Code Name Crossfire Hurricane

This Times story seems to me to be a useful start at a narrative for the Trump-Russia story, as we were discussing a few days ago. I still have the feeling that there’s a lot more we don’t know, but let’s look at the Times attempt.

Crossfire Hurricane was the name of the FBI investigation, when it started, into Russian influence on the upcoming election. CH started in mid-summer 2016. The name is a reference to the Rolling Stones lyric “I was born in a crossfire hurricane.” The Justice Department is supposed to release its inspector general’s investigation into its handling of the Clinton case this month, and the Times is obviously trying to get out its side of the story some background before that.

CH started when the FBI heard about George Papadopoulos’s drunken ravings to the Australian ambassador about information the Russians had on Hillary Clinton. The FBI treated it with great secrecy and worked fast, because the election was only a few months away.

There are some serious issues with the way they handled it, though, not the least is James Comey’s well-known pronouncements. I would start with the fact that the FBI used the same team to investigate Trump’s Russia problem that investigated the Clinton emails. I can understand why they did this; some overlapping issues like those very emails and corrupt influence on the election. The team would have had some of that in their heads and hands from the Clinton investigation, but they had just finished a big, sensitive investigation and probably could have used a less intense pace for a while. Also, that very background knowledge could have influenced how they saw evidence coming in on Trump. Better to hand over the documents to a new team in my opinion.

From this article, I could see how the Comey fiasco happened. The Clinton investigation was over, the Trump investigation was just beginning, the election was barreling toward them, and everyone assumed Clinton was going to win. But in my opinion, it would have been better not to confirm or deny anything. And the differential treatment suggests unconscious bias against the woman candidate. And all that ties into the notorious Times article of October 31, 2016 that seemingly exonerated Trump. That still needs a separate investigation.

The article takes Trump’s blathering (Witch hunt, witch hunt!) too seriously – they might have noted that such bluster is one of his tactics.

The four who were identified early on are interesting – Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. We still don’t know much about exactly how Flynn fits into all this beyond his showier actions, like that dinner with Vladimir Putin. Manafort, of course, has been charged with money laundering and various other things, but we don’t know how all that fits into Trump’s campaign. Carter Page, like Flynn, has some showy Russian connections. My biggest question about him is how he got connected to Sam Clovis, how Clovis got connected to Trump, and why anyone thought he was a foreign policy expert.

There’s a lot more in the article, but those are my big takeaways. I’ll bury a secondary lead here and link to the report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Maybe Adam can explicate that for us. I’ll note one thing – the Senate committee sees the NRA as a conduit for Russian money and influence. That could be the Sam Clovis – Carter Page – Donald Trump connection.

 

Addendum: Clara Jeffrey from Mother Jones has something she’d like to say:

105 replies
  1. 1
    VeniceRiley says:

    I am eager for these guys to be imprisoned or … whatever the harshest penalty that the charges allow.
    As for NYT, I wrote them off a long time ago. Every now and then, I get an article on msn for free. They’re a toxic hole … not at the level of Fox Hannity & Rush, but that is the best that can be said.

    Who was it that mentioned they wanted Ronan Farrow to get interested in Cohen/Trump et al? CHECK HIS LATEST TWEET #NewYorker piece!

  2. 2
    piratedan says:

    yeah but Clara, if Corn was any kind of pundit, he’d be writing for the NYT, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT… hence, its treated as dismissed since that narrative wasn’t invented there. Besides, we had pretty much ascertained on whose side the NYT reporting favored/disfavored…. cripes breathless wikileaks speculation versus a guy with lawsuits up his ass and absolutely zero transparency… hmmm who do YOU favor?

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    The NYT is so frustrating. I posted a link to Eric Wemple’s piece in the WaPo earlier (linking to my comment, because it was in moderation for a while.)

