(SL) – It will happen behind closed doors but, DJ is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a 2016 meeting he attended with a lawyer linked to the Kremlin today.
Donald Trum Jr. attended the meeting in an attempt to get dirt on Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. USA Today reports, his testimony was confirmed Wednesday by congressional aides who were not authorized to speak publicly, is part of the panel’s investigation of the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The president’s son attended a June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower along with Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager at the time, and Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law.
Trump Jr. released emails in July of this year that showed he actively sought damaging information about Clinton from the meeting even after he was told it would come from the Russian government. Trump Jr. has described the meeting as a waste of time, saying it did not yield any useful information for his father’s campaign.
The Judiciary Committee and the Senate and House Intelligence committees are all conducting Russia probes. Special counsel Robert Mueller is leading a separate investigation.
Senate Judiciary Committee staff and some senators will question Trump Jr. in Thursday’s closed session.
(SL) – NBC News reports, Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued the U.S. government Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s plan to end protection against deportation for young immigrants, saying it was motivated by prejudice against Mexicans.
Legal experts, however, say the evidence of bias is not strong in the case involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
“It might be able to muck up the works, maybe push off the effective date of the repeal, but I don’t see litigation being successful in the same way as the travel ban,” Kari Hong, an immigration expert at Boston College Law School, said, referring to the lawsuit earlier this year that limited the Trump ban involving predominantly Muslim nations.
As indications of Trump’s bias, the suit filed Wednesday cited his previous statements referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and his decision to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt for ignoring a federal court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
“Ending DACA, whose participants are mostly of Mexican origin, is a culmination of President’s Trump’s oft-stated commitments — whether personally held, stated to appease some portion of his constituency, or some combination thereof — to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots,” the lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn said.
(SL) – Day to day, Americans try to go on with their lives cautiously not knowing what Donald Trump will pull next. With the fear of war hanging imminently over the country with his continued beef with Kim Jong Un and his relentless attempt to undo everything Barack Obama did at any cost, one loses hope.
But then, doing what he did so well in uniting the country while he was president and now, Barack Obama speaks up when needed. Donald Trump is planning on rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program in six months with Jeff Sessions claiming it has to be done because it is unconstitutional.
If it was so unconstitutional, I doubt Obama would’ve ever been able to start the program. What is unconstitutional…Donald Trump continuing to make money off of his presidency for his businesses. But Americans are noticing and Actor Chris Evans summed it up best.
Yahoo reports, Obama tweeted his reaction, which described Trump’s decision as wrong and “contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.”
Trump’s decision puts into uncertainty the futures of roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, also known as Dreamers.
The president also put the responsibility on Congress to craft a legislative replacement for DACA before the Obama-era rule is eliminated in six months. Republicans and Democrats have disagreed on protections for Dreamers in the past.
(SL) – As Texas continues to get buried by floods following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the country is being reminded of another hasty mistake Donald Trump made a couple of weeks ago.
A recent report by CNBC states, President Donald Trump was planning on revoking an Obama-era executive order that required strict building standards for government-funded projects to reduce exposure to increased flooding from sea level rise.
Trump did in fact sign his own executive order that afternoon revoking the standards as part of his administration’s plan to “streamline the current process” for infrastructure projects.
The officials say the Trump order does not prohibit state and local agencies from using a more stringent standard if they choose.
The sources claim Trump’s order will establish “discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects, but most don’t agree with the move.
The Trump administration has complained that it takes too much time to get permits and approvals for construction projects. The administration has issued dozens of rules and orders to reverse or rescind Obama-era regulations addressing climate change and its consequences such as rising sea levels and more severe storms.
The Obama-era standard Executive Order 13690 required that builders factor in scientific projections for how climate change could affect flooding in a certain area and ensure projects can withstand rising sea levels and stronger downpours.
Obama required all federal agencies apply the standard to all public infrastructure projects from public housing to highways.
It raised base flood levels to a higher vertical elevation to “address current and future flood risk and ensure that projects funded with taxpayer dollars last as long as intended,” according to a 2015 Treasury Department presentation on the order.
U.S. officials have estimated that the United States suffered $260 billion in flood related damages between 1980 and 2013.
Flood policy expert Eli Lehrer, president of the libertarian R Street Institute, has been critical of many Obama initiatives. But he said revoking this order was a kneejerk political reaction by the Trump administration, which will end up costing taxpayers money.
“The Trump administration is acting very rashly in part out of the desire to undo a climate measure under the Obama administration,” he said. “This is an enormous mistake that is disastrous for taxpayers. The (Obama) rule would have saved billions of dollars over time.”
(Washington, DC) – While most people were glued to their televisions and social media sites following Hurricane Harvey’s destruction on Texas, Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is the former Arizona Sheriff whose aggressive efforts to hunt down and detain undocumented immigrants landed him with a criminal conviction.
Mr. Arpaio had touted himself as “America’s toughest sheriff,” making inmates wear pink underwear and serving jail food that at least some prisoners called inedible. He was also at the forefront of the so-called birther movement that aimed to investigate President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
The criminal conviction grew out of a lawsuit filed a decade ago charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally and turning them over to the immigration authorities.
In 2011, a federal district judge hearing the case ordered Mr. Arpaio to stop detaining people based solely on suspicion of their immigration status, when there was no evidence that a state law had been broken. But the sheriff insisted that his tactics were legal and that he would continue employing them.
(SL) – Reuters reports, U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors grappled with a threat from President Donald Trump to shut down the government if Congress fails to fund a Mexico border wall.
Stocks managed to briefly pare losses after comments from U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan calling a government shutdown unnecessary. Yet that was not enough to calm nerves as the deadline to approve spending measures draws near and a fight looms over raising the cap on government borrowing.
Congress will have about 12 working days when it returns from its summer recess on Sept. 5 to raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. Treasury exhausts the last of its options to remain current on all of the federal government’s obligations.
(SL)– Donald Trump seems to think that among a group of racists white supremacists shouting “Jews will not replace us” where good people. I wonder if he’s referring to this racists individuals who attacked DeAndre Harris during the Charlottesville protests.
Video is now circulating showing the attack in full living color and it is a blessing that this young man is still alive. Harris suffered many injuries and no arrests have been made.
(SL) – LeBron James used his platform at Cedar Park Amusement Park to react to Donald Trump’s mouth dropping press conference in which he seemed to support White Supremacy and equally blame anti-racists for the violence in Charlottesville VA.
(SL) – It was all good 10 months ago. Donald Trump hasn’t been in office a year but has managed to tweet the United States to the brink of Nuclear War with North Korea.
How likely is WW III? A general consensus is that Trump’s statements are just bluster, although many emphasize the fact that bluster has an unfortunate history of leading to war.
The new escalation is the latest in an ongoing ratcheting up of tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, and came after a report that claimed North Korea had developed nuclear weapons small enough that they could be flown all the way to the US mainland and detonated there.
Trump threatened Fire and Fury like no other if North Korea stepped to the U.S. or any of its allies, but then he refreshed his threat on twitter writing that the U.S. military is “locked and loaded”and ready to take action against the isolated country if it continues to “act unwisely.”
“Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump said in provocative comments directed at the leader of a nation that, in open defiance of the United Nations, has been developing nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States.
The Washington Post went on to report, as Trump continued his bellicose rhetoric — a tactic criticized by some U.S. leaders and allies — North Korea kept up its verbal salvos, as well. A commentary in a state-run newspaper said that the “U.S. military warmongers are running amok” and warned that “the U.S. and its vassal forces will dearly pay for the harshest sanctions and pressure and reckless military provocations.”
Trump claims that he is backed by everybody but that’s not true. The Washington Post reports, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned that “verbal escalation” may be the wrong response to the crisis.
As for Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says, “We don’t accept a nuclear-powered North Korea,” in response to questions at a youth forum, but he added that the United States should take the first step away from conflict.
“I believe when it actually comes to a fight, the one that is stronger and smarter should take the first step away from the dangerous line,” Lavrov said.
An editorial in China’s state-run Global Times said that Beijing should “prevent” the United States and South Korea from carrying out an attack designed to overthrow the North Korean government but that China should “stay neutral” in the event of a North Korean attack and U.S. retaliation
The threats by Trump come as North Korea has stepped up its threats against the United States, including warning of a potential missile launch landing near the U.S. territory of Guam.
Later Friday morning, Trump retweeted images from the U.S. Pacific Command that showed two Air Force B-1B bombers that it said had joined counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in the region.
The command’s tweet included the hashtag #FightTonight, more of a signal of its readiness to fight if needed than a sign it is spoiling for a battle within days. The Air Force has kept bombers on Guam for years, and the Pentagon and U.S. Forces Korea have long used the “fight tonight” motto in South Korea to reflect the seriousness of their mission.
Why Guam? The Independent sums it up best saying, It has been a significant military outpost for America since he Second World War and reportedly holds around 6,000 troops, the Anderson Air Force Base and the Naval Base Guam. The island is referred to by military commanders as their “permanent aircraft carrier”.
The military bases have rotations of B-1, B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers, as seen in the above graphic, created for The Independent by statistics agency Statista, and include a submarine squadron.
It is also armed with a defense system that can intercept missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
(SL)– For someone who was pro Clinton for 2016, one would question the motives of Anthony Scaramucci. His own tweets that have been dug up from the internet grave, show he wasn’t too keen on Donald Trump or his thought process.
Yet, once given the chance, like a political groupie, he jumped on the Donald Trump bandwagon to pick up where he accused Steve Bannon of leaving off…and “suck his own c***.”
Deidre Ball, the new White House Communication’s Director’s wife of three years, has called it quits and filed for divorce. She’s reportedly, tired of his ‘naked political ambition’.
Scaramucci, 52 and Ball, 38, began dating in 2011, allegedly married in 2014 and have two children together.
Sources say after being originally tapped for a senior role in the White House, the Wall Street financier was “hell-bent” on claiming his position at the White House.
The New York Times reports, he sold SkyBridge Capital in preparation in January.
The mooch claims he was blocked by Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff. He even told reporter Ryan Lizza that he thought Priebus was a “f–king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” And of White House adviser Steve Bannon, he said, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I am not trying to suck my own c–k.”
He added, “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f–king strength of the president. I am here to serve the country.” Really? Personal aspirations certainly seem to be in play here.
However, Scaramucci was eventually made communications director on June 21 by Trump, prompting Sean Spicer to quit.
Deidre Ball has a long history with Mooch. She worked as a vice president in investor relations for SkyBridge Capital, the firm he founded in 2005 and sold to ascend to the White House. There are also claims that she doesn’t care too much for Donald Trump.
Not her cup of tea: One source told Page Six, “Deidre has left him and has filed for divorce. She liked the nice Wall Street life and their home on Long Island, not the insane world of D.C. She is tired of his naked ambition, which is so enormous that it left her at her wits’ end. She has left him even though they have two children together.”
Scaramucci was pictured at the White House on Friday without his wedding ring on.