Normally, West Wing staffers remain with an administration for at least a year or two not only to adorn the top of their resumes but also to avoid the bad optics that leaving a job so quickly can have in almost any other sector. But Politico reports that staffers from the National Economic Council, the communications shop and even political appointees are trying to leave due to low morale from the Trump-Russia investigation and the heavy turnover at top positions in the White House.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg bowed to mounting public pressure Thursday and announced that the social media giant would turn over to congressional investigators about 3,000 ads purchased during the 2016 presidential campaign by a mystery-shrouded Russian company with links to the Kremlin.
Mueller, who is leading the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is interested in Trump’s dismissal of former FBI director James Comey as well as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The Times said the request covers 13 areas, including a meeting at the Oval Office between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during which Trump said that Comey’s dismissal had lifted a “great pressure” off him.
On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew. The next day, President Barack Obama alleged that the responsible parties were Russian-backed separatists seizing territory in the region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama’s statement came amid a furious effort by Russian propaganda outlets to foster confusion about the act. In their telling, the tragedy had actually been a failed attempt by Ukrainians to shoot down President Vladimir Putin’s plane.
Right-wing and fringe media are claiming yet again that President Donald Trump was correct when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping in Trump Tower, now arguing that a legal wiretap targeted at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is proof of Trump’s claim. However, said wiretap was pursuant to a warrant and targeted at Manafort, not Trump. This is at least the fifth time in six months right-wing media has attempted to validate Trump’s lie.
Speaking of Manafort, his reported experiences with Mueller’s team stand as a prominent example of the investigation’s scope and tactics. When Manafort’s house was raided in July in a search for documents and information on his computer, prosecutors said they intended to indict him, the Times reported, citing two people close to the investigation.
In private, White House officials have said they are afraid their co-workers may be secretly recording their conversations to pass along to Mueller, the investigation’s special counsel, according to a report in The New York Times Sunday. Mueller has hired 17 prosecutors for his investigation looking at whether Trump’s campaign helped Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election. Among these lawyers are experts in transnational crime and money laundering.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s case against the former beauty pageant entrepreneur in the Oval Office is taking shape. At the same time, Trump is trying to rescue his presidency with talk of “unity.” In the past 48 hours, Trump has floated the possibility of a deal with the Democrats on the Dreamers, held an ostentatiously public meeting with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only African-American Republican in the Senate, and criticized congressional Republicans.
Mueller’s probe appears to have stepped up in recent weeks. It was reported last month that he had impaneled a federal grand jury in Washington and has issued subpoenas related to a meeting Donald Trump Jr. held with a Russian-government-linked lawyer in June 2016. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were also at the meeting. Last week, Trump Jr. was interviewed behind closed doors by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president’s affection for Vladimir Putin and accommodating stance on Russia have had a trickledown effect: a Russian baby boom centered on Trump’s Miami properties. While the trend of Russians traveling to Florida to give birth was being noticed as far back as 2014, a recent Daily Beast investigation indicates many of those expectant parents are booking Trump properties for their short-term accommodations. Wealthy Russian couples not only want to give their babies the dividends that come with American citizenship, they want their birthing experience to be as luxurious as possible.
President Donald Trump’s eldest son was questioned at length behind closed doors Thursday by Senate investigators over possible connections between his father’s 2016 campaign and Russia. Donald Trump Jr, who serves as executive director of the Trump Organization, avoided news cameras and reporters and entered a meeting in the US Capitol complex with investigators of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Yet the dossier has been treated with a degree of reverence by others. Last December, U.S. intelligence officials passed a summary of the report onto then-President Obama and President-elect Trump. It was then obtained and published in full by Buzzfeed News. It has since been reported that the FBI has used it to bolster its own investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia, which is currently being headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Angee Dixson joined Twitter on Aug. 8 and immediately began posting furiously — about 90 times a day. A self-described American Christian conservative, Dixson defended President Donald Trump’s response to the unrest in Charlottesville, criticized the removal of Confederate monuments and posted pictures purporting to show violence by left-wing counterprotesters.
An FBI raid last month at one of the homes of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, provides the clearest evidence so far that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is aggressively pursuing the investigation into the campaign’s dealings with Russia and of possible wrongdoing by Manafort.
Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., to further the investigation, and the jury has been operational for several weeks, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ reported on Thursday.
These penalties may inflict too little pain to matter, or they may inflict pain mainly on the target country’s people, who are helpless to change the policy at issue. The governments we sanction may get help from other countries that don’t share our goals. Sanctions can even backfire by hurting American companies.
While the Washington press corps and the rest of the world was distracted last week by the antics of the Mooch, Spicey, and the Donald, Bill Browder, an American-born British banker, was relegated to the side stage of C-SPAN3. For the Senate Judiciary Committee and the hard-core cable audience, Browder laid out what NPR called “a terrifying and complex picture of Putin’s Russia.”
Trump signed the bill without cameras, sending out a statement later in the morning saying that despite his belief that parts of the measure were unconstitutional, he was signing it into law for the “sake of national unity.”
What did Vladimir Putin think he was getting? Is it possible that he mistook an egotistical buffoon like Donald J. Trump for an apprentice strongman? If so, he badly misunderstands America. It’s not simply Russia with better plumbing. Granted, Trump himself lacks the self-discipline for autocracy. But he also lacks the servile population.
The expulsions, to take effect Sept. 1, would reduce the number of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia to 455, the same number that Russia has in the United States. In addition to its embassy in Moscow, the U.S. maintains consulates in St. Petersburg, Vladivostock and Yekaterinburg.
Browder is CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, an investment fund and asset management company that specializes in Russian markets. He lobbied Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012. The law is meant to punish the Russian officials behind the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who alleged that Russian officials committed $230 million in tax fraud.
As President Trump drops increasingly broad hints that he believes he is above the law, Congress and the public face an impending crisis that will test whether the Republican Party is more loyal to Trump or to the rule of law. The crisis is all but certain, and the outcome is very much in doubt.
“I did not collude,” says Jared Kushner, President Trump’s embattled son-in-law. Facing questions about a June 9, 2016, meeting with a Russian government attorney, Kushner has released an 11-page statement notable for its slippery claims and veiled admissions.
Shortly after arriving at his Sterling, Virginia golf club on Sunday, President Trump lashed out at his own party via Twitter. “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” Trump tweeted.
According to an unsubstantiated dossier that BuzzFeed News had the abandon to publish in full in January, President Trump (then just a questionably wealthy pariah) hired a gaggle of prostitutes to “perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him” on the bed in the Ritz-Carlton Moscow’s “presidential suite” — room 1101 — where then-President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had stayed during a diplomatic visit to Russia.