Friday, May 25th through Memorial Day
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
A Russian oligarch who was questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller and recently sanctioned by the US visited President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen in Trump Tower during the presidential transition in January 2017, according to video reviewed by CNN.
The January 9, 2017, Trump Tower appearance by Viktor Vekselberg, which was also reported Friday by The New York Times, adds to the questions swirling over the payments to Cohen, which Mueller’s team questioned Vekselberg about after the FBI stopped his private jet at a New York-area airport earlier this year.
Vekselberg, chairman of Russian asset manager Renova Group, was accompanied at Trump Tower by Andrew Intrater, who is Vekselberg’s cousin and head of Columbus Nova. Vekselberg is Columbus Nova’s biggest client.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been probing Roger Stone’s finances as it summons a series of witnesses to gather more information about one of President Donald Trump’s longtime advisers, according to people familiar with the situation.
So far, Mueller’s team has contacted at least eight of Stone’s current or former associates, Stone told NBC News on Sunday. He subsequently told CNN “they are all young people who have no knowledge about my personal, political or business activities.”
- ‘Trump’s son should be concerned’: FBI obtained wiretaps of Putin ally who met with Trump Jr.
- The FBI has obtained wiretaps of a Putin ally tied to the NRA who met with Trump Jr. during the campaign
Spanish authorities confirmed on Friday night that they had given the FBI copies of wiretaps that they gathered between Alexander Torshin and his allies in the Kremlin, discussing an upcoming meeting with Donnie Jr. at the May 2016 NRA meeting. We’ve covered that meeting before, and how the Spaniards have been on Torshin for a long time.
- Republican Rick Wilson: If the GOP found ‘spygate’ intel ‘Devin Nunes would have run out like a monkey with his ass on fire’
- Judge doesn’t believe Mueller’s office has been leaking
- Top House Democrat Requests Probe Into How FBI Source’s Name Was Leaked : NPR
- ‘Entirely improper’: Anger as Trump lawyer and chief of staff attend FBI briefings on Russia informant
- McConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing
- Julian Assange Could Be Booted From the Ecuadorian Embassy ‘Any Day Now’
- ‘A confidential informant is not a spy’: Lindsey Graham undercuts his ally Trump
- Trump’s Nonsensical ‘Spygate’ Conspiracy Theory Ends With a Whimper
- Former RNC Chair on Trump FBI ‘Spygate’ claim: ‘Republicans are complicit in this crazy’
- #NeverTrumpers had Trump pegged all along
- Paul Manafort’s trial date in EDVA postponed to July 24th
- Democrats say briefings did not support Trump’s claim of FBI ‘spy’
- AP Source: Trump lawyer met Russian oligarch at Trump Tower
- Trump Goes Full Alex Jones as “Spygate” Falls Apart
- Dem senator: Trump Jr. may have given ‘false testimony’ about meeting with foreign nationals
- Manafort Virginia trial delayed two weeks
- Roger Stone to Associate: “Prepare to Die” – Mother Jones
- U.S. judge declines to dismiss ex-Trump aide’s false statement charges | Article [AMP] | Reuters
- Former Trump Campaign Aide: My Russia Ties Are Not Nefarious!
- Israeli Intelligence Firm’s Election-Meddling Analysis Comes Under Mueller’s Scrutiny – WSJ
TRUMP HATES IMMIGRANTS: #WHEREARETHECHILDREN?
- HHS Official Says Agency Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Unaccompanied Minors | Trafficked in America | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site
- The feds lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children
- ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody
Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.
ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs, regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities, and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.
- Border Patrol union chief calls Trump troop deployment ‘a colossal waste’
- Anguish at Southwest border as more immigrant children are separated from parents
- ‘We’re closed!’: Trump vents his anger over immigration at homeland security secretary
- Border Patrol Kicked, Punched Migrant Children, Threatened Some With Sexual Abuse, ACLU Alleges
- Jared Kushner Laughed as Trump Used Made Up Hispanic Names to Discuss Immigrants Committing Rape, Murder: Report
- ICE Trying To Deport Journalist For Reporting On Abusive ICE Behavior
- Stephen Miller: Trump’s Right-Hand Troll
- McConnell: Senate won’t take up immigration bill Trump opposes, or shut down government
- As Canada Recruits The World’s Best Talent, Trump’s America Repels Them – Rantt
- What the legal process looks like for immigrant children taken away from their parents
- Howard Dean: Following Orders is not a defense
- Trump Unbelievably Rips Dems For Immigrant Kids Being Separated From Parents | HuffPost
- Outrage Grows as Horror of Policy to Split Children and Parents at Border Becomes Clear
- Betsy DeVos Says Schools Should Call ICE on Undocumented Students
- Woman Killed By Border Patrol Identified As Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzales, 20 | HuffPost
- Immigrant families separated at border struggle to find each other
COHEN: FOLLOW THE MONEY
- Cohen discussed US-Russia relations with oligarch days before inauguration
- Cohen still serving as RNC deputy finance chair, group says | TheHill
- Trump is having a very loud public meltdown – all thanks to Michael Cohen | Spectator USA
- Michael Cohen Got $500,000 After Trump Tower Meeting with Russian Oligarch
(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, met with a Russian oligarch and discussed U.S.-Russia relations just 11 days before Trump was inaugurated as president, according to a person familiar with the meeting.
