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Stone Arraignment: Proud Boys, Russian Flag, Trump Rat!

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      HOW THE PROUD BOYS BECAME ROGER STONE’S PERSONAL ARMY

      Stone and Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio

      .

      By now, most everyone has learned of Roger Stone’s indictment on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering. As a result, Trump and those in his administration have been distancing themselves from Stone, so "Proud Boys" leader Enrique Tarrio and his followers have stepped in to fill the gap.

      Briefly, the far Right group known as Proud Boys, is classified by the FBI as an extremist group that has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They are a far right group that was originally founded by Gavin McGuinness during the Trump campaign. They are self described “western chauvanists” who regularly spout white nationalist rhetoric that includes anti-Muslim, misogynistic , racist themes. They show up regularly alongside other hate groups as they did in Charlottesville.

      Now that Stone is in the hot seat from the Mueller Probe, this group of Proud Boys is acting as a type of guard for Roger Stone while they promote InfoWars. they consider Stone to be one of their group, though Stone has denied it; however he has often used the Proud Boys as a security force.

      From some vantage points, It really does look like the GOP is adopting the Proud Boys. The following is from the Daily Beast.

      .

      Roger Stone

      Stone’s Day in Court: Proud Boys, Russian Flags, Trump Rat

      01.29.19

      When Roger Stone waived his Nixonian salute on the steps of a federal courthouse in Florida last week following his arrest on the orders of Robert Mueller, he was joined by some unusual supporters: the Proud Boys.

      On Tuesday, Stone was arraigned in a Washington, D.C. courthouse on charges he lied about dealings with WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign in 2016. Stone has spent the past two years as the most outlandish character in the Trump-Russia saga, with his colorful quotes and flamboyant wardrobe. At the same time, he’s grown tighter with the violent ultra-nationalist group, hiring them as security and participating in the group’s videos—even repeating its slogan.

      With Trumpworld distancing itself from Stone, it was up to Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio to defend him.

      “This whole investigation started with the Russia collusion thing. These charges today are just obstruction, nothing to do with that… I believe nothing’s gonna come of it. I believe some of it is manufactured,” Tarrio told The Daily Beast in Florida on Friday.

      On Tuesday morning in D.C., handful of Proud Boys gathered outside, holding signs “Roger Stone did nothing wrong” and promoting InfoWars. The Proud Boys got in arguments with Stone hecklers and were separated by police.

      The Proud Boys are a neo-fascist group that glorifies violence against opponents, particularly on the left. Designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group and its members have been involved in a series of bloody brawls across the country over the past three years, leading to the recent departure of founder Gavin McInnes.

      Taking McInnes' place is Tarrio, who is especially close to Stone. They appeared together on Friday outside of court. On Sunday, Tarrio was photographed entering Stone’s house. Last month, Stone filmed a video with Tarrio where he told the group to “keep the faith"

      The dirty trickster started his initiation last year. Now the ‘Western chauvinist’ group has his back against Mueller and the media.

      :

      Proud Boys count Stone as one of their own. The group posted a video last February showing Stone completing what has been described by the group as a low-level initiation. “Hi, I’m Roger Stone. I’m a Western chauvinist. I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.

      Stone denied being a Proud Boy in a text message to The Daily Beast: “For the record I am not a member. If fact I would never belong to an organization that would have someone like me as a member (Groucho Marx).”

      When asked whether the Proud Boys mischaracterized his “1st degree” initiation in the video, Stone accused this reporter of being a member of the Communist Party and did not return further questions.”

      Indeed, Stone has repeatedly used the Proud Boys as a security force, sometimes with other Republicans’ blessing. The organizer of a GOP conference in Oregon last March defended Stone’s decision to bring the hate group, telling Willamette Week that Stone “was worried about getting killed… He gets death threats constantly.”

      Now the Proud Boys are helping Stone.

      At Stone’s press conference outside a Fort Lauderdale courthouse on Friday, Tarrio was one of two Proud Boys to arrive in “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” shirts. The back of the shirt advertises the link to a website where Stone’s supporters can donate to his legal defense fund.

      To read the entire article and see the video use this link.

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-the-proud-boys-b...

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      Pundit Post

      The Scourge Of Trump

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          For the moment I wanted to pop back into the forum and just drop this short piece I have been thinking about since the government shut down.

