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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,344

Journal Archives

The Latest: Trump says Tillerson ouster is 'fake news'

Source: Associated Press

Associated Press•December 1, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the White House considering a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says media speculation that Secretary of State Tillerson will leave job soon is "fake news."

Trump is responding on Twitter to widespread reports attributed to White House officials describing a plan to oust Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Trump says it's incorrect that he "fired Rex Tillerson" or that the secretary will be leaving soon. He says Tillerson is "not leaving."

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-tillerson-says-reports-demise-laughable-152043234.html?soc_trk=gcm&soc_src=dbb2094c-7d9a-37c0-96b9-7f844af62e78&.tsrc=notification-brknews

Former Prosecutors Break Down What Mike Flynn's Plea Deal Really Means

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published DECEMBER 1, 2017 1:42 PM

The explosive news that ousted national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials was delivered in a brief, tidy package: a one-and-a-half-page document laying out the single count against him.

Former federal prosecutors told TPM that Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a calculated move to keep Flynn’s charge limited, and that, given what is known about Flynn’s myriad inappropriate foreign dealings, they wouldn’t have done so unless the former intelligence official had divulged some very juicy secrets.

“What’s interesting to me is what he’s not charged with,” said Steven Miller, a former anti-corruption federal prosecutor. “This is a very narrowly drawn structural plea bargain. By virtue of a single count he can’t get more than a five-year sentence. You don’t get that unless you’re giving something serious to the government. And the number of players left are relatively small: it’s [Jared] Kushner, it’s [Donald] Trump Jr., it’s the Trump campaign, and it’s the President. So I think this is something that would cause all of them to be extraordinarily worried.”

“It’s a neon sign that there’s massive cooperation underway by Flynn,” Miller added.

Jens Ohlin, an expert in criminal law at Cornell Law School, concurred, saying what essentially amounts to a “sweetheart deal” would not be offered unless Flynn could incriminate a bigger fish.

“The government would not agree to this deal if Flynn was merely providing information on someone who is in a peripheral place in the criminality,” Ohlin said. “So if he’s providing information in exchange to this deal its because it’s someone who is even more centrally located than Flynn.”


DC bar offering 'Moscow Mueller' drinks after Flynn guilty plea

BY BRANDON CARTER - 12/01/17 02:33 PM EST

A Washington, D.C., bar is offering $5 “Moscow Mueller” drinks after former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on Friday.

The Bird, a restaurant located in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood, offers the special whenever special counsel Robert Mueller unveils a new indictment or guilty plea in his investigation of Russia's meddling in last year's presidential election.


The drink’s name is a play on the name of the Moscow Mule, a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice traditionally served in a copper mug. The Bird introduced the $5 “Moscow Mueller” last month after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate, Richard Gates, were also indicted in the probe.

The Bird has previously offered discounted drinks whenever Trump fires someone from the White House. It originally made the offer after the departures of former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and former communications director Anthony Scaramucci.


Pelosi: Flynn guilty plea a 'dark moment' in American history

Source: The Hill

BY JOSH DELK - 12/01/17 02:16 PM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea to charges of lying to federal authorities in the Russia probe is a "dark moment" in American history.

“The guilty plea of President Trump’s former National Security Advisor to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian authorities marks a dark moment in our nation’s history," Pelosi said in a statement.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to charges of lying to the FBI about his conversations during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

According to court documents, Flynn lied when he told investigators that he didn't ask Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to sanctions then-President Obama levied on Russia over Moscow's 2016 election meddling.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/362810-pelosi-flynn-guilty-plea-is-dark-moment-in-american-history

Fox reporter: Flynn was charged with 'Martha Stewart Statute'

BY JOE CONCHA - 12/01/17 01:36 PM EST

Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge said Friday that the new charge against former national security adviser Michael Flynn involves what's commonly known as "the Martha Stewart Statute," which "simply means Flynn lied to the FBI."

Flynn, who served as President Trump's national security adviser for just three weeks before being fired in February, pleaded guilty Friday morning to lying to FBI agents. The charge makes Flynn the fourth Trump associate charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's election interference and any potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

Herridge, Fox News's chief intelligence correspondent, made the remark on "America's Newsroom" with anchor Bill Hemmer. "When you look closely at this paperwork, what you see here is that the government is saying there was a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001, mostly people know this as the Martha Stewart Statute," she explained. "It simply means that Flynn lied to the FBI and the FBI had information that was overwhelmingly clear that was in conflict with Flynn’s statements."

"Based on the timeline in December, it appears at least one of those pieces of evidence is a telephone intercept or an electronic communication that showed contrary to what Flynn told the FBI," Herridge continued. "This is a very important moment in the special counsel investigation."


