Category: Donald Trump Jr.

July 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be testifying for their investigation into Russian meddling and alleged collusion. They indicated that the public testimony would take place the following Wednesday.

The president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the meeting, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday, two days before Trump Jr. and Manafort’s testimony.

Trump Jr. has been at the center of a political firestorm around a June 2016 meeting days after his father, then-candidate Trump, clinched the Republican nomination. In a series of stories by the New York Times, it was revealed that Trump Jr. attended the meeting in hopes of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Later he released emails about the meeting showing that he was told the information would be a part of the Russian government’s effort to help Trump win the election.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” wrote a publicist organizing the meeting in an email to Trump.

“If it what’s you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied. Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said these were the “fatal words” that provided evidence of campaign officials seeking to collude with the Russian government.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer that met with Trump Jr., told RT News that she was ready and eager to testify before Congress as well.

“If the Senate wants to hear the real, true story, I, with great readiness, will tell them everything I wanted to tell Mr. Trump (Jr.) and what I wanted to say in Congress last year,” she said.

“Absolutely everything I know about in what ways huge millions of money came into my country, Russia, and returned as billions.” she added, “And there were no taxes paid.”

The president has recently been batting down more accusations about meetings with Russians. It was reported that after a formal dinner at the G20 economic summit, President Trump sought out Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and had a brief, “nearly hour long” meeting with him. Trump called the reporting of the meeting “sick” and “dishonest.”

US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had another, undisclosed conversation at this month's G20.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails, Trump Jr. meeting with Russians

July 17th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In an interview on Sunday with Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledged it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for Democrats to receive any assistance from the Ukrainian government, but he suggested the alleged scandal involving Donald Trump Jr. and people claiming to have damaging information given by the Russian government is much worse.

In January, Politico published an investigative story connecting Ukrainian government officials to a Democrat operative. The operative allegedly used information passed from the Ukrainian government to help Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign in their fight against Donald Trump, who the Ukrainians believed to be too friendly with the Russian government.

According to Politico’s report, which Karl read from before asking Schiff a question about the event, “a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in this race, helping force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that the Trump campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”

“I understand Hillary Clinton lost,” Karl said to Schiff, “and I understand this effort was not as elaborate as the Russian effort, but was it acceptable, or would it have been acceptable for the Democrats to accept help from the Ukrainian government in this campaign?”

“No, it would be appropriate for the Democrats to get help from the Ukrainian government,” replied Schiff. “But I think if you look at the Politico article, and we’re talking about just a single article here, if you accept all the facts in the article, the scale of what the Russians did is not comparable to anything in that article.”

“If it were, the comparable analogy would be that the Ukrainian president directed the Ukrainian intelligence agencies to steal, to hack, Donald Trump’s campaign, steal e-mails, publish them, directed a social media army to influence the election, and sat down — its representatives sat down with Chelsea Clinton and John Podesta in which they indicated they wanted the dirt op Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “There’s no suggestion anything of that magnitude [inaudible].”

“The scale is different. … But the meeting is problematic? This Ukrainian meeting is problematic, in your eyes?” Karl asked.

“Well, it would be problematic to get any kind of support from a foreign government,” Schiff said. “But, again, I think to compare the two is like a bit like comparing bank robbery with writing a check with insufficient funds. Both appropriate money from the bank improperly, but a very different degree of seriousness and involvement in the case by a foreign government.”

As the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff has been one of the Trump administration’s staunchest critics and most skeptical opponents, especially on the issue of possible Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Schiff’s comments came just days after a new report revealed at least eight people were present at the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer claiming to have Kremlin-linked damaging knowledge about Hillary Clinton, information Trump Jr. failed to disclose in previous statements about the controversial meeting. NBC News also reported on Friday one of the attendees at the meeting was a former Soviet counterintelligence officer.

President Donald Trump and Trump Jr. have both denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the importance of these reports. On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter, “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”

HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017

Posted in ABC News, Adam Schiff, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russia, Russia Collusion

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Shepard Smith blew up at the Trump administration during his show when another revelation about the Russian meeting in June 2016 broke into the headlines, apparently contradicting Donald Trump Jr.’s that the whole story was out. He made the comments Friday on Fox News while speaking with Chris Wallace.

