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 91 
 on: June 02, 2019, 12:35:11 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



 92 
 on: June 01, 2019, 05:22:56 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times…

China Steps Up Trade War and Plans Blacklist of U.S. Firms

Without disclosing details, officials say they plan to retaliate against those who
blockade Chinese companies, in an apparent response to Huawei's problems.


By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON and PAUL MOZUR | Friday, May 31, 2019

A Huawei advertisement in Shanghai. The company was placed on an American blacklist two weeks ago. — Photograph: Lam Yik Fei/for The New York Times.
A Huawei advertisement in Shanghai. The company was placed on an American blacklist two weeks ago. — Photograph: Lam Yik Fei/for The New York Times.

BEIJING — The Chinese government said on Friday that it was putting together an “unreliable entities list” of foreign companies and people, an apparent first step toward retaliating against the United States for denying vital American technology to Chinese companies.

China's Ministry of Commerce said the list would contain foreign companies, individuals and organizations that “do not follow market rules, violate the spirit of contracts, blockade and stop supplying Chinese companies for non-commercial reasons, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

It did not give any details of which companies or entities it would include on the list, or what would happen to them. The ministry said that specific measures would be announced in the “near future.”

Still, the language echoes that of the United States government, which in recent months has placed Chinese companies on what it calls an “entity list” of firms that need special permission to buy American components and technology. Two weeks ago, the Trump administration placed Huawei, the Chinese maker of telecommunications gear, on the entity list, which could deny it access to microchips, software and other American-provided technology it needs to make and sell its products.

Shortly afterward, some American technology companies, including Google, said they would stop supplying Huawei. The American government has since granted Huawei a 90-day waiver, giving Chinese and American officials time to reach an agreement. The Trump administration is also said to be considering putting Hikvision, a Chinese video surveillance company, on the list.

If Friday's move is calculated to be a tit-for-tat strike back at American technology companies, Beijing will have ample targets.

Although major websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are already blocked in China, and rules strictly control other businesses like online payments and cloud services, most American technology firms have a big presence in China.

Both Google and Microsoft run sizable research and development operations in the country, and their Android and Windows operating systems are ubiquitous on Chinese smartphones and computers. Google and Facebook probably pull in billions of dollars in advertising revenue from Chinese companies.

The vague announcement also opens the door to retaliation of other kinds, perhaps against individuals or companies that depend heavily on the Chinese market for selling their products. If China decided to target individuals specifically, it could raise questions for foreigners doing business in China.

It could also give Beijing a way to punish American firms without forcing them to shut down operations in a way that would hurt China's economy or its long-term growth prospects.


Microsoft's research lab in Beijing is its largest outside the United States. — Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters.
Microsoft's research lab in Beijing is its largest outside the United States. — Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters.

Gao Feng, the Commerce Ministry's spokesman, said in the statement that the list would be aimed at those who block supplies and “take other discriminatory measures.”

An entity would be added to the list, he added, when its activity “not only damages the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, and endangers China's national security and interests, but also threatens the global industrial chain and supply chain security.”

But China must be careful in how it retaliates, since many American companies are already reconsidering their dependence on the Chinese market and Chinese suppliers. If neither side backs off, the brinkmanship could permanently pull apart the supply chains that entwine the countries' economies.

Still, any move to shut down American technology companies' operations in China could hurt Chinese companies and the country's longer-term tech development. A shutdown of Microsoft's and Google's offices would mean that Chinese workers lose access to valuable training. Many of China's leading artificial intelligence entrepreneurs got their beginnings at Microsoft's A.I. lab.

Forcing American companies out of China's electronics supply chain could have a major impact on Chinese manufacturers. It would also most likely hasten strategies by American technology firms to diversify their supply chains away from China.

Yet if Beijing was willing to take that hit, many companies would struggle to immediately replicate production elsewhere. China's density of component makers and assembly factories is unmatched around the world.

“It's a really high-risk way to go about it,” said Andrew Polk, a founder of Trivium, a consulting firm in Beijing. “They are effectively forcing companies to choose, and companies will probably choose the U.S.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Alexandra Stevenson reported from Beijing, and Paul Mozur from Shanghai. Elsie Chen and Ailin Tang contributed research to this story.

