(Washington, DC-AP) — President Trump is reported to have taken steps to keep his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin secret even from his own administration.
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Trump took the notes from his translator after a 2017 meeting in Germany and told the linguist not to inform members of the government or other U.S. officials what they talked about. Other government officials learned of that after they asked the linguist for information on the meeting. Details of presidential meetings with other heads of state are usually shared across the government to coordinate policy and message.
Officials told the Post that there are no such records of the five face-to-face meetings Trump has had with Putin during the past two years.
(New York, NY-AP) — President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is headed to prison. A federal judge in New York imposed a sentence of three years today. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax fraud, banking fraud and violations of campaign finance laws. He pleaded guilty campaign finance violations involving hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and another woman who claimed they had affairs with President Trump a decade ago. Cohen also admitted to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Before sentencing, Cohen apologized and said he takes full responsibility for each criminal act, including those involving the President. Cohen said he felt a need to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds.”
Cohen noted that blind loyalty to Trump led him to choose darkness over light. Cohen arranged hefty hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal before the 2016 presidential election. Both women alleged they had affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the accusations. He has called the payments private transactions that were not subject to campaign finance laws.
(SL) – President Trump is admitting his son, Donald Trump Jr, met with a Russian attorney to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the campaign for the White House.
In a tweet yesterday, Trump wrote that his son’s meeting in June of 2016 was “to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere.” Trump ended with “I did not know about it!” Trump’s son-in-law and now White House adviser Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.
(Washington, DC) – President Trump is worried that his son Donald Trump, Jr. may be caught up in the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Sources tell CNN the President has been concerned for months that Robert Mueller’s investigation could reach family members.
One person says this is one reason why Trump has ramped up his attacks on Mueller in recent weeks. Trump Jr. was part of a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian attorney offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. He and his lawyer insist that Trump Jr was truthful to the Senate Judiciary Committee when he said his father knew nothing about the meeting.
President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is said to be prepared to testify that the President knew about the meeting before it happened.
(Washington, DC) – A dozen Russian intelligence agents are being charged for attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election. Today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Despite the indictments, the White House insists that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Administrators are pointing to the indictment as further proof that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said there’s no evidence that any votes were changed because of the activities. She also said there’s nothing in the indictments suggesting collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Russian agents allegedly hacked Democratic officials in an effort to influence the election.
U.S. Senator John McCain spoke out saying, “These revelations add to a body of evidence confirming an extensive plot by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government to attack the 2016 election.” McCain is urging the President to confront Putin. Trump claimed during a press conference in London that he planned on ‘asking’ Putin about the charge but said he doubts the Russian leader will admit to anything.
(Washington, DC) – A newly unsealed search warrant application is revealing that former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort’s business got a big loan from a Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin. The ten-million-dollar loan came from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whose ties to Manafort are well known.
Deripaska was among several wealthy Russians who were slapped with sanctions for Russia’s attempts to meddle in international affairs, including U.S. elections. Manafort is currently in jail on charges of money laundering and fraud in connection with the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election.
(Washington, DC) – A September 2016 warning about Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election was “watered down” by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
That’s the claim by former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who worked the job throughout former President Obama’s second term. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McDonough said the letter was written to the National Association of State Election Directors and signed by McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
The letter told states to make sure their network is secure from an attack. McDonough explained it took over three weeks to get the statement worked out. He added the lack of urgency from Republican leadership in 2016 is still being seen today.
(San Francisco, CA) — Twitter is cracking down on bots that spread false stories. The social media platform says that it will no longer allow users to post identical messages from multiple accounts. Twitter also said it will not allow people to use software to simultaneously like and retweet from multiple accounts.
U.S. authorities say Twitter bots disseminated propaganda before the 2016 elections and have continued to create political discord anonymously. On Friday, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including a troll farm in St. Petersburg, with trying to disrupt the U.S. political system.
(Kolkata) – Donald Trump Junior is on a week-long visit to India. The president’s oldest son is there to celebrate an upcoming Trump Towers residential project and to give a speech on foreign policy.
He’ll be speaking Friday about Indo-Pacific cooperation at a business summit also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He’ll also be meeting with investors across India, where the Trump organization has four different real estate development projects.
Meanwhile, NY Mag reports, Mueller’s investigators have been asking questions, including during interviews in January and February, about brother-in-law Jared Kushner’s conversations during the transition to shore up financing for 666 Fifth Avenue, a Kushner Companies–backed New York City office building reeling from financial troubles, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation.
Continue reading Trump Junior In India While Mueller Eyes Brother-In-Law Kushner’s Foreign Financing Pursuit
(Washington, DC) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller is filing charges against a Russia-linked attorney in the Russia investigation.
Alex Van Der Zwaan is accused of lying to federal investigators about his text conversations with Rick Gates, a former Trump aide who was indicted by Mueller last year.
Van Der Zwann is the son-in-law of Russian billionaire German Khan. He is expected to plead guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C. this afternoon.
Mueller is leading the investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.