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In Chicago Speech, Trump Says ‘We’re Keeping The Oil’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump attacked his predecessor and confirmed that he was risking American lives for Middle Eastern oil.

The president delivered a rambling speech Monday morning to the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, where he basked in applause for the successful military raid that killed Islamic State leader Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria.

“They have been looking for him for a long time,” Trump said, as the police officers applauded. “They’ve been looking for him for many years. He was a sick and depraved man and now he is dead. He is dead, he is dead as a doornail.”

“And he didn’t die bravely, either, I will tell you that,” the president added. “He should have been killed years ago. Another president should have gotten him. But to me it was a very important — I would say all the time, they would walk into my office, sir, we called this leader at a low level. I said I never heard of him. I want al-Baghdadi. That’s the only one I know now. I want al-Baghdadi, get him. And they got him.”

Trump then defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but promised to leave enough forces behind to secure the oil in the region.

“We met some great generals,” he said. “I learned a lot about generals. I met some good ones and I saw some bad ones. Some that didn’t have what it takes, and others that had more than anyone would have thought.”

The president claimed that ISIS had been 100 percent destroyed under his leadership.

“It was supposed to take a year, maybe two years,” Trump said. “I said to one of them how long will it take? ‘I think we can do it in one week, sir.’ He was a little more like you. But we have now tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners under tight supervision, and now we want the countries in the region to police their own borders. We don’t want to be a policeman in this case of two countries that haven’t gotten along for centuries.”

“We’re keeping the oil,” he added. “Remember that, I’ve always said that — keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month, keep the oil. We’ve secured the oil.”

GOP Plotting To Shroud Trump Taxes

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Treasury Department officials are planning ways to keep President Donald Trump’s personal tax returns away from Democratic lawmakers.

A handful of top political appointees and lawyers are developing a strategy to counter Democratic subpoenas and prevent the IRS from turning over those documents, four sources told Politico.

Officials will accuse Democrats of seeking the documents to then leak to the public, which would be a felony, and then argue that Trump’s opponents cannot be trusted enough to see the documents in the first place.

“We are worried about leaks,” one source told the website. “Once we share it with any member of Congress, we assume it becomes a public document.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will review any request for the returns, which administration officials have been expecting since Democrats took over the House last month, and could potentially reject them and plunge the executive and legislative branches into an extended and unprecedented legal fight.

“What happens if the Treasury secretary just doesn’t answer or sends back a note saying we refuse to do what you are saying?” said George Yin, a former chief of staff on the House Joint Committee on Taxation. “To my knowledge, that has never happened … We are essentially in uncharted territory if he refuses.”

Presidential candidates typically release their tax information during campaigns, but Trump has cited an ongoing IRS audit and shielded his returns from public view.

The Internal Revenue Code gives the three congressional committees responsible for taxes the authority to request returns for any individual or business, but the contents of those documents must remain private.

Federal employees who reveal that information can face felony charges punishable for up to five years in prison.

However, the House Ways and Means Committee could vote to make the returns public, which would then require a full vote in the House.

 

Obama Speech: His 9 Sharpest Attacks On Trump GOP

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Barack Obama blasted President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as hypocrites and radicals in a scathing speech at the University of Illinois.

The former president condemned his successor and the GOP for obsessively undoing his accomplishments and upending the international order, all while stoking fear and prejudice.

These are nine of Obama’s most withering attacks.

1. “What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB. (They’re) actively blocking legislation that would protect our elections from foreign interference. What happened?”

2. “Demagogues promise simple fixes to complex problems,” Obama said. “They will promise to fight for the little guy even as they cater to the wealthiest and most powerful. They will promise to clean up corruption and then plunder away.”

3. “The claim that everything will turn out okay because there are people inside the White House who secretly are not following the president’s orders?” Obama said. That is not a check — I’m being serious here — that’s not how our democracy is supposed to work. These people aren’t elected, they’re not accountable. They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and then saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing 10 percent.’ That’s not how things are supposed to work. This is not normal.”

4. “It should not be Democratic or Republican — it should not be a partisan issue — to say we should not use the attorney general or the Justice Department as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”

5. “We are Americans, we’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be, saying Nazis are bad?”

6. “It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

7. “When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started. I mean, I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on, when the monthly job numbers come out, Republicans say, ‘It’s a miracle.’ I have to remind them and say those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.”