          Base on current projections Trump’s Government Shut Down [which is what it MUST be called] has cost the US economy 11 billion dollars. From my humble perspective, I think every politician who supported Trump in this foolishness should have their pay docked. Also, they should be assigned clean-up duty throughout their states, to repair the damage their stupidity has caused. Including personally apologizing to every one of their constituents affected by their blind loyalty to the dictator wannabe.

          The 11 billion is the tip of the iceberg. Expect to see a rash of resignations especially from those who can – and will – file their paperwork and take early retirement like Charles M. Smith who after five shutdowns feels no longer valued as a government employee. Mr. Smith puts it in his own words:

          “Over time I found great pride and satisfaction working for the government. I believed that I was making a valuable contribution to my country by choosing public service,” he said. He remembered learning about President John F. Kennedy’s call to service. “ ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ I answered President Kennedy’s call and I dedicated my whole career to public service,” Smith said. “But President Trump has changed all that. … The rhetoric and falsehoods spoken by Mr. Trump and his allies have changed everything.”

          Yep, 11 billion dollars lost along with dedicated employees, all because there is a complete bolshie sitting behind the Resolute Desk and has absolutely no clue on what he is doing.

          Have we really done something so terrible that God has sent such evil as Trump to punish us?

          I hope not, because things did not work out so well for those in Genghis Khan’s path.


          https://www.marketwatch.com/story/government-shutd...

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/28...

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          Democrats Worry A Howard Schultz Presidential Bid Would Only Help Trump

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              Just what we need, another wealthy businessman who thinks he knows how to run the country. I think all us Democrat coffee drinkers should go independent and boycott Starbucks and take our business elsewhere. Just another super wealthy guy who thinks he knows so much because he sells fricken coffee? This guy has no political experience and yet he thinks he is so great because he sells overpriced coffee that tastes like burnt beans he should become President? Sorry but the reason we have a problem now is because we have another just like Schultz sitting in the oval office not knowing what the job entails because he doesn't have the knowledge of the job or how our government works. The Presidency isn't a entry level job in our government where you can get on the job training.

              Sure, anyone can say they want to fix our problems and stands for this or that but those are just words. We want to know HOW and really aren't interested in more empty rhetoric. We've had enough empty promises from Trump to last us a lifetime. Big deal, he's going to run as an Independent. So what? As if that means anything.



              In case Schultz hasn't noticed there is a problem with those extremely wealthy people like himself and the other 98% of people who reside in the USA.

              Some reporter should ask this pseudo-Progressive how he plans on getting corporate money out of politics or how he plans on reversing Citizens United or how he feels about Lobbyists and maybe how he thinks about having the wealthy pay more in taxes? Let's hear his answers to those questions before we worry about another billionaire running for the presidency.


              https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/howard-schult...

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              The Art Of The Deflection​ - When The Pout Turns To Rage

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                  The Art Of The Deflection

                  Trump's Early Morning 'Blackout Tweets'


                  "The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump": When The Pout Turns To Rage


                  By Ray Cunneff

                  January 26, 2019


                  Donald Trump had a very bad Friday.

                  Our "man-baby" president Donald J.Trump got schooled and sent to the corner for a three-week time out by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after folding like a cheap lawn chair over his damaging, vindictive and entirely unnecessary 35-day government shutdown.

                  The Wall Street Journal's conservative editorial board conceded that Pelosi had out-foxed the "dealmaker" and mocked Trump for "holding his breath" while hundreds of thousands of people and businesses suffered, only to discover that the Speaker wasn't bluffing:

                  “Trump cut his growing political losses on Friday by agreeing to reopen the government for three weeks pending new border-spending negotiations. Most voters blamed him for the shutdown, and the costs to the public had begun to build. Maybe someone told Mr. Trump that Presidents get the blame when the economy suffers.”

                  “Mr. Trump’s strategy, to the extent he had one, was to hold his breath until Mrs. Pelosi gave in. She merely had to do nothing to win.”

                  Michael Tomasky writing in The Daily Beast was appalled by White House staffers applauding as if there had been some great accomplishment as Trump capitulated without getting a penny for his medieval wall, acting like "zombies":

                  “What a joke. What a fraud. As Bugs Bunny used to say, what a maroon. Art of the deal? Deal?! “Trump looked so terrible at that Rose Garden… well, it wasn’t a press conference. It wasn’t exactly a speech, either. Of course he had his goons around, so that when he said right off the bat that there was a deal to end the shutdown, we heard applause. Applause! Can you imagine?”

