LAHORE , PAKISTAN 🇵🇰 : LIFESTYLE CUISINE

Daal Mash .

Early morning breakfasts on the sidewalks

Morning ponderings

Chicken Tikka, Kebabs, and Naan .

Some children go to school in the mornings, some do this. So many things in life should not be taken for granted. If traveling to faraway misunderstood places doesn’t humble you, it’s hard to imagine what will.

Experience on the streets thus far, indicates that Pakistanis don’t mind a camera… 😉

Intricately decorated truck, a Pakistan tradition…

Keema Naan .

Stopping for a snack at a food cart.

Taking care of business on the roof.

Sometimes you have to push your Ching Chi …

Bainghan Ka Bharta . Eggplant 🍆 Curry .

Lahore , Pakistan 🇵🇰 July 2018

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 88: UNHINGED

Week 87 of this administration: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 14, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-87-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-3bca5cb50820

This week Trump continued his ramped up level of lying and unhinged behavior as he once again made a spectacle of himself on the world stage at the NATO Summit in Brussels. Trump continued his pattern of hostility towards allies, while maintaining an overtly collegial tone towards Putin, even as the Mueller probe indicted 12 members of Russian military intelligence on charges of hacking and disrupting the 2016 U.S. election and Director of National Intelligence Coats warned, “warning lights are blinking red” for further attacks.

At home, Trump and his allies are taking every possible step to discredit the Mueller probe and attempt to preview FBI information. This week Trump continued his hostility towards the free press and his attacks on free markets, while taking steps to consolidate power. Important developments, like Trump’s executive order doing away with non-partisan administrative law judges and the confirmation of Brian Benczkowski to a top Justice Department position, got very little notice in the chaos.

Trump views immigration as the winning issue for Republicans in the midterms. This week he continued his indifference towards the plight of separated migrant families, while his regime quietly carries out inhumane and alarming tactics to make America more white. Trump also preached his anti-immigrant message on his trip abroad, while hundreds-of-thousands marched in protest of his visit and message.

Photo by KHyal, Megaglamster. In Detroit , Michigan . July 2018 .

WAPO released a fact check of Trump’s Montana rally in Week 86 and found of his 98 factual statements, 76% were false, misleading, or unsupported by evidence.

The Toronto Star charted a sharp increase in the number of daily lies Trump is telling, starting in Week 85 and continuing.

After his Moscow trip, Sen. Ron Johnson told the Washington Examiner on election interference, “We’ve blown it way out of proportion.” He also questioned the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Russia.

On Sunday, the British woman who in Week 86 was exposed to the Russian nerve agent Novichok died.

On Saturday, outside Bristol Bar & Grille in his hometown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was confronted by angry protestors for a second time in two weeks over immigration, asking “Where are the children?”

On Monday, WAPO reported other Trump aides have also faced protest in Washington D.C. A protestor confronted Kellyanne Conway at a supermarket and said, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Go look in the mirror!”

Stephen Miller was confronted after picking up $80 of takeout sushi, when a bartender followed him out and yelled “Stephen,” then raised both middle fingers and cursed at him. Miller threw the sushi out.

On Sunday, NYT reported the Trump regime stunned world health officials this spring when at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly the U.S. delegation opposed a resolution encouraging breastfeeding.

The U.S. delegation, embracing infant formula manufacturers, threatened Ecuador that if they refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid.

On Monday, Trump tweeted “The failing NY Times Fake News story… must be called out.” The Times defended the reporting, tweeting, “Our report is accurate. You can read it here.”

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported Sinclair Broadcasting is planning to launch a free TV streaming service which would house a 24/7 channel, creating a new competitor for Fox News.

On Sunday, Giuliani told “This Week” he advised Trump not to publicly discuss pardoning Michael Cohen until the investigation concludes, but does not believe Trump should rule out a pardon in the future.

Giuliani also said Cohen “should cooperate with the government. We have no reason to believe he did anything wrong,” adding, “I have no concerns that Michael Cohen is going to do anything but tell the truth.”

On Monday, Cohen’s newest attorney Lanny Davis shot back, tweeting, “Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron,” and adding, “Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters.”

On Monday, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote presidents should be immune from criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as personal civil suits, while in office.

On Wednesday, Davis told Hill.TV that a president lying, such as “lying about asking Michael Flynn not to be prosecuted,”is an abuse of power and “could be an impeachable offense.”

Davis also said of Cohen’s telling George Stephanopoulos that he would “not be a punching bag” for Trump’s defense strategy was part of his “declaration of independence two days before July 4.

On Sunday, Sacramento Bee reported 91 year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez was beaten with a brick on July 4 and told, “Go back to your country” by a mother after bumping into her toddler daughter on the sidewalk.

On Tuesday, the mother, 30-year-old Laquisha Jones was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Rodriguez has been hospitalized since the attack.

Michael Selyem of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was put on leave after posting about Rep. Maxine Waters, “Being a loudmouthed c#nt in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this bitch.”

On Tuesday, “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin said she was harassed in the Hamptons on July 4, saying about 20 kids ran in front of her home, yelled the N-word, and said, “This is America…this is our holiday.”

On Tuesday a video went viral showing Timothy Trybus berating a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt in at Caldwell Woods in Chicago, saying “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.”

A Cook County Forest Preserve District officer ignored her calls for help. A police report of the incident did not include any mention of the woman’s request for assistance.

On Thursday, prosecutors filed the two Class 3 felony hate crime charges against Trybus. The officer was initially reassigned to desk duty pending the investigation. He resigned on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Boston Globe reported a Martha Vineyard’s bus driver was fired after driving past a passenger trying to flag the bus down, and later admitted it was because the passenger was black.

In Columbus, Ohio, a woman called the police on a 12 year-old black boy who was helping his mother deliver newspapers. The police who showed up and asked what they were doing said race did not play a role.

On Monday, Politico reported Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner disclosed earnings from a fund that owns Correct Care Solutions, a for-profit healthcare provider that profits off ICE detention center contracts.

On Tuesday, WAPO reported Giuliani continues to work for foreign clients, both individually and through his security firm while serving as Trump’s attorney, a departure of standard practice and possible conflict of interest.

Giuliani works with Brazil, Colombia and other countries, and delivers speeches for dissident groups as he did in Week 86, but he has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients.

Giuliani has lobbied Trump to promote his son Andrew, a low-level White House aide, before becoming Trump’s attorney, and according to sources, continued to lobby Trump after he became Trump’s attorney.

On Thursday, WAPO reported Kushner does not have the security clearance level required to review some sensitive materials, which could complicate his ability to handle a foreign policy portfolio

In late May, Kushner was granted only “top secret” status. He has not yet been approved to review “sensitive compartmented information,” which involve U.S. intelligence sources and surveillance methods, by the CIA.

NYT reported Brookfield Asset Management is close to completing an investment of up to $700 million in the Kushner Cos’ 666 Fifth Avenue, a boon to the Kushner family for this over-leveraged property.

