Trump’s trip – Is it over?

Headline:  Trump attacks our close allies, and kisses up to Russia

I’ve said  it would appear that Trump is competing for the Lie of the Year award from Politifact.com and his only competion is himself.

There are more coming.

This is from the Tom Toles, the phenomenal cartoonist with the Washington Post.  I hope to discuss  Trump’s absurd remark of Germany being Russia’s captive state soon.  If anyone seems to kissing up to Putin, it is Donald Trump.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Tom Toles is one of the best reasons to subscribe to the Washington Post:

www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.politifact.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FBI Honesty and Integrity

I’ve been working my way through the 500 pages of the Inspector General report, and at the same time, listening to FBI Christopher Wray and the Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the congressional hearing.   Occasionally, I listen to Fox News nonsense, to hear Lou Dobbs and Ed Rollins tell me what a horrible state we are in with subversive Democrats pulling the strings, operating in some deep state cabal.

Cabal:   a secret political clique or faction. “a cabal of dissidents” synonyms: clique, faction, coterie, cell, sect, junta, camarilla;

We were doing just fine with James Comey, as Director of the FBI, and Christopher Wray is also very capable. I’ve included Director Wray’s biography.   I think Trump believed he could change the course of the Russian investigation with Comey, and was upset when this wasn’t working.  He won’t have any better success with Wray and can’t afford to fire Wray.

The chief complaint against FBI Director Comey was excessive transparency.  His disclosure to Congress in October 2016  of reopening the email scandal likely  hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected.   Director Wray spoke about the need for balancing  two essential competing requirements – the need to keep the Congress’s oversight committees informed on FBI work in general, and the need to keep FBI sources and methods confidential during an ongoing investigation.   I call this the simultaneous need for transparency and opaqueness.   At some point, he will be accused of concealment of vital information sought by Congress.  It’s all part of the job.

Finally,  the texting stuff between FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok.    In hindsight,  the chief crime in all this, was their decision to use FBI issued cell phones to carry on personal conversations.   They did this because they were in a relation and did not want their spouses to know.   In one exchange on Aug. 8, 2016, according to the IG report, Page wrote, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok’s response: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”    It should be remembered this was supposed to be a personal  private conversation, and joking, exaggeration  or excessive chutzpah are allowed.   The inspector general conducted over 100 interviews,  and ultimately cleared Page and Strzok of any political bias in the decisions they were involved in.

Revealing the personal chatter between these two individuals gets pretty silly at some point.  It was a relationship for god sake- they were sharing intimate secrets and passions.    Peter Strzok by August 2016,  had potentially damning information on Trump’s campaign officials, but it was complicated and highly circumstantial.   If he wanted to, he could have done severe damage to Trump’s campaign.    He and everyone at the FBI kept a tight lid on what they knew at the time.   Strzok chose opaqueness,  as any other decision would compromise his professionalism at the FBI.  Yet, partisan Republican are going after Strzok  big time, because he was part of the Mueller investigation, and the only one they have some dirt on.   He is the Director of Human Resources at the FBI, so there is nothing in his current work they can attack.

Everyone in the FBI is entitled to personal political opinions.  They can love or hate the current or future president.   But, what will not be repeated for a long time, is personal conversations on government issued cell phones.   There is spying on employees at work in private businesses, and cellphones become much more of a liability than an asset.

Director Comey would have been blasted by Republicans for concealment of critical information, had he not gone public with his announcement in July 2016,   Loretta Lynch was also routinely attacked by Fox News and conservatives in Congress in 2016, for what appeared to be a rubber stamp of Comey’s clearing Clinton of wrongdoing.   There wasn’t a winning option in all of this.

Trump has gone off into another orbit on this, saying the IG report exonerates him of firing Comey and that Comey’s conduct was criminal.  Wrong on both accounts.  The firing of Comey was pretty close to obstruction of justice, as Trump was asking for Comey’s loyalty in the investigation of Michael Flynn.   That’s why Comey was fired and not his excessive transparency in July 2016.

What the IG didn’t find is likely why the Democrats are embracing the report.   The IG found no evidence that the political bias of FBI agents had any role in the investigation.   The email investigation was done thoroughly by the FBI.

Bottom line:  All evidence points to an honest and hardworking FBI in 2016, 2017 and we still have one today.

Stay tuned,

Dave

See link below:

Factcheck.org: Trump Misleads on IG Report

Christopher Wray

Director Wray – Wikipedia:

Wray joined the government in 1997 as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In 2001, he moved to the Justice Department as Associate Deputy Attorney General and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.[10]

On June 9, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Wray to be the 33rd Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Wray was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on September 11, 2003.[11][12][13] Wray was Assistant Attorney General from 2003 to 2005, working under Deputy Attorney General James Comey. While heading the Criminal Division, Wray oversaw prominent fraud investigations, including Enron.[10][14] In March 2005, Wray announced that he would resign from his post.[15] His last day at the Justice Department was on May 17, 2005.[citation needed]

In 2005, Wray received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Justice Department’s highest award for public service and leadership.

 

 

Lie of the year 2018

I think it’s a sure win for Trump.   It’s only mid-year, but there are really a slew of them, which really put him over the top.  The FBI embedding secret agents within the Trump campaign qualified for a “Pants on Fire”  award.   But, then came the Trump’s administration policy change to separate children from their parents,  and blame it on a law passed by Democrats,  really blew past prior lies.   Here is the post:

A “horrible law” requires that children be separated from their parents “once they cross the Border into the U.S.”  Donald Trump,  May 28, 2018.

Politifact says:  “We rate this statement False.”

Here’s the truth from Politifact.

But there is no law that mandates separating children from their parents. Trump’s own administration devised a policy to that effect.

So what is Trump talking about?

Whenever parents are charged with a federal misdemeanor (entry without inspection in this case), or awaiting trial, they are placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Children cannot go to jail, so they are transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are then placed with relatives, juvenile detention centers or foster care. That’s a longstanding Homeland Security policy, DHS told us.

Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on April 6 the Homeland Security Department would now be referring all illegal border crossings to the Justice Department for prosecution. Facing criminal charges, parents would go to detention centers, leaving their children unaccompanied.

It’s the decision to prosecute parents that is causing the separations.

“That’s a choice they have made that’s largely different from what other administrations have done,” said Peter Margulies, an immigration law and national security law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law.

When we asked for evidence of policies separating families, the White House referred us to items determining what happens to unaccompanied immigrant minors. But none of the children in question would be deemed unaccompanied if the Trump administration did not decide to prosecute their parents.

The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, for example, calls for the release of unaccompanied minors to family members or sponsors who can care for them as their immigration case is resolved. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which Trump has wrongly called “a Democrat rule,” determines that unaccompanied minors be transferred to Health and Human Services custody.

The White House argued such policies encourage parents to send their children into the United States, knowing they will be promptly released.

“The cruel and inhumane open borders policies of the Democratic Party are responsible for encouraging mass illegal migration, enabling horrendous child smuggling, and releasing violent MS-13 gang members into American communities,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in an emailed statement.

The Trump administration may believe that Democrats are responsible for policies that encourage illegal border crossing, but we found no law mandating that children be separated from their parents.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Link:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/may/29/donald-trump/trump-blames-democrat-own-policy-separating-family/

May 24, 2018 was a rapid fire series of lies  by Donald Trump on immigration on the Trump friendly “Fox and Friends”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/may/24/donald-trump-made-8-misleading-claims-about-immigr/

 

 

 

 

Sunday’s tweet storm

There was some speculation that this tweet storm was coming.  The weather in Washington was poor over the weekend, so no golf for the Donald.   Theses tweets included  name calling (crooked New York Times) and unfounded allegations all centered around the Mueller investigation, and the media.  It reminds me why I subscribe to the New York Times, because it provides hard facts, often taken from court filings.  Revealing the name of the FBI informant is a diversion, and it won’t work, as all law enforcement depends on keeping sources confidential.

A totally open investigation, where confidential information in FISA warrants and names of informants, is given to the public, not only can ruin this investigations, but severely limit future investigations.

Mueller has obtained either indictments or guilty pleas for key campaign officials:

Paul Manafort, under house arrest awaiting trial, Trump’s campaign manager, June to August 2016,  Faces many charges, including financial fraud, conspiracy against the US, failure to register as a foreign agent working for Ukraine.

Rick Gates,  plead guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, worked as number 2  along with Manafort, and then continued after the election, in planning the inauguration ceremonies.  His cooperation with the Mueller investigation may uncover more Russian links.

General Michael Flynn,  pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.  Joined Trump’s campaign in February 2016 as a foreign policy adviser.  Trump appointed him National Security Adviser, a position he held for 24 days until resigning as facts surface on his contacts with Russian officials which he had lied about to Vice President Pence.  He is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

The list goes on.  George Papadopoulos,  former campaign foreign policy advisor,  has also plead guilty to lying to FBI agents and is also cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

This is white collar crime, involving bank fraud, conspiracy with Russian agents,  campaign finance violation and money laundering.  It must be investigated and prosecuted.  The investigation is not completed, but the tweets say one thing:  Donald Trump is scared of what is likely to be revealed.  When you’ve got nothing to defend yourself, you can always pound the table.  Or send your TV lawyers to Fox News to do it for you.

Keep informed.  It’s a complex story, and not everything will connect up.   It will take time for Mueller to complete the investigation.  See links below on the tweet storm and summaries of the investigation.   And kudos to the New York Times,  Washington Post (I subscribe to both newspapers) and Wikipedia (send in your donation today!).

