Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Donald Trump and his Antipodean shadow


US President Donald J Trump (left) & sycophantic Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrision (right)

It is hard to tell which man is the bigger fool.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

USA 2019: crazy continues to be the order of the day (Part Two)


On 8 January 2019 the current President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim announced he would be stepping down on 1 February this year.

US President Donald Trump appears to be considering his daughter for appointment as the new bank president. 

A position which has an after tax salary package of est. US$878,391 plus per year. The package contains a supplemental allowance of $89,600 to cover expenses. As a U.S. citizen, the president receives a tax allowance to cover the estimated taxes on salary and benefits. In addition to a pension, the president receives a supplemental retirement benefit equal to 5 percent of annual salary.

Financial Review, 16 January 2018:

Ivanka Trump is on a list of potential successors to Jim Yong Kim, who unexpectedly quit this past week as president of the World Bank, the Financial Times reported.

Other people being considered for the role include David Malpass, a current top US Treasury official on international affairs, Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the UN and Mark Green, head of the US Agency for International Development, the FT reported.

Mr Kim is stepping down after six years at the helm of the Washington-based bank. 

He was nominated for both a first and second term by President Barack Obama. He is leaving to take a job at investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners.



Kristalina Georgieva, who has been chief executive at the bank since 2017, will serve as interim president until a successor for Mr Kim is named.

President Donald Trump however, will wield strong influence in choosing Mr Kim's successor, according to Reuters, as the US holds a controlling share of the World Bank's voting rights. The bank president has traditionally been an American chosen by the US administration……

Ivanka Trump is an advisor to her father on job creation and economic empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship. She's married to Jared Kushner, also an advisor to President Donald Trump.

Ivanka Trump is seriously being considered for the position of president of a bank which awards major contracts around the world worth billions of dollars annually?

The same Ivanka Trump with this background…..


In December 2018 it was announced that the Trump Foundation would be dissolved under supervision of the Manhattan Supreme Court and its remaining funds would be dispersed among reputable charities. The court case continues.



 By December 2017 it was being reported by GQ magazine that: Thanks to an overlooked filing made in federal court this past summer, we can now add a jewelry business to the list of Trump family enterprises that allegedly served as vehicles to fraudulently hide the assets of ultra-rich foreigners with checkered backgrounds. In late June, the Commercial Bank of Dubai sought—and later received—permission to subpoena Ivanka Trump’s now-defunct fine jewelry line, claiming its diamonds were used in a massive scheme to hide roughly $100 million that was owed to the bank, according to filings at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Saturday, 12 January 2019

Quote of the Week



"So therein lies what’s like your classic Catch-22 situation where we’re at a -- it puts us in such a tough spot. If Sessions won’t un-recuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones, which is really the danger. That’s why I keep -- and thank you for saying it by the way -- I mean, we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away." [Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California on the need for the Republican Party to protect Donald Trump from the DOJ-FBI Russia investigation, quoted in The Intellectualist, 9 August 2018] 


Sunday, 6 January 2019

USA 2019: crazy continues to be the order of the day


SPIN, 2 January 2019:

CREDIT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


 President Trump delivered a harsh post-holiday awakening at his first cabinet meeting of 2019, holding forth for a nearly two-hour freestyle press conference in the presence of reporters.

In what amounted to a barely coherent filibuster, Trump dragged his former secretary of defense, chalked recent stock market turbulence up to a “glitch,”gave a shoutout to Kanye West, and mused that he might have made a good general himself. Most of the time, he sounded like a guy at a bus station arguing with pigeons. Behind him, ex-Fox News exec turned head of the White House press shop Bill Shine shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

In spite of his best efforts, Trump was nearly upstaged by a parody poster of himself as a Game of Thrones character with the text “Sanctions are coming.” The president initially shared the parody image on his Twitter feed in November, apparently signaling his intention to impose sanctions on Iran. On Wednesday afternoon, an actual, physical, movie-theater-sized version of the poster was laid out on the table in front of the president facing the press pool.

When the image first appeared in November, HBO issued a statement that they would “prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.” An HBO rep told Spin the network has no additional comment.

Trump didn’t address why the poster was so prominently positioned, but he did extol the virtues of a Southern border wall while posing with appropriated imagery from a dragon soap opera that vehemently undermines that premise. “Walls work,” he told reporters. Trump is currently holding out for wall funding amid an ongoing government shutdown, leaving some 800,000 federal employees currently without pay.

Monday, 24 December 2018

A letter foreshadowing a politically unstable world in 2019


In the early hours of 20 December an increasingly unstable US President Donald J. Trump without consulting his own government tweeted; We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.

He followed that some some nine hours later with a series of tweets as a surprised world began to react.

Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild. #MAGA


Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight.....

....Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!

Trump's own Secretary of Defense, former General commanding United States General Command James Norman Mattis, resigned within hours.......

Secretary of Defence
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301.1000

December 20 2018

Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions - to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability Within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

James N. Mattis


Two days later it was reported that Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett H. McGurk had also resigned in protest.


Sunday, 23 December 2018

US President Donald Trump ends 2018 as he began it....



HuffPost, 18 December 2018:

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump, clad in a golf shirt and golf hat under a warm South Florida sun, hitting a drive off the tee while Secret Service agents protecting him are forced to work without paychecks, possibly for weeks, because Congress wouldn’t pay for Trump’s “Great Wall.”

Such is the nightmare public relations scenario facing the White House less than a week before the Department of Homeland Security and other key government agencies run out of money at midnight Friday while Trump is scheduled to fly that day to his Mar-a-Lago resort for a 16-day vacation.

The U.S. Secret Service is among the half-dozen agencies in the quarter-million-employee DHS, which also includes the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration. Other major agencies facing a shutdown include the departments of state, treasury and interior. Many of the affected employees would be deemed essential and be forced to work anyway. None would be paid during the shutdown and would have to get by on savings or short-term loans.

Rick Tyler, a former aide to the man who engineered the last extended government shutdown in 2013, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, said that Trump will cave in the days to come.

“The only leverage in shutting down the government is who gets the blame for it. And he’s already taken the blame for it,” Tyler said, predicting that Trump will approve whatever Congress gives him.......

Monday, 10 December 2018

US President Donald Trump aka "Individual-1" named in relation to presidential election campaign violations & contact with Russian President's office


On 29 November 2018 attorney Michael Cohen plead guilty to charges of tax evasion, making false statements to financial institutions, lying to the US Congress and facilitating illegal campaign contributions totalling US$255,000 in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

His plea agreement can be found here.

US President Donald J. Trump is identified in the US Government's Sentencing Memorandums, the first of which recommenfs that Cohen be gaoled for up to three and a half years.


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  -v.- MICHAEL COHEN: 18 Cr. 602 (WHP)

THE GOVERNMENT’S SENTENCING MEMORANDUM, filed 7 December 2018, excerpts:

1. Background

Cohen is a licensed attorney and has been since 1992. (PSR ¶ 149.) Until 2007, Cohen practiced as an attorney for multiple law firms, working on, among other things, negligence and malpractice cases. (PSR ¶¶ 156-157.) For that work, Cohen earned approximately $75,000 per year. (Id.) In 2007, Cohen seized on an opportunity. The board of directors of a condominium building in which Cohen lived was attempting to remove from the building the name of the owner (“Individual-1”) of a Manhattan-based real estate company (the “Company”). (PSR ¶ 155.) Cohen intervened, secured the backing of the residents of the building, and was able to remove the entire board of directors, thereby fixing the problem for Individual-1. (Id.) Not long after, Cohen was hired by the Company to the position of “Executive Vice President” and “Special Counsel” to Individual-1. (Id.) He earned approximately $500,000 per year in that position. (Id.)

In January 2017, Cohen formally left the Company and began holding himself out as the “personal attorney” to Individual-1, who at that point had become the President of the United States…..

4. Cohen’s Illegal Campaign Contributions

On approximately June 16, 2015, Individual-1, for whom Cohen worked at the time, began an ultimately successful campaign for President of the United States. Cohen had no formal title with the campaign, but had a campaign email address, and, at various times advised the campaign, including on matters of interest to the press. Cohen also made media appearances as a surrogate and supporter of Individual-1. (PSR ¶ 39). 

During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories – each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 – so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election. With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. (PSR ¶ 51). In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. (PSR ¶¶ 41, 45). As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election. (PSR ¶ 51)…..

First, Cohen’s commission of two campaign finance crimes on the eve of the 2016 election for President of the United States struck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency. While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows. He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1. In the process, Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election. It is this type of harm that Congress sought to prevent when it imposed limits on individual contributions to candidates. To promote transparency and prevent wealthy individuals like Cohen from circumventing these limits, Congress prohibited individuals from making expenditures on behalf of and coordinated with candidates. Cohen clouded a process that Congress has painstakingly sought to keep transparent. The sentence imposed should reflect the seriousness of Cohen’s brazen violations of the election laws and attempt to counter the public cynicism that may arise when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful…..

in a secretly recorded meeting Cohen took credit for the payment and assured Individual-1 that he was “all over” the transaction. And after making the payment to the second woman, and after Individual-1 was elected President, Cohen privately bragged to friends and reporters, including in recorded conversations, that he had made the payment to spare Individual-1 from damaging press and embarrassment.....

GOVERNMENT’S SENTENCING MEMORANDUM, filed 7 December 2018:

The Special Counsel’s Office (“SCO”) provides this memorandum in connection with the sentencing of Michael Cohen scheduled for December 12, 2018. On November 29, 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a). The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed but submits that it is appropriate for any sentence of incarceration to be served concurrently to any sentence imposed by the Court in United States v. Cohen, 18-cr-602 (WHP).

The defendant’s crime was serious. He withheld information material to the investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election being conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (“SSCI”), the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”), and the SCO. The defendant lied to Congress about a business project (the “Moscow Project”) that he worked on during the 2016 presidential campaign, while he served as Executive Vice President at a Manhattan-based real estate company (the “Company”) and as Special Counsel to the owner of the Company (“Individual 1”). The defendant admitted he told these lies—which he made publicly and in submissions to Congress—in order to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project had ended before the Iowa caucus and the first presidential primaries, in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations being conducted by Congress and the SCO.....

The defendant’s false statements obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the Company could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues. The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with Individual 1 well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and SCO investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. Similarly, it was material that Cohen, during the campaign, had a substantive telephone call about the project with an assistant to the press secretary for the President of Russia.....

The defendant, without prompting by the SCO, also corrected other false and misleading statements that he had made concerning his outreach to and contacts with Russian officials during the course of the campaign. For example, in a radio interview in September 2015, the defendant suggested that Individual 1 meet with the President of Russia in New York City during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly. When asked previously about these events, the defendant claimed his public comments had been spontaneous and had not been discussed within the campaign or the Company. During his proffer sessions, the defendant admitted that this account was false and that he had in fact conferred with Individual 1 about contacting the Russian government before reaching out to gauge Russia’s interest in such a meeting. The meeting ultimately did not take place…..

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Xenophobic, racist US President Donald J Trump produces a midterm election campaign video


This is US President Donald J. Trump campaigning ahead of the American mid-term elections on 6 November 2018.
As with everything Donald Trump tweets - a little fact checking is in order.

Firstly, the convicted felon in this video entered the USA illegally twice. The first as a 16 year-old under a Democratic Administration in 1963 ,which later gaoled and then deported him in 1997 on drug offences. The second time he entered the USA was under a Republican Administration sometime around 2002 and he was not arrested until 2014 – after the drug-fuelled killings for which he was sentenced to death in April 2018.

Secondly, the Fox News mass scene shown is not necessarily video of recent events as Trump has a history of misrepresentation and, the current 'migrant caravans’ are nowhere near the USA-Mexico border, as the first caravan had not yet reached San Juan Guichicovi and the second was yet to enter Mexican territory on 31 October 2018. Both are quite literally thousands of kilometres south of the United States and members of these caravans are travelling on foot.

The yellow line represents the distance the first caravan was from the US border as the crow flies on 1 November 2018. The second caravan is at least 200-300 kilometres behind the first.

What Trump is also not saying in his campaign ad is that no previous migrant caravan has ever made it to the US border. The last one reportedly made it to Mexico City before petering out - at least 1,300 kilometres short of reaching the United States.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Americans now spending time imagining their president's genitalia


Yet another book about US President Donald J. Trump has hit the bookstores.

This one includes a desciption of Trump's genitalia - unusual... smaller than average with a huge mushroom head... like a toadstool... like the mushroom character ... surrouded by "yeti pubes".

The US media kindly supplied various images of "Red Toad" to help with the imagining.....
Red Toad

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Quote of the Week



“Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear”  [Then presidential candidate Donald J. Trump in a 31 March 2016 interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa at the Trump International Hotel, Washington DC]

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

When you don't like the results when you Google yourself - threaten retribution


This was the US President Donald Trump on Tuesday 28 August 2018.....




Google responded to these accusations on the same day.....



Sunday, 26 August 2018

The American Resistance has many faces and this is just one of them……(23)


Image: C-Span US television network

Text of open letter to US President Donald J. Trump by William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, who was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Published in The Washington Post on 16 August 2018:
Dear Mr. President:
Former CIA Director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Tweet of the Week


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Just how lazy is US President Donald J Trump?



On 30 July 2018 US President Donald J. Trump decided to share with the world at a prodigious rate.

Ten ranting tweets in two and a half hours about people, newspapers and law enforcemnt agencies on his personal enimies list.


When the media - driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome - reveals internal deliberations of our government, it truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk! Very unpatriotic! Freedom of the press also comes with a responsibility to report the news...


...accurately. 90% of media coverage of my Administration is negative, despite the tremendously positive results we are achieving, it’s no surprise that confidence in the media is at an all time low! I will not allow our great country to be sold out by anti-Trump haters in the...


...dying newspaper industry. No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! As an example, the failing New York Times...


