The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

President Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd may not have been the biggest in history, but it did feature some interesting characters, including, according to the New York Times,  an influential and Kremlin-tied Russian billionaire named Viktor Vekselberg.

On Friday, the Times reported that Vekselberg has been stopped and questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The billionaire was stopped at an airport in the New York area while he was leaving from his own private plane, the report said.

The reporters saw no indication that Vekselberg is suspected of wrongdoing; however, he has at least two curious connections to the world of Trump. First, he reportedly attended a dinner in 2015 with former Trump aide and ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. And second, Vekselberg attended Trump’s inauguration, as his own people confirmed to the Times.

The Times also found that Vekselberg’s associate, Andrew Intrater, donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration fund.

CNN had previously reported that Mueller had stopped Russian oligarchs at the airport, but it did not identify the individuals. This reporting suggests that Mueller’s team is taking a hard look at any possible ties between the Russians and Trump, and they are not afraid to stop and scrutinize powerful people.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is under mounting criticism for refusing to support a Democratic bill that would make access to abortion the law of the land, as the U.S. Supreme Court, experts believe, prepares to reverse its historic 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Senator Collins, who repeatedly claims to be pro-choice, is being criticized after years of supporting then-President Donald Trump's judicial nominees at every level of the federal judiciary, including two of his three Supreme Court picks.

Keep reading... Show less

French President Emanuel Macron, left, and US President Joe Biden

Reprinted with permission from Creators

About France and its submarines: Australia's decision to cancel a $60 billion contract to buy them and purchase American nuclear subs instead had to hurt. In response, France's foreign minister called the U.S.-backed move a "stab in the back," and President Emmanuel Macron recalled his ambassadors from both Washington and Canberra.

The backstory should take precedence over the drama flowing from the rift between America and its oldest ally. It centers on a growing alarm at Chinese aggression in the Pacific and how seriously the U.S. and its Pacific allies are taking it.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}