    ETA: Wemple has finally gotten Dean Baquet to cop to the bad headline, but otherwise he’s still defending away.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    “I hated her so much…Flames flames Flames on the side of my face

  5. 5
    oatler. says:

    I miss K-Thug.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G:

    The NYT is so frustrating.

    You misspelled treasonous bastards there.

  7. 7
    Jeffro says:

    I think the Flynn connection is, he was going to continue to steer (i.e. manipulate) Trumpov on foreign-policy to the liking of Russia and whomever in the middle east was willing to cough up some big dough

    He is the one who was taking directions from the Soviet ambassador after all

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    I’ll note one thing – the Senate committee sees the NRA as a conduit for Russian money and influence.

    The NRA is a Russian backed terror organization.

  9. 9
    Tom says:

    FTFNYT (can’t believe I’m the first one to say this).

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    he was going to continue to steer (i.e. manipulate) Trumpov on foreign-policy

    Only when he took the helm he realized there was a great gaping void where the steering wheel should be.

  11. 11
    Mary G says:

    @VeniceRiley: Wow! That is YUGE. Someone took two Suspicious Activity Reports filed by Cohen’s bank off the federal database. A federal official leaked, fearing a coverup.

    According to fincen, disclosing a sar is a federal offense, carrying penalties including fines of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to five years. The official who released the suspicious-activity reports was aware of the risks, but said fears that the missing reports might be suppressed compelled the disclosure. “We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.” Of the potential for legal consequences, the official said, “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.” But, referring to the released report, as well as the potential contents of the missing reports, the official also added, “This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”

    He can say that again.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G:

    “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.”

    Holy shit. That’s a lot farther along the federal appointee corruption path then expected. Who fucking ordered it and more importantly who fucking did the dirty deed?

  13. 13
    Jeffro says:

    @Mary G: someone’s gonna go to jail for that one, you bet

  14. 14
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Mary G: I know, right? All credit to Mister Farrow, who can go from #metoo to Cohen and break news without skipping a beat. I hope NYT is seething that the New Yorker and Farrow beat them once again!

  15. 15
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: firing Sally Yates for her noble, but misguided, attempt to warn Trumpov about Flynn/Russia should have been cause enough to have him dragged out of the WH

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    @Mary G: Ah, oopsie. Who could possibly be responsible for something like that? No, wait, wait, don’t tell me.

  17. 17
    But her emails!! says:

    @Jeffro:

    someone’s gonna go to jail for that one, you bet

    Probably the whistleblower.

  18. 18
    GregB says:

    I nominate Mitch McConnell for the role of toothless, bearded hag.

  19. 19
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Jeffro: Yes (ETA someone is likely to go to jail), and quite likely the leaker depending on the circumstances of the disappearance, or perhaps even in spite of it. They took a serious legal risk here.

  20. 20
    Chris T. says:

    Huh, I always thought the lyric was “class five” hurricane, kind of like f1-to-f5 for tornados…

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The NRA is a Russian backed terror organization.

    Damn I wish we could get a formal designation of them as international terrorists. OTOH, it would sorely tempt me to go back on my anti-waterboarding stance.

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I vote for Scott Pruitt. He done it!

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @Chris T.:
    “There’s, a bathroom on the right.”

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    @GregB:
    You just made the China people sad.

  25. 25
    Mary G says:

    I just hope that Ronan Farrow is better at disguising his sources than Glenn Greenwald was.

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    @Mary G:
    Greenwald outright burned that last gal. Still can’t believe that stunt.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    The NYT continues to deny their garbagosity.

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Speaking of the NRA, they finally got their “good guy with a gun in a school.” Somehow buried in the news day, along with the Russian-sounding lady killed in the SoCal bombing.

    A police officer saved many lives at an Illinois high school when he shot a former student who opened fire on campus, say authorities. Officials say Dixon police officer Mark Dallas exchanged gunfire with the unidentified 19-year-old suspect, who was previously expelled.

    Neither the officer nor any students were hurt in Wednesday morning’s confrontation at Dixon High School. The suspect was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Mary G:

    That is YUGE. Someone took two Suspicious Activity Reports filed by Cohen’s bank off the federal database. 

    Fucking Hillary. Why won’t she go away?

  30. 30

    @Baud: It’s probably in her missing emails.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Holy shit. That’s a lot farther along the federal appointee corruption path then expected. Who fucking ordered it and more importantly who fucking did the dirty deed?

    The full article quotes people saying the most likely explanation is that somebody who’s investigating the reports had them locked down and denied access to people outside their investigation. I could certainly imagine Mueller not wanting anyone else stumbling on those reports, deciding to investigate, and somehow messing up his investigation.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    @Mary G:

    damn that is crazy! god, this is so goddamn nixonian.

  33. 33
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Just as a pedantic aside, Commonwealth countries don’t exchange Ambassadors, they have High Commissioners.

    It’s a historical hangover that represents that some foreign countries are not as foreign as other foreign countries.

    The Australian High Commissioner to the UK at the time was Alexander Downer. Known at home mainly for his propensity for fish net stockings, a brief failed leadership of the conservative party and involvement in a corrupt kickback scheme involving selling Australian wheat to Saddam in the 90s.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore: Rational explanations are the enemy of outrage.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @trollhattan:
    “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mary G:

    I just hope that Ronan Farrow is better at disguising his sources than Glenn Greenwald was.

    Farrow doesn’t want to burn his source, which gives him a leg up on Greenwald.

  37. 37
    chopper says:

    @trollhattan:

    “the ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind”

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @trollhattan:

    Speaking of the NRA, they finally got their “good guy with a gun in a school.”

    Not really. Their “good guy with a gun” is supposed to be a random bystander who’s concealed carrying, not a police officer.

  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    Waiting for Dolt 45 to announce (tweet) “I have complete confidence in me.”

    That, of course, will be the signal that he’s about to exit.

  40. 40
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mary G: Greenwald wasn’t burning a source. She came to Assange, not realizing he’s working directly for the Russians.

  41. 41
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Roger Moore: yeah, this.

  42. 42
    Peale says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: wearing the stockings or looking at others in the stockings?

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore: I think they are loosening their standards these days.

  44. 44

    @Viva BrisVegas: The kid’s headed down there in late Sept. since her trip to Korea with her mom got postponed due to her mom getting laid off from her job.

  45. 45
    Haroldo says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: And ‘things that batter.’ Our boy Alex, what an unsubstantial git.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The full article quotes people saying the most likely explanation is that somebody who’s investigating the reports had them locked down and denied access to people outside their investigation.

    That’s not what the article said.

    Nevertheless, a former prosecutor who spent years working with the fincen database said that she knew of no mechanism for restricting access to sars. She speculated that fincen may have taken the extraordinary step of restricting access “because of the highly sensitive nature of a potential investigation.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Known at home mainly for his propensity for fish net stockings

    Fish net stockings?

    Well, that’s a Downer.

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Greenwald wasn’t burning a source.

    He did. She went to the Intercept.

  50. 50
    ruemara says:

    This won’t end well. These folks having any power is bad. The levels of power they’ve achieved means we are in a fight to the end.

    In other news, my parents want me to get my citizenship so they want to foot the bill for the paperwork filing, which is nice. If I don’t need legal representation, I should be able to handle everything that way and be a legal voter type by next year. (I guess, no idea how long it takes.)

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore:
    @trollhattan:

    “Who’s the cat who won’t come out, when there’s danger all about?”

  52. 52
    frosty says:

    OK, we have a name. Let’s stop calling this Russiagate or Stupid Watergate or Trump-Russia. Change the tags and call it Crossfire Hurricane. I likes it!

  53. 53

    @Baud: Yup, her last day was in early February.

  54. 54

    @ruemara: It took me two weeks shy of six months from application to the citizenship oath in 2017.

