighbours’

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44340439

    China is deploying missiles in the disputed South China Sea to intimidate and coerce its neighbours, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said.

    Speaking in Singapore, General Mattis said Beijing’s actions called into question its broader goals.

    While the US renames its Pacific Fleet to imply wider activity:

    It will now be called the US Indo-Pacific Command to mark the growing importance of the Indian Ocean.

    He also said the issue of US troops in South Korea was “not on the table” at this month’s summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

    I seem to recall North Korea specifying “no preconditions to the talks”!

    The US wanted complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, he added.

    So there is a US wish list – that North Korea will disarm while US troops continue to carry out invasion exercises on its borders!

    South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo also told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that US forces in South Korea was a “separate issue from North Korea’s nuclear issue”.

    Somehow I don’t think North Korea will see that “Trump great deal” compartmentalised take-all give-nothing thinking, as having any validity!

    There are currently about 28,500 US troops based in South Korea.

    Mr Mattis told the security summit that Beijing had deployed military hardware including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers to locations across the South China Sea.

    I think the clue to US/China territorial issues, is in the name
    “South CHINA Sea”!

    “Despite China’s claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion,” Gen Mattis said.

    MMmmm – Military purposes such as shooting down any US nuclear missiles which a mad Trump might launch at North Korea – next to the Chinese border – or countering US expansionism via puppet states, in the Asia-Pacific area”!

  2. @OP – Trump’s advisors and family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner finally inaugurated the new Jerusalem embassy—while the death toll of Palestinian protestors ticked steadily up to over 50, including several children.

    Here we have another example of the psychological projection of tribalist hate groups in politics, directing their venom at peaceful critics!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44378669

    Argentina has cancelled a World Cup warm-up match with Israel, apparently under political pressure over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.

    Striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN they had “finally done the right thing”.

    But Israel’s defence minister said it was “too bad” Argentina’s footballers did not “withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters”.

    “We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters,” Avigdor Lierberman tweeted.

    Ah! The knee-jerk “anti-Semitic” ad-hominem attack to side-track the debate away from the real issue, of the assassination of peaceful protesters by the land-grabbing apartheid army of Israel!

    News of the cancellation was met with cheers in Gaza, where at least 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during recent protests.

    In Ramallah in the West Bank, the Palestinian football association issued a statement thanking Argentina striker Lionel Messi and his colleagues for the cancellation.

    “Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game,” said chairman Jibril Rajoub, quoted by Reuters news agency.

    Parallels with American champions boycotting the Trump White House dinner invitation to meet with a president unworthy of their company!?

  3. I see that Trump is as impervious to reason from the “G6” on Trade, as he was previously on the Paris agreement on climate.

    He is however “prominent” – like a half brick on a diamond necklace!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44423072

    Talks at the G7 summit in Canada have failed to resolve deep differences between US President Donald Trump and leaders of major industrial nations.

    The divisions were laid bare on Friday, notably over trade.

    Allies of the US are furious over Mr Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, raising fears of a global trade war.

    Divisions between Mr Trump and the other six leaders go way beyond trade – they include climate change, relations with Iran and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

    It is predictable that Faux News or “Dimbart” is likely to proclaim to Trump-base, that Trump is the only one in step! 🙂

  4. Those who know how to behave as leaders of nations, and diplomatic negotiators, have tried to educate the impervious know-it-all Trump by example, but with the usual lack of success!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44430000

    Diplomacy cannot be dictated by “fits of anger”, French President Emmanuel Macron warned after a G7 summit in Canada ended in acrimony.

    In tweets, US President Donald Trump described host Justin Trudeau as “dishonest and weak” and retracted his endorsement of the joint communique.

    That statement sought to overcome deep disagreements, notably over trade.

    Mr Macron’s office said France and other EU countries would maintain their support for the final G7 communique.

    Germany also said it would abide by the communique.

    Mr Trudeau’s office responded by saying the prime minister had said nothing he had not said before, both in public and in private conversations with Mr Trump.

  5. A classic example of why offering expert advice, or attempts at constructive negotiations or agreements with Trump, are an utter waste of everyone’s time!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44434558

    US President Donald Trump has fired off a string of angry tweets criticising America’s closest allies hours after leaving a divisive G7 summit in Canada.

    By Jon Sopel, BBC North America editor

    In Quebec at the G7 the sherpas, political advisers and draftsmen toiled through two nights to find a form of words that all sides could sign up to.

    I left before the end of the summit to embark on a marathon journey from Canada to Singapore.

    When I left Quebec all the talk was there would be no agreement. But lo, by the time I landed in Hong Kong to change flights I read that there was a joint communique. Success. Only to see a tweet from Donald Trump a little later rescinding his signature over something Justin Trudeau had said at his news conference. Unbelievable.

  6. I see the next section of Trump’s trade war is underway!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-44505448

    Chinese media have mocked US President Donald Trump over plans to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, saying “wise men build bridges but fools build walls”.

    China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 US goods worth $50bn.

    Stock markets fell after the announcements amid fear of a trade war.

    The US had earlier warned that it will impose even more tariffs should China retaliate.

    The Global Times, meanwhile, said Mr Trump was disrupting the world order to appeal to voters who think he’s fighting for them.

    The media response came as China announced tariffs on $34bn of US goods including agricultural products, cars and marine products which will also take effect from 6 July.

    Tariffs on other US goods will be announced at a later date, Xinhua said.

    Then – there will also be the European response, the Canadian and Mexican response, and Trump has already opted out of other trade agreements where the US might have had some support!

  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43731798

    The US-China trade dispute is starting to have consequences.

    US tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium went into effect last month. China’s retaliatory duties on more than 100 US imports, including pork, fruit and wine, kicked in soon after.

    Economists expect the duelling taxes to have a relatively limited impact on the overall US economy. But they say the measures will touch most parts of the country and lead to higher prices for everything from televisions to vitamins.

    For certain industries like agriculture, aerospace and manufacturing, the effects could be severe.

    The proposed tariffs, which include taxes on hundreds of Chinese-made parts and equipment, promise more pain.

    At Roadtec, a growing 600-person Tennessee company that makes asphalt paving machines, suppliers are already asking 40% more, says the firm’s marketing director, Eric Baker.

    Certain sectors of US industries, are already feeling the extra costs and loss of the Chinese market, affecting their businesses.

  8. I see the “sharp-as-a sausage roll” US president, has announced a new military US “Space Force”! – perhaps having failed to notice that the majority of astronauts are, and have been, military or ex-military personnel – and that the military has been operating spy satellites for decades! – not to mention a historic space shuttle which was specifically designed around a cargo bay to carry large military satellites, which has now been replaced by the more compact military mini-shuttle X-37B spaceplane!

    Of course the present manned space programmes are based on joint efforts, joint financing, and international co-operation – with robot satellite environmental monitoring and management, a key development area!
    But hey! That’s not Trumpery!

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/18/space-force-donald-trump-orders-new-branch-of-us-military

    “The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want.
    Thankfully the president can’t do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake.”

