Trump Says U.K. First, Putin Says Iran First, Xi Says Egypt First

Trump Says U.K. First, Putin Says Iran First, Xi Says Egypt First

 

Before you freak out, or, think that I have done flushed my brain down a toilet I need to let you know that, no, of course they didn’t say any such a thing. So, why did I say such things in the headline? There are two simple reasons, first, to draw your attention to the article, two, to make people think a little bit. The first is self-explanatory. Now, concerning the second of the two reasons. Anyone who reads my articles knows quite well that I believe that Donald Trump is the biggest idiot and the biggest ass to sit in the Oval Office since Andrew Jackson back in the first half of the 18 hundreds, and friends, that is really saying a whole lot because we have really had a lot of trash as Presidents in our Nations History.

 

There are many people, it seems mostly Democrats, who think that it is a horrible slogan that Mr. Trump came up with during his primary run, “America First.” Here is where I have to say that you folks who are ragging him over this slogan, you are quite goofy yourself. What the heck was the man suppose to say, England First, or Mexico First? Just what do you think any politician at any level, of any country, should do? If President Putin at the next Russian election started putting out propaganda saying that the Russian people and government need to start putting Iran, or Syria first, do you think that even in Russia that he would win the election? Possibly even worse, it would probably get him shot. Even as powerful as President Xi Jinping is in China if he came out with a policy saying China is going to start putting Egypt or North Korea before the people of China do you honestly believe that he would live five more years to finish out his term?

 

What I am getting at is that you folks here in the U.S. that are whining about Mr. Trumps ‘America First’ slogan are showing the world just how big of dummies you are. Also, the U.S. Media outlets who fall in line with such ignorance help fuel Liberal stupidity in European countries and in a few other Nations as well. For politicians and for the people of every Country on Earth, if you are not putting your country first, then you are truly a traitor to every person in your Country. For we folks who are Christians or Jewish, we all need to look at the teachings of Scriptures. You should know very well that we are supposed to cater to the needs of our families first and once our families are secure and safe, then we are to be charitable from the inside out. By this, I mean our family, our community, then outward, such as our County, our State, our own Country, then the world. We are to take what we really need from our own work, our own earnings, then use the rest to help others. This is where we are told not to hoard, not to store up for many years ahead for ourselves, but to use the extra that we have to help others. This is why we are told that charity covers many sins.

 

Even though I know that Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue about the teachings of the Bible it does not mean that everything he says is incorrect, most everything, but not all things. As our President, Mr. Trump is supposed to ‘Put America First’, if he is not doing so, then he is a traitor to the American people. Unfortunately, I personally do not believe that this ‘slogan’, to him, is anything but a slogan, something he thinks his voter base wants to hear. Personally, I have no doubt of any kind that Donald Trump, his Dad, and his adult kids, as well as his son in law Mr. Kushner, have done, or will do, anything except and ONLY, put themselves first, always! Yet in U.S. politics, do you honestly expect anything except selfishness?

Conformation That Russia Was Doping Their Olympic Athletics

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MOSCOW TIMES)

(OPED: TO ME, THIS IS PROOF THAT PRESIDENT PUTIN HAS NO FAITH IN RUSSIAN ATHLETICS ABILITY TO COMPETE ON A WORLD STAGE, HE OBVIOUSLY THINKS THEY ARE INFERIOR SO HE FELT HE HAD TO DOPE THEM UP. THIS IS A PATHETIC LACK OF FAITH IN RUSSIAS OWN PEOPLE, VERY SAD.) (TRS)

Grigory Rodchenkov (Vitaly Belousov / TASS)

Two Russian athletes have confirmed the existence of a doping cocktail described by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of a Moscow anti-doping lab, in the first admission of involvement since Russia was accused of running a state-sponsored doping program.

Rodchenkov fled to the U.S. after telling The New York Times newspaper that he had provided athletes with banned substances — including during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which Russia hosted.

A probe by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program.

WADA is meeting next week to review a ruling imposing sanctions on Russian athletes. The International Olympic Committee is also expected to decide the fates of two dozen Russian athletes in December, ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

During the Sochi Olympics, Rodchenkov said, he provided Russian athletes with a doping cocktail of different steroids mixed with alcohol.

