Saturday, December 15, 2018

New Jersey AG probes Trump golf club after undocumented maids claim racially-charged harassment, threats

New York Daily News        CHRIS   SOMMERFELDT         
 Dec 14th 2018
New Jersey’s top law enforcement agency is looking into claims of widespread harassment and immigration fraud at President Trump’s Garden State golf club after several former and current housekeepers came forward claiming mistreatment, the Daily News has learned.

Anibal Romero, a Newark-based attorney, said Friday the state attorney general’s office recently reached out to him about claims that five of his clients were routinely threatened and called racial slurs while working at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

The women — all of whom are or were undocumented immigrants — also allege their supervisor at the extravagant estate set them up with fraudulent work permits and threatened to report them to federal authorities if they spoke out.

“These are elements of federal crimes and it’s important that the state attorney general’s office or federal authorities investigate this case,” Romero told The News. “It is unacceptable that employees of the Trump National Golf Club have to endure this type of abuse.”

Romero said he has also established contact with federal authorities at “the highest level” but declined to specify what agencies he’s been in touch with.

Citing policy, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey AG’s office declined to confirm or deny whether an investigation has been opened into the Trump club.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not immediately return a request for comment.

Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who is still employed at the club, and Sandra Diaz, a Costa Rican national who used to work there, first came forward with their allegations in interviews with The New York Times earlier this month.

Since then, Romero says three more undocumented women who used to work at the club have reached out to him with similar allegations of harassment and immigration fraud.

Two of the women, who are from Mexico and Ecuador respectively, have declined to give their names out of fear of repercussion.

The other woman, Gilberta Dominguez, is from Mexico and said she was also subject to racial slurs, threats and was set up with fraudulent papers while working at the club, according to Romero.

Morales is the only one of Romero’s clients who still works at the club.

“Based on conversations my client has had with people who are undocumented and are still working for the golf club, no one has been fired, they are still reporting to work and are being told that everything is going to be okay,” Romero said. “This is extremely troublesome for us because we are concerned that they might be coerced into not speaking.”

The state AG development comes as the President faces a myriad of legal headaches, including federal and state investigations into his campaign, his inaugural committee and his namesake foundation.

Romero said the President is guilty of flagrant hypocrisy by spouting immigrant-bashing rhetoric from the Oval Office while at the same time employing undocumented workers at his namesake golf club. However, the attorney pointed his fiercest finger at members of Congress.

“The problem continues because the work is needed,” Romero said. “In New York City, we see undocumented immigrants in every restaurant, in every construction site, in every supermarket, and if Congress simply passed a law allowing them to work legally, the problem would be fixed.”
Witchy's opinion  : 
The problem of illegals working in the US, would be solved, if the existing laws against hiring illegals  ,was enforced and the illegals were deported.
The entire trump empire is beginning to crumble!     Is there any member of the trump empire, who is not a racist pig?  What a hypocrite.   He wants to build a wall and deport all the illegals back to Mexico at the same time he has them working for him at some golf club in the northeast.    I'll bet a respectable number of senators, congressmen and house reps have illegals working for them as well.      What a cheap man  Trump   is unless he is spending tax payers money . . millions on his GOLF trips and millions are made at his resorts which is a conflict of interest. All this while the spinless republicans stay at seats and twiddle their thumbs . . what a bunch of punks.
 If the hotel is hiring and abusing illegal aliens, they need to be investigated and the responsible management people should be prosecuted to the full intent of the law.  Doubt the President is remotely aware of such happenings, but whoever is running his Hotel Operations should damn well be held accountable and fired if the allegations are true.  Then, the ambitious Attorney General can start investigating the other thousands of businesses who use illegal alien labor.The hotel is not a person.   Trump has to be held accountable.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  Of course he is far from ignorant.  He thinks he is above the law.  He may be right.  Time will tell.
Trump says build the wall .Surprise... they will tunnel under it. Change the law. Any one can claim asylum and they get to stay up to a year to appeal if they are denied. We need serious reform with safety in mind. Stop printing everything in a dozen languages. You want to live here speak English. Our ancestors had to! While true asylum seekers I welcome but we need to limit  the numbers. We can't care for our homeless our aging seniors and our vets who risk their lives for this country. There are true cases where asylum is needed but not in the numbers claimed.
Mueller is after him, New York is on his heels, and now Jersey is on his back.Trump ran on how HILLARY WAS GOING TO BE CAUGHT UP IN INVESTIGATIONS.  Republicans  believed every bit of what he said. now he is involved in so many investigations.  The Trump family has been known for hiring and mistreating illegals for decades. It's just another one of those things they don't believe should apply to them.

