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TubbersUK's Journal
TubbersUK's Journal
March 22, 2017

Manafort's plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government'


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

"We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success," Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government."


March 8, 2017

Trump warns House GOP members of electoral 'bloodbath' if repeal and replace fails

President Donald Trump warned House Republicans Tuesday if they can't get pass health care legislation after seven years of promises it could be a "bloodbath" in the 2018 midterm election, according to one member present in the meeting.

Trump vowed to throw his full support behind the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act during a meeting with House GOP leadership, saying he is "proud" to support a GOP-authored plan to replace Obamacare and told members behind closed doors that he would support it "100%," according to sources in the room.
But he warned lawmakers of the high-stakes nature of the effort, citing a potential electoral "bloodbath," a member present said.
"He said he hopes members understand that," the source said.


ETA: To those more expert than me on the subject, is this a case of 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' ?
March 3, 2017

Lobbyist advised Trump campaign while promoting Russian pipeline

A Republican lobbyist was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote one of Vladimir Putin’s top geopolitical priorities at the same time he was helping to shape Donald Trump’s first major foreign policy speech.

This spring, Burt helped shape Trump’s first major foreign policy address, according to Burt and other sources. Burt recommended that Trump take a more “realist,” less interventionist approach to world affairs, as first reported by Reuters. Trump’s April 27 speech sounded those themes and called for greater cooperation with Russia.

“I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia — from a position of strength — is possible,” Trump said in the speech. “Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out.” The Russian ambassador to the United States broke the diplomatic norm against attending campaign events to sit in the front row.

In addition to helping shape Trump’s speech, Burt attended two dinners this summer hosted by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who had been named chairman of Trump’s national security committee. Burt was invited to discuss issues of national security and foreign policy, and wrote white papers for Sessions on the same subjects, according to Burt and another person with knowledge of the situation.


February 28, 2017

Manaforts Ukrainian blood money caused qualms, hack suggests

Paul Manafort’s family expressed misgivings about the political consultant’s work for both Russia-aligned Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovych and Donald Trump, according to text messages allegedly hacked from one of his daughters' phones.

The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.

In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

February 17, 2017

Trump just deleted this tweet - Wow!


Kyle Griffin ✔ @kylegriffin1
Here's the tweet Trump deleted—he's seriously calling the media "the enemy of the American people"
9:35 PM - 17 Feb 2017
857 857 Retweets 536 536 likes

ETA: Shortly after Trump re-posted:

February 17, 2017

Trump just dipped below 40% approval in Gallup; disapproval now higher than 55%.


Greg Sargent ✔ @ThePlumLineGS
Trump just dipped below 40% approval in Gallup; disapproval now higher than 55%.

He's at 38-56.http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx
6:03 PM - 17 Feb 2017
February 16, 2017

Trump's choice to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser has turned down the offer


FT Exclusive: Donald Trump's choice to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser has turned down the offer http://on.ft.com/2lnab4E
10:43 PM - 16 Feb 2017

February 7, 2017

Donald Trump Says U.S. Media Ignored These 78 Terror Attacks : good riposte

Good video compilation

In the above video, you can see 75 of those incidents being covered by U.S. national media—despite many of them fitting a very questionable definition of “terrorism.” In some cases, investigating authorities have directly ruled out terrorism while in others the acts are more akin to being direct warfare than terror. Regardless, only three of the items on Trump’s list did not earn broad coverage from the U.S. national media:


February 7, 2017

Melania Trumps lawyers admit she hoped to cash in on being First Lady by selling clothes/fragrances

First Lady Melania Trump has filed a third lawsuit against The Daily Mail for defamation after the site published a story alleging Mrs. Trump had been an “escort” at one time. As the lawsuit has moved forward, Mrs. Trump was required to prove that the defamation damaged her in some way. Her example of damages are that she can no longer launch a clothing and fragrance line using her office as First Lady of the United States.

According to a report from the New York Post, the court documents allege the Daily Mail caused such financial harm that Mrs. Trump could no longer use her position in government to enrich herself, her brand and products.

“Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person…to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” the lawsuit outlines.

“These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance,” it continues.

Mrs. Trump is alleging $150 million in damages in their filing to the Manhattan Supreme Court.

February 6, 2017

Trumps suggestion that the media is ignoring terrorist attacks traces to a familiar source:InfoWars

President Trump made a whopper of a claim on Monday, suggesting that the media is deliberately ignoring terrorist attacks.

The comments would seem to be a response to the hubbub over Kellyanne Conway having repeatedly cited a non-existent terror attack in Bowling Green, Ky., in recent days. But Trump doesn't appear to have totally invented this theory on the fly.

Instead, the kernel of the idea appears to have come from -- or at least been propagated by -- one of his favorite news sources: the conspiracy theory website InfoWars.

As @UrbanAchievr noted after Trump's comments, InfoWars has been barking up this tree for a while now. A sampling of its headlines:

"FAKE NEWS: MAINSTREAM MEDIA WHITEWASHES ISLAMIC TERROR IN BERLIN: Propagandists desperate to hide the obvious" -- Dec. 20
"VIDEO: TERROR IN GERMANY – THE TRUTH THEY HIDE: Mass media deception to conceal what's really happening" -- July 25

Former congressman Allen West (R-Fla.) has also pushed this idea, posting a video from InfoWars back in August under the headline, "TERROR ATTACK: Massive media cover-up." And it's a theme that has cropped up on other conspiracy theory and right-wing websites from time to time.


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