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BUSTED: Woman offered $750,000 by attorney Lisa Bloom to say Trump sexually assaulter her (Video)

Attorney Lisa Bloom sought cash for Trump accusers.

Alex Christoforou

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Article first appeared on RPT.


Women’s rights lawyer Lisa Bloom wanted to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Last month RPT reported that while working for disgraced hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein, “feminist” lawyer Lisa Bloom actively investigated Rose McGowan and looked into compromising information pertaining to Italian model Ambra Battilana.

Bloom was part of a team that would gathered compromising information on sexual assault victims according to sources.

Bloom’s goal was to kill stories about Weinstein, and she was reportedly very active in trying to halt articles about Weinstein by The New York Times and NBC.

Last week RPT reported that multiple women who have publicly accused President Trump of sexual misconduct held a news conference, calling on Congress to launch an investigation.

Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks, all of whom have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, went on the flailing Megyn Kelly TODAY show to tell their side of story, in what can only be described as curious timing given all the political maneuvering by Democrats with regards to sexual misconduct from within their own party.

Tucker Carlson breaks down an unfolding story by The Hill, that effectively renders the entire “Trump assaulted X number of women” null and void.

The Hill reports

A well-known women’s rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews.

California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.

The women’s accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous contractual documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, including an exchange of texts between one woman and Bloom that suggested political action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were contacted during the effort.

Bloom, who has assisted dozens of women in prominent harassment cases and also defended film executive Harvey Weinstein earlier this year, represented four women considering making accusations against Trump last year. Two went public, and two declined. In a statement to The Hill, Bloom acknowledged she engaged in discussions to secure donations for women who made or considered making accusations against Trump before last year’s election.

“Donors reached out to my firm directly to help some of the women I represented,” said Bloom, whose clients have also included accusers of Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly.

Bloom said her goal in securing money was not to pressure the women to come forward, but rather to help them relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election. She declined to identify any of the donors.

And while she noted she represented sexual harassment victims for free or at reduced rates, she also acknowledged a standard part of her contracts required women to pay her commissions as high as 33 percent if she sold their stories to media outlets.

“Our standard pro bono agreement for legal services provides that if a media entity offers to compensate a client for sharing his or her story we receive a percentage of those fees. This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee,” she said.

“As a private law firm we have significant payroll, rent, taxes, insurance and other expenses every week, so an arrangement where we might receive some compensation to defray our costs seems reasonable to us and is agreed to by our clients,” Bloom added.

Bloom told The Hill she had no contact with Clinton or her campaign, but declined to address any contacts with super PACs that supported the Democratic presidential nominee.

Josh Schwerin, the communications director for Priorities USA Action, the largest pro-Clinton super PAC, told The Hill that the group had no relationship with Bloom and had no discussions with her about supporting Trump accusers.

One Bloom client who received financial help from Bloom was New York City makeup artist Jill Harth.

The former beauty contestant manager filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Trump in 1997 and then withdrew it under pressure. The news media discovered the litigation during the election, and Harth’s name became public in the summer of 2016. She asked Bloom to represent her in the fall after hearing Trump describe her allegations against him as false, and became a vocal critic of Trump.

“I consider myself lucky to have had Lisa Bloom by my side after my old lawsuit resurfaced. She advised me with great competence and compassion,” Harth told The Hill.

Harth said she did not originally ask Bloom for money, even though her cosmetics business suffered from the notoriety of the campaign stories about her.

But later, Bloom arranged a small payment from the licensing of some photos to the news media, and then set up a GoFundMe.com account to raise money for Harth in October 2016. “Jill put herself out there, facing off with Donald Trump. Let’s show her some love,” the online fundraising appeal set up by Bloom’s husband declared.

The effort raised a little over $2,300.

Bloom then arranged for a donor to make a larger contribution to help Harth pay off the mortgage on her Queens apartment in New York City. The amount was under $30,000, according to a source directly familiar with Harth’s situation. Public records show Harth’s mortgage was recorded as extinguished on Dec. 19, 2016.

