The confidential oil plan that could cost Trump reelection

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

The confidential oil plan that could cost Trump reelection

The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling — and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election.

An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.

The president and his top advisers haven’t yet weighed in on the plan taking shape inside his Interior Department. But giving it the green light would be tantamount to a declaration of war on his second home state, given the uniform opposition from Florida Republicans, including prominent allies like Sen. Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis and others.

“He would have a price to pay for that,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), a staunch Trump supporter, told POLITICO.

Industry representatives have said a plan has been imminent since last fall, but many expect the Interior Department is waiting for the Senate to confirm acting Secretary David Bernhardt to fill the agency’s top slot before formally releasing the draft. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Monday on Bernhardt’s confirmation, teeing up a vote this week.

Multiple oil and gas industry sources told POLITICO that the eastern Gulf, along with the Atlantic coast, are included in the administration’s current five-year off-shore drilling proposal, which hasn’t yet been released. The deliberations surrounding that plan are occurring mostly at Interior between lower-level policy aides who are being lobbied by industry representatives, they said.

The administration’s position was muddied when former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke held an elaborately staged Jan. 2018 meeting with Scott, then Florida’s governor, to declare the state wouldn’t be on the drilling map. The announcement was seen as a favor to boost Scott’s electoral fortunes in his ultimately successful challenge against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, who tried to use environmental issues to separate himself from the Republican challenger.

In reality, Trump was upset by the announcement. People familiar with his reaction said Zinke’s statement came without White House approval and contradicted the administration’s “energy dominance” message.

Both parties in Florida oppose offshore drilling. Memories of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which sent tarballs ashore in Florida, bring fears of a future spill damaging the state’s fisheries and tourism. Many in the state also say drilling would conflict with military exercises in the area.

Bernhardt has stayed mum about what’s in the offshore leasing proposal, remarking in a March 28 confirmation hearing that the department is at “step one” of the process. Several industry sources disputed that, though, saying the plan is nearly complete.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s done,” said an industry lobbyist familiar with the plan.

But the senior political officials charged with protecting Trump’s electoral prospects haven’t yet focused on the drilling plan, said a source close to the president who met recently with members of Trump’s energy policy team.

The White House referred a request for comment to the Interior Department. An agency spokesperson did not immediately reply to questions about whether the eastern Gulf of Mexico would be included in any draft plan. Bernhardt said at his nomination hearing that the latest draft plan hadn’t reached his desk.

Offshore drilling is broadly unpopular in Florida. A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters released March 13 showed 64 percent oppose the practice. Republicans, though, supported it by a 54-38 percent margin. A ballot measure banning oil and gas development in state waters passed overwhelmingly in November.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Florida remains off the table,” Scott told POLITICO in an interview earlier this month. “I’ve been very clear to let the White House know where I stand. This is very important to me.“

The draft plan from Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would have to go through a comment period, giving the Trump administration another chance to rewrite it before finalizing. It does not need to pass Congress.

The current plan includes a “buffer” to keep rigs at least 100 miles from Florida’s shoreline, according to industry representatives. They said they plan to present Trump with several options for each of the major regions to be covered under the plan, including the mid-Atlantic and Pacific.

“They can put the plan out and if it doesn’t go over very well, this isn’t the final version, so they can just pull it back,” said an oil-and-gas industry source, who added that industry is trying to figure out how close it can get to Florida without inviting backlash. Former President Barack Obama, for example, offered the eastern Gulf of Mexico with a 125-mile buffer before implementing a seven-year ban following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, though Congress already had imposed a moratorium on drilling in waters closest to Florida until 2022.

Florida lawmakers from both parties have signed numerous letters rejecting offshore drilling, no matter how far from the state’s shoreline. Many also have pushed back on what’s known as seismic testing, a precursor to drilling that involves blasting sonar from boats toward the seafloor to search for buried oil and gas deposits. Both chambers of the state legislature are moving resolutions rejecting offshore drilling in the Gulf.

“We don’t want to see any of it in the Gulf, I don’t want to see any of it on the Atlantic side, which is where I represent,” Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) told POLITICO. “We’re not looking for Deepwater Horizons off of Jensen Beach, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fort Pierce Beach, and we don’t want to see it out there in the Gulf.”