    ETA: Its taking slightly longer than that this year.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    @Elizabelle:

    “a girl with colitis goes by…”

  56. 56
    Jeffro says:

    Actually just had an acquaintance on FB tell me that Trumpov’s disclosing the Stormy Daniels payoff was…wait for it, waiiiit for it…a big “nothing burger”.

    I’m like, “it’s HIM…your. own. guy. It’s not some made-up CNN report…it’s HIM. He disclosed that he really did pay off a porn star (via his fixer, via a shell corporation) to keep quiet about the affair they had just after his third wife had his fifth kid”

    Response? The two-fer: “I’m still waiting on that evidence of Russian collusion” and “Clinton Foundation/her emails”. No joke.

    They’re in a panic. I think they are starting to sense that – glory be! – Trumpov might have possibly misled them at certain points, perhaps.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That sucks. At least no more ruined Thanksgivings.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    “When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.”
      – Rex Tillerson

    From a commencement speech delivered today. Source

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @chopper:

    “Her breasts keep shining in the sun….”

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro:

    Actually just had an acquaintance on FB tell me

    C’mon, man. We know it was your dad.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @NotMax:

    “Wobble, wobble.”

  62. 62
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Peale:

    The wearing thereof.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    September is a good time of year to visit the North, no cyclones. The South of the country is still a bit cold that time of year.

  63. 63
    Mary G says:

    @ruemara: @schrodingers_cat: Green card renewal took nine months for the housemate. Very stressful waiting, as there to six months was the estimate.

  64. 64
    pappenheimer says:

    “They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray, And Laid him on the Green.”.

  65. 65
    Repatriated says:

    “Secret…Asian Man.
    SecretAsianman!”

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:

    @ruemara:

    That’s good news, and good luck with the process. If you have any questions, I can run them by my Brazilian brother-in-law, who is now a U.S. citizen. And I’m sure Schrodinger’s Cat would be happy to help.

  67. 67
    mike in dc says:

    @frosty:
    Stay…uh…well, you know.

  68. 68

    @Mary G: This is a useful website to get an idea of the general wait periods people are experiencing for the various steps in the GC application and other immigration applications.

  69. 69
    Steeplejack says:

    @mike in dc:

    Don’t forget to hydrate!

  70. 70

    @Steeplejack: Aww, thanks for the vote of confidence.

  71. 71

    @Baud: The kid also had to work last Thanksgiving.

  72. 72

    @Roger Moore:
    They’re also passing around a video of a woman who used her concealed carry pistol to gun down a mugger.

    @Jeffro:
    Alas, I don’t think they’re panicking because he misled them. THInk more superficially. They’re pissed that they’re losing a rhetorical conflict, so they shoot squid ink. Actual facts are not the point, only whoever appears conversationally dominant.

    @mike in dc:
    Stay thirsty, my friend?

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Yay for the good news! I promise to buy you a drink once you’re official.

  74. 74
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud:

    C’mon, man. We know it was your dad.

    No, for realz! I have a few high school folks as FB friends who must have been seeing all the stuff I post and either ignored it ’til now (or more likely, have a life) but whew, they sure are coming out now.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re about a half degree of difference from RWNJ dad and bro. But still.

  75. 75

    @Mnemosyne: When do I get my drink?

  76. 76

    @Viva BrisVegas: She’s planning on visiting both Australia and New Zealand.

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    They’re pissed that they’re losing a rhetorical conflict, so they shoot squid ink. Actual facts are not the point, only whoever appears conversationally dominant.

    Good point. I think the one guy just realized he had gone to the mat (and for Trumpov, of all people!) quite recently, saying Stormy was making the whole thing up…and then today hit. Oopsie! I guess he really DID pay off a paramour via his fixer via shell corporation just before the election – whocoodanode?