Alexandra Stevenson is a business correspondent based in Hong Kong covering Chinese corporate giants, the changing landscape for multi-national companies and China's growing economic and financial influence in Asia. Before moving to Hong Kong, she covered the world of high finance and its darker corners, charting the influence of billionaire financiers in the markets and on the political stage for The New York Times in New York. She was a reporter for the Financial Times in New Delhi and London prior to joining The New York Times in 2013. Originally from Canada, she has also lived in Thailand, Singapore, and China, where she got her start as a reporter.

Paul Mozur is a technology reporter based in Shanghai. Along with writing about Asia's biggest tech companies, he covers cyber-security, emerging internet cultures, censorship and the intersection of geopolitics and technology in Asia. A Mandarin speaker, he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in China and Taiwan prior to joining The New York Times in 2014. He cut his teeth covering smuggling, wild boars and the courts for The Standard in Hong Kong, and got his start as an editorial assistant at The Far Eastern Economic Review.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Saturday, June 1, 2019, on Page B4 of the New York print edition with the headline: “China, Stepping Up Trade War, Plans a Blacklist of U.S. Firms”.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • As China Takes Aim, Silicon Valley Braces for Pain

 • Things Were Going Great for Wall Street. Then the Trade War Heated Up.

 • Trade War Starts Changing Manufacturers in Hard-to-Reverse Ways

 • Huawei Revs Up Its U.S. Lawsuit, With the Media in Mind

 • The Trade War's Next Battle Could Be China's Access to Wall Street

 • Huawei Ban Threatens Wireless Service in Rural Areas

 • Huawei Is a Target as Trump Moves to Ban Foreign Telecom Gear


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/business/china-list-us-huawei-retaliate.html

 93 
 on: June 01, 2019, 01:53:28 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Seattle Times…

Trump lives in the great state of denial

Climate change is ravaging the country, but the president does not care.

By DAVID HORSEY | 8:26AM PDT — Friday, May 31, 2019



THE HARSH AND DEADLY EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE are becoming more pronounced, from the fast-melting snowpacks, shrinking glaciers and calamitous wildfires in our national parks, to the epic floods and more frequent tornadoes that are pummeling Midwest farm communities. It may be the biggest national-security challenge facing the nation.

Does the Trump administration care? Apparently, not at all. Not only do the president and his policymakers deny the reality of the global temperature rise driven by human-generated carbon emissions, they are actively undermining government scientists and researchers while loosening restrictions on polluting industries. Of all the outrages and assaults on the American people being perpetrated by President Donald Trump, his attack on climate science may be his most calamitous legacy to humanity.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-great-state-of-denial

 94 
 on: June 01, 2019, 01:42:58 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

We mustn't allow the President Dear Leader to feel threatened by a dead war hero, eh?

Especially when, unlike that war hero, the President Dear Leader is a gutless, cowardly draft-dodger suffering from bone-spurs.









from The Washington Post…

White House wanted USS John S. McCain
obscured during Trump's Japan visit


The destroyer’s name was covered with a tarp at the request of White House officials
who did not want the president to be upset during the Memorial Day stop.


By JOHN WAGNER, COLBY ITKOWITZ and DAN LAMOTHE | 7:06PM EDT — Thursday, May 30, 2019

The USS John S. McCain in Yokosuka, Japan, last year. — Photograph: Tyra Watson/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.
The USS John S. McCain in Yokosuka, Japan, last year. — Photograph: Tyra Watson/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.

PRESIDENT TRUMP on Thursday said somebody who was “well-meaning” had directed the Navy to obscure the warship USS John S. McCain while Trump was visiting Japan, but he said he had no advance knowledge of the action.

“I don't know what happened. I was not involved. I would not have done that,” Trump told reporters when asked about reports that someone at the White House had asked the Navy to obscure the warship.

Trump, however, suggested that his disdain for the late senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) is well-known and that it was understandable that someone would try to keep a warship originally named for McCain's father and grandfather, both Navy admirals, from his view.

“I was not a big fan of John McCain in any shape or form,” Trump said. “Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him, okay? And they were well-meaning.”

