Court Sides Against Trump, Kushner Scrutiny
Friday, May 26, 2017
Vol. 6, No.137
Denied: In another blow to President Trump, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has upheld the stay on his travel and immigration order aimed at six Muslim countries. The court said Trump’s order “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”
The 10-3 ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals tees up the issue for consideration by the Supreme Court.
Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Roger Gregory said “Then-candidate Trump’s campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States.”
The administration argued that Trump’s previous statements should be dismissed as campaign rhetoric, but Judge Gregory said,
“The campaign statements here are probative of purpose because they are closely related in time, attributable to the primary decision maker, and specific and easily connected to the challenged action.”
BritiLeaks: The president has called for an investigation into the leak of crime scene photos from the Manchester, England bombing to the NY Times. British authorities blame the US for leaking shared information, but offered no proof publicly about who might have done it.
Scoldilocks: Trump scolded NATO leaders yesterday and demonstrated his ignorance of how it works, claiming most of the members owe enormous amounts of money to the organization, saying that the shortfall gouges “the people and taxpayers of the United States.”
Only five of the 28 NATO countries have met the requirement of spending 2 percent of the gross national product on defense. The rest have 7 years to get there. None of them owe money directly to NATO.
All in the Family: Several news organizations report that the previously unnamed White House official under scrutiny by the FBI is Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The news outlets say their sources tell them Kushner has significant information related to the investigation of Russian influence on the election.
Slipping: Despite the belief in some sectors that Trump’s base of support is unshakable, Nate Silver reports on his FiveThirtyEight blog that the slippage has begun. Silver writes, “There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now.
Wild West: After being charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte yesterday won a seat in the House of representatives. Speaking late last night, Gianforte apologized to the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, and said he “made a mistake.”
Permawar: The Pentagon has blamed the deaths of 105 civilians in Mosul, Iraq, in March on a secondary explosion after an air attack. The military says they didn’t know that civilians were also in the building occupied by Islamic State fighters and that the building collapsed after ISIS explosives blew up.
Fox World: At least seven advertisers have bailed from Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News because the right wing “I’m not a journalist” has been pushing a story of political conspiracy about the murder of a Democratic National Committee employee last summer. Hannity has claimed that the murder of Seth Rich was a revenge hit because Rich leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The police believe Rich’s killing was a random robbery-homicide. There’s no evidence Hannity’s to support claim, but he doesn’t have to provide it because, hey, he’s not a journalist.