    And they always, Always, ALWAYS reach for the Hillary Card, it’s just unreal. Deus Ex Hillary – solves every plot problem a Trumpista encounters, EVER!

  78. 78
    TS (the original) says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Known at home mainly for his propensity for fish net stockings, a brief failed leadership of the conservative party and involvement in a corrupt kickback scheme involving selling Australian wheat to Saddam in the 90s.

    And for that he was rewarded with the best job in London. RW politicians live by different rules.

  79. 79
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    They’re also passing around a video of a woman who used her concealed carry pistol to gun down a mugger.

    I think that would be the video of the off duty cop in Brasil. She was dropping her kids off to school when the mugger held up some kids so she shot him twice. He later died. She would probably also be dead except that the muggers gun jammed.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Get her to take some winter woolies. NZ can be bitter that time of year.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yay for the good news! I promise to buy you a drink once you’re official.

    You’re supposed to get a cake decorated like a US flag.

  81. 81
    Aleta says:

    @ruemara: That’s wonderful.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jeffro:

    And they always, Always, ALWAYS reach for the Hillary Card, it’s just unreal.

    Tu quoque is the fallacy of choice among the wingnuts. The pundit class is pretending not to take a side, so they have to say “both sides” instead of “you do it too”.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You get to buy that since you were the first to mention it. 😉

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    When you come to California! All us LA jackals are nice, you should come visit us.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: She’s too smart to fall for that line.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    Rachel is trying to downplay the NYT’s malfeasance for some reason.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @chopper: Colitis!

  89. 89
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    The NYT as an institution is trash and deserves to burn to the fucking ground.

    On 16 March 1941, with European cities ablaze and Jews being herded into ghettos, the New York Times Magazine featured an illustrated story on Adolf Hitler’s retreat in the Berchtesgaden Alps. Adopting a neutral tone, correspondent C Brooks Peters noted that historians of the future would do well to look at the importance of “the führer’s private and personal domain,” where discussions about the war front were interspersed with “strolls with his three sheep dogs along majestic mountain trails”.

    For more than 70 years, we have ignored Peters’ call to take Hitler’s domestic spaces seriously. When we think of the stage sets of Hitler’s political power, we are more likely to envision the Nuremberg Rally Grounds than his living room. Yet it was through the architecture, design and media depictions of his homes that the Nazi regime fostered a myth of the private Hitler as peaceable homebody and good neighbour. In the years leading up to the Second World War, this image was used strategically and effectively, both within Germany and abroad, to distance the dictator from his violent and cruel policies. Even after the outbreak of war, the favourable impression of the off-duty führer playing with dogs and children did not immediately fade.

    Hitler claimed that he personally paid for the costly Old Chancellery renovations as a service to the nation. Gerdy Troost’s invoices, however, reveal that it was German taxpayers, struggling through the Great Depression, who largely footed the bill.

  90. 90
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Chris T.:
    Because it’s so typical of Mick, being a meteorologist, to sneak in a technical reference.

  91. 91
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:
    I myself keep explaining to these Americans the difference between a High Commissioner and an Ambassador, but these non-Commonwealth people just don’t get it … //

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: the Comte’s link is

    Hitler at Home: the houses designed to portray the führer as a morally upstanding man
    In the years leading up to the Second World War, media depictions of Adolf Hitler at home – reading, walking his dogs and enjoying fine artwork – were used by the Nazi regime to create a favourable public image of the führer, claims the author of Hitler at Home…

    From History extra,
    The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC World Histories Magazine

    Recognized it. I own that book, but have not cracked it yet. Trump has kinda taken the wind out of my sails, but desperately curious on how Hitler got “normalized.” Looks like a great read.

    Author is Professor Despina Stratigakos of SUNY Buffalo.

  93. 93
    japa21 says:

    @Jeffro:

    And they always, Always, ALWAYS reach for the Hillary Card, it’s just unreal. Deus Ex Hillary – solves every plot problem a Trumpista encounters, EVER!

