ABC News reports, “President Donald Trump made his first trip to the State Department for the ceremonial swearing-in of his second secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.” ABC News notes the active measures at work as, “The State Department has been cut significantly under the Trump administration, with a hiring freeze, many top positions vacant, and proposed deep budget cuts. There are currently more than three dozen ambassadorships that are vacant, and even more senior State Department roles, such as three of the six Under Secretaries of State and nine Assistant Secretaries.” Trump began his remarks with a backhanded insult, “After he was welcomed with sustained applause, he said, ‘I must say that’s more spirit than I’ve heard from the State Department in a long time, many years. We can say many years, maybe many decades.’” ABC News adds, “He also joked that the men and women of the CIA were ‘the only people who aren’t happy right now,’ but added, ‘they will be happy with our Gina [Haspel], who’s here today.’” Why does the media always misuse the word “joke”? Also present were princeling Jared and Aryan princess Ivanka who someday dream that they alone can replace the State Department.

From ABC News.



The Washington Post reports, “White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who repeatedly urged cooperation with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and assured the president such a strategy could shorten the investigation, announced he would leave his post at the end of the month. In his place, Trump tapped Republican defense attorney Emmet Flood, who brings experience wrangling with investigators when he represented President Bill Clinton during House proceedings to impeach him.” The Washington Post notes, “Flood, a partner at Williams & Connolly who appears willing to take a more adversarial approach to the special counsel than Cobb, was recruited in large part by White House Counsel Donald McGahn”. Additionally, “McGahn also views Flood as a top candidate to replace him should he decide to step down, the people added. McGahn has been reluctant to set an exit date, even as he has acknowledged to friends that he could leave the White House at some point later this year.”

From The Washington Post.



The Hill reports, “Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said Wednesday that President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey because Comey wouldn’t tell Trump that he wasn’t a target of the FBI investigation into Russia’s election interference.” The Hill adds, “Giuliani’s statement contradicts Trump’s recent claim that he didn’t fire Comey over the Russia probe.” See next item for another significant way in which the fake Russian bullshit president’s newest member of his legal team contradict him.

From The Hill.


reports, “Rudy Giuliani said on Wednesday evening that President Donald Trump reimbursed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment Cohen had made to the porn actress Stormy Daniels, contradicting the president’s account of what he knew of the arrangement for keeping her silent about an affair she says she had with Trump.” POLITICO adds, “‘I’m giving you a fact that you don’t know,’ Giuliani, the former New York mayor who recently joined the president’s legal team, told Fox News host Sean Hannity. ‘It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. They funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it.’” Sorry, Rudy, but it is as it was done days before the election and was clearly intended to keep the news out of the media and public spotlight. And of course, “That seemed to contradict Trump’s public statements on the payment, which has become a subject of a criminal investigation into Cohen, whose residences and office were raided by the FBI last month.” POLITCO wryly notes, “The details of the payment, and whether and when Trump knew about it, have important legal implications.”



reports, “Stormy Daniels’ former manager, who helped broker her confidentiality agreement, is cooperating with the FBI as part of its probe of an arrangement she struck with Donald Trump’s lawyer”. CNN adds, “Gina Rodriguez responded to a subpoena by handing over records to the FBI. Some of those documents pertain to the 2016 hush money agreement signed by Daniels and Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney. Cohen signed the agreement on behalf of a shell company he owned known as Essential Consultants LLC”. CNN notes, “In the documents Rodriguez handed over to the FBI, there is evidence that Daniels — an adult film star whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford — was working an initial deal with Cohen on October 10, 2016.” CNN adds, “Around the same time negotiations with Cohen were going on behind the scenes, Daniels and her manager were shopping a story to several media organizations about Daniels’ alleged affair with Trump a decade ago.”

From CNN.



Bloomberg reports, “A former contestant on ‘The Apprentice,’ who says she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump, is seeking audio and video evidence and other materials to support her claim that she was defamed when he called her a liar.” Bloomberg adds, “Summer Zervos is demanding outtakes from the reality show in which Trump talks about her, according to Zervos’s lawyer Mariann Wang.” Bloomberg recalls, “Zervos sued Trump in January 2017 in Manhattan New York state court claiming that he defamed her when he said she lied about the encounters in which she said he also forcibly kissed her. Zervos, who met with Trump in hopes of securing a job after her ’Apprentice’ appearance in 2005, is one of at least 19 women who have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.” Bloomberg adds, “Zervos claims Trump ‘ambushed’ her on more than one occasion starting in 2007, kissing her, touching her breast and pressing his genitals against her. In March, Justice Jennifer Schecter denied the president’s request to throw out the lawsuit or delay it until he leaves office.”

