Russia Russia Russia
George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign policy aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, initially misled agents out of what he claimed was loyalty to President Donald Trump, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan involving former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the investigation
Nick Akerman, a former assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate case, said Friday that former national security adviser Michael Flynn‘s involvement in an alleged plot to forcibly return a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. to Turkey could warrant conspiracy charges.
Mueller Probing Pre-Election Flynn Meeting With Pro-Russia Congressman
Investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are questioning witnesses about an alleged September 2016 meeting between Mike Flynn, who later briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a staunch advocate of policies that would help Russia, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.
The meeting allegedly took place in Washington the evening of Sept. 20, while Flynn was working as an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.
The White House was reportedly relieved when Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, didn’t announce federal charges against Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national-security adviser and the shortest-lived holder of that office
But a new report in today’s Wall Street Journal should rock the Trump administration, if not the president himself, because it deals with postelection conduct that may have continued even after the inauguration. Mueller is said to be investigating whether Flynn and his son were scheming with the government of Turkey to essentially kidnap Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania who has long been a thorn in the side of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
the stakes for Trump are even higher. As much as the president likes to claim that the special counsel’s work is a ruse and that he’s not personally implicated in the fact-finding mission, it was this prong of the probe — not Manafort’s, not his son’s meeting in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected lawyer — that so worried him so as to instruct James Comey to drop it. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” the fired FBI director recalled Trump saying during his explosive Senate testimony. When Comey didn’t do as told, Trump fired him.
Whether this amounted to Trump running interference with an ongoing investigation into Russian interference is only for Mueller to answer. But if and when the special counsel goes there, or at least brings Flynn into the picture, Trump will be more likely this time to heed his lawyers’ advice and not put roadblocks in Mueller’s path.
Cambridge Analytica reached out to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails in early June 2016, as the company was in contract talks with the Trump campaign
while Federal Elections Commission records show that Cambridge Analytica was not paid by the Trump campaign until July 29, the company had already sent a small team to work with Trump’s digital operations staff in the first week of June. The contract between Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign was signed on June 23.
within Trump Tower, Cambridge Analytica was “embraced as a vital part of its plan” for a comeback victory. Cambridge Analytica is partially owned by Republican mega-donor Steve Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. Breitbart News boss and former White House official Stephen Bannon previously sat on Cambridge Analytica’s board of directors
Mueller’s opening salvo was just the tip of the iceberg. As the special counsel moves toward criminally charging Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and others, even the president could find himself in Mueller’s crosshairs.
If Mueller charges Michael T. Flynn, that could strengthen the obstruction of justice case against Trump. In fact, once Mueller secures a grand jury indictment of the two Flynns, it’s quite possible that the special counsel will pressure the elder Flynn to become a “proactive cooperator” in exchange for lenient treatment of his son and even himself.
Trump has gone to great lengths to protect Flynn, likely because the latter has information that would incriminate the president. It took Trump 18 days to fire Flynn after learning of his lies to Pence. Trump leaned heavily on Comey to look the other way in the Flynn investigation and fired Comey when he refused to let Flynn go.
NBC News reports that Trump Jr. is “under scrutiny by Mueller.” It’s quite possible that Mueller is investigating both Trump and Trump Jr. for conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. In this case, the president could potentially be named as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Kushner and former Trump adviser Carter Page are also under scrutiny by Mueller, according to NBC News. And Sessions has been called to testify before Congress again for lying about Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials.
Donald Trump should be very worried.
Bad Election News for Republicans
An ABC News/Washington Post poll and a separate CNN surveyreleased this week both found Democrats leading Republicans by 11 percentage points on the generic ballot. That’s a big lead — the type of lead that results in wave elections like Tuesday’s. It’s also just a hair larger than the Democratic advantage in the FiveThirtyEight average of generic ballot polls.
But the really bad news for Republicans: There’s a good chance they won’t be able to eat too much into that lead by the 2018 midterms.
The generic ballot polls a year from the election and the eventual House results are strongly correlated (+0.90). Importantly, past elections suggest that any big movement on the generic ballot from this point to the midterm tends to go against the president’s party
The bottom line is that although Republicans may see the national environment improve, there’s no reason to think it will. That’s bad news for them heading into 2018.
The Cut Cut Cut bill faces a tough fight
call your reps!!
GOP senators are quickly raising concerns about the Senate GOP tax plan hours after being briefed on the details of the proposal.
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is retiring after 2018, issued a warning shot over the debt, saying he remains concerned about by Republicans’ tax proposals, appearing to refer to both the House and Senate plans.
“I remain concerned over how the current tax reform proposals will grow the already staggering national debt by opting for short-term fixes while ignoring long-term problems for taxpayers and the economy,” Flake said in a statement.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), while touting the tax-reform effort, said on Thursday that lawmakers couldn’t “lose sight of our responsibilities to protect the nation, provide basic government services, and confront our federal debt.”
“While we are glad to see an increase to the child tax credit, like the House bill, it is simply not enough for working families,” they said.
The two senators added that they want to double the current tax credit to $2,000 per child.
Both bodies have adopted budget resolutions that prevent them from adding more than $1.5 trillion of deficit-spending over the next 10 years. In the Senate, a parliamentary procedure known as the Byrd rule requires 60 votes for any legislation that adds to the deficit outside that 10-year budget window. If Republicans need 60 votes, the bill has virtually no chance of passing.
House Republicans are not even close to complying with the Byrd rule. On Monday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school projected that their bill would add $2.6 trillion of deficit spending between 2028 and 2040. The Senate may not be in much better shape. Republican Senate staffers say they will need to change the bill to make it comply with the Byrd rule, the Wall Street Journal reports. That could require Republicans to make the corporate tax cuts temporary, which they’ve fought to avoid so far.
DelBene: A few questions: Will a teacher in my district who buys pens, pencils, paper for his students be able to deduct these costs from his tax plan under this plan?
GOP: Uh, H.R. 1 would repeal the above the line deduction for teacher expenses.
DelBene: Will a corporation that buys pens, pencils and paper from its workers be able to deduct those costs from its tax returns under this plan?
GOP: Uh, the general deduction for ordinary and necessary business expenses by any business entity is not changed. It need not be…
DelBene: So they would.
Things are looking bad for Rs in Alabama
A new poll shows the Senate race in Alabama is now too close to call, following an accusation that Republican nominee Roy Moore pursued a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979.
Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are tied at 46% in the survey, which was conducted Thursday by Opinion Savvy and commissioned by Decision Desk HQ in the aftermath of a bombshell Washington Post report in which the accuser, now 53, went on record with her story.
The results also suggested that a write-in campaign by another Republican could tip the seat to Democrats — a prospect that once seemed far-fetched in deep-red Alabama. A three-way race — with Moore, Jones, and interim Sen. Luther Strange as a write-in candidate — would favor Jones with roughly 44% of the vote, followed by Moore at 41%, and Strange at 12%.
The poll surveyed 515 likely voters by landline and mobile and has a margin of error of 4 points.
A day after explosive allegations of sexual assault surfaced against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, the Republican Party’s senate campaign arm has severed financial ties with the embattled former state supreme court justice.
A joint fundraising committee benefitting Moore and a handful of Republican Party organs filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Friday removing the National Republican Senatorial Committee as one of its beneficiaries. Going forward, the committee’s fundraising will benefit Moore’s Senate campaign, the Alabama Republican Party, and the Republican National Committee but not the NRSC.