Stay tuned   "As The Stomach Turns"                  HeHe

Friday, December 14, 2018

Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war on Yemen

See the wonderful war  Mr Trump is assisting the Saudis to wreak upon the innocent of Yemen.
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Britain and France are also responsible

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American bombs are killing children
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Enough is enough
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Worst famine in over a century in Yemen
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The US Senate has voted to withdraw US military aid for Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen and to blame the kingdom's crown prince for the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi .
The historic vote is the first time any chamber of US Congress has agreed to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.
Some of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans defied him to pass the measure with Democrats by 56-41. But the resolution is seen as largely symbolic and unlikely to become law.

What did the Senate actually do?

The non-binding "war powers resolution" calls upon President Trump to remove all American forces engaging in hostilities in Yemen, except for those combating Islamist extremists.
The Senate then unanimously passed a resolution blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi's murder in October, and insisting that the kingdom hold accountable those responsible.
The US chose to cease refuelling Saudi war planes last month, and Thursday's resolution - if it were ultimately passed into law - would prohibit that practice from resuming.

Mohammed bin Salman shakes hands with Donald Trump in the White House

What did senators say?

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who co-sponsored the measure with Republican Mike Lee of Utah, hailed the vote.
"Today we tell the despotic government of Saudi Arabia that we will not be part of their military adventures," he said.
He described the outcome as a signal to "the world that the United States of America will not continue to be part of the worst humanitarian disaster on the face of the earth".
Republican Senator Bob Corker told MSNBC: "If he was before a jury, the crown prince, he would be convicted in my opinion in 30 minutes."

Status quo no longer acceptable

The two resolutions send a strong message that for a majority of senators, the status quo with Saudi Arabia is no longer acceptable.
They value the strategic relationship but are deeply uneasy about the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They've viewed his foreign interventions with growing concern, especially the human cost of the war in Yemen.
But it was the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi that tipped the scales: it dramatically increased support for the resolution to withdraw US military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, something that failed to pass earlier in the year. Many senators saw the Khashoggi killing as the blatantly egregious act of an ally that felt immune from rebuke.
And they were dismayed when the administration stood staunchly by the prince without censure, even though the CIA concluded he probably ordered the killing. Senators want to see the administration shape the alliance as the senior partner, and enforce red lines.
Senior Republican Senator Bob Corker noted recently that much of the bipartisan activism in the Senate has been fuelled by a perception that there's no balance between values and interests in the administration's policies

Can this legislation become law?

President Trump has vowed to veto the measure, and it is unlikely right now to pass the House of Representatives, which on Wednesday blocked a vote on the matter.
But Senator Sanders said he expects the resolution to succeed once Democrats formally take over control of the House in January following their mid-term elections victory.
The Trump administration had argued the bill would undercut US support for the Saudi-led coalition against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
White House officials have emphasized US economic ties to the kingdom. Mr Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has continued to cultivate ties with the prince, according to the US media.

What's the latest in Yemen?

Earlier on Thursday, the warring sides met in Sweden where they agreed to hold a ceasefire in the port city of Hudaydah, a key entry point for aid and food imports.
After the deal was reached, negotiators for both parties shook hands to applause, though they later expressed scepticism.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he hoped this would be the starting point to bring nearly four years of civil strife to a close.
Since hostilities began in 2014, thousands of civilians have been killed, and around 14 million people have been pushed to the brink of starvation, according to the UN.
Saudi Arabia buys the bulk of its weapons from the US, Britain and France. Are we not better than this??

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Pelosi brings up Trump 'manhood,' says meeting with him was like 'tinkle contest' with skunk

 NBC News         ALEX MOE AND DARTUNORRO CLARK             Dec 11th 2018 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking to Democrats behind closed doors on Tuesday, said President Donald Trump's "manhood" got in the way of their Oval Office meeting in which he threatened to shut down the government if Congress doesn't fund his border wall.