In Russia Rodchenkov’s account has largely been dismissed as the product of fantasy and investigators have opened a case against him. Earlier this week, Russia issued a request for his extradition.

Two anonymous Russian athletes and an athletics manager interviewed by Russia’s biggest sports channel Match TV said on Wednesday the cocktail was given in the form of three unmarked pill containers with colored caps.

The athletes chose their own dosage and dissolved the pill in their mouth with a sip of alcohol, one of the athletes said.

“One tablet gave me a boost, the effect was very strong,” Match TV’s website cited Nikolai P., an athlete who took the so-called “Rodchenkov cocktail”, as saying.

A sports manager, identified as Nikolai R., said the cocktail had been Rodchenkov’s idea, but that the substances were produced by a person known as “Vitya-Jintropin,” a dealer in steroids. Jintropin is a growth hormone.

The third athlete who spoke with Match TV said she had pretended to take the drugs and only learned about the contents of the cocktail she was given after the scandal broke.

“I wasn’t the only one to do so, at least one of my acquaintances” also accepted the unmarked containers with a set of instructions and told Rodchenkov she was consuming their contents, she noted. The athlete said she ultimately disposed of the bottles.

“I couldn’t even sell it to anyone because I had no idea what I’d be selling,” she said.

This is the first time that athletes still in Russia have admitted some of the claims made by WADA and Rodchenkov. But, commenting to the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy, sports analyst Alexei Durnavo said that far from admitting Russia’s guilt the report likely aimed at discrediting Rodchenkov personally, while leaving untouched the question of Russian state participation in the doping scandal.

Chinese Power Grab: Will China’s Rise As A Global Power Also Be Self-defeating?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘WASHINGTON OUTSIDER.ORG AND THE BLOG SITE OF MATTHEW GEIGER>CHINA DEBATE)

 

Why Should Anyone Believe Any Thing Donald ‘The Fraud’ Trump Say’s

 

Donald ‘the fraud’ Trump’s political base is uneducated white males of which I am considered one of. Because I am very technology challenged I guess I am one of ‘those people’, you know whom I mean, the deplorable’s.  The political talking heads say Trump’s base are white males with only a high school education or less. I have an Associate Degree in Sociology and Anthropology but I had to work my behind off to obtain a 2.72 GPA. What I am saying is that I am not a genius, I am just an average person. I do try my best to be a good Christian person, I know that I fail at my efforts constantly though. I do say these things to you so that you know that I do not consider myself as being better than you, or anyone else, well, except for the IDIOT in Our White House. It is a bit difficult to believe that anyone on the planet is more clueless than ‘the Donald.’

 

Now let us get down to the reason for this article today. Our glorious ‘habitual Liar in Chief’ is on a 12-day trip to Asia. Yesterday he made a speech to the South Korea Congress and today he is in China with his “good friend” President Xi Jinping. Before he went to South Korea he spent time in Japan with their leader Mr. Abe and I hear that they spent time on a golf course together. You know the only place that you normally hear more lies told than on a fishing boat, is on a golf course. This is especially true when Donald Trump enters the course. I read a lot of newspapers from all over the world almost every day and one of the things that is very clear is that no one anywhere believes anything that comes out of this mans mouth. It does seem that the only place you may find anyone here in the States who actually believes anything he says is on the Fox News Network.

 

If you are an ally of the United States these days, Mr. Trump has very plainly made it clear that he doesn’t give a flip about such things as longstanding treaties or friendships. Remember the fiasco/lies about the US Aircraft Carrier battle group that was “speeding toward Korea” as a sign of strength to our friends in South Korea and as a warning to North Korea? The same battle group that was actually heading in the opposite direction headed toward Australia to take part in ‘war games’ off of Australia’s northeast coast! This ‘bluff’! Do you remember the anger of the South Korean people and government officials when they found out that Mr. Trump had basically set them up as bait? Mr. Trump lies so often and changes his mind so often people with any sense at all have trouble remembering the last time he ever told the truth about anything. Just as our Ally’s have learned they cannot trust his word on anything, government leaders have also learned this same truth. President Putin and President Jinping both must be giddy as all heck realizing that there is an ignorant fool in the White House, it is obvious that both of these men are a whole lot wiser, smarter, and intelligent than Mr. Trump. You know what else, even the ‘Little Rocket Man’ knows all of these things about him also. The only question is, will the Republicans in the Senate grow a set and impeach this Fool before he starts a nuclear war with North Korea and their friends in China? I used the word ‘Fraud’ in the headline because to me, if you cannot believe a single thing that comes out of a persons mouth not only are they a habitual liar, they are a FRAUD and to me, these terms fit Mr. Trump perfectly!

 

For those of you who do not like it that I am calling out Mr. Trump for the person that he is please take a moment and get your Bible out. Now in the index look up the words Fraud and Fool. I was going to use a couple of passages that describe what the Bible says about these two kinds of people so that you could match them up with Mr. Trump’s actions. As you can see I didn’t waste the writing space because there were so many that describe Mr. Trump so perfectly that I decided to simply request that you see/read them all for yourself.

 

 

If Not For President Putin, Bernie Sanders Would Be The U.S. President?

If Not For President Putin, Bernie Sanders Would Be The U.S. President

 

Folks, this article to you this evening is obviously just my opinion but if I did not believe that it was correct I would not waste my time or your time with it. Last fall the American people really only had two choices that we were being allowed to have in our vote for our next President. We had the reality that we were either going to have as our next President “Crooked Hillary”, or we could have Donald “Fake News” Trump. During the campaign (DFNT) used as one of his slogans concerning “Crooked Hillary” was “lock her up.” This was even though he knew darn well that if he won that he was not going to pursue this venture, just as he knew that Mexico was not ever going to pay far any wall. If you are one of the few people in the world that didn’t know it before he stole the election from Hillary (because of Putin), he “the Donald” is and has always been, an habitual liar.

 

As I am sure you caught it, my statement about this Fraud in Chief steeling the election from Hillary, I do actually believe that is correct. Personally I believe that Russian hackers were able to infiltrate several of the State election systems thus taking a few of the States away from Hillary and giving them to Trump, thus swinging the election to him. I do believe that history will prove this as a fact but, what about now? What do we as the American public do about having a FRAUD President in the Oval Office? If he is impeached and imprisoned for the rest of his life as he should be, who takes his place, Mike Pence, the VP? But since Trump is illegally in office, Mike Pence is not legally the VP so it is unfair to allow him to be put into the Office of President, so now what? The next in line would Constitutionally have to be the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. But for how long? Personally the most honest answer would be to swear Bernie Sanders into Office for one seven-year term with that being a one time gig for him, no second term.

 

As I stated above, I totally believe that Trump and Putin stole the election from Hillary, but, and it is a big but, she stole the Democratic Nomination from Senator Bernie Sanders. Hillary illegally took over the controls of the DNC rigging the process so that only she could win the Nomination. By the events that I have been learning, Hillary is guilty of several frauds, tax evasions, among several other Felonies. So, it is my honest opinion that if President Putin had not interfered in our elections the Democratic Nominee would be our President right now. The only one of the three biggest candidates (Trump, Hillary, and Sanders) who are not guilty of mass felonies is Mr. Sanders. So, in my opinion Mr. Sanders should be awarded the Presidency ASAP. The other two pathetic egomaniacs should be put into Fort Leavenworth Prison for the rest of their lives. This is just a short oped, just wanted to tweak your thoughts to see what you think. Just think of all of the damage that Donald Trump has done to our country here and abroad in this 10 months he has been sitting in the White House. I do have to wonder how the world would be different if we didn’t have this idiot moron of a fool pretending to be the American President.

Hillary Clinton’s scheme in ‘rigging’ the nomination may have been criminal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

 

Hillary Clinton’s scheme in ‘rigging’ the nomination may have been criminal

Hillary Clinton has spent a year crying about how the presidency was stolen from her. Turns out, she stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

The stunning revelation from former Democratic National Committee interim chairperson Donna Brazile that Clinton secretly rigged the primary process by commandeering the DNC should come as no surprise to anyone. Clinton is nothing, if not unethical and corrupt. She always has been. This is precisely why pre-election polls consistently showed that a majority of Americans found her dishonest and untrustworthy.

The critical question now is whether she committed crimes in her theft of the nomination.

The Scheme

According to Brazile, the DNC went broke under the leadership of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This dire circumstance presented a perfect scenario for Clinton to seize command of the party apparatus by paying off its debt of roughly $20 million dollars. But in exchange, the DNC executed a written, albeit hidden, agreement transferring to Clinton the committee’s finances, strategy, and money raised — all to the benefit of Clinton and to the detriment of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.

Even more deceptions and money shuffling ensued. It was a clever and complicated stratagem, but here is the simple version. During Clinton’s joint fundraising events with the DNC and state parties held across the nation, more than $82 million was raised. The states immediately kicked back nearly all of their share to the DNC which, in turn, kicked back their share and the states’ share to Clinton’s campaign.

With Clinton in control of the Democratic party’s staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, mailings and money, she was able to overcome the serious primary challenge by Sanders in securing the nomination. The DNC, which was supposed to remain neutral, had been neutered by Clinton. It devolved into nothing more than a willing accessory to a devious scheme for Clinton’s campaign to get rich at the expense of Sanders.

There appears to be little doubt that Clinton rigged the election process. It was so unconscionable and unprincipled, that Brazile’s discovery of the incriminating document left her in tears. So she says.

Clinton Crimes?

The Federal Election Commission must immediately launch an investigation. So, too, must the Department of Justice and the FBI. It appears that Clinton may well have violated several laws which could constitute serious crimes.

First, federal law sets strict limits on campaign contributions.  Financial records must now be subpoenaed to determine whether these laws were broken. Given Clinton’s past record of shady transactions such as the Whitewater land deal and her sale of cattle futures, there is a strong chance that a document trail will lead investigators to multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

Second, if Brazile’s account of Clinton’s artifice is true, it is likely that campaign finance reporting laws were broken under the same Act. Hiding campaign money through false or misleading campaign reports is illegal. In egregious cases it is a crime, not just a civil penalty.

Finally, the funneling of campaign funds from one source to another smacks of money laundering. Any transaction that seeks to conceal or disguise proceeds of illegal activity constitutes money laundering. So, if it can be shown that Clinton violated campaign contribution limits or reporting requirements, then the channeling of the proceeds from one source to another would be the “laundering” of it.

Second Special Counsel

Clinton and her campaign are already suspected of playing a pivotal role in violating federal law by paying a substantial amount of money to a British spy and Russian government sources in order to obtain the infamous and discredited Trump “dossier”.  Talking to a Russian in a campaign is not a crime, but paying money to one as part of a political campaign is a crime.

There is also evidence Clinton used her public office to confer a benefit to the Russian government in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband. If the Clintons were enriched at the very time Hillary presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia, it would amount to a violation of seven criminal statutes, including racketeering.

Yet, despite calls by the House Judiciary Committee and others on Capitol Hill for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel, he has taken no action whatsoever. Perhaps this is because he recused himself from any matter related to Hillary Clinton during his confirmation hearing in January.

This, however, would not legally prevent him from appointing a special counsel to handle the investigation. But it does underscore that Sessions has become so compromised on so many disqualifying matters of vital public interest, including the Trump-Russia case, that he can no longer serve in an able capacity.

As I have written before, Sessions should resign, but not before appointing a special counsel.

It is clear from President Trump’s many comments over the last several months that he has lost all confidence in his attorney general. It is time for him to go.

Hillary Clinton has bemoaned for months that the presidential election was stolen from her and that Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russians. As with many thing in Clinton’s mind, she has it backwards.

Evidence continues to mount that it was Clinton who may have conspired with the Russians, while also rigging the primary election process to hand herself the Democratic nomination for president.

If she committed crimes in the process, she should be charged, convicted and punished.

Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).

Conservatives (GOP) introduce measure demanding Mueller’s resignation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO)

 

Conservatives introduce measure demanding Mueller’s resignation

It’s the latest sign of GOP resistance to the special counsel’s Russia probe.