8. “The politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party. This Congress has championed unwinding of campaign laws to give billionaires outside influence over our politics. Systematically attacked voting rights to make it harder for young, minorities and the poor to vote. Handed out tax cuts without regard to the deficit, slashed the safety net wherever it could. Cast dozens of votes to take away health insurance from ordinary Americans. Embraced wild conspiracy theories like those surrounding Benghazi or my birth certificate, rejected science, rejected facts on things like climate change, embraced a rising absolutism, from a willingness to default on America’s debt by not paying bills, to a refusal to even meet, much less consider, a qualified nominee for the Supreme Court because he happened to be nominated by a Democratic president. None of this is conservative.”

9. “We have the chance to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics.”

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

 

Trump Aide Miller Compared To Nazis — By His Uncle

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

The uncle of Stephen Miller said the White House adviser and President Donald Trump are using Nazi-style tactics to dehumanize immigrants and minorities.

Dr. David Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist, denounced his nephew and the president as hypocritical bigots in an essay for Politico, describing how the families of both Miller and Trump had benefitted from immigration policies they want to end.

“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country,” Glosser wrote.

The retired physician said his nephew and the president conjure “ghoulish caricatures” to whip up fear and hatred against immigrants and refugees like their own ancestors.

“Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots,” Glosser wrote. “Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human.”

Glosser compared their rhetoric to the hateful words that helped seed the Holocaust.

“Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews,” Glosser wrote.

Glosser warned Miller that the right-wing extremists who support Trump and his policies would likely turn against him over his Jewish roots.

“I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him,” Glosser wrote.

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

 

White Nationalists Split In Extramarital Blowup

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

A white nationalist leader has resigned from the Traditionalist Worker Party after he was cuckolded — and then beaten up — by the head of the group he co-founded.

TWP spokesman Matt Parrott called police about 1 a.m. Tuesday from a Walmart parking lot in southern Indiana, where he told officers that TWP president Matthew Heimbach had attacked him and his wife, reported the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The 36-year-old Parrott recently learned Heimbach and his wife had been having an affair, which they insisted was over.

Parrott’s wife and stepdaughter lured Heimbach to a setup at their Paoli trailer to see if he would agree to continue the affair, and Parrott and the stepdaughter waited outside and watched through a window.

Heimbach and Parrott then confronted each other, and the cuckolded husband said the other man wrestled him to the ground.

“He grabbed and injured my hand after I poked his chest then choked me out with his arm,” Parrott told police in a handwritten statement. “Then he chased me to my home and did it again.”

He then fled to a nearby Walmart with his stepdaughter and called police, who overheard Heimbach and his own wife arguing and then get into a “scuffle.”

Heimbach’s wife said her husband grabbed her face and threw her onto the bed, and police said Parrott’s stepdaughter recorded the attack on her cellphone.

All four adults involved in the incident told police their occupation was “white nationalist.”

Heimbach, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a black woman at a Trump rally in Kentucky and was involved in the Charlottesville racist rally, was charged Tuesday with battery in the alleged attack on his own wife.

Parrott, who had been recently distancing himself from the TWP, resigned afterward from the group he co-founded with Heimbach.

“I’m done. I’m out,” Parrott told the Southern Poverty Law Center. “SPLC has won. Matt Parrott is out of the game. Y’all have a nice life.”

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

Kamala Harris Grills DHS Chief On Racist Remarks And White Nationalist Threat

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sparred with Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over the president’s racist remarks — and the administration official’s apparent support for those views.

Nielsen said earlier Tuesday during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the president was simply repeating an observation about hard-working Norwegian immigrants, but Harris said Trump was unfavorably comparing them to African and Haitian immigrants.

“You spoke of them, according to the president, as the people of Norway — well, you know, they work very hard — the inference being the people of the 54 states of Africa and Haiti do not,” Harris said. “That is a fair inference.”

She then blasted Nielsen’s claim under oath that she was not aware that Norway was a majority white nation.

“You run the Department of Homeland Security,” Harris continued, “and when you say you don’t know if Norway is predominantly white when asked by a member of the United States Senate, that causes me concern about your ability to understand the scope of your responsibilities and the impact of your words — much less the policies that you promulgate in that very important department.”

Harris asked Nielsen why she ignored domestic terrorist attacks by white supremacists in her opening remarks about security threats faced by the U.S. — and she said the omission was “deeply troubling.”

“You must understand the inference, the reasonable inference, that the American public is drawing from the words you speak much less the words of the president of the United States,” Harris said.

Nielsen later complained that Harris had unfairly drawn conclusions based on her testimony.