"It's like a manhood thing for him — as if manhood could ever be associated with him — this wall thing," Pelosi said, a Democratic aide who declined to be named told NBC News.

Pelosi, who is expected to become the House Speaker next month, made the comments at a meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee after she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke with Trump at the White House about the border wall and a possible government shutdown.

"The press is all there! Chuck is really shouting out," Pelosi recounted to her colleagues of the meeting with Trump. "I was trying to be the mom. I can't explain it to you. It was so wild."

She added, "It goes to show you: You get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you."

At the meeting, Trump was adamant about owning a government shut down if he did not get funding for a border wall.

"If we don't get what we want one way or the other ... I will shut down the government," Trump said during the heated and on-camera dispute with Pelosi and Schumer. "I am proud to shut down the government for border security. ... I will take the mantle of shutting it down."
Witchy  sez :   
Nancy castrated the bloated orange pig and that is just a hint of what awaits him when she takes control of the House on January 3, 2019."as if manhood could ever be associated with him"
Launch the blimp baby and keep it up...since Donnie can't obviously.
Great job Nancy!   Trump needs to be reminded that he only has a "little" mushroom head!! Trump is such a joke!!
Trump is in for a different show after January, he’s going to being a huge temper tantrum. Can’t wait to watch him squirm! Republicans: Just a reminder - You hate Pelosi because you fear her.  She just owned your leader in a meeting that was broadcast on TV, and then insulted "Mr. tiny hands" about his manhood.     She had the biggest balls in the room.
Trump is scared and lashing out.  Mueller must be onto something to get him this rattled.
Stay tune "As The Stomach Turns"  HeHe

Sunday, December 09, 2018

A Little Christmas Cheer

Suggestions: I suggest you have a Merry Christmas. happens
Recycled Paper Greetings Santa Forgot Glasses Funny Humorous Christmas Card
Shorting the Christmas tree. The Flying McCoys on #Christmas #Holidays #ChristmasTree #Humor
Funny Cartoons-Santa
Poor Keebler Elf ... The Bent Pinky (Dec/13/2013)

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Band Aid

Band Aid  in 2014 was about  the 'ebola' virus in Africa, decimating  lives

Below, Same Song in 1985 - different issues...Live Aid for world hunger
Band Aid performing at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium, London in 1985. The event was organized by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine disaster. Broadcast across the world via one of the largest satellite link-ups of all time, the concerts were seen by around 40% of the global population.

I wonder what they would sing about this year ... There are so many choices

Another Live Aid effort was undertaken by singers in America about 30 years ago and is still going .....Farm Aid

- Thousands of performances by hundreds of artists who come together to keep family farmers on the land growing good food for all of us.

Friday, December 07, 2018

N.Y. federal prosecutors seek prison for former Trump lawyer Cohen

 THOMSON REUTERS            Dec 7th 2018 
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to sentence Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, to a "substantial" prison term for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump's behalf and evading taxes.

Cohen, who has been cooperating with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 election campaign, pleaded guilty to the charges in August in New York. He also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in a separate case handled by Mueller.

In a separate filing, Mueller's office said on Friday that it would not take a position on Cohen's sentencing, scheduled for next Wednesday.

It noted that Cohen cooperated with its probe but described his lies to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow as "deliberate and premeditated."

Mueller said Cohen continued to work on the Moscow project and discuss it with Trump well into the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller said Cohen's untruthfullness about the project "was material" to its ongoing investigations "particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election."

The federal prosecutors in the New York case described Cohen in their filing as being motivated by "personal greed" and said he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends" in pressing the judge to reject Cohen's request he be spared prison.

They said Cohen should receive some credit for his cooperation with Mueller, but noted that he had not entered into a cooperation agreement with their office. They said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced next Wednesday by U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on all of the charges to which he pleaded guilty, including his admission of lying to Congress which was handled by Mueller's office. Cohen's lawyers have asked that he receive no jail time, saying he has cooperated extensively with Mueller and New York prosecutors and has taken responsibility for his actions.

Mueller is also scheduled on Friday to submit details about alleged lies by Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to investigators, in a separate case in a federal court in Washington.

