NUMBER OF STORIES ABOUT NEWS THAT DOESN’T SUCK: 6
(denoted with a *)
—–ON THE AGENDA—–
ILLEGITIMATE POTUS VISITS BREXIT BRITAIN
POLITICO reports, “Donald Trump will stay in the U.K. for three full days after arriving for his first official visit to the country Thursday — but will spend hardly any time in London. The U.S. president and the first lady will jet into the U.K. from the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday afternoon, before a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill’s birthplace, later that evening, according to a briefing for journalists by No. 10 Downing Street.” POLITICO adds, “On Friday, Trump will hold talks with Theresa May at the U.K. prime minister’s rural retreat, Chequers, before making the 25-mile journey south to Windsor Castle — the site of Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle — to meet the queen. In the evening, the Trumps will fly to Scotland, where they will spend the weekend before moving on to Helsinki, Finland, to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday, July 16.”
—–DIVIDED WE FALL: KEEPING UP WITH THE AMERICANS—–
2%!? TRY 4% + A PONY + BUXOM 17 YEAR OLD FOR TRUMP PERSONALLY
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that NATO nations double the amount of their gross domestic product that they spend on defense, furthering his long-running complaint that the U.S. carries too much of the organization’s mutual defense burden.” POLITICO adds, “Many experts consider the 4 percent figure impractical, and say that a serious effort to enforce it could break up the alliance. But Trump’s comments, made behind closed doors at a meeting of NATO leaders, do not appear to represent an official U.S. position. Instead they seem more likely a negotiation tactic from a president pressuring European nations to pay more for a collective defense pact that Trump feels is too dependent on Washington’s largesse.” The press is not reporting what is said between the sheets of these summits: Trump also wants a pony and a buxom 17 year old with apple red cheeks from NATO members or else they can consider their contribution nil.
THAT ANNOYED LOOK ON KELLY’S FACE YESTERDAY WAS ABOUT BREAKFAST
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump kicked off his trip to Europe with a biting critique of the United States’ longtime allies, declaring at a breakfast meeting that Germany ‘is captive to Russia.’ Next to him, three of his senior officials seemed uncomfortable at times, pursing their lips and glancing away from the table.” However, according to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “[Kelly] was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.” Got that?
From The Washington Post.
* NORTH MACEDONIA FORMALLY INVITED TO JOIN NATO
Reuters reports, “NATO leaders agreed on Wednesday to invite Macedonia to begin accession talks to join the Western alliance, extending its reach in the Balkans in defiance of Russia following a landmark accord with Greece over the ex-Yugoslav republic’s name.”
* LATVIA WILL GET NEW NATO NORTHERN COMMAND HQ IN 2019
Public broadcasting of Latvia reports, “Latvia will be the location for a newly-agreed NATO headquarters covering northern Europe, Latvia’s Ministry of Defense confirmed July 12 following a July 11 signing ceremony at the NATO summit taking place in Brussels.” Public broadcasting of Latvia adds, “Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and the Danish, Estonian, Canadian, British and Lithuanian Defense Ministers signed a letter of intent on the establishment of what will be called the Multinational Division Headquarters North.”
BRIAN BENCZKOWSKI CONFIRMED TO LEAD DOJ’S CRIMINAL DIVISION
The AP reports, “The Senate on Wednesday approved President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division following a yearlong confirmation process. Brian Benczkowski was narrowly confirmed as an assistant attorney general with a 51-48 vote. Democrats strongly opposed the nomination, partly because of his work while in private practice for a leading Russian bank. Democrats said his Russian ties could complicate special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.” That is precisely why Trump picked him, one imagines. The AP notes, “Benczkowski, who also served as an aide to Jeff Sessions when he was a U.S. senator, has most recently been a partner at Kirkland & Ellis law firm and a Justice Department official.” The AP adds, “Benczkowski attracted attention throughout the confirmation process. He told members of Congress that he had previously represented Alfa Bank, which drew attention last year after U.S. news media widely reported a possible server connection between the bank and the Trump Organization. The bank says it was targeted by hackers who created a fake cyber trail to suggest extensive links with businesses owned by Trump.” No justice no truth.
From the AP.
MNUCHIN TELLS TEXAS JUDGE EXXON HAS NO PRIVILEGE TO SEE 2014 DOCS
Bloomberg reports, “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.” Bloomberg adds, “Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which issued the penalty in July 2017, asked U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle in Dallas on Tuesday to overturn a magistrate judge’s June decision ordering Treasury to hand over more documents. OFAC said it’s already given the company a 23,000-page administrative record that includes all non-privileged material. Exxon has said it provided the vast majority of the documents in that record.” Trump’s first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Russian order of friendship medal recipient, was the former CEO of Exxon Mobil prior to joining the regime.