Simultaneously, a unit of Brookfield is awaiting approval from the Trump regime’s Committee on Foreign Investment for its acquisition of the nuclear-power company Westinghouse Electric. Brookfield is headquartered in Canada.

WAPO reported last week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross informed the Office of Government Ethics of a tardy sale: on June 11 he sold shares of Air Lease Corp., saying he had overlooked the shares held in a separate account.

On Friday, a report produced by Senate Democrats revealed Novartis sent Cohen a list of proposals to lower drug prices. Several proposals were included in the Trump regime’s “blueprint” to lower drug prices in May.

Democrats say Cohen capitalized on his ability to offer companies access to Trump regime officials. Cohen’s attorney Davis challenged the findings, saying Cohen “provided strategic advice to his client.”

On Sunday, AP reported migrant children as young as 1 year-old separated from their parents under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy are appearing before immigration judges and going through deportation proceedings.

Hundreds of separated children are appearing, many of whom do not know why their family fled. Some will be reunited in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador, the violence-plagued countries they escaped.

On Monday, a federal judge denied the Trump regime’s request to alter the Flores consent decree which limits detention of immigrant children to 20 days, calling the regime’s legal arguments, “tortured.”

Trump’s executive order was based on detaining families indefinitely. The judge suggested the regime reconsider “their current blanket policy of family detention,” and instead reinstate prosecutorial discretion.

On Monday, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, a Trump ally, expressed frustration with the government’s “lack of information” on separated families, calling it “unsatisfactory.”

Johnson said, “These are human beings… It boggles my mind,” adding “I just would assume…the reunification would have been a relatively simple matter.” Johnson said he may hold hearings if questions are not answered.

On Tuesday, the court deadline for the Department of Health and Human Services to reunite migrant children under 5 with their parents, just four out of 102 children had been reunited according to the joint filing submitted by the government and the ACLU.

On Tuesday, when Trump was asked about the missed deadline for reuniting migrant children under 5, he responded, “Well, I have a solution. Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution.”

On Monday, BuzzFeed reported pregnant women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care. Some women have been shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities.

Advocates say at an ICE run facility in Texas, an officer promised to bring pregnant women to off-site medical professionals but never did. A woman from El Salvador miscarried due to lack of care, and was left to bleed out.

The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board wrote our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace, contrasting the regime’s actions to the rescue of 12 children and their soccer coach in Thailand.

The editorial board added, “This is the kind of behavior that, when carried out by non-superpowers, gets people hauled before the International Criminal Court or some special war crimes tribunal.”

On Tuesday, NYT reported migrant toddlers who were recently reunited in Phoenix after months of separation did not recognize their mothers.

On Tuesday, Texas nonprofit RAICES announced it will symbolically offer the government $20 million to post bonds for 2,500 separated families, and demanded immigrant mothers be released from detention centers.

KETV-7 reported posters have been spotted around the Omaha metro area which read, “It is your civic duty” to report “illegal aliens,” adding “they have broken the law.” ICE claimed they had nothing to do with the posters.

Miami Herald reported Trump’s DOJ is seeking to denaturalize Norma Borgono, a 63-year-old secretary who immigrated from Peru in 1989, volunteers weekly at church, and raised two children on $500-week.

Borgono had a minor role in a fraud scheme over a decade ago. She worked two jobs, she paid off her restitution and was relieved of her sentence early. The DOJ rarely pursued such cases in past decades.

In addition to Citizenship and Immigration Services denaturalization task force in Week 86, DHS plans to spend $207.6 million to look for such cases and ICE will be hiring more than 300 new agents and scores of staffers.

On Tuesday, the Daily Beast reported that according to a shelter in El Paso, TX that houses women, government officials told four immigrant women they must pay for their DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children.

On Wednesday, ABC News reported Margarito Silva and Concepcion Barrios were taken into custody by ICE when they went to visit their pregnant daughter and son-in-law who live on Fort Drum in New York.

The couple presented a New York City identification card for entry, which had worked in the past, and their Mexican passports. The couple has no prior criminal record and no prior interactions with ICE.

On Thursday, Customs and Border Protection alleged in a letter that NYC mayor Bill De Blasio crossed the border illegally on foot while visiting a detention facility for youth in El Paso, Texas.

A report by tech watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation found some shopping malls in California are scanning license plates and sending that data to The Irvine Company, a surveillance vendor that works with ICE.

On Friday, San Diego federal justice Dana Sabraw praised the government’s “substantial” efforts in reuniting 57 of the 103 migrant children under 5. The court deadline had been Tuesday.

With the next deadline looming, the judge ordered the government to carry out an orderly process for the larger group, estimated at 2,551 older children over 5. The government says it will reunite 200 children a day.

The judge also signaled he was inclined to accept the ACLU request that the government shoulder the travel costs for reuniting families, even though the government attorney called it a “huge ask” not in the budget.

On Monday, Trump’s personal driver for 25 years, and registered Republican, Noel Cintron sued the Trump Organization for overtime, saying it didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary only twice in 15 years.

On Monday, Trump attacked Pfizer and other drug companies, tweeting they “should be ashamed” for raising drug prices, adding the companies are “taking advantage of the poor & others who can’t defend themselves.”

Trump also threatened, “We will respond!” Trump had promised to lower drug prices as part of his 2016 campaign, but took no concrete steps other than saying there would be a “voluntary, massive drops in prices.”

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Just talked with Pfizer CEO” and HHS secretary Alex Azar, saying, “Pfizer is rolling back price hikes.” Pfizer subsequently announced it would defer raising prices.

On Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order giving agency heads greater discretion over hiring and firing administrative law judges, replacing non-partisan career judges, who make legal rulings on regulatory actions.

On Tuesday, Trump threatened to broaden his trade war with China, announcing a list of $200 billion tariffs on Chinese goods. The tariffs will undergo a two-month review process.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a nonbinding measure 88–11 asserting “a role for Congress” when Trump imposes tariffs. The measure has no teeth, and GOP advocates said there wasn’t backing for a strong bill.

The order will make it easier for the Trump regime to compel the 2,000 regulatory judges to follow its anti-regulatory policies, or to fire them if they do not, allowing Trump to further consolidate power.

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski as director for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, which oversee parts of the Mueller probe and Cohen investigation.

Benczkowski has no prosecution experience and has never tried a case. He told lawmakers he supports Mueller’s investigation, but would not promise to recuse himself from issues involving Russia.

Benczkowski was nominated by Trump in June 2017, but his confirmation was stalled because he represented Alfa Bank, a Russian bank, even after it was a subject of the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

A new bill introduced by House Republicans titled the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” says Antifa activists could be jailed for up to 15 years for wearing masks.

On Thursday, Marc Short, a top Trump aide and director of legislative affairs, resigned. Short declined to comment on the reason.

On Thursday, the NYT reported a Federal Emergency Management Agency report found the agency was sorely unprepared for 2017 hurricane season, which was the most destructive on record.

