Associated Press: “As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?”
“The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration… In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship.”
“But Trump pushed back. Although he gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, he pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.”
Last summer, Trump was so fixated on invading Venezuela that he had to be talked down by multiple members of his administration and allies in the region https://t.co/O5kl5KJVun
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) July 4, 2018
“China is putting pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against President Trump’s trade policies at a summit later this month but is facing resistance,” Reuters reports.
“In meetings in Brussels, Berlin and Beijing, senior Chinese officials, including Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, have proposed an alliance between the two economic powers and offered to open more of the Chinese market in a gesture of goodwill.”
“One proposal has been for China and the European Union to launch joint action against the United States at the World Trade Organization.”
Another rebuke to Trump https://t.co/aSk9YTqtxP
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 3, 2018
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, says he will launch a presidential bid in 2020 if President Trump runs for re-election, Politico reports.
Said Avenatti: “If he seeks re-election, I will run, but only if I think that there is no other candidate in the race that has a REAL chance at beating him. We can’t relive 2016. I love this country, our values and our people too much to sit by while they are destroyed.”
Good god. Alright, Avenatti has served his purpose, getting the Feds and Mueller to look at Cohen. Mission accomplished. I wish you all the luck in your lawsuits against Cohen and Trump, but stay the fuck out of politics, will you please?
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) refused to endorse Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), who is running for re-election against challenger Arthur Jones (R), an avowed Nazi, WCIA-TV reports. Said Rauner: “No. The one thing I will say is the person, that guy, Johnson or whatever his name is, should not be on the ballot.”
He is on the ballot. A member of your party. You are the leader of the state party. You are already responsible for the Nazi in your midst. You can only redeem yourself by electing the Democrat. Failure to do that means you are enabling a Nazi.
The idea that the Democrats can win over Trump supporters by getting tough on border security misses what is driving their xenophobia.https://t.co/z1mrZsfs85
— Washington Monthly (@washmonthly) July 3, 2018
“I try to be careful with the language that I use. When people ask me questions, for example, about why is Mr. Trump so submissive to Vladimir Putin, and whether or not Mr. Trump fears that the Russians have something on him, I say, I don’t know. Perhaps. Maybe. I just don’t want to get into details about what I know or don’t know. I have to be very mindful of my obligations as far as classified material is concerned.”
— Former CIA Director John Brennan, quoted by the New York Times.
Adam Davidson: “Many people assume that Cohen has an enormous amount of information that could shed light on Trump’s relationship with Russia, suspicious business activity, and, possibly, corruption in office. Cohen, after all, received millions of dollars from companies seeking his help in influencing Trump’s Administration. Cohen also held meetings with some of these new clients in Trump Tower. It would be a dramatic shift in Trump’s approach to business to allow his subordinate to profit from his name without some benefit to himself. It seems reasonable to imagine that Cohen may well have information that could damage, or even destroy, Trump’s Presidency. Yet what Cohen, in fact, knows remains a mystery.”
“Trump, for his part, has enormous power to punish or reward Cohen. As President, Trump can pardon him or use the full law-enforcement power of the federal government to punish him.”
“We are witnessing a grand, public Prisoner’s Dilemma, in which each man could, theoretically, destroy the other. Or, perhaps, they could work together to explain away any troubling information that comes out of the investigation of Cohen’s files. They can’t talk privately, because every interaction is likely to be scrutinized. Instead, they speak to each other through the media.”
The contradictions in the Rio Grande Valley are everywhere. They defy stereotype. But under Trump some have become impossible to resolve.https://t.co/3dYpRTsaZZ
— Crooked Media (@crookedmedia) July 3, 2018
President Trump tweeted “an unsubstantiated claim from an hardline Iranian cleric and circulated by a news agency linked to the country’s Revolutionary Guard, that thousands of Iranians were granted US citizenship as part of the 2015 nuclear deal,” the Guardian reports.
“He cited no evidence for the allegation.”
Because it is completely false. If I were Obama, I would sue Trump’s extremely large ass for defamation and take everything Trump owns.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt kept a “secret” calendar to hide meetings or calls that he and his aides feared would “look bad” if leaked to the public, CNN reports. Said Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff for operations: “We would have meetings what we were going to take off the official schedule. We had at one point three different schedules. One of them was one that no one else saw except three or four of us.”
Meanwhile, Pruitt “directly appealed to President Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead,” CNN reports. “In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office.”
“Advisers quickly shot down the proposal, but it came at a time when Trump’s frustration with Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation had resurfaced.”
A historian explains what life was like for women in America before Roe v. Wade: https://t.co/o6Nr6evm8u
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 4, 2018
That is what we are returning to. And don’t think that because you live in a state that allows abortions, or at least doesn’t have a law banning it, you’re life will be affected. With Roe v. Wade out of the way, there is nothing to stop a Republican House and a Republican Senate from passing, and a Republican President from signing, a nationwide abortion ban. The Supreme Court has already approved (in a case called Gonzales v. Carhart) a federal law, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, preventing one type of abortion on a nationwide basis. With Roe v. Wade overruled, there is little reason to expect the Court would interfere with a Congressional attempt to ban all abortions throughout the country.
So if you did not vote or voted Green or third party in 2014 and 2016, Donald Trump and his radical Christian Right thanks you.
“Following a court order to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents in May and June, the Trump administration has instructed immigration agents to give those parents two options: leave the country with your kids — or leave the country without them,” according to a copy of a government form obtained by NBC News.
“The new directive does not allow parents who were separated from their children under President Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy to reunite with their children while they await a decision on asylum, a protection sought by thousands of migrant families fleeing violence in Central America.”
President Trump “plans to meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland… before allowing other aides to join the highly anticipated encounter with the Russian leader,” CNN reports.
“The meeting will be the first formal summit talks between them. They have met previously on the sidelines of conferences.”
President Trump reportedly plans to meet with Vladimir Putin one on one, with no advisers or staff present https://t.co/nivbDbBqA2
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) July 4, 2018
New York Times: “According to a person close to the president, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who has served 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is the leading candidate in the president’s mind, followed by Judge Amy Coney Barrett and then Judge Raymond Kethledge.”
“Mr. Trump believes Judge Kavanaugh has been on the bench long enough to give the president a sense of where he stands on various issues and that Judge Barrett is fairly young and could use more judicial experience. The administration might want to keep her in reserve should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, leave the court.”
Washington Post: “An intensifying debate over Judge Brett Kavanaugh… gripped Republicans on Tuesday, with conservative critics highlighting past rulings and his links to GOP leaders while his allies — including inside the White House — forcefully defended him.”
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 4, 2018
“Poland’s government carried out a sweeping purge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, eroding the judiciary’s independence, escalating a confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law and further dividing this nation. Tens of thousands took to the streets in protest,” the New York Times reports.
“Poland was once a beacon for countries struggling to escape the yoke of the Soviet Union and embrace Western democracy. But it is now in league with neighboring nations, like Hungary, whose leaders have turned to authoritarian means to tighten their grip on power, presenting a grave challenge to a European Union already grappling with nationalist, populist and anti-immigrant movements.”
Michael Cohen has removed all references to Trump from his Twitter bio. Subtle. https://t.co/Kj98LqcjkH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 4, 2018