11:20 AM 12/4/2017 – Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star

Spread the News
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack – Washington Post
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
Michael Flynn shouldn’t have lied about doing the right thing
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions – NBCNews.com
How Donald Trump needs to exit the White House – Washington Post
Mueller Is Moving Quickly Compared To Past Special Counsel Investigations – FiveThirtyEight
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 Dear Mr. Clapper
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017
Clapper pushes back on Trump: FBI is premiere law enforcement organization in world | TheHill
Clapper pushes back on Trump: FBI is premiere law enforcement organization in world – The Hill
In pre-dawn Twitter message, Trump issues a fresh denial about intervening in Flynn investigation
McMaster: National security team not missing a beat because of Trump controversies
DOJ And FBI Threatened With Contempt Of Congress For ‘Hiding’ Info On Anti-Trump FBI Investigator – The Daily Caller
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 The FBIs reputation is in Tatters worst in History! New FBI Director Chris Wray needs to clean house.
We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N.
Trump, Defending Himself After Flynn Guilty Plea, Says F.B.I. Is in Tatters
Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations
Sex cases put spotlight on sex addiction, but is it real?
trump and fbi – Google Search

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.


Toronto Star
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?
Toronto Star
I expect Flynn wouldn’t have bothered lying to the FBI about conversations with, say, the Canadian ambassador on matters of mutual interest. But, in this climate, talking to the Russians was simply one step too far. The ostensible reason is the widely 
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctionsNBCNews.com
Kremlin denies that Flynn persuaded Putin to hold off on retaliatory sanctionsWashington Post

all 46 news articles »

Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.


Nikkei Asian Review
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review
Unlike China, Russia traditionally has little economic leverage over Pyongyang. But the Putin administration is believed to have given the North Korean issue high priority. Moscow likely sees its role as go-between as a bargaining chip with the U.S 

and more »

Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg

mikenova shared this story from US elections and russia – Google News.


Bloomberg
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label
Bloomberg
The U.S. law, which Trump grudgingly signed on Aug. 2 after it passed Congress with a veto-proof margin, instructs the Treasury, together with the State Department and intelligence agencies, to identify officials and oligarchs as determined by their 
Changing the rules: what comes after a Putin election victory?Financial Times
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Star

all 19 news articles »

Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review

mikenova shared this story from trump as danger to National Security – Google News.


National Review
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum.
National Review
Various speakers called out Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and, more broadly, radical Islamic terrorism as threats to the peace and security of the United States. Retired General Jack Keane bluntly stated that China was trying to dominate its region 
HR McMaster talks North Korea threat, Michael Flynn dealFox News

all 27 news articles »

James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from Comey – Google News.


Washington Post
James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack
Washington Post
Over the past few weeks, former FBI director James B. Comey’s Twitter feed has been filled with inspirational quotations, Bible verses and nature photographs many of them timed around remarks made by the president who fired him. On Nov. 11, he 
As Mueller probe deepens, Trump says he didn’t ask Comey to stop investigating FlynnLos Angeles Times
Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a dealThe Hill
‘I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn’: Trump goes on tweetstorm about the FBIFlorida Times-Union
Chicago Tribune –Business Insider
all 2,122 news articles »
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette

mikenova shared this story from FBI politicization – Google News.


LifeZette
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI
LifeZette
Flynn, Trump defenders say, was the victim of hysteria about alleged Russian hacking into 2016 Democratic email accounts. But his plea had nothing to do with the hacking, the ostensible focus of the Justice Department’s special investigation. Instead
Trump Says FBI Credibility Is in Tatters, Denies Telling Comey to Stop Flynn ProbeSlate Magazine (blog)
Trump’s morning tweetstorm appears to have been inspired by ‘Fox & Friends’Los Angeles Times
‘I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn’: Trump goes on tweetstorm about the FBIWashington Post
Chicago Tribune –MSNBC
all 2,329 news articles »
Michael Flynn shouldn’t have lied about doing the right thing

mikenova shared this story .

James S. Robbins, Opinion columnist Published 6:00 a.m. ET Dec. 4, 2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn(Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo, epa)

On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn should not have lied, and why he chose to remains a mystery, but the substance of the single-count indictment against Flynn shows that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has strayed far from its original purpose.

We have come down quite a way from the hyperventilation about Russia “hacking the election” a year ago. What happened to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s claim, later promoted by Hillary Clinton, that there were 1,000 Russian agents planting anti-Hillary fake news stories in key swing states? Or that Russians had delivered Wisconsin to Trump? All the conspiracy theorists have so far are a few Facebook ads that can’t credibly be shown to have changed even one vote.

More: With Flynn’s guilty plea, is it Trump impeachment time yet?

More: Tillerson State Department ouster is overdue, but won’t solve the Trump problem

Flynn was fully in his rights making the call to Kislyak. Despite the best efforts of the anti-Trumpers, it is still not illegal to talk to Russians. Even Democratic former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta said it was a “stretch” to say these contacts broke the law.

The dust-up seems mainly to be about the decorum of presidential transitions. Days after the 2016 election, the Trump team cautioned the Obama administration against pursuing new and damaging foreign policy initiatives that did not align with Trump’s priorities.

“I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition,” one of president-elect Trump’s national security advisers told Politico on Nov. 10, 2016, “to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions.”

The Trump transition team feared, for good reason, that the lame-duck Obama administration was poisoning the well with Russia, and pursuing spiteful anti-Israel policies on the way out the door. Trump asked Flynn, his soon-to-be national security adviser, to open a semi-official channel to Russia through its ambassador to discuss future cooperative efforts against the Islamic State and the United Nations vote on an anti-Israel resolution. As lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued, “Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do.”

The phone call to Kislyak, and any other such contacts with foreign officials, should be viewed in that context. This was not, for example, on the level of colluding with shadowy Russian intelligence contacts to create disinformation to try to swing the election, as the authors of the Clinton-connected Trump smear dossier did.

There was ample precedent for the president-elect to put out feelers to foreign leaders.

  • A memo from the Podesta files released by WikiLeaks shows that the Obama team had planned for the “president-elect and senior officials (to) begin confidential policy consultations with key actors in U.S. and abroad” between Thanksgiving and Inauguration Day.
  • Obama also openly used emissaries and go-betweens to meet with foreign leaders during his transition.
  • And for overwrought members of “the resistance” who think the unenforceable Logan Act is suddenly in play, recall that in 2008 then-candidate Obama arranged substantive foreign policy discussions with numerous foreign dignitaries and leaders during an overseas campaign trip before the election.

More: Hijab Barbie: Perfect Christmas gift for non-Muslim parents who want to stick it to Trump

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

An erroneous ABC News report that Trump had dispatched Flynn to make contact with Russia before the election appears to have caused a massive stock market selloff. The report was corrected, and reporter Brian Ross was suspended. The important takeaway of ABC’s fake news outbreak is that since the Trump team’s outreach to Russia took place after the election, it implies there were no channels to Moscow before the fact. This puts a stake in the heart of the collusion theory.

A CNN analyst speculated that instead of outright coordination, there was an implicit quid pro quo for Russia getting Trump elected. This might be called the “grasping at straws” gambit.

On Sunday, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., resurrected the notion that Trump obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director and Bible scholar James Comey. But again, this is a weak and constitutionally suspect narrative.

The real obstruction might be found in the Mueller investigation itself. The legitimacy of the FBI witch hunt against Trump was further damaged by reports that leading FBI investigator Peter Strzok, who had spearheaded the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s sketchy home-brew email server, was demoted because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with co-worker Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

This is hardly an unbiased investigation. If the type of process crime that Flynn was nailed for is all the Mueller team can come up with, it is time to move on.

James S. Robbins, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors and author of This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive, has taught at the National Defense University and the Marine Corps University and served as a special assistant to the secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration. Follow him on Twitter: @James_Robbins.

Read or Share this story: <a href=”https://usat.ly/2nrcPsc” rel=”nofollow”>https://usat.ly/2nrcPsc</a>

If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY

mikenova shared this story from michael flynn – Google News.


