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Donald Trump still steaming over AG Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Russiagate

The end of a politically bad week had the President lamenting the strange recusal of his own hand-picked Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump had a rough week last week by any stretch of the imagination. This is not an assessment that is very “spinnable”, certainly not one that can be spun out of existence.

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Two of his campaign staff and colleagues bit the dust legally, with one “flipping” on Trump and pleading guilty to crimes that don’t even exist, but also promising to cooperate with the Mueller investigation to pursue Trump (Michael Cohen), and the other, Paul Manafort, being found guilty by a jury on eight counts of various financial impropriety and tax fraud. Vox reported the following:

It’s been a rough week for Trump: His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight federal charges on Tuesday, the same day Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight federal crimes of his own; Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), one of his first endorsers, was indicted for misusing federal campaign funds; and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was caught palling around with a white nationalist. Cohen implicated the president in his crimes, saying he made hush money payments in violation of campaign finance laws at Trump’s direction.

Trump in a Fox & Friends interview seemed to confess to a campaign finance violation in his attempts to deny it. In the same interview, he said “flipping” witnesses should be illegal and seemed to leave the door open to pardoning Manafort.

By the end of the day on Friday, Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker had cut immunity deals with federal prosecutors, adding their names to the list of Trump allies who no longer seem so friendly. And the president canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea.

These court outcomes and other events do not in any way relate to the initial purpose of the Mueller probe, that being to determine whether or not Russian agencies and Trump campaign officials, or Donald Trump himself, colluded with one another to interfere with the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

The primary purpose of this investigation came up dry so far (nearly two years old now), but something arguably peculiar has been in play about this investigation – that being that the Special Counsel has been investigating everything and not keeping its scope narrowed to “Russiagate.”

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions arguably could have stopped this from happening, but he recused himself at the beginning of the probe. The fact that he has isolated himself from this is a seriously sore spot for the president. After the events of this week, USA Today reported these tweets:

US Attorney General Sessions, for his part, did respond to this in his own statements, according to Business Insider:

“I think that’s what I had to do,” Sessions said during a meeting with the Federalist Society on Saturday.

The attorney general cited a “pretty reasonable” Department of Justice regulation that forbids DOJ officials from investigating campaigns of which they were a part.

Sessions was an early and ardent advocate for then candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 US election, championing his platform on immigration and a host of other issues. Sessions officially endorsed Trump in February 2016, becoming the first sitting US senator to throw their support behind the Manhattan mogul. He remained a campaign surrogate throughout the race and served as chairman of the campaign’s national security advisory board.

The DOJ regulation Sessions cited Saturday — 28 CFR 45.2— says “no DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”

The rule goes on to define a political relationship as “a close identification with an elected official, candidate, political party or campaign organization arising from service as a principal advisor or official.” A personal relationship “means a close and substantial connection of the type normally viewed as likely to induce partiality.”

Last March, Sessions came under scrutiny for failing to disclose meetings he had with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, during the 2016 campaign. Following the revelations, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, which is examining whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.

At the time, Sessions said his decision to recuse himself was “right and just.”

President Trump is understandably frustrated. This effort against him clearly does have the majority of support in the news media and despite a list of extremely substantial accomplishments made during his term thus far as President, the search-and-destroy efforts of the mainstream media press on, seeking any sort of fodder to press for impeachment should the House change hands in November, and ways to legally (or illegally, though through the legal apparatus), throw him out of office.

At the center of the effort is the attempt to separate the President from the base who elected him. While that effort seems to be meeting a brick wall (for President Trump’s main body of supporters already has little love for the media or the establishment DC government apparatchik), there did for the first time appear a sense of fatigue, as even the conservative pundits seemed to backpedal and at least tacitly acknowledge that the President has been a bad actor in the past. However, the sentiment expressed by this caller on August 24 to pundit Rush Limbaugh’s program does a good job expressing the thoughts and feelings of many who support President Trump:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Steve in Fort White, Florida. I’m glad you waited, sir. You’re next on Open Line Friday.

CALLER: Mr. Rush Limbaugh, it sure is an honor. Let me just say this. My soul belongs to Jesus. My heart belongs to my wife. My mind belongs to you.

RUSH: Well, I’m glad to be in the club!

CALLER: You know, if Trump fires somebody, no matter what who it is, it’s gonna be a firestorm. So let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s go ahead and light that fire. The American people are waiting. They’re holding back. I’ve broken two teeth just grinding jaws about what’s going on here today. He’s got to make the move. The clock of history is ticking. He’s either gotta make history or he’s gonna become history. We want him to make that move. We’ll back him at the ballot box. We’re waiting for him. We want him, we need him, he’s our country, and he’s gotta say this.

RUSH: What do you want him to do?

CALLER: I want him to start with Mueller and, one by one, fire ’em and state his case.

RUSH: You realize — and I’m not trying to throw a monkey wrench here. I don’t even want to be a downer. I just want you to know, if you fire Mueller the investigation’s not over. They just go out and find somebody to take over, and it might even prolong it and make it longer.

CALLER: Well, they can only take over if the person that he doesn’t fire puts him in that position. Get somebody in there that’s the opposite. Get somebody in there that will make the move and start working on the Democrats.

RUSH: Yeah, but Trump doesn’t get to make that appointment. Rosenstein does.

CALLER: If he fires Rosenstein, he won’t.

RUSH: Oh! Well, in that case. (laughing)

CALLER: Hello!

RUSH: Okay. So we’re gonna fire Mueller; we’re gonna fire Rosenstein.

CALLER: I’m telling you, if you’re gonna fire one, fire ’em all. We back ’em. I want him to hear us. We will back him. Just do it.

RUSH: I’m telling you, folks, the frustration, this is the one thing the media probably isn’t even factoring. They don’t think it’s real. They don’t think you’re gonna do anything. You never do. You never do, so why should they be worried about you?

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Then you have another piece of the jigsaw. Wasn’t Browder involved in most things, ‘anti-Russian’ since being thrown out for taking billions out of Russia, whilst refusing to pay his taxes? Why was he then thrown out of the US? British businessman dubbed Putin’s ‘number one enemy’ fears Novichok-style attempt on his life after accusing Russian president of using former UK spies to track him Novichok attack in Salisbury has raised fears Putin critics are being assassinated A businessman who has led criticism of the Russian regime fears he’ll be next He accuses private intelligence firms in the UK of… Read more »

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How did it all start?

Ukrainian Consultant Reveals Steele Sought Bogus Stories for Trump Dossier… https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808281067517362-Steele-Sought-Bogus-Stories-Dossier/

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Trump having appointed Sessions without proper vetting reminds me of McCain tapping Sarah Palin to be his running mate (who thankfully destroyed his chance to become President). Somebody’s (cough) ‘advisors’ need a good old fashioned thumping for screwing their client so badly.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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