Mueller accused Manafort last month of breaching a plea bargain agreement by lying to his prosecutors.

Manafort, who maintains he has been truthful with Mueller, managed Trump's campaign for three months in 2016.

The Mueller probe has infuriated Trump, who has regularly issued tweets criticizing the special counsel and his team.

The president has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia, and accuses Mueller's prosecutors of pressuring his former aides to lie about him, his election campaign and his business dealings. Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The president has called Cohen a liar and "weak person."

In new tweets on Friday, Trump again questioned prosecutors and accused federal investigators and senior officials of having conflicts of interest, without offering any evidence.

Trump said his lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, would release a response to the report that Mueller is expected to finalize in the coming months.

"We will be doing a major Counter Report to the Mueller Report," Trump tweeted.

Representatives for the U.S. Justice Department and Mueller's office declined to comment on Trump's tweets.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne; additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Lisa Lambert, Richard Cowan Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Paul Simao and Jonathan Oatis)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

CNN's New York offices evacuated due to bomb threat

a car parked on the side of a building
CNN's New York offices and studios have been evacuated due to a phoned bomb threat, the company said.
Several fire alarm bells rang inside CNN's New York newsroom, signaling an evacuation shortly after 10:30 p.m. Staffers evacuated the building and Don Lemon's "CNN Tonight" was taken off the air. In the meantime, the network has gone to taped programming. 
Numerous police and fire department trucks have blocked all vehicle and pedestrian traffic on West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue due to a police investigation at Columbus Circle, where the Time Warner Center is located, the New York Police Department tweeted.
The network's bureau in the Time Warner Center was evacuated in October after a package with an explosive device, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, was discovered, officials said.
This is a developing story - more to come

Apple Cider Vinegar .... Who Knew???


Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is commonly used in salad dressings and as a secret ingredient to liven up other dishes. Even just a spoonful of ACV added to a cake recipe can make it come out fluffier and lighter every time! ACV certainly comes in handy in the kitchen, but it can also help you out in just about every other aspect of your life.
From helping lower blood sugar levels to using it as a natural house cleaner, here are some of the most surprising uses for apple cider vinegar!

Helps Ease Cold Symptoms

Apple cider vinegar just might be your saving grace the next time you have a cold. Sooth your sore throat by gargling a diluted solution of ACV and dissolved table salt. This will kill bacteria and help you feel better faster.
You can unclog a stuffy nose by sitting in front of a bowl of hot, steamy water that has ACV in it. The scent and steam will clear up blocked nasal passages caused by a cold, allergies, or sinus infections.

Works As A Natural House Cleaner

Apple cider vinegar works well as a natural alternative to every-day bathroom and kitchen cleaners made with harsh chemicals. Its active cleaning agent is acetic acid, which is safe for most surfaces and kills bacteria on a cellular level.
As well as removing dirt and grime, ACV can effectively kill mold and E. coli when combined with table salt or hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure mix in a gallon of water for every cup of ACV that you use.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Apple cider vinegar has scientifically proven in a small study to aid patients with type 2 diabetes and those with high blood sugar. ACV works to improve’s the body’s insulin sensitivity to meals that are high in refined carbs and sugars. Just a couple spoonfuls of ACV before bedtime can work wonders for you by morning. Just be sure to check with your doctor if incorporating apple cider vinegar in place of blood-sugar-lowering medications will be safe for you.

Useful As A Weight Loss Aid

There are also some studies that have found apple cider vinegar useful to those who are trying to lose weight. A tablespoon of ACV taken before a meal can make you feel fuller and end up eating a bit less than you normally would.
In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, ACV may be effective for people who are at risk of developing diabetes. This is why ACV could make a great supplement to your current diet and exercise routine.
Well I learned something valuable. Up to now, I have only used ACV in a few recipes. Gonna buy me a gallon.