USA TODAY
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on
USA TODAY
On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak 
Trump’s lawyer offered a dubious explanation for Trump’s bombshell tweet about Michael FlynnBusiness Insider
Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James ComeyHuffPost
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times
CNN –Los Angeles Times
all 2,174 news articles »
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News

mikenova shared this story from trump investigated by the fbi – Google News.


BBC News
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI
BBC News
The president seized on news that an FBI officer had been dismissed from the investigation after he was discovered to have made anti-Trump remarks in text messages, tweeting: “Report: ‘ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE’ Now it all starts to 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Senate ‘Putting Together’ Obstruction of Justice Case Against President TrumpTIME
Huckabee: Mueller’s investigation needs to be investigated after FBI agent firedThe Hill
Why Was An FBI Agent Removed From The Russia Investigation? Here’s What You Need To KnowElite Daily
Daily Mail –Washington Examiner –The National
all 2,268 news articles »
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions – NBCNews.com

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.


NBCNews.com
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions
NBCNews.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to not retaliate against the U.S. after Washington levied a new round of sanctions last year was not influenced by Michael Flynn, the Kremlin said Monday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin himself
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Star
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war – Oliver StoneRT

all 40 news articles »

How Donald Trump needs to exit the White House – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump – Google News.


Washington Post
How Donald Trump needs to exit the White House
Washington Post
Speculation about how long Donald Trump will last as president has been rampant since the spring. By summer it was quite clear that: a) Trump was not going to grow up in office; and b) the best staffing in the world would not be able to make him even a 

and more »

Mueller Is Moving Quickly Compared To Past Special Counsel Investigations – FiveThirtyEight

mikenova shared this story from mueller – Google News.


FiveThirtyEight
Mueller Is Moving Quickly Compared To Past Special Counsel Investigations
FiveThirtyEight
For months, there were rumors about a possible indictment against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and key campaign aide. He had been under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller since soon after the probe into
Mueller’s Russia investigation: What to knowFox News
Why Mueller banished a top agent to the FBI’s ‘Siberia’CNN
Levin: Mueller Destroyed Mike Flynn’s Life Like the Mob Would DoRealClearPolitics
New York Times –Bloomberg –Daily Beast
all 2,190 news articles »
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 Dear Mr. Clapper

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

(From a “rank and file” and the very ordinary citizen)  Dear Mr. Clapper:  To say that the FBI is the “premier law enforcement organization in the world” implies the same underlying logic as to say that “Mr. Clapper is the most perfect gentleman in the world”. Both statements might very well be true, to put the … Continue reading“8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…”

Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/12/03/20171203-100000-VEN119-program_original.mp3

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/npr.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_500005/media/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2017/12/03/newscast050630.mp3?orgId=1&

The Early Edition: December 4, 2017

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trumps former national security advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the F.B.I. on Friday and said that a senior Trump transition official told him to make contact with Russia. A brief by special counsel Robert Mueller alleged that Flynn willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations to F.B.I. agents when interviewed in January, and also alleged that Flynn had lied about the nature of his phone calls with the former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December 2016 regarding further sanctions on Moscow and a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements. Jenna McLaughlin reports at Foreign Policy.

The very senior transition official referred to in the Flynn plea agreement is the presidents son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a member of Trumps transition team speaking on the condition of anonymity, the AP reports.

I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies, Trump tweeted at the weekend, the presidents message seemingly contradicted his previous assertions that he had fired Flynn in February because he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence over whether he had spoken to Kislyak about sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration. Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt and Michael D. Shear report at the New York Times.

Trumps personal lawyer John Dowd said yesterday that Trump was aware in late January that Flynn had probably given F.B.I. agents an inaccurate account of his call with Kislyak and that this had been the same misleading account that Flynn had provided Vice President Pence, Dowd also confirmed that he had drafted Trumps controversial tweet about firing Flynn. Carol D. Leonnig, John Wagner and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin had not been influenced by Flynn, the Kremlin said today, Reuters reports.

Legal experts were bemused and concerned by the tweet apparently composed by Dowd, with the tweet suggesting that Trump took part in the obstruction of justice, however Dowd said that the tweet was a mistake and that he was sorry to have misled people. The Guardian reports.

The F.B.I.s reputation is in Tatters worst in History! Trump tweeted yesterday, as part of a series of tweets directed at the F.B.I. accusing the agency of bias, the presidents comments drew condemnation from an array of figures. Trump also accused the former F.B.I. Director James Comey of lying about his role in the investigation into Flynn, Michael D. Shear reportS at the New York Times.

Emails between trop transition officials suggest that the Trump transition team were keen to improve relations with Russia and that Flynn was not a mere rogue actor, an email from transition adviser K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would make it harder for Trump to reach out to Moscow. Michael S. Schmidt, Sharon LaFraniere and Scott Shane report at the New York Times.

An National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) member discussed setting up a back-channel meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in an email to Trump campaign adviser Rick Dearborn in May last year, saying that he would try to make first contact during the N.R.A.s annual convention. The N.R.A. members outreach followed a few days after a similar suggestion by an American advocate for Christian and veterans causes, and the meetings appear to involve Alexander Torshin the deputy governor of the Russian central bank and a key figure in Putins political party, Nicholas Fandos reports at the New York Times.

Mueller removed a high-ranking F.B.I. agent from his team in the late summer due to his potential anti-Trump bias, Peter Strzok had previously been in charge of running the investigation into Hillary Clintons use of a private email server. The revelation was seized on by the president who tweetedyesterday: Now it all starts to make sense! Del Quentin Wilber and Paul Sonne report at the Wall Street Journal.

The Flynn plea agreement includes the possibility of participation in covert law enforcement activities and this may prove to be an important issue as it could include wearing a concealed wire or the recording of telephone conversations with other potential suspects. Marcia Chambers and Charles Keiser set out the potential significance of the section eight of the deal at the Guardian.

You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigation at your own peril, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Trump, constituting one of the voices from an array of Democratic and Republican lawmakers expressing concern about the presidents comments. Roberta Rampton and Karen Freifeld report at Reuters.

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said yesterday that Mueller may be constructing an obstruction of justice case that could implicate the president, Kyle Cheney reports at POLITICO.

The five key takeaways from Flynns guilty plea are provided by Morgan Chalfant at the Hill.

The significance of Flynns guilty plea is analyzed by eleven legal experts at POLITICO Magazine.

The documents filed by Mueller provide a number of interesting insights, including Muellers intention to do away with extraneous issues such as Flynns connections to the Turkish government and that there are more revelations to come. Barbara McQuade provides an analysis at The Daily Beast.

A timeline setting out what is known about Flynns phone calls with Russia, and conversations regarding Obama-era sanctions on Moscow, are provided by Gregor Aisch, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Karen Yourish at the New York Times.

Flynns plea does not shed more light on what happened during the 2016 presidential campaign, Flynn may be cooperating with prosecutors and may have more information to divulge, however it pays to wait for the evidence, the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues.

The question is who might now be swept up in the investigation? The New York Times editorial boardwrites, saying that the plea struck by Mueller shows that Flynn is part of a larger cooperation deal that suggests he has valuable information to share and the obvious candidate to be considered in the probe is Kushner.

The plea reveals that Flynn was being guided by senior transition officials in his calls to Kislyak regarding Obama-era sanctions on Russia and the U.N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements, and as the investigation develops it is of the utmost importance that Mr. Mueller be able to continue unimpeded in his work. The Washington Post editorial board writes.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

Trumps son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role in a foundation that funded an illegal Israeli settlement, the revelations come following indications that a senior adviser attempted to influence a U.N. Security Council vote condemning West Bank settlements. Chris Riotta reports at Newsweek.

Trump is expected to announce a plan on Wednesday that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital but would not move the U.S. Embassy there for now, according to sources familiar with the matter, the move intended to strike a compromise between a pledge made by Trump during the presidential campaign and the need to maintain the peace progress. Mark Landler and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report at the New York Times.

Abbas warned against recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital and other leaders have joined in condemning such a plan, the Arab League leader Ahmed Abul Gheit saying that nothing justifies this act it will not serve peace or stability, instead it will nourish fanaticism and violence, and Jordans Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi saying that he had spoken to the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the dangerous consequences of recognizing Jerusalem. Peter Beaumont reports at the Guardian.