Stay tuned,

Dave

 Checking Facts: 11 false things Donald Trump said in 5 tweets Sunday morning

Wikipedia: Special Counsel investigation (2017–present)

(Getting results, slow but sure)

Vanity Fair: RICK GATES COULD BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN TRUMP’S ALLIES THOUGHT 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Gates_(political_consultant)

Andrew McCabe

I wrote previously that Andrew McCabe was fired for doing his job well.   All the evidence supports that he was an exemplary FBI agent and Deputy Director.  The firing had nothing to do with the quality of his work. He was fired by the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, following a report by the inspector general.   The charges against him were unauthorized disclosure of an ongoing investigation and lying about it under oath when asked by the inspector general.  The exact wording is he “lack candor”  when interviewed.   It is not criminal to lie to an inspector general, but it’s against the rules of the FBI and can result in firing.

The unauthorized disclosure charge relates to an article written in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in October 2016.  Andrew McCabe insists that there was nothing done improperly.   The Wall Street Journal article was printed  on October 31, entitled, “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe:
Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server.”   The article is clear that there was a fundamental disagreement on how far to push the Clinton Foundation investigation.    Andrew McCabe has stated he was interested in a more aggressive investigation of the Clinton Foundation, ironically at the same time, that Trump was on television nearly every night claiming the FBI was involved in a cover-up of wrong doing by the Clintons.

The inspector general’s report will be made public this week.  I’m certain it will judge McCabe’s action in isolation, not taking into consideration the campaign frenzy at the time.   The disclosure  occurred under extra-ordinary circumstances, with an open investigations on many fronts, and a massive attempt for the Trump team to capitalize on the “crooked Hillary” and weak FBI efforts in particular.

Donald Trump waged an extremely negative campaign in the last week of the campaign,  non-stop ranting about an incredibly corrupt Clinton (“crooked Hillary”)  and in collusion with the Obama administration (DOJ/FBI)  to hide her crimes, from violations of compromising national security via her private server,  destruction of evidence (crushing her cell phone) in an investigation,  and the links between the Clinton Foundation donors and the Uranium One deal.

All of crooked Hillary stuff, as listed above, was nonsense and no crimes were committed.  At least,  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never charged the Clinton campaign nor the Foundation with any wrong doing, and he has all the investigative details from the FBI.    The only ones  with guilty pleas or likely to stand trial were with the Trump campaign.

My copy of Comey’s book will arrive tomorrow and with the release of the IG report, I’ve got a lot of reading to do.   The WSJ article is provided in the link below.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

October 31, 2016 FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe:
Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server

 

Fact checking Trump’s statement on Immigration and other matters

I think the CNN fact checking on Trump’s immigration comments, is excellent.   See link below:

Trump on immigration: Fact check

I think Trump is up to exactly 4 true statements this year, as follows:

  • Says China and Singapore impose the death penalty on drug dealers.— PolitiFact National on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
  • The 2018 Academy Awards show was the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.”— PolitiFact National on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
  • Small business confidence is at an all-time high.”— Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 in his State of the Union address
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average “jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history.”— PolitiFact National on Monday, January 8th, 2018

The last one isn’t really that meaningful, as there have been a lot of faster 5 week moves on a percentage basis.

See link:

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

April 2, was the international fact checking day.   I think this is a fantastic idea.  See link:

https://factcheckingday.com/

A belated congratulations to all those involved.

Stay tuned,

Dave

What comes next?

Trump’s Feb 3 tweet is a piece of science fiction:

“This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”

The Nunes memo really says nothing about the Russian investigation headed by Robert Mueller.  The Republican party has continued to insist that Carter Page was a minor volunteer in the campaign, something like the guy in the back of the room and totally unimportant. But the wiretap FISA warrant was generating results, or it would not have been renewed 3 times.  Each renewal was presented in front of a different FISA judge.  Different FBI and DOJ officials signed off on these applications.   Trump knows this.  The House Intelligence Committee knows this.  And this is likely what is in the Democrat’s response.  And the Democrat response likely concludes that nothing improper was done.  In contrast to Trump’s tweet, the real parties that should be vindicated are the leaders of the FBI and DOJ.

The contents of the Trump dossier were never revealed by the media during the campaign.  The bottom line is the media showed great restraint by not publishing this story.  It was given to the media a couple months before the election and there was no way to collaborate the statements made in the dossier.  So, the “liberal media” should also be vindicated.

But the great disrupter  Trump has his dirt.   The fact that Nunes memo is based on inaccurate, misleading and omitted  information doesn’t bother him one iota.  Everything about his career, says honesty isn’t part of the winning hand.   It’s poker and bluffing your way through is just as good when things get hot.  Honest and gently – No.  Dishonest and loud wins.

Next steps.  He doesn’t care about  Democrat’s rebuttal so he wants Nunes  to bury that memo.  He would like Rosenstein to resign, but that won’t work because he has Session’s support.  So,  Trump sits there with this dirt, that has been publicly discredited  by just about everyone who has experience with FISA warrants, and the FBI, and thinks maybe I can get away with firing Rosenstein and ending the Mueller investigation.

He would like to see more of the “dump Rosenstein” ads on TV.  The Tea Party Patriots has a limited budgets to the Washington, DC area.   Fox News is doing their part in attacking the Mueller investigation.

This ultimately comes down to how apathetic and poorly informed are the American people.  Nunes memo  is a dangerous pretext, but more over, it is a dangerous president with a pretext to politicize the FBI and DOJ.

Stay tuned,

Dave

House Intelligence Committee

This is a committee with a majority of Republicans who will do anything they can to avoid a real investigation of the Russian inference in the 2016 election.   Instead, they will pursue construction of a false narrative based on carefully chosen information,     arranged creatively  to disparage the  Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.

This is the Republican counter attack on the real events which took place during our national elections, in which the Russian government and operatives in the US,  secretly tried to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.   There are many reasons the Russians  did not want Hillary Clinton to win, but in general it was her hard stance against Russian expansion.   It was clear she would work through the UN and other organizations to sanction Russia.

This committee serves a second purpose, which at the moment is vital to President Trump.    With the false narrative,  the committee has constructed an excuse to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.   Trump needs to do this in order to fire Robert Mueller.   This is the plan to avoid an obstruction of justice charge against the President.  Trump doesn’t know what Mueller has, but he doesn’t want to take chances.   Trump has said repeatedly he plays to win.

The cleverly constructed narrative  falls perfectly into Trump’s defense, which he has said often, that whatever the Republicans did wrong in the elections was nothing compared to the Democrats.  Representatives Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy excel at creative writing but fail in the honesty department.

The “path of least resistance” is a law of physics that applies to inanimate objects.  This path for Sessions,  Rosenstein and Wray is out the door, but I am real glad they are staying put.

This blog is a separate page and I will link it to a series of commentaries in the future.  The story was too big to keep it as one of my posts.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Dear Mr. President, We are not that stupid!

Building a pretext to fire Christopher Wray, Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, to stop the Mueller Investigation, Trump tweeted this at 3:33 am today:

The top leadership and investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of the Democrats and against Republicans – something which should have been unthinkable just a short time ago,.   Rank and file are great people!

Mueller’s team were getting too close to an obstruction of justice charge against Donald Trump.  Bottom Line.

Christopher Wray:    Director of the FBI. Nominated by President Trump.  Assumed office August 2, 2017.  Trump did not go to the swearing in ceremony.   Registered Republican. Graduate of Yale University.  Confirmation was easy, the Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to recommend Wray, and the Senate voted 92 to 5 to confirm.

Since Andrew McCabe resigned,  a new Deputy Directed may be appointed by Director Wray,

Jeff Sessions: Attorney General of the US.    Nominated by President Trump.  An early supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Sessions was nominated by Trump for the post of U.S. Attorney General. He was confirmed on February 8, 2017, with a 52–47 vote in the Senate, and was sworn in on February 9, 2017. From 1981 to 1993, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions was nominated in 1986 to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, but was not confirmed. Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994, and to the U.S. Senate in 1996, being re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. During his time in Congress, Sessions was considered one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate. (Wikipedia)

Rod Rosenstein: Deputy AG.  He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in economics, summa cum laude in 1986. He earned his J.D. degree cum laude in 1989 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School in 1997-98.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Barbara Mikulski and new Democratic Maryland senator, Ben Cardin, blocked Rosenstein’s confirmation, stating that he did not have strong enough Maryland legal ties, and due to this Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing on Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Andre M. Davis later was renominated to the same seat and confirmed by the Senate in 2009. Rob Rosenstein is  registered as a Republican.  He has served under both Republican and Democrat administrations.

Stephen Colbert:

Friends of Trump say the president sees the memo as a way to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. “Yes, it’s like when you’re losing at basketball, so you shoot the ref,” he said, slipping into Trump voice. “I guess I win — there’s nobody to tell me I didn’t. Now, who wants to be the new referee?”

James Comey:

Recent tweets:

All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.

Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.

I believe Donald Trump has underestimated the intelligence of the United States and its people, in his recent tweets.   This is not the way to make America greater, just Donald Trump greater.

Stay tuned,

Dave

PS.  I have not included the usual links.  The profiles of James Comey, Devin Nunes, Christopher Wray, Jeff Sessions and Rob Rosenstein are easily found on Wikipedia.   I did not include anything on Devin Nunes, but a summary can be found on Wikipedia.   He is a graduate of CalPoly with a masters in agriculture.  The news on the Nunes memo can be found by doing a Google search on “Nunes Memo.”

Finally, I note that James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership will begin shipment on May 1, 2018.  Amazon is accepting pre-orders now.

 

 

Uranium One Story – Other Opinions/ Links

Salon.com: How Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity ginned up the Hillary Clinton uranium story

Clinton Cash Author Peter Schweizer’s Long History Of Errors, Retractions, And Questionable Sourcing

(Media Matters was reporting just prior to the release of the Clinton Cash book)

The Clinton-Uranium “Scandal” Is Right-Wing Nonsense. Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

Reporters React To Trump’s Clinton Cash Citations By Noting “Widely Discredited” Book’s Factual Problems

(Reacti0n of book about 2 months after publication)

Factcheck.org: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/facts-uranium-one/

New York Times: What Is the Uranium One Deal and Why Does the Trump Administration Care So Much?

Politifact.com: What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Does-Russia-Really-Own-20-Of-The-US-Uranium-Reserves.html

Wikipedia: Clinton Cash

Their should be a book entitled “Breitbart Cash”  and the connections between the Breitbart organization

Wikipedia:  General Accountability Institute 

Sounds like the General Accountability Office, but of course it’s not!

Wynton Hall (very interesting resume)

Any negative campaign really depends on knowledgeable experts in social media

Breitbart staff list reveals additional ties to Bannon and Mercer

Steve Bannon

Rebekah Mercer

There are more links of Uranium One executives in my prior blog.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Uranium One – It takes two

The Uranium One accusations are meant to be a distraction by conservative Republicans in Congress.  Fox News through many commentators are attempting to make this into a scandal, when the facts argue otherwise-  no wrongdoing on the part of the Clinton Foundation,  Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton.  It is as if Fox News has taken up the book “Clinton Cash” as their bible with all of its false accusations.

The origins of the Uranium One story are an April 23, 2015 report in the New York Times,  and details from the Clinton Cash book.      As I have stated previously,  the problem with the accusation against Bill Clinton’s speaking fee at an investor’s conference, is the timing is all wrong.  Clinton was paid in June 2010 and approval occurred in October 2010.

What really puts the Uranium One controversy over the top, is it is  recycled trash, first leveled against Bill Clinton in 2008 involving a merger to buy Russian uranium mining rights for Uranium One,  then the facts are all re-arranged to make Hillary the target, for her approval of a sale of uranium to Russians.   The real  truth is not hard to find, as all my sources are out there on the internet.

It wouldn’t seem such a bad thing if uranium rights were bought from the Russian (allegation against Bill)  instead of sold to the Russians (allegation against Clinton).   But, the accusation that Bill Clinton fell apart as quickly as it was made.  The allegation against Hillary lasted longer because she was running for President.

Buy uranium mining rights in Russia, would be for export to other countries.  Buying uranium mining rights in the US, is completely different, as export would be prohibited without an export permit approved by the federal government.

A kickback scheme, as Fox News is alleging takes two:  One that has political influence or can do a political favor,  and another one that has money.    Two names you will never hear on Fox News is Frank Giustra or Ian Telfer.   Nor will you every hear on Fox News about the Clinton Giustra  Enterprise Foundation or the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.  These are the two Canadians and  former CEO’s of Uranium One.

The more I researched Frank Giustra and Ian Telfer, the more I realized that they were  very involved in philanthropic activities – namely donating much of their wealth  for good non-political causes, such as health and education.

Frank Giustra, CEO of Uranium One in 2007 made the donation of 130 million dollars  to the Clinton Foundation, but in the fall of 2007,  he sold his stock in Uranium One.    Mr. Giustra had made a fortune in mining acquisitions, many of them in Brazil.    What both Giustra and Telfer do these days, is exactly what Bill Gates, and other rich people do – give away their money to charitable organization.     The  Clinton Giustra Enterprise Foundation is a great example of a long term strategy to help the poor of South America through developing their own industries.  I note that Carlos Slims, the Mexican billionaire,  is also a contributor to this foundation.

Please take a look at the link to theClinton Giustra  Enterprise Foundation at the end of this blog.

Following a New York Times article, Frank Giustra responded to this article and other unfounded attacks  as follows:

A book that has not yet been published has caused the New York Times to publish a wildly speculative, innuendo-laced article about the Clinton Foundation and my role in contributing money to it. There is not one shred of evidence to back up the Times‘ conclusions. This is not about me, but rather an attempt to tear down Secretary Clinton and her presidential campaign. If this is what passes for investigative journalism in the United States, it is very sad.

The facts do not comport with the story in the New York Times. The reporter, Jo Becker, wrote a similar piece in 2008, which was eventually debunked by Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/12/giustra-clinton-kazakhstan-pf-ii-in_rl_0912croesus_inl.html

I began working on financing the purchase of mining stakes from a private Kazakh company in early 2005. The purchase was concluded in late 2005.  In late 2005, I went to Kazakhstan to finish the negotiations of the sale. Bill Clinton flew to Almaty a few days after I arrived in the country on another person’s plane, not on my plane, as the Times reported. Bill Clinton had nothing to do with the purchase of private mining stakes by a Canadian company.

I sold all of my stakes in the uranium company – Uranium One – in the fall of 2007, after it merged with another company. I would note that those were sold at least 18 months before Hillary Clinton became the Secretary of State. No one was speculating at that time that she would become the Secretary of State.

Other media outlets have insinuated that I influenced the decision by the U.S. to sign a free trade agreement with Colombia. At one point, I was an investor in Pacific Rubiales, a Colombian energy company. I sold my shares in Pacific Rubiales several years before the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which, I will note, was approved by several U.S. agencies and the White House. To theorize that I had anything to do with that is sheer conjecture.

I hope that the U.S. media can start to focus on the real challenges of the world and U.S. society. Focus on poverty, homelessness, infrastructure, health care, education, or fractious world politics. You are a great country. Don’t ruin it by letting those with political agendas take over your newspapers and your airwaves.

I am extremely proud of the work that we have done at the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Thousands of people, all over the world, have been helped by this initiative. I plan to continue that work long after the harsh glare of this week’s media stories has faded.

Of course, once the charitable donation of 130 million dollars is seen as a proper donation,  there’s only 15 million dollars left, and most of these donations occurred long before the Uranium One deal.

However,  there is only one donor, who contributed at the time of the Uranium One deal, and that was Ian Telfer,  former CEO of Uranium One and currently Chairman of the Board of Goldcorp.  He donated 2.35 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation in 2010.  Like Giustra, he was impressed with Clinton’s world initiatives in the areas of health and poverty.

Ian Telfer  is one person that you really have to like.   His occupation as listed on Wikipedia is mining executive and entrepreneur.   But, it should include philanthropist,  as like Frank Giustra, he has made large donations, including a 25 million dollar contribution to the University of Ottawa, School of Management.

Ian Telfer had difficulty getting into any business school because of his low grades.  University of Ottawa accepted him.   Ian set up a scholarship program for the student admitted to the school,  with the lowest grades.   I couldn’t believe this when I first read it!

In conclusion,  from all research I’ve done,  large donations were made to the Clinton Foundation,  because what they were doing.  It is out of character for Bill Clinton to be bragging about what he has done,  but to publicize what has been accomplished by the Foundation.  Part of his job, is getting people with money,  be it Carlos Slim or Frank Giustra to believe and trust in the good work of the Clinton Foundation.

You are not going to know about any of this listening to Fox News, which seems to have nothing better to do than rerun the 2016 smear campaign against her.   Maria Bartiroma, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs take turns suggesting a special prosecutor assigned to an investigation,  where there is no real evidence of wrong doing.

It is what Trump wants,  a diversion.   Fox News will never interview  Giustra and Telfer  because their contribution are so consistent with their other philanthropic activities, and they will have high praise for the good work of the Clinton Foundation.

Frank Giustra, recognize was a Canadian and this was US politics, but he gave good advice, which Trump and  Fox News should listen to:

I hope that the U.S. media can start to focus on the real challenges of the world and U.S. society. Focus on poverty, homelessness, infrastructure, health care, education, or fractious world politics. You are a great country. Don’t ruin it by letting those with political agendas take over your newspapers and your airwaves.

There will be no coverage of the good work of  the  Clinton Giustra Enterprise  Foundation on  Fox News.   It doesn’t fit with their official political  narrative directed at their base.

Link:

Giustra Clinton Enterprise Foundation

Frank Giustra Bio (Wikipedia)

Ian Telfer (Wikipedia)

Washington Post: The facts behind Trump’s repeated claim about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Russian uranium deal

Forbes: Clinton Commits No Foul In Kazakhstan Uranium Deal

He said/she said …

If the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Oooo, Barracuda, oh yeah

Lyrics from Barracuda by Heart

He said, she said and then the video said.   And the video showed the truth as plain as day.

I am talking about the recent spat between Representative Frederica Wilson and White House chief of staff,  General John R. Kelly.    The statement by Kelly was that Wilson bragged how she secured $20 million for a South Florida FBI building in 2015 through twisting Obama’s arm.   It would have been another dumb and distracting feud, except the speech had been video taped by the Sentinel Sun.  What Representative Wilson had done was just the opposite – she acknowledged the help of Senator Marco Rubio,  Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, all Republicans, and she never took credit for the funding of the building. In fact, she wasn’t even elected to Congress when funding for the building occurred.

The building was named after two slain FBI agents. Wilson did take credit for approval of the name of the building just days before the dedication.

Pretty mean spirited stuff from the White House.   Lesson to General Kelly- don’t escalate a feud, if it means crossing over between what is an opinion to what is a lie.  For this one, I don’t need any research, it’s all on the video.  See link:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-reg-wilson-kelly-tape-of-speech-20171020-story.html

It may be pretty small, but it looks like the White House is lining up on the side of the lie instead of the truth.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Most recent lies and half-truths

Summary of President Trump,  Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Nikki Haley more important  lies and half truths in the past  4 weeks.

Trump mislabels Obamacare subsidy as gift to insurers

 Mostly False by Politifact.com.   

This piece of Obamacare was designed to protect lower-income families from hefty out-of-pocket costs. The policies they bought on the Obamacare exchanges came with deductibles and co-pays, but instead of paying those themselves, the insurance companies do.Who gets the money? The doctors, hospitals and labs that provide the services.  At the end of the day, the federal payment covers the insurer for footing the bill…  Every health care economist we reached said if the companies don’t gain any cash from the transaction, then there is no gift, no bailout or whatever term one might use. The one grain of truth is that anything that makes insurance more affordable increases sales, even if by a small amount.

