The ‘NRA’ The ‘VA’ And ‘China’

The ‘NRA’ The ‘VA’ And ‘China’


This article today is a ‘dig’ at two organizations that I am a member of, the Veterans Administration and the National Rifle Association. I know that there are some people who will say things like ‘well if you don’t agree with them then why stay a member’. My reasoning is simple, how many things do you belong to that you agree with %100 of what they do and or say?


It is the NRA that gave me the idea for this article today. About a month ago I joined the NRA and they have three or four different items that they give out to new members, the one that I chose was a little lock blade pocket knife that I got in the mail about a week ago. On one side of the blade it has a very nice ‘NRA’ inscription, the other side is clear. Well, that is except for one thing, at the butt of the blade up next to the handle there is an embossed saying that simply irritates me, it says “made in China”.


I am a service connected disabled Veteran who gets most of my medical needs through the VA medical system. Inside of the VA Hospitals there is always a small store where in patients can pick up some of their needs while in the hospital. These stores also always have some clothing items in them as well. Some of these clothes are just regular street clothes but they also always have hats, jackets and T-shirts with Military sayings on them such as U.S. Army Veteran, United States Marine Veteran or things like ‘Vietnam Veteran’.


Here is my gripe that I am basing this article on today, all of these things have tags on them that usually say “Made In China.” I have no gripe with the people of China, I am not a fan of their government nor of their President Mr. Xi Jinping as that is a separate issue. I do not have bad feelings toward the people of China doing the work that creates these objects that I have spoken of above, my irritation is with the American companies who import these articles for the VA and for the NRA. Also, as you probably know, most of the time it is American companies who have closed their factories here in the U.S. and moved their physical operations to countries like China for their cheaper labor who are responsible for much of these Chinese imports. If you remember, even the U.S. Olympic uniforms were first made in China. The NRA wouldn’t be under the same guidelines as government agencies like the VA are or should be. The U.S. Government needs to create laws requiring that anything sold in the VA’s have to be made here in America. With the NRA it is the members who must put pressure on their Board of Directors to only buy made in America products. This is sort of like with the Trump family where the President keeps touting ‘America first’ yet every single one of his companies are located in ‘third world’ countries because he doesn’t want to have to even pay the minimum wage to American workers.

Making Deals with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner Taught Me About Deception



Senior Advisor Jared Kushner waits for a meeting with Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak, U.S. President Donald Trump and others in the Cabinet Room of the White House Sept. 12, 2017 in Washington, D/C. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Senior Advisor Jared Kushner waits for a meeting with Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak, U.S. President Donald Trump and others in the Cabinet Room of the White House Sept. 12, 2017 in Washington, D/C. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images


9:25 AM EDT
Carter, a former publishing director of the New York Observer, is a writer based in Brooklyn.

About 13 years ago, I walked into Donald Trump’s office hoping to sell him advertising in The New York Observer. At that time, I was publishing director of the newspaper, which was still owned by my father, Arthur Carter, but I could see a potential sale of the struggling paper looming and sought to fend it off. In those days, I sold ads because I had the noble idea that I could save the newspaper. That didn’t happen. But over time, I did grasp something about the nature of selling and witnessed a range of ways in which it’s achieved.

That day, Trump — who was speaking on the phone, to one of his children, I believe — smiled, greeted me wordlessly and pointed to a chair. He had no intention of pausing his activities because I had arrived for a meeting. He continued on in a seemingly friendly, inclusive manner, but ignored the stated purpose of my visit. He picked up the phone intermittently, while employees wandered in and out of the office. A consummate performer, he appeared to be conscious of his audience. I tried to corral his attention and began my sales pitch several times, but I don’t think I spoke two uninterrupted sentences. He chatted with me off and on, talking fondly of his kids, then asked my advice on interior design for one of his properties. It was a question about gilded molding, I believe.

“You like this one?”


And then, my allotted time was up.

Play Video


On my way out, Trump beamed at me. “You’re so thin!” he cried out. I didn’t have a good response to his oddly inappropriate comment, which he probably intended as flattery. I smiled awkwardly and waved goodbye. Unfortunately, he didn’t buy ads from me that day or any other day. I doubt he ever intended to. He probably met with me hoping to ingratiate himself and get some positive coverage from the Observer.

A year or two later, in 2006, I was seated with my father in his living room and 25-year-old Kushner walked in. This time, we were selling the whole newspaper. I don’t mean to inflate my role — I was merely on the selling team, just a passive spectator. Nevertheless, I had a personal stake in the outcome, having gone to work for my father with the idea that I’d take over when he retired. I experienced the sale of the paper as a crushing blow. I’d moved to New York to work there and invested five years of my life. But if it was inevitable, then at least I could hope for a like-minded owner, ideally someone who’d welcome my presence and assistance.