From Bloomberg.



CNN reports, “After being interviewed by special counsel investigators on Wednesday, former aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign Michael Caputo told CNN that Robert Mueller’s team is ‘focused on Russia collusion.’” Caputo said, “They know more about the Trump campaign than anyone who ever worked there.” CNN notes, “Caputo lived and worked in Russia in the 1990s and later did business with Russian companies, including Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy giant. As a Republican consultant, Caputo worked with Trump adviser Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman. He denies any wrongdoing regarding Russia. Caputo is a longtime ally of [Roger] Stone’s,” so not someone you should feel sorry for when he whines about the high cost of his legal bills but neglects to accept responsibility for his role in this cruel, evil farce.

From CNN.



The New York Times reports, “The embattled political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday that it would cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.” The New York Times recalls, “The decision was made less than two months after Cambridge Analytica and Facebook became embroiled in a data-harvesting scandal that compromised the personal information of up to 87 million people.” The New York Times adds, “Cambridge Analytica said the controversy had driven away virtually all of the company’s customers, forcing it to file for bankruptcy in both the United States and Britain. The elections division of Cambridge’s British affiliate, SCL Group, will also shut down, the company said.” The New York Times notes, “But the company’s announcement left several questions unanswered, including who would retain the company’s intellectual property — the so-called psychographic voter profiles built in part with data from Facebook — and whether Cambridge Analytica’s data-mining business would return under new auspices,” which is most likely. The New York Times adds, “The company, bankrolled by Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor who invested at least $15 million, offered tools that it claimed could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. Those modeling techniques underpinned Cambridge Analytica’s work for the Trump campaign and for other candidates in 2014 and 2016.” The New York Times notes, “Cambridge Analytica was previously hired by the political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, the national security adviser.” The New York Times adds, “Cambridge and SCL officials privately raised the possibility that Emerdata could be used for a Blackwater-style rebranding of Cambridge Analytica and the SCL Group”.

From The New York Times.


The Financial Times
reports, “EN+, the sanctions-hit aluminium to hydro power group controlled by Oleg Deripaska, has received initial approaches for the stake the Russian oligarch plans to sell to free the company from US penalties.” The U.S. Treasury “deadline extension would allow them to accelerate the plan for Mr Deripaska to sell down his stake, with initial approaches already coming in.” The Financial Times notes, “The billionaire tycoon has agreed in principle to reduce his stake from 70 per cent to below 50 per cent.” The Financial Times adds, “The person said the talks were preliminary and did not reveal the names of the potential buyers, but said they included international companies and were not limited to Russian entities. People familiar with EN+ said it was also launching a search for new board members, meeting headhunters in London on Wednesday, as part of the plan to demonstrate its future independence from Mr Deripaska to the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.”

From The Financial Times.



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Ukraine will expand financial and other sanctions against Russian individuals and companies, paralleling U.S. efforts to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine and elsewhere. President Petro Poroshenko, who made the announcement on May 2 after a meeting with his National Security and Defense Council, did not specify whom the sanctions would target or when they would take effect.”

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.




The New York Review of Books
looks at the consequences of Trump’s othering of immigrants and speaks to Minerva García, “the mother of two young children who are US citizens and an older child who is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In April 2017, García went for her regular check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency charged with enforcing immigration law, as she had been doing for years. Usually it’s been a routine visit, but this time—her first appointment since Donald Trump was elected president—she was told she had thirty days to leave the country and would have to purchase her own bus ticket back to Mexico.” In practical terms this also meant, “To avoid deportation, García sought sanctuary in a church in Greensboro, where she stayed for ninety-six days.” And she counts herself as on of the lucky as, “federal judge in Texas ruled that her removal order be vacated, allowing her to leave sanctuary and regain a home life. But she faces a very uncertain future. About a month after leaving sanctuary, García was called into ICE’s Charlotte field office again. She feared being detained on the spot; instead, she was fitted with a GPS ankle shackle so that ICE could track her movements.” If they gave her a second, she would be like Paul Manafort, which is insane because she sounds very loyal to this nation. The New York Review of Books notes, “Everything changed, she said, after Trump took office—the tone of ICE agents at the field office was totally different.” The New York Review of Books quotes García: “All of a sudden, they talked to me rude,” adding, “Like I’m nobody, like I’m not a human being.” The New York Review of Books notes, “Former officials have said Nielsen is one of Trump’s fiercest loyalists and is someone who has ‘zero independent political power’ in Washington and who is ‘a hundred percent this White House and John Kelly.’ Nielsen, it seems, is simply implementing the president’s anti-immigrant agenda, including new policy of separating children from their parents at the border”. Not even in Korematsu’s day. The New York Review of Books adds, “Along with the so-called silent raids,” like what happened to Minerva García during a regular check-in, “another emerging trend under the Trump administration is the apparent targeting of outspoken immigrant rights advocates.” And there is the documented trail of sexual abuse and assault by guards on people that aren’t fit to reside in our country by ICE’s standards but where it’s no problem to grab them by the pussy. Which leads to “ICE’s push to become an intelligence agency, which would grant the agency unprecedented access to vastly more information, and it request to destroy records of in-custody deaths and sexual assaults—both of which measures have received support from the Trump administration.”

