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Hillary Clinton talks to Anderson Cooper, mocks the press: “There’s a lot of smoke and there’s no fire”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper has a conversation with Hillary Clinton via telephone.

Alex Christoforou

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In this lengthy phone interview, Cooper discusses the Clinton Foundation, and Hillary Clinton’s “apparent” conflict of interest during her time at the US State Department.

Clinton deflected a variety of questions thrown out by Cooper, as she consistently turned the attention away from her scandals and focused her responses on bashing Trump’s credibility and transparency.

Hillary also heaped a lot of praise towards her pay-to-play Clinton Foundation, citing its extensive charitable work, while insinuating that Trump is indebted to the Chinese and Russians.

Cooper notes after the phone call, that this was Clinton’s first interview in nearly a month.

Full transcript below:

COOPER: First of all, just a few minutes ago at a campaign rally in Mississippi, Secretary Clinton, Donald Trump called you a bigot. He’s been calling your policies bigoted. Tonight, he actually called you a bigot. How do you respond to that?

CLINTON: Oh, Anderson, it reminds me of that great saying that Maya Angelou had that when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. And Donald Trump has shown us who he is. And we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He’s brought it into his campaign. He is bringing it to our communities and our country.

And, you know, someone has questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president who has courted white supremacists, who’s been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color, who has attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage and promised a mass deportation force, is someone who is, you know, very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia. I will have more to say about this tomorrow when I gave a speech in Reno.

COOPER: Well, let me ask you about something else Donald Trump has said that you’ve been peddling. He also said today “that you sold favors and access in exchange for cash” from people who donate to the Clinton Foundation. Now, I know you point to the life saving work for the foundation that the foundation’s done over the years, getting low cost HIV drugs and other things. I know you denied the charges that Mr. Trump is making there. But at the very least, there is an appearance of a conflict of interest for the foundation. You’ve agreed to make if you’re elected. Why not just make those changes now? Have your husband step away from the foundation now?

CLINTON: Well, first, what Trump has said is ridiculous. My work as secretary of state was not influenced by the outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right that keep Americans safe and to protect U.S. interests abroad. No wild political attacks by Donald Trump is going to change that.

And in fact the State Department has said itself that there is no evidence of any kind of impropriety at all.

[21:40:10] Now, I think it’s important to recognize that the foundation which does do life-saving work, and is so well-respected here in our country and around the world has been doing this work for a number of years. And in 2009, they took steps that went above and beyond all legal requirements and, indeed, all standard requirements followed by every other charitable organization, voluntarily disclosing donors, significantly reducing sources of funding, even to the point of, you know, of those funding being involved in providing medication to treat HIV/AIDS.

And I think that the announcements that the foundation has made really reflect its desire to continue as much of its important work as possible, but to do it in a way that provide great disclosure. And although, none of this is legally required, the steps go further than the policies that were in place when I was secretary of state.

And it’s important to remember, Anderson, the foundation is a charity. Neither my husband nor I have ever drawn a salary from it. You know more about the foundation than you know about anything concerning Donald Trump’s wealth, his business, his tax returns. I think it’s quite remarkable. His refusal to release his tax returns is even more …

COOPER: Well, let me ask.

CLINTON: … concerning. Even the recent news that his business are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to big banks, including the state-owned Bank of China and business groups who are tied to the Kremlin.

So, yes, we did provide a lot of life-saving work. I’m proud of the work that my husband started. And we did, we provided a massive amount of information.

COOPER: But why was it OK …

HILLARY: And Donald Trump doesn’t release his tax returns and is indebted to foreign banks and foreign lenders.

COOPER: Why was it OK for the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations when you were secretary of state but it wouldn’t be OK if you were president?

CLINTON: Well, what we did when I was secretary of state, as I said, went above and beyond anything that was required, anything that any charitable organization has to do. Now, obviously, if I am president, there will be some unique circumstances and that’s why the foundation has laid out additional …

COOPER: But didn’t those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?

CLINTON: … if I am elected.

COOPER: Didn’t those unique circumstances exist …

CLINTON: No, no. And, you know, look, Anderson, I know there’s a lot of smoke and there’s no fire. This A.P. report, put in it context, this excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders, with countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state. It looked at a small portion of my time. And it draws a conclusion and made a suggestion that my meetings with people like the late great Elie Wiesel or Melinda Gates or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation instead of their status as highly respected global leaders. That is absurd. These are people I was proud to meet with, to any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights.