DARKNESS AT NUNES WILTS IN SUNLIGHT
CNN reports, “When California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes sat before a committee Wednesday to testify on a bill, Democrats tried to use the opportunity to question the House Intelligence Committee chairman on his investigation of Russian meddling and the 2016 presidential race. But the Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee — Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas — allowed Nunes to leave the hearing before Democrats could fire off their questions, prompting criticism from Democrats.” Yeah and nobody should ask him about the Alpha Omega winery teen sex and coke yacht cruise because he really will not answer questions about that.
MALTESE PROFESSOR A NO SHOW IN COURT
BuzzFeed News reports, “Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious professor at the center of the Trump-Russia probe, was due in court in Italy on Wednesday. But he didn’t turn up, and neither did his lawyers. During the hearing in Palermo, Sicily, the prosecutor described Mifsud as a ‘peculiar subject,”’and said that all attempts to reach and notify the Maltese professor had been unsuccessful. The prosecutor also noted that since the investigation had begun, Mifsud had become a character in Robert Mueller’s inquiry into the election of US president Donald Trump in 2016, but stressed that the Russia probe had no link whatsoever to the case in Sicily.” Recall George Papadopoulos, the cooperating witness in the Mueller probe, worked for him in London, as did his now wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos.
From BuzzFeed News.
HEY SHOIGU, SHOULDN’T YOU BE EAGERLY FIRING UP THE TANKS?
Russian state-run Tass reports, “American elites are whipping up tensions between Russia and the US, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale published on Wednesday.” Of course in classic gaslighting, for some reason coming from Shoigu and not say Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov or Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov, Russian state-run Tass adds, “The defense chief noted that the US asserts that Russia’s ‘aggressive’ actions on the global arena are the reason for the crisis in bilateral ties.” The article also mistranslates “America first” as “America one”.
From Russian state-run Tass.
RUSSIA HOPES QUISLING CODEL CAN HELP LIFT SANCTIONS ON THEIR ASSES
Russian state-run Tass reports, “Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has expressed the hope that members of the US congressional delegation that had visited Russia will raise the issue of lifting or suspending sanctions against Russian parliamentarians with the White House and Congress upon returning to the United States.” So now you know and can feign surprise by Russian expectations like nearly everyone in the media when it happens.
From Russian state-run Tass.
* GREECE TO EXPEL FOUR NOT TWO RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS
The Guardian reports, “Four Russian diplomats will be banned from Greece after evidence revealed Russia was trying to foment opposition to a historic deal between Greece and Macedonia that is likely to pave the way for Macedonia’s Nato membership and so weaken Russian influence in the western Balkans.”
From The Guardian.
The Washington Post reports, “A federal judge in Alexandria has ordered Paul Manafort to be moved to the city jail, although Manafort has asked to stay in a Northern Neck facility where prosecutors say he is receiving special treatment.” The Washington Post adds, “Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, had asked for his July 25 federal trial in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges to be delayed in large part because it was difficult to prepare while incarcerated 100 miles away. But on Tuesday, Manafort resisted being moved to Alexandria, arguing that while the city jail would be more convenient, he did not want to adjust to new circumstances so close to trial.” The Washington Post notes, “Prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday that Manafort has told people he is being treated like a ‘VIP’ in the Northern Neck jail, where he has his own phone and computer, writes emails and does not have to wear a uniform.” There is also bottle service and the possibility for lap dances in the late evening hours. The Washington Post adds, “In recent phone calls, they say Manafort also has said he has ‘all my files like I would at home,’ has ‘gone through all the discovery now,’ and is being treated like a ‘VIP.’”
From The Washington Post.
—–CAMP IVANKA: FROM THE KIDDIE INTERNMENT CAMPS—–
* NEIGHBORS PROTEST OUTSIDE ARYAN PRINCESS IVANKA’S CASTLE
The Daily Mail reports, “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s neighbors gathered outside their Washington DC home in silent protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policy and failure to reunite migrant children with their families. Dozens of people took the street outside the first daughter’s $5.5million family home, in the upmarket neighborhood of Kalorama, on Wednesday evening.” The Daily Mail adds, “The protesters, mainly local neighborhood residents, held candles and signs which read ‘Love thy neighbor’, ‘Tell Daddy, enough!’ and ‘Reunited.’” The Daily Mail notes, “this is the first time that homeowners have felt so strongly about an issue that they have taken to protesting outside one of their neighbor’s front doors, according to Riley Temple, 69, who lives just a couple of blocks away from Jared and Ivanka.” The Daily Mail adds Temple said, “These were all Kalorama neighbors. Under normal circumstances we would never protest outside a home. But these are not normal circumstances.” The Daily Mail notes, “Temple was among the more than 30 local residents, and members of local houses of worship to protest against the ‘continued separation of migrant families without any apparent or articulable reference for reuniting each and every family, and each and every child, with his or her parents,” adding, “The protest came just a day after it was revealed that the Trump administration wouldn’t meet its federal court ordered deadline to reunite migrant families.”
From The Daily Mail.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
* MUELLER TIME: PROSECUTORS ADDED
The Daily Beast reports, “Court filings show that at least half a dozen new names are participating in Mueller’s work, all current Justice Department prosecutors. Their backgrounds vary widely, from prosecuting violent crimes to cyber attacks.” New prosecutors include:
– Ryan Kao Dickey: “Of all of Mueller’s new prosecutors, Dickey—who joined the special counsel’s team last November—may have the experience that hits closest to home: He worked on the prosecution of Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar Lehel, known as Guccifer. Lehel hacked Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidante and ally of Hillary Clinton, and released emails showing she had used a private email address as secretary of state. His victims also included former secretary of state Colin Powell, Daily Beast founder Tina Brown, and actor Jeffrey Tambor,” which seems random but do not forget he was in “The Death of Stalin”. The Daily Beast notes, “Dickey is working on the prosecution of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that sowed division in the American electorate during the 2016 campaign.”
– Heather Alpino: “Alpinio graduated from Harvard Law School just four years ago, according to her LinkedIn profile. Since then, she has taken a position in the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.” The Daily Beast adds, “Alpino is also working on Mueller’s prosecution of the IRA.”
– Jonathan Kravis: “Kravis, who has extensive experience prosecuting public corruption cases, worked in the White House Counsel’s office during the Obama administration as associate counsel to the President. And during that time, he got to know another key player in the Russia probe: Emmet Flood, who joined the White House legal team in May to help handle issues related to the probe. While he was in the White House Counsel’s Office under Obama, according to a 2009 ethics waiver, Kravis was responsible for liaising with the representative for former President George W. Bush. Flood was that representative. Kravis also clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland.”
– Uzo Asonye: “For the contentious prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Mueller has enlisted the help of Uzo Asonye, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Defense attorneys who work in the district told The Daily Beast that Asonye is liked and well-respected, viewed as an honest broker and an expert on the ins and outs of the Alexandria courthouse where Manafort is facing charges.”
– Kathryn Rakoczy: “Rakoczy’s role on Mueller’s investigation—made public in a June 22 court filing—has raised some questions in Washington legal circles. An assistant U.S. attorney in the district of D.C., Rakoczy is best known for her work on violent crime cases. She focused on misdemeanors until about eight years ago, and then shifted to primarily prosecuting D.C. street crime. A Washington criminal defense attorney familiar with her work, who spoke anonymously to prevent tension between himself and Rakoczy, said her work for Mueller has generated some head-scratching, since Mueller isn’t investigating any violent street crimes.”
– Deborah Curtis: “Curtis, another prosecutor working on the IRA case, comes from the DOJ’s National Security Division, where she is deputy chief of the Counterespionage Section. From that perch, she has had a role in some of the DOJ’s most electric prosecutions, including going after a Chinese company accused of sanctions-busting on behalf of North Korea and prosecuting Stewart David Nozette, a prominent American scientist who pleaded guilty to spying for the Israeli government. She also worked on the prosecution of Chelsea Manning, according to notes on grand jury proceedings that one witness took and then posted online.”
From The Daily Beast.
STORMY DANIELS ARRESTED AT A STRIP CLUB IN OHIO
CNN reports, “Adult film actress Stormy Daniels was arrested at a strip club in Ohio early Thursday and faces three counts of illegally touching a patron, court records show. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted Thursday that his client was taken into custody while performing in Columbus.” CNN adds, “Daniels posted a $6,054 bail and was released, according to court records. Documents on the Franklin County Municipal Court website show that she will be arraigned Friday at 9 a.m.”
NEW WH COMMS CHIEF’S WIFE SAYS MORE FOUL SHIT
CNN reports, “Darla Shine, the wife of new White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, hosted a radio show in the late 2000s where she once mocked victims of sexual harassment in the military and repeatedly pushed fringe conspiracy theories about vaccines.” CNN adds, “Shine pushed her controversial views to a much wider audience and in much more depth on the ‘Darla Shine Show,’ a radio broadcast she hosted on the Talk Radio Network in 2008 and 2009 that boasted syndication on 100 radio stations nationwide. Speaking in August 2009, Shine declared herself a ‘sexist’ and said women serving with men in the military should expect to be sexually harassed.”
* MCMASTER BOOK SCHEDULED FOR 2020
The AP reports, “H.R. McMaster, the lieutenant general who endured a troubled year as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has a book deal. HarperCollins Publishers told The Associated Press on Wednesday that McMaster’s ‘Battlegrounds’ is scheduled for 2020. The book will cover his 34-year military career and his time in the Trump administration. Trump repeatedly clashed with McMaster and in March announced that he was replacing him with John Bolton.” McMaster previously authored “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam”.
From the AP.
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