Three House Republicans on Friday moved to pressure special counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they contend are “obvious conflicts of interest,” the latest instance of rising GOP resistance to his Russia probe.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), introduced a measure that, while nonbinding, would put the House on record describing Mueller, a former FBI director, as unfit to lead the probe because of his relationship with James Comey, his successor at the bureau.

“[B]e it Resolved, That House of Representatives expresses its sense that Robert Mueller is compromised and should resign from his special counsel position immediately,” the resolution states.

Mueller is investigating whether any Americans aided Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as whether figures in the Trump administration may have obstructed justice in part by moving to oust Comey in May, when the FBI’s Russia investigation was picking up steam. Mueller was appointed by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein after an uproar following President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

The move by the three lawmakers to seek Mueller’s resignation is a sign of intensifying frustration among Trump’s allies during the same week Mueller issued his first indictments in the probe: money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. Mueller also secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a low-level campaign foreign policy adviser, who lied to the FBI about his attempts to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

The anger from Republicans appears to mirror the feelings of Trump, who on Friday unloaded in a series of tweets urging his own Justice Department to investigate Democrats — not him — for transgressions he says occurred during the 2016 election.

“This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering,” he said, accusing Democrats of the same charges that Manafort was hit with. “[W]here is our Justice Department?”

Most Republicans, including those in GOP leadership, are not on board with dismissing Mueller.

But the conservative push has worried some on the left, who are urging Democratic lawmakers to step up their defense of Mueller.

“While it might be ideal to wait to speak out until Mueller finishes his investigation, Trump’s defenders in Congress are not waiting to defend the President’s actions or to pass judgment on the investigation,” CAP Action Fund wrote in a memo being prepared for lawmakers and obtained by POLITICO. “The heightened risk to Trump from Mueller’s investigation also means there is a heightened risk to the Mueller investigation from Trump.”

Other conservatives, like Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), have already called for Mueller’s departure.

DeSantis, too, has ramped up his efforts to hinder Mueller’s investigation. He recently pushed an amendment, which failed to gain traction, that would have curtailed Mueller’s probe within six months and limited its scope.

And in a Thursday interview with Breitbart Radio, DeSantis blamed Rosenstein for a “clumsy” decision to appoint Mueller without putting strict limits on his scope.

“Rosenstein really muffed this,” he said.

Breitbart News Editor Alex Marlow, who interviewed DeSantis, promised to give his proposal a lot of airtime and ink.

“We’re going to be pushing it heavily or at least content on it heavily,” he said.

In his interview, DeSantis also foreshadowed the end of the House Intelligence Committee’s separate investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“The good news on the congressional side, at least in the House, is from what I understand, they’ve really increased the frequency of the interviews of the people and I think on the House side this Russia-Trump [probe] is going to come to an end soon,” he said.

DeSantis isn’t on the intelligence panel but said talking to committee members, he’s convinced it’ll be done “certainly before the end of the year.”

He also said he’s been urging Speaker Paul Ryan to curtail the House investigation.

“I said, ‘Mr. Speaker, we’ve been spinning these wheels. There’s no evidence. If there is, produce it. I think we’d all like to see it. But if not, then we’ve got to get on with our business,’” adding, “I think that message has been received.”

While the new resolution faults Mueller for leading the probe despite his professional relationship with Comey, it also includes a broader broadside against the FBI.

The three lawmakers say the agency should be investigated for “willful blindness” over a seven-year-old sale of uranium production facilities to Russian interests, which conservatives have argued was approved in part by the Hillary Clinton-led State Department at the same time a party to the deal was making donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Mueller, they note, was presiding over the FBI at the time the agency was investigating a Russian bribery and extortion scheme connected to the uranium deal, but the agency declined to notify Congress of its investigation and prevented a confidential informant from notifying lawmakers.

“Any thorough and honest investigation into the corruption of American-uranium related business must include investigating the willful blindness of the FBI and its leaders,” according to the resolution.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the name of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager.

Putin, Jesus And Elon Musk Are Young Russians’ Top Role Models

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MOSCOW TIMES)

 

Putin, Jesus And Elon Musk Are Young Russians’ Top Role Models

Nov 3, 2017 — 19:21
— Update: 19:21

Kremlin Press Service

Young Russians have named President Vladimir Putin, business magnate Elon Musk and Jesus Christ as their main role models — after their parents.

Russia’s most popular social networking site VK in July asked 10,000 14-25 year-olds who had the most positive influence in their life. The majority said their parents were their biggest role models, but a sizeable number said they didn’t look to anyone for inspiration.

The remaining respondents named Jesus Christ, Musk and Putin as their third, fourth and fifth-greatest role models, the RBC business portal reported, citing data from the survey.

The results showed that 93 percent of Russia’s youth use social media networks in some capacity.

Some 64 percent of young Russians get their news from VK, the poll found, followed by other online outlets and social media. Fewer than a quarter of those polled said they trust the information they see on television.

News that Russia’s younger citizens placed Putin on their top five role models list will be welcomed by Kremlin insiders. The Kremlin has struggled to formulate a youth campaign strategy ahead of the 2018 election.

Anti-corruption demonstrations led by opposition leader Alexei Navalny this year drew many younger Russians onto the streets.

Investigators to Open Case Into Gay Chechen Purge

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MOSCOW TIMES)

 

Investigators to Open Case Into Gay Chechen Purge

Nov 1, 2017 — 19:15
— Update: 19:15

im Lapunov, a Russian man who is accusing authorities in Chechnya of brutally beating him as part of a broad crackdown on gay people in the Russian Region (Pavel Golovkin / AP / TASS)

Chechen investigators are pursuing a gay man’s allegations that was tortured by police because of his sexual orientation, the Interfax news agency reported.  

Dozens of gay men are believed to have fled the Muslim-majority region in the Russian North Caucasus amid reports of a government led crackdown. Both Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and the Kremlin deny claims of any systematic suppression of gay men.

Maxim Lapunov is the first man in Russia to publicly charge that local police detained and tortured him in Chechnya early last year.

His testimony comes after the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported earlier this year that more than 100 gay men were detained and tortured in the region.

Tatyana Mokalkova, Russia’s human rights ombudswoman, has vowed to oversee that Lapunov’s allegations are properly investigated.

Moskalkova told reporters on Wednesday that she personally inspected investigative materials in the North Caucasus police department because of what she described as foot-dragging by local authorities.

“I believe there are grounds to open a criminal case and provide state protection to Maxim Lapunov,” she said cited by state-run TASS news agency.

Moskalkova told journalists on Wednesday that local investigators reversed an earlier decision not to investigate the victim’s allegations, Interfax reports.

“Questions were raised about finding the witnesses that Lapunov is pointing to, and who I believe haven’t yet been found because of the investigators’ insufficient activity,” Moskalkova said.

Manafort indictment, Papadopoulos guilty plea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITIFACT)

 

What you need to know about Manafort indictment, Papadopoulos guilty plea

  
Autoplay: On | Off

The special counsel’s investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia escalated dramatically with news that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate were indicted on a dozen felony counts, including money laundering.

Separately, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI about outreach efforts to Russian government officials.

These mark the most significant developments to date in special counsel Robert Mueller’s five-month-old investigation. Here’s what you need to know.

The charges against Manafort and Gates

The 12 charges against Manafort and Gates fall broadly into three categories: failing to disclose lobbying activities on behalf of foreign entities, financial crimes and making false statements. (They pleaded not guilty to all charges.)

The first group of charges relates to their work on behalf of Ukraine, for which they’re charged with failing to fully and accurately disclose their activities as foreign agents.

Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates made tens of millions of dollars lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and the man who led it into power, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

But according to the indictment, from roughly 2008 through 2014, Manafort and Gates did not register with the U.S. attorney general as agents working on behalf of Ukrainian interests, as required by law. A separate count alleges they made false and misleading statements about their activities.

The second group of charges relates to financial crimes, including money laundering.

In order to hide the money from the U.S. government, the indictment states, Manafort and Gates “laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and back accounts.” Manafort and Gates also stand accused of failing to report financial interests held overseas.

Finally, one count alleges that Manafort and Gates made false statements on their submissions to the U.S. Justice Department.