A firm connected to the oligarch, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, later paid Cohen $500,000 for consulting work.
Vekselberg met with Cohen for about 20 minutes in Cohen’s 26th-floor office in Trump Tower in New York , said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly. The two men were joined by Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s American cousin, who heads a New York private equity firm that manages financial assets for the Russian.
- At Trump Tower, Michael Cohen and Oligarch Discussed Russian Relations
- Russian Oligarch Who Purportedly Had Nothing to Do With Michael Cohen Payments Met With Michael Cohen
- Avenatti calls on media to investigate Giuliani’s finances
- Michael Avenatti: ‘God bless’ Trump for employing Giuliani
- Michael Avenatti took to Twitter on Saturday to claim the company that paid Michael Cohen has something to hide
- As Stormy Daniels pursues civil case against Trump, another adult-film star backs her story
TRUMP ORG AND CORRUPTION, FROM THE “WATER IS WET” DEPARTMENT
- Invitations offer wealthy Chinese access to President Trump at fundraiser
- T-Mobile Says It Hired Lobbying Firm Tied to Former Trump Aide Corey Lewandowski – WSJ
- Oil-rich Gulf nations spend millions on Trump insiders
- Ivanka Trump’s suspiciously-timed Chinese business deals
- China Approves 5 New Trademarks For Ivanka Trump Business As President Forges ZTE Deal | HuffPost
- Christie blocks release of correspondence with Kushner Companies | TheHill
- Congress sounds bipartisan alarm as Trump deals on ZTE
- Trump says he’ll spare Chinese telecom firm ZTE from collapse, defying lawmakers
COLD WAR 2.0
- Collapse of North Korea talks reveals the limits of Trump’s me-first diplomacy
- Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17
- Hosted by Putin, Leaders of France, Japan Castigate Trump
- Sanctioning Human Rights Abusers and Kleptocrats under the Global Magnitsky Act | CSCE
- Israel’s prosecutor to recommend indicting Netanyahu in luxury gifts case – Israel News – Haaretz.com
- U.S. officials hold summit preparation talks despite uncertainty surrounding Trump-Kim meeting
- The truth about the Oklahoma shooting that conservatives and the NRA can’t stop talking about
- House Democrats Want Parkland Survivors to Intern for Them
- Parkland Activists Are Still Picking Off Corporate Donors to NRA-Friendly Politicians
- From 2013: This Is How The Gun Industry Funds The NRA
- Indiana Teacher Out of Hospital After Stopping School Shooting
- This mother wants you to see a disturbing photo of her fatally-shot daughter. Maybe it’s time we look.
- Seattle bill would fine gun owners for not properly storing weapons
- A Running List of Things the Gun Lobby has Blamed for the Deadly School Shooting in Santa Fe
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Trump calls his own national security aide a “phony source”
- Trump’s ‘phony’ source turns out to be White House official
- Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Spygate’ is Trump PR tactic against Robert Mueller
- Rudy Giuliani May Have Accidentally Admitted That ‘Spygate’ Is A PR Ploy
- Trump Accused A Newspaper Of Making Up A “Phony Source,” Except It Was Actually One Of His Real Aides
- Study: Sean Hannity spent one year laying groundwork for authoritarian response to Russia probe
- Former intel chief Hayden: Trump ‘willing to throw almost anything against the wall’ to ‘de-legitimize’ Mueller probe
- Giuliani Admits ‘Spygate’ Is PR in Anticipation of Impeachment
- Schiff: Trump’s spy theory ’a piece of propaganda’
- The Poisoning of American Discourse By Right-Wing Media
- Quote of the Day: Apparently Trump Can’t Afford to Tell the Truth
- Trump falsely accuses the New York Times of making up a source. It was an official who briefed reporters.
- Caroline Orr: Trump is a Bullshitter, not a Liar.
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Stunning Oval Office leak: Aides fight in front of Trump — about leaks
- Trump’s Memorial Day message slammed as ‘grossest, most inappropriate’ in history
- Trump isn’t fighting American decline. He’s speeding it up.