Even DeSantis, whom Trump endorsed in a crowded Republican primary last year, signed an executive order in January committing the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to “adamantly oppose” offshore drilling. Pressure on Republicans to oppose drilling has only grown since DeSantis was elected in November, as Democrats have homed in on fighting climate change.

“It seems hard to believe that the administration would move forward with drilling off the coast of Florida less than two years before a presidential election,” said Alex Conant, a partner at Firehouse Strategies and former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “It would certainly be an issue that Democrats would try to use against [Trump] throughout the state.”

Israel PM vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Israel PM vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

Image caption Israel has established more than 100 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected.

Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday and Mr Netanyahu is competing for votes with right-wing parties who support annexing part of the West Bank.

The settlements are illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Last month the US recognised the occupied Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967, as Israeli territory.

Israel has settled about 400,000 Jews in West Bank settlements, with another 200,000 living in East Jerusalem. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

What happens to the settlements is one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians – Palestinians say the presence of settlements make a future independent state impossible.

Israel says the Palestinians are using the issue of settlements as a pretext to avoid direct peace talks. It says settlements are not a genuine obstacle to peace and are negotiable.

What exactly did Netanyahu say?

He was asked during an interview on Israeli TV why he had not extended Israeli sovereignty to large settlements in the West Bank.

“You are asking whether we are moving on to the next stage – the answer is yes, we will move to the next stage,” he said.

“I am going to extend [Israeli] sovereignty and I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements.”

A spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Reuters: “Any measures and any announcements will not change the facts. Settlements are illegal and they will be removed.”

Presentational grey line

Potentially explosive comments

By Sebastian Usher, BBC Arab affairs editor

These comments by Benjamin Netanyahu are potentially explosive over an issue that has helped stall peace efforts for years.

They will resonate with several parties with which he’ll try to form a coalition government if he wins the biggest share of votes.

But the very idea of annexation will rouse new Palestinian fury, as well as international condemnation.

Mr Netanyahu may have been emboldened by the Trump administration, which just last month recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Presentational grey line

What is the political background?

Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party is in a tight race with the new centre-right Blue and White alliance.

However other parties, some of which support annexation, could end up being kingmakers when they try to form a governing coalition.

In Mr Netanyahu’s own Likud party, 28 out of the 29 lawmakers running for re-election are on record as supporting this approach. Until now the prime minister was the only exception.

What is the situation of peace negotiations?

Mr Trump’s administration is preparing to unveil a long-awaited Middle East peace plan, which US officials say will be fair.

However the Trump administration has carried out a series of actions that have inflamed Palestinian opinion and generally pleased Israel.

In 2017 Mr Trump announced that the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning decades of official US policy.

In response Mr Abbas cut off relations with the US, saying the US could no longer be a peace broker.

Last year the US stopped contributing to the UN Relief and Works Agency(Unrwa), which has been looking after Palestinian refugees since 1949.

In March President Trump officially recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

On Saturday, speaking at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, he warned a Democratic victory in 2020 could “leave Israel out there”, in an effort to make the case to Jewish voters to support his re-election.

Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since 2014, when a US-brokered attempt to reach a deal collapsed.

China providing services to woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

LEGAL

China providing services to woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago

BEIJING — Chinese diplomats have been informed of the arrest of a Chinese woman at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend and are providing her with consular services, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that the Chinese Consulate General in Houston had been notified of the March 30 arrest, had gotten in touch with the person involved and was providing her with consular assistance. Geng gave no details.

Yujing Zhang is being held on charges of illegal entering and lying to U.S. agents.

Court documents allege 32-year-old Zhang told a Secret Service agent Saturday she was a Mar-a-Lago member there to use the pool. Agents were later summoned and they say Zhang began arguing during an interview.

Agent Samuel Ivanovich wrote in court documents that Zhang told him that she was there for a Chinese American event and had come early to familiarize herself with the club and take photos, contradicting what she had said at the checkpoint. He said Zhang said she had traveled from Shanghai to attend the nonexistent Mar-a-Lago event on the invitation of an acquaintance named “Charles,” whom she only knew through a Chinese social media app.