The report, scheduled to be released Monday, was made public after the NYT obtained a draft. The final version removed a paragraph noting that FEMA’s hurricane plans had so underestimated disaster impacts.

The report found FEMA had thousands fewer workers than it needed, and many of those it had were not qualified to handle major catastrophes. FEMA had to borrow workers from other agencies to try to keep up.

As Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season, 10 months after Hurricane Maria, roughly 1,000 households are without power, and the management of the island’s government-owned electric utility, Prepa, is in turmoil.

On Tuesday, 70 education leaders sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking them to not remove Obama-era guidance meant to eliminate racial disparities in school discipline.

On Tuesday, the Trump regime decreased grants for grassroots groups that help Americans get Affordable Care Act insurance from $62.5 million in 2016 to $10 million for the enrollment period that starts in November.

Also new, instead of choosing solely between ACA plans, the groups receiving grants will now also offer health plans that bypass ACA’s consumer protections and required benefits.

On Thursday, watchdog group Sunlight Foundation reported the Trump regime removed entire sections about the ACA from the official Medicaid.gov site, its hub for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

On Thursday, the Daily Beast reported a database known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which includes 20 years of critical medical guidelines, has been scheduled by HHS to “go dark” on July 16.

On Tuesday, Lisa Page canceled her appearance before the House Judiciary Committee for Wednesday. Her attorney said they were not shown any of documents that were subject of the hearing after waiting more than three hours.

On Tuesday, aboard the flight to NATO, Trump tweeted, “hear reports that the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting cold feet on testifying about the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by 13 Angry Democrats.”

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena,” adding, “Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt.”

On Wednesday, Speaker Paul Ryan threatened Page with contempt charges, saying the House will “do what we need to do to protect this branch of government” and that he stands behind committee chair Robert Goodlatte.

On Friday, Page met with the House Judiciary Committee privately. Without offering specifics, Republican lawmakers claimed she provided new information that further convinced them of political bias at the FBI.

On Thursday, Strzok went before the House Judiciary Committee in a 9.5 hour contentious hearing that turned into a circus-like setting with insults, fighting, shouting, character assassination, and partisan bickering.

Strzok expressed “significant regret” for the way his texts to Page had hurt his family and the FBI. He smirked most of the hearing as lawmakers battled each other, Republicans attacked and Democrats defended him.

During the hearing, GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy threatened Strzok with contempt, Louie Gohmert attacked his infidelity and character, Darrell Issa made him read his own texts, and Paul Gosar said he could read Strzok’s body language as a former dentist.

On Monday, Madeleine Albright and 15 other former foreign ministers urged Trump in a letter to shore up America’s “deteriorating relationship” with its Western allies, and not ignore the threat posed by Putin.

On Tuesday, by a vote of 97–2, the Senate approved a motion of support for NATO on the day Trump arrived in Brussels for the NATO summit, amid concern of Trump’s ambivalence towards the alliance.

On Tuesday, Trump told the media as he was leaving for his weeklong trip to Europe that his summit with Putin “may be the easiest” of the meetings he has scheduled.

On Tuesday, the Guardian reported that the US embassy in London warned Americans in London to “keep a low profile” during Trump’s visit, saying large demonstrations against Trump could turn violent.

On Tuesday, Trump pardoned the Oregon ranchers, Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond who were the inspiration behind the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

The Hammonds were sent to prison in 2012 on arson charges for a series of fires to hide evidence of killing a herd of deer on their ranch that spread to federal land, and were imprisoned for a second time in 2015.

On Wednesday, as the NATO summit got underway in Belgium, Trump launched a clearly planned attack on Germany, saying the country is “a captive to Russia” because it imports much of its energy from Russia.

Trump’s comments shocked NATO allies. Norwegian prime minister Stoltenberg was reportedly reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies have always traded with Russia.

Trump also ripped into NATO allies for not having reached 2% of their GDP’s on defense yet, although the guidance is by 2024, and later at a closed-door meeting said allies should instead pay 4% of GDP on defense.

Trump also credited himself for getting NATO allies to pay more on Twitter after his last visit, “at my request,” but said, “it isn’t nearly enough,” adding, “They pay only a fraction of their cost.”

On Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker said Trump’s comments about NATO have been “damaging” to American leadership in an apparent effort to “tear apart” a critical alliance.

On Thursday, Trump showed up late to the NATO summit, skipping meetings with at least two world leaders and prompting the secretary general to call an emergency meeting.

After the meeting, Trump recommitted to NATO, but warned uneasy allies “I’ll do my own thing” if their spending did not rise quickly enough. Allies also remain concerned about Trump’s ties to Putin.

Following the summit, Trump held a news conference in which he said of Putin, “I think we’ll get along well,” adding “he’s a competitor,” but “not my enemy,” and “Hopefully some day, maybe he’ll be a friend.”

Politifact reported the statements made by Trump during the NATO summit news conference related to NATO spending, Wisconsin, U.S. farmers’ export to the EU, and other items were mostly false or misleading.

On Wednesday, CNN reported that according to a source familiar with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang last week, the White House felt it went “as badly as it could have gone.”

On Thursday, Trump tweeted a letter dated July 6 from King Jong Un praising Trump as “your excellency,” a title often reserved for royalty. Trump called it a “very nice note,” adding, “Great progress being made!”

On Thursday, during his first visit to the UK, while PM May rolled out the red carpet to Trump, a Murdoch-owned London tabloid published an explosive interview in which Trump blasted May’s Brexit compromise.

In the interview, Trump also praised May’s archrival, Boris Johnson, as a potential future prime minister, and attacked London’s Muslim mayor, for being soft on crime and terrorism.

On Thursday, the Scotsman, Scotland’s national newspaper, wrote as Trump was about to arrive that he “is a racist, a serial liar, and either a sex abuser or someone who falsely brags about being one.”

On Friday, in a joint news conference, Trump vaguely apologized to PM May for his The Sun interview, saying, “I didn’t criticize the prime minister; I have a lot of respect for the prime minister.”

Trump said “fake news” had omitted his praise of May. The Sun released a cover story and audio of the interview. When a reporter asked if his comments helped Putin, he said, “That’s such dishonesty reporting.”

Trump said May is doing “a terrific job,”and called her “tough” and “capable,” but said she should have taken his advice on Brexit, and continued to praise her main political adversary Johnson.

When asked about the Mueller probe, Trump said, “in the United States we have this stupidity going on — pure stupidity,” adding, “Anything you do, it’s always going to be, ‘Oh, Russia, he loves Russia.’”

Trump also warned European leaders “better watch themselves” because immigration is “changing the culture” of their societies, adding, “ I think it is a very negative thing for Europe.”

When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump a question, he called the network “fake news,” and instead called on Fox News’ John Roberts, saying, “Let’s go to a real network.” Roberts asked an easy question, Trump answered.

NYT fact-checked the news conference and found Trump told 10 lies or exaggerated statements on topics including American troops abroad, NATO spending, and his prediction of the Brexit vote.

On Friday, nearly 250,000 protestors marched against Trump in central London. Protestors carried signs, and a giant balloon, which depicts Trump wearing a diaper and carrying a mobile phone in tiny hands.

Trump then visited with the Queen of England, where he had many social miscues including walking in front of the queen, walking briskly and ahead of her at times, and shaking hands instead of bowing or curtsying.

As Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, most networks went split-screen, and then broke away to coverage of a news conference with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein announced 12 Russian military intelligence officers (GRU) were indicted in the Mueller probe on charges they hacked Democrats’ computers, stole data, and published files to disrupt the 2016 election.

The 11-count, 29-page indictment gave granular detail on how the Russian government hackers implanted malware, and spread stolen information DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and others to influence voters.

The indictment notes on July 27, 2016, then-candidate Trump said at a news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails.” That same day conspirators attempted to spearphish email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office for the first time.

The indictment notes in August 2016, “the conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress,” and sent the candidate stolen documents on their opponent.

The indictment also says GRU successfully hacked “test applications related to the DNC’s analytics,”and stole that data from the DNC, giving insight into the Clinton campaign’s analysis and plans.

Rosenstein said GRU hacked a state election board website and “stole information about 500,000 voters,” They also hacked the computers of a software supplier used to verify voter registration information.

Rosenstein also said, “The conspirators corresponded with several Americans,” although there is no allegation in these indictments that they “knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers.”

Rosenstein closed by warning the US is still under attack by Russia, saying “We need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable, and… protect against future interference, and defend America.”

On Friday, shortly before Rosenstein’s news conference, Giuliani resurfaced on Twitter for the first time since December 2016.

After Rosenstein spoke, Giuliani tweeted, the indictments “are good news..The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved,” and called on Mueller to stop pursuing Trump, and to say he is “completely innocent.”

After the indictments, Democrats and Sen. John McCain called on Trump to cancel his upcoming one-on-one summit with Putin. The White House announced Friday afternoon that the summit is still on.

As Rosenstein announced the indictment, House conservatives were putting on the final touches on a filing to impeach him. Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said they could file the document as soon as Monday.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump on the allegations “earlier this week.” Trump made no statement after the indictments, but at his morning news conference with May, he called the Mueller probe a “rigged witch hunt.”

On Saturday, Trump blamed the Obama administration for the Russian election meddling, tweeting, “Why didn’t they do something about it….Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”

On Saturday, after denying it Friday, Roger Stone admitted to ABC News that he is the “US person” mentioned in the Mueller indictment who “was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign.”

On Friday, director of national intelligence Dan Coats said persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the U.S. had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the September 11 attacks.

Speaking to a Washington DC think tank, Coats said, “the warning lights are blinking red again,” and warned, “digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”

On Friday, Maryland state officials said the FBI informed them that their voter registration system, ByteGrid LLC, was purchased in 2015 by AltPoint Capital Partners, whose fund manager is a Russian.

The largest investor in AltPoint is Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. The FBI did not indicate a breach occurred. Maryland officials asked the DHS Election Task Force to assist with any corrective action deemed necessary.

A new poll from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center found 71% of Russians view Trump unfavorably, 77% say he is “self-centered,” 16% say he is “trustworthy,” and a majority describe him as “dangerous.”

On Tuesday, Michael Flynn was back in court for the first time since his guilty plea. The judge did not set a sentencing date, but scheduled to receive an update on the case from prosecutors and Flynn’s lawyers by Aug. 24.

On Tuesday afternoon, WSJ reported Flynn had taken a new job, launching a consulting firm, Stonington Global LLC with Nick Muzin and Joey Allaham. Flynn’s bio appeared on the company’s website.

Stonington will provide consulting and lobbying services for U.S. and foreign clients. Later Tuesday, Flynn’s lawyer said he is no longer joining the consulting firm, and that he did not personally issue a statement.

On Tuesday, in an interview on “VICE News Tonight,” Emin Agalarov said he spoke to Donald Jr. three times prior to the June 9 Trump Tower meeting. Donald Jr. told Congress he could not recall.

CNN reported Facebook gave Mail.Ru Group, a Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin, an extension which allowed them to collect data on unknowing users of the social network after a policy change.

Twitter announced that starting Thursday, the platform will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts in its battle against fake accounts. The company plans to remove roughly 6% of users.

On Tuesday, Paul Manafort’s attorney asked the Virginia judge to delay the July 25 hearing, saying the jury pool was tainted by the intense media coverage and Manafort needed more time to review thousands of documents.

On Wednesday, a motion filed by Mueller’s team revealed prosecutors had been listening in on Manafort’s phone calls, in which Manafort told people he’s being treated like a “VIP” at the Virginia prison

“Unique privileges” include a private bathroom and shower, a personal telephone and daily access to a workspace where he can meet with lawyer and prepare for trial. The judge did not allow the trial delay.

On Wednesday, Mueller’s team also asked the federal court to issue 100 blank subpoenas to potential witnesses in the upcoming Manafort trial.

On Thursday, Manafort was moved to an Alexandria jail. Manafort’s attorney tried to prevent the move, which the judge called “surprising and confusing” in light of their complaints. A mugshot was made public.

The jail in Alexandria is a past home for spies and terrorists, including FBI agent-turned-Soviet mole Robert Hanssen and Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person tried in a U.S. court for involvement in the September 11.

On Thursday, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who attended the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, sued Putin critic Bill Browder, alleging Browder defamed him by labeling him as a Russian intelligence operative.

On Thursday, NYT reported the White House ordered that lawmakers be given access to classified information about an informant the FBI used in 2016 to investigate possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

FBI files will be available to all members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, not just the Gang of Eight. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have expressed concern on broader sharing.

On Thursday, a Fox News poll found 53% think Trump is not tough enough on Russia, including 32% of Republicans.

Support for Mueller probe is down from 55 approve/27 disapprove in June 2018, to 48/40 now; although 54% say Mueller should take his time, while just 34% said he should wrap it up.

On Thursday, shortly after midnight, Stephanie Clifford was arrested after being accused of squeezing patrons’ and undercover police officers’ faces between her bare breasts at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus, Ohio.

Shortly after, Clifford’s attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted Clifford was performing the “same act she has performed across the nation, adding, “This was a setup & politically motivated.” Charges were dropped on Thursday.

On Thursday, Trump’s DOJ filed to appeal the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The deal won approval without conditions from a federal judge in June. Time Warner owns CNN.

On Saturday, Trump attacked CNN, tweeting, “I just checked out Fake News CNN,” adding “they are dying in the ratings,” to see “if they covered my takedown yesterday of Jim Acosta (actually a nice guy).”

Trump also mocked CNN’s president Jeff Zucker, “Remember, it was Little Jeff Z” who said Trump could not win the election, adding “I got 306! They were sooooo wrong in their election coverage. Still hurting!”

On Friday, Hudson Bay, Canada’s oldest department store, dropped Ivanka’s fashion line from its website, and said it will be phasing out the line from its stores, citing the brand’s “performance.”

On Friday, Iceland was elected to the take the spot vacated by the U.S. on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

On Saturday, Trump golfed at his money-losing Turnberry golf course in Scotland. Watchdog group CREW said of the visit, Trump is using it as “a forced subsidy of an infomercial for his properties.”

Protest against Trump continued during his trip to Scotland. Organizers say 60,000 protested Trump in Edinburgh, and during his golf round he was booed by demonstrators gathered at the perimeter

LAHORE , PAKISTAN 🇵🇰: MEDLEY

Anarkali Street (Food Street) on a Saturday night . Images below are of a man making a “burger” for us. The most delicious fried egg sandwich 🥪 I’ve ever eaten. 50 Rupees = 41 cents .

A man recycling plastic bottles in The Walled City .

A view of the Old City from The Walled City .

7july18 Lahore , Pakistan 🇵🇰

LAHORE, PAKISTAN 🇵🇰: BADSHAHI MOSQUE AT DUSK

The Badshahi Mosque (Urdu: بادشاہی مسجد‎, or “Imperial Mosque”) is a Mughal era mosque built in 1671-73 . It’s the second largest mosque in Pakistan .

7jul18 Lahore, Pakistan 🇵🇰

LAHORE , PAKISTAN 🇵🇰: LAHORE FORT

The Lahore Fort (Punjabi and Urdu: شاہی قلعہ‎: Shahi Qila, or “Royal Fort”), is a citadel. It is notable for having been almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century, when the Mughal Empire was at the height of its splendour and opulence. The foundations of the modern Lahore Fort date to 1566 during the reign of Emperor Akbar. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahore_Fort

7jul18 Lahore, Pakistan 🇵🇰

LAHORE , PAKISTAN 🇵🇰: CHING CHIS & MANGOES

Rickshaw (Ching Chi) rides and Motorcycles .

Chane ki Daal .

It’s mango and peach season, delicious !

Chicken Karahi .

7jul18 Lahore , Pakistan 🇵🇰

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 87: PUTIN IS THE MASTER

Week 86: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 7, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-86-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-de0b294f224

“A piece of street art posted to the side of a Lithuanian barbecue restaurant is stirring up conversation on social media. According to The Washington Post the image erected earlier this week by the owners of Keule Ruke in Vilnius depicts GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin locked in a kiss. Created by artist Mindaugas Bonanu, the image is meant to draw similarities to an iconic Soviet-era art piece on the Berlin Wall of Leonid Brezhnev and East German president Erich Honecker kissing (based itself on photo).”

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This week Russia was front and center as a delegation of seven Republican Senators traveled to Moscow, without any Democrats or U.S. media along, for what was described as “conciliatory” meetings with their Russian counterparts. The meetings took place on the same day the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of helping Trump win.

As former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen publicly hinted he will cooperate and the Mueller probe continued to broaden, Trump seemed increasingly unhinged, attacking Democrats and Republicans, as well as the media and corporations. His rhetoric of “anarchy” and “better take it easy” and ICE “liberating” towns became increasingly hostile and inflammatory.

This week, as stories of migrant children being gravely mistreated continued to emerge, the regime was forced in court to admit it had underestimated the number of children in its care, and had no tracking system in place to reunify separated families. Meanwhile, the regime took additional steps to make America more white, setting up a denaturalization task force and discharging immigrants from the U.S. army. More everyday incidents of racism were reported across the country.

The Families Belong Together marches tallied over 400,000 protestors at over 750 locations. Participants were 71% women, compared with 85% at the 2017 Women’s March, and 84% had a BA degree or more.

Pew Research reported for the first time, the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world in 2017 — taking in 33,000, the lowest total since the years following the Sept. 11 when it resettled about 97,000.

On Monday, WNYC reported Trump’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is creating a new denaturalization task force to examine bad naturalization cases.

USCIS expects to hire dozens of lawyers and immigration officers in the coming weeks to find U.S. citizens they say were not properly naturalized, revoke their citizenship, and deport them.

AP reported the U.S. Army quietly and abruptly discharged dozens of reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship. The total number of discharges is not known.

Immigrants have served in the U.S. Army since 1775. More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving.

U.S. refugee resettlement is on pace to remain historically low in 2018 as the Trump regime lowered the refugee ceiling for fiscal 2018 to 45,000 refugees, the lowest cap since the Refugee Act was adopted by Congress.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he “never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill.” On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill.”

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he would not move forward on a new NAFTA deal with Mexico and Canada until after the midterms.

Trump also slammed our European allies, saying, “The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller. It’s terrible what they do to us.”

Trump also attacked Harley-Davidson, saying; “Everybody who ever bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump … and they are very unhappy about it,” adding, “I think they are going to take a big hit.”

Trump also said, “You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house,”adding, “They go into Long Island, they actually liberate towns.” This repeated claim is false.

Trump also threatened critics of him or his regime, saying, “I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy,” adding, “even some of the radical ideas, I really think they’re very bad for the country.”

Bartiromo’s interview was widely criticized for its lack of substance and her refusal to push back on lies. Fox Business president Brian Jones defended Bartiromo and said, “We are proud of her hard work.”

On Sunday, Axios reported on a leaked draft of a bill ordered by Trump in which the U.S. would effectively leave the World Trade Organization, and Trump could raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent.

The Hill reported that Trump tweeted the phrase “stock market” 46 times in 2017, almost once a week. In 2018, as the market rally has stalled, Trump has only mentioned the stock market two times.

On Tuesday, Trump again threatened Harley-Davidson, claiming “my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S.”

Trump also tweeted, “Harley customers are not happy with their move — sales are down 7% in 2017.” The move was announced in 2018.

Moog Music, the legendary synthesizer designer and manufacturer, said due to Trump’s China tariffs, the company may need to lay off workers or move some, if not all, of its manufacturing overseas.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort filed a request with the Department of Labor for 61 additional H-2B temporary visas for foreign servers and cooks.

On Sunday, the staff of the Capital Gazette released a letter thanking those who offer support, and calling out Trump without naming him, “We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people.”

On Monday, the Baltimore Sun reported Trump declined a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley last week to lower American flags in honor of the fatal shooting at the Capital Gazette last week.

On Tuesday, Trump reversed as press secretary Sarah Sanders called Buckley in the morning to say the White House had issued a proclamation ordering the flags lowered nationwide until sunset Tuesday.

On Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton told “Face the Nation,” relating to Trump’s upcoming meeting with Putin, “we’re going to have to see” if the U.S. eventually recognizes Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

On Saturday, in Paris, Rudy Giuliani addressed the National Council of Resistance of Iran which was once listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Europe, and called for regime change in Tehran.

AP reported Trump repeatedly pressed aides in August 2017 to invade Venezuela. Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster were reportedly stunned, and McMaster and others explained it could backfire and talked him out of it.

On Tuesday, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the Trump regime is temporarily letting ZTE resume some business activities while the U.S. weighs ending a seven-year ban on the company.

On Tuesday, in a court brief, nearly three dozen retired military officers and national security officials asked a federal appeals court to uphold an order blocking Trump’s transgender military ban.

On Monday, George Stephanopoulos reported on his 45-minute interview of Cohen, which took place Saturday evening at a Manhattan hotel where Cohen has been staying — Cohen’s first public interview since the FBI raid.

Stephanopoulos reported Cohen said, “My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” adding, “I put family and country first,” not Trump.

On Wednesday, July 4, Cohen scrubbed mention of Trump from his Twitter bio, and changed his Twitter header photo, deleting one that showed him standing behind a Trump campaign podium.

On Thursday, Cohen hired Lanny Davis, the attorney and PR man who led President Clinton’s public defense against multiple scandals in the 1990s. Davis was also a surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

On Sunday, NYT reported that sponsors of migrant children trying to reunite the children with parents face considerable red tape, and must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in airfare for the children.

On Monday, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia blocked the systematic, arbitrary detention of migrants who have shown credible evidence that they were fleeing persecution in their home countries.

The lawsuit noted that 1,000 asylum seekers had been denied parole in five ICE districts. Before Trump took office, more than nine out of 10 asylum seekers were granted parole.

The judge ordered the government to conduct individualized reviews to determine whether a person is a flight risk, poses a national security threat, or is a danger to the community before denying parole.

Bloomberg reported on a 15 year-old girl who said after fleeing El Salvador and forcibly separated from her mother, she was crammed into a windowless room with 60 other girls.

The room was divided by wire fencing into three cages, each holding 20 separated girls, some as young as 3 years-old. She said she was deprived of proper sleep or food for three days, and that “the place was freezing.”

Grassroots Leadership, a human rights organization, posted letters from immigration detention centers. One woman called the facility “la perrera,” the kennel, because of the chain-link cages she and others were held in.

She said for eight days after she was captured, she was not allowed to bathe or brush her teeth. She and other women slept on the floor under “aluminum paper” blankets, saying they were treated like “we were animals.”

Others described the anguish of being separated from their children. One woman wrote, “From then on, I didn’t know anything more about my children…They told us our kids would be adopted by other people.”

In protest of Trump’s family separation policy, Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis arranged baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statues in a chain-linked, enclosed cage on their lawn.

On Wednesday, NYT reported Trump’s inauguration fund collected $500,000 from two private prison companies, Geo Group and CoreCivic, which are involved in housing detained migrant families.

Defense Secretary James Mattis sits on a board of a housing contractor, and Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos provided funds to one of the groups. Some contractors employ GOP lobbyists with ties to Trump.

On Tuesday, Intercept reported that when Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen toured a detention facility housing women in Southern Texas, migrant mothers who were separated from their children were moved outdoors.

The mothers tried to yell their questions to Nielsen from a distant soccer field but were ignored. Reporters were also not given access to Nielsen during the visit.

On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump renewed his calls for deporting migrants without due process, tweeting, “they must be told to leave without our … Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial.”

Trump also tweeted, “Tell the people “OUT,” and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn,” and repeated his lie about needing to hire thousands of judges.

On Monday, BuzzFeed reported that Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the committee is in weekly conversation with Christopher Steele, author of the dossier.

On Monday, AP reported, according to internal memos and business records obtained, Konstantin Kilimnik was far more involved in formulating pro-Russia political strategy with Paul Manafort than previously known.

Memos date back to 2004, and show Kilimnik helped formulate Manafort’s pitches to clients in Russia and Ukraine, including Oleg Deripaska, and that he helped Manafort plan to influence Western politicians and media outlets.

On Monday, McClatchy reported Mueller’s team likely got access to the NRA’s tax returns, which would identify “dark money” donors, companies, and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of donations to Trump.

On Tuesday, Trump accused the NSA of violating privacy, tweeting, “The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages,” and trying to tie it to the unrelated Mueller probe: “The Witch Hunt continues!

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is tapping more prosecutors to help with new legal battles as the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election continues to expand.

Instead of adding to his staff, Mueller is making use of prosecutors from U.S. attorneys offices and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — and may hand off more cases as he did with Cohen.

On Friday, a newly released court document showed Manafort is being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day ahead of his July 25 trial, saying his safety cannot be otherwise guaranteed while in prison.

On Monday, the White House Twitter account — @WhiteHouse — falsely accused Sen. Kamala Harris of “supporting the animals of MS-13,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of “supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims.”

On Tuesday, the White House Twitter account attacked two House Democrats, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan, who announced last week they would introduce legislation to abolish ICE.

On Monday, an image with a fake quote by Rep. Maxine Waters, which read, “Waters: SCOTUS pick should be illegal immigrant,” was posted and spread around pro-Trump Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On Tuesday, Trump escalated his attacks on Rep. Waters, referring to her as “Crazy Maxine Waters,” and saying she is “one of the most corrupt people in politics.”

On Tuesday, Trump continued attacks on gangs as a proxy for people with brown skin and his support for ICE, tweeting, “we have an “infestation” of MS-13 GANGS,” and “who do we send to get them out? ICE!”

CNN reported that Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, falsely claiming Obama granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal negotiations, came from a story on the Fox News website.

ABC News reported Mark Harris, an insurgent Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina, had questioned in a 2013 sermon whether careers were ‘healthiest pursuit’ for women.

WAPO reported on a white woman in Maple Heights, Ohio who called the police on a 12 year-old black boy who was mowing her neighbor’s lawn, after he had slightly crossed onto her property line.

On Tuesday, a woman called the police on Rep. Janelle Bynum, a black Oregon state representative running for re-election, while she was going door-to-door campaigning and using her cellphone.

On Wednesday, the Daily News reported the principal at the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, New York refused to allow the school’s first black valedictorian give a graduation speech.

Instead, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren invited Jaisaan Lovett, who had served as her intern previously, the give his speech at City Hall. Warren said, “I think it was personal between Jaisaan and the principal.”

On July 4, a white man in North Carolina asked a black woman who was swimming in a community pool for her ID, then called the police. After a video of the incident went viral, he was fired by Sonoco.

On Friday, Larry Lappin, a white man in Petaluma, California apologized after a video of him cursing a neighbor on July 4 for playing Spanish-language music went viral, saying he had been drinking too much.

On Friday, the day after a video surfaced of Michael Miselis, a member of a white-supremacist group, attending the Charlottesville rally and pounding on a black man, he was fired from his job at Northrop Grumman.

The NAACP issued a new study showing a continued rise in hate crimes to “the highest level in a decade,” and said there is a direct relationship between the rise and “Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies.”

The report found racially-motivated crimes comprise nearly 60% of overall hate crimes. Overall, the report found, “Anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-Latino were the most common type of hate crimes.”

On Monday, Kentucky’s GOP governor Matt Bevin canceled dental and vision benefits for almost 500,000 people on Medicaid in his state, following a judge blocking the state’s Medicaid work requirements in Week 84.

On Tuesday, Trump’s Department of Education rescinded an Obama-era guideline that encouraged the use of race to promote diversity, directing schools and colleges to adopt race-neutral admissions standard

The regime instead reposted a W. Bush administration document strongly encouraging the use of “race-neutral” methods on the Department of Education website.

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions withdrew 24 Justice Department guidance documents, most but not all dating back to the Obama administration, including materials about affirmative action and the right of refugees.

NBC News reported Trump’s most recent financial disclosures reveal first lady Melania Trump earned between $100,000 and $1 million in 2017 from Getty Images for use of a series of images shot between 2010–2016.

At least a dozen news agencies paid to use the photos, which include a requirement photos be used only in positive coverage. Several agencies removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News.

On Tuesday, Scott Schools, a top aide to Rod Rosenstein resigned. Schools was a senior official and played a critical role as a strategic counselor on institutional norms and ethics. His exit follows Rachel Brand.

School’s role included recommending Andrew McCabe be fired for “lack of candor,” advising then acting AG Sally Yates about the boundaries of her congressional testimony, and getting regular briefings on the Mueller investigation.

CNN reported based on a mortality database which they and Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued Puerto Rico to obtain, 26 Puerto Ricans died from leptospirosis in the six months following Hurricane Maria.

On Tuesday, 75 protesters blocked the entrance to an ICE building in Philadelphia, refusing to allow anyone to enter or leave. Nearly 30 were arrested after a clash with police.

On July 4, Therese Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty in protest of Trump’s immigration policy of separating families. Police closed down and evacuated the Statue.

Okoumou was among 40 Rise and Resist protestors who earlier had hung a banner on the Statue calling for the abolishment of ICE.

Walmart stopped selling T-shirts and baby onesies that said “Impeach 45” after an social media outcry from Trump supporters who threatened to boycott the retailer.

In an op-ed, Alan Dershowitz said he was being “shunned” on Martha’s Vineyard for defending Trump, saying one good thing is finding out “who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were.”

On Thursday, actor and Trump supporter James Woods revealed his agent, Ken Kaplan, had dropped him in a message saying, “It’s the 4th of July and I’m feeling patriotic. I don’t want to represent you anymore.”

On Monday, CNN reported Trump is planning a one-on-one meeting with Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, before aides join their first formal meeting.

On Tuesday July 3, seven Senate Republicans met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow. The meetings were closed-door and the media was not given access, nor were any Democrats invited.

The senators struck a “conciliatory” tone. Sen. Richard Shelby told Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, “I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth, I’m saying that we should all strive for a better relationship.”

Among the Russian attendees were Sergey Kislyak, whose conversations with Michael Flynn led to Flynn’s firing, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The visit represents the most significant congressional visit to Russia in over a decade.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev raised Russia’s grievances about U.S. sanctions and seizure of Russian diplomatic properties. Kosachev was put under U.S. sanctions in April.

While some GOP senators had hoped to meet with Putin during the trip, a spokesperson said Putin “had no time for the visitors.” Kosachev later told Russia state TV the GOP lawmakers’ visit was a concession.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to aid Trump.

The report describes activity that goes far beyond the intelligence community’s initial January 2017 findings, and says Russia is continuing its efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.

The report also backed the intelligence findings that Russian intelligence services used digital operations to target both major political parties, as well as think tanks and lobby groups, in order to influence U.S. policy.

On Wednesday, London Metropolitan Police said two people found unconscious in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday were exposed to nerve agent Novichok, the same used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The U.K. Home Secretary accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison.” The Russian embassy called the assertions “merely speculative,” and said May’s government was subjecting them “to hell”.

On Friday, Sen. Ron Johnson, who was one of the seven GOP Senators in Moscow, told Sirius radio “The Big Picture,” that it was time to “evaluate” whether to lift sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

On Monday, WAPO reported two of Scott Pruitt’s top aides, both Trump appointees, have provided congressional investigators new details about his most controversial spending and management decisions.

Aides said Pruitt sought a job for his wife that would pay over $200,000, requested help from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord, and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel.

CNN reported that according to Kevin Chmielewski, a whistleblower, Pruitt and his aides kept “secret” calendars and schedules to hide controversial meetings or calls with industry representatives or others.

On Monday, a mother carrying her toddler son confronted Pruitt at a D.C. restaurant and asked him to resign before scandal pushes him out, saying her son loves animals, breathing clean air, and drinking clean water.

On Thursday, Pruitt resigned. WAPO reported the White House informed Pruitt that he had to submit his resignation. Trump tweeted shortly after that Pruitt did an “outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him.”

In his resignation letter, Pruitt wrote it had been “a blessing” to serve under Trump and undertake “transformative work,” and blamed “the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family.”

On Friday, in his final hours at the EPA, Pruitt granted a loophole allowing a major increase in the manufacturing of older diesel freight trucks which produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as newer trucks.

The newer technology reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide, which are blamed for asthma, lung cancer, and other ailments. The move was opposed by environmental, public health, industry players, and truck manufacturers.

Pruitt will be replaced by his deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who shares Pruitt’s zeal for undoing environmental regulations. Wheeler is a Washington insider who has spent years effectively navigating the rules.

The New Yorker reported on the record-setting turnover under Trump: as of the end of June, 61% of top-level advisers have turned under Trump. At the same point in, Obama’s turnover was 14% and W. Bush was 5%.

With Pruitt’s departure, Trump’s Cabinet has the fastest turnover rate of any Administration in a hundred years. Turnover is also alarming at lower levels, where positions are held by second and third waves of aides.

On Thursday, a federal judge in California rejected the Trump regime’s challenge to block three of the state’s sanctuary laws, allowing laws that restrict local law enforcement cooperation with ICE and require state oversight of facilities housing immigration detainees to stay in place.

A third law which could require employers to notify employees about upcoming workplace inspections will stay in place, but the judge struck down a ban on employers voluntarily giving access to employee records.

The ruling allows the California to keep in place its most significant legislative measures aimed at countering Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The judge called on Congress to pass immigration reform.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said nearly 3,000 — not the 2,047 number he gave to Senators last week — migrant children are in custody after crossing the southern border.

Azar said some of the children may have been separated before “zero tolerance,” and some children may not qualify for reunification because they were separated during their journey and not by U.S. border agents.

Of the roughly 3,000 migrant children still in federal custody, about 100 are under the age of 5.

DNA will be used to reunite families to meet the deadlines of the San Diego federal court ruling. Azar said the regime will soon start reuniting families in ICE detention centers while their asylum claims play out.

Immigration advocates and others raised concerned over how DNA collected by migrants would be used in the future, including DNA could be used to track undocumented immigrants indefinitely.

On Thursday, NYT reported that according to two Department of Homeland Security officials, records linking migrant children to their parents have disappeared or have been destroyed.

DHS has deployed hundreds of federal workers to comply with an injunction from a federal judge in San Diego under which families must be reunited by July 26, with a July 10 deadline for children under 5.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement had initiated procedures such as identification bracelets and registration numbers, but Border Patrol which handled the migrants for the first 72 hours, did not follow through.

PBS reported on a motion filed Monday by Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and D.C., which includes 900 pages of declarations and personal testimonies from parents, children, and other family members.

Olivia Caceres, separated from her 1 year-old son in November wrote, “(My son) is not the same since we were reunited,” adding “When I took off his clothes he was full of dirt and lice. It seemed like they had not bathed him the 85 days.”

An investigator for the Washington attorney general wrote, “The guards would wake all the girls up at 4 a.m. to count them by kicking on their mats.” Other stories were similarly excruciating.

In hundreds of cases, Border Patrol deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” leaving no record of how to reunite them.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar said the Trump regime “will comply” with the deadlines, though he criticized the judge’s timetable as “extreme.”

Late Thursday, according to court records filed late in the day, the Trump regime said it would not be able to meet a federal judge’s deadline to reunite all migrant families separated at the southern border.

Azur said HHS overall is caring for more than 11,800 minors through a nationwide network of shelters, overseen by ORR. More than 80% of the minors are teenagers, mostly males, who crossed the border alone.

Despite Trump’s zero-tolerance policy being in place for much of June, more than 42,000 were apprehended in June, nearly double the number in June 2017. Border crossings tend to slow in summer months.

On Friday, at a status hearing, the Trump regime said they cannot locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5: 19 were released from custody, whereabouts unknown, and the other 19 were deported.

When the judge asked about having counsel back over the weekend, the ACLU attorney said, “We will do whatever,” but the DOJ attorney said she could not attend because she had out-of-town dog-sitting responsibilities.

The judge said he would agree to delay the July 10 deadline if the government could provide a master list of all children and the status of their parents by 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday.

On Thursday, one week after five were killed at the Capital Gazette, Trump said of the media at a rally in Montana, “Fake news. Bad people,” and

“They’re so damn dishonest,” and “These are really bad people.”

Trump said he would donate $1 million if he could test Sen. Warren — who he called “the fake Pocahontas” — for Native American heritage, adding, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the MeToo generation.”

To chants of “lock her up,” Trump said of Hillary Clinton, “She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. … Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department.”

Trump also took aim at George HW Bush and his slogan on volunteerism, saying, “‘Thousands points of light’….What does that mean? I know one thing. ‘Make America Great Again’ we understand.”

On his way to the rally, when asked about allegations Rep. Jim Jordan overlooked sexual abuse during his time as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, Trump said, “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him.”

After the rally, Trump ramped up the rhetoric ahead of midterm elections, tweeting, “A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities,” and “Democrats want anarchy, they really do.”

Trump also tweeted that the MS-13 “take jobs and benefits away from hardworking Americans,” and repeated his false claim that ICE is “liberating communities from savage gangs like MS-13.”

On Thursday, Bill Shine was named White House deputy chief of staff for communications, where he will report directly to Trump and oversee both the press and communications teams. Shine also has close ties to Hannity.

The appointment of Shine, who was pushed out of Fox News over his mishandling of sexual harassment scandals at the network, met with protests from both advocates and some conservatives.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll found a huge gender gap in Trump’s approval — while his overall approval is 43%, just 32% of women approve compared to 54% of men.

On Friday, South Korea media reporting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bought a CD of ‘Rocket Man,’ along with a letter from Trump, as gifts for Kim Jong Un. Pompeo laughed off, and would not confirm or deny it when asked by U.S. media.

Pompeo met with Kim Jong Chol in North Korea to hoping to flesh out specifics, following evidence North Korea continues to build its nuclear program despite assurances given by Trump after the Singapore summit.

On Saturday, AP reported Pyongyang called the visit by Pompeo “regrettable” and accused Washington of making “gangster-like” demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

A statement from a North Korea spokesperson said, “We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust,” but those hopes were “naive” and “foolish.”

Protests are planned across London for Trump’s visit next week, including a giant ‘Trump Baby’ balloon set to be flown close to the UK Parliament. Over 10,000 people signed a petition in support of the balloon.

On Wednesday, donning a sombrero, Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Magid Magid announced “in solidarity” with Mexico, Trump will be banned from his city, “I further declare July 13th to be Mexico Solidarity Day!”

On Friday, Guardian reported according to Downing Street, Trump will almost entirely avoid London during his four-day U.K. visit next week, prompting accusations he is trying to avoid planned protests against him.

On Friday, Trump officially launched a trade war with China, imposing the first duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

Moments later, China fired back, accusing the U.S. of violating World Trade Organization rules setting off “the largest trade war in economic history to date.” China said it would retaliate.

Russia also said it would retaliate, imposing tariffs on U.S. products, and would be “joining the European Union, China, India and Canada in complaining to the World Trade Organization about the American action”

The owner of a Chinese factory told an NPR podcast he was making flags for Trump’s 2020 campaign. It is unclear if the Trump campaign or related businesses put in the order.

On Thursday, the Heritage Foundation tweeted a list of “Things to remember” countering Trump before his trip to Europe, including “Russia is the aggressor,” “Crimea belongs to Ukraine,” and Putin can’t be trusted.

On Friday, WAPO reported allies are worried that similar to the week of G7, Trump will blow up the NATO summit then offer concessions to another autocrat, NATO’s main adversary Russia.

At his rally in Montana, Trump railed against NATO, saying “you got to start paying your bills,” and “They kill us on trade,” while defending Putin, calling him “fine” at the event.

WAPO also reported that Trump gave out his personal cell phone number to a handful of foreign leaders shortly after taking office, and his White House is not informed of his calls, nor is there a typical public readout.

Aides have urged Trump to route all conversations with foreign leaders through the Situation Room, as required under federal records law, but Trump refuses, instead giving them a terse summary of his calls.

In conversations with Trudeau, May, and Merkel, Trump is sometimes assertive, brash and even bullying. With Putin, Trump takes a more conciliatory approach, often treating the Russian leader as a confidant.

White House aides worry that Putin is playing on Trump’s inexperience to gain the upper-hand, saying things like “fake news” and that U.S. foreign policy establishment, the “deep state,” is conspiring against them.

On Friday, NYT reported Trump’s attorneys set new conditions for a Mueller interview, saying Mueller needs to prove he has evidence that Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential.

This marks a shift to a more combative approach. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, 45% of Americans disapprove of how Mueller is handling the investigation, up from 31% in January 2018.

On Saturday, Trump again attacked the media, tweeting that Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts, and asking will that “include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post.”

In an op-ed, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist said Mueller “is under assault,” extolling, “No matter who is in the White House, we Republicans must stand up for the sanctity of our democracy and the rule of law.”