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 on: September 19, 2018, 09:23:34 am 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
you a simple sub human commie trump derangment syndrome slob have removed all doubt about how mental lefty's are

 on: September 16, 2018, 10:20:39 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times…

The Economy Is Humming, but Trump Is Tweeting.
Republicans Are Worried.

The president and the healthy economy have become countervailing forces, with his
self-inflicted wounds obscuring the Republican message, and buoying Democrats.

By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS | Saturday, September 15, 2018

A series of controversies over the summer has driven President Trump's approval rating below 40 percent and kept Republicans from being able to campaign on a message of economic success. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.
A series of controversies over the summer has driven President Trump's approval rating below 40 percent and kept Republicans from being
able to campaign on a message of economic success. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON D.C. — As Democrats enter the fall mid-term campaign with palpable confidence about reclaiming the House and perhaps even the Senate, tensions are rising between the White House and congressional Republicans over who is to blame for political difficulties facing the party, with President Trump's advisers pointing to the high number of G.O.P. retirements and lawmakers placing the blame squarely on the president's divisive style.

Yet Republican leaders do agree on one surprising element in the battle for Congress: They cannot rely on the booming economy to win over undecided voters.

To the dismay of party leaders, the healthy economy and Mr. Trump have become countervailing forces. The decline in unemployment and soaring gross domestic product, along with the tax overhaul Republicans argue is fueling the growth, have been obscured by the president's inflammatory moves on immigration, Vladimir V. Putin and other fronts, party leaders say.

These self-inflicted wounds since early summer have helped push Mr. Trump's approval ratings below 40 percent and the fortunes of his party down with them.

“This is very much a referendum on the president,” Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, said of the November election. “If we had to fight this campaign on what we accomplished in Congress and on the state of the economy, I think we'd almost certainly keep our majority.”

Glen Bolger, a leading Republican pollster working on several top races this year, was even blunter: “People think the economy is doing well, but that's not what they're voting on — they're voting on the chaos of the guy in the White House.”

Democrats still face challenges of their own, namely the unpopularity of Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, and the party's tilt left on issues like immigration, both of which could chill support from some otherwise persuadable voters. And the threat of a Democratic majority impeaching the president, which Mr. Trump is eager to raise, could rouse some of his supporters who otherwise may not show up in a year when he's not on the ballot.

Even so, Mr. Bolger and many other prominent Republicans now believe they are likely to lose the House, where they have a 23-seat majority and as many as 60 seats are being fiercely contested by Democrats. The party is preparing to shift advertising money away from some of their most beleaguered incumbents toward a set of races in somewhat more favorable territory. In the narrowly divided Senate, both parties see eight or nine seats, most of them held by Democrats, on a knife's edge.

And instead of attempting to highlight positive economic news like the 3.9 percent unemployment rate, Republicans have turned to a scorched-earth campaign against the Democrats in a bid to save their House majority and salvage their one-seat edge in the Senate.

Republican electioneering groups, including the Congressional Leadership Fund “super PAC” and the National Republican Congressional Committee, have spent millions in recent weeks attacking Democratic candidates in intensely personal terms. The committees, along with some Republican candidates, have blasted one Democratic hopeful in New York for rap lyrics he once wrote; branded another, in Pennsylvania, as a “trust fund baby” and “tax dodger”; and aired commercials featuring veterans in wheelchairs to sow doubts about the patriotism of some Democratic nominees.

The Republican lurch away from economic issues amounts to a bet on the politics of Trump-style cultural division as a means of driving up conservative turnout and disqualifying some Democratic candidates among more moderate voters.

Party leaders say the individual attacks are only the first step in a broader campaign to shift the mid-terms away from the Trump focus and toward the implications of Democratic majorities in Congress.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is one of 40 House Republicans who chose not to run again this year. — Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan is one of 40 House Republicans who chose not to run again this year. — Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press.

Laying out the strategy in an interview this week in his Capitol office, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the would-be successor to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, warned that if Democrats took power they would swiftly impeach the president, stymie immigration enforcement and seek to enact universal health care.

“It's just going to be chaos,” said Mr. McCarthy, trying to repurpose the sense of tumult that voters do not like about Mr. Trump's administration.

Mr. McCarthy acknowledged House Republicans would suffer losses but predicted they would keep a narrow majority so long as Mr. Trump's approval rating rebounded. He even settled on a specific threshold, saying Mr. Trump's approval rating had to be above 43 percent to hold on to the House — even though, historically, the party out of power usually dominates mid-term elections when a president's approval rating is markedly under 50 percent.

“It's week by week of where the weather is at — and it's ever changing,” Mr. McCarthy said of the political environment. “Let's just hope it's a sunny day on Election Day.”

Yet there are already clouds forming over the Republican-controlled capital, visible in the growing anger between the Trump White House and those in the party aligned with congressional Republicans.

