Superheroes. Artist unknown. Located in the park behind the American Embassy.
The word “ rhinoceros” comes from the Greek “ rhino” (nose) and “ceros” (horn). Because the animals’ horns are used in folk medicine for their supposed healing properties, rhinos have been hunted nearly to extinction. Artist unknown.
Trupele de Carabinieri (Carabinier Troops) is the gendarmerie-type force of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova. The Moldovan Carabinieri are to ensure, together with the police or independently, public order, protection of rights and freedoms of citizens, owners’ properties and prevention of violations of the law. The Department of Carabineer Troops has 5 Military Units and some 2,000 soldiers working on a contract basis or on time. On December 12, 1991, the establishment of the Carabinieri Troops was approved by the Parliament and subsequently signed by the President of the Republic of Moldova. (wiki)
“We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Chișinău , you intoxicate me.
Abandoned building near the city center.
And, she did…
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that SELF may prove to be.” ― May Sarton
Church in the woods
Decay is inevitable, but beauty can remain
jun2018. Chisinau , Moldova
Founded in 1811. It’s the most ‘honored’ cemetery in Chișinău. Many nobles alongside regular citizens. It’s falling to decay, as it’s so massive, but there’s constantly work being done by groundskeepers. Walking through it, I was struck by two things that are not common in American cemeteries: Pictures of the deceased prominently displayed on the tombstones, really ‘putting a face with the corpse’ for me. Which, I never knew I needed. Sounds creepy, but it was kind of wild to see the face of someone who was born and who died before I ever came to be. Just gently putting into perspective that life goes on with or without us. We’re so small in relative terms. Secondly, the tables that were on the grave sites. Some were as long as picnic tables. Others were small little cafe-like tables that were obviously meant for visitors to come and sit. A Ukrainian friend explained that once a year there’s a special day where families come and visit their beloveds’ graves…drink and eat, and share stories of their lives. An effort to keep their spirits alive, I guess.
Reminiscent of the Grapes of Wrath
Who WERE they?! What were they LIKE?!
An especially elaborate table at a grave site
16jun18 Chișinău , Moldova
Artist, Radu Dumbrava
10jun18 Chișinău , Moldova 🇲🇩
The content of that paraphrase above is what freaked me the fuck out this week as I observed from abroad, the tightening grip his preposterous lies and mentally ill despotic behavior are having on his gullible, violent base. America is unrecognizable…
Week 83: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
June 16, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-83-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-aa4da2f1782a
This week the atrocities at our southern border finally garnered widespread attention, as stories on the scope and the devastating impact of the Trump regime’s zero-tolerance policy were reported. Sessions invoked the Bible to justify the regime’s practice of separating migrant children from their parents, and exacerbated the crisis by ordering immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. Amid widespread condemnation, Trump repeated false claims blaming Democrats for the border crisis — continuing his pattern of constructing an alternative version of reality to feed his base.
Trump held a well choreographed summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, which received media attention on the scale of a Super Bowl, but resulted in little in the way of substance. Trump continues his pattern of ignoring human rights abuses abroad, while Trump’s capacity and culpability for human rights abuses at home may explain why. cozying up to dictators and alienating former democratic allies.
This week Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was sent to jail, pending his trial, and Trump insider Michael Cohen lost his legal representation, amid persistent rumors that he may cooperate. As the week came to a close, Rudy Giuliani bragged that Trump would clean things up by issuing pardons.
“PLAYED LIKE A FIDDLE.” How “unprecedented” is an agreement by North Korea to end its nuclear program and cease hostilities? 1985: North Korea signs Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty 1992: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#1) 1994: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#2) 1999: North Korea signs historic agreement to end missile tests 2000: North Korea signs historic agreement to reunify Korea! Nobel Peace Prize is awarded 2005: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2005: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program and “denuclearize”! (#3) 2006: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2006: North Korea again support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2007: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#4) 2007: N&S Korea sign agreement on reunification 2010: North Korea commits to ending Korean War 2010: North Korea announces commitment to “denuclearize” 2010: North Korea again announces commitment to “denuclearize” 2011: North Korea announces plan to halt nuclear and missile tests 2012: North Korea announces halt to nuclear program 2015: North Korea offers to halt nuclear tests 2016: North Korea again announces support for “denuclearization” (source: D. Neal) *To be clear: THIS WAS NO DEAL. China is reaping the benefits of a photo op (AND NOTHING MORE) by 45. Oh, 45 mentioned some hotels he’d like to see on the beaches there. So, again, a business deal for him, A DESTRUCTION DEAL FOR AMERICA. WE ARE SO FUCKED.
Artist and location unknown, but this popped up somewhere in the world this week. AMERICA IS A JOKE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD, if you haven’t realized it yet.
Late Saturday, after departing the G7 summit early,
Trump announced that he was backing out of the joint communique, repeating his mantra, “We must put the American worker first!” Late Saturday, while aboard Air Force One,
Trump lashed out at Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau in a tweet, calling him “Very dishonest & weak.” On Sunday, Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Trump, further escalated the rhetoric against Trudeau on “Fox News Sunday,” saying, “
There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy.” On Sunday, top White House economic adviser
Larry Kudlow told “State of the Union” that Trudeau “stabbed us in the back,” saying, “He did a great disservice to the whole G7.” On Monday,
Kudlow was hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack. On Sunday,
other G7 leaders issued statements in support of Trudeau, with Britain’s Prime Minister May saying she is “fully supportive of Justin Trudeau,” and France and Germany issuing similar statements. On Sunday,
NYT reported Trump did not want to go to the G7, but aides pushed him to do so. He rebelled by showing up late and leaving early, as well as by acting out by crossing his arms and swiveling in his seat. On Sunday,
Axios reported that at a White House visit in April, French President Macron told Trump that France and the U.S. should work together on their “China problem,” Trump said the European Union is “worse than China.” Rep. Louie Gohmert told “Fox & Friends Weekend” that
Mueller is “covering up” for Hillary Clinton, and “he’s trying to have a coup against” against Trump. On Sunday,
NYT reported while Trump was at the G7 summit, burned-out White House staffers are considering resigning, including chief of staff John Kelly and one of his deputies, Joe Hagin. Turnover is at 51%. Trump does not mind people leaving, and is
comfortable removing barriers that might challenge him. Trump believes he can function as his own chief of staff, communications director, and HR manager. Trump is re-energized, and
feels he gained ground in dictating the narrative of news coverage. He continues to be paranoid about leakers — aides seeking his favor try to identify people who could be disloyal. On Monday, Canada’s House of Commons
unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Trudeau by Trump and his surrogates.
AP conducted a fact check of Trump’s statements on trade, and found his examples to be factually incorrect, adding Trump glossed over the parts of the economy “that don’t support his faulty contention.” On Tuesday, amid growing tensions with Canada,
Trump’s Department of Homeland Security announced a “strengthened” Northern Border Strategyto help “combat terrorism” and “help facilitate travel and trade” at its border.
WAPO reported on mass trials in courtrooms packed with parents in the Southwest who were separated from their children after crossing the border. The number of defendants has soared under Trump’s new crackdown.