                  “He just got taken to the house and forced to humiliate himself on national television, and these zombies applaud? He single-handedly shut down the government. Cost hundreds of thousands of people their paychecks through his bluster and buffoonery. Sent air-traffic controllers who already work hellish 50-and 60-hour weeks out to find part-time work. And they applaud?”

                  Almost immediately there were numerous reports that Trump’s core supporters and former aides were “furious” and “melting down” while right-wing media pundits bemoaned the president having "caved" by accepting a deal without funding for his border wall, not even the “down payment” the White House had proposed the day before.

                  Add to that, Friday's indictment and arrest of longtime friend, adviser and political 'dirty-trickster' Roger Stone, combined with news that special counsel Robert Mueller had just released more details about the Trump campaign’s alleged attempts to back-channel with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to obtain damaging e-mails stolen by Russian hackers during the election made for a very disheartening Friday for the president.

                  So what does our president do early on a Saturday morning? Deflect, obfuscate, hurl baseless accusations, and resort to old allegations and 'what-about-ism's' in a series of 'blackout tweets' out of some fevered time-warp.

                  "Wiener's laptop"?

                  If Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress, what about
                  the lying done by Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Lisa Page & lover,
                  Baker and soooo many others? What about Hillary to FBI
                  and her 33,000 deleted Emails? What about Lisa & Peter’s
                  deleted texts & Wiener’s laptop? Much more!


                  The former CIA Director responded:

                  Your cabal of unprincipled, unethical, dishonest, and sycophantic cronies
                  is being methodically brought to justice. We all know where this trail leads.
                  If your utter incompetence is not enough to run you out of office,
                  your increasingly obvious political corruption surely will.

                  In his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” former FBI Director James Comey writes about the sycophants surrounding Trump. “I could see how easily everyone in the room could become a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions.” He says he watched Trump build “a cocoon of alternative reality” around himself and his enablers that is impervious to reason, advisability or caution.

                  We can expect Trump to re-group and lash out in a matter of hours if he remains true-to-form. The noose is tightening around the Trump campaign, the Trump family and close associates, and the president himself. He may be pouting this morning, but it will likely morph into reckless rage in short order.


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                  Pundit Post

                  Elizabeth Warren’s Early Stroke Of Genius

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                      Even though the election is just a few months short of two years from now I think Senator Warren set the tone, at least for Democrats, as to what needs to be addressed in the upcoming election. She is giving her Party plenty of time to make the necessary changes needed to seek appropriate solutions to our problems and address the real issues.

                      “If Democrats are going to win and make real change, we’ve got to build a movement, and that happens at the grass roots. It doesn’t happen from super pacs or self-funding billionaires or corporate money. It happens because we built it one person, one $10 contribution at a time all across this country,”


                      Again, Senator Warren asks all within her Party that crucial question. "What were people going to do about taking super-pac money?"


                      This is one of the most important issues, if not the most important, campaign finance reform. Unless we rid ourselves of this dark money, nothing will change, and if it does, it will only get worse. The corruption within our government will continue to flourish as more and more of this super-PAC money gets dumped into our elections at all levels.

                      The other issue which Senator Warren brings up which people are not taking notice of is that we all have grievences and are demanding our government address our problems and put a stop to this insane Trump administration but are we doing enough? No, not at all. To get out for our annual Womens' March might be symbolic but what does it actually achieve? After the March we head back to our nice warm abodes and wait again a full year and get out to do our annual protest? That is not nearly enough. One of the things we can take from the late 1960s and early 1970s success during their protest marches is that they continued to march and weren't just a one shot deal each year. Instead the various factions marching coalesced into a huge force called a unified MOVEMENT. When and if we get to that point we can really get our voices heard in Washington DC by our lawmakers.

                      I know there are some here that think a woman can't win and base that assumption on what? When asked they can't tell you. There are even some that think you have to accept corporate money in order to win elections. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Several new congressional members just proved that to be false. We want to be serious about winning elections and that alone isn't really enough to just win. Do we want someone elected who actually represents their constituents but also wants to move this Nation forward? Do we want someone who isn't beholding to the corporate masters? If so then the time to support those candidates who actually represent the people is now.


                      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/...

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                      Respect Life Christian Students Mock Native American At Lincoln Memorial

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                          You've seen the video I suspect.