- AP FACT CHECK: Trump is wrong about military pay, ships
- WTF Is The White House Gift Shop? A TPM Special Report
- Pruitt spent $3.5M on security in his first year
- Trump takes aim at federal bureaucracy with executive orders that would alter civil service protections
- Trump seems confused about military pay, claims troops received no raises for a decade
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- The massive failure of Christian political leadership
- Republicans’ inhumanity at the border reveals their grand scam
- Virginia Republican in Congress accused of using staff as “personal servants”
- Rep. Garrett announces he is an alcoholic and will not seek re-election.
Oh, by the way, he’s now an “alcoholic.” You know you’re a supreme level dick when admitting to being a lush is your best defense against other crimes.
- Outlier poll that showed GOP lead in the race for Congress abruptly shifts back to the Democrats
- GOP House candidate in Illinois is a 9/11 truther, said Beyonce had ties to the Illuminati
- The Supreme Court’s Arbitration Ruling Is Already Screwing Thousands Of Chipotle Workers | HuffPost
- Congress Must Overrule the Supreme Court’s Dramatic Assault on Worker Rights
- New Push to Topple Affordable Care Act Looms
- No, it’s not the economy, stupid. Trump supporters fear a black and brown America.
- Couple denied motel room after clerk says Puerto Rican driver’s license is not U.S. ID
- After period of reckoning, Ted Cruz recasts himself: From opposition force to Trump ally
- Muslim students attacked at McDonald’s, police say
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged with rape and other abuse charges Friday, months after allegations of sexual violence and harassment toppled the once-powerful Hollywood mogul.
Weinstein, 66, was charged with rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct for cases involving two women, according to the New York Police Department.
After his arraignment on Friday morning Weinstein posted $1 million bail and surrendered his passport. He will wear an electronic monitoring device at all times, and face other travel restrictions.
- Tweet video to Harvey’s Perp Walk
- Feds Hid Edits in Right-Wing Video Used to Prosecute Anti-Trump Protesters
- White supremacists behind violent Charlottesville rally face lawsuit with major implications
- Platinum hedge fund co-founder pleads guilty in corruption case | Article [AMP] | Reuters
- Black Defendants Get Longer Sentences From Republican-Appointed Judges, Study Finds
- Concerned By Trump, Some Republicans Quietly Align With Democrats
- Texas Democrats passed a milestone by electing the first openly gay nominee for governor
- Montana Democrats call for ethics probe of Rep. Greg Gianforte
- Opinion | Democrats Are Running a Smart, Populist Campaign
- Glamour Magazine Shines the Spotlight on the Historic Number of Black Women Who Are Candidates in Alabama
- How a Tiny Kansas Town Rebooted Its Struggling Hospital into a Health Care Jewel
- Analysts call it the ‘gender bonus.’ House primary voters call it the change they’re looking for.
- Obama warns: if America stays so divided, our democracy and economy won’t survive
FIXING THE INTERNET
- John Bolton just weakened America’s cyberdefenses
- Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR
- Investigators Vow to Pursue Individual Criminal Probes as Cambridge Analytica Is Liquidated
- FBI says Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of home and office routers | Technology | The Guardian
- FBI issues formal warning on massive malware network linked to Russia
“The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices,” the bureau’s cyber division wrote in a public alert.
“Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.”
Like I said in Daily Check-In 05/23/2018, do it now!
- As Europe’s data law takes effect, watchdogs go after tech companies
- Some U.S. media outlets block European users after data protection law takes effect
NFL: THE F IS FOR FASCISM
- The NFL’s “take a knee” ban is flatly illegal
- NFL players react to President Trump’s national anthem comments: ‘He’s an idiot’ – NY Daily News
- Broncos’ Brandon Marshall: President Trump’s anthem remarks are ‘disgusting’
- Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says it’s OK to not sell homes to gays; loses support of Realtors
- Rudy Giuliani gets booed when Yankees announce it’s his birthday at Yankee Stadium – NY Daily News
IN OTHER NEWS…
- The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Names List Includes One New Name
- Walmart is paying $20 billion to shareholders. With that money, it could boost wages to over $15.
- Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment
- How fake science is costing lives: the malign rise of the anti-vaxxers
- Breaking: WSJ identifies “worldpoliticus.com” as a Macedonia fake news site being run by private Israeli intelligence firm. Top posts by that domain on Reddit are all on the subreddits: r/The_Donald, r/Hillaryforprison, r/Conservative, and r/Conspiracy
- Eric Garland Rant
- Who’s Fran Townsend?
- The Top Secret Scandal Behind the Kremlin’s MH17 Massacre
That’s it for the weekend. Not only was it busy in the news, but personally as well. I may not have time to write an update every night, as I have several things going on at once. I’ll go into more detail late June, early July.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur