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Member since: Tue May 13, 2014, 02:29 PM
Number of posts: 7,306

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Jared Kushner Can't Pass His Security Clearance Investigation, Officials Say

Jared Kushner is a security risk embedded in the West Wing since he still hasn't passed a comprehensive background investigation required of anyone seeking a permanent security clearance—and no one will question the president's decision to put his son-in-law in a crucial government role, experts and officials told Newsweek.

President Donald Trump's senior adviser has been working under an interim security clearance nearly a year into the administration, as investigators continue to assess his trustworthiness and analyze his web of active foreign investments, according to two sources with knowledge of the status on Kushner's clearance. His permanent security clearance was stalled because he initially omitted 100 foreign contacts before revising his forms three times. Kushner's complicated business interests are also being considered after he repeatedly revised financial disclosure forms, but experts said the sheer volume of his ongoing ties to foreign investors are enough to deny anyone access to classified information.
The process for getting a government security clearance is well established: Adjudicators from the FBI comb through a form called an SF-86 while making an official assesment as to whether someone can be trusted with the nation's secrets. Those analysts take into account personal history, such as employment, relationships, foreign entanglements and business deals — and review revisions and mistakes would-be officials have made on their disclosure forms.
Experts say Kushner's original SF-86 questionnaire may have violated the personal conduct code in federal directives for security clearance applicants, since his failure to disclose any foreign contacts on his original forms could be considered the equivalent of making false statements. Newsweek spoke with seven of the nation's leading law firms specializing in security clearance law, with clients throughout the Trump administration and federal government — all seven said Kushner's security clearance should be suspended until investigators can determine whether his failures to disclose information were intentional. Meanwhile, the White House has claimed the delay in Kushner's clearance is normal due to a backlog in applications.

It's called deflection and it's how Trump gets away with this shit.

Trump supporters are blaming Elizabeth Warren for the racial slur that he used yesterday at a ceremony that was meant to honor Native American veterans.

Instead of admitting that his remarks were, at best, inappropriate, they put the responsibility for his poor judgment and bad behavior on another.

And don't take my opinion that it was a racial slur, ask these men.


The comment drew swift rebukes from Native American leaders, including one who was present for the ceremony. Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation, called the president’s mention of Pocahontas “derogatory” and “disrespectful to Indian nations.”

“This is something that unfortunately came up during the campaign and it seems to have stuck in the mind of the president, something that he continues to use, to take a jab at the senator,” Mr. Begaye said in an interview. “The campaign is over. The nation needs to move forward, and using Native Americans in this way, in this type of honoring setting is something that should not be happening.”

But, wait, there's more!

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was quick to condemn Mr. Trump for using a slur against Warren that overshadowed the intent of the ceremony.

"We regret that the President's use of the name Pocahontas as a slur to insult a political adversary is overshadowing the true purpose of today's White House ceremony," stated NCAI President Jefferson Keel, a decorated U.S. Army officer and Vietnam War combat veteran. "Today was about recognizing the remarkable courage and invaluable contributions of our Native code talkers. That's who we honor today and everyday -- the three code talkers present at the White House representing the 10 other elderly living code talkers who were unable to join them, and the hundreds of other code talkers from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, Lakota, Meskwaki, Mohawk, Navajo, Tlingit, and other tribes who served during World Wars I and II."

Trump told senator and adviser that 'Access Hollywood' tape may not be authentic: report

President Trump reportedly told a senator earlier this year that the infamous recording in which he can be heard boasting about groping and kissing women without their consent may not be authentic, and repeated that claim recently to an adviser.

According to a New York Times report published Saturday, Trump is open to the suggestion that the sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore are false and politically motivated.

What's more, he views calls for Moore to withdraw from the Alabama Senate race as similar to those he faced after The Washington Post released the so-called "Access Hollywood" tape weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump had acknowledged after the 2005 tape was released that it was his voice on the recording. He subsequently apologized for his comments, but sought to cast them as "locker room talk."
I can hardly wait to hear the spin on this.

Flynn's lawyers cut talks with Trump team, signaling Mueller cooperation: NY Times

(Reuters) - Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, have told Trump's legal team they can no longer discuss a probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, indicating Flynn may be cooperating with the investigation, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Flynn, a retired Army general, is a central figure in a federal investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into whether Trump aides colluded with Russia to boost his 2016 presidential campaign.

The probe has hung over the White House since January, when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the election to try to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton by hacking and releasing embarrassing emails and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her.


This is an interesting development. We'll have to see what happens next.

Rasmussen poll. Trump approval rating down 4 points since yesterday.

As of 11/15/17: Approve 45% Disapprove 53%

As of 11/16/17: Approve 41% Disapprove 57%

Trump Needs to Stop Talking, Tweeting About Russia Investigation

Former Bush Ethics Lawyer: Trump Needs to Stop Talking, Tweeting About Russia Investigation

Richard Painter, former chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, said that President Donald Trump needs to stop commenting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation because recent developments prove there was collaboration between at least one person associated with his campaign and Russia.
George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Trump has since slammed the Manafort indictment as irrelevant to the Russia probe and called for an investigation into "Crooked Hillary" Clinton.
"President Trump needs to stop lying to the American people and stop saying that there was no collaboration . There was by somebody. And he needs to acknowledge that," Painter said.
"And for golly's sake, stop talking about Hillary Clinton. She's a loser. She lost the election. We don't want to hear about Hillary Clinton and made-up stories about uranium. That's already been investigated," Painter said. "If he does his job, I think that he might very well be able to get through this. He's got to stop meddling with this."
He said Trump and his team could actually "make this a lot worse" by continuing to talk and tweet about the ongoing investigation.

The Russians Have Succeeded Beyond Their Wildest Expectations

James Clapper, a crusty ex-cargo pilot who rose through the Air Force ranks and retired as director of national intelligence in January, only to emerge publicly as one of President Donald Trump’s foremost critics, wants you to know that no matter how much Trump rants about the “Russia hoax,” the 2016 hacking was not only real and aimed at electing Trump but constituted a major victory for a dangerous foreign adversary. “The Russians,” he said, have “succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.”

Far from being the “witch hunt” Trump has repeatedly called it, the investigation of whether Trump’s team colluded with Russia constitutes a “cloud not only over the president, but the office of the presidency, the administration, the government and the country” until it is resolved, Clapper told me in an extensive new interview for The Global Politico, our weekly podcast on world affairs.
“We had a general awareness, for example, of Russian use of social media—Facebook ads, use of Twitter, fake news implants—we had a general understanding of that,” Clapper said. “But now, as time has elapsed and time has gone on, I’ve certainly learned a lot more about the depth and breadth of what the Russians were about,” he added, referring to recent reports of an extensive and sophisticated Russian campaign of purchasing targeted ads on those platforms, creating false-front groups aimed at everyone from Black Lives Matters supporters to anti-immigration activists, and spreading misinformation.

Clapper has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the Russia investigation since Trump came to office denying the U.S. intelligence community finding Clapper made public last year: that Russia had intervened explicitly on Trump’s behalf. At times, he’s even seemed to infuriate the president, who has publicly compared Clapper and other intelligence pros to Nazis, falsely claimed they illegally wiretapped him at Trump Tower, and taunted him and former acting attorney general Sally Yates for having “choked like dogs” in Hill testimony.

Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were told to surrender to federal authorities Monday morning, the first charges in a special counsel investigation, according to a person involved in the case.

The charges against Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Mr. Gates were not immediately clear but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office.

Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show.

Mr. Manafort had been under investigation for violations of federal tax law, money laundering and whether he appropriately disclosed his foreign lobbying.

And so it begins. The house of cards begins to fall.

More than half of Donald Trumps Twitter followers are fake: analyses

Donald Trump’s 41.3 million Twitter followers are mostly fake accounts, according to new findings. The US president’s social media following isn’t as big as it appears to be.

The Daily Dot reports that Trump’s Twitter account is filled with fake followers, including bots, or accounts that are specifically created to increase one’s follower count. Trump, who often brags about the number of his social media followers, may only have fewer than 24 million

The publication based the findings on two analyses. A data provided by SocialRank to the Daily Dot shows that 25.5 percent (10.2 million) of his following have never tweeted before (as of early October), while 46 percent (18.9 million) have not shared content within a year. More than 300,000 accounts only follow @realDonaldTrump and no one else.

Trumps latest big interview is both funny and terrifying

It’s not exactly a news flash at this point that Donald Trump isn’t very fluent on questions of public policy, but his interview over the weekend with Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo is really a sobering reminder of the levels of ignorance and dishonesty that the country is dealing with.

Bartiromo is an extraordinarily soft interviewer who doesn’t ask Trump any difficult questions or press him on any subject. That makes the extent to which he manages to flub the interview all the more striking. He’s simply incapable of discussing any topic at any length in anything remotely resembling an informed or coherent way. He says the Federal Reserve is “important psychotically” and it’s part of one of his better answers, since one can at least tell that he meant to say “psychologically.”

By contrast, it’s often hard to make any sense at all of Trump’s words. Asked whether he plans to tie an infrastructure plan to his tax plan, Trump says, “I was thinking about tying it, but there’s too many honestly.” Too many what? He then continues: “You lose a few votes, you gain a few votes. I don’t want to take any chances ’cause I feel we have the votes right now the way it is.” There is, of course, no tax bill at the moment, so there’s no way Trump has the votes for it.

It’s a funny interview in many ways. Along with being comically ignorant, Trump for some reason keeps referring to Chief of Staff John Kelly as “elegant.” But the prospect of a president of the United States who’s incapable of talking about any of the many issues he oversees in a reasonable way is also pretty scary.
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