Kushner spoke at the Saban forum on the Middle East yesterday to discuss a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, saying that he was optimistic that there is a lot of hope for bringing a conclusion, despite acknowledging the many obstacles to achieving the ultimate deal. Annie Karni reports at POLITICO.

Trump is still looking at a lot of different facts regarding the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital, Kushner said yesterday, adding that Trump would make the announcement when has made a decision. Reuters reports.

A peace deal between Israel and Palestine would be necessary to counter Irans expansionism and Islamist extremism, Kushner also said yesterday, saying that an agreement was essential to stability of the region. Karen DeYoung and Loveday Morris report at the Washington Post.

An insight into the debates within the Trump administration over recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital is provided by Anne Gearan at the Washington Post.

A private meeting between the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Saudi Arabias Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has caused anxiety across the region, according to officials who have heard Abbass version of the meeting. Bin Salman advocated a plan that was more in favor of Israel than that which has been put forward by the U.S., and the reports of their discussion have led to some speculating that the Crown Prince has been trying to ingratiate himself with President Trump, consequently sowing suspicion about Trumps efforts to negotiate a peace deal, Anne Barnard, David M. Halbfinger and Peter Baker report at the New York Times.

The issue of Jerusalem is the most sensitive and volatile issue in the Israel-Palestine negotiations and should be avoided, such a move would not be worth the trouble and would further complicate the peace process. Aaron David Miller writes at CNN.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. and South Korea began five days of military exercises today, amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula, however the U.S. military said the joint maneuvers were not in response to any incident or provocation. Andrew Jeong reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. and South Korea are creating a situation that a nuclear war may break out any moment, North Korean state media said today in response to the large-scale joint military exercises, Brad Lendon and Taehoon Lee report at CNN.

The U.S. is in a race to address the North Korea threat, the White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said yesterday, the BBC reports.

The U.S. should take the example of Israel if it seeks to stop North Koreas aggression, looking particularly to Israels efforts to undermine the financial resources of its enemies. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner reports at the New York Times.

YEMEN

Unconfirmed reports have emerged that Yemens former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in fighting today, Reuters reporting.

The alliance between supporters of Saleh and the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels seems to have broken down, the two sides having taken aim at each other in street battles in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa over the past few days. The AP reports.

Saleh offered on Saturday to turn a new page in ties with the Saudi-led coalition if it stopped attacking Yemen, making the comments amid increased violence between Salah supporters and the Houthis. Reuters reports.

The Saudi-led coalition welcomed Salehs offer of talks, saying in a statement yesterday that the decision would free Yemen of militias loyal to Iran. The BBC reports.

The cause in the apparent breakdown in the alliance remains unclear, with some pointing at Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and other allies for turning Saleh against the Houthis. Ali Al-Mujahed and Kareem Fahim report at the Washington Post.

An analysis of the breakdown in the Houthi-Saleh alliance is provided by Faisal Edroos at Al Jazeera.

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres yesterday urged the parties to the conflict in Yemen to stop all ground and air assaults, Reuters reporting.

The TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

The Trump administration is scheduled to release its first national security strategy within the next few weeks, according the White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster the strategy would set out the administrations terms for working with other nations. Julian E. Barnes and Gordon Lubold report at the Wall Street Journal.

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refuted reports that he would be leaving his post and be replaced by C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo, saying on Saturday that people need to get better sources. Jeff Mason reports at Reuters.

Diplomats across the world have expressed concern about reports that Tillerson is set to leave the Trump administration, with some longing for stability in U.S. foreign policy and others worried about further unpredictability should he depart. Robin Emmott and Noah Barkin report at Reuters.

SYRIA

Syrian and Russia jets bombed the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing at least 27 people and injuring dozens, aid workers and the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today. Suleiman Al-Khalidi reports at Reuters.

The politics of rebuilding Syria raises a plethora of issues, including whether the U.S. and the West should provide funds to reconstruct areas, thereby consolidating Syrian President Bashar al-Assads power. Somini Sengupta provides an analysis at the New York Times.

IRAN

C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo sent a letter to Irans Maj. Gen Qassem Soleimani and Iranian leaders about Irans aggressive behavior in Iraq, Pompeo said at a panel on Saturday, saying that the letter communicated that the U.S. would hold him and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control. Reuters reporting.

 The Islamic Republic of Iran will definitely not negotiate on defense and missile issues, Irans foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi said today, responding to comments from French officials and the French President Emmanuel Macron on Irans ballistic missile program. Reuters reports.

PAKISTAN

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called on Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism, saying today during a visit to Pakistan that he wants to work with the U.S. to address the problems. Lolita C. Baldor reports at the AP.

The Pakistani government seems to be capitulating to hardline Muslim groups prompting questions about the long-term capability of the government to counter religious extremism. Pamela Constable explains at the Washington Post.

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

Qatars Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani stated that he would attend the annual summit of Gulf Arab heads of state this week, amid increased tensions in the Gulf following the diplomatic isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain in June. Reuters reports.

The dynamics behind the decision to isolate Qatar were to allow Saudi Arabia to deflect attention from the simmering tension inside their own insular borders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes at the New York Times.

It is unclear whether the Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C.) summit would help to resolve the Gulf crisis, Farah Najjar and Linah Alsaafin explain at Al Jazeera 

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The death toll from Octobers attack in Somalias capital of Mogadishu has risen to 512, according to the committee investigating the attack which has been blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorist group. The AP reports.

National Security Agency (N.S.A.) employee Nghia Hoang Pho pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act on Friday, Pho took his work home and looked at sensitive files while using anti-virus software from the Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. Ellen Nakashima reports at the Washington Post.

The U.S. has withdrawn from negotiations on a voluntary pact to deal with migration, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley saying on Saturday that Americas immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

The leader of the Talibans special forces branch was killed last week by Afghan forces, according to Afghanistans National Directorate of Security, Reuters reporting.

The lawyers for Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker who has been confined to quarters after being found guilty of contempt of the war court at Guantánamo Bay have called for a federal judge to cancel his conviction, arguing in a court filing that the conviction that arose out of the U.S.S. Cole case could lead to a series of career-damaging or career-ending consequences. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The French President Emmanuel Macron called for the demilitarization of Iraq on Saturday, particularly the Iran-backed Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (P.M.F.), Michel Rose and Ahmed Aboulenein report at Reuters.

The key takeaways from the trial of Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab are provided by Benjamin Weiser at the New York Times, Zarrab has been charged over a conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran and the Turkish government has denounced the U.S. justice system for pursuing the case.

Read on Just Security »

Clapper pushes back on Trump: FBI is premiere law enforcement organization in world | TheHill

mikenova shared this story .

Clapper pushes back on Trump: FBI is premiere law enforcement organization in world – The Hill

mikenova shared this story from Christopher Wray – Google News.


The Hill
Clapper pushes back on Trump: FBI is premiere law enforcement organization in world
The Hill
… News ‘I wouldn’t vote for me’ Biden spotted getting his shoes shined at Denver airport MORE and has been a prominent critic of Trump, said he agreed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions · Jefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWhite House calls on 

and more »

In pre-dawn Twitter message, Trump issues a fresh denial about intervening in Flynn investigation

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

In pre-dawn Twitter message, Trump issues a fresh denial about intervening in Flynn investigation

President Trump issued a fresh denial Sunday that he asked former FBI director James B. Comey to halt an investigation into the conduct of his dismissed national security adviser Michael Flynn. I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn, Trump said in a pre-dawn message on Twitter. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie! […]

McMaster: National security team not missing a beat because of Trump controversies

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

McMaster: National security team ‘not missing a beat’ because of Trump controversies

H.R. McMaster, President Trumps national security adviser, said Sunday that the administration’s controversies including his predecessors guilty plea and rumors of Secretary of State Rex Tillersons departure arent affecting its ability to work with U.S. allies on key issues. McMaster was pressed during an appearance on Fox News Sunday about those and other […]

DOJ And FBI Threatened With Contempt Of Congress For ‘Hiding’ Info On Anti-Trump FBI Investigator – The Daily Caller

mikenova shared this story from Andrew McCabe – Google News.


CNN
DOJ And FBI Threatened With Contempt Of Congress For ‘Hiding’ Info On Anti-Trump FBI Investigator
The Daily Caller
Nunes set a Monday deadline for the DOJ and FBI to comply with the committee’s list of demands, which includes requests for interviews with Rosenstein, Wray, and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe as well as documents related to the anti-Trump dossier 
Mueller Removed Top Agent in Russia Inquiry Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation tops $5 millionABC News
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton | TheHillThe Hill
Washington Post
all 120 news articles »
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 The FBIs reputation is in Tatters worst in History! New FBI Director Chris Wray needs to clean house.

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

Trump questioned the direction of the federal law enforcement agency and wrote that after Comey, whom Trump fired in May, the FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” He vowed to “bring it back to greatness.” The president also retweeted a post saying new FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.” AP … Continue reading“4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.””

We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N.

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

In my humble opinion, we do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI from the times of its inception and establishment: its actions, inactions, and mis-actions, its place and role in the society, and its future roles, not in a “police” state or the “deep” state, but in a free and … Continue reading“We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI – M.N.”

Trump, Defending Himself After Flynn Guilty Plea, Says F.B.I. Is in Tatters

mikenova shared this story .

But on Sunday, the president condemned Mr. Comey as a liar, saying that “I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn” and that Mr. Comey had harmed the bureau and its employees. He also accused the bureau’s agents of spending years pursing a “phony and dishonest” investigation into the email server of his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Trump’s fury at those investigating him stunned even those with fresh memories of his repeated attempts over the past year to disparage intelligence agencies, the State Department and other parts of his government. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the frenzied nature of the president’s tweets suggested that he knew that Mr. Mueller was building an obstruction of justice case against him.

“I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House, the comments every day, the continual tweets,” Ms. Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Eric H. Holder Jr., who was President Barack Obama’s first attorney general, responded to the president’s tweets with one of his own defending the bureau. “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now,” Mr. Holder wrote.

As he sought to discredit the Russia inquiry, which he has long called a political “witch hunt,” Mr. Trump on Sunday seized on reports that Mr. Mueller had removed a veteran F.B.I. agent because he sent text messages that appeared to express views critical of Mr. Trump.

In several tweets, the president harshly criticized the agent, Peter Strzok, who had previously helped lead the 2016 investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton had mishandled classified information on her private email account. Mr. Strzok is considered one of the bureau’s most experienced and trusted counterintelligence investigators.

“Report: ‘ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE,’” Mr. Trump said in his 10th tweet on Sunday, which by the early evening had been retweeted more than 24,000 times. “Now it all starts to make sense!”

Most presidents enter the Oval Office with an instinct to defend and promote the integrity and capabilities of the nation’s law enforcement agencies. Mr. Trump arrived with a different compulsion, fueled by a belief that intelligence and law enforcement officials were stoking questions about the legitimacy of his election victory.

By suggesting — as he has before — that the F.B.I. and other agencies are motivated by politics, Mr. Trump again embraced the kind of suspicions that feed conspiracy theories about a “deep state” operating with a secret bias against him.

Still, even though Mr. Trump’s attacks on government agencies are now a familiar theme, former F.B.I. officials and veteran observers of the agency said they were surprised at the ease with which the president sought to defend himself by attacking the reputations of Mr. Comey, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Strzok and the 35,000 people who work at the F.B.I.

Robert E. Anderson Jr., a former top spy hunter at the bureau, said the president’s comments would have a dispiriting effect on F.B.I. morale, especially among those who are not involved in political investigations.

“You’ve got men and women working tirelessly in every corner of this world to protect the United States and its people,” Mr. Anderson said. “When he says what he says, it’s an insult and it’s degrading to the men and women who are sacrificing their lives to protect this great nation.”

Mr. Anderson also came to the defense of Mr. Strzok, calling him “one of the most methodical, most meticulous, hard-working counterintelligence experts in the entire United States intelligence community.” Mr. Anderson said Mr. Strzok “never displayed political bias.”

The president retweeted a Twitter post urging Christopher A. Wray, the current F.B.I. director, to “clean house” at the agency. In a statement on Sunday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had directed Mr. Wray to “review the information available on this and other matters and promptly make any necessary changes.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly described the F.B.I. as an agency in turmoil, often blaming Mr. Comey — a “showboat” and a “grandstander” — for losing support among rank-and-file agents. He cited such supposed turmoil when he fired Mr. Comey in May. But several years of internal employee surveys by the F.B.I. undercut that claim, showing that employees gave Mr. Comey high marks for his leadership.

And since taking over four months ago, Mr. Wray has repeatedly praised the bureau’s work force. In a speech in October, Mr. Wray described the bureau’s employees as “outstanding and dedicated.”

“I wake up every day fired up to come to work — to be part of this extraordinary group — and to see where we can go next,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s efforts to shift attention away from Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea began Saturday night, when he assailed the Justice Department for its handling of the Clinton email investigation and questioned the department’s dedication to living up to its name.

“Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails?” he wrote, referring to messages that Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers had deemed unrelated to her government work. “No justice!”

In another tweet Saturday night, Mr. Trump accused the F.B.I. of destroying Mr. Flynn’s life for his lying to agents, while letting “Crooked Hillary Clinton” off easy for what he said were her own lies to agents. “Rigged system, or just a double standard?” he said.

But Mr. Trump appears to remain especially fixated on Mr. Comey, who testified before Congress in June that the president had asked him to drop the inquiry into Mr. Flynn’s activities one day after Mr. Trump had fired Mr. Flynn. Mr. Comey declined to do so, and the president fired Mr. Comey several months later.

In one tweet on Sunday, Mr. Trump blamed “years of Comey” at the helm of the F.B.I. for what he views as the damage to its reputation.

“After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters — worst in History!” Mr. Trump wrote. “But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

The tweet drew a sharp rebuke from Mr. Holder. “The FBI’s reputation is not in ‘tatters,’” Mr. Holder wrote on Twitter. “It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job.”

Continue reading the main story

Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations

mikenova shared this story .

But now the Met — the nation’s largest performing arts organization and one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses — finds itself in the position that Hollywood studios, television networks and newsrooms have confronted in recent weeks, answering questions about what it knew about allegations of sexual misconduct against one of its stars, and what actions it did and did not take.

Mr. Gelb said allegations about Mr. Levine had reached the Met administration’s upper levels twice before, to his knowledge.

One was in 1979, when Anthony A. Bliss, who was then the Met’s executive director, wrote a letter to a board member about unspecified accusations about Mr. Levine that had been made in an unsigned letter.

“We do not believe there is any truth whatsoever to the charges,” Mr. Bliss wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, which said the Met had spoken “extensively” with Mr. Levine and his manager. “Scurrilous rumors have been circulating for some months and have often been accompanied by other charges which we know for a fact are untrue.” (Mr. Bliss died in 1991, and there is no record of the original, unsigned letter, so the specific accusations against Mr. Levine in it remain unclear.)

Anthony A. Bliss, then executive director of the Met Opera, wrote this letter to a Met board member who had received anonymous accusations about James Levine, the music director at the time.

OPEN Document

And then in October 2016, after Mr. Levine had stepped down from his position as music director, Mr. Gelb said he was contacted by a detective with the Lake Forest Police asking questions about Mr. Pai’s report.

Mr. Gelb said that he briefed the board’s leadership and that Mr. Levine denied the accusations. The company took no further action, waiting to see what the police determined. Then, on Saturday, the Met decided to investigate Mr. Levine after media inquiries about his behavior with young men.

Mr. Gelb said that the Met had appointed Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm who was previously a United States attorney in New Jersey and Illinois, to lead its investigation.

The men coming forward now said that some of the abuse started years ago, at the beginning of Mr. Levine’s career, and that this sort of behavior had been widely rumored in music circles.

Mr. Brown, the former bass player in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, said that he had been surprised in the summer of 1968 when Mr. Levine made him principal bass at Meadow Brook, given that Mr. Brown was only 17 and had just finished his junior year of high school, while other players were older and more experienced. He said that he was initially flattered when Mr. Levine, the conductor of the school’s orchestra and the director of its orchestral institute, began to invite him to his dorm room late at night.

At their third meeting, Mr. Brown said, Mr. Levine began talking about sex.