Ivanovich said Zhang carried four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing computer malware. She did not have a swimsuit.

There is no indication Zhang was ever near the president or that she personally knew Cindy Yang, a Chinese native, Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner who made news recently after it was learned she was promising Chinese business leaders that her consulting firm could get them access to Mar-a-Lago, where they could mingle with the president.

A man named Charles Lee ran the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association and was photographed at least twice with Yang, who also goes by the name Yang Li. Yang previously owned a spa where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution.

Archived images of the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association website, which has since been taken down, show that the organization advertised itself as a non-profit registered with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A page of “registration documents” purports to show certificates from the States of Delaware and New York, as well as a screenshot of a listing on the U.N.’s official website.

But a search Thursday for the association on the U.N.’s database did not turn up any results.

The United Nations Chinese Friendship Association’s website also shows Lee in photos with several government officials of various countries, including Trump, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as officials from China, Canada, Turkey and South Korea. It is not clear whether any of the photos have been digitally altered.

While no espionage charges have been filed against Zhang, her arrest has reignited concerns especially among Democrats that Trump’s use of the club constitutes a security risk as long as members and guests are allowed to come in and out while he is there.

Zhang’s arrest attracted comments from Chinese internet users on the popular Weibo microblogging service, many of whom portrayed her as having been tricked by those seeking to exploit her desire for attention and connections.

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times, known for its strident nationalism, ran a lengthy report on the Zhang and Yang cases, accusing the U.S. media of hyping them as examples of Chinese “Trojan horses” entering Mar-a-Lago out of an excess of “Cold War thinking.”

Has Donald Trump Murdered Christianity In The U.S.?

Has Donald Trump Murdered Christianity In The U.S.?

 

While I was thinking about this article and what to call it I at first thought to name it ‘Donald Trump HAS Murdered Christianity in the U.S.’ but I realized that this was not the truth, he has not done so. To me, I believe that Donald Trump is a very VERY immoral and a very evil human being but he did not murder Christianity in this country nor in any other country. The Christian faith has been under attack by the Media and by simply ignorant people for decades now here in the U.S.. Having someone like Mr. Trump as our Nation’s President has without a doubt (in my opinion) hurt the Christian faith though. Now, I am going to write about who I do blame for hurting the reputation of The Faith and I promise that this will not be a long drawn out article. This is not going to be an article about whom I blame the most, then second most and so on, it is just going to be about guilt over all.

 

1.) First Donald Trump for daring to say in his ignorance that he is a Christian when he knows nothing about Christianity. He is what The Lord refers to as “lukewarm water”, he says he is a Christian and for those who don’t know any better some will tend to think that he is one of us and will use him as an example of why Christians are such bad people.

 

2.) The Media (over all). Not all media outlets are ignorant nor are they all evil by nature and some, are just stupid. Many outlets have been blaming Christianity as a ‘bad thing’ for years here in the U.S. through ignorance and some through hate.

 

3.) The Republican Party (especially Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the U.S. Senate) whom has been trying to say they are the “Christian right” all the way back to the time of the Reagan Presidency in the 1980’s. For the past 20 years or so there has been a group within the Republican Party who calls themselves the “Tea Party” who considers themselves “Conservative Christians” whom over all, I believe are far from being Christians at all. One of the big reasons that I am saying this is because they are a huge portion of the steadfast base of Mr. Trump. What these folks have been proving to the rest of the Nation and to the whole World is that they (Trump base) are ignorant, uneducated racists white people. The Media in turn has been glad to say  “see, these people are examples of Christians” so, do you see how horrible these Christian people are.

 

4.) This group is without a doubt (to me) the main villains in this story and that is the people themselves. The people who dare to call themselves Christians yet enthusiastically endorse Donald Trump. I know that a lot of people will say things like “well I have to endorse the Republicans because the Democrats endorse abortion and I just can’t go with them.” To a degree this can seem to make some sense but in effect all these people are doing is choosing one Demonic entity over another Demonic entity. Some people who call themselves Christians have chosen to not vote at all because of this issue even before Mr. Trump came onto the National political scene yet, is this the best way for the actual Christians in this Country to respond? My thought on this issue is no, Christians need to be voting in force in this and in all Countries but not for the Democrats nor for the Republicans.

 

I have heard for the past 40 years or so how we need more than two Political Parties in this Country and I do agree with this issue. We The People whom are Christians do need to come out of these two very evil Political Parties and to form at least one other Political Party. I believe that this would start the development of other Political Parties. There could end up being 5-10-15 other ‘Parties’ on the ballots but at least then groups of people could have real choices of whom and what they agreed with and did not agree with when or if they choose to vote. Christians MUST come out from ‘the world’ for we are not of this world, to not do so is to indorse Satan whom rules this world.

Trump calls retired general a ‘dog’ with a ‘big, dumb mouth’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)

(SO, THE COWARD IN CHIEF DONALD J. (FOR JACKASS) TRUMP CALLS A RETIRED FOUR STAR GENERAL A DOG WITH A BIG DUMB MOUTH, THIS IDIOT MUST HAVE BEEN LOOKING IN A MIRROR (WHICH HE LOVES TO DO) WHEN HE SPOUTED THIS IGNORANCE. WHAT A PATHETIC JOKE THE U.S. HAS FOR A PRESIDENT!) (oldpoet56)

 

Trump calls retired general a ‘dog’ with a ‘big, dumb mouth’

President Trump started off the New Year by adding retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal to the list of perceived enemies he has insulted as “a dog” over the years.

“’General’ McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!” the commander-in-chief exclaimed on Twitter at 10:32 a.m.

The president also retweeted an article from conservative talking head Laura Ingraham’s website Lifezette titled “Media Didn’t Like McChrystal Until He Started Bashing Trump.”

The highly decorated former top commander in Afghanistan — a West Point grad who also served in both Iraq wars — said Sunday that Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw up to half the 14,000 American troops serving there would reduce any incentive for the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal after more than 17 years of war.

McChrystal had said the US had “basically traded away the biggest leverage point we have.”

He also slammed Trump personally, saying he didn’t believe the president was honest.

The comment came when he was asked what he would say if he were asked to join the Trump administration.

“I think it’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it,” he said.

When asked if Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: “I think he is.”

It’s not the first time he’s criticized a sitting president.

President Barack Obama accepted McChrystal’s resignation in June 2010 after he made scathing remarks in a magazine article about administration officials, including Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Labeling someone “a dog” or saying they were “fired like a dog” is one of Trump’s recurring Twitter themes.

In recent years, the president — who, according to multiple accounts, doesn’t care much for man’s best friend — has referred to former aide Omarosa Manigault, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, ex-top strategist Steve Bannon, conservative talker Glen Beck, NBC reporters David Gregory and Chuck Todd, comedian Bill Maher and pundit Ariana Huffington, among

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

 

Folks this is simply the thoughts of an old man, roll with it where you will, or not. Time, age, it does give one advantage to the times people see fads come and go. I know that I am not the brightest bulb in the package but I do enjoy history and memories what one sees and understands often come from that. This article to you tonight is strictly a ‘what if’ letter and damn, I sure hope I’m wrong.

 

What If, what if President Trump is considered to be at the weakest point of his Presidency right now? What if right now even our Allies have no trust at all in Mr. Trump’s Leadership or even worse, if they consider the U.S. to now be a likely enemy? Now our real Enemies challenge U.S. authority all over the globe, Russia has been pushing the “West” for a fight over Crimea and now over the mainland of Ukraine, Mr. Putin has installed several hundred tanks facing Ukraine along their Border. Russian Naval Ships have fired on boarded and taken control of Ukraine Naval Ships.

 

If Mr. Putin and President Xi Jinping decided on a date over this Christmas Holiday to coordinate an attack on two fronts, first with Russia doing an all out attack on Ukraine and second, China doing an all out assault on Taiwan. Then of course this day would happen to be the time Hamas does an all out assault on Israel from the south and also the day Hezbollah does the same into northern Israel. My question is how would the U.S. Government and Military handle these situations, or could they in any real way enter into a WW3 situation, and win? There would also be the reality of every Three-Bit Dictator attacking whomever they choose all around the world. If the U.S. had great leaders would they take this kind of a chance? The reality is, we don’t have a mentally competent Leader in the Oval Office. So, what would happen if all of this occurred? You know folks, there is one thing that the world seems to forget about. Folks wake up, all of our ‘ways of life’ can change is just a fraction of a second with one bright flash up in the skies.