“The emails, well in fact, this was supposed to be,” Wallace said, “and what the Trump folks took the meeting to accomplish was the Russian government trying to give information about Hillary Clinton as part of an effort to swing the election to Donald Trump. So, you know you’re exactly right, we’ve been told a variety of stories. We’ve gotten – and who knows if we’ve even gotten to the end of the story, we’ve only got to the end of the story with the emails.”

“I know that we haven’t,” Smith said, “I know that we haven’t because there’s news breaking at this moment, Chris.”

“Fox News can now confirm,” Smith said dramatically turning to the camera. “New, more, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, the lawyer from Russia, the interpreter, this new guy we found about today, and a mystery person. John Roberts confirms there was an eighth person in that meeting.”

“We don’t know there may have been more but there was an eighth,” he added.

“Jared Kushner filled out his form, I think it’s an F-86,” Smith explained, “saying who he had met with and what he’d done. Very important stuff, you can go to prison for messing it up, y’know, intentionally.”

“He went back and added one hundred names and places,” he continued. “None of these people made it. They – we’re still not clean on this, Chris, if there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us, they tell us there’s nothing to this, nothing came of it, there’s a nothing-burger, it wasn’t memorable, didn’t write it down, didn’t tell ya about it because it wasn’t anything so I didn’t even remember it!”

“With a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower,” he added sarcastically.

“If all of that, why all these lies?” Smith demanded. “Why is it lie after lie after lie? If you’re clean, come on clean! Y’know?”

“My grandmother used to say, ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,’” he said, paraphrasing a Shakespeare verse.

“The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling!” He exclaimed. “And there are still people out there who believe we’re making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not, and look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all these lies.”

“You know, I don’t know what to say,” Wallace responded, almost speechless. I think there’s a lot of truth to everything that you’ve said.”

On Friday it was discovered that the meeting in June 2016 with Trump Jr. and other Trump associates with a Russian lawyer also included a Russian-born lobbyist who is said to have had counter-intelligence experience in Russia, and two unidentified persons. Critics have taken this to show that Trump Jr. had not being completely upfront about all the details of the controversial meeting.

President Trump said that he was proud of the transparency of his son for divulging the emails about the meeting.

CBS4's John Dickerson Reports

Posted in Chris Wallace, Donald Trump Jr., Fox News, Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In yet another surprise development in the ongoing saga over a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June during the election, it appears as if there at least eight persons present that has not been identified yet.

A report Friday afternoon revealed two more people attended than were known previously.

This is in addition to the revelation Friday morning that in attendance was also a lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. He previously served as a Soviet counter-intelligence officer served in the Soviet military and was accused of hacking into the files of a Russian mining company in 2015. He denied those allegations in court.

This means that the meeting was attended by at least eight people: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, publicist Rob Goldstone, lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a representative for the Agalarov family, and a translator.

This doesn’t contradict what Donald Trump Jr. said about the meeting, but adds more elements that he seems to have omitted, even as he says he was being completely transparent about the controversial event.

Trump Jr. and his allies say that the meeting was so unimportant that he simply didn’t think it was worth mentioning after it was completed. “It was such a nothing, I literally wouldn’t have remembered it,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News Tuesday. 

He claimed that that nothing came of the meeting, no information was exchanged, and that the story was completely out.

“This is everything,” Trump Jr. said, “this is everything.”

People in June 6, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. https://t.co/i9s177eYb7 pic.twitter.com/lT0V70Qqzk

— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 14, 2017

Critics of the president have used the previously-undisclosed meeting as evidence of the theory that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to tilt the election to President Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.

Others like conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the meeting unethical and problematic for the Trump administration, even if it was not strictly illegal.

A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's son, marking another shift in the account of a discussion that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help Trump's campaign. (July 14)

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Sean Hannity Trump Jr, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 14th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dismissed a new conspiracy theory that the Obama administration allowed into the country a Russian lawyer to set up Donald Trump Jr. for collusion. He made the comments on Fox News Thursday.

“Well I’m not impressed by the story about the lawyer,” he said, “I think it’s a red herring the size of a whale. She was a pawn. It doesn’t change the central fact in the scandal.”

“The scandal is that the email received from an intermediary by Donald Trump Jr. said that a Russian government lawyer, the president is wrong it was not a lawyer, a Russian government lawyer, would be coming with dirt on Hillary,” he added, “and that the Kremlin was supporting his campaign, and that the crown prosecutor, that’s a misnomer, the state prosecutor in the Kremlin had a trove of documents that they would offer.”