COOPER: Let me ask you, according to “The New York Times” report, you told FBI investigators that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised you to use a personal e-mail account. His response to that this past weekend was reportedly, “Her people are trying to pin it on me.” “The truth is, she was using,” he’s talking about the private e- mail server, “for a year, before I sent her a memo telling her what did I,” he’s talking about the private e-mail account. Did you say that to FBI investigators? And is Secretary Powell right, were you using this private e-mail server prior to your conversation with him?

CLINTON: Well, look, I have the utmost respect for Secretary Powell. And he was incredibly gracious and helpful after I was nominated and before I took the job. I appreciated the time he took when I was preparing to become secretary. And I valued his advice. I’m not going to relitigate in public my private conversations with him.

I’ve been asked many, many questions in the past year about e-mails. And what I’ve learned is that when I try to explain what happened it can sound like I’m trying to excuse what I did. And there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single e- mail account was mine. I take responsibility for it. I’ve apologized for it. I would certainly do differently if I could.

[21:45:12] But obviously, I’m grateful the justice department concluded there was no basis to pursue this matter further. And, I believe, the public will be and is considering my full record and experience as they consider their choice for president.

COOPER: Donald Trump is now indicating he would allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the country. Early on, during the primaries, you well know he talked about 11 million undocumented immigrants, they all have to get out, the good ones can come back in, in his words. He’s now told Fox News he would work with people if they paid back taxes. He says that’s not amnesty. They wouldn’t get a path to citizenship. What do you make what appears to be quite a big shift by him on this if this, in fact, is his policy moving forward?

CLINTON: Well, you know, my understanding is that the comment you just referred to was the third different position he took yesterday on immigration. Somebody has told him, I guess, the latest people that he is consulting, how damaging his statements have been, how terrible his deportation plan is, how offensive his views on immigrants have been from the very first day of his campaign. So, he’s trying to do, you know, kind of a shuffle here.

But I think, we need to look at the entire context. We need to believe him when he bullies and threatens to throw out every immigrant in the country. And, certainly, when he changes his position three times in one day, it sends a message that it’s just a desperate effort to try to land somewhere that isn’t as, you know, devastating to his campaign as his comments and his positions have been up until now.

COOPER: Finally, Secretary Clinton, you haven’t done a press conference in more than 260 days in terms of your public appearances, your media strategy, this report in POLITICO that indicates your allies believe by keeping a low profile, a relativity low profile. You can essentially run out the clock on Trump, keep the focus on Trump. How do you respond to that? Will you give a press conference?

CLINTON: Well, Anderson, I’m talking to you right now. And I’ve given, I think, way in excess of 300 interviews this year. So I’m going to continue talking with the press and answering questions and many different …

COOPER: Why not give a press conference though with a lot of different reporters?

CLINTON: Well, you know, I mean, I’ve got a lot that I have been sharing with the press, talking to the press as I’m doing with you right now. So, you know, stay tuned, there’ll be a lot of different opportunities for me to talk to the press as well as continuing to talk to the American public.

COOPER: We appreciate you talking to us tonight. But I know a lot of other reporters who would love a chance to talk to address you during a press conference so I’m throwing that out there. Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.

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BARR: No collusion by any Americans

Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Alex Christoforou

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Attorney General Barr found no one in the Trump campaign colluded with “Russia” to meddle in the 2016 US election.

A devastating blow to Democrats and their mainstream media stenographers.

Trump reacted immediately…

Via RT…

With the full report on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims President Donald Trump colluded with Russia about to be released, Attorney General William Barr is giving a press conference about its findings.

Barr maintains the allegation that the Russian government made efforts to interfere in the election through the Internet Research Agency, an alleged Kremlin-control “troll farm”, as well as “hacking efforts” by the Russian intelligence agency GRU.

The bottom line, Barr says, is that Mueller has found Russia tried to interfere in the election, but “no American” helped it.

Barr explained the White House’s interaction with the Mueller report, whether Trump used executive privilege to block any of its contents from release, as well as on how the Justice Department chose which bits of the 400-page paper to redact.

On the matter of obstruction of justice, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein have reviewed Mueller’s evidence and “legal theories”, and found that there is no evidence to show Trump tried to disrupt the investigation.

He said Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Most of the redactions in the report were made to protect ongoing investigations and personal information of “peripheral third parties”.

Barr said that no-one outside the Justice Department took part in the redacting process or saw the unredacted version, except for the intelligence community, which was given access to parts of it to protect sources.

Trump did not ask to make any changes to Mueller’s report, Barr said.

Trump’s personal counsel was given access to the redacted report before its release.

A number of Trump-affiliated people, as well as Russian nationals, have been indicted, charged or put on trial by Mueller over the course of the past two years, but none for election-related conspiracy. Still, Democrats in Congress as well as numerous establishment media personalities have been insisting that Barr, a Trump pick for AG office, is somehow “spinning” its findings in order to protect and exonerate Trump, and are calling to see the full report as soon as possible.

They have equally condemned Barr’s decision to hold a news conference before the report is release, claiming he is trying to shape the public perception in Trump’s favor.

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Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran: “Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis. It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis, again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis, with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

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Nigel Farage stuns political elite, as Brexit Party and UKIP surge in polls (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 144.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party’s stunning rise in the latest UK polls, which show Tory support splintering and collapsing to new lows. Theresa May’s Brexit debacle has all but destroyed the Conservative party, which is now seeing voters turn to UKIP and The Brexit Party.

Corbyn’s Labour Party is not finding much favor from UK voters either, as anger over how Britain’s two main parties conspired to sell out the country to EU globalists, is now being voiced in various polling data ahead of EU Parliament elections.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk:


The Guardian reports Tories Hit by New Defections and Slump in Opinion Polls as Party Divide Widens.

The bitter fallout from Brexit is threatening to break the Tory party apart, as a Europhile former cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell on Sunday announces he is defecting to the independent MPs’ group Change UK, and a new opinion poll shows Conservative support plummeting to a five-year low as anti-EU parties surge.

The latest defections come as a new Opinium poll for the Observer shows a dramatic fall in Tory support in the past two weeks and a surge for anti-EU parties. The Conservatives have fallen by six percentage points to 29% compared to a fortnight ago. It is their worst position since December 2014. Labour is up one point on 36% while Ukip is up two points on 11%.

Even more alarmingly for the Tories, their prospects for the European elections appear dire. Only 17% of those certain to vote said they would choose the Conservatives in the European poll, while 29% would back Labour, and 25% either Ukip (13%) or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party (12%).

YouGov Poll

A more recent YouGov Poll looks even worse for the Tories

In the YouGov poll, UKIP and BREX total 29%.

Polls Volatile

Eurointellingence has these thoughts on the polls.

We have noted before that classic opinion polls at a time like this are next to useless. But we found an interesting constituency-level poll, by Electoral Calculus, showing for the first time that Labour would get enough constituency MPs to form a minority government with the support of the SNP. This is a shift from previous such exercises, which predicted a continuation of the status quo with the Tories still in command.

This latest poll, too, is subject to our observation of massively intruding volatility. It says that some of the Tory’s most prominent MPs would be at risk, including Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan-Smith. And we agree with the bottom-line analysis of John Curtice, the pollster, who said the abrupt fall in support for Tories is due entirely to their failure to have delivered Brexit on time.

The Tories are facing two electoral tests in May – local elections on May 2 and European elections on May 23. Early polls are show Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party shooting up, taking votes away from the Tories. If European elections were held, we would expect the Brexit party to come ahead of the Tories. Labour is rock-solid in the polls, but Labour unity is at risk as the pro-referendum supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to put the second referendum on the party’s manifesto.

Tory Labour Talks

The Tory/Labour talks on a compromise have stalled, but are set to continue next week with three working groups: on security, on environmental protection, and on workers’ rights. A separate meeting is scheduled between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell, the chancellor and shadow chancellor. The big outstanding issue is the customs union. Theresa May has not yet moved on this one. We noted David Liddington, the effective deputy prime minister, saying that the minimum outcome of the talks would be an agreed and binding decision-making procedure to flush out all options but one in a series of parliamentary votes.

May’s task is to get at least half of her party on board for a compromise. What makes a deal attractive to the Tories is that May would resign soon afterwards, giving enough time for the Tory conference in October to select a successor before possible elections in early 2020.

This relative alignment of interests is why we would not rule out a deal – either on an agreed joint future relationship, or at least on a method to deliver an outcome.

Customs Union

A customs union, depending on how it is structured, would likely be worse than remaining. The UK would have to abide by all the EU rules and regulations without having any say.

Effectively, it will not be delivering Brexit.

Perhaps May’s deal has a resurrection.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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