Trump went on to recount differences he had with McCain, including a vote against a Republican health-care bill that has been a frequent target of the president’s public ire, even after the senator's death in August from brain cancer at age 81.

But hours later, Trump discounted the entire story, tweeting: “The Navy put out a disclaimer on the McCain story. Looks like the story was an exaggeration, or even Fake News — but why not, everything else is!”

A senior White House official confirmed on Wednesday that the person who issued the directive did not want the warship with the McCain name seen in photographs during Trump's visit. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that the president was not involved in the planning but that the request was made to keep Trump from becoming upset.

Before McCain died, the Navy added his name to the ship. The destroyer is stationed in Japan, where it is being repaired after a fatal crash in 2017.

The crew of the McCain also was not invited to an event during Trump's visit that occurred on the USS Wasp. But a Navy official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was because the crew was released from duty for the long holiday weekend, along with sailors from another ship, the USS Stethem.

A senior Navy official confirmed on Wednesday that he was aware that someone at the White House sent a message to service officials in the Pacific requesting that the USS John McCain be kept out of the picture while the president was there. That led to photographs taken on Friday of a tarp obscuring the McCain name, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

When senior Navy officials grasped what was happening, they directed Navy personnel who were present to stop, the senior official said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the White House directive.

The U.S. Navy reportedly went to great lengths to shield Trump from seeing the ship. Officials said they first covered the name with a tarp, then used a barge to block the name and gave the sailors on the ship the day off, The Wall Street Journal reported. A Navy official told The Washington Post that the barge was moved before the event involving Trump.

Commander Nate Christensen, a Navy spokesman, said that images of the tarp covering the ship are from Friday and that it was taken down Saturday.

“All ships remained in normal configuration during the president's visit,” he said in an email, challenging the suggestion that a barge was moved to block it.

The Wall Street Journal reported that acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan knew of the White House's concerns and approved military officials' efforts to obscure the name. But Shanahan, speaking to reporters on Thursday in Indonesia, denied that account.

“What I read this morning was the first I heard about it,” he said.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for Shanahan, said the defense secretary “was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S. McCain, nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive.”

Reports of the White House directive prompted a tweet Wednesday from Meghan McCain, a daughter of the late senator who is a co-host on the ABC program “The View”.

She called Trump “a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dad's incredible life.”

Meghan McCain returned to Twitter on Thursday, relaying that she was present as a child when her mother christened the warship in Bath, Maine.

“It was named after my great grandfather and grandfather (both famous admirals in the navy) and my father was added as namesake after he died. Get a life,” she wrote to Trump.

The episode also drew considerable fire from Democrats, including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a presidential candidate who served in Afghanistan as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer.

“This is not a show,” he wrote on Thursday on Twitter. “Our military is not a prop. Ships and sailors are not to be toyed with for the benefit of a fragile president's ego.”

Former vice president Joe Biden also was asked about the episode on Thursday as he attended a Memorial Day service in New Castle, Delaware.

“John McCain was a war hero, should be treated as a war hero,” Biden said. “Anything less than that is beneath anyone who doesn't treat him that way.”

Senator Martha McSally (Republican-Arizona), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee that will hold confirmation hearings for Shanahan, said in a statement on Thursday that she was “appalled to hear of the allegations surrounding the USS John S. McCain.”

“There needs to be a full investigation into who ordered it and what occurred. John McCain's legacy deserves nothing but honor and respect from everyone,” said McSally, who was appointed to the Senate and faces an election next year.


__________________________________________________________________________

Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.

John Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Washington Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, Wagner focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley. He earlier chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade, a stretch that included O’Malley's eight years as governor and part of the tenure of his Republican predecessor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. He came to The Post from The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he served as the paper's Washington correspondent, covering the 2004 presidential bid of Senator John Edwards and the final years in office of Senator Jesse Helms.

Colby Itkowitz has covered Washington D.C. policy and politics for more than a decade. Since coming to The Post in March 2014, she's covered health policy, anchored the ‘Inspired Life’ blog, and written about the quirks of the federal government and national politics for the famed ‘In the Loop’ column. She was previously The Morning Call's D.C. correspondent. Prior to that, she covered Capitol Hill, specifically transportation policy, for Congressional Quarterly.

Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on the Pentagon and the U.S. military. He joined The Post in 2014, and has traveled extensively since then on assignment. Lamothe has embedded with U.S. troops in combat in Afghanistan multiple times, and also has reported from the Aleutian Islands, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Arctic Circle, Norway, Belgium, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Spain and the Republic of Georgia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump says ‘not involved’ in decision to obscure USS John S. McCain

 • McCain warship incident raises questions about a changing military culture under Trump

 • What happened to the idea of naming NATO's headquarters after John McCain?

 • ‘I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be’: Trump lashes out at the late senator from the Oval Office


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-official-who-directed-obscuring-uss-john-s-mccain-warship-was-well-meaning/2019/05/30/b9a6ae4a-82de-11e9-bce7-40b4105f7ca0_story.html

 95 
 on: June 01, 2019, 03:01:46 am 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Trump uses discredited conflict-of-interest charges to attack Mueller

In tweets and comments to reporters, the president accused the former special counsel
of being a “true never-Trumper,” who was conflicted due to a past “business dispute”
between them. He also alleged that Mueller asked him for a job.


By COLBY ITKOWITZ, JOSH DAWSEY and JOHN WAGNER | 6:48PM EDT — Thursday, May 30, 2019

President Trump launched an attack on former special counsel Robert S. Mueller on May 30, a day after Mueller addressed the nation publicly. — Photograph: The Washington Post.
President Trump launched an attack on former special counsel Robert S. Mueller on May 30, a day after Mueller addressed the nation publicly.
 — Photograph: The Washington Post.


PRESIDENT TRUMP renewed his personal attacks against Robert S. Mueller III on Thursday, leveling discredited accusations that the former special counsel had conflicts of interest that made him a biased investigator.

The attacks came a day after Mueller's first and only public statement since the conclusion of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump sought to obstruct the probe. During a brief news conference, Mueller reiterated his finding that if his team had concluded Trump did not commit a crime, they would have said so — a statement that sparked a new round of calls from Democrats to impeach the president.

Trump, in tweets and in comments to reporters, accused Mueller of being a “true never-Trumper,” who was conflicted due to a past “business dispute” between them. He also alleged that Mueller asked him for a job.

“Look, Robert Mueller should've never been chosen because he wanted the FBI job and he didn't get it,” Trump said. “And the next day, he was picked as special counsel. So you tell somebody, ‘I'm sorry, you can't have the job’. And then, after you say that, he's going to make a ruling on you? It doesn't work that way. Plus, we had a business dispute. Plus, his relationship with [former FBI Director James B.] Comey was extraordinary.”

But Trump's conflict claims have been disputed by people familiar with his interactions with Mueller. Further, former White House aides told the special counsel's office that they informed the president they were baseless when he started making them after then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein selected Mueller to lead the investigation following Comey's firing in May 2017.

Former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon “recalled telling the President that the purported conflicts were ‘ridiculous’ and that none of them was real or could come close to justifying precluding Mueller from serving as Special Counsel,” according to the special counsel's report.

Trump nonetheless has persisted in charging over the past two years that Mueller was conflicted, and the president's advisers said his anger on Thursday was sparked by his view that the special counsel's appearance Wednesday led to a public perception that Trump had committed a crime. While some advisers, and Trump's lawyers, tried to play down Mueller's remarks, Trump was frustrated that they dominated the news and seemed to put more pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) to begin impeachment proceedings.

“He's somebody that dislikes Donald Trump,” the president told reporters, referring to Mueller.

Trump has repeatedly alleged that he and Mueller had a business dispute that led to bad blood between the two after the former FBI director resigned his membership at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. But the special counsel's report describes a far less contentious parting of ways than the president has described.

In October 2011, Mueller informed Trump's club that his family was canceling their membership because they lived in Washington D.C. and were “unable to make full use of the Club.” He then asked if they would be “entitled” to a refund of a portion of their initial membership fee that was paid in 1994. The club responded that the Mueller family would be put on a list for a potential refund.

“The Muellers have not had further contact with the club,” according to the report.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment about Trump's assertion that he had a business dispute with Mueller and other allegations of a conflict of interest.