Trump worried about mean comments at funeral


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Trumpian Christmas

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Editorial Cartoonist Rob Rogers was fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for criticizing Trump
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Sunday, December 02, 2018

An Assassin Stalks the G20 - Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman waits for the family photo during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday.
Looking a bit ostracized, Prince Mohammed bin Salman
BUENOS AIRES —The legions of protesters demonstrating at a leaders summit here have unfurled a sea of standard-issue signs, ranging from “No to Imperialism” to “Yankees Go Home.” But a newer rallying cry also appeared on a cluster of homemade posters.
“Mohammed bin Salman, Assassin!”
For Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Group of 20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires has amounted to a key test: his first appearance at a major international event since the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who was a frequent critic of the kingdom’s de facto leader.
“The CIA thinks he is the one who ordered the kill on Khashoggi,” said Cristian Pirovano, a 40-year old teacher from Buenos Aires, referring to U.S. intelligence assessments that the crown prince almost certainly orchestrated the assassination of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist, at his country’s consulate in Turkey.
“We don’t want him here, because of the assassination of the journalist, because of what the Saudis are doing in Yemen, because of all this death,” Pirovano said.
Mohammed came to the summit as a pariah to some leaders — he was positioned at the far edge of the back row in the annual “family photo” with attending leaders Saturday, and leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel had let it be known before the summit that they would not see Mohammed in Argentina. The crown prince also holed up in the fortified Saudi Embassy away from the rest of the Saudi delegation after his arrival here, amid moves by Argentine prosecutors to investigate human rights complaints against him.
But Mohammed was also secure in the knowledge that President Trump had already said the crown prince’s culpability, if any, would not rupture the U.S. relationship with Riyadh.
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Putin (grinning from ear to ear) high fives the prince
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'Bad guy' buddies
That guarantee helped convince Mohammed that he could make the trip on behalf of his country, which is slated to host the same G-20 gathering in 2020. And Mohammed has found comfort in some quarters here — a high-five from a grinning Russian President Vladimir Putin and a brief but symbolic televised exchange with Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The White House said Trump merely “exchanged pleasantries.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also photographed smiling next to Mohammed at their private meeting Friday, and British Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her plans to also meet with the young Saudi.
a group of people sitting at a table with wine glasses: President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a dinner meeting at the end of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires.
Awkward dinner ...  solemn Chinese face sulky looking Trump
Slide 1 of 62: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - NOVEMBER 30:  In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie, US President Donald Trump with his wife Melania, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri with his wife Juliana Awada, China's President Xi Jinping with his with wife Peng Liyuan, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R 1st row), India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his wife Emine, France's President Emmanuel Macron with his wife Brigitte, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, and Brazil's President Michel Temer (L-R 2nd row) pose for a group photo at a reception at the Colon Theatre during the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images)
Buenos Aires is hosting the G20 summit, a meeting of the strongest industrial nations and emerging economies, on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. While leaders will try to build consensus on key issues, the talks are expected to be overshadowed by trade tensions between the United States and China.
'Does Mr Trump look like he's pouting'?
But the man who once sought to fashion himself as the younger, fresher face of Saudi leadership has also arrived to find himself viewed as tainted, transformed into a global symbol of brutal tyranny. In what was meant to be a triumphant display of his consolidation of power at home, Mohammed has instead been dogged by attempts to prosecute him in Argentina for foreign crimes, singled out by protesters and scolded by European leaders.
“His reputation has obviously been seriously damaged,” said José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch Americas Division. “I think he was convinced that he could walk on water and pay no cost. . . . But this case will follow him every time he leaves Saudi Arabia, probably for the rest of his life.”
Mohammed has not necessarily been a persona non grata. In a news conference Thursday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri justified the prince’s presence at the summit.
“Saudi Arabia is a member of the G-20, so the prince has to come,” said Macri, who went on to meet with Mohammed on Saturday. His role in the killing of Khashoggi, Macri said at the news conference, is a subject that “has impacted the world and that may be discussed in bilateral or general meetings. But he is part of this community and is now in the country to participate starting tomorrow.”
Yet he has also been taken to task. In a conversation with the crown prince Friday, France’s Emmanuel Macron called for international investigators to join the probe into Khashoggi’s killing and stressed “the necessity of a political solution” to the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.
“The Khashoggi case is serious, and I think the truth needs to be sought. I want investigations in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to continue to clarify the situation to the family and the international community,” Macron said Friday.
Also Friday, an apparently private — and heated — conversation between Macron and Mohammed was captured on microphone. “I do worry. I am worried. I told you,” Macron says to him.
“Yes, you told me, thank you very much,” the prince says.
“You never listen to me,” Macron responds.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, used the G-20 as a platform to slam the Saudis for their contradictory statements and lack of cooperation with Turkish investigators probing the assassination, which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “This is not an issue only for Turkey but for the whole world,” he said.
“Our judicial and administrative bodies have not unfortunately received the required support from Saudi officials,” Erdogan told reporters in Buenos Aires on Saturday. “The crown prince has stated that we cannot blame anyone unless the crime is proven.
"Well, we do know that 15 people have arrived in Istanbul in two separate aircraft and they have acted in a planned operation, as they themselves admitted. But now we see that they have decided to deny this, too.”
A spokeswoman for the Saudi delegation declined to comment.

