If literacy was the test, we'd have to deport most of your home state, Bubba. https://t.co/RnRcuxpyAW
— pɹoɟɥsɐ uǝʞ (@KenAshford) January 20, 2018
Members also complaining to me that the House gym lacks enough towels this morning and they wonder if it’s because of the shutdown.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 20, 2018
NEW: @RepMeehan, who has positioned himself as a leader in fighting sexual misconduct, used taxpayer $ to settle a sexual harassment complaint brought by an aide. Meehan allegedly professed romantic desires, then become hostile when she didn't reciprocate. https://t.co/eAojusz6KD
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 20, 2018
Just shows that you can have all the cards and lose if you don’t know what you’re doing.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2013
The federal government has shutdown on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 20, 2018
JUST IN: Sheriff provides updates on Vegas shooting
• No motive discovered in Vegas shooting that killed 58
• 851 total injured, 422 injured by gunfire
• No charges anticipated against girlfriend of gunman
• Authorities have sought 2,000 leads + reviewed 21,560 hrs of video
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 19, 2018
It really worries me how offended everyone is about everything nowadays. Everyone wants to be on the side of whatever makes them look like a good person online. There’s nuance. It’s not black and white. People can be right and wrong at the exact same time.
— Chris D'Elia (@chrisdelia) January 18, 2018
You can’t think about this Nunes memo without remembering that his last big foray into this territory, the unmasking stunt, was completely fabricated. Credibility matters, and he’s burned his.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2018
I covered the last shutdown and several almost shutdowns and debt ceiling crises. This is unlike anything I’ve seen. Both sides SO confident they’ve got it right. Govt likely to shutdown without any panic.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 19, 2018
Notable sections from testimony:
* Simpson: Most people around Trump were connected in some way to Russian organized crime
* Simpson, when asked if the Russian mafia was integrated with the Russian government, responds that it's integrated with the American government pic.twitter.com/MMqNJSAE0r
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 19, 2018
Recap of how we got here:
1 Trump rescinds DACA, demands Congress act within 6 months
2 Senate forms bipartisan talks on DACA
3 Trump promises to sign whatever group comes up with
4 Group reaches bipartisan deal
5 Trump does 180, rejects deal, leaving DACA kids to be deported
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) January 19, 2018
– Number of "Fake News" Stories" Trump could find for his #FakeNewsAwards after a year of reporting: 8
– Number of these stories corrected by the press: 8
– Number of Trump Lies over last year: 1,593
– Number of Trump Lies which he corrected: 0
— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) January 18, 2018
Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve.
Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, has sent his first request to the Fed, Politico reports.
He requested zero. https://t.co/rLRjUNqo4w
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 18, 2018
When a complex website is broken the best thing to do is blow it up and start all over again-then sue the culprits and use the proper team!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2013
NBC News and MSNBC won zero Fake News Awards.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 18, 2018
It's now being reported that Bannon slipped up and disclosed that he'd held internal communications about the Trump Tower meeting.
This will be of interest to Mueller.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 17, 2018
New sign Mueller's team may not be close to wrapping up: Prosecutors just filed a status report in the George Papadopoulos case asking to file the next update in 90 days — plea deal included provision to delay sentencing until his "efforts to cooperate have been completed" pic.twitter.com/qRPkcezrin
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) January 17, 2018
Today was to be the day that Trump promised he would embark on another unpresidential act, announcing the “winners” of the “Fake News Award.” This might prove to be difficult for him, as he like to be the winner of everything. If he goes through with the preposterous thing, I’m sure he’ll find a way to give himself an award.
Of course, Trump’s motive here is insidious. Blasting the press is always the refuge of dictators and despots. The goal is to close out any dissenting viewpoints, in order to create a “safe space,” state-run media bubble, where no one hears or reads negative views about him. All that is filtered out and all that’s left are the sycophants and bobbleheads of Fox News and Gateway Pundit.
Whether or not Trump does this, some, particularly two GOP Senators from Arizona, are taking this non-event to scold Trump on his treatment of the press. Senator McCain in an op-ed writes:
This assault on journalism and free speech proceeds apace in places such as Russia, Turkey, China, Egypt, Venezuela and many others. Yet even more troubling is the growing number of attacks on press freedom in traditionally free and open societies, where censorship in the name of national security is becoming more common. Britain passed a surveillance law that experts warn chills free speech, and countries from France to Germany are looking to do the same. In Malta, a prominent journalist was brutally murdered in October after uncovering systemic government corruption. In Poland, an independent news outlet was fined (later rescinded) nearly half a million dollars for broadcasting images of an anti-government protest.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s attitude toward such behavior has been inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst. While administration officials often condemn violence against reporters abroad, Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets. This has provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit. The phrase “fake news” — granted legitimacy by an American president — is being used by autocrats to silence reporters, undermine political opponents, stave off media scrutiny and mislead citizens. CPJ documented 21 cases in 2017 in which journalists were jailed on “fake news” charges.
Trump’s attempts to undermine the free press also make it more difficult to hold repressive governments accountable. For decades, dissidents and human rights advocates have relied on independent investigations into government corruption to further their fight for freedom. But constant cries of “fake news” undercut this type of reporting and strip activists of one of their most powerful tools of dissent.
We cannot afford to abdicate America’s long-standing role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world. Without strong leadership in the White House, Congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment, and defending the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.
And Senator Jeff Flake just finished a fiery speech on the Senate floor:
Flake: “An American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame, is charting a very dangerous path” https://t.co/Mut8uKwiDg
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 17, 2018
So, it was Fake News that there would be Fake News awards. https://t.co/q204CgVrQq
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 16, 2018
Officials investigating the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election are scrutinizing newly uncovered financial transactions between the Russian government and people or businesses inside the United States. This could reveal good stuff.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, charged with investigating Russian election interference and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, is examining these transactions and others by Russian diplomatic personnel, according to a US official with knowledge of the inquiry.
The transactions reveal:
- One of the people at the center of the investigation, the former Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, received $120,000 ten days after the election of Donald Trump. Bankers flagged it to the US government as suspicious in part because the transaction, marked payroll, didn’t fit prior pay patterns.
- Five days after Trump’s inauguration, someone attempted to withdraw $150,000 cash from the embassy’s account — but the embassy’s bank blocked it. Bank employees reported the attempted transaction to the US government because it was abnormal activity for that account.
- From March 8 to April 7, 2014, bankers flagged nearly 30 checks for a total of about $370,000 to embassy employees, who cashed the checks as soon as they received them, making it virtually impossible to trace where the money went. Bank officials noted that the employees had not received similar payments in the past, and that the transactions surrounded the date of a critical referendum on whether parts of Crimea should secede from Ukraine and join Russia — one of Vladimir Putin’s top foreign policy concerns and a flash point with the West.
- Over five years, the Russian Cultural Centre — an arm of the government that sponsors classes and performances and is based in Washington, DC — sent $325,000 in checks that banking officials flagged as suspicious. The amounts were not consistent with normal payroll checks and some of the transactions fell below the $10,000 threshold that triggers a notice to the US government.
- The Russian embassy in Washington, DC, sent more than $2.4 million to small home-improvement companies controlled by a Russian immigrant living not far from there. Between 2013 and March 2017, that contractor’s various companies received about 600 such payments, earmarked for construction jobs at Russian diplomatic compounds. Bankers told the Treasury they did not think those transactions were related to the election but red-flagged them because the businesses seemed too small to have carried out major work on the embassy and because the money was cashed quickly or wired to other accounts.
Each of these transactions sparked a “suspicious activity report” sent to the US Treasury’s financial crimes unit by Citibank, which handles accounts of the Russian embassy. By law, bankers must alert the government to transactions that bear hallmarks of money laundering or other financial misconduct. Such reports can support investigations and intelligence gathering — but by themselves they are not evidence of a crime, and many suspicious activity reports are filed on transactions that are perfectly legal. Intelligence and diplomatic sources who reviewed the transactions for BuzzFeed News said there could be justifiable uses for the money, such as travel, bonuses, or pension payouts.
The Treasury Department turned over the suspicious activity reports to the FBI after the bureau asked for records that might relate to the investigation into the election, according to three federal law enforcement officials with knowledge of the matter. The bureau did not respond to requests for comment on what, if anything, it has done to investigate the transactions.
As the foregoing shows, there is nothing that connects these payments to Trump, Trump’s campaign, or any service or act done for the benefit of Trump’s campaign. But it does show that Mueller is looking hard at money-laundering by Russians, something that Trump may have been involved with long before he ran for President.
Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy. He and his team took great care of all of us for many years
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 16, 2018
This doctor is ENTHUSIASTIC about Trump's extraordinary genetic superiority.
— digby (@digby56) January 16, 2018