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Lanny Davis bombshell admission ignored by CNN because it is inconvenient

Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis admits giving CNN unverified information, but CNN eschews truth to maintain its dishonest narrative.

Seraphim Hanisch

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CNN is unwilling to let go of its narrative concerning Michael Cohen, Lanny Davis and the Russia investigation.

Howard Kurtz, writing for Fox, had this to say:

Lanny Davis, who has been engaged in high-stakes crisis management and political lawyering for decades, says he made a mistake.

CNN, which relied on Davis at least in part for a story he now says is false, won’t say it made a mistake.

And the contretemps contains a revealing look at the sausage-making of investigative reporting and the sometimes murky dance between reporters and their unnamed sources.

“I should not be talking to reporters on background about something I’m not certain about,” Davis told me, describing his interactions with CNN reporters. “The combination of big stakes and a big mistake is a bad moment for me. If I had a redo in life, I wouldn’t have said anything about the subject.”

After initially saying nothing, here is the sum total of CNN’s comment: “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” A CNN report yesterday said that Davis kept changing his story in his dealings with the network.

Here’s the backstory: CNN dropped a bombshell last month by reporting that Davis’ client, Michael Cohen, had information that Donald Trump knew in advance of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, his son-in-law, campaign chairman and a Russian lawyer. “Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller,” according to “the sources,” CNN said.

The president has repeatedly denied any advance knowledge of the meeting.

Lanny Davis, the attorney representing Michael Cohen, made several steps that threw mud all over the anti-Trump powers that are prosecuting the Russia investigation. On Tuesday, 22 August, Mr. Davis firmly stated that Michael Cohen, his client and one of Donald Trump’s former attorneys, had never been in Prague, as the Steele “dossier” had reported, to meet with Russians in 2016.

RealClearPolitics.com noted this:

Lanny Davis, attorney for Michael Cohen, trashed the infamous Trump dossier, a document put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Wednesday.

Davis said the part about Cohen visiting Prague to meet with Russians in 2016 “never” happened.” He called it the “so-called dossier” and said it mentions his client in a “false” manner. On Tuesday, a superior court judge threw out a defamation lawsuit against Steele for failing to provide evidence that information in the dossier was knowingly falsified.

“Can you say definitively whether you know if Michael Cohen was ever in Prague in 2016?” Todd on Wednesday’s edition of Meet the Press Daily on MSNBC.

“Never, never in Prague,” Davis sternly said.

“Never ever?” Todd pressed.

“Never ever in Prague,” Davis answered. “And the reason, just to let your viewers know what we’re talking about, is that the dossier, the so-called dossier, mentions his name 14 times. One of which is a meeting with Russians in Prague. 14 times. False.”

This is old news, but it was given new life on Sunday when Mr. Davis gave an interview to NBC News on Sunday, 26 August:

Last month, Michael Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, confirmed to NBC News a report that Cohen would be willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president was told in advance about the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between members of the Trump campaign team and Russians. But on Tuesday, Davis said he was wrong, and apologized.

After CNN reported that Cohen alleged Donald Trump Jr. notified the president about the meeting in advance, Davis confirmed to NBC News that Cohen would be willing to tell the special counsel just that. But Davis was not willing at the time to be identified by name as a source.

Davis now says that his confirmation was erroneous. “I regret not being much clearer in saying I’m not sure about this story,” Davis now tells NBC News. “It’s a major mistake for which I am 100 percent sorry. Period. I never should have done it unless I was certain and could prove it.”

However, this is not enough for CNN to back off from its full-court media press to try to discredit and dislodge President Donald Trump from his post in the White House. The network’s current claim, as Mr. Kurtz noted, is that Mr. Davis “keeps changing his story.”

In recent days, one of Michael Cohen’s lawyers has repeatedly changed his account of what Cohen knew about President Donald Trump’s involvement in a controversial meeting during the 2016 campaign. Lanny Davis has offered many variations of his client’s knowledge regarding the meeting in Trump Tower but says he is now less certain about Cohen’s claims.

On July 26, citing sources with knowledge, CNN was first to report that Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, claimed he was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower. CNN said Cohen claimed he was present when Donald Trump Jr. told Trump about the Russians’ offer to share dirt on Hillary Clinton, and Trump gave approval for the meeting to take place.
CNN stands by its story.

A CNN spokeswoman said Tuesday: “We stand by our story, which had more than one source, and are confident in our reporting of it.”

It is interesting that CNN did not name the spokeswoman, just as they have not named their “anonymous sources” that offer the network its daily dose of slander. It appears that the network is in defensive mode, and the admission of Mr. Davis reveals the house-of-cards nature of the whole anti-Trump narrative being presented by the network as though it were really news.

Howard Kurtz offered his concluding thoughts here:

Implicit in CNN standing by the story is that the network has other sources for the Trump Tower allegation. But how could others have information about what Cohen believes when the president’s former lawyer is essentially saying, through Davis, that he has no such information?

The Washington Post handled its dealings with Davis very differently. The Post had also dealt with him as an unnamed source.

As the paper recounts, the day after the CNN story, “The Post reported that Cohen had told associates that he witnessed an exchange in which Trump Jr. told his father about an upcoming gathering in which he expected to get information about Clinton. The Post did not report that Trump Jr. told his father that the information was coming from Russians.

“The information in the Post story, which was attributed to one person familiar with discussions among Cohen’s friends, came from Davis, who is now acknowledging his role on the record.”

And that’s the thing. CNN doesn’t have to protect Davis, who has come clean about his role in the matter.

When the White House makes a mistake or clings to an unsubstantiated charge, news organizations hammer top officials about it. Shouldn’t a network have the same obligation to explain itself when an explosive story is denied by one of its own sources?

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AM Hants

This article goes with the reasons behind the NYT and CIA ‘Putin’ missing spy article. Together with Bruce Ohr and his testimonial.

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“It Was All A Set-Up” – Pentagon Whistleblower Exposes Russia Probe Reality… https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-29/it-was-all-set-pentagon-whistleblower-exposes-russia-probe-reality

Murray Smith
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Murray Smith

This is now the purpose of federal investigations in the US – to troll through Trump associates backgrounds until an indictable offence is found (even if it’s 20 years old) and then use this as leverage to get a bogus charge against Trump to stick. Last time I looked this was known as a coup d’etat. Taking it to the streets (civil war) is just a shot away.

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EXPLOSIVE: Michael Cohen sentencing memo exposes serial liar with nothing to offer Mueller (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 38.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the Michael Cohen sentencing memo which paints the picture of a man who was not as close to Trump as he made it out to be…a serial liar and cheat who leveraged his thin connections to the Trump organization for money and fame.

It was Cohen himself who proudly labelled himself as Trump’s “fixer”. The sentencing memo hints at the fact that even Mueller finds no value to Cohen in relation to the ongoing Trump-Russia witch hunt investigation.

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Via Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York have each submitted sentencing memos for President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, after Cohen pleaded guilty in two different cases related to his work for Trump and the Trump Organization.

The big picture: The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen serve a range of 51 to 63 months for four crimes — “willful tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.” Mueller, meanwhile, did not take a position on the length of Cohen’s statement, but said he has made substantial efforts to assist the investigation.

Southern District of New York

Mueller investigation

Michael J. Stern, a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles noted via USA Today

In support of their request that he serve no time in prison, Cohen’s attorneys offered a series of testimonials from friends who described the private Michael Cohen as a “truly caring” man with a “huge heart” who is not only “an upstanding, honorable, salt of the earth man” but also a “selfless caretaker.”

The choirboy portrayed by Cohen’s lawyers stands in sharp opposition to Cohen’s public persona as Trump’s legal bulldog, who once threatened a reporter with: “What I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. Do you understand me?”

Prosecutors focused their sentencing memo on Cohen as Mr. Hyde. Not only did they detail Cohen’s illegal activities, which include millions of dollars of fraud, they also recognized the public damage that stemmed from his political crimes — describing Cohen as “a man who knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy.”

Rebuffing efforts by Cohen’s attorneys to recast him as a good guy who made a few small mistakes, prosecutors cited texts, statements of witnesses, recordings, documents and other evidence that proved Cohen got ahead by employing a “pattern of deception that permeated his professional life.” The prosecutors attributed Cohen’s crimes to “personal greed,” an effort to “increase his power and influence,” and a desire to maintain his “opulent lifestyle.”

Perhaps the most damning reveal in the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing memo is that Cohen refused to fully cooperate. That’s despite his public relations campaign to convince us that he is a new man who will cooperate with any law enforcement authority, at any time, at any place.

As a former federal prosecutor who handled hundreds of plea deals like Cohen’s, I can say it is extremely rare for any credit to be recommended when a defendant decides not to sign a full cooperation deal. The only reason for a refusal would be to hide information. The prosecutors said as much in their sentencing memo: Cohen refused “to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past,” and “further declined” to discuss “other areas of investigative interest.”

 

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Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Huawei CFO Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 197os when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

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US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia

Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005.

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Via Zerohedge


“We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000

A prior New Yorker piece described the US-occupied area east of the Euphrates as “an area about the size of Croatia.” With no Congressional vote, no public debate, and not even so much as an official presidential address to the nation, the United States is settling in for another endless occupation of sovereign foreign soil while relying on the now very familiar post-911 AUMF fig leaf of “legality”.

Like the American public and even some Pentagon officials of late have been pointing out for years regarding Afghanistan, do US forces on the ground even know what the mission is? The mission may be undefined and remain ambiguously to “counter Iran”, yet the dangers and potential for major loss in blood and treasure loom larger than ever.

According to Stars and Stripes the dangerous cross-section of powder keg conflicts and geopolitical players means “a new war” is on the horizon:

The new mission raises new questions, about the role they will play and whether their presence will risk becoming a magnet for regional conflict and insurgency.

The area is surrounded by powers hostile both to the U.S. presence and the aspirations of the Kurds, who are governing the majority-Arab area in pursuit of a leftist ideology formulated by an imprisoned Turkish Kurdish leader. Signs that the Islamic State is starting to regroup and rumblings of discontent within the Arab community point to the threat of an insurgency.

Without the presence of U.S. troops, these dangers would almost certainly ignite a new war right away, said Ilham Ahmed, a senior official with the Self-Administration of North and East Syria, as the self-styled government of the area is called.

“They have to stay. If they leave and there isn’t a solution for Syria, it will be catastrophic,” she said.

But staying also heralds risk, and already the challenges are starting to mount.
So a US-backed local politician says the US can’t leave or there will be war, while American defense officials simultaneously recognize they are occupying the very center of an impending insurgency from hell — all of which fits the textbook definition of quagmire perfectly.

The New Yorker: “The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”

But in September the White House announced a realignment of its official priorities in Syria, namely to act “as a bulwark against Iran’s expanding influence.” This means the continued potential and likelihood of war with Syria, Iran, and Russia in the region is ever present, per Stripes:

Syrian government troops and Iranian proxy fighters are to the south and west. They have threatened to take the area back by force, in pursuit of President Bashar Assad’s pledge to bring all of Syria under government control.

Already signs of an Iraq-style insurgency targeting US forces in eastern Syria are beginning to emerge.

In Raqqa, the largest Syrian city at the heart of US occupation and reconstruction efforts, the Stripes report finds the following:

The anger on the streets is palpable. Some residents are openly hostile to foreign visitors, which is rare in other towns and cities freed from Islamic State control in Syria and Iraq. Even those who support the presence of the U.S. military and the SDF say they are resentful that the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS coalition that bombed the city aren’t helping to rebuild.

And many appear not to support their new rulers.

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation,” said one man, a tailor, who didn’t want to give his name because he feared the consequences of speaking his mind. “I don’t know why they had to use such a huge number of weapons and destroy the city. Yes, ISIS was here, but we paid the price. They have a responsibility.”

Recent reports out of the Pentagon suggests defense officials simply want to throw more money into US efforts in Syria, which are further focused on training and supplying the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (or Kurdish/YPG-dominated SDF), which threatens confrontation with Turkey as its forces continue making preparations for a planned attack on Kurdish enclaves in Syria this week.

Meanwhile, Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005:

Everyone says the streets are not safe now. Recent months have seen an uptick in assassinations and kidnappings, mostly targeting members of the security forces or people who work with the local council. But some critics of the authorities have been gunned down, too, and at night there are abductions and robberies.

As America settles in for yet another endless and “indefinite” occupation of a Middle East country, perhaps all that remains is for the president to land on an aircraft carrier with “Mission Accomplished” banners flying overhead?

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