Kushner positioned himself as a naïve protégé who looked up to my father as a mentor. His family’s name had recently been sullied by his own father’s misdeeds and subsequent time in prison. He had yet to meet Ivanka Trump. In retrospect, it seems clear to me that his desire to acquire the newspaper had to do with rehabilitating his family’s image. The Huffington Post reported that a family friend of the Kushners said the move was one of three suggestions public relations guru Howard Rubenstein gave Jared. (Kushner Companies and Rubenstein denied the account.)

Outwardly modest and guileless, eyes and chin down, he talked in his soft-spoken voice of his respect and admiration for this venerable institution. He said if he were to own the newspaper, he would be eager for my father’s continued participation as well as mine — in fact, he seemed enthusiastic about my staying on at the Observer. Lastly, he implied he had enough money to keep the paper running forever.

Kushner was effective in selling himself to my father and me, but I would grow to realize that his interest in the Observer had nothing to with a love of journalism, or even a passing interest in journalism. Once he owned the paper, colleagues told me he said he found it excruciating to read — and acknowledged as much in a 2009 New York magazine interview. Once he owned the paper, we barely spoke. Kushner didn’t fire me, nor did he formally demote me. But I left after six months, when he’d made it clear to me, with his lack of words or a blink in my direction, that he did not intend to work with me.

Almost everyone has to sell, no matter your occupation. It’s one of the hardest and most underestimated jobs. Though I didn’t excel at it, I recognize what it requires: sharp intuition — the ability to discover who people are. Salespeople are social creatures who enjoy learning. They figure out people in order to provide them with what they want or need. At least the principled ones do.

But there are other sorts of salespeople who take the exact opposite tactic — you might call them show people. They are the ones who go through life projecting an image ceaselessly. They believe success comes from the ability to ignore information that doesn’t suit them. They write their own narrative, and they commit wholly, relentlessly.

Every president this country has ever had was to some degree a salesman. But it is clear to anyone who has done business with President Trump that he views the presidency as an extension of sales: in his view, it is an occupation that has little to do with listening. To take in new information, he would need to stop projecting an image.

You could have seen this at the listening session held at the White House on Feb. 26, in which the President spoke with governors about school shootings. Twenty-five seconds into remarks from Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the President crosses his arms; when Inslee stopped speaking, Trump quickly refuted what the governor said and moved on to someone who agreed with him.

Kushner, too, never stops projecting an image. Though Senior Advisor to the President and Trump’s son-in-law, the public has little first-hand knowledge of his character. Witness this recent and somewhat puzzling story on BuzzFeed, which emphasizes his opportunistic streak: “Kushner Sought To Sell Newspaper to Trump’s Political Enemies” shortly after the 2016 election.

Perhaps wishful thinking led me to believe in Kushner’s initial sincerity when he bought the Observer because it served me to do so, but eventually I felt duped. Once he owned the newspaper, his deferential attitude was replaced by a posture of superiority. That air of superiority, as opposed to authority, defied common sense because he had no experience in journalism. At times, it seemed to me that he was acting a role and knew he was. At other times, it seemed more likely that Kushner had come to believe his own performance. Given his prominent role today, either is a disturbing prospect. Apparently similar to President Trump, he didn’t and doesn’t know that leadership has to do with learning and listening. For this White House, leadership is about presentation. All you need to do is say it, and then it will be true.

Carter’s work has appeared in The EconomistThe San Francisco ChronicleThe Chicago TribuneThe Philadelphia InquirerThe New York Observer and other publications.

Israel doesn’t want to rule over the Palestinians



Netanyahu says he told Trump Israel doesn’t want to rule over the Palestinians

Prime minister tells US president Israel still needs to protect itself, says possible ‘price’ Israel may have to pay for Jerusalem recognition not discussed

US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, March 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, March 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — Less than one-fourth of his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday was devoted to the Palestinian issue, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters hours after the leaders sat down at the White House.

“The issue of the Palestinians came up in the terms I described —  the security question,” Netanyahu said. “Not more than quarter of the time [we discussed] the Palestinians.”

The Israeli premier added that the Trump administration has not showed him its much-anticipated peace plan, which officials have said they are finalizing and plan to unveil in the near future. They have given no specific timetable.

Netanyahu, for his part, would not say whether he supported the emergence of a Palestinian state as part of that plan.

“I haven’t named it, but I’ve defined it: The Palestinians should have the power of government, except the power to threaten us,” he said.

Asked by The Times of Israel if he told Trump that he supported, at least in principle, the establishment of a Palestinian state, Netanyahu merely said he told the president didn’t want Israel to rule over Palestinians.

“I said that we have no desire to govern the Palestinians, but we have every desire to protect ourselves,” he said. “The main thing is that the security control west of the Jordan River remains in our hands, and we cannot see anyone else assuming that responsibility.”

“You can go into interpretations, but I don’t care about interpretations,”  he went on. “But sloganeering doesn’t accomplish anything. What does that mean? What kind of state are you talking about? Is it Costa Rica or is it Hamastan? Is it Switzerland or is it Iran? Is it demilitarized? Who demilitarizes it? Who guarantees that demilitarization? I’ve said it, there’s only one power that can do it—and that’s Israel. Does that comport with what the world calls a state? I don’t know. But it comports with the solution that I need.”

Responding to a follow-up question over whether he told Trump that it’s essential for Israel to separate from the Palestinians for the sake of preserving its status as a Jewish-majority democracy, Netanyahu said, “I said we don’t want to govern them—and we don’t. I’m not interested in governing them in Nablus or Ramallah.”

Netanyahu was also asked whether Trump ever explained to him what he meant by his past statements that Israel would “pay” for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there. “It didn’t come up,” he said. “Not in this construct.”

Asked if it ever had come up, Netanyahu said he could not recall.

“It certainly didn’t come up today,” he offered.

Despite President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also his point man on the peace process, recently having had his security clearance downgraded, the Israeli leader said this matter did not come up in their discussions, in which Kushner himself participated. “We did not talk about Kushner,” Netanyahu said.

Cagey regarding Iran — which Netanyahu called “the central issue” — and the specific issue of fixing or nixing the 2015 nuclear deal, Netanyahu said “there are 60 days for the president’s decision” on taking action regarding the accord. “He was very interested in my advice and insights.”

He was referring to the deadline Trump imposed on lawmakers to unilaterally make changes to the 2015 nuclear accord — which Netanyahu vehemently opposes. If those changes are not made, Trump has threatened that he would abrogate the accord.


Palestinian official claims Trump peace plan spells ‘liquidation, apartheid’



Top Palestinian official claims Trump peace plan spells ‘liquidation, apartheid’

Saeb Erekat sets out purported point-by-point outline of Trump proposal, which he says will lead to ‘the creation of one state with two systems’

US President Donald Trump (right) giving a joint statement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 3, 2017. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images via JTA)

US President Donald Trump (right) giving a joint statement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 3, 2017. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images via JTA)

The US administration’s yet-to-be-announced Middle East peace plan calls for maintaining the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians, while giving the Palestinians “eternal self-rule,” Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a policy paper he presented to Fatah leaders on Friday.

The plan will effectively “lead to the creation of one state with two systems, thus legitimizing apartheid and settlements in accordance with American criterion,” Erekat wrote in his report, titled “Dictations of President [Donald] Trump for the new phase: imposing a solution, June 2017 – March 2018.”

The content of the policy paper was published in several Palestinian media outlets on Friday.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, speaks to journalists during a press conference after meeting with diplomats and foreign dignitaries, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 28, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

Erekat’s document was presented to members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council on the second day of their three-day conference in Ramallah, which began on Thursday.

Erekat did not say how he had obtained the details of the plan, which the US has said has not been finalized.

“We must not wait until the outlines and content of this liquidation and dictation plan are announced,” Erekat cautioned.

“According to this new American phase, anyone who wants peace must agree to what the US dictates, and anyone who opposes the plan will be considered as being part of the forces of terrorism and extremism, which should be fought against and expelled. For the US, moderation means accepting dictation that fully endorse the positions of successive Israeli governments.”

In his policy paper, Erekat detailed the “outlines” of the purported peace plan, which he described as “a new American phase of imposing solutions and dictations.”

According to the senior Palestinian official, the main points of Trump’s plan include:

— Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy to the city. (This, according to Erekat, would mean accepting the annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel.)

— The Trump administration would “invent” a capital for a Palestinian state in the suburbs of Jerusalem (outside the current municipal boundaries of the city).

— The Trump administration would announce within a period of two-three months its recognition of the annexation of settlement blocs. Trump, according to the report, is proposing the annexation of 10 percent of the West Bank, while Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu wants to annex 15%.

— The Trump administration would then announce a joint security concept for Israel and the Palestinian state as peace partners. The concept would include the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state with a strong police force; bilateral, regional and international security collaboration with the participation of Jordan, Egypt and the US, while leaving the door open for other countries to join in; the presence of Israeli forces along the Jordan River and “central hills” in the West Bank to protect the two states; and giving Israel overriding security responsibility for emergency cases.