“At that point I think it was basically a combination of fatigue and being young that allowed me to go to the bed — it was the bottom bunk — and have him masturbate me,” Mr. Brown said. “And then, almost immediately, he asked for reciprocation. And I have some very, very strong pictures in my memory, and one of them was being on the floor, and he was on the bottom bunk, and I put my hand on his penis, and I felt so ashamed.”

“The next morning I was late to rehearsal,” said Mr. Brown, who had been raised a Christian Scientist and recalled that he had received little sex education. “I was in a complete daze. Whatever happens when you get abused had happened, and it wasn’t just sexual.”

At their next meeting, Mr. Brown said, he told Mr. Levine that he would not repeat the sexual behavior, and asked if they could continue to make music as they had before.

“And he answered no,” Mr. Brown said, adding that Mr. Levine hardly looked at him for the rest of the summer, even while conducting him. “It was a terrible, terrible summer.” (That fall, after he returned for his senior year of high school, at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Brown told his roommate about Mr. Levine’s sexual advances at Meadow Brook, the roommate confirmed in an interview.)

Mr. Lestock, the teenage cello student at Meadow Brook, said in a telephone interview that he had a similar experience that summer in Mr. Levine’s dorm room.

“During the discussion, he suggested that I take my clothes off, because this would be natural and honest and expand my outlook on the world,” Mr. Lestock said. “My initial response included the word ‘no.’ I was not interested in that. But he ignored that, and pursued the point, and convinced me to let him masturbate me.”

Mr. Levine at that point was also an assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra, and was surrounded by a tight-knit clique of musicians who were awed by him and followed him as his career took off. Mr. Lestock joined that group, whose members studied music together, traveled together, ate together, and sometimes lived together. But he said that over the years he was sometimes subjected to humiliating sexual encounters with Mr. Levine.

At one point in Cleveland, where he moved in 1969 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he said that Mr. Levine encouraged the members of the group to put on blindfolds and masturbate partners they could not see. They did, Mr. Lestock said.

“This was the extent to which he had control,” Mr. Lestock said. Another member of the group, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to guard his privacy, said that he had also taken part in a blindfolded masturbation session.

A few years later, in a hotel near the Ravinia Festival, Mr. Lestock said that Mr. Levine caused him physical pain, telling him that he should “expand” his “range of emotions” and pinching him — repeatedly and hard — on his legs.

“Once I started to break down and cry, he continued to try to hurt me,” Mr. Lestock said of Mr. Levine, who was music director of Ravinia from 1973 through 1993.

But Mr. Lestock said he felt powerless to leave. “If I had left the group at the point, I would have had no career, no income, no friends, and have been totally alone in the world,” he said. After following Mr. Levine to New York in the early 1970s, Mr. Lestock, who is now 67, eventually left the group, and music.

Mr. Pai said that he first met Mr. Levine when he was four years old and his parents took him backstage after a Ravinia concert. In 1985, when Mr. Pai was 15, he said, Mr. Levine gave him a ride home and began holding his hand in an “incredibly sensual way.” The following summer, he said, Mr. Levine touched his penis in a hotel room near the festival, beginning what he described as years of sexual encounters.

“I was vulnerable,” said Mr. Pai, who is 48. “I was under this man’s sway, I saw him as a safe, protective person, he took advantage of me, he abused me and it has really messed me up.”

He said that the relationship continued for years and that his feelings were complicated: He shared a copy of a Western Union Mailgram he had sent to Mr. Levine at the Salzburg Festival in 1988 that contained the postscript “P.S. I love you.” But Mr. Pai came to realize that, in those early years, he had been too young to give consent.

Speculation about Mr. Levine’s private life has occasionally come into public view. In 1987, Mr. Levine dismissed talk of wrongdoing in an interview with The Times, saying that “both my friends and my enemies checked it out and to this day, I don’t have the faintest idea where those rumors came from or what purpose they served.”

A decade later, more rumors circulated in Germany, when politicians and media outlets debated his appointment to become the music director of the Munich Philharmonic, beginning in 1999. In an interview in The Times in 1998, Mr. Levine declined to respond to the speculation.

“I’ve never been able to speak in public generalities about my private life,” he said.

Officials at Ravinia, where Mr. Levine is scheduled to begin an ongoing annual residency next summer, said on Sunday that they first learned of the accusations through the media this weekend. “Ravinia finds these allegations very disturbing and contrary to its zero-tolerance policies and culture,” Allie Brightwell, its media manager, said in an email. “Ravinia will take any actions that it deems appropriate following the results of these investigations.”

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which Mr. Levine led from 2004 through 2011, said in a statement Sunday that it had conducted “a personal and professional review of all aspects of James Levine’s candidacy” before naming him its music director, and that it had never been approached during his tenure with accusations of inappropriate behavior.

For the three men, unburdening themselves after decades has meant delving back into some of their most painful memories.

Sitting in his home in St. Paul, Mr. Brown looked over old documents from Meadow Brook, including a program for a starry concert performance of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” featuring Cornell MacNeil, Roberta Peters and Jan Peerce in which he played under Mr. Levine’s baton. He said his abuse had left scars for years.

“I’m still trying to figure out why it’s so incredibly emotional, and sticks with you for your whole life,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s shame, a lack of intimacy and sheltering yourself from other people.”

Continue reading the main story

Sex cases put spotlight on sex addiction, but is it real?

mikenova shared this story .

Is sex addiction a true addiction, a crime, or a made-up condition used by misbehaving VIPs to deflect blame or repair tarnished images?

A tide of high-profile sexual misconduct accusations against celebrities, politicians and media members has raised these questions – and sowed confusion. Sex addiction is not an officially recognized psychiatric diagnosis, though even those who doubt it’s a true addiction acknowledge that compulsive sexual behavior can upend lives.

Either way, there is an important distinction, sometimes blurred, between a mental condition and a crime. Some men who have been accused of assault or other sexual crimes have sought treatment for sex addiction or other unspecified conditions. But compulsive behavior is very different from a crime, and the vast majority of people who suffer from sexually compulsive behavior do not harass or assault others.

There’s “an extremely fine line between addict and offender” and sometimes the two overlap, said psychologist Leah Claire Bennett of Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, a rehab center that offers sex addiction treatment in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Despite pressure from some therapists, sex addiction was not included in the most recent edition of the manual that psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness. “The reason is very simple,” said Dr. Charles O’Brien, a University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor involved in the manual’s 2013 update. There is no rigorous scientific proof that compulsive sexual behavior affects the brain in the same ways that have been shown with addiction to drugs or alcohol, he said.

“There’s an overuse of the word ‘addiction,’” O’Brien said. “There are many treatment programs. That doesn’t make it a disorder.”

Still, some skeptics don’t dispute that compulsive sexual behavior can become a serious problem. The issue for some is whether it amounts to mental illness, or whether it might result from a different psychiatric condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Robert Weiss, a California-based sex addiction therapist, said the condition involves unrestrained compulsive sexual behavior without regard to consequences. Sometimes that leads to illegal behavior.

The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals says sex addiction affects from 2 percent to 5 percent of the general population but that only 10 percent of those with this addiction engage in criminal sexual behavior. Most patients and sex offenders are men.

Some treatment programs won’t admit patients accused of rape and other violent sex crimes, referring them to centers or therapists who specialize in treating sex offenders.

Addiction treatment at Pine Grove, The Meadows in Arizona and other high-profile residential rehab centers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Despite country club-like settings, there’s nothing cushy or indulgent about sex addiction therapy, Weiss said.

Pine Grove requires daylong sessions including group therapy daily for up to three months. Some centers use 12-step programs similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but they don’t require swearing off sex for good. Some use brain “retraining” exercises, or sharing stories about bad behavior with a roomful of strangers.

Some centers use equine therapy. Weiss says that interacting with horses can help patients recognize problems sometimes associated with sex addiction, including overly aggressive, controlling behavior.

The New York Post published a photograph last year that it said showed former New York congressman Anthony Weiner riding a horse as part of treatment at a Tennessee sex addiction rehab center. Weiner was sentenced in September for sexting with a teenager. He said at the time that he was undergoing therapy and had been “a very sick man for a very long time.”

Weiss and other therapists say sex addicts are never cured, but they can learn to manage their behavior and avoid triggers, including avoiding jobs and circumstances that could lead to a repeat of problem behavior.