...dying newspaper industry. No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! As an example, the failing New York Times...


...dying newspaper industry. No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! As an example, the failing New York Times...


...dying newspaper industry. No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! As an example, the failing New York Times...


...and the Amazon Washington Post do nothing but write bad stories even on very positive achievements - and they will never change!


There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!


Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend..


....Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama....And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?


This is a man who has been on Twitter for almost the entire 559 days of his presidency, on the golf course for about 24 per cent of those days and has also attended approximately 21 self-promotional rallies since his inauguration.

Where is he finding time to do the job he was elected to do?

On an average day he reportedly doesn't start his working day until 11am, takes an hour of private time before sitting down to an hour long lunch hour and is back in his residence by 6pm - that's just five hours a day at his desk on days he is not golfing or attending rallies.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Turnbull invites Trump to Australia - expected to arrive in November 2018


This unstable individual is a threat to the US-Australia alliance, a serious security risk, as well as danger to world peace and international trade - an erratic politician Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull insists on publicly supporting as an "American patriot", who he is prepared to follow into a war of Trump's own making and, who he will be hosting on a proposed visit to Australia.

The New York Times, 18 July 2018:

WASHINGTON — Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

The shifting narrative underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump regularly picks and chooses intelligence to suit his political purposes. That has never been more clear than this week.

On Monday, standing next to the Russian president in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump said he accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of Russian election intrusions. By Tuesday, faced with a bipartisan political outcry, Mr. Trump sought to walk back his words and sided with his intelligence agencies.

On Wednesday, when a reporter asked, “Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” Mr. Trump shot back, “No” — directly contradicting statements made only days earlier by his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, who was sitting a few chairs away in the Cabinet Room. (The White House later said he was responding to a different question.)

Hours later, in a CBS News interview, Mr. Trump seemed to reverse course again. He blamed Mr. Putin personally, but only indirectly, for the election interference by Russia, “because he’s in charge of the country.”

In the run-up to this week’s ducking and weaving, Mr. Trump has done all he can to suggest other possible explanations for the hacks into the American political system. His fear, according to one of his closest aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is that any admission of even an unsuccessful Russian attempt to influence the 2016 vote raises questions about the legitimacy of his presidency.

The Jan. 6, 2017, meeting, held at Trump Tower, was a prime example. He was briefed that day by John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director; James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence; and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and the commander of United States Cyber Command.

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was also there; after the formal briefing, he privately told Mr. Trump about the “Steele dossier.” That report, by a former British intelligence officer, included uncorroborated salacious stories of Mr. Trump’s activities during a visit to Moscow, which he denied.

According to nearly a dozen people who either attended the meeting with the president-elect or were later briefed on it, the four primary intelligence officials described the streams of intelligence that convinced them of Mr. Putin’s role in the election interference.

They included stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee that had been seen in Russian military intelligence networks by the British, Dutch and American intelligence services. Officers of the Russian intelligence agency formerly known as the G.R.U. had plotted with groups like WikiLeaks on how to release the email stash.

And ultimately, several human sources had confirmed Mr. Putin’s own role.
That included one particularly valuable source, who was considered so sensitive that Mr. Brennan had declined to refer to it in any way in the Presidential Daily Brief during the final months of the Obama administration, as the Russia investigation intensified.

Instead, to keep the information from being shared widely, Mr. Brennan sent reports from the source to Mr. Obama and a small group of top national security aides in a separate, white envelope to assure its security.

Mr. Trump and his aides were also given other reasons during the briefing to believe that Russia was behind the D.N.C. hacks.

The same Russian groups had been involved in cyberattacks on the State Department and White House unclassified email systems in 2014 and 2015, and in an attack on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They had aggressively fought the N.S.A. against being ejected from the White House system, engaging in what the deputy director of the agency later called “hand-to-hand combat” to dig in…..

Read the full article here.

Reuters, 4 July 20118:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday threatened to strike back at critics of President Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia by revoking the security clearances of six former U.S. officials, drawing accusations that he was abusing his power and aiming to stifle dissent.

HuffPost, 245 July 2018:

Donald Trump is doing anything he can to hold on to his base ― even employing propaganda tricks straight out of 1984.

On Tuesday, the President spoke at a Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering in Kansas City and told his followers to forget about anything else other than what he tells them.

“Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening,” he said.

 …ThinkProgress chillingly notes that Trump’s demand directly correlates to the “final, most essential command” of the ruling totalitarian regime in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984: “to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

Trump decided to jump headfirst into that belief by telling the crowd, “We don’t apologize for America anymore. We stand up for America. We stand up for the patriots who defend America.”

Jake Tapper noted on Twitter that those comments came eight days after he blamed the U.S. for poor relations with Russia.