— An Israeli withdrawal and gradual redeployment outside Areas A (currently under full Palestinian control) and B (currently under joint control) of the West Bank, while handing over control of new territories from Area C (currently under Israeli control) to Palestinians, based on the performance of the PA (no timetable set), after which a Palestinian state would be announced within these borders.

— The world would recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

— The world would recognize the Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people.

— Israel would guarantee freedom of worship to all religious sites by maintaining the status quo.

— Parts of the Ashdod and Haifa ports and Ben Gurion Airport would be allocated for Palestinian use, while security responsibility would remain in the hands of Israel.

— Palestinians would have presence at international border crossings, while overriding security responsibility will remain in Israel’s hands.

— Territorial waters, airspace and electromagnetic waves will remain under Israeli control, without prejudicing the needs of the Palestinian state.

— A safe passageway would be opened between the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Israeli sovereignty.

— A just solution would be found for the issue of the refugees in the context of the future Palestinian state.

“These are the outlines of the historic deal that the US administration will seek to impose on the Palestinians,” Erekat said in his report.

The Israelis and Palestinians will negotiate final borders and final status issues at a later stage within the framework of an agreed timetable, he added.

Earlier this week, the White House said its peace plan was not yet finished and that “nobody knows what it is.”

A senior Trump administration official told The Times of Israel: “There is constant speculation and guessing about what we are working on.”

The official was responding to a report in the London-based pan Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that claimed that the Trump peace plan would include recognition of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

White House spokesman Josh Raffel accused those behind the newspaper report, which cited Arab diplomatic sources in Paris, of trying to sway critics against the administration.

“It is unfortunate that some parties are seeking to prejudice people against our unfinished plan, which these sources have not seen,” he said.


Trump peace plan could recognize Palestinian state



Trump peace plan could recognize Palestinian state – report

Arab diplomats quoted as saying yet-to-be revealed plan will nix refugees’ right of return, raze far-flung settlements, place Jerusalem’s Old City under international protection

Illustrative: Palestinian protesters wave national flags during clashes with Israeli security forces on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City, near the border with Israel, on January 12, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

Illustrative: Palestinian protesters wave national flags during clashes with Israeli security forces on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City, near the border with Israel, on January 12, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

The Trump administration’s plan for peace in the Middle East may include US and international recognition of a Palestinian state and acceptance of East Jerusalem as its capital, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.

The plan, the report said, calls for placing the Old City of Jerusalem under “international protection.”

The report quoted “knowledgeable Arab diplomatic sources” in Paris as saying that the US is planning to present its plan in the framework of an international conference that would be held in one of the Arab capitals, most likely Cairo, with Israelis in attendance.

However, the sources did not say when the US administration would come out with its plan, the details of which remain under wraps.

The report came following a meeting in Brussels earlier this week in which Arab foreign ministers and their European counterparts discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in wake of reports suggesting that US President Donald Trump’s administration would soon announce its plan for peace, which Trump has referred to as the “deal of the century.”

Arab media have published various accounts of the purported plan, which has already been rejected by the Palestinian Authority as a conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause. Some PA officials have referred to the plan as the “slap of the century” and argued that no Palestinian would ever accept it.

According to Wednesday’s report, the US plan requires the Palestinians to give up their demand for “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

US President Donald Trump reaches to shake Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hand before a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017, in New York. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

In addition, large settlements would remain in place, while small ones would be “relocated,” the report said.

The US plan also calls for expanding the PA’s security and administrative authorities in areas A and B of the West Bank, the report added.

Washington is planning to collect $40 billion to help establish a Palestinian state and its government institutions, the sources told the newspaper. The money is not intended to “buy” Palestinian acceptance of the peace plan, they stressed.

The sources also claimed the plan allows Israel to retain security control over the borders with the West Bank, while responsibility for security of the Gaza Strip would be handed to the Egyptians.

Palestinian-US relations have been strained since Trump’s December announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing plans to relocate the embassy there. The announcement was met with worldwide condemnation, and outraged Palestinian officials said it disqualified Washington from playing any role in brokering Middle East peace due to its “bias” toward Israel.

Since then, the PA has refused all substantive contacts with the Trump administration, and top Palestinian officials have demanded the US president reverse the decision.

Later on Wednesday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that European Union countries were working to convince the Trump administration to modify parts of the plan.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki. (Flash90)

The EU countries agreed to push for changes prior to the unveiling of the American plan, Malki told the Voice of Palestine radio according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency.

He did not indicate which European countries were pressing the White House to make changes to the plan.

Malki underscored that any future peace agreement must include articles expressing support for a two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem, and an end to Israeli settlement construction.


