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President Donald Trump speaks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump getting Washington military parade _ but no tanks


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It looks like President Donald Trump is getting the military parade he wants in Washington — though he may get no tanks for the effort.

A Pentagon planning memo issued Thursday and released Friday says the parade being planned for Nov. 11, Veterans Day, will “include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks — consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure.” Big, heavy tanks could tear up District of Columbia streets.

But the event will “include a heavy air component at the end of the parade,” meaning lots of airplane flyovers. Older aircraft will be included as available.

The memo from the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offers initial planning guidance to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose staff will plan the parade along a route from the White House to the Capitol, and integrate it with the city’s annual veterans’ parade. Northern Command, which oversees U.S. troops in North America, will execute the parade.

Trump decided he wanted a military parade in Washington after he attended France’s Bastille Day celebration in the center of Paris last July. As the invited guest of French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump watched enthusiastically from a reviewing stand as the French military showcased its tanks and fighter jets, including many U.S.-made planes, along the famed Champs-Elysees.

Trump praised the French display months later when he and Macron met in New York, saying, “We’re going to have to try and top it.”

But outdoing the French may be difficult without any tanks.

Trump thinks the parade, which some lawmakers in both political parties have criticized, would boost the spirit of America.

“We have a great country and we should be celebrating our country,” he told Fox News Channel in a recent interview.

The Pentagon memo did not include a cost estimate for the parade. The White House budget director recently told Congress the cost to taxpayers could be between $10 million and $30 million.

The parade will focus on the contributions of American veterans throughout the history of the U.S. military, starting with the Revolutionary War, and highlight the evolution of women veterans from World War II to the present, according to the memo.

Trump should be surrounded in the reviewing area at the Capitol by veterans and Medal of Honor recipients, the memo said.

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Putin has killed at least one of his informants and it looks like Rosneft made a deal with the Qataris to skirt sanctions and give Jared a loan he desperately needs. The truly awesome amount of debt Kushner and Trump are under make them prime targets for compromise.

They are compromised. Putin can wreck Trump at will, maybe bankrupt him. This explains why Kushner wanted a back channel at the Russian embassy. The Russians are aware of Jared’s financial boondoggle and an easy way to get sanctions relief was to offer him a way to save himself. So Sam Clovis changes the Republican platform to show that they were willing to play ball.

Jared approached the Qataris about investing in his boondoggle because he can’t get a loan from Russia. So Putin tells his Rosneft buddy to make a deal with the Qataris and to tell them to grease a loan to Kushner. Kushner naturally wants to get something out of the deal like any crook. So the Apollo Group is a huge consortium and the Qataris own 17% of it according to the NYT.

The Qataris hedge on this deal because they don’t want to be involved as middlemen. So then this diplomatic crisis comes up between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and they threaten a blockade of Qatar. It almost caused a war between them. Kushner, sides with Saudi Arabia in threatening our closest ally in the region. We have 10k+ troops in Qatar. CENTCOM is there.

Nothing, as in not one substantial thing in the Steele dossier has been unproven which explains why stooges like Nunes and Gaetz are so desperate to cast doubt on it. The longer this goes on, more dots are being connected in it. I have some appreciation now why Steele went into hiding after it was released. Putin has killed spooks in London cooking them with Polonium. It also explains why Mueller got Andrew Weissman to leave his very lucrative NY law firm to come work in the government again. It also explains why Trump never released his taxes. It also explains why Giuliani’s big “October surprise.” He knew about the emails before the public and that’s what Trump was going to give a speech about but never did because someone told him he’d be in trouble if he did. It also fits Occam’s Razor, all of it.

Mueller is going to do something no prosecutor has done, he’s going to indict a sitting President. The crimes are more extensive than anyone ever imagined. They’re all going down. All of them. Ignorance of the law is not a defense and Mueller is going to teach them that lesson rather rudely.…/jared-kushner-apollo-citigroup-lo…

The GLOBAL “Military Industrial Complex”, comprised of Russia, China, Syria and North Korea, is a Military Industrial Complex that might be chuckling at Americans’ naiveté right now. Remember – if you believe Drumpf is a traitor, this would put Drumpf at the very epicenter of the world’s power(s) with all the nuclear weapons and money and fame (not to mention, FREEDOM), that he could EVER dream of… This could very well be the world’s most terrorizing moment in history, ever. Drumpf pulling together himself, Putin, Xin, Rocket Man, and Assad to dominate and plunder the world. In ONE weekend…by surrendering (on behalf of Putin, Xin, Assad, and Rocket Man) to Rocket Man, in “exchange” for “de-nuclearization” which of course would be a complete lie. Now THAT’s a DEAL!!

New York City is Trumps Home town! Only 1 in 9 voters, voted for Trump! The rest of the country was misinformed! To know him, is reject him! Reminder: trump called for the execution of the Central Park 5 with a full page newspaper ad. They were all innocent

Trump has ended equal access to the internet; he is arresting some dissenters; he is undermining the free press; he is dismantling our public schools; he is decreasing the power of unions; he has put members of his family in key positions of power …and is talking about being President for Life. Is this the end of Democracy for America…and with his international connections…for the World?

More than 6 months have passed and over 10% of Puerto Rico STILL without power. Absolutely appalling

So much power, so little leadership in Congress. We have a president who’s had 17 inappropriate sexual charges levied against him, including rape. TRUMP is clearly off the rails and is becoming more dangerous to democracy every day. The charges of collusion with a hostile dictator have continued to haunt this administration. Russian interference in this country’s election process has been ignored by the very group of legislators who passed Veto-Proof Sanctions against Russia.

This is what happens when you have absolutely no core values other than “I hate the left.”

Does anyone really think Trump is going actually meet with Kim Jong Un? He decided to do it on the spur of the moment without talking to ANYONE on his staff and now they’ve all had plenty of time to explain to him in teeny tiny words what an incredibly stupid idea this is. Trump will just drop it and make believe he never really said he was going to go.

Meanwhile, all on the right that spent years screaming that Obama was weak for meeting with our enemies will be suffering from whiplash because, for a few days at least, meeting with our enemies was “strength” and “presidential”. Now they’ll go back to it being weak and unAmerican.

Gun violence and terrorism: The US spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism, which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary gun crime.

According to figures from the US Department of Justice and the Council on Foreign Affairs, 11,385 people died on average annually in firearm incidents in the US between 2001 and 2011.

In the same period, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents. Removing 2001, when 9/11 occurred, from the calculation produces an annual average of just 31.

The home front: So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

Source: Politifact.

Big question. What happened to Rudy 911 Giuliani? He was in the thick of everything happening in “Trump Tower”, both before and after the election. You couldn’t see Trump’s inner circle, without Giuliani’s smug sneer standing out.

It’s no secret that Rudy wanted to be the Secretary Of State, and that like a pouting child, refused every other position offered to him. Seemingly, when he didn’t get what he wanted, he just disappeared.

But, that’s not the end of Rudy 911 Giuliani. There was a controversial Federal case being prosecuted in New York City, against a wealthy Turkish man, and good friend of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s strongman President.

The Turk being prosecuted was Reza Zarrab, and he had been trading gas for gold on the world market. He was forwarding all the gold to Iran, to help them sidestep the economic sanctions that were in place. That was a big “no-no”, and the Obama administration was deeply involved in seeing this case prosecuted.

The Federal Prosecutor in that case, was Preet Bharara. You may remember him as being the Prosecutor that was suddenly fired by Der Trumpenfuhrer, after Erdogan paid a visit to the White House, while his bodyguards were allowed to attack protesting American’s outside.

Anyway, Reza Zarrab fired his attorney’s, and hired Rudy 911 Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey, the former U.S. Attorney General, to represent him. Giuliani and Mukasey then went to Turkey, for a “confab” with Erdogan. Starting to smell a rat yet? Remember Mike Flynn being on Turkey’s payroll?

Giuliani and Mukasey secured a plea deal for Zarrab, where he agreed to plead guilty, and not do any time…in exchange for him testifying against the banks he laundered money through. He made the deal of a lifetime, by pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate, in exchange for remaining in the U.S. with his family under a witness protection program.

Rudy Giuliani’s law partner, Geoffrey Berman, was named as top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, taking charge of an office that investigates Wall Street, international bribery and political corruption. Doesn’t it make you feel secure to know that people of such integrity, are protecting your best interests?

Giuliani? Hhe was staying in an exclusive area in the Crimea, but that was a year ago…at least. Is he hiding from Mueller? Since he was so close to Trump’s inner circle, one can only presume he knew about the Russian meetings. Is there a summons with Rudy 911 Giuliani’s name on it?

Trump is helping to undermine US democracy. That’s just what Russia wants

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 11:15 AM ET, Tue February 20, 2018

Wittingly or not, President Donald Trump spent the Presidents Day weekend doing the Kremlin’s work.

It may be months before Americans learn whether special counsel Robert Mueller will validate or reject allegations that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow’s election meddling operation.

But Trump’s three days of Twitter venting against the FBI, his political opponents and the Russia investigation from his Mar-a-Lago resort are likely to further incite mistrust in the institutions of democracy and government, which the Russian intervention was designed to foment.

In addition to lashing out against perceived political foes, Trump rejected the congressional and governmental investigations taking place under the checks and balances of the US system and undermined his own national security adviser’s warning to Russia at a key international forum.

At the same time, Trump failed to condemn the audacious “information warfare” effort alleged in a comprehensive indictment against 13 Russians that Mueller unveiled on Friday. He also failed to promise to protect future US elections — even though intelligence chiefs have warned that an attempt to disrupt November’s midterms may already be underway.

That reluctance is consistent with a pattern of unexplained conduct by the President involving the Russia question. People in his orbit have, for instance, repeatedly lied about the campaign’s contacts with Russians and the President is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice for firing FBI Director James Comey, who had been overseeing the election interference investigation.

Trump has also often been strangely solicitous of Russian President Vladimir Putin, praising his strongman ethos and gravitating toward him at international summits.

But Mueller has not so far announced any findings that prove that the campaign colluded with Russia nor alleged that the President is compromised in any way or indicated whether Trump has anything to fear from the special counsel’s investigation.

Friday’s indictment noted that Russian representatives interacted only with “unwitting” Trump campaign aides — a statement that the President’s supporters used to inaccurately claim he had been absolved of any wrongdoing by Mueller.

There are several scenarios that do not include collusion, starting with Trump’s obsessive sensitivity to claims that his election win was illegitimate or concern that his personal finances may be in Mueller’s sights, that could also explain his bitter antipathy towards the probe.

But that said, this past weekend did reveal a remarkable continuity of interest between Trump and the Russians who plotted the operation, and it shows how his reaction to its exposure is perpetuating the goals that Mueller’s indictment says Russia hoped to achieve.

Moscow’s goal seems to have been to undermine public trust in the institutions of politics and government, which have made the United States a beacon of democracy.

“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters on Friday.

Some experts go further and argue that the indictment lifts the lid on an expansive Russian operation to undermine the fabric of US public life.

“More than anything it was to sow discord in our political process … to degrade trust in our political institutions and then as well to agitate so that we would be at each other’s throats over this,” said Daniel Hoffman, a former CIA agent stationed in Moscow, on CNN’s “Smerconish” on Saturday.

Trump and Russia have similar targets

Trump blames everyone but Russia

But Russia is not alone in actively seeking to tarnish the institutions of American democracy — Trump has acted in a similar way during his presidency, from his jibes at the judiciary to his feuds with intelligence agencies and declaration that the media is an enemy of the people.

His willingness to take on the establishment was an elemental part of his appeal in 2016 and it helps explain his enduring bond with his supporters.

Before Trump became President, it would have been a major shock to see repeated, public attacks on the FBI from the occupant of the Oval Office. Now it happens so often that it is almost old news.

The President took his assault on the bureau to a new level over the weekend by squarely blaming Florida FBI agents for the failure to stop the high school shooting in Broward County last week.

“They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

While the President’s constant assault on the FBI is obviously motivated by his anger at the Russia investigation and doesn’t necessarily indicate that he has something to hide, it comes with a bonus for Moscow.

Any ebbing of public trust in the bureau as a result of Trump’s assaults can only be good news for Russia, since the FBI is responsible for detecting and preventing Russian espionage in the United States and depends on public support for its legitimacy.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that only 48% of Americans approve of the way the FBI is handling its mission, while 53% of Republicans do not approve of the job the bureau is doing.

Trump’s weekend tweets also included attacks on the structure of the constitutional system set up to oversee a President’s power.

“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!” Trump tweeted.

The tweet mirrored a statement by the President on Friday night, in which he maintained that distrust in the US system was in fact rooted in attempts to examine the extent of Russian meddling in 2016.

“It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and farfetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions,” Trump said.

Trump’s former campaign adviser Michael Caputo on Tuesday bolstered this argument, maintaining that the Russia intervention was real but putting the blame for the post-election discord on the President’s political enemies at home.

“I think a lot of the dissension that’s been sown since the election was entirely the responsibility of the Democrats,” Caputo told CNN’s “New Day.” “I think the Democrats have fed this bogus Russian collusion narrative to the media, (and) the media have gleefully swallowed it because it’s really good for ratings.”

But Trump, in firing off a volley of tweets critical of his predecessor Barack Obama on Tuesday, ensured that the acrimony stirred by Russia’s operation will exacerbate the scars of an election that still haunts US politics.

The President quoted Obama’s call last year for him to stop “whining” — when Trump claimed that the election could be “rigged” against his Republican ticket.

“The President Obama quote just before election. That’s because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win and he didn’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems,” Trump tweeted.

Since an iconic speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, in which he previewed a shift in policy toward the United States by complaining it acted as the world’s sole “master” and “sovereign,” Putin has emerged as a challenger to US global power.

So it was significant that national security adviser H.R. McMaster chose this year’s Munich event to deliver a strong warning to Moscow.

He said the Mueller indictments on Friday showed that evidence of a Russian election-meddling effort was “really incontrovertible,” but he warned that the operation had been counterproductive.

“All that has done is appeal to those big fringes while uniting all of our politics actually against Russia and Russian interference,” he said.

Trump quickly contradicted McMaster, raising new doubts about the level of confidence that the President retains in his national security adviser and undercutting his message that Americans were united against Russia.

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted.

It was not the first time that Trump has appeared at odds with his own senior national security staff, which has largely taken a hawkish position toward Russia amid a plunge in relations between the former Cold War foes.

Defenders of Trump often point to a decision by the administration to allow Ukraine to buy small arms and light weapons from US manufacturers to counter the narrative that the President is overly sympathetic to Russia.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is seizing on complaints, even by some Democrats, that the previous administration did not do enough to punish Russian election subversion.

“Unlike Obama, @POTUS isn’t going to be pushed around by Russia or anybody else,” she said on Twitter on Saturday.

But Obama personally warned Putin against messing with the election, imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, kicked out 35 Russian diplomats and closed two of the Kremlin’s compounds in the United States.

While Obama’s critics demanded more, his action still far exceeds the steps Trump has taken in response to much more detailed and public accusations of interference by Russia. The President still has not imposed sanctions designed to punish election meddling by Moscow.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Donald Trump speaks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Staff Reports