    During his remarks, Trump promised that America will always be first in space and that national pride is at stake.
    “It’s going to be important monetarily and militarily,” he added. “But so important for right up here – the psyche.
    We don’t want China and Russia and other countries leading us.”

    He insisted: “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. So important.”

    Trump has floated the idea of a space force before but met both mockery and high-level resistance.

    And Trump’s economic contribution to these objectives?? 🙂

    Ah yes!
    Limit the supplies and hike up the price of aluminium to the US aero-space industries, and ensure that they pay over the odds for any European or Chinese high-tech products which are needed – just to ensure that foreign competitors have a good head-start against exporting US industries or services!

    Yep! A space comic-book fed intellect that is sharp as a sausage-roll!

  9. Meanwhile, the world’s markets are reacting to Trumponomics!

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2018/jun/19/markets-slide-trump-threatens-china-200bn-tariffs-business-live

    Markets slide as Trump threatens China with $200bn of new tariffs – as it happened

    Trade war fears are escalating as president Trump pledges fresh measures against Chinese imports; Beijing calls it ‘blackmail’ and vows to retaliate

    With Wall Street lower – and the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing all its gains so far this year – European markets have ended the day in downbeat mood.

  10. Alan4discussion #10

    ….the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing all its gains so far this
    year …

    If you track the Dow over the last 10 years, it is currently exactly where it would be expected given its trajectory through Obama’s 8 years in office. But it has now stalled around the 25,000 mark, and with Trump firmly in control, who knows where the stable genius of Trump University will send it next ?

  11. rogeroney #11
    Jun 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    If you track the Dow over the last 10 years,
    it is currently exactly where it would be expected given its trajectory through Obama’s 8 years in office.

    It looks like the second front in Trump’s trade war is opening up, so let’s see what the Dow traders think about that – even before further fronts open up, as we hear from Canada, Mexico, and others!

    There must be competitor suppliers in South America, Africa, and Asia, on the starting line, ready to supply many replacements for US items, to Europe, Canada, Mexico, or China!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44549712

    The European Union will launch a raft of retaliatory tariffs against US exports on Friday, a top official has said.

    The move comes after US President Donald Trump imposed steep duties on steel and aluminium in May.

    American exports such as blue jeans, motorbikes and bourbon whiskey will be targeted, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom confirmed.

    However, she said the bloc “did not want to be in this position”.

    “The unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice,” she said.

    Cranberries, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the other goods targeted.

  12. I see Trump’s trade wars is spreading!

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-tensions/India-hikes-tariffs-on-US-products-as-trade-tensions-spread

    India hikes tariffs on US products as trade tensions spread

    New Delhi joins China and EU in hitting back at Trump’s protectionist moves

    NEW DELHI — India has increased duties on a range of agricultural, iron and steel products imported from the U.S., in a tit-for-tat move after the Trump administration imposed higher tariffs on some Indian goods.

    The increase — which follows similar retaliatory moves by China and the European Union — would come into effect on Aug. 4, according to an Indian Finance Ministry notification dated June 20.

    The notification said that the import duty on chickpeas has been raised to 60%, and on lentils it has been increased to 30%. The Finance Ministry did not disclose current tariff levels. Other items drawing higher tariffs include artemia, which is a shrimp variety; apples; walnuts; boric acid; diagnostic reagents; and some iron and steel products.

    Japan and other countries are expected to follow with their own retaliatory tariffs shortly!

  13. I see President Flip-Flop, has just made up more policy on the hoof, and has contradicted himself again!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44584957

    US President Donald Trump has renewed sanctions on North Korea, citing an “extraordinary threat” from its nuclear weapons – just 10 days after saying there was no risk from Pyongyang.

    “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” he tweeted on 13 June, a day after meeting the country’s leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

    President Trump promised to end the annual “war games” between the allies in an unexpected concession at his summit with Mr Kim, calling them “provocative” and “expensive”.

    That came as a shock to many, as the US had previously argued that the drills were purely defensive and key to its military alliance with Seoul.

    President Trump extended the national emergency on Friday due to “the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea”.

    Ah! That imaginary US “National Emergency”, which is an excuse for everything, from threatening and imposing economic “sanctions” on North Korea, imposing trade tariffs on everyone else, waging war on various Arab States, and abusing immigrants!

  14. @#14 – Ah! That imaginary US “National Emergency”, which is an excuse for everything,

    Ah! – But in the little bubble of Trump-World, excuses and blaming other people is a standard currency, which substitutes for any deeper understanding of real-world issues or mechanisms! !

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44610010

    Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle firm over its plans to shift production away from the US in order to avoid European Union tariffs.

    The US president tweeted that the firm was using trade war as an “excuse”.

    He said it had taken the decision long before the current tariffs.

    But Harley-Davidson said it had decided to build a plant in Thailand after Mr Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    TPP would have lowered tariffs in Asia.

    The company has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as in the US.

    It said the [European] tariffs would add, on average, $2,200 (£1,660) to each bike exported to Europe from the US as the import tax increases from 6% to 31%.

    In the Trump bubble of “alternative facts”, consequences of Trade-Wars instigated by Trump, have nothing to do with Trump [“defending American workers” by moving their jobs abroad], and are clearly to be blamed on those people world wide, who retaliate or defend their own interests!

  15. I see that Trump is as bright and up-to-date on the facts about the history of motor cycles, as he is on most other subjects! 🙂

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44610010

    Donald Trump has said Harley-Davidsons should “never” be built abroad, as he attacked the firm’s plans to move some production overseas to avoid European tariffs.

    Mr Trump said the iconic bike brand’s new Thailand plant marked a “surrender” and “the beginning of the end”.

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harley-Davidson

    Sales in Japan started in 1912[50] then in 1929, Harley-Davidsons were produced in Japan under license to the company Rikuo (Rikuo Internal Combustion Company)[51] under the name of Harley-Davidson and using the company’s tooling, and later under the name Rikuo. Production continued until 1958.

    In 1998 the first Harley-Davidson factory outside the US opened in Manaus, Brazil, taking advantage of the free economic zone there. The location was positioned to sell motorcycles in the southern hemisphere market

    Perhaps someone in the White House, should explain to dummy Donald, the meanings of the the terms “International trade” and “multi-national corporation”!

  16. Meanwhile that “easy to win” Trump trade-war, just keeps escalating! – to the detriment of various industries! : –

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/29/canada-makes-retaliatory-tariffs-official-we-will-not-back-down.html

    Canada makes retaliatory tariffs official: ‘We will not back down’

    Canada strikes back at the U.S. with $12.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs announced Friday.
    “We will not escalate, and we will not back down,” Canada’s foreign minister says.
    Canada’s plan taking effect next week will include imports of U.S. products such as yogurt, caffeinated roasted coffee, toilet paper and sleeping bags.

    Mexico’s tariffs took effect June 5 on U.S. products such as pork, cheese, cranberries, whiskey and apples.

    The U.S. accounted for 55 percent of Canada’s steel imports in 2017, with the remainder coming from China, South Korea, Brazil and Turkey.