During her one-on-one with Mohammed, May refused to discuss key economic issues, such as bilateral trade. Instead, a government spokesman said, she raised the Khashoggi assassination, saying Saudi Arabia needed to “take action to build confidence that such a deplorable incident could not happen again,” according to the Guardian.
Khashoggi’s death hung over the crown prince’s Buenos Aires trip since the beginning.

The 747 carrying Mohammad and a delegation of 400 Saudis landed in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, with cameras capturing the crown prince descending a staircase, resplendent in flowing robes. Argentina’s La Nación newspaper reported that the Saudis had booked rooms for the delegation at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires — but the crown prince’s plans appeared to abruptly change.
Human Rights Watch filed a complaint Monday with Argentine prosecutors, asking them to examine Mohammed’s alleged responsibility for the torture of Saudi citizens, atrocities in Yemen and the assassination of Khashoggi. Universal jurisdiction applies in Argentina, allowing crimes committed abroad by any national to be probed here.

By Wednesday — the day the prince landed — a federal prosecutor had begun making inquiries and forwarded the case to an investigating judge.
Instead of retiring to the Four Seasons, Mohammed — stalked by Argentine TV cameras, he stayed at the Saudi Embassy, apparently not leaving until the official start of the summit Friday morning.
Argentine officials say his diplomatic immunity, plus the length required for any investigation, have all but ruled out any immediate action against Mohammed during the summit.
“You can be sure other cases will be filed when Mohammed travels,” Vivanco said. “Wherever he goes, he will be under scrutiny.”

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mueller eyes Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on Trump Tower Moscow

Yahoo News          HUNTER WALKER           November 29th 2018 
WASHINGTON – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a skyscraper in Moscow has led him to ask questions about the role two of the president’s children played in attempting to secure a Russian real estate deal, sources tell Yahoo News.

Mueller’s interest in the Trump family real estate company’s Russia skyscraper plans was confirmed on Thursday when Michael Cohen, the president’s former attorney and fixer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the proposed deal. In charging documents, Mueller said Cohen falsely claimed the effort to build a Trump Tower Moscow “ended in January 2016” in an attempt to “minimize” links between Trump and the project and to “give the false impression” the effort ended before the Republican primaries in 2016. Yahoo News first reported in May that congressional investigators had obtained text messages and emails showing Cohen’s work on Trump Tower Moscow went on for longer than he admitted under oath.

But Cohen wasn’t the only person at the Trump Organization who was pursuing deals to build a skyscraper in the Russian capital. Multiple sources have confirmed to Yahoo News that the president’s elder daughter, Ivanka, who is now a top White House adviser, and his eldest son, Don Jr. were also working to make Trump Tower Moscow a reality. The sources said those efforts were independent of Cohen’s work on the project. One of the sources said Ivanka was also involved in Cohen’s efforts. And a separate source familiar with the investigation told Yahoo News that Mueller has asked questions about Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on Trump Tower Moscow.

Mueller’s charging documents against Cohen included a line that described the Trump family’s involvement in the project. According to Mueller, one of the things Cohen lied about was that he “briefed family members” of Trump’s who worked at the Trump Organization about the proposed Moscow skyscraper. Prior to joining the White House, Ivanka was an executive at the company. Don Jr. and Trump’s middle son, Eric, remain with the Trump Organization.

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment on this story. Cohen and his attorney, Guy Petrillo, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did lawyers representing the president.

A source familiar with the Trump Organization confirmed to Yahoo News that Ivanka and Don Jr. engaged in separate efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The source said these efforts began “years earlier” than Cohen’s project and concluded in 2013.