“If you don’t mind, it’s not a fair inference to say that my comments about Norway were in contrast to any other country,” Nielsen said. “What I was describing was the president’s views upon meeting with the prime minister, and what I was quoting was what he was told in meeting with the Norwegian delegation. That’s what he repeated, words that he repeated that I repeated. It was not in contrast. With respect to white supremacy, we expanded our prevention efforts in the Department of Homeland Security to ensure we in fact are going after violence of any kind, any kind is not appropriate and I will not allow it to occur if it’s within our authority to stop.”

Harris made one brief response before ceding the floor.

“Mr. Chairman, I would just ask that the record — so we can all review it — will reflect in the opening statements when discussing challenges to our homeland in terms of security, the white supremacist threat was not mentioned,” Harris said.

Haiti Accuses Trump Of Laundering Money For Former Dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

President Donald Trump insulted Haiti during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers, but he once signed off on a shady real estate deal with the nation’s ousted dictator.

More than a fifth of Trump’s condominiums in the U.S. have been purchased since the 1980s in secretive cash transactions that fit a Treasury Department definition of suspicious transactions, reported Buzzfeed News.

Records show more than 1,300 Trump condos were purchased through shell companies, which allow buyers to shield their finances and identities, and without a mortgage, which protects buyers from lender inquiries.

Those two characteristics raise alarms about possible money laundering, according to statements issued in recent months by the Department of Treasury, which has investigated transactions just like those all over the country.

The agency may even require real estate professionals to adopt new programs to keep illegally obtained funds from being plowed into luxury housing to conceal the money’s origins.

Trump companies reportedly sold $35 million in real estate last year alone — mostly to secretive shell companies that open the president up to possible influence peddling.

According to the Buzzfeed News report, the Haitian government complained in the 1980s that former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier laundered money stolen from the Caribbean nation’s treasury by purchasing an apartment in Trump Tower.

Duvalier, nicknamed “Baby Doc,” was overthrown in 1986, but three years earlier used a Panamanian shell company called Lasa Trade and Finance to buy apartment 54-K in Trump’s Manhattan tower for $446,875 cash.

Trump, the future U.S. president, signed the deed of sale.

Federal prosecutors charged a Russian native in 1984 with laundering the proceeds from a gasoline bootlegging operation through five Trump Tower condos purchased for $4.9 million.

David Bogatin pleaded guilty in 1987 and served eight years in federal prison.

Trump Taj Mahal casino was charged under anti-money laundering regulations 106 times in 1990 and 1991 by failing to identify gamblers who bought or cashed out more than $10,000 in chips.

Those reports are required to help authorities identify gamblers who may be laundering money, and Trump’s casino paid a $477,000 fine to the Treasury Department in 1998 without admitting wrongdoing.

 

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

 

Interior Pick Rep. Zinke Connected To White Nationalists In Montana

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Interior has gotten donations from white supremacists and endorsed them in political races.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), like chief of staff Steve Bannon, brings troubling ties to organized hate groups to the Republican president-elect’s inner circlereported Fusion.

Zinke made news during his 2014 election campaign when he accepted a $500 donation from Earl Holt, head of the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose writings about “brutal black on white murders” inspired Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine black worshipers the following year in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

A spokeswoman for Zinke later said the congressman would donate that contribution to a fund for the victims’ families.

The website also reported he co-sponsored legislation to designate English as the official language in the U.S., and he discussed the bill in an interview with the anti-immigrant ProEnglish organization, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Zinke endorsed a Montana statehouse candidate who was active in a white nationalist group as a student at Liberty University and has extensive ties to European right-wing extremists.

Taylor Rose, the former vice president of the Youth for Western Civilization, lost his election race but garnered 47 percent of the vote, but he boasted that Zinke’s support — along with the backing of a couple of other Republicans — made him a mainstream candidate despite his racist writings, which were promoted by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Rose’s campaign website claims he managed U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-MT) “campaign in the Northwest,” and he also claims he worked for state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, the vice-chair of the Montana Republican Party and CEO of the Koch-linked American Lands Council.

Greg Gianforte, who lost his Republican gubernatorial race, gave Rose $170 in campaign contributions, and he got the same amount from GOP state Sen. Mark Blasdel.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, has said he may consider running for the congressional seat vacated by Zinke.

The state’s Democratic Party called on GOP officials to denounce Spencer’s campaign, but they were a bit more reticent.

“I’m guessing most quarters of the Republican Party in Montana would look skeptically at Mr. Spencer,” said Jeff Essmann, the state’s GOP chairman.

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.