After a summer in which the administration implemented a policy of separating migrant children from their parents, the president sided with Mr. Putin over American intelligence services, and then he showed little sympathy following the death of Senator John McCain, Republican strategists say Mr. Trump is alienating a sizable bloc of moderate and Republican-leaning voters who favor right-of-center economic policies but recoil from the president.

“There's 15 percent of the electorate that's happy with the direction of the country but angry with the president,” said Corry Bliss, who runs the Congressional Leadership Fund.

But this sort of talk infuriates Mr. Trump's aides, and one senior White House official swiped back at Mr. Bliss, accusing him of attempting to lay the groundwork for deflecting blame for the loss of the House majority. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to be candid about the party's predicament, said the Republicans were facing deep losses because of the 40 House Republicans who chose not to run again — a list, the official pointedly noted, that includes Mr. Ryan himself.

Yet the intra-party finger-pointing goes beyond the skirmishing between the White House and Congress.

Republican strategists affiliated with the Congressional Leadership Fund, the House super PAC, are privately voicing exasperation with the National Republican Congressional Committee for not raising more money, and for being unwilling so far to begin a triage that would transfer resources toward their most viable incumbents. For example, the committee still has $8 million committed to two lawmakers, Representative Barbara Comstock of Virginia and Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania, who many in the party do not think can win.

And still other party officials have grown frustrated with the Congressional Leadership Fund for what they describe as a tepid effort to defend open seats where incumbent Republicans are retiring. The group is currently spending advertising money in less than a third of the 15 most heavily contested open seats, these Republicans said, putting pressure on other G.O.P. committees to make up the difference in about 10 others.

Republican officials say privately that the performance of the economy under Mr. Trump has not been a major motivating factor for pro-Trump voters. For some Americans on the right, it may even be contributing to the mood of political apathy that has so alarmed G.O.P. leaders, since voters who are optimistic rarely vote with the intensity of those who are angry or afraid.

Democrats see a path to a Senate majority that runs through solidly conservative states like Texas, where Representative Beto O'Rourke is challenging Senator Ted Cruz. — Photograph: Tamir Kalifa/for The New York Times.
Democrats see a path to a Senate majority that runs through solidly conservative states like Texas, where Representative Beto O'Rourke
is challenging Senator Ted Cruz. — Photograph: Tamir Kalifa/for The New York Times.

America First Action, a political committee aligned with Mr. Trump, conducted a series of focus groups over the summer and concluded the party had a severe voter-turnout problem, brought on in part by contentment about the economy and a refusal by Republicans to believe that Democrats could actually win the mid-term elections.

Conservative-leaning voters in the study routinely dismissed the possibility of a Democratic wave election, with some describing the prospect as “fake news,” said an official familiar with the research, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the data was not intended to be disclosed. Breaking that attitude of complacency is now the Republicans' top priority, far more than wooing moderates with gentler messaging about economic growth.

So Republicans are turning toward more hard-edge tactics. Incumbents who were widely seen as holding safe seats have ordered up opposition research to try to hurt their Democratic rivals. America Rising, a Republican firm that specializes in finding damaging information on Democrats, is working on three times as many House races as it did in 2016, according to an official with the group.

At a meeting of House Republicans on Thursday, Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, the N.R.C.C. chair, sought to scare incumbents by running a slide show featuring the excuses losing candidates typically offer up before they lose. (Included in the litany: “I don't need to run negative ads; my constituents know me; my district is different.”)

A party official said lawmakers had chipped in $1.2 million for the House campaign committee after the appeal.

Among top Democrats, optimism has soared since Labor Day. Mr. Trump has handed them fodder via his Twitter provocations, and reports of deep internal divisions in his administration have added to a sense of a chaotic presidency — hijacking the news cycle.

Party leaders have closely tracked their leads in several public polls: During a meeting of congressional Democratic leaders on Wednesday evening, a top aide to Ms. Pelosi walked the group through a list of five recent polls that found voters nationally favoring Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans by double-digit margins.

Officials with the main House Democratic super PAC, the House Majority PAC, said their polling in August showed 17 incumbent Republicans trailing and six tied — nearly enough to recapture the majority without even factoring in the open seats the G.O.P. is defending. Strikingly, when the group this month surveyed some of the same districts where Republicans had unleashed a barrage of negative ads, it found that Democratic candidates had slipped only a little and that the races remained within the polling margin of error.

In the Senate, a mood of highly guarded hopefulness has spread among Democrats, who see a path to a majority that runs through a mix of right-leaning and solidly conservative states. By this point in the cycle, some in the party had feared that several incumbents would be headed to certain defeat, and once-inviting takeover opportunities would have slipped off the map, including in Tennessee and Texas. But both of those states remain competitive and a group of rust belt Senate Democrats, like Sherrod Brown of Ohio, seem secure.

“Despite the difficulty of the map's geography, if there's a big wave I think our odds are very, very good,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said in an interview, adding that when “you're feeling the wave in September it rarely changes much by November.”

And the main reason Democrats are sensing a wave is obvious to party veterans.

“He won't allow himself to get credit for the economy,” said James Carville, the Democratic strategist, referring to President Trump. Mr. Carville, who fashioned Bill Clinton's “It's the economy, stupid” mantra in 1992, continued: “He's made himself bigger than the economy. Every conversation starts and ends with Trump.”


Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent for The New York Times. Before joining The Times, he had served as senior political writer for Politico since its inception in 2007. He began covering politics for National Journal's political publication, The Hotline, and then reported on party politics and the aftermath of the 2006 mid-term elections for National Review magazine.  Mr. Martin is a co-author of The New York Times best seller The End of the Line: Romney vs. Obama: The 34 Days That Decided the Election (December 2012), the fourth and final e-book in Politico's 2012 series on the race for the presidency. His work has been published in The New Republic, National Journal, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared frequently on television and radio as a political analyst and commentator, including on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, MSNBC and NPR. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Mr. Martin graduated from Hampden-Sydney College.

Alexander Burns is a political reporter for The New York Times on the National desk, covering elections and the dynamics of political power across the country. He was one of the lead reporters covering Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, after coming to The Times in 2015 as a political correspondent for the Metro desk. Mr. Burns was a reporter and editor at Politico before joining The N.Y. Times, covering the 2012 presidential election and the Republican Party's struggle to define itself during the Obama presidency. He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he edited the Harvard Political Review.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Sunday, September 16, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Chaos May Offset Economy's Surge, Costing the G.O.P.”.


Related to this topic:

 • As a New Hurricane Roars In, Trump Quarrels Over the Last One

 • It Wasn't Me: Pence, Pompeo and a Parade of Administration Officials Deny Writing Op-Ed

 • Democrats Embrace Liberal Insurgents, Demanding New Face for Party

 • A Scorched-Earth Strategy in Ohio


 on: September 16, 2018, 10:16:31 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times…

Fraying Ties With Trump Put Jim Mattis's Fate in Doubt

Officials say that the president has soured on his defense secretary, and that
Mr. Mattis is increasingly weary of capricious demands from his boss.

By HELENE COOPER | Saturday, September 15, 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has balked at a number of President Trump's requests, White House officials say. — Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has balked at a number of President Trump's requests, White House officials say.
 — Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Back when their relationship was fresh and new, and President Trump still called his defense secretary “Mad Dog” — a nickname Jim Mattis detests — the wiry retired Marine general often took a dinner break to eat burgers with his boss in the White House residence.

Mr. Mattis brought briefing folders with him, aides said, to help explain the military's shared “ready to fight tonight” strategy with South Korea, and why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has long been viewed as central to protecting the United States. Using his folksy manner, Mr. Mattis talked the president out of ordering torture against terrorism detainees and persuaded him to send thousands more American troops to Afghanistan — all without igniting the public Twitter castigations that have plagued other national security officials.

But the burger dinners have stopped. Interviews with more than a dozen White House, congressional and current and former Defense Department officials over the past six weeks paint a portrait of a president who has soured on his defense secretary, weary of unfavorable comparisons to Mr. Mattis as the adult in the room, and increasingly concerned that he is a Democrat at heart.

Nearly all of the officials, as well as confidants of Mr. Mattis, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal tensions — in some cases, out of fear of losing their jobs.

In the second year of his presidency, Mr. Trump has largely tuned out his national security aides as he feels more confident as commander in chief, the officials said. Facing what is likely to be a heated re-election fight once the 2018 midterms are over, aides said Mr. Trump was pondering whether he wanted someone running the Pentagon who would be more vocally supportive than Mr. Mattis, who is vehemently protective of the American military against perceptions it could be used for political purposes.

White House officials said Mr. Mattis had balked at a number of Mr. Trump's requests. That included initially slow-walking the president's order to ban transgender troops from the military and refusing a White House demand to stop family members from accompanying troops deploying to South Korea. The Pentagon worried that doing so could have been seen by North Korea as a precursor to war.

Over the last four months alone, the president and the defense chief have found themselves at odds over NATO policy, whether to resume large-scale military exercises with South Korea and, privately, whether Mr. Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal has proved effective.

The arrival at the White House earlier this year of Mira Ricardel, a deputy national security adviser with a history of bad blood with Mr. Mattis, has coincided with new assertions from the West Wing that the defense secretary may be asked to leave after the mid-terms.

Joint drills between American and South Korean troops in 2016. Mr. Trump suspended such drills on the Korean Peninsula this summer, against Mr. Mattis's advice. — Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Joint drills between American and South Korean troops in 2016. Mr. Trump suspended such drills on the Korean Peninsula this summer,
against Mr. Mattis's advice. — Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Mr. Mattis himself is becoming weary, some aides said, of the amount of time spent pushing back against what Defense Department officials think are capricious whims of an erratic president.

The defense secretary has been careful to not criticize Mr. Trump outright. Pentagon officials said Mr. Mattis had bent over backward to appear loyal, only to be contradicted by positions the president later staked out. How much longer Mr. Mattis can continue to play the loyal Marine has become an open question in the Pentagon's E Ring, home to the Defense Department’s top officials.

The fate of Mr. Mattis is important because he is widely viewed — by foreign allies and adversaries but also by the traditional national security establishment in the United States — as the cabinet official standing between a mercurial president and global tumult.

“Secretary Mattis is probably one of the most qualified individuals to hold that job,” Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. His departure from the Pentagon, Mr. Reed said, “would, first of all, create a disruption in an area where there has been competence and continuity.”

But that very sentiment is part of a narrative the president has come to resent.

The one-two punch last week of the Bob Woodward book that quoted Mr. Mattis likening Mr. Trump's intellect to that of a “fifth or sixth grader,” combined with The New York Times Op-Ed by an unnamed senior administration official who criticized the president, has fueled Mr. Trump's belief that he wants only like-minded loyalists around him. (Mr. Mattis has denied comparing his boss to an elementary school student and said he did not write the Op-Ed.)

Mr. Trump, two aides said, wants Mr. Mattis to be more like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a political supporter of the president. During a televised June 21 cabinet meeting, held as migrant children were being separated from their parents at the southwestern border, Mr. Mattis and Mr. Pompeo were a study of contrasts: On the president's left, the defense secretary sat stone-faced; on his right, the secretary of state was chuckling at all of Mr. Trump's jokes.

Getting Mr. Mattis to abandon the apolitical stand he has clung to his entire life will be next to impossible, his friends and aides said.

Mr. Mattis sat stone-faced rather than chuckling as his boss's jokes during a June 21 cabinet meeting, held as migrant children were being separated from their parents at the southwestern border. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.
Mr. Mattis sat stone-faced rather than chuckling as his boss's jokes during a June 21 cabinet meeting, held as migrant children were
being separated from their parents at the southwestern border. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.

Mr. Mattis has assiduously avoided the limelight during his tenure because he is fearful, aides said, about being put on the spot by questions that will expose differences with his boss. He has batted down multiple requests from the White House to go on “Fox & Friends” to praise the president's agenda. And he has appeared before reporters at the podium in the Pentagon press room only a handful of times, giving remarkably few on-the-record one-on-one news media interviews — one of which was with a reporter for a high school newspaper in Washington State who had obtained Mr. Mattis's cellphone number.

“Secretary Mattis lives by a code that is part of his DNA,” said Captain Jeff Davis, who retired last month from the Navy after serving as a spokesman for Mr. Mattis since early in the Trump administration. “He is genetically incapable of lying, and genetically incapable of disloyalty.”

That means the defense secretary's only recourse is to stay silent, aides to Mr. Mattis said. While he does not want to publicly disagree with his boss, he is also uncomfortable with showering false praise on Mr. Trump.

But cracks are showing.

In April, John R. Bolton became the White House national security adviser, replacing Army Lietenant General H. R. McMaster, who was long viewed as a subordinate to Mr. Mattis because of his rank as a three-star general compared with the retired Marine general's four stars. Mr. Bolton is far more hawkish than either Mr. Mattis or General McMaster; administration officials said his deputy, Ms. Ricardel, actively dislikes the Pentagon chief — a feeling Mr. Mattis is believed to return in full.

Ms. Ricardel, a former Boeing executive who worked at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, has a reputation for being as combative as Mr. Bolton.

As the Trump transition official responsible for Pentagon appointments, Ms. Ricardel stopped Mr. Mattis from hiring Anne Patterson as under secretary of defense for policy, one of the department's highest political jobs. Ms. Patterson was a career diplomat who served as an ambassador under Presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, but administration officials said Ms. Ricardel suspected Mr. Mattis was trying to load up the Pentagon with Democrats and former supporters of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

(Mr. Mattis also tried, unsuccessfully, to hire Michèle A. Flournoy, a Defense Department under secretary in the Obama administration, as his deputy. “He needed a deputy who wouldn't be struggling every other day about whether they could be part of some of the policies that were likely to take shape,” Ms. Flournoy told a conference hosted by Politico.)

The arrival at the White House this year of Mira Ricardel, a former Trump campaign aide with a history of bad blood with Mr. Mattis, has coincided with new assertions from the West Wing that the defense secretary may be asked to leave after the mid-term elections. — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg.
The arrival at the White House this year of Mira Ricardel, a former Trump campaign aide with a history of bad blood with Mr. Mattis, has coincided
with new assertions from the West Wing that the defense secretary may be asked to leave after the mid-term elections.
 — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg.

After a stint at the Commerce Department, Ms. Ricardel moved to the White House as Mr. Bolton's deputy. Since her arrival, friction has increased between the White House and the Pentagon — along with speculation from West Wing aides that Mr. Mattis's star is falling.

For instance, Mr. Mattis has recently resisted White House attempts to closely supervise military operations by demanding details about American troops involved in specific raids in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

One American official said the White House had bypassed the Pentagon by getting classified briefings of coming operations directly from the Special Operations task forces, to the frustration of Mr. Mattis.

That may seem a small and insular example of bureaucratic gamesmanship. But administration officials said it illustrates the tensions between Mr. Mattis and Mr. Trump: Either the defense secretary cannot appeal to the president, or he has and Mr. Trump is refusing to back him up.

Asked about disagreements between the National Security Council and the Pentagon, Garrett Marquis, a council spokesman, said in an email that “Ambassador Bolton is coordinating and working closely with all national security agencies to provide the president with national security options and guidance.”

In contrast with General McMaster, Mr. Bolton recently began attending regular weekly meetings between Mr. Mattis and Mr. Pompeo. Pentagon officials complain that White House interference has returned to the level of Susan E. Rice, who as Mr. Obama's national security adviser was accused of micromanaging the department's every move.

Mr. Mattis has repeatedly been blindsided by his boss this summer.

In June, Mr. Trump ordered Mr. Mattis to set up a Space Force over the defense secretary's objections that such a move would weigh down an already cumbersome bureaucracy.

Mr. Mattis, right, during a welcoming ceremony in Croatia. Pentagon officials said Mr. Mattis had bent over backward to appear loyal to the president. — Photograph: Pool photo by Jim Watson.
Mr. Mattis, right, during a welcoming ceremony in Croatia. Pentagon officials said Mr. Mattis had bent over backward to appear loyal to the president.
 — Photograph: Pool photo by Jim Watson.

In July, the president blew up a NATO summit meeting that Mr. Mattis and other national security officials had worked on for months. The Pentagon chief and others saved the final agreement only because they shielded it from the president and urged envoys to complete it before Mr. Trump arrived in Brussels.

In August, the president undercut Mr. Mattis after a news conference at the Pentagon in which the defense secretary suggested that the United States military would resume war games on the Korean Peninsula. The exercises had been suspended — against Mr. Mattis's advice — after Mr. Trump met with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore. “There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games,” the president tweeted.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mattis has begun questioning the efficacy of Mr. Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — a move that, again, was made against his advice. Mr. Mattis has told aides that he has yet to see any difference in Iran's behavior since Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement between world powers and Tehran.

Mr. Mattis famously was pushed out of his job as head of United States Central Command in 2013 because he was viewed as too much of a hawk on Iran policy during the Obama administration. But now, in the Trump administration, Mr. Mattis makes his arguments on Iran from the left of Mr. Bolton, Ms. Ricardel and the president himself.

For Mr. Trump, getting rid of his popular defense secretary would carry a political cost. Mr. Mattis is revered by the men and women of the American military. Most of the rest of his fans are people Mr. Trump does not care about: Democrats, establishment Republicans and American allies.

But moderate Republicans — whom Mr. Trump will need in 2020 — appear to trust Mr. Mattis as well, and firing him could hurt the president with that key group.

Mr. Trump, at the moment, is publicly standing by his defense secretary. “He'll stay right there,” the president told reporters last week when asked about Mr. Mattis's comments in Mr. Woodward's book. “We're very happy with him. We're having victories people don't even know about.”

As for Mr. Mattis, “there's no daylight between the secretary and the president when it comes to the unwavering support of our military,” said Dana W. White, the Pentagon press secretary. “It's up to the president of the United States to decide what he wants to do.”


Eric Schmitt, Mark Landler and Julian Barnes contributed reporting to this story.

Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent with The New York Times. She joined the paper in 2004 as assistant editorial page editor, before becoming diplomatic correspondent in 2006 and White House correspondent in 2009. In 2015, she was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, for her work in Liberia during the Ebola epidemic. She is also the winner of of the George Polk award for health reporting (2015) and the Overseas Press Club Award (2015). She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon and Schuster, 2008), a memoir of growing up in Monrovia, Liberia, as well as Madame President: The Extraordinary Story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Simon and Schuster, 2017).

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Sunday, September 16, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Mattis's Future In Doubt as Ties To Trump Fray”.


Related to this topic:

 • Jim Mattis Compared Trump to ‘Fifth or Sixth Grader,’ Bob Woodward Says in Book

 • U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump

 • Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria. He Was Overruled.

 • Can Jim Mattis Hold the Line in Trump's ‘War Cabinet’?


 on: September 16, 2018, 09:57:27 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Hahaha....the Woodville clown has visited this thread.

I guess the following must apply to him, eh?

 on: September 16, 2018, 08:10:12 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants

 on: September 16, 2018, 08:00:26 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
wheres the metal bracelets

i think you must be using them for your gay sex fun Grin

 on: September 15, 2018, 03:28:37 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

One of Trump's biggest complaints about the “witch hunt has been that it is costing a lot of money.

Well, not any more … the investigation has so far cost an estimated $20 million. But the Feds have just seized $46 million of Paul Manaforts assets.

So the “witch hunt” has returned a profit of $26 million. That is considerably more than a 100% return to American taxpayers.


 on: September 15, 2018, 03:22:51 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will
cooperate with the special counsel

Trump's ex-campaign chairman is going to flip.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 1:41PM EDT — Friday, September 14, 2018

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to two charges on September 14, and will cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. — Photograph: Jenny Starrs /The Washington Post.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to two charges on September 14, and will cooperate
with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. — Photograph: Jenny Starrs /The Washington Post.


President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday to two criminal charges under terms of a plea deal that includes his cooperation as a potential witness for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The decision by Manafort to provide evidence in exchange for leniency on sentencing is a stunning development in the long-running probe into whether any Trump associates may have conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort's defenders have long insisted that he would not cooperate with Mueller, and didn't know any incriminating information against the president.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday's plea hearing that Manafort had agreed to cooperate with investigators.

That's the news Trump never wanted to hear. The prospect of just such a deal is why his lawyers reportedly dangled the promise of a pardon in front of Manafort's lawyers. A plea deal that could put the Russians inside Trump's campaign blows to smithereens the notion that only low-level, non-players or those distantly related to the campaign had Russian connections. Trump, who was praising Manafort to the heavens just weeks ago, will find it hard (but not impossible) to now smear him as a liar.

“The relentless Mueller push continues — as does that of the rule of law,” observes former White House ethics counsel Norman Eisen. “The reported cooperation agreement could be devastating to the president — and those around him. Manafort for example could  implicate not only the president in the Trump Tower meeting — but also others who were involved such as Don Jr. or [Jared] Kushner. The same is true on the mysterious [RNC] platform change, and indeed on all the possible collusion offenses.”

The plea certainly explodes Trump's claim that Mueller is engaged in a “witch hunt.” The only “hoax” here is the pretense that there was nothing out of the ordinary going on inside the Trump campaign or that it was too disorganized to have spent time colluding with Russians.

Trump also loses the argument that Mueller is wasting taxpayer money. As part of the plea deal, Manafort is going to cough up $46 million in forfeited assets, according to news reports. That more than pays for Mueller and his team (who at last glance had spent $20 million). Then again, it all depends how high a price you put on restoration of American democracy.

Trump was already crashing in the polls and Mueller's approval rising, in large part due to, in August, the trial and conviction of Manafort and the plea deal with Michael Cohen. The recording of Trump discussing a payoff with Cohen surely didn't help his credibility.

What we will find out in the days and weeks ahead is just how much Manafort knows and how much he can tell us about what Trump knew regarding Russian interference on his behalf. For Republicans who have been carrying water for the president, it might be time to put down the buckets and run for their political lives. Frankly, voting for impeachment and removal might be a good option for Republicans at some point. Before we get there, however, there are the mid-terms, which are shaping up to be a wipeout for the GOP.


Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Paul Manafort strikes plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller

 • The Washington Post says: How many more Manaforts have yet to be caught?

 • Jennifer Ruben: Mueller is snaring more pleas: Look for what Manafort will be admitting to

 • Manafort to cooperate with Mueller in plea deal that could answer key questions in Russia probe

 • The Fix: Mueller snagged his golden goose

 • Read the plea agreement

 • Guilty plea exposes hardball tactics Manafort used to thrive in ‘swamp’

 • Analysis: Deal may eliminate a top complaint by Trump

 • Dana Milbank: Republicans are tripping on Trump's coat-tails — bigly

 • VIDEO: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Paul Manafort

 • VIDEO: Opinion | Trump can fire Mueller, but that won't get rid of the Russia investigation


 on: September 15, 2018, 02:27:55 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

Singing like a bird to Robert S. Mueller III in an attempt to save his miserable neck…

from The New York Times…

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel;
Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

The plea deal by President Trump's former campaign chairman was a victory for
Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

By SHARON LaFRANIERE and KENNETH P. VOGEL | Friday, September 14, 201

Paul Manafort is cooperating with Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. — Photograph: Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency/via Shutterstock.
Paul Manafort is cooperating with Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. — Photograph: Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency/via Shutterstock.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine. And it was a decisive triumph for Mr. Mueller, who now has a cooperating witness who was at the center of the Trump campaign during a crucial period in 2016 and has detailed insight into another target of federal prosecutors, the network of lobbyists and influence brokers seeking to help foreign interests in Washington.

Mr. Manafort's decision, announced at a federal court hearing in Washington in which he pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges, was likely to unsettle Mr. Trump, who had praised Mr. Manafort for standing up to prosecutors' pressure and had hinted that he might pardon him.

It is not clear what information Mr. Manafort offered prosecutors in three days of negotiations that led to the plea deal. But in court on Friday, Mr. Manafort agreed to an open-ended arrangement that requires him to answer “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” questions about “any and all matters” the government wants to ask about.

The president's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, quickly sought to distance Mr. Trump from the plea deal.

“Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign,” he said in a statement. “The reason: The president did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”

Mr. Mueller's investigation has maintained such secrecy that it is impossible to know what puzzle pieces he might still be trying to fill in or what Mr. Manafort's testimony might mean for Mr. Trump. But at a minimum, Mr. Manafort's cooperation gives Mr. Mueller additional visibility into some key moments in the campaign and the role of other senior figures.

Mr. Manafort was a participant in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that had been arranged by a Moscow lawyer who said she was delivering damaging information about Hillary Clinton on the Kremlin's behalf. His cooperation could help Mr. Mueller establish how much, if anything, the Trump campaign knew about Russia's efforts to boost Mr. Trump's candidacy.

Mr. Manafort joins four other Trump aides who have offered cooperation in exchange for lesser charges in cases that Mr. Mueller's office either pursued or referred to federal prosecutors in New York. They include Michael D. Cohen, the president's long-time personal lawyer; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman; and George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser.

Mr. Manafort, 69, had insisted for a year that he would not help the special counsel's office. But after being convicted on eight felony counts in a federal court in Virginia last month, and facing a second trial on more felony charges in federal court here, Mr. Manafort was confronted with the very real prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Under the agreement announced on Friday, prosecutors replaced a seven-count indictment with one that charged two counts of conspiracy that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars. No sentencing date has been set for those charges or the ones he was convicted of in Northern Virginia.

Mr. Manafort also agreed to surrender most of his once-vast personal fortune including three houses and two apartments — one in Trump Tower in Manhattan.

At the court hearing, Mr. Manafort, who has been in jail since June, appeared weary and subdued. He sat grim-mouthed, eyes cast downward, as Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor on his case, read through what Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court called the longest recitation of offenses she had ever heard in her courtroom. A full contingent of prosecutors and F.B.I. agents who had worked on Mr. Manafort's case showed up for the hearing.

Kevin Downing, Mr. Manafort's lead lawyer, said it was a “tough day for Mr. Manafort but he has accepted responsibility” for criminal conduct that dates back “many years.” He added, “He wanted to make sure his family was able to remain safe and live a good life.”

In deciding whether to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors, Mr. Manafort weighed the possibility that Mr. Trump would pardon him, according to two people familiar with his situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. When weeks passed after his conviction in Northern Virginia with no word of a pardon, Mr. Manafort decided he needed to rethink his legal strategy, one person said.

Mr. Trump assailed plea deals after Mr. Cohen, his long-time lawyer, pleaded guilty last month to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges, implicating Mr. Trump in the cover-up of a potential sex scandal during the 2016 presidential race. Mr. Trump said then that trading information on someone else for lesser charges or a lighter sentence “almost ought to be outlawed.”

John M. Dowd, Mr. Trump's former lawyer, emailed lawyers representing other clients who have been drawn into Mr. Mueller's inquiry and said that Mr. Manafort “has no info on president or campaign.”

Of all Mr. Trump's campaign advisers, Mr. Manafort arguably had the deepest ties to Russian operatives and oligarchs. He worked for years in Ukraine with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, a Russian citizen who prosecutors have said had ties to a Russian intelligence service that continued into 2016.

He also had a business relationship with Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with ties to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. At one point, Mr. Deripaska lent Mr. Manafort $10 million that prosecutors suggested was never repaid.

In July 2016, just before the Republican National Convention when Mr. Manafort was heading the Trump campaign, he sent a message to Mr. Deripaska through Mr. Kilimnik that he was ready to provide “private briefings” about the presidential race.

Mr. Manafort could also be instrumental in investigations now underway of lobbyists and influence-brokers who worked with him in Ukraine, including Tony Podesta, a prominent Democratic lobbyist; Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress; and Gregory Craig, a former White House counsel in the administration of President Barack Obama. Prosecutors said on Friday that officials from Mr. Podesta and Mr. Weber's firm knew about Mr. Manafort's machinations to disguise his lobbying work.

Although they dismissed some charges, the prosecutors used the conspiracy charges to which Mr. Manafort pleaded guilty as umbrella counts, encompassing crimes ranging from money laundering to obstruction of justice. In court, Mr. Weissmann described a decade of criminal activity in which Mr. Manafort enriched himself by promoting the political career of Viktor F. Yanukovych, who was president of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014.

He described how Mr. Manafort had illegally operated as the hidden hand behind a multiyear campaign to burnish Mr. Yanukovych's reputation in the United States and damage the image of his main political opponent, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister. The court documents revealed new details about how Mr. Manafort directed a host of players to lobby under false pretenses, pretending to be independent actors when they were in fact paid agents of Mr. Yanukovych.

That secrecy was important because Mr. Manafort not only never reported the lobbying activity to the Justice Department, as required, but he also hid tens of millions of dollars in payments from Ukraine, laundering money through overseas bank accounts and avoiding taxes on $15 million of his income.

Among other measures, Mr. Manafort orchestrated a misleading 2012 report by an American law firm to try to tamp down criticism of the Ukraine government for prosecuting and jailing of Ms. Tymoshenko.

Mr. Manafort also coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to undermine support for Ms. Tymoshenko within the Obama administration by claiming Ms. Tymoshenko was anti-Semitic. “The Jewish community will take this out on Obama on Election Day if he does nothing,” Mr. Manafort wrote in one communication.

He worked with European consultants to plant articles in the United States alleging that Ms. Tymoshenko had orchestrated the murder of a Ukrainian official. He wrote to one colleague that he wanted “to plant some stink on Tymo,” using a nickname for Ms. Tymoshenko, but stressed that there should be “no fingerprints” on the articles.

And he waged an “all-out campaign” to kill a Senate resolution that would have condemned Ms. Tymoshenko's treatment by Mr. Yanukovych'’s government without ever revealing to the senators that his lobbyists were paid by Ukrainian oligarchs backing Mr. Yanukovych. One consultant working for Mr. Manafort lobbied Mr. Obama directly on Ukraine by accompanying his country's prime minister to an Oval Office meeting, the prosecutors said.

Mr. Manafort also acknowledged that he and Mr. Kilimnik, his Russian associate, tried to persuade two witnesses to lie to federal investigators about the lobbying campaign for Mr. Yanukovych in the United States.


Emily Baumgaertner, Katie Benner and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting to this story.

Sharon LaFraniere is an investigative reporter at The New York Times. Ms. LaFraniere began writing for The N.Y. Times in 2003, covering southern Africa for the international department. She moved from Johannesburg to Beijing in early 2008 to report on China. For the past four years, she has been based in New York. Before joining The N.Y. Times, Ms. LaFraniere was a reporter and editor at The Washington Post for 20 years. Her last assignment was at its Moscow bureau, where from 1998 to 2003 she covered the Russian region, including war zones in Chechnya and Afghanistan. Ms. LaFraniere received The Gerald Loeb Award in 2013 for international reporting, the Michael Kelly Award in 2006 for her coverage of women in sub-Saharan Africa and the Overseas Press Club Award for business reporting in 1999. Born in Detroit, she received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Ms. LaFraniere is married with three children and resides in the New York area.

• Based in The New York Times' Washington bureau, Kenneth P. Vogel covers the confluence of money, politics and influence. He is the author of Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp — on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics (PublicAffairs, June 2014), which chronicles the characters and motivations behind the explosion of unlimited money in American politics after the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. He has covered politics and government at all levels, from small-town cop shops and school boards to statehouses, Congress and the presidential campaign trail. Mr. Vogel previously reported for Politico, The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, The Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. and The Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut. He spent most of 2006 learning about the U.S. Congress from the inside through an American Political Science Association fellowship that allowed him to work on the staffs of two House committees. Mr. Vogel is from Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and lives in Washington D.C.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on September 15, 2018 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Manafort Agrees To Help Inquiry As Part of Deal”.


Related to this topic:

 • Read the Paul Manafort court documents.

 • VIDEO: Paul Manafort's Trail of Scandals

 • Manafort Is Said to Near Plea Deal With Prosecutors

 • Everyone Who's Been Charged as a Result of the Mueller Investigation

 • Takeaways From the Conviction of Paul Manafort

 • Jury Suggests It Is Divided on One of 18 Counts in Manafort Trial

 • Over 100 Charges, 34 People and 3 Companies: The Investigations Surrounding Trump, Explained


 on: September 15, 2018, 02:02:27 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
not really a trade war is it asking for a fair trade deal

anyway china makes fake goods that are rubbish

my wife has a bone spur it is a real thing

look how much people in china get paid in an apple factory 20 cents an hour

they are fucken slaves

they had to put suicide nets around apple factory because its so much fun being a slave there

they murder people and sell their organs what a place

china is worse than the nazi's and killed million of their own people

shove china right up your arse

The reality of human organ harvesting in China
PEOPLE are secretly executed or sedated on a surgeon’s table as their organs are removed one by one.


fuck china

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