“They were not looking at any other deals after that,” the source said.

The source also confirmed that both Ivanka and Don Jr. were aware of Cohen’s attempts to build in Moscow. According to the source, Ivanka’s role was limited to recommending an architect and Don Jr. was only “peripherally” aware of the plan.

“Michael was looking at that deal. Don and Ivanka knew about it and Don testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was peripherally aware of it,” the source said, adding, “That’s why we’re so perplexed Cohen would lie about briefing them because no one’s ever disputed that they knew he was looking at it.”

Don Trump Jr. did not respond to a request for comment on this story. An attorney for Ivanka Trump declined to comment on record.

Just prior to his inauguration, Trump vowed his family’s real estate company would do no new deals abroad while he was in office. It would not be illegal for the Trump Organization to have conducted business in Russia prior to that point, and Mueller inquiring about Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on Trump Tower Moscow does not mean they are targets of his investigation. The source familiar with the Trump Organization said the pair were not aware of any work Cohen did on the project beyond the period he initially described to congressional investigators.

“There’s no question they knew about it, but they had no knowledge of any work on the project after January 2016,” the source said.

The Trump Organization’s dealings in Moscow have attracted added attention due to the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump. The president has repeatedly denied he colluded with Russia and has called Mueller’s probe a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Messages obtained by the government show Cohen reached out to Putin’s office for help as he pursued the Moscow project. He initially said the Russian government did not respond to his overtures, but Mueller’s charging documents said Cohen did receive a response from Putin’s government.

“On or about January 20, 2016, COHEN received an email from the personal assistant to Russian Official 1 (“Assistant 1”), stating that she had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided,” Mueller wrote.

According to Mueller, Cohen and the official’s assistant spoke for “approximately 20 minutes” and he “requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction.” Mueller said Felix Sater, a developer who was working on the project with Cohen, subsequently followed up.

Sater is a Russian-born, longtime business associate of Trump’s who first met Cohen while they were both in high school. During the mid 2000’s, Sater, worked with Trump’s real estate company to build hotels in Florida and New York. He also discussed potential projects in Russia with Trump’s company during that period. As part of his deal to build Trump-branded properties, Sater had an office in the Trump Organization’s Manhattan headquarters and a company business card. Sater was convicted on charges related to a stock fraud scheme orchestrated by Russian organized crime figures in 1998. He then became a federal informant who spent years providing crucial information to the government about mobsters and terrorists.

Sater declined to comment on this story beyond saying his work to build a Trump Tower in Moscow began in 2003.

Correspondence provided by Sater to government investigators that was obtained by Buzzfeed showed he reached out to Cohen in May 2016 and said Putin’s top spokesman Dmitry Peskov wanted to invite him to attend an economic forum in St. Petersburg the following month. Sater said Peskov wanted to talk with Cohen there and “possibly introduce” him to Putin. Peskov was the same official who Cohen emailed in January 2016. According to Mueller’s charging documents, Cohen eventually told Sater he couldn’t make the trip to Russia “on or about June 14, 2016,” right as Trump was on the way to securing the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump never managed to build a skyscraper in Russia, but he has tried for the better part of three decades. His first attempt came in 1987when he traveled to the former Soviet Union to examine possible building sites. According to Buzzfeed, Trump’s company announced another “exploratory trip” in 1996 and that he had his eye on an abandoned factory in the country in 2005.

Reports have previously emerged detailing Ivanka and Don Jr.’s involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow efforts.. The Buzzfeed report revealed Sater accompanied the two Trump children to Moscow in 2006. A source told Yahoo News that, while there, the pair held meetings about the project separately from Sater. “ The book Russian Roulette, which was written by Yahoo News chief investigative correspondent Mike Isikoff and David Corn, detailed a 2013 effort that involved the Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov and his son Emin. According to the book, Don Jr. was “in charge” of that project and Ivanka “flew to Russia and scouted sites with Emin.” The Agalarovs helped Trump host his Miss Universe pageant in Russia in 2013 and helped arrange the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. The Trump Organization registered the web address in December 2012. A source familiar with the deal said this was in conjunction with the work being done with Agalarovs.