“That’s the story,” he said emphatically.

“I don’t think it’s illegal,” he continued, “I don’t think anybody’s claiming that it’s illegal, but it does, the one thing it does, it totally undermines a six month story from the White House, to which I was sympathetic, that there wasn’t any collusion.”

“This was a bungled collusion,” he explained. “This was amateurish collusion, this was Keystone Cops collusion, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was attempted collusion.”

“And it undoes the White House story completely,” he concluded.

Krauthammer continued later, “Well there’s one salient fact here. Hillary is a private citizen. She lost the election. All of this could be true – if people want to go after her to put her in jail.”

“Lock her up,” he said, apparently referring to the Trump campaign chant. “OK, I have no objection whatsoever.”

“The fact is that the president is Mr. Trump,” he added. “And this is an accusation that’s been made against him. His own nomination for the FBI [director], has said that what Donald Trump Jr. did, what the campaign did, essentially, the top three officials in the campaign, was something that was wrong and they should instead have called the authorities. That’s the salient fact.”

Baier pressed him on where the crime was, and Krauthammer reiterated that he didn’t think there was a crime, but that there was six months of deception from the Trump campaign.

“I’m willing to concede that it’s not a criminal act, but it’s certainly an unethical act,” he concluded.

Some defenders of the president have latched onto details about Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., to imply that she was part of an effort by the Obama administration to entrap the president’s son. The New York Times revelations about the meeting has led to Special Counsel Mueller expanding his investigation into Russian collusion to include Trump Jr’s emails.

Watchdogs to DOJ: Trump Jr. meeting broke campaign finance laws

Posted in Charles Krauthammer, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Natalia Veselnitskaya is at the center of the political firestorm around the meeting in 2016 that Democrats are claiming as proof of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. The Russian lawyer was characterized as an agent of the Russian government’s effort to defeat Hillary, though she denies the connection.

Now questions are arising about how she was in the country in the first place to get that meeting.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, Veselnitskaya didn’t appear to have visa authorization to enter the country when she did in 2016.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said that Veselnitskaya had been granted an “immigration parole” in 2015, but it expired in early 2016 and wasn’t renewed.

The State Department would not confirm or deny whether Veselnitskaya applied again for a visa in 2016, let alone if a visa was granted. A spokesperson told The Daily Beast the State Department could not comment due to privacy considerations. Veselnitskaya also did not respond to requests for comment.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding answers from the State Department on the issue. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he wrote, “It is unclear how [Veselnitskaya] was still in the country for that meeting despite being denied a visa beforehand and her parole purportedly expiring on January 7, 2016.”

“This raises serious questions about whether the Obama administration authorized her to remain in the country, and if so, why?” he asked.

Some have speculated that the Obama administration had something to do with allowing her in the country, fueling a conspiracy theory that the entire meeting was orchestrated to set up Donald Trump Jr.

Natalia Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016. Her name has not officially been linked to the Kremlin or any pro-Kremlin party or organization.  Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dimitry Peskov said the Kremlin has never even heard her name before. Veselnitskaya rose to power when she defended Denis Kastyv, a Russian businesses man who was accused of money laundering in the U.S. The case was resolved in New York in May for $6 million, only days before it was set to go to trial.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Fox News’ Shepard Smith registered his astonishment with how some people are defending what appears to be meddling by the Russians in our elections. He made the comments on his show Wednesday.

“The [New York] Times reports that the president’s son was told the paper is going to print these things,” he explained, “we’re going to print the emails. And he tweeted copies of the emails instead of replying to requests for content.”

“This was not being transparent,” Smith claimed, “this was the New York Times is gonna publish this, I’m gonna publish it instead.”

“Then there’s the president’s claim that the Russia investigation is a ‘witch hunt.’ Fox News can confirm it is not,” he said. “Current and former U.S. officials say there is absolutely no doubt that Russia interfered in our election, put its thumbs on the scales of Democracy.”

“And that Vladimir Putin ordered the thumbs!” he exclaimed. “And all the meddling, lots if different kinds of meddling!”

“Attempting to change our Democracy from Moscow!” he continued. “And some people seem to think it’s OK.”

“It’s astounding!” he concluded.