    And here’s the thing. All they have are the emails and the Foundation. Yet the very stories that tried to show pay for play actually proved the opposite. IIRC, the percentage of people who received access to Clinton for non directly state department business who had, at some time in the past donated to the foundation, was approximately 50%. What this means is that 50% received that access without donating, thus no pay to play.

  94. 94
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    That whole link is frightening, in that the normalization echoes just like Masha Gessen and Sarah Kendzior predict.

  95. 95
    jonas says:

    @NotMax: I don’t care how much Rex showers from now until he shuffles off this mortal coil, he’s never getting rid of that Trumpstink.

  96. 96
    J R in WV says:

    Hitler was normalized in exactly the way Herr Fuhrer Trump us being normalized right now by the NYT and other big MSM outlets.

    So don’t read history, just look at what’s happening right now, right here!

  97. 97
    Jeffro says:

    @japa21: I hear you but facts…the deplorables are most definitely NOT into them…

  98. 98
    J R in WV says:

    Posted this on another, dead, thread:

    Went to the local YMCA gym today for the first time. After swimming a little, got back into the men’s locker room, recently remodeled and very nice which has couches and such to hang out. Two older guys (remember, I’m an old retiree!) were apparently acquainted, one said “I don’t know if Trump is a good president, but if he can tweet and get 50 or 60 people shot dead, there’s something wrong!”

    Then the other old conservative guy said “He cheated on his first wife, left her for a second wife, cheated on her with his third wife, cheated on her with a porn star while she was having his baby, and will be hosting National Prayer Day! There’s something bad wrong with that, too!”

    I wasn’t expecting that, actually. Glad to hear that locker room chat, not like Trump’s locker room chatter at all, gave me some hope!

  99. 99
    jonas says:

    And the differential treatment suggests unconscious bias against the woman candidate. And all that ties into the notorious Times article of October 31, 2016 that seemingly exonerated Trump. That still needs a separate investigation.

    You can’t discount that straight up misogyny might have played a role, but I think Kevin Drum was on point with this matter: it goes to show how effectively Republicans work the refs — in this case the FBI, as well as the NYT. All this, including Comey’s decision to send the letter about the new emails, was motivated by one thing: not wanting to set off the Wingnut Wurlitzer: Congressional GOP, Fox, talk radio, etc. All the institutions that should provide an independent check on power are continually in a defensive crouch after years of being hounded for “liberal bias” by the WW. And, as Drum observed, it’s largely worked.

  100. 100
    jonas says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: @japa21:

    All they have are the emails and the Foundation.

    …which is hilarious, because Trump’s own “foundation” was so transparently a self-dealing scam. And of course we’re all looking forward to the reactions from these folks when it’s revealed that everyone in the Trump WH is using all sorts of unsecured private communications around the clock for everything and compromising untold reams of highly classified stuff. We’ve never been wrong yet simply going with the assumption that everything Trump accuses Hillary or Obama of is projection. It’s always projection. Always.

  101. 101
    jonas says:

    @J R in WV: I hear a lot of these kind of conversations, too, like in the barber shop or something. And they always follow it up with “well, not as bad as Obama was, though,” and all nod in agreement.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jonas: I obviously live in a very different place than you do.

  103. 103
    Aleta says:

    NYC lawyer Aaron Schlossberg began screaming at employees of a Midtown restaurant on Madison Ave. after he overheard another customer speaking to a waiter in Spanish. Schlossberg then threatened to report the restaurant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

    Aaron Schlossberg, 42, is a registered Republican and 2016 donor of $500 to President Trump’s campaign.

    The customer, a medical receptionist with Puerto Rican roots, had just ordered her lunch in Spanish when Schlossberg exploded and screamed at a counter worker to “give me my f—ing sandwich!”

    She and her friend took video of Schlossberg that was posted by her husband on Facebook.