L.J. Schwartz, a former real estate adviser in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says a nearly 30-year addiction to sex almost ruined his life.

Schwartz says his addiction included having sex with strangers at adult bookstores or masturbating there while watching porn nearly every chance he got; working as a stripper; and phone sex. He was never arrested but says his behavior endangered his job and marriage.

“There’s no pleasure derived from sex addiction; it’s pain,” Schwartz said.

He says a 12-step program helped him resist his compulsions and he now works as a recovery coach for other patients.

But hard evidence that treatment works is lacking. “There’s not a lot of data,” Bennett acknowledged.

“We have a lot of anecdotal evidence. We can see the change in people,” she said. She said Pine Grove plans a long-term study to measure the benefits.

Whether treatment can repair tarnished images is uncertain.

“The accusations levied against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and others for sexual assault, harassment and abuse have created righteous outrage and concerns that ‘sex addiction treatment’ is being used to excuse their offensive behavior,” the addiction professionals institute said in a recent statement.

Whether any of these men have a diagnosed mental condition has not been publicized.

A representative for Weinstein confirmed that he is receiving treatment and has been taking his recovery and sessions seriously. But the representative declined to specify Weinstein’s condition or the treatment he is receiving for it. A former publicist for Spacey said he also is seeking unspecified treatment.

Bennett said some people do use sex addiction as an excuse, “but that’s not who we’re treating here at Pine Grove. These people’s lives are in shambles. They’ve been traumatized throughout their lives. They have huge psychological wounds and are using very maladaptive ways of coping.”

Actor David Duchovny voluntarily sought rehab for sex addiction in 2008 while starring on Showtime’s “Californication.” Married to actress Tea Leoni at the time, he had been dogged by cheating rumors. His career never stalled. He returned to “Californication” for the remainder of its run and has continued to appear in high-profile roles.

When sex addiction may have contributed to criminal behavior, a trip to rehab could bolster a defense attorney’s argument that the accused person has changed, said Samuel Pillsbury, a professor at Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles. But it’s a less effective strategy for violent crimes, he said.

“It’s very difficult for me to imagine a prosecutor deciding, ‘Oh, he’s in rehab, I’ll drop the charges or I’ll reduce the charges significantly,’” Pillsbury said. “But it could have an effect on sentencing.”

trump and fbi – Google Search

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for trump and fbi


Spread the News
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  

11:15 AM 12/4/2017 – Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review | Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg

Spread the News
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
Imagine With Me…
James Comey continues to subtweet Donald Trump into the ground after President’s Twitter attack on FBI – Mirror.co.uk
BC Attorney-General moves to curb casino money laundering – The Globe and Mail
Graham warns Trump about tweeting during Russia probe – Fox News
Illegal gambling business soft spot of Russian enforcement authorities – https://en.crimerussia.com/
In a certain light, Donald Trump doesn’t seem so bad – Salon
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
It Is Now an Obstruction Investigation – National Review
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
Your DNA kit begins a journey of discovery but are results in safe hands?
Women Line Up to Run for Office, Harnessing Their Outrage at Trump – New York Times
Is Trump About to Blow Up Jared Kushner’s Mideast Peacemaking? – POLITICO Magazine
“Tis The Season For Impeachment In Chipmunks Christmas Parody
White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’ – Politico
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media – Daily Signal
The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display – ABC News
Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore – Reuters
Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera – NBC New York
Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts – Advocate.com
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
Flynns Plea and the Significance of the Lying in the Russia Investigation
Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey – Haaretz

 

Saved Stories – None
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
 


Nikkei Asian Review
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review 
Unlike China, Russia traditionally has little economic leverage over Pyongyang.
 But the Putin administration is believed to have given the North Korean issue high priority. Moscow likely sees its role as go-between as a bargaining chip with the U.SU.S. administration of President Donald Trump. Relations with Washington have and more »

Imagine With Me…

Imagine with me since extraordinary times call for extraordinary imaginings that tonight, with little forewarning, there
James Comey continues to subtweet Donald Trump into the ground after President’s Twitter attack on FBI – Mirror.co.uk
 


Mirror.co.uk
James Comey continues to subtweet Donald Trump into the ground after President’s Twitter attack on FBI
Mirror.co.uk
Flynn admitted making false statements about contacts he had in December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, after Trump’s election but before he was sworn in as President. “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge 
President Trump attacks FBI in Twitter tiradeTen Eyewitness Newsall 78 news articles »

BC Attorney-General moves to curb casino money laundering – The Globe and Mail
 


The Globe and Mail
BC Attorney-General moves to curb casino money laundering
The Globe and Mail
The ability to launder millions of dollars through British Columbia’s casinos has come to be known internationally as the “Vancouver Model,” says the province’s Attorney-General, who maintains regulations have been so lax that the province has become  

Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
 


Bloomberg
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label
Bloomberg
The U.S. law, which Trump grudgingly signed on Aug. 2 after it passed Congress with a veto-proof margin, instructs the Treasury, together with the State Department and intelligence agencies, to identify officials and oligarchs as determined by their 
Changing the rules: what comes after a Putin election victory?Financial Times
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Starall 19 news articles »

Graham warns Trump about tweeting during Russia probe – Fox News
 


Fox News
Graham warns Trump about tweeting during Russia probe
Fox News
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Sunday warned President Trump to use caution before tweeting about the ongoing investigation into contacts between his campaign and Russia. Sen. Lindsey Graham told CBS’ Face the Nation that the president  
Trump slams DOJ and FBI in weekend tweetstorm – CNNPoliticsCNN

Did Trump Just Incriminate Himself by Saying He Knew Flynn Lied to the FBI?New York Magazine
Trump tweets about the Russia probe spark warnings from lawmakersCNBC
Trump slams DOJ and FBI in weekend tweetstorm – CNNPoliticsCNN
PoliticoWashington PostThe Detroit News
all 2,185 lawyer says president knew Flynn had given FBI the same account he gave to vice presidentWashington Post
ReutersBoston HeraldNew York Daily News
all 1,882
 
news articles »
Illegal gambling business soft spot of Russian enforcement authorities – https://en.crimerussia.com/
 

Illegal gambling business soft spot of Russian enforcement authorities
https://en.crimerussia.com/
However, they also discovered two gambling police officers in the establishment. Both gamblers in uniform have been detained. A criminal case under part 1 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of official powers) has been  

In a certain light, Donald Trump doesn’t seem so bad – Salon
 


Salon
In a certain light, Donald Trump doesn’t seem so bad
Salon
Still, at 71, who could doubt that he himself has the constitution of an ox, thanks perhaps to those Big Macs he reportedly adores, the Trump Steaks he tried to peddle, and the taco bowls (I love Hispanics!) that he once swore he gobbles down. As 

Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
 


National Review
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum.
National Review
Various speakers called out Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and, more broadly, radical Islamic terrorism as threats to the peace and security of the United States. Retired General Jack Keane bluntly stated that China was trying to dominate its region  
HR McMaster talks North Korea threat, Michael Flynn dealFox Newsall 27 news articles »

 and more »

It Is Now an Obstruction Investigation – National Review
 


National Review
It Is Now an Obstruction Investigation
National Review
Since there is no collusion case, we can safely assume Mueller is primarily scrutinizing President Trump with an eye toward making a case of obstructing an FBI investigation. This also makes sense in light of the pleas that have been taken. Obstruction and more »

Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
 


LifeZette
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI
LifeZette
Flynn, Trump defenders say, was the victim of hysteria about alleged Russian hacking into 2016 Democratic email accounts. But his plea had nothing to do with the hacking, the ostensible focus of the Justice Department’s special investigation. Instead
Trump Says FBI Credibility Is in Tatters, Denies Telling Comey to Stop Flynn ProbeSlate Magazine (blog)
Trump’s morning tweetstorm appears to have been inspired by ‘Fox & Friends’Los Angeles Times 
‘I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn’: Trump goes on tweetstorm about the FBIWashington Post
Chicago TribuneMSNBC
all 2,329 
Trump tweet storm slams Comey, FBIArkansas Online
Washington Post
all 2,038
 news articles »
Your DNA kit begins a journey of discovery but are results in safe hands?