Migrant parents face the decision of pleading guilty and hoping to be reunified with their children, or pleading innocent and waiting days or weeks for trial without their children. In
McAllen, Texas alone, 415 children had been separated from their parents between May 21 and June 5. In one day in court, the judge sentenced 100 people, including 28 parents. On Sunday,
WAPO reported that 206 undocumented immigrants were transferred last week to the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, 174 of which were women. The women were kept in three concrete pods. Rep. Pramila Jayapal said
half the women said they were forcibly separated from their children. Some said children as young as 12 monthshad been taken away — some heard their children screaming for them in the next room. The women were
fleeing threats of rape and gang violence in Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. ICE confirmed it has moved 1,600migrants to federal prisons due to the surge of illegal crossings and implementation of the zero-tolerance policy. On Monday,
Jeff Sessions ordered immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence, continuing the regime’s efforts to change immigration laws to make them less friendly. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,
there was a backlog of 311,000 asylum claims in late January. Immigration attorneys said a substantial portion fall under the categories Sessions targeted.
WAPO reported the Honduran father, Marco Antonio Muñoz, who killed himself in Week 82 after being separated from his wife and son, was seeking asylum after the murder of his brother-in-law in Honduras. The parents also have a
older son who is an American citizen who they put in a plane to flee, while the couple went by land with the younger son.
AP reported U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency which oversees immigration applications, will focus on identifying Americans suspected of cheating to get their citizenship and seek to strip them of it. Up until now, the agency pursued cases as they arose, but not through a coordinated effort.
The new steps come as the regime cracks down on illegal immigration and looks to reduce legal immigration to the U.S. On Tuesday,
McClatchy reported the Trump regime is looking to erect tent cities at military posts around Texas to shelter the growing number of children separated from their parents crossing the border. Trump’s
Department of Health and Human Services confirmed they are looking at the Fort Bliss site along with Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo to hold between 1,000 and 5,000 children. The Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS is responsible for the care of more than
11,200 migrant children and growing. The approximately 100 shelters designated for children are 95% full. CNN interviewed an attorney in McAllen, Texas who said an undocumented immigrant from Honduras said
federal authorities took her daughter while she was breastfeeding in a detention center. When the mother tried to resist, she was handcuffed. An assistant public defender in Texas said
some parents also claim they have been told their children are being taken to be bathed or cleaned up, then disappear. On Thursday,
images inside a migrant children center at a former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, revealed a large mural of Trump with a quote — in English and Spanish — from his 1987 book The Art of the Deal. DHS said the mural is one of 20 depicting U.S. presidents at shelters. The
others feature inspiring quotes about immigration, while Trump’s quote reads, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” On Thursday, NBC News reported the regime will
house the overflow of migrant children in tents in Tornillo, Texas. The DHS will erect a “tent city” full of large tents, which are estimated to hold 450 beds for children. On Thursday,
Daily Beast reported that MVM Inc., a scandal plagued defense contractor company, is set to benefit from the migrant children detention centers. The company is advertising to hire all sorts of personnel, in fields not in their expertise. MVM bills itself as an “extensive domain expertise in counter-narcotics, criminal and civil investigations,
public safety, and national security,” and has no relevant experience with the care of migrant children. On Thursday,
WAPO reported House Republicans are circulating a proposal to limit Trump’s policy of separating migrant children. The policy has been criticized by human rights groups, clergy, and lawmakers on both sides. On Thursday, Sessions continued to defend the policy in a speech in Indiana, saying the previous policy
amounted to “a declaration of open borders,” and the short-term separation was “not unusual or unjustified.” Sessions
countered a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church who called the policy, “immoral,” by citing Romans 13 in the Bible: “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.” On Friday, DHS revealed that in the six weeks since Sessions’ zero tolerance policy took effect,
1,995 children have been separated from 1,940 adults. On Friday, the
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a nonpartisan fact-finding agency, issued a letter asking Sessions and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsento halt the family separations, saying the policy raises “grave concerns” about due process and coercive tactics. On Friday, in a speech in Scranton, PA,
Sessions criticized Philadelphia and its mayor over the city’s ‘sanctuary’ status, saying the city is coddling dangerous criminals and refusing to turn them over to ICE. On Friday, NPR reported
pediatricians are sounding the alarm, saying migrant children separated from their parents suffer “irreparable harm,” including “toxic stress” that disrupts a child’s brain development and harms long-term health. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who saw a young girl crying, was told by
staff that federal regulations prevented them from touching or holding the child to soothe her. Antar Davidson, an employee of Southwest Key, which
operates more than two dozen shelters for migrant children from Texas to California, quit his job, saying staffers are not trained to handle the influx of younger, more traumatized children. Davidson said the breaking point was when he was called over the radio and asked to translate for
two siblings, ages 6 and 10, that they couldn’t hug each other after being separated from their parents. The
U.S. is expected to quit the U.N. human rights panel when sessions open on Monday. The U.S. had long played a “leadership role” in the council, which was set up in 2006. The ACLU highlighted
Tiana Smalls, who reported that on a Greyhound bus to Las Vegas, as the bus approached an agricultural checkpoint at the Nevada state line, the bus driver said, “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request.” Smalls stood and said, “
This is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights… We are not within 100 miles of a border.” She used Google translate to repeat her message in Spanish. The agents left. On Tuesday,
Rep. Steve King linked to an anti-immigrant tweet by Mark Collett, Britain’s most high-profile white supremacists, and added, “Europe is waking up… Will America… in time?”
Bloomberg reported that according to advocacy group Alliance for Justice, so far 88% of Trump’s additions to the federal bench are white and 76% are male. There is only one Hispanic justice. During Obama’s presidency, just 38% of judicial nominees were white males.
Trump’s picks are the least diverse in 24 years — since Ronald Reagan was in office. On Monday,
Politico reported Steven Cheung, a senior communications directed, resigned. Cheung was one of the last remaining campaign-era Trump aides still working at the White House. On Tuesday,
WAPO reported Joel McElvain, who has worked at the Justice Department for more than 20 years, resigned last Friday, the morning after Sessions notified Congress the agency will not defend the ACA. Sessions defended himself, saying
he acknowledged the executive branch “has a long-standing tradition of defending the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes,” but said the move is not unprecedented. CBS News reported
both press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah are planning to resign. Sanders has told friends she plans to leave at the end of the year. Shah has not settled on a date.
Politico reported Trump’s White House is hosting a jobs fair amid the exodus of employees. The “Executive Branch Job Fair” was advertised with an email that was blasted out widely to Republicans on the Hill.
Politico reported despite requirement under the Presidential Records Act that the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails, and papers that Trump touches, Trump has a routine habit of ripping every paper up. Solomon Lartey, a career government official, and his colleagues have had
to tape together large piles of shredded paper and send them to the National Archives to be properly filed away. On Monday, the
Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that Ohio can purge voters from voter rolls if they fail to return a card sent after their first missed election. Other conservative states are expected to follow. On Tuesday,
Trump praised the ruling from Singapore, tweeting, “Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!” According to financial disclosure forms released Monday,
Jared Kushner and Ivanka brought in at least $82 million during 2017 while serving as senior White House advisers. Ivanka earned almost $ 3.9 million from the Trump Hotel DC.