Harth said the payments did not affect the merits of her allegations. She alleges that during a January 1993 meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the future president pushed her up against a wall and groped her, trying to get his hands up her dress.

“Nothing that you’ve said to me about my mortgage or the Go Fund Me that was created to help me out financially affects the facts or the veracity of my 1997 federal complaint against Donald J. Trump for sexual harassment and assault,” she told The Hill.

“Having to retell my experiences of Donald Trump’s harassment is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Trump has steadfastly denied assaulting or harassing women, even after a videotape surfaced in September 2016 in which he can be heard boasting that famous men like him can grab women by the genitalia without consequence. Trump has dismissed the tape as “locker room talk.”

Harth is currently writing a memoir about her whole experience, but without Bloom’s help.

Bloom acknowledged arranging financial help for Harth, who she said had lost income because of the publicity surrounding her allegations.

“She endured a tidal wave of hate for it. It was very painful for her. And as a New York City makeup artist, Jill lost jobs after she came out publicly against Donald Trump. I believed that people wanted to donate to help her, so we set up the GoFundMe account,” she told The Hill.

The Hill does not identify the names of victims of sexual assault or harassment unless they go public on their own, like Harth.

But one woman who did not go public with allegations agreed to share her documents and talk to The Hill about her interactions with Bloom if The Hill honored its commitment to maintain her anonymity.

Both that woman and Harth, who were friends, stressed that Bloom never asked them to make any statements or allegations except what they believed to be true.

Their texts and emails indicate Bloom held a strong dislike of Trump though. Bloom is the daughter of Gloria Allred, another prominent attorney who is representing a number of women who have made accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump.

In an email to the unnamed woman, Bloom said that her story was “further evidence of what a sick predator this man is,” referring to Trump.

Documents also show Bloom’s efforts to get alleged victims of sexual assault or harassment to come out against Trump intensified as Election Day 2016 approached.

When Harth, for instance, informed Bloom she had just made a Facebook post urging other women to come forward about Trump in October 2016, the lawyer texted back: “Wow Jill that would be amazing. 27 days until the election.”

And when a potential client abruptly backed out of a pre-election news conference in which she was supposed to allege she was sexually assaulted at age 13, Bloom turned her attention to another woman.

That woman, Harth’s friend, went back and forth for weeks with Bloom in 2016 about going public with an allegation of an unsolicited advance by Trump on the 1990s beauty contest circuit.

“Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it,” Bloom texted the woman a week before Election Day.

“I’m scared Lisa. I can’t relocate. I don’t like taking other people’s money,” the woman wrote to Bloom.

“Ok let’s not do this then,” Bloom responded. “We are just about out of time anyway.”

The woman then texted back demanding to know why there was a deadline. “What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury trump for what? Personal gain? See that ‘s why I have trust issues!!”

The woman told The Hill in an interview that Bloom initially approached her in early October through Harth. She said she considered coming forward with her account of an unsolicited advance by Trump solely to support her friend Harth, and not because she had any consternation with Trump, who ended the advance when she asked him to stop, she said.

The woman said Bloom initially offered a $10,000 donation to the woman’s favorite church, an account backed up by text messages the two exchanged.

“Please keep the donation offer confidential except to your pastor,” Bloom wrote the woman on Oct. 14, 2016.

When Bloom found out the woman was still a supporter of Trump and associated with lawyers, friends and associates of the future president, she texted a request that jarred the woman.

“When you have a chance I suggest you delete the August 2015 Facebook post about supporting Trump,” Bloom texted. “Otherwise the reporter will ask you how you could support him after what he did to you. Your call but it will make your life easier.”

The woman declined. “I hate to say it, but i still rather have trump in office than hillary,” the woman texted back. Bloom answered, “Ok I respect that. Then don’t change anything.”

Eventually the two decided the woman’s continued support of Trump was a benefit to her narrative if she went public with her accusations, the messages show. “I love your point about being a Trump supporter too,” Bloom texted on Oct. 14, 2016.

The text messages show the woman made escalating requests for more money.

By early November, the woman said, Bloom’s offers of money from donors had grown to $50,000 to be paid personally to her, and then even higher.

“Another donor has reached out to me offering relocation/security for any woman coming forward. I’m trying to reach him,” Bloom texted the woman on Nov. 3, 2016. Later she added, “Call me I have good news.”

The woman responded that she wasn’t impressed with the new offer of $100,000 given that she had a young daughter. “Hey after thinking about all this, I need more than $100,000.00. College money would be nice” for her daughter. “Plus relocation fees, as we discussed.”

The figured jumped to $200,000 in a series of phone calls with Bloom that week, according to the woman. The support was promised to be tax-free and also included changing her identity and relocating, according to documents and interviews.

Bloom told The Hill that the woman asked for money as high as $2 million in the conversations, an amount that was a nonstarter, but the lawyer confirmed she tried to arrange donations to the woman in the low six figures.

“She asked to be compensated, citing concerns for her safety and security and over time, increased her request for financial compensation to $2 million, which we told her was a non-starter,” Bloom told The Hill. “We did relay her security concerns to donors, but none were willing to offer more than a number in the low six figures, which they felt was more appropriate to address her security and relocation expenses.”

The woman said that when she initially talked to Bloom she simply wanted to support Harth and had no interest in being portrayed as an accuser or receiving money. But when Bloom’s mention of potential compensation became more frequent, the woman said she tried to draw out the lawyer to see how high the offer might reach and who might be behind the money.

Just a few days before the election, the woman indicated she was ready to go public with her story, then landed in the hospital and fell out of contact with Bloom.

The lawyer repeatedly texted one of the woman’s friends on Nov. 4, 2016, but the friend declined to put the woman on the phone, instead sending a picture of the client in a hospital bed.

Bloom persisted, writing in a series of texts to the friend that she needed to talk to her hospitalized client because it could have “a significant impact on her life” and a “big impact on her daughter” if she did not proceed with her public statement as she had planned.

“She is in no condition for visitors,” the friend texted Bloom back.

“If you care about her you need to leave her be until she is feeling better,” the friend added in another text.

Bloom hopped on a plane from California to come see the woman on the East Coast, according to the text messages and interviews.

The next day, the woman finally reconnected with Bloom and informed her she would not move forward with making her allegations public. Bloom reacted in a string of text messages after getting the news.

“I am confused because you sent me so many nice texts Wednesday night after my other client wasted so much of my time and canceled the press conference,” Bloom texted on Nov. 5, 2016. “That meant a lot to me. Thursday you said you wanted to do this if you could be protected/relocated. I begged you not to jerk me around after what I had just gone through.”

A little later, she added another text. “You have treated me very poorly. I have treated you with great respect as much as humanly possible. I have not made a dime off your case and I have devoted a great deal of time. It doesn’t matter. I could have done so much for you. But you can’t stick to your word even when you swear you will.”

After the woman was released from the hospital, she agreed to meet Bloom at a hotel on Nov. 6, just two days before Trump unexpectedly defeated Clinton.

The woman told The Hill in an interview that at the hotel encounter, Bloom increased the offer of donations to $750,000 but still she declined to take the money.

The woman texted Bloom that day saying she didn’t mean to let her lawyer down.

“You didn’t let me down,” Bloom texted back. “You came and spoke to me and made the decision that’s right for you. That’s all I wanted.”

Bloom confirmed to The Hill that she flew to Virginia to meet with the woman after she had changed her mind several times about whether to go public with her accusations against Trump.

“We invited her to meet with us at the hotel restaurant and she accepted. Ultimately, after another heartfelt discussion, she decided that she did not want to come forward, and we respected her decision,” Bloom told The Hill.

Bloom said the donor money was never intended “to entice women to come forward against their will.”

“Nothing can be further from the truth. Some clients asked for small photo licensing fees while others wanted more to protect their security,” she said.

Bloom declined to identify the name of any donors who would have provided money for women making accusations against Trump.

Harth and the woman who decided not to go public said they never were given any names of donors.

But Bloom told the woman who declined to come forward that she had reached out to political action committees supporting Clinton’s campaign.

“It’s my understanding that there is some Clinton Super Pack [sic] that could help out if we did move forward,” the woman wrote Bloom on Oct. 11, 2016. “If we help the Clinton campaign they in turn could help or compensate us?”

Bloom wrote back, “Let’s please do a call. I have already reached out to Clinton Super PACs and they are not paying. I can get you paid for some interviews however.”

The woman who ultimately declined to come forward with Bloom told The Hill that she stayed silent for an entire year afterward because she did not want to call attention to her family.

She said she supported Trump in 2016, and that he she held no resentment about the early 1990s advance because Trump stopped it as soon as she asked him.

She said she remains friends with many people associated with the president to this day, including one of his best personal friends and a lawyer who works for one of the firms representing Trump.

The woman said, however, no one associated with the Trump White House or the president forced her to come forward or made any offers to induce her to talk to The Hill. She said she agreed to do so only after she became disgusted to learn this past October that Bloom had agreed to work in defense of Weinstein.

“I couldn’t understand how she could say she was for people like me and then represent someone like him. And then all the money stuff I knew about. I just became frustrated,” she said.

Bloom dropped her representation of Weinstein as the accusations piled up against him, telling Buzzfeed that it had been a “colossal mistake.”

Nearly from the beginning, Bloom made clear to the woman she would have to pay her law firm a commission on any fees the attorney arranged from media outlets willing to pay for the woman’s story, according to a copy of a contract as well as a text message sent to the woman.

“Outlets with which I have good relationships that may pay for your first on camera interview, revealing your name and face: Inside Edition, Dr. Phil, LawNewz.com,” Bloom texted the woman just weeks before Election Day. “My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee).”

“If you are interested I would recommend Inside Edition or Dr. Phil as they are much bigger. Dr. Phil is doing a show on Trump accusers next Tuesday in LA and would fly you here and put you up in a nice hotel, and pay for your meals as well, with your daughter if you like,” Bloom’s text added. “Media moves very quickly so you need to decide and then once confirmed, you need to stick to it.”

Representatives of “Inside Edition” and “Dr. Phil” said they did not pay any Trump accusers for appearances last year.

Bloom’s firm sent the woman a “media-related services” contract to represent her for “speaking out against Donald Trump” that laid out business terms for selling a story in the most direct terms.

“You will compensate the Firm thirty-three percent (33%) of the total fee that you collect, whether the media deal or licensing fees is for print, Internet, radio, television, film or any other medium,” Bloom’s proposed contract, dated Oct. 10, 2016, read. The woman said she signed the contract.

When Bloom found out in early November that the woman and the friend had discussions with CBS News about doing an interview on their own, the lawyer texted back: “CBS does not pay for stories.”

A little later Bloom sent another text suggesting the arrangements she was making could be impacted by the unauthorized media contacts. “You and your friends should not be shopping the story it will come back to bite you,” Bloom texted. “And this whole thing we have worked so hard to make happen will go away.”

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Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances

Two disappearances, and two different responses.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London’s case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities. Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of “evidence”, the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a “botched interrogation”.

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi’s body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What’s more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat “rogue killers” and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there “will be severe consequences” for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by “rogue killers”.

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for “a credible investigation” into the disappearance. But other than “tough-sounding” rhetoric, none of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi’s killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain’s venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: “In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out”.

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed “Davos in the Desert” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called “reforming” Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain’s rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

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According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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Massacre in Crimea kills dozens, many in critical condition

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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