    In the video, Aaron Schlossberg tells a manager, “Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English… This is America.” The employee explains that the workers were speaking to customers.

    Schlossberg then said, “My guess is, they’re not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of [them] kicked out of my country. They have the balls to come here and live off of my money. I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here. The least they could do, the least they could do is speak English.”

    “They (the customer and the waiter) were speaking Spanish because they are friends,” the manager said. “He got mad, waiting in line for his food. I had to stay professional and ask him to leave,” the manager said. “That’s what I did. He stormed out.”

    “He heard us speak Spanish and started yelling, ‘You motherf—ers!'” recounted Oscar Villanueva, a Honduran immigrant and employee of Fresh Kitchen.

    “He said we have to speak English,” continued Villanueva. “He started saying a lot of ugly words . . . We felt really bad, humiliated.”

    Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito tweeted in Spanish that the video “demonstrates how ignorant you are and makes clear you support the politics of Trump to destroy our families. We reject you and all you represent.”

    Shaun King @ShaunKing
    Dear Midtown Manhattan Attorney Aaron M Schlossberg,

    7 of your college classmates from @JohnsHopkins & @GWtweets contacted me and said this is you & they aren’t surprised.

    I am asking the New York Bar Association (@nysba) to also look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC. https://t.co/8pF1nzQtDu

    A video last year shows Schlossberg yelling, “You are not a Jew” at Jewish people supporting Palestinian rights.

    Two online petitions ask for his disbarment (2,100 signatures Wednesday night) or discipline (1,600 signatures).

    –Quotes from the Daily News

  104. 104
    cwmoss says:

    @Roger Moore: The article also said there is no vehicle for removing the SARS from the database. So based on what appears publicly available, coverup, rather than investigative removal, seems more likely.

  105. 105
    Aleta says:

    NY magazine

    Qatari investor al-Rumaihi revealed that Michael Cohen had never asked him for “millions” to send to the Trump family – rather, the president’s personal lawyer merely asked the manager of a foreign government’s sovereign wealth fund for a $1 million bribe, without specifying where those funds might end up once they left the Qataris’ pockets.

    In al-Rumaihi’s account, he first met Cohen at a presidential transition fundraising breakfast in Manhattan on December 7, 2016. There, he asked Cohen if he could “pick his brain on an infrastructure fund the Qatar Investment Authority had been contemplating, worth more than $50 billion.”

    Days later, they met at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan. Cohen suggested that Al-Rumaihi could use his infrastructure fund to revitalize some Rust Belt towns, saying, in al-Rumaihi’s telling, “‘For example, we can find a steel factory that is about to shut down. You guys can invest. I’ll give you some names to appoint as partners. You guys put in the money, we will put in the know-how, and share the profits 50-50. We can perhaps get a federal government ‘off-take agreement’ for 10 to 15 years. It will revitalize the city, great PR, you guys will look like you’re saving the city, everybody wins.’”

    Al-Rumaihi concluded that this arrangement was designed to benefit Cohen’s proposed “partners” more than his investment fund or the American Midwest.

    When al-Rumaihi asked Cohen more generally about important projects that the investment fund should back, Cohen said there were plenty of options. But Cohen said he would need $1 million first, as part of his fee, al-Rumaihi told The Intercept. 

    Cohen moved the discussion along, saying “we can discuss those details later,” al-Rumaihi said. Al-Rumaihi remembered struggling to find words to reply, and finally saying, “OK.”

    Al-Rumaihi said he didn’t mean to signal agreement, but rather, as he recalled later, “that we would discuss those details later and explain why QIA, as a matter of strict policy, does not pay middleman fees in any transactions.”   

    Al-Rumaihi denies making any payments to Cohen. And the recently revealed financial documents from Cohen’s “Essential Consulting LLC” suggest that the Qatari investor did not, in fact, take Trump’s lawyer up on his “services.”

    But hard to say what the truth is.

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