The couple earned immense sums from other enterprises, which ethics experts say could create conflicts of interest. Acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney
changed the name of the agency founded by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to BCFP, which stands for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
Foreign Policy reported Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist recently hired as a senior adviser in the State Department, is quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine if they are loyal to Trump.
Sources say Stull is gathering intel and making lists. She has the full support of her boss, Kevin Moley, who was appointed by the White House in January. One State Department official said, “Everyone is looking to bail.” NPR reported the Commerce Department released 1,320 pages of internal memos, emails and other documents
as part of a lawsuit related to Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. A July 2017 email reveals “
at the direction of Steve Bannon,” Kris Kobach and Ross spoke on the phone. Kobach told Ross including “aliens” in census numbers for congressional reapportionment is a “problem.” On Friday,
WAPO reported that Pence’s VP office is a gateway to influence the Trump regime. Under Pence, twice as many companies and other interests hired lobbyists contacted the office than under Biden or Cheney. Lobbyists, who rake in millions for access, also donate to Trump or advocates for Pence, in one case helping him get on the ticket.
Actions taken by Pence and his staff as a result of lobbying are not disclosed in federal filings. On Wednesday,
WAPO reported last year Scott Pruitt enlisted Samantha Dravis, a top aide, to contact Republican donors to help his wife find a job. Pruitt’s wife landed a temporary position with conservative group. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Renzi Stone, founder of public relations firm Saxum,
asking for documentation on how he helped Pruitt get tickets for the Rose Bowl. Saxum, which is based in Oklahoma,
represented Plains All American Pipeline LP, a company which has a petition pending before the EPA. On Friday, the Office of Government Affairs Director David Apol said in a letter
he is considering “formal corrective action proceeding” regarding alleged improper behavior by Pruitt, an unprecedented step against a sitting Cabinet member. Apol
urged the EPA’s in-house watchdog to expand its ongoing investigations to review the latest allegations about Pruitt, including that he used EPA resources to find a job for his wife. On Monday,
McClatchy reported in addition to Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina, other prominent Russian officials — Dmitry Rogozin and Sergei Rudov — met with NRA representatives, mostly in Moscow, during the 2016 campaign. The NRA reported $30 million in donations to the Trump campaign, $21 million from its lobbying arm which does not disclose donors.
NRA insiders said the group spent $70 million overall, including field operations and online advertising. The
NRA also spent $24.4 million to back Republican candidates for Congress in 2016. It is a crime to donate or use foreign money in U.S. election campaigns.
Mueller’s team and the Senate Intelligence Committee are both investigating whether Russian money was donated to Trump’s campaign. On Tuesday,
Vanity Fair reported that within the next month, Mueller is reportedly planning to deliver his findings in the obstruction of justiceinvestigation to Rod Rosenstein, and per sources, “Donald is very worried.” According to a source,
Michael Cohen has told friends he expects to be arrested any day now. Trump is concerned that Cohen might flip. In the meantime, Trump is enjoying acting on his impulses, unchecked. Kushner reportedly is also
flaunting his status in front of Kelly since he had his security clearance restored. Republican sources say Kushner recently stood up and walked out of a meeting that Kelly was leading. On Tuesday,
Mueller’s team filed a motion to limit evidence-sharing in its case against 13 Russians and three Russian entities, citing the risk of revealing the identities of “uncharged co-conspirators.” The motion also indicates the investigation is far from over, mentioning “
uncharged individuals and entities” which are believed to be “continuing to engage in interference operations” in the U.S. On Tuesday, Fox News reported that
according to two unnamed House Intelligence Committee staffers, at a January 2018 meeting, Rosenstein threatened to use the power of his office to subpoena Devin Nunes and the committee. CNN reported according to a DOJ staffer,
Rosenstein plans to “request that the House general counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’ conduct” when he returns from a foreign trip. On Wednesday, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll showed
Mueller’s public image was at an all-time low after months of attacks by Trump, with 36% of voters seeing him unfavorably. By party, 53% of Republicans, 24% of Democrats and 33% of Independents see Mueller unfavorably.
The biggest spike came from Republicans, with unfavorable up 26% from July. On Wednesday, ABC News reported
Cohen’s legal team from McDermott, Will & Emery LLP are expected to leave the case. A source familiar said the change in counsel is due to a fee dispute. No replacement has been named. On Thursday,
WSJ reported federal prosecutors are investigating whether Cohen illegally engaged in secret lobbying. Prosecutors have contacted companies that hired Cohen as a consultant, including AT&T and Novartis. On Thursday, CBS News reported sources say
Cohen is feeling increasingly isolated and believes Trump and his allies are turning on him. Cohen is especially upset over statements made by Rudy Giuliani. On Friday, CNN reported Cohen has expressed anger at his treatment by Trump, and
indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate pressure on himself and his family. Cohen has
not yet met with prosecutors to discuss a deal. He is currently trying to find a new legal team, as his current lawyers have until Friday at noon to complete the review of 3.7 million files seized in the FBI raid. On Friday, federal prosecutors told the court they
have reassembled 16 pages of shredded documents and recovered 731 pages of encrypted text messages seized in the Cohen raid. On Friday,
a federal judge revoked Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail to await trial, citing charges that Manafort tried to influence testimony of two government witnesses. Judge Amy Berman said Manafort cannot remain free, even under the strictest conditions, saying, “
This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone.” Manafort’s first trial is scheduled for next month. Two hours later, Trump tweeted that
jailing Manafort was a “tough sentence” and “very unfair.”
Trump also tweeted that he “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob,” and then continued his attack on Comey, “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others?”
Trump also tweeted that Manafort “represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns.” On Friday, when asked about Manafort, Giuliani told the
New York Daily News, “When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.” Giuliani also said he didn’t understand “
the justification” for putting Manafort in jail, adding the Mueller probe “should not go forward,” and “It’s time for Justice to investigate the investigators.” On Monday,
the repeal of net neutrality, which had required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content, took effect. As of late May,
29 state legislatures had introduced bills to ensure net neutrality. Two governors have signed executive orders to force net neutrality, and Washington state has signed net neutrality into law. On Monday, George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway,
penned an op-ed defending the constitutionality of the Mueller probe, after Trump tweeted “the Special Councel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” On Tuesday, Trump met with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. All major U.S. media attended the well choreographed event, which
was dubbed “historic,” with non-stop coverage on every major outlet. As Trump and Kim both declared the summit a success,
the two sides differed on what was agreed to publicly, and their agreement was summarized in a short document which lacked details. Trump said in a series of tweets, “
There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” adding, everybody “can now feel much safer than the day I took office” and people could “sleep well tonight!” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the regime expected “major disarmament” before the end of Trump’s first term.
Kim described the beginning of a “step-by-step and simultaneous” process towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As Trump and Kim were signing the document in front of reporters,
CNN’s Jim Acosta asked, “did he agree to denuclearize?” Trump responded, “We’re starting that process very quickly.” Acosta then asked if Trump and Kim had discussed Otto Warmbier. Trump did not respond. On Tuesday, Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager, tweeted, “
Jim @Acosta should immediately have his press credentials suspended. He is an absolute disgrace!” In an interview with George Stephanopoulos after the summit,
Trump said of Kim Jong Un, a brutal dictator, “His country does love him. His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.” On Tuesday morning, in a stunning concession,
Trump said the U.S. will halt joint military exercises with South Korea, an announcement which baffled allies, military officials, and lawmakers from the GOP.
Reuters reported leaders of U.S. ally South Korean were caught by surprise. The South Korean presidential office said “ we need to find out the precise meaning or intentions” of Trump announcement. A January 2018
WSJ article noted Trump may have gotten this idea from a conversation with Putin: “If the U.S. stopped joint military exercises with the South Koreans, it could help moderate Kim Jong Un’s behavior.” KPNA, North Korea’s official news agency, described the summit as an “epoch-making meeting,” and
asserted Trump had “expressed his intention” to lift sanctions when nukes are no longer a factor. On Tuesday,
Trump held his first official solo press conference in 16 months. As reporters waited for Trump to come on stage,
two huge screens came down instead, with a movie type production portraying North Korea as a paradise. The film lasted four minutes. Reporters thought it was North Korean propaganda
The film then looped and played in English. The film was made in America, by or on the orders of his White House, for the benefit of Kim. Trump then came on stage and said, “I hope you liked it. I thought it was good.” Trump said
Kim, “is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did, at 26 years of age, and is able to run it, and run it tough.” An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 people are imprisoned in North Korea. Trump also lauded North Korea’s “great beaches,” and said he told Kim, “You know, instead of doing that (develop nuclear weapons), you could have the
best hotels in the world right there.” On Wednesday, upon returning to the U.S., in a series of tweets,
Trump called the press America’s “biggest enemy” — singling out “Fake News, especially NBC and CNN” for downplaying his deal with North Korea. On Thursday, Trump faced a backlash after he was seen in a 42-minute video of the summit, first
broadcast by North Korea’s state news channel, saluting a North Korean general. Sanders called it a “common courtesy.” Military and intelligence experts said
U.S. leaders typically do not salute military officials from adversarial nations. U.S. ally South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea. On Sunday, at the Tony Awards, actor
Robert DeNiro said expletives about Trump, “First, I wanna say: ‘F — — Trump.’ It’s no longer ‘down with Trump,’ it’s ‘f — — Trump.’” On Tuesday,
Trump attacked DeNiro in two tweets, calling him a “very Low IQ individual,” who has “received to many shots to the head by real boxers in movies,” adding, “Wake up Punchy!” On Tuesday, after GOP leaders blocked a vote on legislation which would give Congress veto power over certain Trump tariffs,
Sen. Bob Corker accused the GOP of cowering to Trump, “let’s don’t do anything that might upset” him. On Friday,
Trump unilaterally imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products. Within an hour, the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing pledged to erect trade barriers of the “same scale and the same strength.” On Thursday,
the New York attorney general filed a civil lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the campaign and family of violating campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign. The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric from serving on nonprofit organizations. The attorney general also
sent referrals to the IRS and FEC for further action. The lawsuit gives numerous examples of
Trump using foundation monies to win political favor or settle legal claims against his various businesses, as well as pay off his legal bills and promote Trump hotels. The lawsuit also claims that $2.8 million raised by the foundation at an Iowa event in 2016 was allocated by senior campaign officials to veteran groups, making it an “
improper in-kind contribution” to the campaign.
NY AG Barbara Underwood tweeted, “Our investigation found that the Trump Foundation raised in excess of $2.8 million in a manner designed to influence the 2016 presidential election.” On Thursday,
the Justice Department inspector general issued a report rebuking James Comey for breaking FBI and Justice Department protocolin his handling of the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. The 568-page report by IG Michael Horowitz
found Comey was not motivated by political bias when he cleared Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing. Horowitz wrote
Comey acted “unilaterally” and outside the scope of his authority when he held the July 2016 press conference, and rebuked Comey for sending a letter to Congress in late October 2016. The report also included
previously unreported text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok in which Page asked, Trump’s “not ever going to become president, right?,”and Strzok responded, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Horowitz wrote
Strzok, Page, and three other bureau staffers were being passed on to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility for possible disciplinary action. Strzok is still with the FBI. Page left last month. On Friday, Trump told reporters that
he is “totally exonerated” by Justice Department IG report. He also accused the FBI of “plotting against my election,” saying Comey was the ringleader in a “den of thieves.” Trump also claimed
the Mueller investigation “has been totally discredited,” by the report. The Mueller probe was not mentioned in the report. On Friday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is vying to win House leadership when Paul Ryan resigns, told “Fox and Friends”
that “I think the Mueller investigation has got to stop,” citing the texts. On Friday, in a wide-ranging surprise interview with “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy on the North Lawn of the White House,
Trump said he opposes the immigration bill cobbled together by House Republicans. Trump’s opposition
caught House Republican leaders by surprise. Ryan had told members he had been briefing Trump on their legislative strategy, and Trump was on board. The bill would have provided $25 billion for Trump’s border wall and a new visa program to give Dreamers a path to residency and citizenship, but
would have ended the regime’s practice of separating migrant children from parents. Trump also said, “I hate the children being taken away.
The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.” Sanders had also blamed the Democrats at the daily briefing on Thursday. These statements are untrue. Later Friday, the
White House changed positions, saying Trump “fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill,” saying Trump has misunderstood the question by Doocy. Later Friday, the
White House issued a statement by Trump on “Democrats’ Dangerous Immigration Policies,” blaming “CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS’ FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY.” On Saturday, for the
fourth time in 24 hours, Trump falsely blamed Democrats for “their forced family breakup at the Border,” and accusing them of “High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!” Trump also told Doocy that Kim Jong Un is a “strong head” of his country, adding of Kim, “
He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.” When pressed on his comment,
Trump insisted it was a joke and attacked the media, saying, “I’m kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm. Hey, who are you with? …You’re with CNN? Hey, you are the worst.” Trump also said “
Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign,” adding that he felt “a little badly” that prosecutors were targeting the longtime Republican operative, “He worked for many other Republicans.” After naming other Republicans (Reagan, Dole, McCain) Trump said Manafort worked for him “for
49 days or something? A very short period of time.” Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for 114 days. Trump also said of Michael Flynn, “
Some people say [Flynn] lied and some people say he didn’t lie.” Flynn pled guilty to lying. On Friday, Trump also told a CBS News reporter who was asking questions to “
quiet” at least five time. He also said to reporters, “She’s so obnoxious.” MSNBC host Katy Tur detailed a total of
19 lies or misleading statements in Trump’s interview with Doocy on her show Friday.
AP reported at least four former Cambridge Analytica employees affiliated with Data Propria, a new company specializing in voter and consumer targeting work, have been quietly working for the 2020 Trump campaign. In a conversation overheard by
AP, Matt Oczkowski, who led Cambridge Analytica data team, said he and Parscale were “doing the president’s work for 2020.” Parscale is a part owner of Data Propria’s parent company, Cloud Commerce. Cloud Commerce is also paying Parscale other amounts. A former FEC chair said it was
unusual for an incumbent’s campaign to direct large amounts of business to outside firms tied to his campaign manager. On Thursday, Rob Rogers, who joined the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette as an editorial cartoonist in 1993 and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1999, was fired, as the paper has shifted to the right. Rogers cartoons had appeared in the paper roughly five times a week, but around Memorial Day, started disappearing.
Rogers said in the past three months, 19 cartoons or proposals for cartoons were rejected. On Saturday,
in an op-ed, Rogers said he was fired for making fun of Trump. He said starting in March, management said his cartoons on Trump were “too angry” and said he was “obsessed with Trump.” Russian news agency
TASS reported that according to a White House spokesperson, Moscow and Washington are exploring “the opportunity of a meeting” between Putin and Trump, with Austria as a possible venue. On Saturday,
WAPO reported Trump is planning to meet with Putin in July, after months of prodding by Trump, who has faced resistance from senior political aides and diplomats questioning the value of a meeting. A U.S. official said after meeting with Kim Jong Un,
Trump said he wanted to invite Putin to the White House. The official said, “We ignored it.” Trump has become a strong public advocate for engagement with Russia. According to a new Ipsos poll, for Global News and Reuters,
Americans approve of how Trudeau is handling the trade dispute over Trump, by a 57–37 margin.
You should hope NOT. My photo of a sticker on the streets of Chisinau , Moldova, on 10June2018.
The Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity (Romanian : ) is the main cathedral of the Moldovan Orthodox Church in Central Chișinău, Moldova. It was commissioned by the governor of New Russia, Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, and Metropolitan Gavril Bănulescu-Bodoni in 1830. The cathedral was built in the 1830s to a Neoclassical design by Abram Melnikov (who had designed a similar church in Bolhrad). The cathedral was bombed during World War II, and its bell tower was destroyed by the local Communists in 1962. The new bell tower was constructed in 1997. During the Soviet period, worship was prohibited and the cathedral was transformed into an exhibition center. Catedrala Mitropolitană Nașterea Domnului https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity_Cathedral,_Chișinău
Ştefan cel Mare Central Park (Romanian: ) is the main park in Central Chişinău, Moldova. Formerly known as Pushkin Park, it is the oldest park in Moldova and spans about 7 hectares (17 acres). It has gained the nickname “The Park of the Lovers” in Chişinău due to its popularity as a meeting spot for couples. The park contains 50 species of trees, some of which are quite old, the mulberries and acacias being between 130 and 180 years. Grădina Publică „Ştefan cel Mare” / Parcul „Ştefan cel Mare” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ștefan_cel_Mare_Central_Park
Artist: Radu Dumbrava https://www.instagram.com/dumbravaradu/
The National Theater Mihai Eminescu was established on October 10, 1920 by a group of prominent Romanian cultural and public figures, led by the Minister of Bessarabia in the Government of Romania, Sergiu T. Niţă. The troupe worked only one season, delivering 25 performances. In 1935, by ministerial order, theaters in Chisinau, Craiova and Chernivtsi were closed for financial reasons. Although short-lived, the first National Theater in Chisinau has made an important contribution to the culture of Bessarabia. https://www.gpsmycity.com/attractions/national-theater-mihai-eminescu-9979.html
Pisică Ferocească : Ferocious Kitty
The Chișinău Water Tower is an architectural monument of Chișinău, Moldova, located at 2 Mitropolit Bănulescu-Bodoni Street and built at the end of 19th century after a project by Alexander Bernadazzi. It was a main part of Chişinău’s water system. The upper level was built of wood and was destroyed by an earthquake. It was rebuilt between 1980 and 1983. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chișinău_Water_Tower
Elefant, artist unknown
Francysk Skaryna or Francisk Skorina (pronounced [franˈt͡sɨsk skaˈrɨna]; Latin: , Belarusian: Franciscus Scorina Францыск (Францішак) Скарына; Polish: ; ca. 1490–before 29 January 1552) was a Belarusian humanist, physician, translator and one of the first book printers in Eastern Europe, laying the groundwork for the development of the Belarusian language. Franciszek Skaryna https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francysk_Skaryna
No escaping Western Influence
10jun18. Chisinau , Moldova
While Fox (Faux) News (Opinions) reported on Meghan Markle’s off-the-shoulder dress, here’s what actually happened, and matters, in our country (and to the world) this week ~
Week 82 of this presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
June 9, 2018
This week started with Trump pushing yet another norm, saying he could pardon himself. This comes after a string of recent pardons, and Trump bragging to reporters that he is considering 3,000 more — crowning himself the arbiter of what is fair, not the judicial branch. In two moves that alarmed legal experts, Sessions’ Justice Department sided with a frivolous lawsuit instead of defending the Affordable Care Act, and seized phone and email records from a New York Times reporter.
Trump continued to divide the country, creating controversy by disinviting the NFL champions the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House, and later in the week, the NBA champions. The regime continues its cruel Zero Tolerance policy at the southern border, which has drawn international outcry and lawsuits.
and achieving nothing before leaving for his summit with Kim Jong Un next Tuesday. However, this week, the Republican Party showed signs of standing up to Trump on several issues including trade, the FBI informant, ZTE and protections for “dreamers.” Trump continues to act as if he is solely in charge, attending the Group of Seven summit in Toronto where he arrived late, left early, delivered a harsh, toothless speech, and complained Russia wasn’t invited — further alienating our former allies
Sen. Jeff Merkley posted a video showing he was denied entry to a former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas used as a detention center for migrant children who had been separated from their parents. The facility in Brownsville is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Merkley tweeted, “Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor — he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us.” On Monday, Ray Zaccaro, a spokesperson for Merkley, added that on Sunday, in a separate visit to a
Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas, “Senator Merkley and his staff saw children in cages.” On Monday, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley
accused Merkley of “irresponsibly spreading blatant lies” and “smearing hardworking, dedicated law enforcement officials.” On Tuesday, in one of a series of 13 tweets, Trump also attacked Merkley and Democrats, tweeting, “Separating families at the Border is
the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats.” This statement is false. On Tuesday, the
United Nations human rights office called on the Trump regime to “immediately halt” its policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the U.S. border with Mexico.
A U.N. spokeswoman said, “The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles,” adding, “the child’s best interest should always come first.” On Tuesday,
Jeff Sessions defended separating migrant parents and children, telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them.”
Sessions also likened the practice to what happens in the U.S., saying when an American “gets prosecuted” for a crime, “American citizens, and they go to jail, they’re separated from their children.” On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced for a
third month in a row, U.S. border agents made more than 50,000 arrests in May, triple the amount in May 2017, despite the Trump regime separating children from their parents.
NYT reported police departments in several cities with large Hispanic populations are seeing a decline in reports of domestic violence and sexual assault. Police blame fear of being deported. Cities experiencing a decline include Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, and
Houston, which saw a decline from 7,460 reports from Hispanics in 2016, to 6,273 in 2017.
WAPO reported about 200 ICE officers blitzed two locations of Corso’s Flower and Garden Center in Ohio in an immigration raid. They arrested 114 workers thought to be illegal and loaded them on buses to be taken to ICE detention centers. Local activists say
dozens of children were left stranded at daycare centers and with babysitters. ICE plans to charge the undocumented workers with identity theft and tax evasion. ICE is also investigating the employer.
This marks third mass round-up conducted by ICE. In April, 97 immigrants were arrested at a meat-processing plant in rural Tennessee, and in January, ICE raided 98 7-Eleven stores.
Daily Beast reported Honduran native Martina Blasina Romero, the mother of Ronal Francisco Romero, an undocumented immigrant who died of bacterial meningitis while in ICE custody, is preparing to sue. Border Patrol arrested Romero on May 9 as he illegally entered the U.S. He died May 16. Advocates say the
facility where Romero was held is severely lacking in medical assistance, one saying it is “virtually nonexistent.” On Wednesday, a
U.S. District Judge in San Diego denied a motion made by the Trump regime to dismiss an ACLU lawsuit which argues that splitting up families at the border violates their due process rights. The judge wrote that allegations that the government “arbitrarily tears at the sacred bond between parent and child,” if true, “
is brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.”
Intercept reported that the ACLU estimates between 1,500 and 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the southern border, with the number escalating with Sessions’ Zero Tolerance policy. According to a police report obtained by
WAPO, a Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell on May 13. The Starr County sheriff’s deputy reports quotes Border Patrol agents. The
death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security. The
Des Moines Register reported Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, who was scheduled to graduate high school in Des Moines last month, died a brutal death in Mexico three weeks after being escorted out of the U.S. by ICE. Cano Pacheco had been
granted DACA status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but it was revoked over a speeding ticket. He was the oldest of four siblings.
For a second year in a row, Trump failed to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month. Shortly after his inauguration, the Trump regime removed references to LGBTQ people from a number of federal government websites. On Monday,
the Supreme Court ruled that the baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple was discriminated against by a Colorado agency which displayed religious bias when it sanctioned him. The narrow Supreme Court ruling
did not address whether businesses can refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. Trump fanned misinformation, tweeting, “Big Supreme Court ruling for Baker just out!” On Monday, following the ruling,
state Rep. Michael Clark of South Dakota wrote on Facebook that businesses should be able to turn away customers based on race. He later apologized. Following the ruling, Jeff Amyx, owner of a hardware store in Tennessee,
displayed a sign which read, ‘No Gays Allowed.’ Amyx said, “Christianity is under attack…this is not the end, this is just the beginning.” Amyx had
first posted the sign in the store window in 2015 when gay marriage became legal, but later removed it after facing a sharp backlash. On Thursday, an Arizona appeals court ruled that
a Phoenix-based calligraphy business cannot refuse service to same-sex couples. After the White House drew fired in 2017 for not hosting an Iftar dinner to commemorate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, this year the regime hosted a dinner, but
failed to invite any Muslim-American leaders or activists.
NYT reported on a 20-page confidential letter sent to Robert Mueller on January 29 from Trump attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, making the untested assertion that Trump cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the Russia investigation. Trump’s lawyers argue it is impossible for him to obstruct justice by shutting down a case or firing a subordinate, no matter his motivation,
since the Constitution gives him power to supervise the executive branch. Trump’s attorneys are looking to head off a subpoena for fear that if he answers questions in front of a grand jury,
he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.
To counter Mueller, Trump and his lawyers are attacking James Comey’s credibility, and have started a public-relations campaign to discredit the investigation to preempt a potentially damaging special counsel report. Trump’s lawyers
also disclosed in the letter that Trump “dictated a short but accurate response to the on behalf of his son” relating to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians. New York Times article Shortly after the
NYT article came out, Trump tweeted, “ Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?” adding “When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end?” This statement
contradicts multiple public statements made by both Sekulow and press secretary Sarah Sanders in the past year, both who asserted to the press that Trump did not dictate the misleading statement. On Monday, at the daily briefing, when
asked about her past false statements, Sanders refused to explain, saying, “You’re referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them,” On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani told “This Week” that
Trump has the ability to pardon himself, but said it is “unthinkable” he would pardon himself, saying, “He has no intention of pardoning himself.” On Sunday, Giuliani told
HuffPost, “ In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” claiming Trump’s Constitutional powers are that broad. On Sunday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to take over House leadership when Paul Ryan retires, told “State of the Union” regarding the
Mueller probe, “if there is no collusion, it’s time to wind this down.” On Monday, Trump tweeted, “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars,
I have the absolute right to PARDON myself,” adding “ but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump also
called the Mueller probe “the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats,” and said, “The appointment of the Special Counsel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” In a
scathing op-ed “Mourning America,” by Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Davis accused Trump of “sullying” the American dream,” and called out Republicans in Congress for refusing to stand up to him.
WAPO reported that in Trump’s first 497 days, he has made 3,251 false or misleading claims. In his first 100 days, Trump averaged 4.9 false claims a day. Now, Trump is up to 6.5 false claims each day. On Monday, the Pentagon inspector general issued a statement, saying the watchdog has “
initiated an investigation into allegations” against Trump’s former personal physician, Ronny Jackson. U.S. ambassador to Germany,
Richard Grenell told Breitbart London he wants to “empower other conservatives” to rise up against “elites.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Grenell should be recalled if political statements continue.
Trump nominated Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and close Steve Bannon ally, to lead the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency which oversees U.S.-funded media outlets, including Voice of America.
WSJ reported the Trump regime has put the search for the Justice Department’s number 3 position on hold, after failing to lure several candidates, who would take over the Mueller probe if Rod Rosenstein were fired. The Justice Department has been a frequent target for Trump. The
department lacks permanent, appointed leaders to oversee at least five high-profile units, including the criminal, civil, and tax divisions. On Tuesday,
Trump continued to attack Sessions, tweeting, “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself,” adding, “So much time and money wasted.” On Wednesday,
WAPO reported Mick Mulvaney fired the 25-member advisory board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, after 11 of its members Monday publicly criticized his leadership of the agency. Carl Higbie, a former Trump appointee,
resigned from Trump-aligned America First Policies after companies said they would no longer donate due to his racist comments, like black women “think that breeding is a form of government employment.” On Thursday, in a big victory for the chemical industry after heavy lobbying,
Trump’s EPA is scaling back the way the government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals. According to documents released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, testing will now
exclude potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, and instead focus on direct contact with a chemical.
Politico reported Trump has considered Judge Jeanine Pirro for a senior job in the regime. The two speak by phone frequently, and Trump watches her Fox News show every Saturday night, sometimes calling in. On Monday,
WAPO reported Scott Pruitt had aides do various personal tasks, including having the EPA’s chief’s director of scheduling call the Trump International DC to inquire about purchasing one of its used mattresses. Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club reveal
Pruitt tried twice to get a job for his wife. Federal ethics laws bar public officials from using their position or staff for private gain. On Wednesday,
a second top Pruitt aide, senior adviser Sarah Greenwalt, resigned from the EPA and said she is returning to Oklahoma to work at a state agency. On Thursday,
WAPO reported Pruitt enlisted his 24/7 security detail to run errands for him, including picking up his dry cleaning and picking up his favorite moisturizing lotion. Documents obtained by
The Hill under the FOIA reveal Bob Murray, CEO of coal company Murray Energy, offered six suggested executive orders on coal to the EPA and Department of Energy. In Week 62, a photographer was fired for leaking a photo of Rick Perry hugging Bob Murray. The executive orders would have halted and repealed rules on coal pollution.
Although Trump did not sign the orders, the regime has started to implement many of those policies. On Friday,
Trump said he continues to back Pruitt despite the growing list of ethical scandals, saying Pruitt is “doing a great job.” Documents obtained by
BuzzFeed in a FOIA lawsuit reveal that as head of DHS, John Kelly instructed an official not to email staffers for fear of scrutiny of the FOIA. At the time, the agency’s main focus was immigration.
WAPO reported that in early 2018, China hacked the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data, including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile by 2020. On Thursday, the House voted 210–206 to
rescind $15 billion in unspent funding that had been approved, including $7 billion for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which covers low-income children. Late Monday,
Mueller’s team accused Paul Manafort of witness tampering by contacting two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps, and asked a federal judge to consider revoking or revising Manafort’s release. Mueller’s team said
Manafort and an unnamed associate linked to Russian intelligence repeatedly contacted two members of a public relations firm and asked them to falsely testify about secret lobbying. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Manafort to respond by Friday to Mueller’s request to revoke or revise his release, and
set a June 15 hearing date. On Thursday,
Reuters reported Bruce Baldinger, a longtime lawyer for Manafort hired Marc Garfinkle, a New Jersey ethics attorney, to advise him. On Friday,
Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national, were indicted by Mueller on charges of obstructing justice: trying to influence two witnesses relating to the failure to register as foreign lobbyists. Manafort and Kilimnik allegedly began reaching out in February and April
and tried to convince former colleagues to lie that Manafort’s lobbying work was done exclusively in Europe, and not in the U.S. Kilimnik has worked with Manafort since 2005. Mueller’s team claimed in a court filing this year that the
FBI believes Kilimnik still has “ties to a Russian intelligence service.” Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner, who is cooperating in the probe,
has said Kilimnik is a former officer of Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU. With these indictments, the year-old Mueller probe has thus far resulted in
20 individuals and three businesses having been either indicted or pled guilty, and a total of 75 charges have been filed. On Tuesday, Simona Mangiante, wife of George Papadopoulos, changed her previous account of her husband’s intentions, and
asked Trump on Fox News to pardon him. On Tuesday,
Alex van der Zwaan, the first person to serve prison time in the Mueller probe, was deported to the Netherlands. On Wednesday,
Speaker Ryan said he agreed with Rep. Trey Gowdy’s initial assessment that there is no evidence the FBI spied on the Trump’s campaign. Shortly after, Sen. Richard Burr also said he agreed with Gowdy. So far
Gowdy and three of the four Republicans (Mitch McConnell, Ryan, Burr) in the Gang of Eight agree there is no evidence. Only Devin Nunes differs. On Wednesday, the
Guardian reported according to visitor logs, Brittany Kaiser, then a director at Cambridge Analytica, visited Julian Assange in February 17, 2017 to discuss what happened in the U.S. election. Kaiser also claimed to have
channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations, given to her by a third party, to WikiLeaks. In a tweet Wednesday, WikiLeaks said, “WikiLeaks has no knowledge of donations.” According to emails reviewed and sources,
BuzzFeed reported during the campaign Ivanka emailed with former Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, who offered to introduce Trump to Putin to facilitate a Trump tower in Moscow.
Ivanka connected Klokov with Michael Cohen. Reportedly congressional investigators have reviewed the emails and questioned witnesses, as has Mueller’s team.
Trump abruptly disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from a White House Super Bowl celebration, saying in a statement, “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem.” The regime claimed 70 Eagles had promised to come, then 10 to 12 said they would attend Monday.
Aides said Trump deemed the smaller crowd unsatisfactory. No Eagles knelt during the national anthem last season. On Tuesday,
Fox News’ reporting on the canceled trip featured images of Eagles players down on a knee. The players were praying, not protesting. Fox News later apologized. On Tuesday, the
White House issued another statement saying, “the vast majority of the Eagles decided to abandon their fans.” The White House claimed 81 players had last week committed to come. On Tuesday, in lieu of welcoming the Eagles,
Trump held a “Celebration of America” event at the White House. Trump appeared alongside U.S. flags and military troops. The event, which Trump hailed as a “beautiful, big celebration,” lasted about 10 minutes. At the ceremony,
Trump struggled with lyrics to “God Bless America,” and took the opportunity to talk about the economy. On Tuesday,
AP reported stars from the teams in the NBA finals, Stephen Curry and LeBron James, said they will not go to the White House. James said “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway.”
AP also reported Trump did not invite the WNBA champions the Minnesota Lynx to the White House to celebrate their most recent title. LeBron James called this “laughable.” On Thursday,
Yahoo Sports reported Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to subpoena to compel testimony from Trump, Pence, and other officials familiar with Trump’s agenda on protesting NFL players. As part of the lawsuit, lawyers will
seek information on the Trump regime’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests. On Friday, ahead of the NBA championship game,
Trump told reporters that he will not invite the NBA champions to the White House. On Wednesday, Trump gathered his cabinet at FEMA headquarters for an annual briefing.
Trump praised his entire cabinet except Sessions. While at FEMA,
Trump made no mention of the revised death toll estimates in Puerto Rico, and gave no indication the regime was reviewing its response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico.
First Lady Melania Trump also appeared with Trump at FEMA — her first time in public in nearly a month. Trump said, “The people of our country love you. So thank you, honey.” Trump chastised the media, saying, “
The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife.” Kellyanne Conway called the media’s coverage of Melania “conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact.” On Friday, when asked why Melania did not accompany him to the G7 summit and Singapore,
Trump said, “Can’t fly for one month, the doctors say. She had a big operation, that was close to a four-hour operation.”
Medical experts said it would be unusual for the procedure Melania received to last four hours, and that doctors don’t typically curtail flying after an embolization procedure, if it went normally as described. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader
McConnell canceled three of the four weeks of August recess. Democrats are defending 26 seats in November to Republicans’ nine, and would typically use that time to campaign. The House, however, will recess for the entire month. On Tuesday, the
LA Times reported 118,522 voters were accidentally left off the voting rosters in California’s primary due to a printing error. About 35% of L.A. County’s 4,357 precincts were affected. Santa Clara County residents voted 59–39 to recall Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, the judge who presided over Brock Turner’s sexual assault case.
He is the first California judge to be recalled in more than 85 years. On Tuesday, CNN reported
Kelly Sadler, the White House communications aide who made disparaging comments about Sen. John McCain and refused to publicly apologize, is no longer working at the White House. On Tuesday, in tweets, Trump
criticized “numerous delays” in release of the report on Clinton emails: “What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey.” On Thursday,
Trump again urged the Justice Department to investigate his political enemies, tweeting, “Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook,” adding “Where is Server? Really bad!” Trump also accused the Obama administration of “trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system,” and
using his new term for Mueller’s team, the “13 Angry Democrats,” telling them to investigate. On Wednesday,
Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender. In Week 81, Kim Kardashian West visited Trump in the Oval Office to make this request. On Friday,
Trump told reporters he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including Muhammad Ali.
Ron Tweel, an attorney for Ali, who died in 2016, said in a tweet, “a pardon is unnecessary.” Ali’s conviction was overturned in 1971. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled
Trump can be deposed in the Summer Zervos defamation lawsuit. Zervos’ attorneys have already issued a subpoena to the Trump campaign related to other women accused. Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said before the case moves forward, the issue of whether or not a sitting president can be sued in state court
should be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Stephanie Clifford’s attorney
filed a lawsuit saying Cohen “colluded” with her then-lawyer, Keith Davidson, in an attempt to get her to go on Fox News’ “Hannity” in January and deny she had an affair with Trump. On Wednesday, at an investment conference in Israel, Giuliani told the audience why the summit with North Korea was off, then on: “Well,
Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it.” Giuliani said of Mueller’s team, “They are a group of 13 highly partisan Democrats” who are “
trying very, very hard to frame” Trump. He also repeated his claim that Trump could pardon himself of any federal crimes. Giuliani also
said derogatory things about Clifford, including “I’m sorry I don’t respect a porn star,” and a woman who respects herself, “isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.” Giuliani also
he finds Clifford to be unattractive and therefore not credible, saying Trump’s three wives are “Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? Pfft.” Giuliani drew sharp rebukes from many, calling him sexist and misogynist. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said
his comments were a slur and “an insult to every woman in this country.” On Friday, when asked about Giuliani’s comments,
Trump said, “I’m not going to disagree with him on that.” Trump has appeared in three Playboy videos between 1994 and 2001. On Thursday,
Sessions’ DOJ filed a brief supporting an obscure lawsuit brought by conservative states, led by Texas, arguing the protections for people with preexisting conditions under ACA should be invalidated. If those protections are invalidated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation,
approximately 52 million Americans under the age of 65 could lose access to health care. Legal experts expressed shock that the DOJ sided with a frivolous lawsuit. Law professor Nicholas Bagley wrote,“
the Justice Department has a durable, longstanding, bipartisan commitment to defending the law.” On Thursday, James Wolfe, a former Senate Intelligence Committee director of security, was
arrested and charged with lying repeatedly to FBI investigators about his contacts with three reporters. The DOJ seized records of a
Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Wolfe. This is the first known instance of Trump’s Justice Department going after a reporter’s data. Watkins’s data, which was seized without her
being notified, included phone records from her time working at with Wolfe to all three employers. BuzzFeed and Politico. She disclosed her personal relationship Wolfe was
responsible for safeguarding classified and sensitive information. Court documents describe Wolfe’s communications with four reporters, including Watkins, using encrypted messaging applications. On Thursday,
the , saying the move “will endanger reporters’ ability to promise confidentiality to their sources and, ultimately, undermine the ability of a free press.” Times denounced the seizure of Atkins’ phone and email records On Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists also expressed concern about the seizure, and
called the move “a fundamental threat to press freedom.” On Friday,
Trump applauded the arrest, saying, “I’m a very big believer in freedom of the press, but I’m also a believer that you cannot leak classified information.” Trump has been pressuring Sessions to take action. On Friday, Jim Jordan,
a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, said he was “very nervous” about the DOJ’s surveillance of a NYT reporter, and said he may hold hearings. On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that at about 6 a.m., the
Trump regime “executed a definitive agreement with ZTE.” China lobbied the Trump regime for a compromise on ZTE. On Thursday, senators, including Trump ally Tom Cotton, said they would introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which
would restore penalties on ZTE for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The amendment would also
ban government agencies from buying or leasing equipment and services from ZTE and Chinese telecom company Huawei, citing national security concerns about spying. On Friday, the Chairman of
ZTE apologized to staff and customers in a memo, saying the company had agreed to pay a $1 billion fine and overhaul its leadership. ZTE said it will restart restart operations. On Wednesday,
Sen. Bob Corker, along with eight Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, introduced a bill to check Trump’s tariff authority, rebuffing a personal request from Trump to back off. This marks the first time Republicans have stood up to Trump on trade. The
U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries backed the bill, but McConnell said he would not bring it to the floor as a stand-alone bill. On Thursday, a group of two dozen moderate House Republicans broke from Trump,
demanding a vote to reinstate deportation protections for “dreamers” taken away by the regime. On Thursday,
former House Speaker John Boehner said at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.” CNN reported on a testy conversation between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 25, in which
Trump invoked the War of 1812 to justify tariffs, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” That was British troops. On Thursday, ahead of the G7 meeting in Toronto, France’s Prime Minister Macron tweeted, the will to have a text “signed by 7 countries” must not overcome the content, adding, “
we must not rule out a 6+1 agreement.” On Thursday,
Trudeau tweeted an article detailing an “even closer collaboration” with France.
Trump responded in a series of tweets, saying, “Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs,” and accusing Trudeau of “being so indignant.” Late Thursday, the
White House announced Trump would leave the G7 summit early, after sparring with Macron and Trudeau on the issue of trade. On Friday morning, before heading to the G7 summit,
Trump told reporters Russia should be reinstated in the group, saying “Russia should be in this meeting…They should let Russia come back in.” Russia was
suspended from the then G8 in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea, the first violation of a European country’s borders since World War II. Trump’s statement signals the growing divide with former allies. On Saturday, Trump arrived late to the G7 summit breakfast on empowering women, and
walked in after Trudeau had welcomed everyone to the session. On Saturday,
Trump delivered his most defiant trade threat yet, telling the G7 summit that they must dramatically reduce trade barriers, “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing. And that ends.” Trump asked the six countries
to remove every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods and in return, he would do the same for products from their countries. Else, they risk severe penalties. He also said of trade wars, “We win that war a thousand times out of a thousand.”
WAPO reported before Trump had grumbled about having to attend the G7, and had considered sending Pence in his place.
Trump also again called for readmitting Russia to the G7, and said “Crimea was let go during the Obama administration…I might have had a very different” response. Trump departed early Saturday,
skipping meetings on climate change, energy policy and oceans. The White House Trump will leave early to prepare for his summit in Singapore on June 12 with Kim Jong Un. On Thursday,
Politico reported National security adviser John Bolton has yet to convene a cabinet-level meeting to discuss Trump’s upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un, a striking break from decades of precedent. On Thursday, when asked about preparation by reporters at the White House before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, Trump said “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude.”
New York Post reported former NBA player Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore for the Trump-Kim summit. Sources say Rodman may play some part in the negotiation, and “One thing’s for sure the ratings will be huge.” On Thursday, Trump said that
Rodman had not been invited to the summit but called him a “nice guy.” Trump added that he did not know about Rodman’s intention to be in Singapore during the summit. On Friday, Rodman confirmed on Instagram that
he’s heading to Singapore to “give whatever support is needed to my friends, President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong Un.”