Trump Jr now in the spotlight

Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had a meeting with a Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya [who has ties with the Kremlin] just over a year ago. Now it has been learned that there were others. A Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin said he also attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr as well as publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. Now were are told there are 2 others.

According to lobbying records, Akhmetshin is a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya’s organization, which has focused on lobbying Washington to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions. Akhmetshin denied that he was ever an intelligence agent but said he did serve two years in a Soviet military unit that handled counter-intelligence. Sounds like an intelligence agent to me. [The Magnitsky Act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians thought to have violated human rights.]

Was Trump Jr. hiding this? How can he forget?

Seems one day earlier when this issue came out, a statement from Donald Trump Jr. made no mention of Hillary Clinton. In his initial depiction of the meeting last June, the president’s son said the discussion focused on a disbanded program that used to allow American adoptions of Russian children. [In retaliation for some financial sanctions, the Russians put a freeze of adoptions of Russian children by Americans.] He had a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign occurred at the behest of a Moscow-based singer with family ties to Trump’s businesses, according to a participant in the talks. Reports say that Trump Jr. was told ahead of time that the source of the information was the Russian government.

When the attorney has negative information about Clinton that is part of the Russian government’s efforts to help Trump in the campaign. The then-candidate’s son responds: “I love it.” This new setback raises new questions about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow during the election, a charge the president has denied for months.

Trump Jr. released an email chain that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Clinton that were described as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” This was before the meeting at Trump Tower with Veselnitskaya. The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee.

But he decided that her information was most likely bogus and she just wanted to contact his father. This was just after Donald Trump clinched the nomination.

In a statement, Trump Jr.’s New York-based attorney Alan Futerfas called the Times report “much ado about nothing.”

Veselnitskaya stated in an interview with NBC that she had no information about Clinton. Veselnitskaya said she received a phone call from a man she didn’t know and was told to meet with Trump Jr.

Vladimir Poutine’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Kremlin is unaware of a meeting between Trump’s senior staff and a Russian lawyer, that it doesn’t know who Kremlin-linked lawyer Veselnitskaya is. Veselnitskaya’s clients include state-owned businesses and the son of a senior government official whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting.

This all started because Kushner filed a revised version of a form needed to obtain a security clearance. His attorney has previously acknowledged that Kushner’s first security clearance submission was incomplete. Kushner supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names, people close to him said. Kushner played down the significance of the meeting and omitted significant details, according to two people who were briefed on the exchange.

Over the last few days, members of the pro-Trump media have settled on their answer, characterizing the lawyer, Veselnitskaya, as a leftist with ties to the Obama administration. She part of a sinister Democratic plot to entrap the Trump campaign. Of course this was started more than a few days after this story broke. So the pro-Trump media is inventing ways to try and quash the story and came up with this one. Of course only the right will believe it and expect Trump to tweet it. Even Republican [and anti-Trump] John McCain is in on it. I guess anyone – Democrats or Republicans will be a target.

Senator Tim Kaine, said Donald Trump Jr. may have committed treason when he agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer under the pretense of getting dirt on Clinton. “We are now beyond obstruction of justice. This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and not a fan of Trump, said any time you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government the answer is “no.”

The chief ethics lawyer to George W. Bush, Richard Painter, also likened it to treason. Barack Obama’s White House counsel, Bob Bauer, said it’s illegal to assist foreign nationals seeking to influence a federal election, illegal to solicit their help, and illegal to co-ordinate with them.

Trump has questioned the quality of advice he has received from senior staff, including chief of staff Reince Priebus. There has also been a difference of opinion within the West Wing as to how to handle the crisis, with some aides favoring more transparency than others. Some of the unhappiness centers on Trump’s legal team, which is led by New York attorney Marc Kasowitz.

Trump blasted the current Russia controversy as “the greatest witch hunt in political history” while defending his son as being “open, transparent and innocent” during his interview with Fox News [where else?]. Trump later lashed out against Hillary Clinton, charging her with unspecified wrongdoings. “Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!” he tweeted.

Trump said he had not been told last summer that his son was meeting with a Russian lawyer. “No, that I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this,” he said.

Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and several of her Democratic colleagues called for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked “immediately,” saying that he “clearly participated in collusion.” – let alone forgetting information on his SF-86 security clearance form. Except for the fact that he supposedly left the meeting early, Kushner also should of known better and not attend the meeting. It remains unclear whether Kushner was briefed before the sit-down with Veselnitskaya. Kushner had previously undisclosed calls to Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak and undisclosed meetings with Kislyak and the CEO of Vnesheconombank, a state-run Russian bank under US sanctions.

Here’s another thought: you are the son of the presidential nominee. If someone wants to meet you during an election campaign – whether foreign or not – you can almost assume that the meeting isn’t to discuss sports. Trump Jr. was a fool to personally attend such a meeting. Other campaigns would have used surrogates.

“It’s an honor to meet you” is what Trump said to Putin at the G20 meeting . Ya. Right.

Trump initially said there would be some type of cyber security deal with the Russians which surprised even people within the Republican Party. But later on backtracked said there was no deal – more like preliminary talks. This after most in the US believe the Russians tinkered with last year’s election.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: “Partnering with Putin on a ‘Cyber Security Unit’ is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit'”.

On a 30 hour trip to France, Trump said the French President’s wife “You’re in such good shape. She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.” This in front of his own wife. Wonder what she was thinking. She’s 64. Media is calling it sexist.

Trump Jr. tweeted a video of a doctored clip of the 1986 military thriller “Top Gun”. In it, President Donald Trump’s face is superimposed over Tom Cruise’s character as he shoots down a Russian jet with a CNN logo on it. Trump is seen in the clip repeating his “you’re fired” catchphrase before launching a missile.

CNN said that it has confirmed the real and online identities of the individual behind the original CNN video shared by Trump. CNN also found a slew of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic posts from the same user. CNN says it spoke to the video creator by phone after the apology was posted. CNN left the door open to identifying the user in the future, should he go back to his “trolling” ways. Donald Trump Jr equates that to blackmail and somehow knows that the video creator is 15 years old. Maybe he or someone near his father hired the author?

In adding further sanctions against Russia and Iran, a bill has been stalled. The bill would require a congressional review if Trump attempts to ease or end penalties against Moscow. I would guess this would have to be related to Trump’s suspected ties with Russia. Officials from the Treasury and State departments said the provision would infringe on the president’s executive authority.

Trump tweeted that sanctions against Russia at the G20 meetings were not discussed at his meeting with Putin. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders contradicted Trump, telling reporters a day later that “sanctions specific to election-meddling were discussed” in the meeting.

Trump on Twitter claimed that the White House “is functioning perfectly” and claiming that “I have very little time for watching T.V.” Yes, at least 10 of the Trump’s tweets since Monday have been about TV shows or links to videos from the Fox News Channel.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University are suing Trump, saying some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from following him on Twitter by asking a judge to stop Trump and his media team from blocking critics from following his personal account.

In another no-brainer, Trump tweeted that he is “working hard to get the Olympics for the United States.” He was pushing for Los Angeles bid. Unsure why. The IOC will choose one city for 2024 and another for 2028 – and there are just 2 cities left: Paris and Los Angeles. So what is there to “work hard” for?

Hackers breached the systems used by 14 different Trump Hotels properties between August 10, 2016 and March 9, 2017, managing to steal sensitive information like guests’ credit card details and other personal information. Trump Hotels informed customers that hackers managed to breach the systems of Sabre Hospitality Solutions (Sabre) and not its own systems, though it confirms that personal information has been exposed.

The Trump administration removed Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors used by government agencies to purchase technology equipment, amid concerns the cyber security firm’s products could be used by the Kremlin to gain entry into U.S. networks. The action was taken “after review and careful consideration.” Government agencies will still be able to use Kaspersky products purchased separate from the GSA contract process.

Last month the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a defense spending policy bill that would ban Kaspersky products from use in the military. The move came a day after the FBI interviewed several of the company’s U.S. employees at their private homes as part of a counterintelligence investigation into its operations.

A Bloomberg Businessweek article claims Kaspersky Lab can “quietly embed the software in everything from firewalls to sensitive telecommunications equipment-none of which carry the Kaspersky name,” going on to say that it does much work at the behest of the FSB, which is the successor to the KGB in the Russian spy world. Kaspersky vehemently denied the accusations. Bloomberg even claimed Kaspersky Lab’s chief legal officer was a KGB officer when he actually worked for the Border Service.

The Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the CIA, NSA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency unanimously told the Senate Intelligence Committee they wouldn’t trust, or use, Kaspersky software in their work.

The Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, at the center of a political firestorm over his encounters with associates of President Donald Trump, is leaving his post — but Russia says the move is not unexpected.
An author released a book called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents From Wilson to Obama”. I’m wondering if the author can do a separate book just on Trump.

 

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About ebraiter
computer guy

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