 

As I said, this was just a ‘what if’ theory and all I can honestly say is, I sure hope I’m Wrong!

Trump Was In The Room When Illegal Payments Were Being Discussed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 Ohio on July 18, 2016.John Taggart / Bloomberg via Getty Images file Dec. 13, 2018 / 3:41 PM ESTBy Tom Winter

Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 when his lawyer Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker discussed ways Pecker could help counter negative stories about Trump’s relationships with women, NBC News has confirmed.

As part of a nonprosecution agreement disclosed Wednesday by federal prosecutors, American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company, admitted that “Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”

The “statement of admitted facts” says that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment “in concert with the campaign,” and says that Pecker, Cohen and “at least one other member of the campaign” were in the meeting. According to a person familiar with the matter, the “other member” was Trump.

David Pecker attends an event in Paris in 2012.
David Pecker attends an event in Paris in 2012.Francois Durand / Getty Images

Trump was first identified as attending the meeting by The Wall Street Journal.

Daniel Goldman, an NBC News analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney said the agreement doesn’t detail what Trump said and did in the meeting. “But if Trump is now in the room, as early as August of 2015 and in combination with the recording where Trump clearly knows what Cohen is talking about with regarding to David Pecker, you now squarely place Trump in the middle of a conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which investigated Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, declined to comment.

Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison

DEC. 13, 201802:37

McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate, and her lawyers have said that the National Enquirer paid her $150,000 in August 2016 as part of a “catch-and-kill” strategy to keep the story from circulating publicly.

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When Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging the payments in August, he said he had done so “at the direction” of an unnamed candidate, and that a $150,000 payment prior to the 2016 election was “for the principal purpose of influencing” the election. The meeting between Cohen, Pecker and unnamed other parties to discuss suppressing stories was referenced in the criminal information document to which Cohen pleaded guilty. The document also refers to “at least one other member of the campaign” being present.

The statement of admitted facts says that AMI’s “principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.” Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, has said the payments were made to spare Trump’s family from embarrassment.

I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly……

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On Wednesday, Judge William Pauley sentenced Cohen to a total of 36 months behind bars, and three years of post-release supervision, for tax evasion, violating campaign finance law and other charges. The judge ordered him to pay almost $1.4 million in restitution and forfeit $500,000, while fining him $50,000 for lying to Congress. Cohen must turn himself in to start serving his sentence by March 6.

At his sentencing, Cohen said that “time and time again, I felt it was my duty to cover up [Trump’s] dirty deeds.”

President Trump tweeted after the sentencing that he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tom Winter

Tom Winter is a producer and reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit based in New York, covering crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast.

Trump ‘Likely To Be Indicted’ On Campaign Finance Violations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Fox News Contributor: Trump ‘Likely To Be Indicted’ On Campaign Finance Violations

“It’s clear that Trump is the target,” former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy said.
X

Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy has bad news for President Donald Trump: Get ready to be indicted for violating federal campaign finance laws.

McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, said on “Fox & Friends” Sunday that attorneys with the Southern District of New York are “clearly” going after Trump, given recent revelations about statements by Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, to the U.S. district court.

“They are clearly going after the president on campaign finance violations and I think if you read the sentencing memo the Southern District filed in Cohen’s case, it’s clear that Trump is the target and he’ll be indicted eventually,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District for 18 years before leaving the Justice Department in 2003.

On Friday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District filed a sentencing memo recommending Cohen receive a 42-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of business and tax fraud, making false statements to Congress and violating campaign finance law.

Cohen told the court in August that during the 2016 presidential campaign Trump directed him to make hush money payments to at least two women who say they’ve had affairs with him after he married his third wife, Melania. The president has denied the affairs and the hush money allegations.

Prosecutors say the payments violate federal campaign finance laws.

The first payment in question ―  $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels ― violated campaign finance law restrictions against donations of more than $2,700 in a general election, according to federal prosecutors.

The second payment under legal scrutiny is $150,000 made by American Media Inc. to silence Karen McDougal, which prosecutors say constituted an illegal corporate donation to Trump’s campaign. The National Enquirer’s parent company was chaired at the time by Trump’s longtime confidante, David Pecker.

The Southern District case involving Cohen stems from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice.

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Mueller did not take a position on Cohen’s sentence but the special counsel’s office wrote in their sentencing memo that Cohen has “gone to significant lengths” to help in their investigation.

Fox News host Ed Henry on Sunday appeared taken aback by McCarthy’s prediction.

“You think the president of the United States is going to be indicted… I mean that kind of stops me in my tracks,” Henry said.

McCarthy said he can’t be positive whether the Justice Department would indict a sitting president or wait until Trump is out of office.

“I think what can happen is they could indict and he could be tried down the road when he’s out of office,” McCarthy said. “But will [Trump] be charged? Are they setting the stage to file charges against him? If you read that sentencing memo, I can’t come to any other conclusion.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Trump “may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him,” Schiff said.

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Face The Nation

@FaceTheNation

.@AdamSchiff on the Russia Investigation: My takeaway is there’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office the justice department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.

1,188 people are talking about this

McCarthy delved deeper into the case in an Op-Ed published Sunday on Fox News’ website.

“Campaign finance violations have a high proof threshold for intent,” McCarthy wrote. “President Trump could argue that because there was no spending limit on his contributions, he did not think about the campaign-finance implications, much less willfully violate them.”

“The point for this day is that the Cohen case in New York City is not about Cohen,” he concluded. “The president is in peril of being charged.”

When You Invite A Demon Into A Church He Shows His Disgust For Everyone There

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Every President Recited The Apostles’ Creed Except Trump, And People Definitely Noticed

Trump didn’t recite the profession of faith during the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.
X

People on Twitter are calling out President Donald Trump for failing to recite the Apostles’ Creed at the funeral for former President George H. W. Bush on Wednesday.

Footage from the event shows much of the church, including the former presidents seated with Trump, standing to recite the profession of faith.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump stood, but did not recite the creed, which was written in the program, nor did they sing the hymns.

Given Trump’s widespread support among evangelical Christians, that led to plenty of criticism on social media:

Richard Marx

@richardmarx

Hey @Franklin_Graham here’s your “evangelical president” NOT reciting the Apostles’ Creed at the funeral of your father’s friend. Maybe he thinks it’s the name of the next movie with Stallone and Michael B. Jordan.

Resistant@b_resistant
Replying to @richardmarx

Nor did the current evangelical savior (or nude model gold digger) feel it was necessary to recite the Apostles Creed…how very Christian of them

View image on Twitter

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Erick Erickson

@EWErickson

I assume the President was looking for those two Corinthians during the Apostles Creed.

202 people are talking about this

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Keith Boykin

@keithboykin

This is your “Christian” evangelical president.

45.3K people are talking about this

John Ziegler

@Zigmanfreud

It’s SO weird that Barack Obama (the “Muslim”) knew all the words to the Apostles’ Creed, and Donald Trump (the Evangelical hero) didn’t know any of them, and didn’t even bother to read them.

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Ruth Graham

@publicroad

This is a strange moment. It’s not about Trump not having memorized the creed, which is printed in the program. He’s opting not to participate in the service. https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1070376816131694593 

Keith Boykin

@keithboykin

This is your “Christian” evangelical president.

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2,041 people are talking about this

Auntie Mame@SidecarStrega

The man that Trump spent years calling a Kenyan born Muslim recited the Apostle’s Creed and Lord’s Prayer but Trump and his third, Slovenian born wife did not.

284 people are talking about this

Vladimir Duthiers

@vladduthiersCBS

Curious moment here as all of the former Presidents and First Ladies read and recite the Apostles’ Creed – President Trump & the current First Lady do not.