Trump has sought to portray Mueller and Comey as particularly close — “he loves Comey,” the president claimed on Thursday. But associates of the two men have said they had a close professional relationship but did not socialize.

Trump's contention that Mueller wanted to replace Comey as FBI director and was turned down by the president — “I told him NO,” Trump tweeted on Thursday — also has been disputed by people familiar with their meeting.

The two men had a roughly 30-minute meeting at the White House in May 2017.

Mueller was invited to the White House because Trump aides were concerned about the political fallout and controversy over Comey's firing and believed having the former FBI director meet with the president could have a calming effect, according to a former administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

Bannon told investigators the purpose of the meeting was not a job interview but to have Mueller “offer a perspective on the institution of the FBI,” according to the special counsel's report, and “although the White House thought about beseeching Mueller to become Director again, he did not come in looking for the job.”

The former administration official confirmed that account, saying that Mueller told White House officials he took the meeting only as a courtesy to the president.

Trump was friendly during their talk, the official said, and when the issue came up of whether Mueller might be interested in once again becoming FBI director, he said he could not take the job unless a law was changed. In July 2011, Congress cleared legislation allowing Mueller to serve an additional two years as director beyond his 10-year term. That law effectively prevented him from serving again.

At the meeting, White House officials told Mueller they were willing to push Congress to pass a new law to make his reappointment possible, but Mueller told the president he was probably not the best person for the post, according to the former official.

“He was never offered the job, nor did he seek the job,” the official said. “He had one meeting with the president.”

The next day, Mueller was selected by Rosenstein to lead the Russia investigation, a move that continues to irk Trump.

“A total Conflict of Interest. NICE!” the president tweeted on Thursday.

Mueller's former spokesman at the Justice Department, Peter Carr, said he could not comment because the special counsel's office is closed, and he instead referred to pages of the final report that dealt with Trump's claims of a conflict of interest.

Trump's focus on Mueller's perceived conflicts plays a central role in the section of the report examining whether Trump illegally obstructed the special counsel's investigation.

According to investigators, Trump became agitated about the issue of conflicts after Justice Department ethics experts concluded in May 2017 that Mueller could oversee the investigation even though his former law firm represented several people who could be caught up in the matter.

He told then-White House counsel Donald McGahn in June 2017 that Mueller was too conflicted to fairly run the probe. Trump wanted McGahn, according to the report, to tell Rosenstein that Mueller had conflicts that prevented him from serving as special counsel.

McGahn advised Trump that trying to oust Mueller would appear as if he was trying to meddle in the investigation and be used against him to claim obstruction of justice.

Trump continued to push for Mueller's firing, McGahn told the special counsel, but McGahn and other aides believed “the asserted conflicts were ‘silly’ and ‘not real’,” and had said so to the president.


__________________________________________________________________________

Devlin Barrett contributed to this report.

Colby Itkowitz has covered Washington D.C. policy and politics for more than a decade. Since coming to The Post in March 2014, she's covered health policy, anchored the ‘Inspired Life’ blog, and written about the quirks of the federal government and national politics for the famed ‘In the Loop’ column. She was previously The Morning Call's D.C. correspondent. Prior to that, she covered Capitol Hill, specifically transportation policy, for Congressional Quarterly.

Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the newspaper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.

John Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Washington Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, Wagner focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley. He earlier chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade, a stretch that included O’Malley's eight years as governor and part of the tenure of his Republican predecessor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. He came to The Post from The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he served as the paper's Washington correspondent, covering the 2004 presidential bid of Senator John Edwards and the final years in office of Senator Jesse Helms.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump calls Mueller a ‘true Never Trumper’

 • Dana Milbank: An invitation to impeach, in Mueller-speak

 • Jonathan Capehart: Mueller just made life more difficult for Trump — and Democrats

 • The Washington Post's View: Mueller should have said this weeks ago

 • As he exits, Mueller suggests only Congress can ‘formally accuse a sitting president of wrong-doing’


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-uses-discredited-conflict-of-interest-charges-to-attack-mueller/2019/05/30/2f7c7908-82f6-11e9-95a9-e2c830afe24f_story.html

 96 
 on: June 01, 2019, 02:36:21 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



 97 
 on: May 31, 2019, 06:00:46 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Seattle Times…

EDITORIAL: Americans need more from Mueller

To understand the damage inflicted on the American democracy by foreign
influence and the threat to the integrity of our elections going forward,
listen to Robert S. Mueller's farewell-speech advice and read his report.


By THE SEATTLE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD | 10:50AM PDT — Thursday, May 30, 2019

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III speaks at the Department of Justice on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Washington D.C., about the Russia investigation. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III speaks at the Department of Justice on Wednesday, May 29, 2019,
in Washington D.C., about the Russia investigation. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.


ROBERT S. MUELLER's concise speech on Wednesday morning —  implying that President Donald Trump may indeed have committed  a crime — was long overdue. Despite his stated reluctance, he must now heed the call to testify before Congress, even if he is unwilling to comment on all aspects of his report. It is too important, because Congress alone is responsible for determining whether wrong-doing occurred.

Mueller's 10-minute news conference refreshed a long-standing truth that there were “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.”

“That allegation deserves the attention of every American,” Mueller said in closing, before he turned and walked out without taking questions.

As to whether there was evidence that Trump, or those close to him, tried to obstruct the probe, the special counsel dropped a bigger bombshell: “As set forth in our report … if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”

This lawyerly description must be expanded upon openly before Congress and the American people. The Department of Justice policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, to which Mueller adhered, renders Congress the only body that can explore this non-exoneration and act upon it.

Mueller was clear, however, that he wants no part of what may come next, reminding all that “it's important that the office's written work speaks for itself.” What Congress received is a redacted version of the report, 448 pages explaining the investigation, with specific events and legal considerations detailed.

Every engaged citizen looking for guidance into the debate over potential impeachment or the need for better election security must take the time to learn what Mueller's team uncovered. The report is immensely significant even in its redacted form.


Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III walks from the podium after speaking at the Department of Justice on Wednesday about the Russia investigation. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III walks from the podium after speaking at the Department of Justice
on Wednesday about the Russia investigation. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.


Set aside, for a moment, Trump's “Witch Hunt” rantings, or that Mueller's remarks appeared a calculated rebuke to statements made by Attorney General William Barr regarding the probe. The report's thorough accounting tells us the direction the nation is lurching and how Barr sabotaged his own credibility by offering a misleading characterization of the probe's conclusions. After comparing what the report actually says to how Barr has spun it, it’s clear why there have been calls to impeach the attorney general.

Beyond that, however, is the importance of understanding the persistence of the threat to American democracy from foreign attack. The euphemism “Russian meddling” has become shorthand for the interference in the 2016 election. That phrase understates the problem and must be retired. As the full Mueller report makes clear, there was a prolonged and deliberate attempt to undermine American democracy through destabilizing how we select a president.

In its wake, our national discourse is distressingly pockmarked by belligerence and cries of “fake news” designed to sow mistrust in the factual reporting of events. This is the light in which we should examine Trump's inflammatory comments and name-calling. The Mueller report explains what the president continues to obfuscate: how Russia pushed us to this brink.

In the space of a few hours on Thursday, the president bewilderingly tweeted that he “had nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected,” then told reporters that “Russia didn't help me at all. Russia, if anything, I think, helped the other side.”

Mueller's clarity illustrates how this president is still working to mislead America.

“Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations,” his report states on its first page. “First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents.”

It isn't enough for Mueller to urge Americans to devote time to read all 448 pages, although that remains excellent advice. To ensure his words ring out as strongly as the president's double-talk, he must speak them before Congress and the nation.


__________________________________________________________________________

Editorial updated at 3:23PM PDT — Thursday, May 30, 2019.

The Seattle Times Editorial Board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Brier Dudley, Mark Higgins, Derrick Nunnally and William K. Blethen (emeritus).

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Mueller declares his Russia report did not exonerate Trump

 • Read the Mueller Report: Searchable Document and Index


https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/mueller-should-testify-before-congress

 98 
 on: May 30, 2019, 11:57:19 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



 99 
 on: May 30, 2019, 11:53:35 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



 100 
 on: May 30, 2019, 09:28:37 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



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