Grand Jury for Russia, Leaked Transcripts

The Russia Cloud: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has empaneled a grand jury to investigate Russian influence over the 2016 election, The Washington Post reports. Mueller is expected to delve into Trump finances, business deals, and communications with Russian representatives as he tries to find out whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Reuters reports that subpoenas have been issued in connection with Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The White House admitted that they didn’t know about the Grand Jury. “Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb said in a statement. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly…. The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

President Trump has repeatedly called the Russia investigations “a witch hunt.” Last night he in West Virginia he got the crowd cheering when he asked, “Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia, or Ohio, or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight?”

The Wall: President Trump asked Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto not to tell the press that Mexico refuses to pay for Trump’s border wall “because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances,” according to a transcript of the Jan. 26 telephone conversation released by the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ also released transcripts of conversations with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Peña Nieto told Trump it is “completely unacceptable for Mexicans to pay for the wall.”

It was somewhat of a rambling conversation, but here’s a boiled down version of what was said about the wall.

DT: “But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to.”

DT: “I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. — Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about.”

In other words, despite his campaign mantra that Mexico will pay for the wall, he’s willing to go back on his word.

PN: “This is what I suggest, Mr. President – let us stop talking about the wall. I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.”

DT: “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”

Trump then says, negotiated or not, he has the power to build the wall.

DT: “I do not have to go back to Congress or to the Senate. I do not need the vote of 400 people. I have the powers to do all of this,

Nation: A Massachusetts woman, Michelle Carter, who convinced her boyfriend to commit suicide when both were teenagers, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison because she was a 17-year-old juvenile at the time. Conrad Roy III, who was 18, poisoned himself with carbon monoxide in his truck. His father, Conrad Roy Jr., told the court, Carter had “exploited my son’s weaknesses and used him as a pawn in her own well-being.” Carter is free pending appeal. — Appearing at Trump’s campaign rally last night, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he’s switching to the Republican party. “I’ll tell you West Virginians, I can’t help you any more being a Democrat governor,” Justice said. He’s previously been a Republican and an Independent, tagging all the bases. — The Maine legislature has passed a law making it the 4th state to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21.

Towering Inferno: For the second time in two years Dubai’s 86-story “Torch Tower” high rise caught fire, burning spectacularly in the night. Everyone got out alive.

Tenant Dispute: The Secret Service has vacated its command post in a space one floor below the First Family residence in Trump Tower because of a disagreement over the lease with Trump’s company. They have moved to a trailer 50 floors down on the street. A Trump spokeswoman told The Washington Post it would be better for the Secret Service to find another office. “It was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere,” she said.

Separately, the Pentagon has agreed to lease a space in Trump Tower for $130,000 a month, and because he still owns his businesses, the President gets the money.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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