Trump tweeted at Aras Agalarov about the deal on Nov. 11, 2013, two days after the pageant. He expressed optimism they would get the skyscraper built together.

“I had a great weekend with you and your family,” Trump wrote, adding, You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”
Go Mueller go ,  show the Orange Monkey you are the new 'SHERIFF' in town ......hey Don Jr. what you smell  your  daddy farts ?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Weak Kneed Trump Invites Russian Aggression

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia on Monday of taking “outlaw actions” against Ukrainian ships in an incident at sea this weekend and vowed that sanctions punishing Russia’s annexation of Crimea would continue.
Speaking at an emergency meeting of the Security Council called by both Russia and Ukraine, Haley said the United States would welcome a normal relationship with Russia.
“But outlaw actions like this one continue to make that impossible,” she said. “The United States will maintain its Crimea-related sanctions against Russia. Indeed, further Russian escalation of this kind will only make matters worse.”
“The United States expresses its deep concern over the incident in the Black Sea that occurred November 25 as Ukrainian vessels attempted to transit through the Kerch Strait,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, using a formulation routinely mocked by Republicans when President Barack Obama’s administration used it. “Reports that Russian vessels rammed and fired on the Ukrainian ships, injuring Ukrainian crewmen, before seizing three vessels, represent a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law.”
The statement continued: “The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.”
While urging both countries to resolve the dispute (which was begun entirely by Russia), Pompeo concluded: “The United States supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters, as well as the right of its vessels to traverse international waters. As stated in our Crimea Declaration, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea.”
Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to take these rhetorical flourishes very seriously. The dog that didn’t bark — Trump — suggests the president remains unable, for whatever reason, to personally
and directly rebuke Russia. (“We do not like what’s happening, either way,” as Trump put it, isn’t going to suffice.)
Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, made that precise point in a blistering written statement:
The Kremlin must immediately return the seized Ukrainian vessels and cease any future actions that threaten the freedom of passage through the Kerch Strait. [Sunday’s] events show that the Kremlin remains sharply intent on weakening Ukraine’s security and democratic trajectory. . . .
At this precarious time, the U.S. cannot afford a weak performance by President Trump at the G20, like we saw in Helsinki.  Mr. President, this is your opportunity to finally show American leadership in defense of our principles and our close allies across Europe.
Menendez urged his colleagues to pass the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which would authorize additional sanctions and support for the United States’ NATO allies.
Trump came into office decrying U.S. weakness in the world and the lack of respect from foes. He has now doubled down on the very sort of behavior Republicans used to criticize — picking fights with allies, kowtowing to aggressors and demonstrating disdain for international leadership.
In the case of Russia, Trump’s peculiar submissiveness seems to have only emboldened Putin. “The President of the United States is almost certainly compromised by Russia. Since he entered political life, Trump has been submissive to Putin even though it hurts him politically,” says Max Bergmann, the director of the Moscow Project for the Center for American Progress. “If Trump took a strong stance toward Russia, it would contradict the narrative that he’s in Putin’s pocket. The fact that won’t dare do so tells you everything you need to know: He’s in Putin pocket.”
Others point to the example both Trump and Obama set with regard to China. Former ambassador Eric Edelman said the lesson that powers have learned is that aggression of the sort China has undertaken in the South China Sea pays off. Beginning in about 2010, when “the Chinese began to believe that the U.S. was in decline after the Great Recession,” Edelman recounted. That, “coupled with the sense that China was a rising power, led to a marked increase in aggressive behavior by the [People’s Republic of China].  Edelman added that “Trump, of course, has reinforced many of the same themes as Obama (‘nation-building at home,’ ‘stupid endless wars in the Middle East,’ etc.).”
If Putin is adhering to the axiom attributed to Lenin — “Probe with bayonets. If you encounter mush, proceed; if you encounter steel, withdraw” — then he is finding mush. He has no reason to turn back.
Whether you believe Trump is compromised, or is simply weak and ineffective in restraining aggressive powers, we are not “winning” yet. Democrats would be wise to seize the initiative, pass legislation to enact a price for Russian misbehavior and run in 2020 on a platform of strong U.S. leadership in the world based on democratic values. We need at least one party consistently committed to defending our interests and our values.
Thanx to Jennifer Rubin and the POST