Test kits to check ones DNA heritage have never been cheaper. Prices have skidded to less than $50, and in at least one instance, thousands of people were offered free … Click to Continue »
Women Line Up to Run for Office, Harnessing Their Outrage at Trump – New York Times
 


New York Times
Women Line Up to Run for Office, Harnessing Their Outrage at Trump
New York Times
LEESBURG, Va. For Wendy Gooditis, a real estate agent in the Northern Virginia suburbs, the crystallizing moment came when she heard her state delegate suggest that he had fought gerrymandering in Virginia when his record said otherwise. For Mai  

Is Trump About to Blow Up Jared Kushner’s Mideast Peacemaking? – POLITICO Magazine
 


POLITICO Magazine

Politico
Is Trump About to Blow Up Jared Kushner’s Mideast Peacemaking? 
POLITICO Magazine
Not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a farce, Dermer said, characterizing Trump’s likely decision to change that as sending a message to the Palestinians of: Hey, wake up. Understand that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. You have to deal 
 
Politico
Still, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, a close ally of the Trump team who has been working closely with them on the plan, says in a new interview for The Global Politico that while he’s an optimist, chances are only moderate to high of 
HR McMaster: ‘I’m not sure’ if Trump will move embassy in IsraelCNN

Jerusalem: Opposition to mooted Trump Israel announcement growsBBC News 
Abbas warns world leaders over Trump’s recognition of JerusalemThe Guardian
The Trump speech on Jerusalem that could spark violenceNEWS.com.au
all 790 
Kushner: Trump still undecided on Israel’s capitalABC News
ReutersThe Guardian
all 767
 news articles »

“Tis The Season For Impeachment In Chipmunks Christmas Parody

“Please Mueller don’t be late.”
White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’ – Politico
 


MyAJC
White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’
Politico
But recording conversations without consent from all the parties involved carries serious risks for Mueller, who is being closely watched by experienced defense lawyers and an army of Trump allies eager for any opportunity to show the special counsel 
Analysis: Trump’s best and worst day as presidentMyAJCall 2,010 news articles »

If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
 


USA TODAY
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on
USA TODAY
On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak 
Trump’s lawyer offered a dubious explanation for Trump’s bombshell tweet about Michael FlynnBusiness Insider
Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James ComeyHuffPost
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times
CNN –Los Angeles Times
all 2,174 news articles »
Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media – Daily Signal
 


Daily Signal
Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media
Daily Signal
Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and counterterrorism adviser, is delivering a series of lectures for The Heritage Foundation about national security issues. His next speech will take place at Heritage on Dec. 15  

The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display – ABC News
 

The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display
ABC News
Asked directly by moderator Bret Baier whether he has “had talks about another job” with President Trump, Pompeo said he’s “very focused” on his current job. “Very focused on doing what I’m doing, Bret. It is in spite of former [Director of Central and more »

Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore – Reuters
 


Reuters
Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore
Reuters
The president has repeatedly slammed Moore’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, but had previously backed Moore’s former Republican rival Luther Strange in line with Senate Republicans. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal and more »

Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera – NBC New York
 


NBC New York
Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera
NBC New York
Former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush confirmed again that it was Donald Trump’s voice on the famous 2005 video that recorded Trump bragging about crude and degrading behavior toward women. The New York Times reported that Trump has told at least and more »

Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts – Advocate.com
 


Advocate.com
Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts
Advocate.com
Trump is likely to be found guilty of obstruction of justice for his firing of FBI director James B. Comey in order to stop the Russian investigation. Should Trump be making lifetime judicial appointments that will have far-reaching implications for and more »

Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
 


BBC News
Flynns Plea and the Significance of the Lying in the Russia Investigation

The interpretation of the Flynn plea is subject to the usual risks that someoneRobert Muellerknows far more than anyone else, and with what is available on the public record, it may be impossible to appreciate how this piece fits into the mosaic of the special counsels investigation. So some may believe it is safest to give the event the narrowest possible reading. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, lied to the FBI to cover up Trump transition team activities that he thought it best not to acknowledge. On this account, Flynn may have been concerned about the propriety of contacts with Russia before the inauguration to shift U.S. policy on sanctions and the U.N. Security Council vote on Israeli settlements. So much, then, for this phase of the case: Now we wait to see what else Flynn may disclose to the special counsel as part of their cooperation agreement.This is not a wholly mistaken view of the Flynn plea, but it is a limited one. It fails to connect Flynns lies about the calls with the Russian ambassador to the others just like them told repeatedly by the president and his associates. Indeed, the president has led the charge in denying any contacts between Russia and his campaigns, denouncing as a hoax the suggestion of collusion, and he has had a hand in directing others to dissemble about Russia-related communications. For example, we have the extraordinary revelation that the president dictated a press release falsely stating the purpose and substance of the meeting in Trump Tower between his son and other members of the campaign staff, and a traveling party from Moscow offering campaign support and derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. The Flynn lies are just the latest in the series.

Why all the lying? It is easy to understand certain of the individual instances. Telling the truth about the Trump Tower meeting must have seemed unimaginable. It would have required the campaign to admit that it welcomed help from the Kremlin and met in private to accept what the emissaries from Moscow came to offer. And the campaign would never have been persuaded of the wisdom of coming clean about Trumps sons correspondence with WikiLeaks.

It is less clear why Flynn would have lied to the FBI about his phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016. True, it might have been uncomfortable to tell the truth. While an incoming administration will often have every intention, some of it openly expressed, of reversing the policies of the previous one, the Flynn-Kislyak understandings go well beyond the norms governing the conduct of a policy transition from one administration to the next. This is especially the case where, as reported by The New York Times, the Obama administration had specifically requested that the Trump transition desist from sending conflicting signals to foreign officials before the inauguration and to include State Department personnel when contacting them.

But Flynn could have framed a response more honest and far less hazardous than outright lies. After all, Trump had publicly objected to the sanctions and had aggressively opposed the U.N. Security Council Resolution condemning Israel. Flynn could have taken the position that he merely affirmed to the Russians what they would have understood in any case about the campaigns policy positions. Awkward, yes. But he could have better weathered the questions about the propriety of these contacts, or their legality under the Logan Act, than the risks of lying to the FBI.

Why, then, the lies? It is certainly possible that Flynn was directed or encouraged to lie, with the president somehow believing that, in the worst case, he could work it out with Comey and that the FBI would let it go. Philip Bobbitt raised this possibility in May of this year, and the facts that have since come to light add support to his conjecture.

It would be remarkableand highly unlikelythat Flynn would fail to alert superiors that the FBI sought to interview him about the Kislyak phone calls. Flynn is a military man with rigorous training in following the chain of command. However inconsistent his performance on this score may have been over the years, the calls with senior transition officials in December in which he sought direction on the sanctions and U.N. matters, do not suggest that he had somehow gone rogue in his new national security advisory roleand not on this particular issue. A request from the FBI for an interview would have surely triggered a report up the chain. Was he counseledand if so, by whomon what he would say? Yet if Flynn somehow did not consult with his superiors prior to the interviews, it is well nigh inconceivable that he would not have done so afterward.

In any event, on Jan. 26, two days after Flynns FBI interview, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed the White House that Flynn had misrepresented his conversations within the administration. And if he lied to the vice president, among others, it would have been reasonable for the president and the senior staff to be concerned that he had not been truthful with the F.B.I. The White House counsel asked Yates specifically how Flynn did in the interview. Yates declined to respond, which should not have been reassuring.

It would not have been too late for the White House to look into the matter and direct Flynn to clean up the interview record. Instead, Flynn stuck to his story, only acknowledging weeks later on Feb. 9, through a spokesperson, that he could not recall such a discussion but couldnt be certain that the topic never came up. As late as Feb. 8, in a comment to the Washington Post, Flynn continued to deny that his conversation with Kislyak included an exchange about sanctions.

It is perhaps a striking coincidence, but the day after the Yates disclosure to the White House, Trump called the FBI director, invited him to dinner the same evening, and asked him for a pledge of loyalty. Then, on Feb. 14the day after Flynn resignedthe president asked Comey whether he might consider letting Flynn go. It is critical to bear in mind that the context for this specific request was Flynns misrepresentations about the Kislyak conversations, but in the administrations stated reasons for the resignation, the lies requiring Flynns departure were those told to the vice president. Had the president concluded that lying to the vice president was somehow a crimea suggestion that his White House counsel discounted in conversations with the acting attorney general?  Or did Trumps concern with Flynns legal exposure arise from knowledge that the former national security adviser had lied to the FBI?