  17. Canada is acting reluctantly and is also taking steps to protect its workers and investors in affected industries!

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/29/reuters-america-update-3-canada-hits-back-at-u-s-on-tariffs-says-it-will-not-back-down.html

    “We are acting very much in sorrow, not in anger,” said Freeland, stressing the closeness of the overall relationship. Bilateral trade is worth around C$2 billion a day.

    Freeland said she had already spoken to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer six times this week and was prepared to meet at any time to tackle the issue.

    Ottawa also unveiled an aid package for affected industries and workers worth up to C$2 billion, consisting mainly of up to C$1.7 billion in commercial financing and insurance for firms in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries.

    I wonder if Trump will take any responsibility for the damage to US industries, – or if he will simply hurl abuse any affected US corporations moving production overseas, to protect their exports, and supply their customers in a competitive global market! 🙂

  18. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/29/u-s-ambassador-to-estonia-resigns-in-disgust-after-trump-anti-europe-rants-nato-european-union-diplomacy-transatlantic-alliance/

    U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Resigns in Disgust After Trump Anti-Europe Rants
    James Melville is the latest in a string of career diplomat resignations over Trump’s comments and policies.

    The scientific, administrative, and diplomatic, competent professionals are giving up on trying to work for and with Trump, so are likely to be replaced with Trump appointed incompetent or corrupt sycophants.

    It looks like after Trump finally crashes out, the next administration is going to need a monumental recruitment and training program, even before they can start to repair the damage!

    “A Foreign Service Officer’s DNA is programmed to support policy and we’re schooled right from the start, that if there ever comes a point where one can no longer do so, particularly if one is in a position of leadership, the honorable course is to resign.
    Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me,” he wrote in the post, which was obtained by Foreign Policy.

    “For the President to say the EU was ‘set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank,’ or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go,” he wrote, citing Trump’s reported comments in recent weeks that have unnerved U.S. allies.

    The post surprised several State Department officials who worked with Melville, describing him as a consummate professional who never let domestic politics impact his job.

  19. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/44660966

    America’s largest carmaker has added its voice to the chorus of companies and countries criticising proposed US tariffs on foreign cars and auto parts.

    Mr Trump asked the [Commerce] department to determine the effect of imports of cars and car parts on national security.
    A similar process led to new tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium this spring.

    General Motors warned the tariffs “could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad and risk less – not more – US jobs.”

    Trade associations for the auto industry, as well as companies that include Toyota, BMW and Volvo also submitted comments in opposition to the tariffs.

    But! Hey!
    What do they know compared to the all-seeing, all-knowing, Trump and applauding Trump-base! 🙂

    Apparently, those actually engaged in international trade, do not think trade-wars are beneficial, or “easy to win”!

  20. Reality is now intruding into the fantasy world of Trumponomics, to the detriment of many people and businesses!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44635490

    Canada’s countermeasures against the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium levies have come into effect.

    On Sunday, the day the country celebrates its national holiday, Canada imposed a 25% tariff on assorted US metals products.

    Tariffs of 10% have also been imposed on over 250 other US goods like beer kegs, whiskey and orange juice.

    Canada-US trade tensions are high amidst the metals levies and North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

    The tit-for-tat duties are estimated to total C$16.6bn (£9.5bn), representing the 2017 value of Canadian metals exports affected by the US measures.

  21. Trump still thinks this is a game of casino brinkmanship to entertain his fan-base at Faux News!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44707253

    US tariffs on $34bn (£25.7bn) of Chinese goods have come into effect, signalling the start of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

    The 25% levy came into effect at midnight Washington time.

    China has retaliated by imposing a similar 25% tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of $34bn.

    Beijing accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history”.

    “After the US activated its tariff measures against China, China’s measures against the US took effect immediately,” said Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman.

    There are more details on the link.

  22. It now seems there is another country retaliating in Trump’s global trade war (which is easy to win [allegedly]) !!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44742714

    China and Russia hit back at Trump tariffs

    China’s commerce ministry said it had lodged a new complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    Meanwhile, Russia said it would introduce extra duties on a range of products imported from the US.

    The government-run English language China Daily newspaper said: “The Trump administration is behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries, particularly China.”

    Russia says US tariffs on steel and aluminium, introduced in March, will cost its companies more than half a billion dollars.

  23. Let’s see if consultations have ANY effect on Trump and the White House?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44894417

    The EU, Mexico and Canada have said they will retaliate against the US if the White House places new tariffs on foreign cars and vehicle parts.

    The countries delivered the warning on Thursday to a panel examining whether to recommend the taxes on grounds of national security.

    US President Donald Trump ordered the Commerce Department to investigate the move in May.

    The idea has also prompted widespread opposition in the US.

    More than 2,000 comments were submitted in response to the inquiry, with major US car-makers such as General Motors submitting responses alongside ordinary car enthusiasts worried the measures could raise the cost of parts for antique cars.

    The US imported more than $200bn (£154bn) in foreign cars and trucks last year, almost 80% of which came from Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany.

  24. Starting to look increasingly like the US wants to turn itself into a no-trade area.

    Whatever, theirs is not a trading area to align yourself with….

  25. phil rimmer #26
    Jul 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Starting to look increasingly like the US wants to turn itself into a no-trade area.

    We will have to see if Trump-base manages to make the mental connection between tariffs, them paying higher retail prices for imports, obsolete uncompetitive US products raising their prices and becoming more profitable, and Trump sponsors and fake-media purveyors, cheering the “success” of old dirty industries.

    Trump ‘ready’ to tax all Chinese imports

  26. Apparently there is a reason for the lack of proper records and Trump’s pathological aversion to recordings and proper records!
    Liars don’t like them and avoid making them.

    There is a VERY enlightening account from the White House stenographer, who was employed to transcribe taped presidential conversations into accurate written records!

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jul/14/beck-dorey-stein-interview-from-the-corner-of-the-oval-barack-obama-white-house

    For five years, Beck Dorey-Stein was a stenographer in the White House, allowing her a front-row seat as political history was made.

    Under Obama and earlier presidents ALL conversations were recorded! Now Trump does not always even inform stenographers that meetings are taking place!

    She was on the road almost continuously, both around America and internationally, on diplomatic visits to Burma, Peru, Greece, France, Vietnam, China, Japan and Cuba, where she watched Obama make history as the first sitting US president to visit the country in almost a century. Sometimes she flew on Air Force One with the president, at others she was on the press charter, dubbed the “party plane”. She was there for the first family’s summer vacation at Martha’s Vineyard and their Christmas holiday in Hawaii.

    I’m now a stenographer in the Trump administration.
    Remember that pit of snakes in Indiana Jones? I work in that pit now.
    At a pool spray [photo call] in the East Room, I feel a cold draught behind me and turn to see Steve Bannon lurking in the corner.
    The parking lot is no longer filled with Priuses but with Porsches and Maseratis.
    The black frames that line the West Wing no longer display photographs of Potus shaking hands with world leaders, little kids, and wounded warriors; instead, it’s a pathetic display of inauguration day crowd shots, cropped tight in order to establish yet another “alternative fact”.

    The deputy communications director tells us they don’t need stenographers or transcripts of interviews because “there’s video”.
    They don’t realise that print and radio interviews will not have video.
    After a few weeks they decide they do want us, “But, like, only some of the time.”

    In the Oval Office during the first pool spray I attend with Trump, I notice that the table behind the Resolute desk, once crowded with Obama family photographs, is now empty except for one framed picture of Trump’s father.

    This book should be very interesting and enlightening!

  27. Meanwhile – the White House conflicts of interest are having effects!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44944124

    President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has decided to close down her fashion brand.

    She split from the company a year ago to enter the White House as a senior adviser.

    Ms Trump launched the brand in 2014, but after her father’s election was faced with shopper boycotts.

    Ms Trump had reportedly become frustrated by the difficulties posed by avoiding possible conflicts of interest while serving in the White House.

  28. @#17 – @realDonaldTrump
    A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!

    . . . and as American production outputs begin to feel the effects of Trump’s trade-war tariffs, balance sheets will reflect his “shot-in-the-foot”, for American businesses! :-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44935997

    US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson has warned that its profit margins this year are likely to halve as trade tariffs bite.

    The company said profit margins will be 9-10%, compared with 20% a year ago.

    Despite this, its most recent quarterly performance beat estimates after sales outside the US rose by 2.4% to 29,546.

    The company was singled out by the EU for tariffs in response to action by President Donald Trump against steel and aluminium exports to the US.

    It says it will move some production out of the US to get round these.

    Harley-Davidson expects added costs of $45m-$50m this year, due to the EU tariffs, as well as higher aluminium and steel prices. The measures are likely to pinch profits next year as well, it added.

    The company plans to increase investment in its international plants, though it has not said which ones.

  29. Trump’s trade wars are also such a roaring success with farmers who now can’t sell their produce abroad that the department of agriculture is having to bail them out with $12 billion of taxpayer’s money, much to the chagrin of Republicans in congress who think welfare money is barely a step removed from outright communism.

    In due course this program will probably have to be extended to users of steel and aluminium who can no longer make their products at a competitive price.

  30. Trump does seem to be achieving world unity in other countries, on some issues! 🙂

    http://www.africanews.com/2018/07/25/brics-summit-chinese-president-xi-jinping-says-trade-war-will-have-no-winner/

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has told leaders meeting at the BRICS summit in South Africa, that there would be no winner in a global trade war that is being championed by U.S. president, Donald Trump.

    Xi urged leaders of emerging economies on Wednesday to reject unilateralism in the wake of tariff threats that are being issued via Twitter and other fora by Trump.

    Trump’s warnings have given Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa fresh impetus to enhance trade cooperation, and their leaders found a collective voice championing global trade as they began a three-day BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for thorough discussions at the summit on the role of trade in promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth.

    We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules and are worried about the impact of these measures, especially on developing countries,” he said in a speech.

    South Africa has invited the leaders of 22 additional countries to participate in this week’s summit, including 19 from Africa.

    As the member hardest-hit by Trump’s trade moves, China is looking to diversify its trade ties to mitigate fallout.

  31. I see the deplorables are making a new move to obstruct the Russia investigation!
    The need for a mid-term clear out becomes more pressing every day! :-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44962120

    Republicans have launched a bid to remove the Department of Justice official overseeing the Russia inquiry dogging Donald Trump’s presidency.

    House of Representatives conservatives have filed articles of impeachment in an effort to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    The articles were introduced by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who accuse him of stonewalling their requests for information.

    Mr Rosenstein denies the accusations.

    The articles of impeachment, which were filed on Wednesday evening, criticise Mr Rosenstein for allegedly failing to comply with requests for documents relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Mr Rosenstein has overseen the investigation since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last year.

    Impeachment would have to be approved by a majority in the House and backed by two-thirds of the US Senate to convict Mr Rosenstein, which makes the plan a long shot.

    It will however, no doubt, provide a distracting side-tracking, on which the likes of Faux News can concentrate, as the evidence and prosecutions mount up!

    Comey sacking mark 2 attempt at harassment and bullying of officials??

    Perhaps these block-head stooges, should be firmly told, that public comments are not made about details of on-going investigations, so as to avoid prejudicing the prosecution of criminals by giving them the opportunity to destroy evidence or flee from arrest!!

  32. Arkrid Sandwich #31
    Jul 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Trump’s trade wars are also such a roaring success with farmers
    who now can’t sell their produce abroad
    that the department of agriculture is having to bail them out with $12 billion of taxpayer’s money,
    much to the chagrin of Republicans in congress who think welfare money is barely a step removed from outright communism.

    Having previously refused to exclude the EU from his tariffs on steel and aluminium, I see Trump is now seeking an EU deal to export his mountain of surplus soya to the EU!

    However, discussions are only at the “working towards a zero tariffs deal”, and while Trump is likely to proclaim this an instant success, EU negotiators (with recent experience of brexiteer fantasy finance, and the speed of Trump about turns), are likely to be methodical and cautious!

    It looks like the standard Trump bullying tactic of attacking someone, and then, “generously” offering to reduce the attack, in exchange for some sort of concessions on their part!

  33. @#34 – I see Trump is now seeking an EU deal
    to export his mountain of surplus soya to the EU!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44961560

    Trump and EU’s Juncker pull back from all-out trade war

    Mr Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on European cars was put aside.

    The EU plans to buy more US liquefied natural gas (LNG) and soybeans.

    US import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium, imposed in March, will however remain in place.

    Mr Trump said the EU would become a “massive buyer” of US liquefied natural gas and the joint statement said EU imports of LNG would increase, to diversify Europe’s energy supply.

    Mr Trump’s “America First” policy made him a fierce critic of the proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is at a standstill. But his “deal” with Mr Juncker echoes some of TTIP’s ambition.

    A former US Ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, made that point in a tweet.

    Anthony Gardner @tony|gardner

    Idea of signifcantly more LNG shipments to EU absurd.
    It is not price competitive with piped gas.
    In TTIP we had already agreed to eliminate 97pc of tariffs. . . . .

    Mr Trump has condemned Germany’s project to expand imports of Russian natural gas, via a new Baltic pipeline.

    “The EU is going (…) to buy a lot of soy beans from our farmers, primarily in the Midwest,” Mr Trump said.

    Mr Juncker will need the approval of the member states, which have different national interests and does he actually have the power to make the European economy gobble up more beans? Without details, it’s all just warm words, but after a turbulent few months of transatlantic relations those are worth something.

  34. I see that US car makers are reporting the “business benefits”of Trumponomic protectionism!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44957350

    US carmakers hit by tariffs disputes

    Three major automakers have warned that changes to trade policies are hurting performance.

    Ford and General Motors lowered profit forecasts for 2018, citing higher steel and aluminium prices caused by new US tariffs.

    Fiat Chrysler also slashed its 2018 revenue outlook, after sales in China slumped as buyers postponed purchases in anticipation of lower car tariffs.

    Shares in all three companies fell after they reported results.

    General Motors shares ended the day about 5% lower, while Fiat Chrysler shares sank about 11%.

    Shares in Ford, which reported its earnings to investors results later in the day, dropped about 4% in after hours trade.

    Ford said tariffs, including on steel and aluminium, could cost it up to $1.6bn (£1.2bn), while General Motors said higher metals prices would add about $600m-$700m to costs.

  35. The tangle of lies and liars, just keeps on emerging throughout the Trump campaigns and administration, – with the standard denials of witness statements, and assertive attempts to discredit witnesses.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44976725

    President Donald Trump’s former lawyer has said his client knew in advance of a June 2016 meeting between his aides and a Russian delegation that offered to help his campaign, US media report.

    Michael Cohen says he was present when Mr Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, informed his father of the meeting.

    The meeting at Trump Tower in New York City involved Mr Trump’s son, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an influential Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

    It was set up after a Russian intermediary contacted Mr Trump Jr with a promise to provide material that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton – the Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

    Donald Trump Jr and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have both testified – one to Congress, the other to the special counsel – that the president knew nothing about the meeting until details of it emerged a year later.

  36. As the net tightens and conspirators are running scared before prosecutors, the “Bear with sore head” Liar-in-Chief, wants more smoke to hide in and a better cover-up!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45026754

    US President Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on the Russia investigation by demanding it end “right now”.

    In a series of tweets, he said Attorney General Jeff Sessions must halt the inquiry into alleged election meddling.

    Mr Trump also labelled special counsel Robert Mueller, who leads the probe, “totally conflicted”.

    His remarks are notable because he himself has previously acknowledged the US Department of Justice should be free from political interference.

    According to US media, some Trump aides believe that Mr Mueller will report soon on the findings of his 14-month investigation as they relate to the president.

    With persistent denials, conflicts of interest, and interference, it looks increasingly as if the Trump presidency should end right now with impeachment!

  37. Meanwhile clear warnings of election meddling, are being given from US official sources.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45047138

    US national security chiefs have lined up to warn American democracy is in the “crosshairs” of foreign adversaries for elections in 2018 and 2020.

    Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said: “We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to weaken and divide the US.”

    Mr Coats said the efforts were less robust so far than in 2016, and did not appear directed at a single party.

    US National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Chris Wray, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also spoke at Thursday’s White House news conference.

    Mr Coats was asked if he was accusing rogue Russian individuals or the Kremlin itself of intervening in US elections.

    “Both,” the intelligence director replied.

    He said the hackers were trying to steal information from candidates and government officials and were seeking to influence voters through social media bots.

    Mr Coats said: “Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat. It is real.”

  38. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45053406

    President Donald Trump’s media attacks raise the risk of violence against journalists, UN experts have warned.

    In a statement, David Kaye and Edison Lanza of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called the attacks “strategic” and said they undermined press freedom and “verifiable facts”.

    The comments follow hours after Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka distanced herself from her father’s attacks.

    Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the media before and during his presidency.

    He has declared journalists to be “enemies of the people”, drawing condemnation from across the political spectrum.

    Republican senator for Arizona Jeff Flake meanwhile has compared Mr Trump to the former USSR dictator Joseph Stalin.

    Perhaps journalists are “enemies of lying deceitful people” who they expose – which is what is bugging Trump and the Trump-apologist trumpies!

  39. Meanwhile that stuff which Trump does not want seen, just keeps turning up in court – while his deplorables remain in denial for as long as possible!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45066398

    An accountant for Donald Trump’s former election campaign chief Paul Manafort says she helped disguise his foreign income so he could pay less in tax.

    Cindy Laporta told the court in Alexandria, Virginia, she had been told to concoct a $900,000 (£690,000) loan on his tax return in 2015.

    Mr Manafort is facing charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts.

    He could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty.

    Testifying on the fourth day of the trial, Ms Laporta, who has been given immunity in exchange for testifying, said she knew what she did with fabricating the loan was “not appropriate”.

    “You can’t pick and choose what’s a loan and what’s income,” she said. “I very much regret it.”

    She added that she had agreed to do this under pressure from Mr Manafort’s former associate Rick Gates, who had alleged that Mr Manafort did not have the money to pay the full tax.

    Ms Laporta said Mr Manafort had likely saved up to $500,000 in taxes in 2015.

    As a lobbyist, he developed a reputation for representing the unrepresentable, including former Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of torturing, abducting and killing thousands of opponents.

    @#41 – He has declared journalists to be “enemies of the people”, drawing condemnation from across the political spectrum.

    The reputable media labelled as “false news” and “enemies of the people” by Trump, look very much like the enemies of liars and fraudsters! – as do those “so-called judges” and FBI investigators!

  40. @ #39 – US President Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on the Russia investigation by demanding it end “right now”.

    In a series of tweets, he said [the recused] Attorney General Jeff Sessions must halt the inquiry into alleged election meddling.

    After earlier denials, I see that now the evidence has come out, Trump senior has pronounced the activities of his son to be “legal”.
    I would have thought, that was the question professional investigators were seeking to resolve!

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45079377

    US President Donald Trump has admitted his son met a Russian lawyer in June 2016 “to get information on an opponent”, but argues it was legal.

    It is his most direct statement so far on the reason for Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.

    the Washington Post, CNN and AP reported that Mr Trump was worried Donald Trump Jr could be in legal trouble because of the 9 June 2016 meeting with Ms Veselnitskaya in New York.

    Mr Trump tweeted: “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower.

    When the meeting was first reported by the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr said in a statement that he and Ms Veselnitskaya had mostly discussed a suspended programme for Americans to adopt Russian children.

    US media then reported that the US president had been involved in the initial statement his son issued on the meeting.

    This was initially denied by Mr Trump’s team, but his lawyers later confirmed that he had in fact dictated his son’s statement.

    US commentators have argued that Mr Trump’s new admission that the meeting was to gain information about Mrs Clinton shows that the earlier statement was misleading.

    Not really a surprise when the Liar-in-Chief is involved!

  41. Meanwhile, Trump is not going to be able to arbitrarily throw his weight around on the international scene unopposed!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45085205

    Iran nuclear deal: EU shields firms from US sanctions law

    Some US sanctions on Iran are expected to be reimposed later on Monday.

    In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from an international 2015 deal to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    A joint statement from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK says the nuclear deal – or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – is “crucial” for global security.

    “We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231,” the statement says.

    “This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.”

    They say they “expect Iran to fully implement its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA”.

    Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment programme in return for the lifting of crippling Western sanctions.

    So it looks like another Trump trade-war own goal, with US firms losing out to foreign competition!

  42. So it looks like the confrontations are hotting up!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-45085571

    President Donald Trump says he will fully enforce the sanctions being reimposed on Iran as a result of the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal.

    Measures targeting Iran’s automotive sector as well as its trade in gold and other key metals will take effect from 00:01 EDT (04:01 GMT) on Tuesday.

    Individuals or entities who breach the sanctions risk “severe consequences”.

    There was no immediate response from Iran, but Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier said the US was being “isolated”.

    He added that it was hard to imagine negotiating with someone who had torn up an agreement that had taken so long to reach. “Who can believe Trump is serious about talks?” he asked.

    Iran’s top 3 trading partners are China, the EU and India, and they are probably unimpressed by Trump!

  43. They may be the worst of the worst, but they pocket $millions from making “great deals”, and lie just like Trump!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45092179

    Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s ex-business partner has taken the stand against him in his trial on bank and tax fraud charges.

    The defendant’s lawyers say Rick Gates embezzled millions of dollars from Mr Manafort’s consulting firm.

    Gates is the prosecution’s star witness after he cut a plea deal this year and admitted two felony charges.

    This is the first criminal trial to come from the Department of Justice-led inquiry into alleged Russian meddling.

    On day five of the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Gates was asked by the prosecutor whether he had committed any crimes with Mr Manafort, and he said: “Yes.”

    The witness also testified that he had helped the defendant file false tax returns, and had concealed 15 foreign accounts from the US government despite knowing it was illegal.

    When asked why had lied, he told prosecutors he had done so at Mr Manafort’s request.

    Prosecutors allege he dodged taxes on millions of dollars he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party.

    On Monday, Ms LaPorta was asked by prosecutors if she had been aware of a $10m loan from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska that the district attorney said was “supposedly made in 2006”.

    She was asked if this was filed as taxable income, but told lawyers she was unaware of any such loans.

  44. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45098031

    Iran sanctions: Trump warns trading partners

    Trump’s America still has trading partners???? 🙂

    “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States,” the president tweeted.

    So – there are those who will not be doing business with America, because tariffs make suppliers in other countries more competitive, and there will be those not doing business with America, because they are not prepared to have Trump dictate who they do business with and which agreements they should renege on!

    This “not doing business” sounds like a Trumpy “great deal” for American jobs and the economy! 🙂

    Perhaps the rest of the countries of the world will just do business with each other, under the various trade agreements they have decided to honour and operate!

    I would suspect that various American corporations who find they are not doing business, may decide to have a word in Trump’s ear and with congress! 🙂

  45. Alan #47

    “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the
    United States,” the president tweeted.

    He concluded his tweet with the words, “I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”

    Ah yes, we’ve encountered this kind of prospect of world peace before. The Nazis proclaimed it. Islamists proclaim it.

    It is a peace built on complete surrender to their will. Trump’s will, in this case. And like them, he won’t baulk at decidedly non-peaceful means to bring it about.

  46. I see the Trumpies still have no respect for the law, and think they can do what they like!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45139071

    A federal judge has ordered a mother and her daughter to be flown back to the United States, after learning they had been deported mid-appeal.

    The two were being represented in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who said they had fled “extreme sexual and gang violence”.

    The judge said it was unacceptable they had been removed during their appeal.

    He reportedly also said Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be held in contempt of court for the deportation.

    Mr Sessions introduced tighter immigration rules in June and victims of domestic abuse and gang violence no longer generally qualify for US asylum.

    Describing the situation as “outrageous”, he [the judge] ordered the pair be returned immediately, according to reports.

    An official from the Department of Homeland Security told the Reuters agency that the agency had worked to comply with the court’s order.

    “Upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs did not disembark and are currently en route back to the United States,” the department said in an emailed statement.

    The mother and daughter are said to have arrived back in Texas, where they were being held, by Thursday night.

  47. I see that Trump has more-or-less confirmed that his attack on a CIA investigator was part of his attempt to obstruct the Russia investigation!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45205656

    Trump ‘cites Russia probe’ after ending ex-CIA head’s security access

    US President Donald Trump says his frustrations with the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling forced him to revoke the security clearance of ex-CIA chief John Brennan.

    “It is a sham,” he told the Wall Street Journal. Revoking Mr Brennan’s clearance “had to be done”.

    The White House had earlier said Mr Brennan’s access was revoked because of “erratic conduct”.

    The vocal critic of the president can no longer access sensitive information.

    In response, Mr Brennan said the move was part of President Trump’s broader effort to “suppress freedom of speech and punish critics”.

    Last year, Mr Brennan said the Russia inquiry was “well-founded” because Russians had “brazenly interfered” in the vote.

    President Trump has repeatedly denied the claim, calling it a “witch hunt”.

    Mr Trump said that while former intelligence heads continued to have security access so they could advise their successors, “neither of these justifications supports Mr Brennan’s continued access to classified information”.

    The statement added that Mr Trump was also reviewing access to classified information for nine other high-ranking officials, all of whom have criticised the president.

    These include former FBI chief James Comey, who was fired last year, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Sally Yates.

    Apparently Trump resents the testimony from such professionals, challenging his “alternative facts”!

  48. So Trump, in his inside-out-backwards thinking – having obtained temporary security clearance for some dubious character appointments in his campaigns and administration, has now decided to rescind the security clearance of officials who have held top clearance for years, when they challenge his “alternative facts”!

    Meanwhile, the courts are still dealing with Trump appointees: over security issues –

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45230894

    US special counsel Robert Mueller has recommended a prison sentence of up to six months for former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

    Mr Mueller, head of an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said such a sentence was “warranted and appropriate”.

    Mr Papadopoulos has admitted lying about his contacts with Russians while a member of the Trump campaign team.

    Sentencing is due to take place on 7 September.

  49. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45227813

    The judge in the trial of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says he will not release the names of jurors because of fears for their safety.

    “I’ve received criticism and threats. I imagine they would, too.”

    The court in Alexandria, Virginia, has heard closing arguments and the jury has retired to consider a verdict.

    Prosecutors say the 69-year-old dodged taxes on millions of dollars he made lobbying for Ukrainian politicians.

    On Friday, US President Donald Trump said Mr Manafort was a “very good person”, describing the trial as “very sad”.

    If found guilty on the fraud charges, Mr Manafort could spend the rest of his life in jail.

    So once again, a Trump character reference as “good person”, means “a charlatan Trump-supporter – good for a term in jail term”!

  50. I see there is another White House spokes-liar from the Trump school of “alternative facts” and “alternative truths”!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45241838

    President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has raised eyebrows by claiming that “truth isn’t truth” during a television interview.

    Mr Giuliani was arguing that Mr Trump should not testify to the Russia probe, as he might be “trapped into perjury”.

    “Truth is truth”, NBC host Chuck Todd countered. Mr Giuliani denied this was the case, and said two rival versions of events were in contention.

    His reply seemed to echo controversial claims from Trump aides about facts.

    In January last year Kellyanne Conway said told Todd’s programme, Meet the Press, that the White House was entitled to present “alternative facts” – to which Todd retorted: “Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

    Mr Giuliani said:
    “I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so can he can be trapped into perjury.”

    Which translated from Trump-speak into English says:-
    “I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so can he can be caught lying and perjuring himself.”

    He added: “When you tell me that he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”

    Todd responded: “Truth is truth.” Mr Giuliani said: “Truth isn’t truth.”

  51. Meanwhile those who have a competent grasp on national security and public interest issues, are challenging Trump’s aggressive stupid personal attacks on critical professionals!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45249149

    More than 175 former US intelligence leaders have backed ex-CIA chief John Brennan since the president revoked his security clearance.

    In the third bi-partisan letter of its kind, the former top security officials noted their opposition to President Donald Trump’s threats and actions.

    CIA, State Department and Navy alumni, as well as US ambassadors and US attorneys signed the letter on Monday.

    The White House has defended Mr Trump’s decision to revoke security clearances.

    “All of us believe it is critical to protect classified information from unauthorised disclosure,” reads the letter, published online by Axios on Monday.

    “But we believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so.”

    Former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and former Nasa administrator and Navy secretary Sean O’Keefe have signed the letter, along with more than 20 former US attorneys and 10 former ambassadors.

    The letter notes that the signatures do not mean these officials necessarily agree with Mr Brennan’s views or actions, but they represent “our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views”.

    Mr Brennan, a vocal critic of Mr Trump, has been locked in a war of words with the president after arguing the Russia investigation was “well-founded”.

    He had described Mr Trump’s controversial news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “nothing short of treasonous”.

    Last week, more than a dozen former intelligence officials signed a similar statement criticising the removal of Mr Brennan’s security clearance. Sixty former CIA officials later added their names to the statement.

    I think Trump’s tweet just blew his cover again, when he comments on :- How much Brennan was involved in the “Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt”!

  52. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45254374

    US President Donald Trump has said he is worried he might face perjury charges if he gives statements under oath to the investigation into Russia’s alleged role in his election victory.

    He told Reuters news agency he feared any discrepancies between his account and others could be used against him.

    That is a hazard faced by gratuitous liars who contradict numerous credible witnesses and recorded evidence!

    Mr Trump also suggested he could take over the investigation run by special counsel Robert Mueller, but said he’d decided to stay out of it.

    He has called the inquiry a witch hunt.

    . . . . and no prizes for guessing Trump’s conclusions after his “investigations”!!

    Mr Trump also asserted that he could, if he wanted to, intervene in the investigation, but added that he had chosen not to do so for now.

    “I’ve decided to stay out. Now I don’t have to stay out. I can go in, and I could do whatever – I could run it if I want. But I decided to stay out,” he said.

    “I’m totally allowed to be involved if I wanted to be.
    So far, I haven’t chosen to be involved. I’ll stay out.”

    Some how, I don’t think that’s what the ethical requirements for being recused from investigations say! – Maybe those “so-called judges” or retired federal attorneys, will have comments on that claim!! 🙂

    In an interview with NBC on Sunday, Mr Giuliani was asked whether the Trump team was stalling about a possible testimony at the Mueller inquiry.

    In 2016, US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had used a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media in an attempt to turn the election against Mrs Clinton.

    Thirty-two people have now been indicted, including four members of Mr Trump’s campaign team and 25 Russians.

    The jury in his [Paul Manafort’s] case is in its fourth day of deliberation to reach a verdict.

  53. Meanwhile as Trump continues in obstructive denial:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45257081

    Russian attempts to launch cyber-attacks against US conservative groups have been thwarted, Microsoft says.

    The software company said Russian hackers had tried to steal data from political organisations, including the International Republican Institute and the Hudson Institute think tanks.

    But they had been thwarted when its security staff had won control of six net domains mimicking their websites.

    Microsoft said the Fancy Bear hacking group had been behind the attacks.

    “We’re concerned that these and other attempts pose security threats to a broadening array of groups connected with both American political parties in the run-up to the 2018 elections,” Microsoft said in its blog detailing its work.

    The thwarted attack was likely the start of a “spear phishing” campaign, said Microsoft. This would involve tricking people into visiting the mimicked domains allowing the Fancy Bear group to see and steal login information that people use.

    As well as the two think-tanks, the domains seized were associated with several Senate offices and services.

    The International Republican Institute’s directors include Senator John McCain and General HR McMaster who was replaced earlier this year as the White House national security adviser.

    Microsoft added that the attack activity seen around the domains “mirrors” what it saw in 2016 in the US and during the 2017 election in France.

    In its blog, Microsoft president Brad Smith said it had grabbed dodgy domains 12 times in two years to shut down 84 websites associated with Fancy Bear.

  54. Trump’s swamp dwellers seem to be draining out of the White House and into the courts!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45265676

    Ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight charges of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign banks accounts.

    But the jury at his trial in Virginia failed to reach a verdict on 10 other charges and the judge declared a mistrial on those.

    It was the first criminal trial arising from the justice department probe into alleged Russian election meddling.

    The verdict came on the fourth day of jury deliberations.

    He was accused of using 31 foreign bank accounts in three different countries to evade taxes on millions of dollars.

    The Ukrainian government found ledgers pledging more than $12m (£9.2m) in cash to Mr Manafort for his advisory work with former President Viktor Yanukovych while he was in office, the New York Times reported.

  55. Two swampies exposed on the same day???

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45265546

    US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to violating campaign finance laws.

    He said he did so at the direction of “the candidate”, acting for the “purpose of influencing the election”.

    Mr Cohen’s admission was related to hush money paid to Mr Trump’s alleged mistresses.

    The 51-year-old admitted eight counts, including tax and bank fraud in a plea deal with prosecutors.

    In the court on Tuesday he said that he had been directed by “a candidate for federal office” – presumed to be Mr Trump – to break federal election laws.

    The charges against him could carry prison time.

    He has pleaded guilty to:

    Five counts of tax evasion
    One count of making false statements to a financial institution
    One count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution
    One count of making an excessive campaign contribution
    at request of a candidate or campaign

    His sentencing is scheduled for 12 December.

    Speaking to reporters outside court, a prosecutor said Mr Cohen’s crimes were “particularly significant” because he is a trained lawyer.

  56. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45279047

    US President Donald Trump has insisted that payments to two women who say he had affairs with them did not break election campaign rules.

    So his ex LAWYER and a JUDGE agree that the payments were ILLEGAL, but wish-thinking Trump (in denial as usual), asserts that HE “knows better ” how to interpret the law!

    It comes after his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating laws during the 2016 presidential election over his handling of the hush money.

    Interviewed by Fox & Friends, Mr Trump said the payments had come from him personally, not from the campaign.

    I suppose some of the thickies at Trump-base might swallow this, and some of the lying Trumpies might parrot it, but the law is about contributing to campaign outcomes, NOT about which account the money has been hidden in to evade scrutiny!

    He has in the past denied knowing about one of the payments altogether.

    His story keeps changing as hidden evidence emerges! Par for the course in Trump-Land!

    His comments contradict a statement made earlier by Cohen under oath in which he said the president had instructed him to make the payments.

    The hush money payments were not reported to the Federal Election Commission during the campaign.

    The question is whether the payments were made to protect Mr Trump’s personal reputation or to protect his image as a presidential candidate.

    Under US election rules, any payments made with the aim of influencing a vote must be reported.

  57. As expected, Trump’s trade wars are now escalating!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45255623

    US President Donald Trump’s trade war against China has moved up a gear as it brings in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16bn (£12.4bn).