Why what they’re charged with is criminal

Manafort and Gates have been charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, for failing to disclose lobbying activities on behalf of foreign entities. Congress passed this law in 1938 amid worries that foreign governments would try to infiltrate the United States.

The law requires agents of foreign interests to register with the Justice Department and outline the terms of their agreement, as well as income and expenditures on behalf of the foreign interest, and updating their disclosure every six months.

“Lawmakers wanted to create barriers to infiltration and to expose hidden foreign lobbying on questionable positions that don’t focus on ‘patriotic purposes,’ ” said Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham Law School.

Shugerman said there are longstanding statutes on the books that outlaw money laundering and that require disclosure of foreign assets and bank accounts. He said money laundering laws have been rewritten through the years to create a new tool to combat organized crime and those who assist it.

Statutes that make it illegal to provide false statements date back to before the Civil War, he said.

Shugerman noted that a person does not need to be under oath when they make a false statement to the FBI in order to violate the law. That makes the law broader than perjury laws, which makes it illegal to tell untruths in a judicial proceeding after a witness has sworn an oath.

What Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to

In a separate development, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Papadopoulos misled the bureau about the timing of his involvement with the campaign, as well as the significance of interactions he had with people he understood to be connected to Russian government officials.

According to the court filing, Papadopoulos falsely told the FBI that he was not part of the Trump campaign when a person described as an “overseas professor” told him that Russians possessed “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” In fact, Papadopoulos learned of the “dirt” in late April 2016, more than a month after signing on as a Trump adviser.

Papadopoulos also falsely downplayed the significance of his interactions with the professor. In his interview with the FBI, he dismissed the professor as “a nothing,” that he thought the professor was “just a guy talk(ing) up connections or something,” and believed he was “BS’ing to be completely honest with you.”

But according to the court filing, Papadopoulos “understood the professor to have substantial connections to high-level Russian government officials,” including officials in Moscow.

Papadopoulos also failed to disclose to the FBI that the professor had introduced him to someone in Moscow with a purported connection to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also misled the FBI about the timing and significance of his meeting with a female Russian national who he mistakenly believed was related to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

How it affects or didn’t affect 2016 election

There’s no direct evidence of collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in the Manafort and Gates indictment, Shugerman said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized this point during a briefing with reporters.

“We’ve been saying from day one, there’s been no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and nothing in the indictment today changes that at all,” she said.

Sanders said of Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, “it has nothing to do with the activities of the campaign, it has to do with his failure to tell the truth. It doesn’t have anything to do with the campaign or the campaign’s activities.”

But the revelations contained in the Papadopolous court filing are less easily dismissed.

Papadopoulos learned in early March 2016 that he would be an adviser to the Trump campaign on foreign policy, and that one of the campaign’s principal goals was to improve U.S.-Russian relations.

It was after joining the campaign that he cultivated relationships he would try to use to broker an overseas meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials. According to the court filing, the proposed trip never took place.

But Papadopolous’ repeated outreach efforts are sure to raise more questions of collusion, particularly in light of the fact that Donald Trump Jr. accepted a meetingduring the campaign that was predicated on the promise that a “Russian government attorney” would deliver damaging information to him about his father’s Democratic opponent as part of the Kremlin’s effort to tip the scales in Trump’s favor.

Papadopoulos’ guilty plea is the result of a negotiated resolution between the defendant and the Justice Department, said Andrew D. Leipold, law professor at University of Illinois College of Law.

But Leipold said it’s unclear what the terms of the agreement were, including the extent to which the deal was made in exchange for future or past cooperation.

While it’s not clear exactly what Papadopoulos’ guilty plea means, it contains “all kinds of tea leaves and hints about what’s coming next,” said Shugerman.

He believes it’s no coincidence that it was revealed just after Manafort’s indictment, and said it puts additional pressure on Manafort to cooperate with the special counsel.

“It triggers the isolation of Manafort, who realizes how much jeopardy he’s in,” Shugerman said.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House Press Secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said George Papadopoulos’ guilty plea “doesn’t have anything to do with the campaign or the campaign’s activities.”
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