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Sunday, January 20, 2019

More Americans pessimistic about Trump's presidency than any presidency in last 25 years

A Pew Research Center poll released this week finds that 29% of Americans think President Donald Trump's presidency will be successful in the long term, 47% think it'll be unsuccessful and 23% say it is too early to tell.

Trump is as strongly disliked now as President Richard Nixon was when he resigned in 1974.

When a BuzzFeed reporter first sought comment on the news outlet's explosive report that President Trump had directed his lawyer to lie to Congress, the spokesman for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III treated the request as he would almost any other story. The reporter informed Mueller's spokesman, Peter Carr, that he and a colleague had "a story coming stating that Michael Cohen was directed by President Trump himself to lie to Congress about his negotiations related to the Trump Moscow project," according to copies of their emails provided by a BuzzFeed spokesman. Importantly, the reporter made no reference to the special counsel's office specifically or evidence that Mueller's investigators had uncovered. "We'll decline to comment," Carr responded, a familiar refrain for those in the media who cover Mueller's work.

John Kelly gave an introductory speech when he became chief of staff that was "potentially hostile" to President Donald Trump, a former aide has said. In the latest book to emerge about Trump's time in the White House, Cliff Sim, a former communications aide to the president, describes a speech that Kelly had made soon after replacing Reince Priebus.

When you propose a budget, as Trump did last year, that makes a $1 trillion cut to Medicaid, a $500 billion cut to Medicare, and a $72 billion cut to Social Security, you are not a friend of workers. When you take away overtime pay to millions of workers, as Trump did by rescinding a federal labor rule put in place by Barack Obama, you are not a friend of workers.

A Belarusian model who said she had evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump's election campaign is now in Russian police custody. Nastya Rybka (real name Anastasia Vashukevich) was detained at Moscow's main airport after being deported from Thailand for soliciting. Her lawyer posted a video on Instagram which, he says, shows her arrest.


Scary video...


I guess it's not nice to fool with Mother Russia... or any other of Trump's friends.

"Yes, the economy is doing great for the top 1 percent. While the very rich get richer, real wages for average workers over the past year are up by all of 1.2 percent at around $9 a week and millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages.

Today, the United States has more income and wealth inequality than at any time since the 1920s. Since the 2008 Wall Street crash, 46 percent of all new income has gone to the top 1 percent.

Chief executive officer incomes have gone up 937 percent over the past 40 years and they now make 361 times more than the average worker.

The most important economic reality of our time is that, over the past four decades, there has been an enormous transfer of income and wealth from the middle class to the richest people.

Since 1979, the bottom 90 percent of Americans have seen their very share of national income decline from 58 percent to 46 percent, costing them nearly $11,000 per household.

As bad as income inequality is, wealth inequality is even worse.

The top tenth of 1 percent in our nation today own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. The three richest people own more wealth than the 160 million people in the bottom half.

Meanwhile, the median household in the United States has less wealth than it did 35 years ago after adjusting for inflation, and the average wealth of the bottom 40 percent is virtually zero.

Shockingly, the wealth gap between white Americans and black Americans has more than tripled over the past 50 years. This is wrong."

lots more at the link

"The innocuous exchange belied the chaos it would produce.

When BuzzFeed published the story hours later, it far exceeded Carr's initial impression, people familiar with the matter said, in that the reporting alleged that Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and self-described fixer, "told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie," and that Mueller's office learned of the directive "through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents."

In the view of the special counsel's office, that was wrong, two people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

And with Democrats raising the specter of investigation and impeachment, Mueller's team started discussing a step they had never before taken: publicly disputing reporting on evidence in their ongoing investigation.

People familiar with the matter said Carr told others in the government that he would have more vigorously discouraged the reporters from proceeding with the story had he known it would allege Cohen had told the special counsel Trump directed him to lie -- or that the special counsel was said to have learned this through interviews with Trump Organization witnesses, as well as internal company emails and text messages.

After Carr declined to comment to BuzzFeed, but before the story was published, he sent reporter Jason Leopold a partial transcript of Cohen's plea hearing, in which Cohen admitted lying to Congress about the timing of discussions related to a possible Trump Tower project in Moscow, according to the emails BuzzFeed's spokesman provided.

Cohen had claimed falsely that the company's effort to build the tower ended in January 2016, when in fact discussions continued through June of that year, as Trump was clinching the Republican nomination for president.

"I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1," Cohen said at his plea hearing late last year, using the term "Individual 1" to refer to Trump.

Carr, people familiar with the matter said, hoped Leopold would notice that Cohen had not said during the hearing that Trump had explicitly directed him to lie.

But Leopold, who co-authored the story with reporter Anthony Cormier, told the spokesman he was not taking any signals, and Carr acknowledged the point.

"I am not reading into what you sent and have interpreted it as an FYI," Leopold wrote.

"Correct, just an FYI," Carr responded.

People familiar with the matter said the special counsel's office meant the statement to be a denial of the central theses of the BuzzFeed story -- particularly those that referenced what Cohen had told the special counsel, and what evidence the special counsel had gathered."

much more at the link, the GIST OF WHICH is that Cohen was following Trump's "directives"... but there is no quote or recording of what Trump said....

"The language Cohen and his representatives used in court had been ambiguous. Cohen had pleaded guilty in two cases -- one for lying to Congress about the Moscow project, and another involving campaign finance violations for hush-money payments to women who had alleged affairs with Trump.

While neither Cohen nor his representatives had ever said explicitly that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, Guy Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, wrote in a memo in advance of his sentencing, "We address the campaign finance and false statements allegations together because both arose from Michael's fierce loyalty to Client-1.

In each case, the conduct was intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives."

BuzzFeed Reporter Responds To Trump's Anti-Cohen Tweet With Actual Facts

Donald J. Trump

Kevin Corke, @FoxNews "Don't forget, Michael Cohen has already been convicted of perjury and fraud, and as recently as this week, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he may have stolen tens of thousands of dollars...." Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!

Leopold responded to the tweet by simply stating the facts.

"I don't see that there's any indication from the Southern District of New York that he's going to receive a reduced sentence, because he's already been sentenced to three years in prison," he said.

Leopold also pointed out that Cohen has already agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation and that Cohen even tweeted that it "knows all."

"I understand the attempts by the administration and the president himself to sort of shift the public's attention onto other areas ― Michael Cohen's father-in-law, [but] to be honest, I don't understand what that means," Leopold said.

Leopold said that it is understood that when Cohen's office was raided, the FBI and the special counsel obtained quite a bit of evidence, including emails and text messages.

He said this evidence corroborated earlier reports he has done on Trump's Moscow project.

"We obtained every single text message Michael Cohen exchanged with Felix Sater on the project. In those text messages, he's discussing briefing Trump," Leopold said, referring to the onetime Trump adviser who proposed giving Russian President Vladimir Putin an apartment in the Moscow tower.


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