    The move ratchets up the dispute which began in July. The US imports far more goods from China than it exports to it.

    There are fears that more tariffs could cause further damage to companies and consumers. Goods affected this time include motorcycles and aerials.

    China immediately imposed retaliatory taxes on the same value of US products.

    As well as China, Mr Trump’s “America First” policies have seen taxes imposed on Mexico, Canada and the European Union, to encourage consumers to buy American products.
    All of those countries have retaliated.

    Although Mr Trump states his moves are aimed at protecting US industry and business, dozens of US companies and industry groups have testified to the US Trade Representative’s Office that their businesses are being harmed.

    . . . But what do they know??? 🙂
    After all, the all-knowing-Trump has spoken – and his cheerleading Fox-fans are happy about that – AT PRESENT!

  58. I see Trump has noticed the prospect of being impeached, so is preparing Trump-base with scare stories and false news, in anticipation of of that approaching issue!
    Even he must recognise, that the lies are wearing thin, and those “so-called-judges” are unlikely to be impressed with his “authoritative statements” on science, economics and law!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45285585

    Trump: Impeach me and the market crashes

    “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash,” he said in an interview with Fox & Friends.

    He was speaking after Michael Cohen, his ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to violating election laws, and said he had been directed to do so by Mr Trump.

    Mr Trump has rarely spoken about the prospect of being impeached.

    “I think everybody would be very poor,” Mr Trump told Fox and Friends.

    Pointing to his head, he explained:
    “Without this thinking you would see, you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”

    Outside of the Trump-Fox delusion-bubble, I think informed people are already familiar with the make-it-up-as-you-go-along, backwards thinking, launched personal propaganda attacks on the characters of critics and witnesses, and “seeing numbers that you wouldn’t believe” from the Trump administration!!!

    Correspondents say it is unlikely Mr Trump’s opponents would try to impeach him before November’s mid-term elections.

  59. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45286906

    US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has responded to Donald Trump’s latest attack on him by insisting that the justice department he heads will not bend to political pressure.

    The apparent rebuke of Mr Trump came after the president made personal comments about him during an interview.

    Mr Trump has been vociferous in his criticism of the Department of Justice.

    He has been particularly riled by its handling of the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    Mr Sessions, an early supporter of Mr Trump’s campaign, recused himself from that inquiry and handed control to his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

    That decision, and the ongoing progress of the inquiry under special counsel Robert Mueller, has provoked frequent outbursts from Mr Trump, both in person and on his Twitter feed.

    What did Sessions say?

    “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations,” he said in a statement.

    “I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action.”

    What did Trump say?

    “It’s a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or he should have told me.

    “And by the way he was on the campaign.
    You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter.
    He was on the campaign. He knows there was no collusion.

    Yep!
    Even some of the “Yes-Men” have some scruples and loyalty to oaths of office!
    Trump has accidentally appointed someone who is not a pure 100% loyal Trump-stooge who will disregard ethics, the constitution, and the law, to comply with Trump’s every wish! Horrors !!!! 🙂

  60. @#62 – What did Trump say?

    “It’s a very, very sad day.
    Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or he should have told me.

    “And by the way he was on the campaign.
    You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter.
    He was on the campaign.
    He knows there was no collusion.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45455050

    The former Trump adviser whose remarks in a London pub sparked the US inquiry into possible collusion with Russia has been sentenced to 14 days in jail.

    In Friday’s sentencing, Papadopoulos was also handed 12 months of supervised release, 200 hours of community service, and a fine of $9,500 (£7,350).

    George Papadopoulos, 31, told the court in Washington DC he was a “patriotic American” who made a mistake by lying.

    He pleaded guilty last October to lying to the FBI about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Moscow.

    He was the first ex-Trump aide arrested in the probe into an alleged Kremlin plot to sway the 2016 US vote.

    A pre-sentencing statement last week read: “While some in the room rebuffed George’s offer, Mr Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it.”

    Papadopoulos told CNN in an interview aired on Friday that Mr Trump “gave me a sort of a nod” and “wasn’t committed either way” about the idea of a meeting with the Russian leader.

    But he said then-senator and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions “was actually enthusiastic”. Last November, Mr Sessions testified to Congress that he had “pushed back” against Papadopoulos’ offer.

    So according to this testimony, Trump was there, and knew of Sessions’ involvement, but still made the above public statement, saying Sessions should not have recused himself, and presumably should have conspired to cover up out of loyalty to Trump!!

    Outside court on Friday, Papadopoulos’ lawyer, Thomas Breen, said his client was a “fool” and had acted “stupidly” in lying to the FBI.

    But the attorney said “the president of the United States hindered this investigation more than Papadopoulos ever could”.

    He said Mr Trump had hampered the inquiry by calling it a “witch hunt” and “fake news”.

  61. It looks like the investigation is progressing steadily, regardless of the bluster from the White House!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45525325

    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to co-operate with an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US election as part of a plea deal.

    In court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in the deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    The agreement avoids a second trial on money laundering and other charges.

    The White House insists the guilty plea has absolutely nothing to do with President Donald Trump.

    Manafort was convicted last month on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose banks accounts.

    However, the charges only relate to Manafort’s political consulting with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, largely pre-dating his role with the Trump campaign.

    In an appearance at a federal court in Washington DC, Manafort – who is being held in custody – pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the US and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    Correspondents say he faces up to 10 years in prison under the deal and will also forfeit four of his properties and the contents of several bank accounts.
    Deadlocked charges from the previous trial will be dismissed if there is “successful co-operation” with the special counsel.

    The charges in the planned second trial were to include money laundering, conspiring to defraud the US, witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent. Jury selection had been due to start on Monday.

  62. @#60 – US President Donald Trump’s trade war against China has moved up a gear as it brings in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16bn (£12.4bn).

    I see that Trump in his traditional uncaring policy of pig-headed confrontation, has moved to a third wave of tariffs – with the predictable and seemingly well targeted, retaliation from China!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45555749

    China has hit back at President Donald Trump by imposing new trade tariffs on $60bn of American goods.

    It comes after the US slapped duties on $200bn of Chinese imports on Monday, escalating its trade war with Beijing.

    China will target American goods such as liquefied natural gas, which are produced in states loyal to the US president.

    However, in a tweet Mr Trump warned Beijing against seeking to influence the upcoming US midterm elections.

    MMMMmm – now who would see a connection between the damage from a Trump initiated trade war, and the mid-term elections? – Still – never mind the economic damage, Trump is showing the “important mid-term issues” HE cares about!!! 🙂

    “There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!” he said.

    Yep! Mindless escalating threats! – Standard Trump attempts at “negotiations”!

    Earlier he had suggested that this would mean further US tariffs on another $267bn worth of Chinese products. Such a move would mean roughly all of China’s exports to the US would be subject to new duties.

    The Chinese commerce ministry said it would impose its tariffs from 24 September – the date the US duties come into effect – but at lower rates than previously expected.

    This appears to be measured and targeted Chinese response!

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