“We’re the highest developed nation taxed in the world.”  Donald Trump

False by Politifact.com

Looking at tax collections relative to the size of the U.S. economy and the number of people, the numbers tell a different story. The United States ranks 28th in tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and 13th on a per-capita basis. Trump said his view is “exactly correct.” In fact, it is exactly incorrect. We rate this claim False.

“And I think that his [Trump’s]  engagement with Congress is something that never happened under President Obama. They were never allowed to debate it. They were never allowed to discuss it. So, now Congress is going to be fully engaged on the threats of Iran.” Nikki Haley,  US Ambassador to the UN.

Mostly False by Politifact.com

Haley wrongly says Congress had no input on Iran nuclear deal… Senators considered a separate, and ultimately unsuccessful, measure that would have given them the the power to block the agreement through a resolution of disapproval. A procedural vote on the resolution fell short of the 60 votes needed to override a Democratic filibuster. Despite the resolution’s failure, by passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress was able to have some authority and say in the final agreement. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who spearheaded the bill, has touted the legislation for taking “power back from the president” and forcing the executive office to be transparent.

“I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.” White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com. There was a brief time between 2008 and 2010 — the window during which Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban had been invalidated but Chicago’s still stood — where that might have been true. But federal court rulings effectively undid city and state laws severely restricting gun use and ownership in the Chicago. When it comes to the concealed carry of weapons, Chicago has less authority to impose limitations than do many other large U.S. cities.

(Personal note-  this is recycled  Trump BS used in the 2016 election.  It was untrue then, as it is now.)

  “Ending the estate tax would “protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer.” Donald Trump

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com.  For 2017, the Tax Policy Center estimated, based on past tax data and modeling, that 11,310 individuals will have estates big enough to file an estate tax return. “After allowing for deductions and credits, 5,460 estates will owe tax,” the center concluded. “Over two-thirds of these taxable estates will come from the top 10 percent of income earners and close to one-fourth will come from the top 1 percent alone.”

Trump Misleads on High U.S. Drug Costs,  Factcheck.org

Prescription drug experts say it is broadly accurate that branded prescription drug prices are higher in the U.S. than other countries, though they say Trump is stretching, or cherry-picking, when he says prices are “double, triple, quadruple” what people pay in other countries.

Trump says this means, “as usual, the world is taking advantage of the United States.” But experts say the U.S. is responsible for the high cost of drug prices, not other countries.
“It is more the drug companies that are taking advantage of the U.S.” Glen T. Schumock, director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told us via email. “We allow the drug companies to do this by not regulating drug prices. Other counties are just doing what makes sense, and what we should do.

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal,  Washington Post Fact Checker, October 14, 2017

The outright lies and half truths are pretty astonishing.  See link:

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Trump’s Malicious Lies

He has attacked FBI Director Comey as a leaker of classified information, the acting Director as  Andrew McCabe as corrupt,  the head of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions and Rob Rosenstein of using poor judgment in the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.   His latest attacks have been against Robert Mueller,  accusing him of a unwarranted  investigation of the Russian meddling in the 2016 and ignoring the crimes of Hillary Clinton in dealing with the Russians.

Although the harshest attacks come from Trump himself on the actions of the Justice Department,  in other areas, Trump is touting the accomplishments of the Justice Department, particularly the war on drugs, and crack down on human trafficking and illegal immigration, without any mention of Jeff Sessions.

The head of the Justice Department and FBI can be fired at a moments notice without cause.  Director Jim Comey learned he had been fired from CNN news broadcast.  Andrew McCabe is no longer in the direct line of fire.   The new FBI Director, Christopher Wray began his job yesterday.   If he feels that Hillary Clinton broke the law during 2016, he is free to investigate this activity.  Investigations can be closed, then re-opened.

I did not include attacks on the Washington Post and the New York Times from their reporting.  I previously posted my reasons why the New York Times reporting should be trusted, and that the newspaper is thriving, not failing.

The most serious accusations are against Robert Mueller, because Trump will use this as a pretext to remove him.  Jeff Sessions is far from being weak. Here’s the headline from the front page of the New York Times, “Under Attack, Justice Dept. Pushes Ahead, Quietly Carrying Out Trump’s Agenda.”  It goes on how Jeff Sessions is at work by 6:15 am, and starts his day on a treadmill, and a bowl of instant oatmeal in the microwave.  He hand-washes the bowl.

So, what were the malicious lie told by Trump?  It is the uranium story.  All fact checkers I know (Snopes.com, Politifact.com and factcheck.org find the essential details in  Trump’s narrative are false.    Here it is (snopes.com):

Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

No US uranium can be exported to Russia, not before the deal and not afterwards.  Russia may have an interest in US uranium mines, but Russia doesn’t get any uranium from the US.   The “quid pro quo” is simply a polite way of saying that Russia bought Hillary’s support, by slipping 145 million to the Clinton Foundation.    The whole story falls apart because the bulk of the  contributions were made in 2007, long before the buyout of Uranium One.