Smith was referring to the recent reports from the New York Times detailing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner with a Russian lawyer just after then-candidate Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump Jr. revealed emails that showed he was receptive to receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

Shep Smith: “it’s astounding” that anyone is trying to argue Russian meddling in American elections isn’t a massive deal pic.twitter.com/Cu5ofjEEYZ

— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) July 12, 2017

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said that he was disturbed by the details in the emails disclosed by Donald Trump Jr., and not so much about what actually happened at the meeting. He made the comments to Martha MacCallum on Fox News Tuesday.

“So in terms of this Donald Trump Jr. story that’s out there today, are you troubled by any of it,” asked MacCallum.

“Yeah I’m troubled on three levels,” Gowdy replied. “Number one, the legal level, but I think that’s Bob Mueller’s lane. The political level, Martha, here we are beginning another week, this one in July with a new revelation about Russia.”

“And the third, which is more of a medical issue,” he joked, “is the amnesia of the people that are in the Trump orbit.”

“Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the time you saw Doctor Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris,” he exclaimed, “you list every single one of those and we’re gonna turn them over to the special counsel.”

“Because this drip drip drip is undermining the credibility of this administration,” he concluded.

“Well, you may be right about that,” MacCallum answered. “In terms of the Magnitsky Act, which is basically is a U.S. act that went through Congress, that limits friends of Vladimir Putin, close associates, from things they like to do, like travelling to the United States, travelling throughout other areas in the world, because it’s a slap on the wrist for human rights violations.”

“Selective, in terms of who it impacts,” she explained, “it also, so their punishment, the Russian government’s punishment was to say we’re gonna end all these adoptions that are happening to the United States, and a few other things that they did.”

“Are you concerned that there was an effort to influence this campaign with regard to changing that,” she asked, “or to find a sympathetic ear on that?”

“I’m not nearly as concerned with that,” Gowdy responded, “I’m much more concerned with the purported reason of the meeting as opposed to the real reason. The purported reason was for an agent of a foreign power to try to influence our election. That concerns me more than someone trying to sit down with a member of perhaps an incoming administation to lobby for a policy change.”

“I’m much more concerned with the words of the actual email than the real reason she wanted to meet,” he said.

“Which words in the email disturb you?” MacCallum asked.

“Russian governments’ efforts to help the Trump campaign, official documents,” he answered.

The bombshell stories in the New York Times led to Donald Trump Jr. disclosing emails he had received that indicated he could obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government before the election.

Donald Jr. released what he calls the full exchange that shows him discussing plans to hear information that could damage Hillary Clinton's reputation.

Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Trey Gowdy, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 12th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Sources told CNN Tuesday that Special Counsel Mueller will expand his investigation to included the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer that was revealed by the New York Times.

The New York Times reported on the meeting on Saturday, after which Trump Jr. released a statement saying simply that they had talked about adoption services. When more details became available, Trump Jr. expanded his statement and admitted that he had gone to the meeting hoping to receive emails hacked from Hillary Clinton, but was misled to talk about adoption instead.

After Monday evening’s bombshell that the New York Times knew of an email proving Trump Jr. was told the meeting was behalf of the Russian government’s effort to defeat Hillary in favor of Trump. This forced Trump Jr. to release the emails publicly on his Twitter account Tuesday.

“The investigators working for Robert Mueller are now planning to investigate the meeting and exchanges,” CNN’s Manu Raju told Wolf Blitzer, “the email exchanges that Donald Trump Jr. today disclosed publicly.”

“The full details of the meeting and the interactions were not known to the FBI,” he explained. “The FBI has been looking at this, as you know, for about a year. But they didn’t know all of these interactions, at least, I’m told, until recently.”

“What’s happened more recently is that Jared Kushner the president’s son-in-law has amended his SF-86 form,” he added. “This is the form that he submitted to get a permanent security clearance from the FBI. As part of that process, Jared Kushner disclosed this meeting because he attended it, as you know, with Paul Manafort, the then-chairman of the campaign, as well as Don Junior.”

BREAKING: Robert Mueller’s investigators plan to examine the meeting and emails Donald Trump Jr. disclosed https://t.co/hllBAhlYoc pic.twitter.com/DhxKlxFsnj

— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) July 11, 2017

“It should be noted that the FBI has, in the past year, taken a look at Don Jr’s finances, his associations, as part of the broader look at whether or not there was any collusion or whether or not there’s any ties to Russia that crossed over into criminal territory,” Raju added.

Although Trump Jr. had vehemently denied any level of Russian collusion from the Trump campaign, an email he released from publicist Rob Goldstone said the meeting was about information from “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” However, defenders of the president’s son note that according to his account, no such information was actually exchanged.

More is being learned about the man who wrote those explosive emails to Donald Trump Jr. in an alleged effort to give him dirt on Hillary Clinton during last year's campaign. Rob Goldstone is a British publicist with ties to Russia. In June 2016, he wrote to Donald Jr., offering documents that

Posted in Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, President Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Trump, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails

July 11th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Critics of President Trump and his administration spread an anonymously sourced New York Times report Monday that claimed Donald Trump Jr. was told the damaging information he was seeking on Hillary Clinton was from the Russian government.

MSNBC host Chris L. Hayes responded to the story, “This is smoking gun evidence of collusion, right?”

This is smoking gun evidence of collusion, right? https://t.co/KraYNekLyb

— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) July 11, 2017

“Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton,” the New York Times report read, “Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.”

The email was from publicist Rob Goldstone, according to the report, and made it clear that the information would be from an effort from the Russian government to aid Trump’s campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton.

However, the New York Times admits in their report that the email does not refer to the hacking of the DNC, which many believe was orchestrated by covert Russian government agents.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails,” it read.

In response to the first New York Times report published Saturday, Trump Jr. released a statement saying that they had spoken about adoption during the meeting. Then later, he admitted in a longer statement that he had gone to the meeting in hopes of receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

“I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign,” Trump Jr. said. “I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance.”

‘We had a meeting in June 2016,” he continued. “After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered.”

“It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information,” he continued. “She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act. It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”

Trump Jr. said Monday that he would be willing to be questioned about the matter by the Senate Intelligence Committee after Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) called for the committee to interview him.

Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know. https://t.co/tL47NOoteM

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. reportedly hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in ongoing Russia-related investigations concerning his father's presidential administration. Trump Jr. has faced scrutiny since it was revealed by The New York Times that he met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 after reportedly being promised damaging information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He then admitted to the meeting with the lawyer, who allegedly has ties to the Kremlin, after previously denying it. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, has since called on Trump Jr. to testify before the panel.

Posted in Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., New York Times, Politics, Russian collusion, Russian interference, The New York Times, Trump

July 11th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly said there didn’t seem to be much to the story detailing a meeting between a Russian lawyer and members of the Trump campaign before the election, but said that Trump Jr. should have revealed the meeting sooner.

“So the story is that Donald Trump Jr. and his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort who for a short
time managed the trump campaign,” O’Reilly explained in a video at his website, “met with a Russian attorney who knows people in the Kremlin shortly after the Indiana primary, which pretty much sewed everything up for Trump as the Republican nominee.”

“Now the story is interesting,” he added. “It’s interesting, is it any more than that? No, not at this point.”

“But if you look at CNN and MSNBC,” he said, mocking the liberal channels, “Oh Russian collusion! All of that. OK fine.”

“You knew they were gonna do it,” he continued, apparently addressing Donald Trump Jr. “You knew the reason the New York Times dropped it when Trump came back was thinking of another news cycle here, they could resume the Russian collusion narrative. That’s what’s in play. Keep it going, keep it alive.”

“Now, I don’t know what happened,” O’Reilly added. “Trump Jr. says he met with the woman because she had, she said she had some kind of dirt on Hillary Clinton. And so they met with her, and she didn’t have anything and they talked Russian adoption for 20 minutes, and everybody split.”

“OK, did that happen?” he asked rhetorically. “Is that true? I have no blankin’ idea. That’s what Trump Jr. says.”

“He shoulda said it three months ago!” he loudly exclaimed. “You know, get it all out! Any Russian restaurant. Any Russian movie. Anything! Get it out!!”

The New York Times story exposing the meeting was published Sunday, with some Trump critics responding by accusing Trump Jr. of committing treason. Trump Jr. has since hired additional legal counsel to defend himself, and denied all the accusations, saying he was merely looking into opposition research, something many campaigns do.

Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen. https://t.co/ccUjL1KDEa

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017

The meeting was revealed when Kushner revised his declarations on a form to obtain security clearance. He had previously not disclosed the meeting with the Russian lawyer, in addition to other meetings he added in the revision.

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. reportedly hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in ongoing Russia-related investigations concerning his father's presidential administration. Trump Jr. has faced scrutiny since it was revealed by The New York Times that he met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 after reportedly being promised damaging information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He then admitted to the meeting with the lawyer, who allegedly has ties to the Kremlin, after previously denying it. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, has since called on Trump Jr. to testify before the panel.

Posted in Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Politics, Russia Collusion, Russian interference, Russian investigation

July 8th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A body language expert told the BBC what she thought of the interactions between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin during their highly anticipated meeting Friday.

Mary Civiello gave her assessment of three different signals that the world leaders gave during their highly anticipated meeting.

“You get the feeling that they’re both very self-confident, alpha males, but their body language [is] very very different,” Civiello said.

“Very interesting right from the get-go,” she added. “Look very carefully at that handshake, something that Trump has paid a lot of attention to.”

“They had an equal handshake,” she explained, “it wasn’t one on top or dominant than the other. But what was interesting is that Trump then got a leg up by putting an arm under Putin. That’s a dominant move.”

“If you’re meeting somebody that you’re a little cowed by,” she continued, “or you’re a little unsure of yourself with, you would never add an extra reach or touch under their arm. And then he doubled down on that move when they were side by side and Trump puts his arm on Putin’s back. Again, a dominant move.”

“The first thing I noticed when they were seated in those chairs was that Trump was far more comfortable than Putin,” Civiello said. “Putin of course is much shorter than Trump and he’s smaller in that chair. So it appeared that Putin was trying to compensate by putting his arms akimbo on the sides of the chair.”

“Trump, forget that!” she exclaimed. “He leans forward with his arms on his knees, very much kind of a macho move. And then if you’ll notice his hands were kind of in a steeple position.”

“Whereas if you go back with Putin,” she added, “at one point [he’s] kinda ringing one finger then ringing another finger. Again, this looks like an unsure or nervous body position.”

“When Trump talks or addresses the crowd, complete eye contact,” she explained, “when he looked over at Putin, eye contact with him.”

“Putin on the other hand, not great eye contact at all, looking down most of the time, and then glancing up at the end,” she concluded. “It gives us the feeling that he either doesn’t really want to be there, perhaps he is nervous or sees this as kinda useless, and he can’t wait to get in the back room.”

The meeting between the two global leaders came occurred during the G-20 economic summit on Friday. The White House indicated that Trump brought up the subject of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, while the Kremlin claimed that the president accepted Putin’s insistence that there was no interference, contradicting his account.

John Dickerson reports.

Posted in Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Trump, Vladimir Putin

July 2nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

MSNBC host Chris Matthews came under fire this week after he seemingly appeared to approve of White House adviser Jared Kushner, also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, being assassinated.

During a discussion on his show Thursday, Matthews made clear his disdain for nepotism and the dangers he believes it poses to democracy. But during his remarks, he appeared to approve of assassination as a way to rid a government of the threat that nepotism has.

“So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law. I mean, I’m talking about Ciano,” Matthews said on his show.

Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter. He serves as a senior adviser to the president and is focused on foreign policy issues.

But apparently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is growing tired of the influence that Kushner yields in the West Wing. That is why Matthews was discussing the apparent nepotism on Thursday.

However, according to a list of salaries in the West Wing, Kushner, who was already a multi-millionaire before coming to the White House, doesn’t take a salary as an adviser of the president, one of only three White House staffers to do so. His wife is one of the other three. So the claims of nepotism may be unfounded, since Kushner is not financially benefiting from his White House job.

Still, given the shape of political rhetoric in America right now, Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s first child and brother-in-law to Kushner, just couldn’t let Matthews away with those comments.

After all, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was nearly killed last month after a devout liberal opened fire on a group of congressional Republicans practicing for the annual congressional baseball game. Most attributed the shooter’s extreme liberal politics as the motive for the crime.

That’s why Trump Jr. didn’t quite understand why more weren’t outraged about Matthews’ comments.

“Given this week’s ‘outrage’ I’m trying to figure out why this is ok & no one has a problem with it? LMK Thanks,” Trump Jr. wrote.

Then Trump Jr. answered his own question.

“Hint: lib double standard,” he explained.

Given this week’s “outrage” I’m trying to figure out why this is ok & no one has a problem with it? LMK Thanks.
Hint: lib double standard https://t.co/Y3lFH7vRhn

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 30, 2017

Posted in Chris Matthews, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, MSNBC, Politics, Twitter

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