The Answer To Why Trump Won’t Except That Russia Messed With 2016 Election


Folks there is one main reason that President Trump refuses to accept that Russia messed with the Presidential election in 2016. This reason is simple, if he did except that his good buddy Vlad and his KGB (FSB) operatives did interfere with the election he, ‘Mr. Trump’, would have to concede that not only did Mr. Trump lose the popular vote but that he did also lost the Electoral College vote as well, meaning, he ‘Mr. Trump’ is not legally really our President. He would have to except that he is ‘a loser’.


I know that I am not a genius, unlike Mr. Trump, who just can’t admit that he is a dumb as a box of Donkey dung. Yet I, unlike Mr. Trump do have the ability to be honest with reality. Sometimes I am able to look at an issue with an open mind as to the concept of what is or would be logical. Concerning the 2016 elections, before they ever happened I looked at them and thought about how could a group of very smart hackers mess with the election results to get Mr. Trump elected or, to make sure that Hillary wasn’t elected. My thoughts then and now were/are that if someone like Mr. Putin wanted to help make sure that Hillary whom he hates did not win the Presidency, how could he do it? How could you throw the election for a major underdog? To me the answer is and was simple, you attack the U.S. system through the States, not through a National computer system. Our Intelligence Agencies say that Russian hackers infiltrated the computer systems of 21 States in the last election. All that they had to do was flip the votes in a few of the States where they thought that Mr. Trump was going to be close, say 2, 3 or 4% points less than Hillary, which would be within the ‘margin of error’ and flip the vote totals.


Folks if Mr. Putin was able to help ‘flip’ just 3 or 4 of those States to Mr. Trump, he would have been able to win the Electoral College vote, giving the election to Mr. Trump. Now, simply what happened in that election? Mr. Trump pulled out a few States that he wasn’t expected to win in very close vote totals, he won the Electoral College vote while losing the popular vote by about five million. I said before, during and after the election that this is how they would do it if they were able to infiltrate the system. All of our Nation’s Security Agencies say that Russia did interfere. As I said, Mr. Trump can not say there was interference unless he admits that he indeed lost and that he is not our Nations legally elected President.


Now, if Mr. Trump was/is removed from Office, as he should be, what then, who would, should, be put into Office? For those of you who don’t know me, I detest Hillary Clinton as much as I detest Donald Trump, I am not a Democrat nor a Republican, I am a non-partisan Independent. I looked at both Hillary and Donald as being as crooked as two human beings could possibly be, I still feel this way. During the last elections the way I was seeing it was the fact that Hillary is very intelligent and dog leg crooked and Donald was a total dumb-a–. So we the people were going to end up with a crook as President no matter what, it just depended on whether we wanted one that was worldly smart, or one that was a total idiot.


Now to be honest with you I don’t know how things would be handled if Mr. Trump was evicted from Our White House, so here is just some guesses. Obviously something like this has never happened since we became a Country, so what would the Washington D.C. politicians decide, or would it, should it be decided by the Supreme Court? But to go through the Court Mr. Gorsuch would also have to be removed from the Bench thus leaving the Court with 8 members, pretty much 4 Republican and 4 Democrats. Mr. Pence would have to be removed with Mr. Trump because he was also not really elected to the Post of V.P.. So here is my guess, if the Supreme Court was not able to decide then I would guess that Congressman Paul Ryan would have to take the Podium, at least for a while. Do you let Mr. Ryan be President until new elections this November? At that time do you let Hillary become a one term 6 year President? Do you hold all new Presidential Elections in 2018 then again in 2020? Lots of questions friends, lots of questions. If we think that there is gridlock and bought and paid for politicians in D.C. now, what would it be like for the Country if this current ‘Coward-in-Chief’ is impeached and the current V.P. isn’t allowed to ascend to the Presidency? Lots of questions friends, but what would the real and final answer be?

Trump White House Protects Known Serial Wife Beater



White House officials knew about Porter’s abuse allegations and scrambled to protect him

(CNN)Allegations of domestic abuse levied against top White House staffer Rob Porter by his ex-wives were known among senior aides to President Donald Trump for months, even as his stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources told CNN on Wednesday.

Porter denied the allegations but resigned on Wednesday.
A scramble ensued inside the West Wing to defend him when the claims became public this week, the sources said. That effort continues even after his resignation.
Senior White House officials were aware for months of the allegations made against Trump’s staff secretary, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday after Porter resigned.
Trump himself first learned of the allegations this week, two sources familiar with the matter said. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday. His daughter Ivanka Trump, serving as a White House senior adviser, was also deeply disturbed by the allegations, particularly by photographs of the alleged abuse, the sources said.
Porter’s ex-wives detailed the allegations to the FBI over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN’s MJ Lee on Wednesday. A year into the administration, Porter does not hold a security clearance.
By early fall, it was widely known among Trump’s top aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — both that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining the clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. No action was taken to remove him from the staff.
Instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter’s standing. He was one of a handful of aides who helped draft last week’s State of the Union address. He traveled instead of Kelly to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. And he was one of a select group of aides who shook Chinese President Xi Jinping’s hand during a state visit to Beijing in November.
The White House declined to comment on Wednesday when asked about Kelly’s knowledge of the allegations against Porter.

CNN obtained this 2005 photo of Colbie Holderness, who is the first ex-wife of White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter resigned on Wednesday, February 7.

Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, and Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, both said their ex-husband’s consistent abuse was the reason for their respective divorces.
Porter denied the allegations in a statement issued in the wake of his resignation.
“These outrageous allegations are simply false,” Porter said in his statement. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”

Intensive defense

The appearance of a top aide accused of abusing two ex-wives led to an intensive defense campaign on Tuesday evening, when the reports first emerged in the Daily Mail. Before the allegations first surfaced on Tuesday, the White House prepared a response defending Porter. Hope Hicks, who serves as the White House communications director and has been romantically involved with Porter, helped draft a supportive statement from Kelly, who spent much of Tuesday on Capitol Hill in immigration talks.
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him,” the statement from Kelly read. Hicks worked with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Josh Raffel, another White House spokesman who is close to Porter, to draft the statement, people familiar with it said.
Top officials remained staunch in their support of Porter on Wednesday. Kelly, who encouraged Porter to remain in his post despite the allegations, did not alter his effusive statement. Trump himself has “full confidence in his abilities and his performance,” according to Sanders.
When Hicks and Kelly discussed the matter on Tuesday, both agreed the White House should defend Porter, sources said. But by the next day, it was evident the show of support wouldn’t quiet the controversy.
Neither Porter nor Hicks were present in a Wednesday morning senior staff meeting, a White House official said. The White House press office was sent scrambling after more allegations against Porter were made, and several staffers spent the morning preparing to deal with the fallout.
Kelly, who has relied on Porter to execute a strict system of information control to the President, insisted that he’d be able to weather the allegations and remain in his job, according to a White House official. But Porter resigned anyway, over Kelly’s objections. Kelly has long insisted that Porter stay in his job, even as he considered approaches from the private sector, including from Uber, according to one administration source.
A person familiar with West Wing dynamics said Porter has expressed interest in an elevated policy role over the past weeks, beyond the position he currently holds. Last month he told colleagues that he wasn’t planning on leaving the White House to take an outside role.

White House responsibilities

As staff secretary, Porter’s responsibility was mainly in the flow of paper that crossed Trump’s desk, including the wave of executive orders and actions that Trump inked during the first months of his tenure. A lawyer, Porter also participated in the process of legally vetting the myriad documents that require the President’s signature.
Porter’s role was under-the-radar, and Trump himself remained largely unfamiliar with him for weeks before his role was explained. The President was impressed by Porter’s educational credentials — including degrees from Harvard and Oxford — a person familiar with the matter said.
When John Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff, Porter’s role expanded. Kelly — looking to correct an issue that plagued the White House under Priebus — imposed a strict system of information flow to the President, elevating the importance of Porter’s task in managing the documents, news clippings and briefing books that entered the Oval Office.
Many aides in the West Wing described themselves as shocked at the allegations, which they said are not in character with the mild-mannered lawyer they have worked alongside over the past year.
And some expressed dismay that the allegations against Porter weren’t acted upon when senior members of Trump’s team became aware of them.

Another uncomfortable moment

It proved another uncomfortable situation for a White House that has been largely out of step with the #MeToo movement that has swept the country. Trump, given the range of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him, has long struggled to respond to the nationwide focus on the mistreatment against women.
During the election, at least 15 women accused Trump of ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women. They came forward in the wake of a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump released in October 2016 caught him saying on a hot mic: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”
But the White House — through spokespeople Sarah Sanders and others — have dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the 2016 campaign.
Trump told the British broadcaster Piers Morgan in January that he was not a feminist because he was “for everyone.”

Trump: The ‘Coward Of The Country’ Wants A Military Parade


Donald Trump, in regards to the military, who is quite possibly the biggest coward to ever sit in the Oval Office now wants to spend millions of tax payer dollars to show off his ‘military balls’. Now this gutless wonder who was able to get either 5 or 6 military deferments (depending on which source you believe) while he was in college for foot issues, some say bone spurs, during the Vietnam War. Now he says he wants to have a military parade in Washington D.C. just like his “good friend” the mass murderer of China, President Xi Jinping and his other good friend, another mass murderer, Russia’s President Putin have in their countries.