The whole uranium story should have fallen apart long ago because the timeline is all wrong.  The Snopes article states:

Of the $145 million allegedly contributed to the Clinton Foundation by Uranium One investors, the lion’s share — $131.3 million — came from a single donor, Frank Giustra, the company’s founder. But Giustra sold off his entire stake in the company in 2007, three years before the Russia deal and at least 18 months before Clinton became secretary of state.

Nobody is above the law.  Hillary Clinton, her staff and the Clinton Foundation must play by the rules.   I particularly like the way Snopes concluded the piece:

An enormous volume of interest and speculation surrounds the workings of the Clinton Foundation, which is to be expected. Given the enormous sums of money it controls and the fact that it is run by a former U.S. president who is married to a possible future U.S. president, the foundation deserves all the scrutiny it gets, and more.

At the same time, for the sake of accuracy it’s crucial to differentiate between partisan accusations and what we actually know about it — however little that may be.

This was published in October 2016, as Trump was storming the country with “Crooked Hillary” narratives.  Now the attacks have turned to Robert Mueller, as enemy number one.   He is directed to investigate Russian interference into the 2016 election, so he really can’t extend his investigation to a contribution received in 2007 by  Guistra  to the Clinton Foundation as payoff for a decision after he no longer had a stake in the company.   Whole narrative is really flaky.

I was very glad that no pardon was given to Hillary Clinton nor anyone in the White House or Clinton’s foundation before Obama’s departure.

Trump is trashing everyone who isn’t in the White House.  At least, isn’t currently in the White House. The heat is definitely on as Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to examine criminal activities associated with Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The latest Quinnipiac Polls show that most Americans do not trust Trump.  I wonder why?

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Fact check:  West Virginia Rally  (much more fiction than fact

Snopes.com  Russian to Judgment

(note the Brietbart connection, with Clinton Cash book in 2015)

West Virginia Rally- Trump: Politifact.com West Virginia Rally

The special counsel “should be looking at the … uranium (Hillary Clinton) sold that’s now in the hands of very angry Russians.”

Politifact on Uranium story

New York Times, 2015 article on the buyout transaction. 

 

 

 

How much of what Trump says is true?

All politicians lie.
All politicians lie.
All politicians lie.

Ok, I said it 3 times, just so you remember.    Other officials lie too.   The White House Press Secretary, the leaders in Congress,  news commentators, of which there way too many these days, candidates running for office, both Republicans and Democrats – they are all  liars.

So why should I single out Donald Trump?   I really didn’t.  The fact checking sites, factcheck.org and politifact.com find nearly every weak, that he has lied to the American people, on very important issues.

The most recent example is his speech yesterday, on the health care bill to be voted on in the Senate, where he stated:

“Obamacare has broken our health care system. It’s broken. It’s collapsing.”

Politifact responds, “As for the individual insurance market, the part of Obamacare that Trump has said before is in a death spiral, we have rated statements like that False.”

Link:  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/jul/24/fact-checking-donald-trumps-health-care-speech/

Trump also was caught in a huge lie that his plan about allowing insurers to sell across state lines, would bring insurance premiums by 60 to 70%.  He made up this stuff!

Link: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/selling-insurance-across-state-lines/

It is true that both Democrats and Republicans have told huge lies during the health care debate.   House leader Nancy Pelosi stated that hundreds of thousands of people will die under Trump’s health care bill.  Politifact concludes that the relationship between health care policies and mortality rates is really difficult to determine,  and Pelosi (and Bernie Sanders)  distorted the research in this area by saying many people will  die as a result of Trump Care.

Link:  http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/deaths-health-care-bill/

The Russian investigation has produced all sorts of terrible lies from Trump, including allegations of criminal activity by FBI Director Comey, as follows from factcheck.org.

President Donald Trump made the unfounded accusation that former FBI Director James Comey illegally “leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media.” His claim appears to have been based on a news story that makes no such determination.

Link: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/trumps-unfounded-leak-claim/

And likely confirmed by Jay Sekulow, a frequent guest on Fox News and part of Trump’s legal defense team.   Way too much poop for me.

Now, perhaps I digress.  Back to the main question-  How much of what Trump says is true?   Politifact checked 427 statements of “fact” made by Trump, and determined 5% or 20 of these statements were true.  Yikes!  Of the other 95%,  12% were mostly true, and 15% were half true.   This leaves  an astonishing 68% on the side of mostly false, false and pants on fire.

Link: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

I always liked Patrick Moynihan’s quote: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Do Republicans lie more than Democrats?   From a quick sampling of July’s reviews, it seems so, at least as of July 24, 2017:

Link: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/

The worse of the bunch is not Trump or any other politician within Washington.   It’s  bloggers, specifically websites which broadcast, via email and twitter, a load of fictional stories.   These are lumped into the category of bloggers.

If a news story came from the Organization dedicated to the  Responsible and Truthful Analysis of the New (just for example, don’t Google this name),  and it can’t be collaborated with the mainstream media news, it is probably made up.   The fact checkers will help you filter out the nonsense.

Stay tuned,

Dave