From The New York Review of Books.



The AP reports, “Federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the homes of adult sponsors in communities across the country, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday.” The AP adds, “The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.” The AP notes, “Federal officials came under fire two years ago after rolling back child protection policies meant for minors fleeing violence in Central America. In a follow-up hearing on Thursday, senators said that the agencies had failed to take full responsibility for their care and had delayed crucial reforms needed to keep them from falling into the hands of human traffickers.” Think about pizzagate and the accusations of child sex trafficking the lunatic far right made against Hillary Clinton as you read, “An AP investigation found in 2016 that more than two dozen unaccompanied children had been sent to homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work for little or no pay. At the time, many adult sponsors didn’t undergo thorough background checks, government officials rarely visited homes and in some cases had no idea that sponsors had taken in several unrelated children, a possible sign of human trafficking.” Who said slavery was abolished?

From the AP.


The New York Daily News
reports, “For President Trump, some immigrants are outlaws. And others are in-laws. The mother and father of First Lady Melania Trump arrived Wednesday morning in Lower Manhattan for a hearing on their pending applications for U.S. citizenship.” The New York Daily News adds, “Viktor Knavs, 73, and his wife Amalija, 71, declined comment as they exited 26 Federal Plaza”. The New York Daily News notes, “The Slovenian couple was already granted permanent resident status, most likely through sponsorship by daughter Melania — an American citizen. Adult U.S. citizens are currently permitted to petition for residency for their parents.” The New York Daily News adds, “President Trump, who made tightening the U.S. borders a key component of his administration, has denounced that process as a threat to U.S. security and called for its elimination. He would limit the process to allow American citizens to make such requests only for spouses and children under the age of 21.” Their son-in-law is a total pig.

From The New York Daily News.


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
reports, “The number of asylum applications by Russian citizens in the United States hit a 24-year high in 2017, jumping nearly 40 percent from the previous year and continuing an upward march that began after Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012. U.S. authorities received 2,664 new asylum applications from Russian nationals in the fiscal year ending on September 30, a 39-percent increase compared to 2016.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “Putin has been accused by critics of overseeing a mounting crackdown on dissent — including against the political opposition and businesspeople not in step with the Kremlin – and fostering stigmatization of sexual minorities since he regained the presidency.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Russian entrepreneurs are also seeking political asylum in the United States, claiming they were targeted by Russian authorities, according to U.S.-based attorneys handling such cases.”

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.



The ABA Journal, the journal of the American Bar Association, reports, “Before Michael Cohen was President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, he was a lawyer for the Trump Organization. And before he held that position, he ‘roamed the courthouses of New York City,’ filing lawsuits on behalf of people injured in auto accidents”. The ABA Journal adds, “in 1991, Cohen went to work for Melvyn J. Estrin. Cohen left the firm in 1995, the same year that Estrin was accused in a scheme to bribe insurance adjusters to inflate damage estimates,” and, “Estrin pleaded guilty to second-degree bribery.” The ABA Journal adds, “Some of Cohen’s clients were accused by insurers of being affiliated with insurance fraud rings that staged accidents, though there is no evidence that Cohen knowingly filed any false claims,” but “Cohen was never charged with any wrongdoing.”

From The ABA Journal.


reports, “While speaking at an event in Arizona, Vice President Mike Pence praised former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted for contempt of court, saying the ex-sheriff was a ‘champion … of the rule of law.’” In fact Arpaio was anything but, routinely violating the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment, running bizarre tent cities and other rights violations until he was found guilty on charges related to his tenure. Our fake Russian bullshit president pardoned him on federal charges. This is what they meant by “law and order”: white men can do whatever the fuck they please.

From CNN.


reports, “The White House is exploring plans to host multiple summits on race between prominent athletes and artists and President Donald Trump”. POLITICO adds, “Cleveland pastor Darrell Scott, one of the president’s most prominent black allies, says the idea of bringing in artists and athletes to hash out their differences with Trump has gotten a boost from last week’s lovefest between the president and Kanye West. Scott is set to meet Thursday with Trump at the White House about the summit proposal.” Everyone recall Kanye was in Moscow in November 2016, the month of the coup and the end of American sovereignty. POLITICO notes, “Scott — who works closely with Jared Kushner on prison reform and is spearheading a White House-backed plan to revitalize poor urban neighborhoods — is organizing the summit effort in conjunction with Andrew Giuliani, a top aide in the White House Office of Public Liaison who is also the son of former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.”



The AP
reports, “A Chinese company that manufactured Ivanka Trump shoes and has been accused of serious labor abuses is being celebrated in a blockbuster propaganda film for extending China’s influence around the globe.” The AP adds, “The state-backed documentary ‘Amazing China’ portrays the Huajian Group as a beneficent force spreading prosperity – in this case, by hiring thousands of Ethiopians at wages a fraction of what they’d have to pay in China. But in Ethiopia, Huajian workers told The Associated Press they work without safety equipment for pay so low they can barely make ends meet.” The AP notes, “With epic cinematography, ‘Amazing China’ – produced by China Central Television and the state-owned China Film Group Co. Ltd. – articulates a message of how China would like to be seen as it pursues President Xi Jinping’s vision of a globally resurgent nation, against a reality that doesn’t always measure up. China’s ruling Communist Party recently announced it would take direct control of major broadcasters and assume regulatory power over everything from film and TV to books and news.” This all sounds like the Trumpistan the garbage Worst Family is working to build in our time in our beautiful former USA. The AP adds, “The star – duly noted by IMDb.com – is Xi himself, who appears more than 30 times in the 90-minute film.”

From the AP.



The New York Times reports, “A Washington consultant who was removed from President Trump’s transition team for using his business email address for government work played a central role last year in planning a trip to Australia for Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and then took steps to disguise his role, new documents show.” The New York Times adds, “The consultant, Matthew C. Freedman, who is also a former lobbyist for foreign governments, runs his own corporate advisory firm and is treasurer of the American Australian Council, a group that helps promote business for American-based companies in Australia. Two prominent members include Chevron and ConocoPhillips.” The New York Times notes, “Though the Australia trip never happened — it was canceled after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Texas Gulf Coast — it shows a pattern in which Mr. Pruitt has repeatedly relied on people with clear business interests to shape the agenda of his foreign travel. Separately last year, a trip to Morocco was organized by a lobbyist who later was hired by Morocco as a $40,000-a-month foreign agent to represent its interests abroad.” Of note, “Mr. Freedman has spent decades as an international political consultant and lobbyist, starting in the 1980s as an employee of Paul Manafort when the two men worked together to help the embattled Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.” The New York Times notes, “More recently, Mr. Freedman advised Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, as he prepared to take office.” Feel the likely FARA violation come on as, “Mr. Freedman is not registered as a lobbyist for the government of Australia, nor is he currently registered to lobby on behalf of any foreign or domestic clients in the United States, according to records on file with Congress and the Department of Justice.”

From The New York Times.


The Jamestown Foundation
reports, “Twice this past month, Russia’s Main Air Traffic Management Center provided indication that the Russian Navy planned to conduct military exercises, which would include the live fire of missiles, within Latvia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ): between April 4 and 6 (Bnn-news.com, April 3) and April 17 and 19 (Bnn-news.com, April 16). The timing of the first exercise, in particular, does not appear to be coincidental. The presidents of the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) where all in Washington, DC, to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on April 3 (Whitehouse.gov, April 3). Interestingly, no missiles were ultimately fired during either exercise.” The Jamestown Foundation adds, “Whether this was always the intention, or if there were tactical or technical problems preventing Russia from going forward with the test launches, may never be known. The second announcement, however, may possibly indicate the latter to be the case; if so, these problems likely persist. Alternatively, the wider media coverage and general consternation of Latvian government officials over the first event may have inspired Russia to make the same kind of provocative proclamation in mid-April (Bnn-news.com, April 9).” The Jamestown Foundation notes, “Past Russian provocative activity on the Baltic Sea has been tactically irrelevant.” The Jamestown Foundation adds, “Russia’s actions are used for two purposes: to signal to the international community that the Baltic Sea, like the Black Sea, is Russia’s to operate in and ultimately control; and fodder for its propaganda machine. Russia wants to be seen as the de facto sea power in the Baltic, restoring a position that the Soviet Navy had before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and to reduce NATO and European Union influence on its periphery.” The Jamestown Foundation notes, “Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all lack the number or types of naval or constabulary vessels required to secure, let alone effectively patrol, their entire exclusive economic zones (as well as their territorial waters for that matter) individually or in cooperation against Russian adventurism.”

From The Jamestown Foundation.




The Hollywood Reporter
features a glamshot of the Kremlin scum duo and writes, “The former ‘Baywatch’ star opens up about her relationship with Julian Assange (‘We talk about the Bible’), attending Donald Trump’s birthday party (for a $500 fee), her activism, ex Kid Rock (‘When he was with me … I don’t think he was very Republican’) and meetings at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin.” So we know the J-Ass love is an act, The Hollywood Reporters notes, “she shares a home with her new boyfriend, French soccer star Adil Rami, 32.” The Hollywood Reporter adds from her home in the south of France, “She’s become pals with everyone from GOP billionaire activist Sheldon Adelson (an old Malibu neighbor) to Bill Clinton (they partied together at the Vienna AIDS Ball) to kosher sex guru and former congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (they wrote a book; see page 94),” also known as the rabbi who decamped to Steve Bannon’s then White House office for a photo op, revealing the Wannsee whiteboard of our time. Now be prepared to vomit as The Hollywood Reporter adds, “And then, of course, there have been the strange rumors about her dating a certain Russian president. ‘I love this question,’ Anderson says, laughing, when asked about her relationship with Vladimir Putin. But she doesn’t actually answer.” As for J-Ass, she claims Vivienne Westwood, the fashion designer, not Putin or his goons facilitated the intro. The only time she betrays her Kremlin backers is when she complains about another pet of theirs as The Hollywood Reporter notes, “The closest thing to an unpleasant encounter was over the casting of the 1992 Steven Seagal movie Under Siege. “‘I remember him saying to me, “If you don’t do it, then that girl across the hall will do it, and she’ll get the job,”’ Anderson recalls. ‘And I said, ‘Well, good, goodbye.’” While not an avowed Trump cheerleader, except when being paid $500 for an appearance at a birthday of his, “she voted for Jill Stein,” another Kremlin pet.

From The Hollywood Reporter.



The Washington Times reports, “A Russian representative to the United Nations has urged member states to create a joint mechanism for combating ‘fake news,’ decrying independent efforts aimed at eradicating online disinformation as legalized censorship. Maxim Buyakevich, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s directorate for international information problems, made the plea while speaking Tuesday at the 40th session of the U.N. Committee on Information in New York City.” The Washington Times notes, “The term ‘fake news’ emerged during the 2016 U.S. presidential race to describe misleading and untrue purported news articles appearing on social networking platforms including Facebook and Twitter, and federal investigators have since determined that Russian operatives contributed to that confusion by purposely creating and propagating bogus stories through the internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based ‘troll farm’ accused of conducting its activities in tandem with a state-sponsored attempt to meddle in the election.”

From The Washington Times.





The Daily Beast reports, “Eighteen members of Congress sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee Tuesday nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for ‘his work to end to the Korean War [sic], denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and bring peace to the region.’ The letter cited Trump’s work in bringing the ‘international community’ together to ‘impose one of the most successful international sanctions regimes in history.’” No mention of his support for neo-Nazis and white nationalists from “Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),” who, “are among the 18 lawmakers who signed the letter.” Recall also Matt Gaetz brought a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union.

From The Daily Beast.




The Moscow Times reports, “Artist Vyacheslav Zhdanov devotes himself to depicting the minutiae of daily life in Russia. In particular, he studies the impoverished stratum of Russian society as it struggles with alcoholism, illness, etc. Zhdanov’s latest exhibition ‘Trum-Pum-Pum’ opened in the western city of Ulyanovsk on April 27. In the painting series, the artist imagines how U.S. President Donald Trump would have lived if he had been born in Russia.” Do check out the images of his works, including Gulag Don.

From The Moscow Times.


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