McCarthy: Virginia election 'makes me nervous'

Source: The Hill

BY REID WILSON - 12/01/17 11:27 AM EST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview he is confident Republicans will retain their majority in next year’s midterm elections, though he admitted the political landscape is challenging for the GOP.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Hill, to air on this week’s episode of the Power Politics podcast, McCarthy said last month’s elections in Virginia — where Democrats outperformed expectations to win the governorship and nearly captured control of the state House of Delegates — had gotten his attention. “I’m not going to say it’s not going to be a competitive time. I look at Virginia, makes me nervous,” McCarthy said. “But we’re more than a year away.”

History argues Democrats will gain seats in the first midterm election after Republicans capture the White House. Nine of the last ten presidents have seen their party lose House seats in the midterms following their first election victory. President George W. Bush was the lone exception, in midterms that came when his approval rating stood at 67 percent.

“Next year is a long way away. I can give you every statistic that says in the first year of a presidency, that party in power, the party that has the White House, loses a double digit number [of seats] inside the House,” McCarthy said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/362772-mccarthy-virginia-election-makes-me-nervous

Stocks fall on report that Michael Flynn was directed by Trump to talk to Russians

Source: CNBC

ABC News reported that Flynn would testify that he was directed to make contact with the Russians.
The major averages hit their session lows on the report.

Gold and Treasuries spiked higher following the ABC report as investors fled to market safe havens.

Alexandra Gibbs | Fred Imbert
Published 8 Hours Ago Updated 34 Mins Ago

Stocks fell Friday on a report that Michael Flynn was directed by President Trump to talk to Russians.


"If you believe the market has been rallying in the last 13 months [on Trump, this report] potentially unravels all of that," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. "Markets don't like uncertainty and this is the ultimate uncertainty." The major averages hit their session lows on the report, with the Dow Jones industrial average briefly dropping 350.45 points before trading 93 points lower.

The S&P 500 declined 0.4 percent after falling 1.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite lagged, pulling back 0.7 percent. Gold and Treasurys spiked higher following the ABC report as investors fled to market safe havens.

"It comes down to did Trump obstruct justice in any way," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. "It's another potential political blindside. We've gotten a lot of those," he said.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/01/us-stock-futures-data-opec-tax-on-the-agenda.html

'Very Senior' Trump Official Authorized Flynn's Russia Outreach

Every phone call he had with Russian officials during the transition was made with the blessing of the team headed by Mike Pence. What was the vice president's role?

12.01.17 1:37 PM ET

Everything President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed last December with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. — everything that led to his dramatic guilty plea and cooperation agreement Friday with special counsel Robert Mueller — he did with the involvement of the presidential transition team.

That’s the story told in the most important document Mueller released on a Friday that could have intensified the president’s own legal liability: Flynn’s stipulation of the facts underlying his December 2016 conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. At least one of those two conversations Flynn undertook at the direction of a “very senior” transition official, the stipulation says.

The documents do not say who directed Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak — a conversation Flynn later reportedly lied about to Vice President Mike Pence, a lie that was the stated reason that Trump fired Flynn in February. But Flynn’s statement, following his Friday guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with Mueller’s probe, shows that the transition team, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, was informed at every stage of his discussions with Kislyak. And that itself raises new questions about what Pence, who ran the presidential transition and publicly affirmed that Flynn never talked to Kislyak about Russia sanctions, actually knew.

Pence’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the presidential transition team’s legal team also didn’t immediately respond.


Donald Trump Suspected For Weeks That Mike Flynn Would Flip

Has he ‘turned on me,’ the president wondered about his former national security adviser. It appears Trump was right.

12.01.17 12:02 PM ET

On Friday morning, President Donald Trump learned that his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had been charged with lying to the FBI by reportedly seeing news reports. It was a shock but not necessarily a surprise.

For weeks, Trump has vented privately to advisers and confidants about his anxiety over signs that Flynn had flipped. He noted the possibility that Flynn had “turned on me,” three sources close to the president independently recall him saying. These sources had relayed details of these conversations to The Daily Beast over the course of the past week.

Trump’s fears came into sharp focus this past month, as several media outlets began to report that Flynn appeared to be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The president—an avid and voracious consumer of Twitter and cable news—began privately fuming, according to an administration official and two outside allies of Trump. Two of the three sources noted that it sounded at times as if Trump felt personally hurt by the prospect that someone whom he admired professionally and liked personally had potentially turned.


Dem Intel Committee Leaders Stress Need For Independence After Flynn Plea

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published DECEMBER 1, 2017 1:26 PM

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Friday placed the news of Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the context of what he called “an alarming pattern” of presidential actions designed to interfere with investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

His counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), said Flynn’s admitted “lies to the FBI” were “especially significant”

Flynn’s plea, Warner said, “comes on the heels of a new report about the President’s efforts to silence the independent, bipartisan Senate investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russia.” (Read his full statement below)

He appeared to be referring to a New York Times report Thursday that Trump has frequently pressured senators to end the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/democratic-intelligence-committee-leaders-flynn-guilty-plea
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