Mr. Trump whom was able to play college sports yet could not put on our Country’s Uniform now likes to talk trash like he is some kind of a ‘he-man’. He who hid behind his Daddy’s hundreds of millions of dollars to hide in college instead of even going into a branch of Service like the Air National Guard which another Coward-in-Chief George W. Bush did in his attempt to not go to Vietnam. Mr. Trump could have gone in as an Officer yet he was even to much of a coward to do that. I can’t help but wonder how much Mr. Trump really gives a damn about Our Country considering the lessons he learned from his daddy. Remember his Dad was one of the KKK leaders in NYC during the 1920’s-30’s. Also remember his dad attended the Nazi rallies in NYC during the 1930’s leading up to WWII. Do you ever wonder what kind of morals was being talked into little Donnie’s ears as he was growing up?

Abbas Once Again Tries To Rewrite History




Rewriting history, Abbas calls Israel a ‘colonial project’ unrelated to Judaism

In speech ignoring Jewish ties to holy land, PA head implies European Jews chose to die in Holocaust rather than go to Palestine; claims Ben-Gurion forced Mideast Jews to Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council, a top decision-making body, at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed,l)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council, a top decision-making body, at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed,l)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday night implied European Jews during the Holocaust chose to undergo “murder and slaughter” over emigration to British-held Palestine, and alleged that the State of Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion imported Jews from Yemen and Iraq to the country against their will.

The Palestinian leader further asserted that the State of Israel was formed as “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism” to safeguard European interests.

The PA leader delivered a mini-lecture on his understanding of the history of Zionism on Sunday, claiming the Jewish state deliberately stirred trouble in Arab countries in order to forcibly move Middle Eastern Jews into the sparsely populated nascent state.

Abbas, in his address, made no mention of the Jews’ historic presence and periods of sovereignty in the holy land. Israel is the only place where the Jews have ever been sovereign or sought sovereignty.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) speaks during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 14, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

The comments were made near the beginning of a two-and-a-half hour speech by the Palestinian leader to a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council in Ramallah, which largely focused on a response to United States President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In response to the address, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Monday that Abbas had “lost his senses.”

“Colonialism created Israel to perform a certain function. It is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism, but rather used the Jews as a tool under the slogan of the Promised Land,” said Abbas, who added that he was borrowing from the scholarly work of Egyptian intellectual Abdel-Wahab El-Messiri. El-Messiri wrote an eight-volume Encyclopedia of Jews, Judaism and Zionism.

Once the State of Israel was created, Abbas maintained, Israeli leaders were hard-pressed to get Jews to immigrate to the country.

The Palestinian leader suggested the Jews of Europe — six million of whom would be killed by the Nazis — chose to remain in their home countries during the Holocaust, rather than emigrate.

“The Jews did not want to emigrate even with murder and slaughter. Even during the Holocaust, they did not emigrate. By 1948, Jews in Palestine were no more than 640,000, most of them from Europe,” he said.

In fact, from 1939 to 1945, the British mandatory authorities prevented almost all Jewish immigration to Palestine, at the behest of the Arab states.

In order to fill the nascent Jewish state, Abbas asserted, that Ben-Gurion begrudgingly began bringing Jews from Arab lands to Israel by force.

“Ben-Gurion did not want Middle Eastern Jews to come [to Israel]…but when he saw the vast land, he was forced to bring Middle Eastern Jews… that didn’t want to come. From Yemen they flew 50,000 Jews…They didn’t suffice with 50,000 Jews. Then they went to Iraq, which had large reserves of Jews,” said Abbas.

Some 49,000 Yemeni Jews were brought to the nascent State of Israel in Operation Magic Carpet in 1949-50.

Illustrative: Jews of Aden awaiting evacuation to Israel on November 1, 1949. (GPO/Public domain)

Abbas claimed the Israelis cut deals with the Iraqi politicians “to take away the citizenship of Jews and force them to emigrate.”

“They did not suffice with this and gathered all the Jews in Arab countries, from Morocco to Algeria and Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon,” Abbas said.

The establishment of the Jewish state in 1949 was met with violent riots, looting, and attacks on local Jewish populations in countries throughout the Middle East, including Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt.

Some 900,000 Jews fled, or were forced to flee, their homelands following the creation of the State of Israel. As a result, the Jewish population of the Middle East (excluding Israel) and North Africa shrank from 856,000 to just 4,400 today.

In his remarks, Abbas noted the PLO organization rallied against the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a British declaration that called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in historic Palestine.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C-R) speaks during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 14, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

Yet, according to the Palestinian leader, the history of the British-Jewish connection to Palestine actually reaches back to the rule of Oliver Cromwell in 1653.

“He thought of moving the Jews from Europe to the Middle East, to this region, because they wanted this region to be a frontier to protect convoys and interests coming from Europe to the East,” Abbas said of Cromwell, whose plan never came to fruition.

Abbas then traced the history of European colonialism in Palestine from Napoleon Bonaparte, who also said the Jews should have a state in their historic homeland, through American attempts to set up colonies in the 1850, first with local Palestinian Jews, then with American Christians.

Arriving at the story of Theodor Herzl, considered the father of modern Zionism, Abbas said Herzl was primarily interested in setting up a Jewish homeland in order to aid European Jews. Focusing on the early Zionist slogan, “A land without a people for a people without a land,” Abbas claimed the father of Zionism had called for genocide of the local Arab population.

Abbas alleged that when Herzl visited Palestine and saw people living there, the father of Zionism said: “We must wipe out the Palestinians from Palestine so that Palestine will be a land without a people for a people without a land.”

The Zionist leader is not known to have advocated for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Famous picture of Theodor Herzl on the balcony of the Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland (photo credit: CC-PD-Mark, by Wikigamad, Wikimedia Commons)

Famous picture of Theodor Herzl on the balcony of the Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland (photo credit: CC-PD-Mark, by Wikigamad, Wikimedia Commons)

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.


GOP senator fumes over marijuana memo reversal



Fiery Senate speech on pot spotlights GOP Sen. Cory Gardner

GOP senator fumes over marijuana memo reversal

  • Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, broke with his party twice recently
  • He plays a key role as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee

Washington (CNN)When famous marijuana advocates come to mind, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado is not typically on that list.

After all, he opposed his own state’s initiative to legalize pot in 2012.
But the first-term senator has since defended Colorado’s decision, and in the past 24 hours he’s become the face of a bipartisan effort that has him butting heads with the Trump administration.
At 8:58 a.m. ET Thursday, Gardner learned through Twitter of a Justice Department decision that would soon lead him to the Senate floor with a fiery speech railing against the attorney general.
He was furious that Jeff Sessions had rescinded a memo that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws. Critics, like Gardner, say the move violates states’ rights and causes uncertainty in legal marijuana industries.
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It also goes against a campaign promise that Donald Trump made in 2016, when he told a Colorado news station the state should be allowed to keep observing its marijuana laws. “I think it’s up to the states, yeah. I’m a states person,” Trump said at the time. “I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.”
On the Senate floor Thursday, the usually mild-mannered Gardner was outraged, calling the decision “a trampling of Colorado’s rights, its voters.” He vowed to put a hold on every Justice Department nominee until Sessions reverses course.
He also said the decision by Sessions broke a personal pledge the former Alabama senator had made to Gardner before his confirmation last year: “I would like to know from the attorney general: What changed?”
Gardner spoke briefly with Sessions by phone afterward and the two men plan to meet soon, according to a Gardner aide.
It was the second time in recent months that the senator has very publicly gone against members of his party.
But Gardner, who hails from a state with a libertarian streak, is still a largely reliable vote for Republicans. He holds a leadership position in the caucus as chief of the Senate GOP campaign arm. Despite landing in the headlines recently for challenging those in his own party, it’s unlikely he’ll join the small chorus of Republicans who’ve become outspoken critics of President Trump, a la Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Still, it was just months ago that Gardner led the risky charge to expel a potential Republican colleague.
As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he released a bombshell of a statement in November shortly after The Washington Post reported allegations of sexual abuse against Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in the Alabama US Senate special election.
Gardner said if Moore “refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him.” While many Republicans in the Senate urged Moore to drop out of the race, none of them had publicly gone as far as Gardner in saying Moore should be expelled if he were elected.
Even when the Republican National Committee decided to resume its support for Moore’s campaign, despite cutting ties just weeks earlier, Gardner and the NRSC held fast. “Roy Moore will never have the support of the senatorial committee,” Gardner told The Weekly Standard. “I won’t let that happen. Nothing will change. I stand by my previous statement.”
When Moore was defeated days later in an upset win by Democrat Doug Jones, Gardner didn’t need to follow through with his call to expel Moore: “Tonight’s results are clear — the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the US Senate.”
Gardner has also joined Flake and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in working heavily with Democrats to pursue a deal on immigration — and has stood apart from his party leadership in supporting Graham and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s legislation that would make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program permanent.
Elected to the Senate in 2014, Gardner, 43, was previously a two-term US congressman and a member of the Colorado House of Representatives. He served as a congressional staffer early in his career.
In the Senate, he’s sought to build up his foreign policy credentials as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, with a focus on North Korea. He is also a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee.