Indictment hits Trump people, Trump whines again

[I hate it when there is more than one major Trump related story in a week….]

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Manafort business associate, Rick Gates, turned themselves in to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller as he was indicted. Manafort previously denied financial wrongdoing regarding his Ukraine-related payments, his bank accounts in offshore tax shelters and his various real-estate transactions over the years.

They were indicted on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and several other financial counts involving tens of millions of dollars routed through offshore accounts. Manafort’s indictment doesn’t reference the Trump campaign or make any allegations about co-ordination between the Kremlin and the president’s aides to influence the outcome of the election in Trump’s favour.

How Manafort spent “his” money? Luxury cars at roughly a quarter-million dollars. Landscaping in the Hamptons at more than $820,000. An antique rug store at about $1 million. Add a home lighting and entertainment company in Florida for $1.3 million. A men’s clothing store in New York for $849,215 and another in Beverly Hills, California for $520,440.

A condominium in New York’s SoHo neighborhood for $1.5 million, a Brownstone in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood for $3 million and a House in Arlington, Virginia for $1.9 million.

The indictment accuses Manafort of using the money to buy multi-million-dollar homes and then using those homes as collateral to get more cash. Manafort lied to banks about how the homes were used so he could obtain more generous loans.

Manafort currently has three US passports, each under a different number. He has submitted 10 passport applications in roughly as many years, prosecutors said. This year, Manafort traveled to Mexico, China and Ecuador with a phone and email account registered under a fake name. Both Manafort and Gates were frequent travelers to Cyprus.” Cyprus is known to be light on regulations.

Manafort wrote on loan applications and other financial documents that his assets were worth between $19 million in April 2012 and $136 million in May 2016. In August 2016 he said his assets were worth $28 million, then wrote he had $63 million in assets on a different application. Gates opened 55 accounts with 13 financial institutions.

George Papadopoulos also pleaded on October 5 and was unsealed. In court papers, he admitted to lying about the nature of his interactions with “foreign nationals” who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials. Papadopoulos tried to arrange meetings between Trump and the Russian government.

So Trump was “seething” [according to a White House staffer] during the morning when the indictments broke and spend all morning watching the news. Surely it wasn’t Fox as they tried to avoid the subject.

Trump, was too busy commented about his fake collusion theories instead of trying to defend them. Just throw them under a steamroller and drive over then a few times. He tweeted “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus” The indictment on Manafort continues up until February 2017. By then, Manafort was in the campaign as well and within his government.

Trump said that George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide, thrust into the centre of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe “has already proven to be a liar.” Trump named Papadopoulos to his foreign policy advisory council in March 2016 and a March 21, 2016 meeting with The Washington Post editorial board, Trump called Papadopoulos an “excellent guy”. Trump tweeted a photo of his advisory council meeting, with Papadopoulos among a handful of advisers at the president’s table.

But, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders [taking a cue from her lying boss] said his role was “extremely limited” and that “no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign”.

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo also claims Papadopoulos had a limited role with the Trump campaign, calling him a “coffee boy”. A coffee boy doesn’t sit next to the president-elect as well as senior officials [as seen in Trump’s picture].

Walter Shaub Jr., former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, called White House allies’ attempts to distance Trump from George Papadopoulos “baloney sandwiches.”

Sanders did her job by downplaying all three indictments my saying they were “volunteer” positions. Does being a volunteer make a difference? Did anyone believe her?

Manafort and Gates will be tried on May 7th in court.

“I don’t remember much about that meeting,” Trump responded when asked about Papadopoulos suggestion to have a meeting with Vladimir Poutine. “It was a very unimportant meeting, took place a long time [ago], don’t remember much about it.” But then he said a week prior that he had “one of the great memories of all time”.

Trump has repeatedly used an “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” defense when he was deposed in a number of lawsuits he has faced over the years.

Julian Assange said that WikiLeaks received a “request for information” from Cambridge Analytica. That request came prior to last November and was rejected. Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix reached out to Assange during the presidential campaign about the possible release of 33,000 of Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. Those emails have never been publicly released. Robert Mercer, a billionaire Trump supporter, is a backer of Cambridge Analytica.

Democrat Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said “Members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, must also make clear to the President that issuing pardons to any of his associates or to himself would be unacceptable, and result in immediate, bipartisan action by Congress.”

While Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said “The president must not, under any circumstances and in any way, interfere with the special counsel’s work”.

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer, shot down both possibilities of firing Mueller and pardons in an interview Tuesday with ABC’s Good Morning America.

Trump’s claim that it is “It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump” but intelligence committee member Angus King said there’s still plenty of investigating left to do. King isn’t sure where Trump got that idea from since the committee isn’t finished and committee will still be reviewing evidence for months.

Trump continues to deflect the “heat” from his campaigns possible collusion with the Russians by continuing to use the Hillary Clinton’s campaign as the target of his criticisms. In a bunch of tweets Trump said “Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?), the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia, ‘collusion,’ which doesn’t exist.”

The $12 million mention, it is unclear on that amount on how Trump got that figure [except he way over estimated it]. The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie maybe 8 million in legal fees since June 2015 for maybe 18 months. But it’s impossible to tell from the filings how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

In 2016, conservative Free Beacon [with a major GOP donor] paid the Washington, D.C., firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s background and, eventually, his business ties to Russia. After the Free Beacon stopped paying Fusion GPS, the research firm offered in April 2016 to continue researching Trump for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. [Did they stop because nothing was there or something nasty against Trump was found?]

Trump’s other attach against Clinton, when she was secretary of state, involving a uranium deal that increased Russia’s share of the U.S. nuclear market by buying a chunk of a Canadian owned Uranium company. What Trump fails to mention is that the uranium can’t leave the US.

Trump, less than 24 hours after a 29-year-old Uzbek national allegedly drove a truck down a bike path and killed at least eight people, blamed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats for immigration policies he claims allowed the suspect to enter the United States. Very classy. Taking a tragedy and using it for political gains.

When Sanders, asked about gun control policy the day after the shooting in Las Vegas, dismissed the idea of talking about policy so soon after a shooting. But when Trump brought up the travel ban hours after shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, Sanders added at the time, “I think there’s a difference between being a candidate and being the President.”

The alleged killer came into the US via the Diversity Visa Lottery Program and was radicalized while in the US. Schumer was a major player in that legislation but also part of a 2013 bill that would of removed the program. The program was signed in by George H. W. Bush – not a Democrat president.

Trump blamed the Democrats but in the 9 months in office, what has he done? Just release travel bans – all of which ran into legal issues. Did he kill the diversity program? Nope. You think the diversity will still be around in 6 months? I’d day definitely yes. Meanwhile no legislation on the bump stock “add-on” for guns after over a month.

Trump says that it is not surprising terror attacks happen because the way the United States punishes terrorists is “a laughing stock”. So why doesn’t he do something instead of whine about it.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program,” said Trump. You think he did?

“About the Diversity Visa Lottery Program Sounds nice, it is not nice, it is not good. It hasn’t been good”. And he know it hasn’t been good, how? How many of these immigrants have done something illegal.

Diversity recipients specifically must have at least a high school education or equivalent and must have had at least two years of experience working a job that requires at least two years of training or experience within five years of the date of the application. They must also be admissible to the US.

“… Guantanamo Bay, which by the way, which by the way, we are keeping open. Which we are keeping open … and we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up,” Trump an audience in February 2016. 9 months in his term, how many new detainees?

Attorney General Sessions said he does not rule out the use of Guantanamo to prosecute terrorists. “Terrorists should know: this Administration will use all lawful tools at our disposal, including prosecution in Article III courts and at Guantanamo Bay.”

Trump was more harsh against the alleged New York attacker saying “This animal who did the attacking” than the Las Vegas shooter saying “The wires were crossed pretty badly in his brain. Extremely badly in his brain. And it’s a very sad event.” Was it because the New York killer is not born in the US?

For unknown reasons [except maybe related to the alleged New York killer, Trump tweeted about “chain migration”. “CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil.” The term “chain migration” refers to immigrants coming to a country based on a connection to family.

Trump wants his tax bill ready to be signed by Christmas – so he can pass one real piece of legislation for the year. Some are doubting it.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker continued his criticism of Trump saying Trump is pressuring the Justice Department to “pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place.”

For 11 minutes, Trump’s account was disabled. It seems that just before leaving Twitter on his last day, an employee disabled the account. In some tweets, some called the former employee a hero without a cape. Another claimed the former employee should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Wonder if criminal charges will be laid.

White House chief of staff John Kelly says he will “absolutely not” apologize for his comments on Rep. Frederica Wilson, where Kelly claimed Wilson had boasted of securing “$20 million” in federal funding to build a new FBI field office in Miami during the dedication ceremony for the building in 2015. He also called the congresswoman an empty barrel. “I stand by what I said. John Kelly owes the nation an apology because when he lied about me, he lied to the American public,” she said.

Kelly spoke to the “good” and “not so good” parts of US history, speaking highly of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and attributing the origin of the American Civil War to a “lack of an ability to compromise.” He called Lee “an honorable man” who chose duty to his state over loyalty to a federal government.



About ebraiter
computer guy

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