512 people are talking about this

Nell Lamb@lamb_nell

And Evangelicals think God put him in office? I’m surprised he was able to cross the threshold without bursting into flames. http://www.newsweek.com/donald-melania-trump-dont-pray-apostle-creed-sing-hymns-obamas-clintons-1245879 

Trumps don’t recite Apostles’ Creed at George H.W Bush Funeral, unlike Obamas, Clintons

“This is your ‘Christian’ evangelical president,” said CNN commentator Keith Boykin.

newsweek.com

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Brian Krassenstein@krassenstein

Are you telling me the so-called “Muslim” president knew all the words to the Apostles’ Creed, but the ‘Christian Conservative’ President, did not?https://hillreporter.com/watch-trump-fails-to-recite-apostles-creed-during-bush-funeral-16763 

Watch: Trump Fails To Recite Apostle’s Creed During Bush Funeral

President Donald Trump refused to read along with The Apostle’s Creed during former President George

hillreporter.com

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Airbag Moments@airbagmoments

He thought it was something about Apollo Creed and wanted nothing to do with it.

34 people are talking about this

MikeBates@MikeBates

Trump spent much of the service scowling, with his arms crossed, not participating in the recitation of prayers or the singing of hymns.@robertjeffress and other evangelicals must have found that most refreshing. Trump’s so mature and manly, isn’t he? So respectful.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!

129 people are talking about this

Laura Seay

@texasinafrica

The Trumps aren’t reading along with the Apostles’ Creed. It’s right there on the program.

81 people are talking about this

Ruby Singh 🇬🇧🇪🇺#FBPE@rubyksingh

This is the quietest Trump has ever been! He isn’t even singing the hymns neither is Mel

26 people are talking about this

Todd Garcia@Toddawatomi

Hard to read the word of God when you’ve made a deal with the Devil.

235 people are talking about this

Bush funeral: Trump sits with fellow presidents but still stands alone

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Bush funeral: Trump sits with fellow presidents but still stands alone

A final memorial for former president George H.W. Bush is taking place in Houston before his body is laid to rest. 

December 5 at 6:06 PM

From the moment he crossed the transept of the soaring Washington National Cathedral, tore off his overcoat and took his seat in the front pew, President Trump was an outsider.

When the others sang an opening hymn, his mouth did not move. When the others read the Apostles’ Creed, he stood stoically. And when one eulogist after another testified to George H.W. Bush’s integrity and character and honesty and bravery and compassion, Trump sat and listened, often with his lips pursed and his arms crossed over his chest.

Wednesday’s state funeral was carefully orchestrated to be about one man and his milestones — Bush the father, the friend, the war hero and the lifelong public servant. But inevitably it became about Trump, too, for it was impossible to pay tribute to the 41st president without drawing implicit contrasts with the 45th.

“His life code was: ‘Tell the truth. Don’t blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course,’ ” Bush biographer Jon Meacham said in his eulogy. “And that was, and is, the most American of creeds.”

The mourners did not deliver the searing rebukes of Trump the nation witnessed in September for the funeral of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

But despite being crafted to honor Bush’s legacy, their words also served to underscore the singular nature of Trump’s presidency.

Trump was in the company of all his living predecessors for the first time Wednesday, and the encounter was plainly uncomfortable. By 10:49 a.m., when Trump and first lady Melania Trump stepped into the cathedral, a cool hush had come over the pews filled by American dignitaries and foreign leaders, past and present. Trump handed his black overcoat to a military aide and took his seat on the aisle next to his wife, with three past presidents and first ladies seated to her side.

First was the president Trump said was illegitimate (Barack Obama); then the first lady he called a profligate spender of taxpayer dollars (Michelle Obama); then the president he called the worst abuser of women (Bill Clinton); then the first lady and secretary of state he said should be in jail (Hillary Clinton); and then the president he said was the second-worstbehind Obama (Jimmy Carter) and his wife, Rosalynn.

The Trumps and the Obamas greeted each other brusquely, but only Melania Trump reached over to shake hands with Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton did not acknowledge the Trumps, keeping her gaze straight ahead as if determined not to make eye contact with the man who continues, two years after the 2016 election, to inspire “Lock her up!” chants at his rallies.

Memorable moments from George H.W. Bush’s D.C. funeral

Dignitaries, politicians and family gathered at Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5, to bid farewell to former president George H.W. Bush. 

The frostiness of Trump’s interactions with his predecessors was all the more apparent when former president George W. Bush entered the cathedral a few minutes later. Bush shook hands cheerfully with each of the other presidents and first ladies. He slipped what appeared to be a candy to a smiling Michelle Obama — a reminder of McCain’s funeral, when video of Bush giving Obama candies went viral on social media.

As a military honor guard carried George H.W. Bush’s flag-draped casket to rest in front of the altar, the Trumps joined the Obamas and Clintons in holding their right hands over their hearts.

Trump’s Cabinet members and aides seemed to blend easily into the audience. Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen, wandered over to exchange pleasantries with the Clintons and Obamas.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and policy director Stephen Miller schmoozed their way through the cathedral’s nave.

Just behind the presidents and vice presidents, Ivanka Trump sat next to Chelsea Clinton, suppressing from public view any hostility that might exist between them.

It was President Trump who seemed most out of place. For about two hours, he sat in silence, the rare event at which the president was not the center of attention but merely an observer.

Since learning of Bush’s death late Friday, Trump has striven to be magnanimous — to act, as he often boasts he could, “presidential.” Trump opened the doors of Blair House to host the Bushes. He dispatched Air Force One to carry the late president’s body and members of the Bush family to and from Houston. All the while, he has refrained from publicly reacting to the nearly week-long celebration of Bush’s life and its contrasts with Trump’s.

The first of Bush’s five eulogists at Wednesday’s funeral was Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who grew close to Bush as he researched the former president’s life for the 2015 biography, “Destiny and Power.” Meacham explained what Bush meant by his famous volunteerism phrase “a thousand points of light,” which Trump mocked this summer as an ineffective and confusing slogan.

“Abraham Lincoln’s ‘better angels of our nature’ and George H.W. Bush’s ‘thousand points of light’ are companion verses in America’s national hymn, for Lincoln and Bush both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear, and to heed not our worst impulses but our best instincts,” Meacham said.

The next eulogist, former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, praised three of Bush’s achievements in office — negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act.

“There’s a word for this. It’s called ‘leadership,’ ” Mulroney said. “Leadership. And let me tell you that when George Bush was president of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew that they were dealing with a gentleman, a genuine leader — one who was distinguished, resolute and brave.”


President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the funeral. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

It was not lost on the audience that Trump has slammed NAFTA as one of the worst trade deals ever; mocked a journalist’s physical disability; and rolled back scores of environmental regulations.

Trump sat through much of Mulroney’s speech crossing his arms over his chest or holding his hands between his knees, at times leaning forward in his seat.

Trump’s body language loosened up when former senator Alan Simpson delivered a lighter and more humorous remembrance of his longtime friend. Trump laughed as Simpson told stories about serving in Washington with Bush; at one point, Simpson sang the most famous line from the play “Evita”: “Don’t cry for me, Argentina!”

But Simpson, too, conveyed a more serious lesson as he spoke of Bush’s humility and kindness. “Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, D.C., are not bothered by heavy traffic,” he said, adding later, “Hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in.”

As he assumed the presidency, Bush summoned all Americans to create a “kinder” and “gentler” nation — a message that Trump, then a Manhattan real estate developer and tabloid celebrity, found lacking.

“I like George Bush very much and support him and always will,” Trump said in a 1990 interview with Playboy. “But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist.”

At Wednesday’s funeral, the most emotional eulogy was that of Bush’s eldest son, George W., who celebrated his father’s character.

“He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country,” Bush said.

Trump applauded Bush’s speech, and then the Rev. Dr. Russell Jones Levenson Jr., who had been Bush’s pastor at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, took to the pulpit to deliver a final, stirring eulogy. His was as direct a reference to the Trump era as any.

“Some have said this is an end of an era,” Levenson said. “But it doesn’t have to be. Perhaps this is an invitation to fill the void that has been left behind.”

After the choir sang and bells rang, after Bush’s casket was carried down the center aisle and as it was loaded into a hearse, the Trumps departed the cathedral quickly through a side exit. The president was whisked back to the White House. He returned to the seclusion and comfort of the Oval Office.

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