                          It was taken at the Friday January 18 Respect Life and Right to Life Annual Rally in Washington DC where a group of Middle School and High School Students from Covington (Kentucky) Catholic took time out from respecting life to mock a group of Native Americans taking part in another rally for Indigenous People focusing their attention on Nathan Phillips , a Vietnam War Vieteran who is an elder in the Omaha tribe, who was leading a traditional chant for peace.

                          The student featured in the video stands in front of him blocking his way with a snide smile adorning a Make America Great capped head. He has been identified by local press as an upper classman.


                          MY THOUGHTS:

                          Kids do stupid things....a lot of stupid things....they mock each other....they mock their parents....they mock their parents......WHAT MAKES THIS PARTICULAR EPISODE UNIQUELY DISTURBING IS THIS:

                          • They were accompanied by parents and staff. Where were they? Absent? In agreement with their behavior? Incapable of interacting effectively?
                          • They were taking part in a rally that proclaims a fundamental respect for ALL human life and are supposedly from schools and other organizations where this is studied and embraced.
                          • They were wearing clothing that proclaimed that they saw themselves as representatives of a man and a movement that is marked by enormous disrespect for others.

                          Education at home, at school and in broader society has stood as the tool that draws "kids" into "adulthood." Such behavior: boorish, rude, insensitive, hypocritical, and "racial" in tone......indicates that both home and school and society are failing these kids.

                          I wonder how many of the adults accompanying them were were wearing those hats?

                          There is talk now, after a hasty and pro-forma apology from the Catholic Diocese, of "serious disciplinary action including the possibility of expulsion".......of whom? The kids? The chaperones? The parents? The teachers? The President whose hat they were wearing?

                          P.S. The boy's mom has communicated to with Heavy.com as reported by the Independent. She claims that the boys were being harassed by "Black Muslims". There is video showing a group of black men nearby arguing with some in the Covington group. What is clear is that Mr. Phillips was not part of that group and was actually standing between the students and the group of men.

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                          Pundit Post
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                              There is much to celebrate. The first march galvanized many women across the country to become politically active for the first time in their lives. Many poured their energy into helping to elect an unprecedented number of women to Congress last year.

                              People gathered at Freedom Plaza in Washington today for the Women’s March.CreditCreditJoshua Roberts/Reuters


                              In many cities across the United States, people have gathered together today to celebrate the second anniversary of the Women’s March that took place not only in the U.S. but also in cities in other countries. It is a smaller march than the one two years ago, to be sure, and yes, it has been plagued by dissension and controversy. It is a protest march; but it is also a celebration of how women’s activism has helped to elect a Democratic House and also helped to elect an increased number of knowledgable, enthusiastic, qualified women into Congress.

                              In the closest city to where I live, the day is overcast, and shows a potential for rain, yet thousands of demonstrators have gathered at our California Capitol with the aim of empowering women and men by providing support for grassroots activists to engage in local communities.

                              The women’s led march is a mass political movement that tells of the power of women to create change. The mission statement reads:
                              “Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.” . . . . words from which the current Trump/GOP led government has appeared to be allergic.

                              .

                              Many of the women who attended the Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square in New York on Saturday came to support immigrants. CreditAngela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

                              .
                              Excerpts From the New York Times

                              Two years after millions marched around the country and the world in an unambiguous rebuke to President Trump, much smaller crowds appeared at Saturday’s events surrounding the second anniversary of the Women’s March.

                              There was much to celebrate. The first march galvanized many women across the country to become politically active for the first time in their lives. Many poured their energy into helping to elect an unprecedented number of women to Congress last year.

                              But Saturday was also a test of how the Women’s March movement has weathered a storm of controversy in recent months.

                              Tamika Mallory, co-president of Women’s March, the group that has planned the march in Washington, has been under fire for ties to Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, who is widely reviled for anti-Semitic speeches. The Women’s March has issued a series of statements denouncing anti-Semitism and apologized for its delayed response to the controversy.

                              .

                              Tamika Mallory, CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times
                              .
                              “I’m disappointed. It’s definitely not the turnout I was looking for” said Peggy Baron, 53, a lawyer from Dublin, Ohio, who said that the first Washington march two years ago had been “wall-to-wall women.”
                              But as the morning progressed, throngs of marchers began to fill the plaza, and spirits visibly lifted.

                              “I came two years ago. It’s definitely smaller, but the spirit is very much alive,” said Rachel Stucky, 53, an educator from Salem, Ore. “It’s a chance to march, to be with others who are like-minded, to be able to express my energy. People have a lot of say, and that doesn’t change
                              Jo Reger, professor of sociology at Oakland University in Michigan, who studies feminist movements, said other factors that can depress turnout include activist burnout, and paradoxically, success.

                              “Marches or movements can lose some momentum when people see some of their issues being addressed,” she said. “With the recent midterm elections, some may feel like the country is going in a different direction after the Trump election and that may lower the numbers participating.”

                              But Ms. Compton, who traveled to Washington from her tiny town in northeastern Georgia, said the sense of excitement was only growing. She said the group of Democrats in Rabun County, where she lives, was nearly defunct in 2016, but has 300 members today.

                              “We’re hopping busy all the time,” she said. “We came within a hair on a rat’s tail of electing a black woman as governor in Georgia.”

                              “If we get busy in a bunch of petty fights, we get nowhere,” she said. “Not working together got us exactly where we are now and look what is in the White House.”

                              https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/us/womens-march...
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                              Pundit Post

                              Trump's 'Wall Or Nothing' Strategy May Really Become 'Nothing'

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                                  Trump's 'Wall Or Nothing' Strategy

                                  May Really Become 'Nothing'

                                  Mounting concern he may want the shutdown

                                  to continue even more than he wants his wall



                                  By Ray Cunneff

                                  January 18, 2019


                                  At this pivotal, perhaps historic, moment in our nation's history, I believe we need to re-examine our assumptions and re-assess our priorities. Because both the legal and political calculus may have dramatically changed for President Donald Trump and we may need to adjust our thinking and our actions accordingly.

                                  There is mounting concern that, given the latest revelations of perfidy, corruption, and potentially treasonous behavior on the part of the president and his cronies, the shutdown impasse is no longer about a wall, or "barrier", or "steel slats" or even about border and/or national security. It's become about primal survival.

                                  Barbara Res, former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization told CNN's Brianna Keilar earlier today that she's never seen him like this, sensing he's like "a cornered animal". She said, “Typically and historically, he always rolled with the punches. He used to say all press is good press. Now I don’t see that. I see him going into a corner, I see him scratching back like a cornered animal. I think he’s afraid.”

                                  Res speculated that Trump had never encountered a strong 'silk and steel' woman like House Speaker Nancy Peolsi pushing back at him and mocked Trump’s retaliatory cancellation of the Speaker’s military flight to visit our troops in Afghanistan and our NATO allies in Brussels.

                                  She said, “What’s kind of funny about it is he likes to hit back, where you shoot him with a water pistol and he’ll shoot you back with a Magnum or something.” She added with a laugh, “He likes to hit back ten times harder than he’s been hit or more, and he’s got nothing to hit her back with. This is silly. It looks ridiculous.”

                                  We know that nothing gets under the president's skin more than ridicule. We also have learned that Trump's obsession with building his medieval behemoth began as a mnemonic device cooked up by dirty-trickster Roger Stone to help keep him on his anti-immigration-message as the primary issue in his campaign. "Trump's wall" morphed from symbolic image to literal concrete when the message resonated powerfully with his roaring, adoring campaign crowds.

                                  But is the partial government shutdown about a wall anymore? Arguably, whether the shutdown began as an attempt at extortion and hostage-taking of 800,000 federal workers and the overall American economy in order to get a $5.7 billion down payment on his estimated $60 billion 'sea to shiny sea' wall, it has continued for 28 days and who knows how much longer to keep his rabid base and right-wing media pundits satiated.

                                  But Trump may also feel the continuing shutdown offers him a degree of both distraction and protection amid the stress of his mounting scandals and investigations into himself, his businesses, and his family.

                                  Today is the day the money runs out for the Mueller Grand Jury and they will have to either continue without compensation or be furloughed.

                                  This is also the time when the entire judicial system begins to slow and eventually grinds to a halt.

                                  Although the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigations and those of the Southern District of New York appear somewhat insulated at this point, Trump appears to feel he has no incentive to end the shutdown, nor does he care what damage is being done.

                                  Trump acts only in self-interest. Empathy is not transactional. A "cornered animal" is at its most dangerous. And one of the hallmarks of Trump's psychopathology is vindictiveness.

                                  On the contrary, Trump may seize upon this moment as an opportunity to further consolidate dictatorial power and muster the darkest forces within his cadre of adherents and sycophants for a last stand, the final 'end times' battle between good and evil, between democracy and tyranny.

                                  And like all great villains in history and literature, Trump believes he has God and righteousness on his side. Therefore, he will recognize no limits to his vengeance.

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                                  Pundit Post

                                  If And When Trump Is Found To Have Been Working For Russia, What Then?

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                                      What if Trump Really is Working for Vladimir Putin?
                                      .
                                      .

                                      The Russia Probe has already found a number of American ‘players' who while aligned with Trump, have been indicted and found guilty of crimes associated with working surreptitiously with Russia during the Trump campaign, and who also have been found to have been involved in subsequent "Trump cover ups."

                                      So what about Trump himself? According to recent reports, the FBI suspected that Trump was knowingly working for the Russians when he first fired James Comey. Since then, Trump’s former campaign manager and attorney, Michael Cohen, was found to have made payments in coordination with and at the direction of Trump, that establish Trump as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Cohen case.

                                      So that raises questions of Trumps involvement. What if his lies about Russia (nobody in my campaign ever met with a Russian, there is no collusion, I have nothing to do with Russia) are a cover for his remark on Monday in New Orleans: “I never worked for Russia,” and the Mueller probe determines otherwise?

                                      .

                                      https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/trump-really-work...

                                      With Trump having denied Russian contacts and then backtracked from them so many times, the logical question is, what if all this Russia stuff is true? What if the Russians made a deal with Trump to help him get elected? What if all those meetings actually were about “collusion?” What if Trump actually does have the connections he went into such detail to deny — “deals” and “dealings,” and “current pending deals” and “loans?”

                                      What if Trump really is working for Vladimir Putin?

                                      If he is, that would certainly answer why was he so solicitous of Putin during the campaign, why has he consistently refused to say even one critical thing about Putin, why has he has accepted Putin’s word over that of his own government that the Russians didn’t interfere in the presidential election, and why he stood next to Putin at Helsinki and virtually surrendered his nation to the interests of Russia.

                                      But it leaves the question, what hold could Putin possibly have over him?

                                      Former United States ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was on MSNBC on Monday night talking about Russia “giving money to Trump in 2008.” “That’s how Putin does business,” McFaul went on to explain. “He gives money to people for free, and then they collect.”

                                      Related imageTrump, McFaul, and Putin

                                      So if it’s money, that raises even more questions: How long has it been going on? How did it work? Why did it begin in the first place? Was Trump facing bankruptcy and Putin bailed him out, and now Trump owes him?

                                      That’s what happened on a smaller scale with Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. He worked for Russian interests for at least a decade in the Ukraine and was lavishly paid for it. Court documents unsealed last summer show that when Manafort’s Russia-connected man Viktor Yanukovych was ousted, Manafort ran short on money, and Putin’s pal Oleg Deripaska loaned him $10 million. The affidavit also showed that it was Deripaska who backed Manafort’s political consulting work in Ukraine from the beginning, in 2005 and 2006.

                                      As we now know, Deripaska went to Manafort to collect on his debt during the campaign, asking for “briefings” and eventually being given campaign polling data by the former campaign manager. Does this raise questions about why Trump is now moving to lift sanctions on companies controlled by Deripaska? You bet it does.

                                      Three Really Big Questions

                                      There are three big questions we don’t have answers for. First, what is Putin’s overall aim? It’s known that he believes the break up of the Soviet Union was “a major geopolitical disaster of the century,” as he told the Russian parliament in a kind of “state of the union” address in 2005. We know he has designs on Ukraine and has already annexed Crimea, which was Ukrainian territory. We know that like every Russian leader before him, he would like to see NATO weakened, if not broken up altogether, and he’d like to see the European Union come apart at the seams.

                                      If Putin wants NATO weakened, the New York Times reported yesterday that Trump repeatedly told aides in 2018 that he would like the U.S. to withdraw from the 70-year Atlantic alliance. If he wants more influence in Syria, Trump gave it to him when he recently announced the pullout of American troops.

                                      The second question is, what will happen if Trump stops giving Putin what he wants? What will they do to him?

                                      Which immediately raises the third question: If Trump is actually working for Russia because Putin in effect owns him, how can he extricate himself? Better still, can he extricate himself? People who cross Vladimir Putin tend not to live long and healthy lives. Could Donald Trump be afraid not just for his fortune, but for the well-being of himself and his family if Putin turns on him?


                                      When you start looking for the answers to questions like these, Trump’s lies about Russia appear in an entirely different light. Maybe all those lesser lies – nobody in my campaign ever met with a Russian, there is no collusion, I have nothing to do with Russia – have been in service of the biggest lie of them all, the lie we heard him utter on Monday afternoon on his way to address the farmers in New Orleans. “I never worked for Russia.”

                                      Maybe this is what he’s been afraid of all along. After asking us to believe all those other lies he’s had to backtrack on, now he needs us to believe the big one to survive. Maybe he’s fighting hard to stay in office not because he wants to be president so badly, but because he’s afraid of what Vladimir Putin will do to him if he’s ousted. Given Putin’s track record, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. Would you?

                                      .

                                      The entire story, written by , can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

                                      https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/trump-really-work...


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                                      Pundit Post

                                      The Case For Beginning Impeachment Immediately!

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                                          It no longer matters what Mueller's investigation determines related to whether or not Trump knew of, or directed the 101 connections between his team and Russia.

                                          There are three severely compelling reasons to impeach Trump. First, in Germany last year, Trump met with Putin with no other American present. This happened in the middle of a counter intelligence investigation to determine if Trump is working on behalf of Russia. Well, here's your sign! Why would the President of The United States of America meet with Putin with no other American present UNLESS he is a Russian spy and he thinks the American government is too weak to do anything about it??? Trump's and Putin's seeming calculation is that the American government will spend the next two years arguing essentially over whether the president has the constitutional powers to be a traitor, and as long as republicans control the Senate, the conclusion will be that he does.


                                          Second, Trump with the support of congressional republicans has done everything he could to PUBLICLY obstruct the Mueller investigation into whether Trump and his team conspired with Putin to steal the 2016 presidential election.

                                          Third, Trump and congressional republicans have shut the American government down, which not only threatens the national security of the USA, but also adversely impacts the lives and livelilhood of over 800,000 federal workers and millions of American citizens. Who benefits from the American government being shut down, more than Putin?

                                          The Democratic controlled House of Representatives SHOULD begin impeachment of Trump immediately, although it is a foregone conclusion that the republican controlled Senate will not convict him and remove him from office. The remedy for that is for American voters to remove both Trump and republicans from public office in 2020.

                                          https://themoscowproject.org/explainers/trumps-rus...

                                          Last Updated January 9, 2019

                                          On January 6, 2017, the U.S. intelligence community issued a report that showed there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: one run by Trump and one run by the Russian government. Trump and many of his senior advisors and close associates have repeatedly denied any connections between the two campaigns, despite the fact that they were working towards the same goal, at the same time, and utilizing the same tactics.

                                          Yet over the past year, we’ve learned about a series of meetings and contacts between individuals linked to the Russian government and Trump’s campaign and transition team. In total, we have learned of 101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives, including at least 28 meetings. And we know that at least 28 high-ranking campaign officials and Trump advisors were aware of contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition. None of these contacts were ever reported to the proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.

                                          Why were there so many meetings? What was discussed in them? More importantly, why did Trump and his camp lie about them, including to federal law enforcement? What are they hiding?

                                          The American people deserve answers.


                                          https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/us/politics/trump-putin-meetings.html

                                          WASHINGTON — The first time they met was in Germany. President Trump took his interpreter’s notes afterward and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone. Later that night, at a dinner, Mr. Trump pulled up a seat next to President Vladimir V. Putin to talk without any American witnesses at all.

                                          Their third encounter was in Vietnam when Mr. Trump seemed to take Mr. Putin’s word that he had not interfered in American elections. A formal summit meeting followed in Helsinki, Finland, where the two leaders kicked out everyone but the interpreters. Most recently, they chatted in Buenos Aires after Mr. Trump said they would not meet because of Russian aggression.

                                          Mr. Trump has adamantly insisted there was “no collusion” with Russia during his 2016 presidential campaign. But each of the five times he has met with Mr. Putin since taking office, he has fueled suspicions about their relationship. The unusually secretive way he has handled these meetings has left his own administration guessing what happened and piqued the interest of investigators.

                                          “What’s disconcerting is the desire to hide information from your own team,” said Andrew S. Weiss, who was a Russia adviser to President Bill Clinton. “The fact that Trump didn’t want the State Department or members of the White House team to know what he was talking with Putin about suggests it was not about advancing our country’s national interest but something more problematic.”

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