The day after the plea deal, the president tweeted out the statement, for the first time, that he fired Flynn not only because he had lied to the vice president, but to the FBI too. Commentators responded immediately that this admission weakened his defense against an obstruction claim. It is not clear how much this tweet really adds to Trumps exposure: He was already amply exposed because whatever liability the president imagined that Flynn faced, he asked the FBI director to abandon a criminal investigation. The more pressing question is when the president knew that Flynn had liedor would lie. (In a curious turn in the tale, one of his lawyers, John Dowd, has taken responsibility for composing the tweet. Something new every day: Now the lawyers are writing tweets for the president about a criminal investigation.)

Another new statement from the White House gives still more reason to question what the president knew and when he knew itor perhaps more to the point, what the president did and when he did it. The White House is now insisting that the president was not aware that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak and that Mr. Flynn denied it to him. But why would the president not have known that Flynn had such a conversation, and why would Flynn have denied it? The Trump transition opposed the sanctions, and the president and his legal team have insisted that there was nothing at all illegal, much less improper, about including the topic in the transition contacts with the Russian government. There is now documented evidence that Flynn was not a rogue official but kept in close contact with senior transition officials on this very issue. And on the day of the Dec. 29 Flynn-Kislyak conversation, the president was scheduled to speak with his national security team at 5 p.m. Why, then, this surprising denial of the presidents knowledge of the contacts with the Russians about sanctions?

The answer lies in Trumps sensitivityand the reason for that sensitivityto any suggestion that he was paying off the Russians for their help in the campaign. That this was a concern during the transition is clear from the deputy national national security adviser K.T. McFarlands December 29 emails, which reflect a preoccupation the Democrats use of sanctions policy in discrediting Trumps victory. The fear was an assault on election legitimacy, as another adviser on the email chain wrote. So Trump was then, and remains today, stuck between both defending and seeking to disavow the Flynn-Kislyak discussion. But if Trump is worried about it now, he would have been just as concerned about it at the time, and he would have had a clear motive to keep it under wraps.

Whether this resulted eventually in Flynns telling an otherwise inexplicable lie to the FBI is an entirely reasonable question. It is just as, if not more, reasonable than believing that Flynn, who observed discipline on this issue in other respects, struck out on his own in an interview with the FBI and lied to the president about a discussion about sanctions with a foreign ambassador that clearly reflected transition policy (and that therefore, he had no reason to lie about).

This history, as far as it is known, does not clearly establish that the president or someone acting at his orders directed Flynn to lie to the FBI. But Trumps well-established instinct to exaggerate, conceal or fabricateand to expect others to do so on his behalfdoes not allow this possibility to be ruled out. It is a point on which the special counsel is sure to press those with knowledge of the events.

Regardless of how the evidence develops on what Trump knew before the Flynn conversation with the Russian Ambassador, his behavior thereafter is exceedingly unhelpful to him. He knew there were major problems with Flynns account of the FBI interview, and for two weeks, he acted only to protect his national security adviser, going so far as to attempt to call off an ongoing criminal investigation.

His solicitude for Flynn continued in the period after the investigation, and his private exhortation to Flynn that he stay strong now assumes fresh significance. Perhaps, as associates of the president have suggested, the president was applying a human touch, expressing concern for a well-liked supporter and associate experiencing dark days. A less benign explanation is that Flynn was paying a high price for entering into a conversation with the Russians that was consistent with the presidents wishes and directions, including Trumps the expectation that he not admit to this specific discussion.

The question remains: Why the lying? It seems that the Flynn lies make sense if connected to the others told by Trump and others with Trumps knowledge about the Russian relationship over the course of his campaign and presidency. Trump has boasted periodically about the transformative potential of an improved diplomatic and strategic relationship with Russia. But at the same time, he has categorically rejected suggestions that the relationship was personally or politically beneficial to him. Trump denied extensive business or financial ties to Russia and any political alliance built on mutual interest, which during the campaign included a shared animus toward Clinton and the objective of electing him. In numerous instances, Trumps claims have foundered on the known facts. He and those acting under this direction have engaged in an extensive pattern of misleading and flatly false statements about the Russia relationship.

Of course, one could conclude that Trump has misread his exposure on the Russia relationship and has lied to no purpose in the end except to cause avoidable problems for himself. In other words, as some defenders of the president may argue, it all looks worse than it is, and the president cannot help making it look worse. He goes overboard and heaps falsehood on top of falsehood, even where the truth would be less harmful than the lies.

Or one could just as plausibly conclude that once Trump had for all intents and purposes made another of his dealsthis time with a foreign government and for a benefit that was political, personal, or bothhe felt compelled to embark on a program of lies and to enlist the full cooperation of is aides and associates. This is a deal he could not admit to have made. And the lying, especially the lying under his direction, may be the best evidence so far on the public record that he thought he had a deal that had to remain deniedwhatever the risk of lying.

What very plausibly motivated the specific lies in the Flynn case was a need to deny specific, private commitments to Russia that tend to support the appearance of, and substantiate the affirmative case for, what might be termed a special understanding with the Putin regime. Perhaps any such indication would have seemed especially dangerous in the immediate aftermath of the campaign, when the Russians had been identified as aggressively intervening on his behalfand with his encouragementin the election. Trump may have felt extremely uneasy about the appearance of an American quo for the Russian quid.

The McFarland and other transition team emails in late December 2016 may lead some to argue that Trump was worried only about political perceptions and political attacks. But we now know that he may have been worried about more than that. His campaign had hosted a delegation from Moscow with an offer to help with the campaign; one of his foreign policy advisers had heard prior to their release about the thousands of emails secured by the Russian government; and his son had communicated with WikiLeaks about the most fruitful exploitation of the hacked material. And this is only what has surfaced publicly.

David French, writing about the Flynn plea agreement for the National Review, prefers to separate the lying from allegations of collusion and finds plenty of the former and no evidence for the latter. He concludes that the Flynn agreement is a body blow to the collusion theory. This judgment requires a certain confined perspective on the lies and their purpose, and the presidents role in the fabrications. It is also understandably the one that the president embraced the Saturday morning after the Flynn plea deal became public. He is confident that, as he told members of the press, what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. He added: So we’re very happy.

It appears, then, that there is emerging a defense that a number of people told foolish lies, but nothing of more global significance. The president promoted this view specifically in another post-plea statement, by tweet: It was a shame that Flynn had lied to the FBI, because his actions during the transition were lawful. He ended the tweet: There was nothing to hide!

But perhaps there was. On a more comprehensive view, when examining the Flynn lies within the overall context of the stream of misrepresentations and known facts about the Russia relationship with Trump and his 2016 campaign, the Flynn episode is a good reason to expect intense, continuing investigative focus on the Russia connection. That is a more plausible ground for the lying, and the presidents involvement in it, than anxiety about the propriety, legality or political fallout from conversations with the Russians only weeks before taking officeand about issues on which his position was well known. The question of what has been generically called collusion is what has most concerned the president, what he has most vehemently challenged, and what would most motivate him to enlist others like Flynn in a program of concealments or falsehoods. It is useful in considering this possibility to once more recall the presidents dictation of the fallacious account of the Trump Tower campaign meeting with the Russian emissaries.

All of this activity to mislead or conceal may in the end prove futile. It is now Flynns turn to talk. Meanwhile, the presidents lawyers are quietly preparing for the worst, by arguing that even if there was collusion, it would not be a crime. The Flynn plea may move the case much closer to the moment when the president and his legal team will be required to test that theory in the real world conditions of a grand-jury room and then a court.

Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey – Haaretz
 


Haaretz
Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey
Haaretz
It seems that Zarrab and his pricey attorneys, including former New York mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general in the President George W. Bush administration, decided to go for a plea bargain. In exchange 
Reza Zarrab, the star witness unnerving AnkaraDigital Journalall 110 104 news articles »


Spread the News
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    5
    Shares
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •