Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation

Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation. For full story go to the Washington Post:

Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.
The Washington Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high-stakes investigation, though it did not name Kushner.
FBI agents also remain keenly interested in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe.
The Post has not been told that Kushner is a target — or the central focus — of the investigation, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. “Target” is a word that generally refers to someone who is the main suspect of investigators’ attention, though prosecutors can and do bring charges against people who are not marked with that distinction.


 Kushner's circle of friends and business ties includes prominent Russians.

2015 | Kushner, his brother and a friend start Cadre, a real estate company. Among its investors is Russian tech investor Yuri Milner. Read more

December 2016 | Kushner, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak meet at Trump Tower for 20 minutes just as the Obama administration was preparing to sanction Russia, according to the New York Times. Kushner sent a deputy to another meeting that month. Later, at Kislyak's request, Kushner met for about half an hour with Sergey N. Gorkov, chief of Vnesheconombank, which is on the U.S. sanctions list. Read more

Jan. 20, 2017 | Dasha Zhukova, wife of oligarch and Putin friend Roman Abramovich, attends the inauguration as a guest of Ivanka Trump.

March 27, 2017 | White House and Senate officials say Kushner will be available to interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Read more 

May 25, 2017 | The Post reports Kushner's meetings in December with Kislyak and Gorkov are now under scrutiny as part of an escalating probe into Trump's campaign ties to the Kremlin. Kushner has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and the scrutiny does not mean that he will face any charges.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

FBI Director James Comey thought Trump's firing him was a prank

May 10th 2017 10:34 AM
FBI Director James Comey learned a little too late that his firing was no joke.

Comey reportedly saw the news break on TV that he'd been fired by President Trump after speaking with FBI agents at a field office in LA.

According to The New York Times, he laughed and said he found it to be a fairly funny prank.

Comey was still with the group and shaking hands of the FBI employees with who he had been talking.

When His staff then ushered him into a side office and found out that it was not, in fact, a prank.

However, Comey had not received word from the White House about his firing at that point.

Though he was in Los Angeles, White House aide Keith Schiller was sent to FBI headquarters in Washington, DC to hand-deliver the letter from President Trump dismissing him.
Not long after, Comey boarded a flight back to Washington.

Witchy sez : 
Comey found out to late that dog won''t hunt ..... HeHe

Anonymous warns of 'devastating' World War III in new video

May 10th 2017 6:08AM
The Internet group known as Anonymous is continuing to warn the public of an impending World War III.

The hackers posted a new video to YouTube on Saturday titled, "They are preparing for what comes next...(WW3 2017-2018)."

In it, a single figure in a Guy Fawkes mask appears to be reading from a paper as he says in a digitized voice, "All the signs of a looming war on the Korean peninsula are surfacing. Watching as each country moves strategic pieces into place."

The person then notes, "But unlike past world wars, although there will be ground troops, the battle is likely to be fierce, brutal and quick. It will also be globally devastating, both on the environmental and economical levels."

The figure adds, "This is a real war with real global consequences."

According to the video, the conflict will erupt due to unresolvable tension between North Korea and those working towards a peaceful resolution, including the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, and the Philippines.

As evidence, the group cited the U.S. testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Japanese government's warning to its citizens to be prepared, and the Trump administration's recent interactions with Australia and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Anonymous had warned of the potential for World War III in another YouTube video posted in October of last year.

In that video, the group talks about frayed relations between the U.S. and China over the South China Sea but also focuses on friction with Russia, particularly over Syria.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Obama warned Trump about Michael Flynn during transition

FILE PHOTO - White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn walks down the White House colonnade on the way to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump's joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned then-President-elect Donald Trump not to give the post of national security adviser in his administration to Michael Flynn who was eventually fired in a controversy about ties to Russia, a former Obama aide said.
Obama gave the warning in an Oval Office meeting with Trump just days after the Republican's surprise election win last Nov. 8. The warning, first reported by NBC News, came up during a discussion of White House personnel.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer, responding to the reports, told a news briefing: "It's true that the president, President Obama, made it known that he wasn't exactly a fan of General Flynn's" during a one-hour meeting on Nov. 10 with Trump.
An Obama spokesman initially declined to comment.
Flynn has emerged as a central figure in probes into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.
He had been pushed out by Obama in 2014 from his job as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, during the Democratic president's term in office.
A former U.S. deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, is expected to tell a Senate Judiciary subcommittee later Monday that she had warned the White House counsel after Trump took office that Flynn had not told the truth about conversations he had held with Russia's ambassador to Washington.
Trump fired Flynn, a retired general, in February for failing to disclose talks with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Moscow and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
Congressional committees began investigating after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered hacking of Democratic political groups to try to sway the election toward Trump. Moscow has denied any such meddling.
Trump has also dismissed the allegations, suggesting instead that Obama might have wiretapped Trump Tower in New York or that China may have been behind the cyber attacks. He has provided no evidence and neither scenario has been supported by intelligence agencies.
Hours before Monday's Senate hearing, Trump insinuated that Yates, an Obama administration appointment, had leaked information on Flynn to the media.
"Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council," Trump wrote on Twitter, apparently mis-spelling the word counsel.
In another Twitter post, Trump noted that Flynn had been granted top security clearance while working in the Obama administration.
Flynn was fired from the DIA in 2014 for what officials familiar with the issue said was a disruptive management style that included instructing analysts to find intelligence substantiating improbable theories that some subordinates came to call "Flynn facts." He also advocated an overhaul of the DIA that ignited resistance from veteran intelligence officials, the officials said.
James Clapper, Obama's former Director of National Intelligence, will also testify to the Senate panel on Monday.
The Senate Judiciary subcommittee probe is one of three main congressional investigations of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election. The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies are conducting separate probes.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Biracial UT pageant winner slammed as 'not black enough' on Twitter

By Carolyn Salazar  Published May 04, 2017  Fox News
The winner of the Miss Black University of Texas is taking the high road after critics on social media claimed she's “not black enough.”

Congratulations to our 2017 Miss Black University of Texas! We thank our lovely contestants, as well as everyone else who came to support them .

Rachael Malonson, 22, who is biracial, was crowned on Sunday. The event was hosted by Kappa Alpha Psi, a predominantly black fraternity.

“It was definitely a huge honor to win. As a biracial woman, I didn’t even think I was able to place,” she told Fox News.

In a Facebook post after her win, Malonson said she was at first reluctant to take part in the pageant because of her mixed race.

Malonson, whose father is black and whose mother is white, said she was taken off guard by the criticism, particularly since part of her pageant platform was trying to break down stereotypes and educating people about racial identity.

“I didn’t realize that even after I received the title I would still have to explain myself, that there was still ignorant people out there who are asking me to prove myself,” she said. “Just because I have straight hair and olive skin tone doesn’t mean I’m not black…I don’t have to look a certain way to be black.”

Malonson, who is a senior and a broadcasting and journalism student at the University of Texas, seems to have taken the criticism in stride. In a Twitter post and to Fox News, she thanked everyone who came out and supported her, particularly those in the African American community.

“The beautiful thing about this is all the people her [at UT] who have come out and defended me,” she said. “It shows I have a beautiful support system here.”

She said she will take this experience and turn it into an opportunity. She will dedicate the next year to educating people about racial identity and breaking down stereotypes by posting videos from different people talking about their cultural and racial roots.

“And I will continue to support black women empowerment,” she said.

In a story in the Daily Texan, a student newspaper, Malonson said she has long struggled with her mixed heritage because no one could figure out where she was from. So many people thought she was Hispanic, she said, that she started to believe it herself – even though she was not.

“I remember I felt so insecure because people didn’t understand who I was by my look,” Malonson said. “I’m confident in it now and see it as a unique trait where I’m able to teach people that not every black person (and) not every mixed person looks the same way.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

White House: Trump, Putin discuss Syria, North Korea, Middle East in phone call

THOMSON REUTERS        May 2nd 2017 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed working together to end the violence in Syria on Tuesday in their first phone call since U.S. air strikes in Syria strained U.S.-Russian relations.

The White House said the two leaders agreed that "all parties must do all they can to end the violence" in Syria and that Trump and Putin also discussed working together against Islamic militants throughout the Middle East.

"The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons," a White House statement said.
Kremlin readout of Trump/Putin phone call includes a little something the White House left out…

Trump's decision to launch 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield on April 4 in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack angered the Russians and led to some bitter exchanges between the two governments.

The White House statement said Washington will send a representative to Syrian cease-fire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday and Thursday.

"They also discussed at length working together to eradicate terrorism throughout the Middle East. Finally, they spoke about how best to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea," the statement said.