POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 92: ENTRENCHED IN THE SWAMP

Week 91 of this administration: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

August 11, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-91-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-1fe8c655810b

This was a week of widespread and outrageous corruption in the Trump orbit — from Congressman Chris Collins and insider trading, to Secretary Wilbur Ross and grifting, to Secretary of State Kris Kobach miscounting votes, to the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” controlling the Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. The phrase “drain the swamp” has disappeared from Trump’s vernacular, as he and his apostles appear to be squarely inside the swamp.

As Paul Manafort’s trial sped along, several associates of Roger Stone were subpoenaed, suggesting he is a point of focus in the Mueller probe. Trump and his surrogates continued to ramp up attacks on the Mueller probe, and related areas like the FBI — and several plan to focus on a new shiny coin: Bruce Ohr. A surreptitiously taped and leaked audio of a Republican fundraiser revealed House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ plans to protect Trump at all costs, including the possible impeachment of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Themes of white nationalism were front and center this week with a diatribe by Fox News host Laura Ingraham on changing demographics, and the regime’s continued efforts to whiten America, while ignoring brown lives lost in Puerto Rico and inhumanely separated at our Southern border. As the week came to a close, on the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville, Trump condemned “all types of racism,” in simpatico with white nationalist leader Jason Kessler who stated, “White people should be able to have the same rights as other groups.”

Below: “Doomsday Donald” by UK artist Chris Czee Tampin. August 2018. https://www.czee13.com/czee13

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  1. On Saturday, at a rally in Ohio, Trump staked out a new position on U.S. elections interference, saying, “It’s a lot of people…Russia is there, China is there. We are doing well with North Korea, but they’re probably there.”
  2. Trump said the meddling will “happen really big now” because the U.S. is “taking our wealth back.” Trump also criticized the media and the “elite” class, saying “it drives them crazy” that he won the presidency.
  3. On Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar told “Meet the Press” that she is very concerned the midterm elections could come under digital assault, adding Trump is still “undermining this on national TV” and saying “it’s a hoax.”
  4. Klobuchar also said the Russians are not stopping with election interference, saying she would “love to see” concerns “broadened out” to discuss the threats to our power grid system and our financial system.
  5. On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said Russian operatives have “penetrated certain counties in the state” ahead of the midterms, and “they now have free rein to move about.”
  6. Nelson and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter in July to 67 county election supervisors about potential threats. Nelson is running for re-election against Gov. Rick Scott, who denied knowledge of the allegations.
  7. Sen. Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement, “Russian activities continue to pose a threat…I hope all state and local elections officials, including Florida’s, will take this issue seriously.”
  8. Security activists filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia that included exhibits from activists and voters who experienced a series of irregularities in the 2016 election and May 2017 primary.
  9. The lawsuit comes amid swelling public concern for the security of Georgia’s voting systems. Mueller’s July 2018 indictment indicated that Russian operatives visited county election websites in Georgia.
  10. Cybersecurity experts warned there were security flaws on the state election website leading up to the 2016 contest that permitted the download and manipulation of voter information.
  11. On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul led a U.S. delegation to visit Moscow in what he characterized as a continuation of Trump’s diplomatic outreach to Putin. Paul met with members of the Russian Council.
  12. Paul met with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the council’s foreign policy panel, who was put under U.S. sanction for Russia’s actions againstthe U.S. government in April 2018.
  13. Paul said Monday he invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington. When asked by CNN whether the issue of Russian interference came up, Paul said he had “general discussions about a lot of issues.”
  14. Paul was joined by Texas State Sen. Don Huffines, and his twin brother Phillip who ran unsuccessfully for a Texas state senate seat. On Tuesday, Sen. Huffines took to Twitter to defend his visit to Moscow.
  15. On Wednesday, Paul delivered a letter from Trump to Putin that Paul said “emphasized the importance of further engagement” between the two leaders on issues such as countering terrorism.
  16. On Saturday, WAPO reported Trump is privately brooding about the widening fallout of the Russia probe, and fretting that he is not getting enough credit for what he claims are political triumphs.
  17. Trump is concerned the Mueller probe could ruin the lives of what he calls “innocent and decent people,” including Donald Jr. who he believes may have inadvertently wandered into legal jeopardy with the June 9 meeting.
  18. On Sunday, Trump tweeted about the WAPO story, saying the “Fake News” is reporting “a complete fabrication” about the meeting “my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower.”
  19. Trump also admitted, “this was a meeting to get information on an opponent,” and falsely claiming it was “totally legal and done all the time in politics.” Trump also added, “I did not know about it!”
  20. Trump also tweeted, without evidence, “Mueller and the 17 Angry Democrats” are biased, saying, “This is the most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country,” calling it again a “Rigged Witch Hunt.”
  21. On Sunday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told “This Week” that he made a mistake by denying Trump was involved in a misleading statement last year on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting, saying he had “bad information.”
  22. Hope Hicks, who was reportedly visiting Ivanka and Jared at Trump’s Bedminster golf club, ended up joining Trump aboard Air Force One on Saturday to attend his rally in Ohio that evening.
  23. Hicks’ presence sparked speculation she might rejoin the regime, but also noted was her role in July 2017 in helping Trump draft a misleading statement on Air Force One about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting.
  24. On Saturday, First Lady Melania Trump issued a statement in support of LeBron James, saying he is doing “good things on behalf of our next generation,”after Trump disparaged James in Week 90.
  25. On Sunday, Portland, Oregon’s police chief ordered a review of her officers’ behavior at a far-right rally Saturday, after accusations the police were heavy-handed in their crackdown against anti-fascist protesters.
  26. On Wednesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham complained that changing U.S. demographics have been “foisted” on the American people, saying “it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.”
  27. Ingraham also said of the demographic changes, “none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like,” adding, “much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.”
  28. On Thursday, Ingraham tried to distance herself from the white supremacists cheering her comments, saying her comments had “nothing to do with race or ethnicity” but a “shared goal of keeping America safe.”
  29. On Friday, Trump slammed the NFL players who knelt during preseason games, tweeting, “the NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem.”
  30. Trump suggested players who “make a fortune doing what they love” should “Be happy, be cool,” adding, “Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
  31. On Sunday, Trump again attacked the media, tweeting “it’s true” that they are “the Enemy of the People,” saying they “purposely cause great division & distrust,” can also “cause War,” and they are “very dangerous & sick!”
  32. On Sunday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace challenged national security adviser John Bolton about Trump’s tweet, asking “What wars have we started?” Bolton avoided the question, and said media bias has been around for a long time.
  33. Newseum issued an apology for selling “You Are Very Fake News” t-shirts in its gift shop and online, saying, “ A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people.”
  34. On Monday, GOP strategist Karl Rove told Fox News that Trump should “tone down” his attacks on the media, comparing Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to that of Stalin against his enemies.
  35. Politico reported the networks are boosting security staff for the first time to protect reporters at Trump’s rallies. Reporters say at recent events there is a sense that violence could easily break out at any time.
  36. Guardian reported the Trump regime rescinded an Obama-era ban which prohibited farmers from planting biotech crops engineered to resist insects. The pesticides are linked to declining bee populations.
  37. Rolling Stone reported the EPA is evaluating allowing asbestos, enacting the Significant New Use Rule, which allows the government to evaluate use on a case-by-case basis. Trump has long supported the use of asbestos.
  38. Not included in the evaluation process are the potential effects of exposure to chemicals in the air, ground, or water, allowing the EPA to circumvent an Obama-era law for evaluating potentially dangerous chemicals.
  39. Until recently, 95% of asbestos used in the U.S. came from Brazil, with the balance from Russia. Brazil recently banned asbestos, leaving Russia. A Russian asbestos company shared an image featuring Trump on Facebook.
  40. On Friday, NYT reported, according to internal emails, the EPA’s in-house scientists and lawyers objected to the agency’s new rules on a measure to review applications for using asbestos in consumer products.
  41. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading an effort among Democratic state attorneys to fight the asbestos plan. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other ailments.
  42. Reuters reported that the second annual ‘America First Energy Conference’ this week was attended by some of the country’s most vocal climate change doubters, as well as by a handful of Trump administration officials.
  43. The presence of Trump officials gave a boost to outlandish ideas such aspumping carbon dioxide into the air makes the planet greener, and the United Nations produces fake science to control the global energy market.
  44. On Friday, Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education released a document outlining a proposal to scrap an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting students from career training programs.
  45. The “Gainful Employment” regulations required programs at for-profit-colleges that prepare students for careers to prove graduates were earning enough to repay the debt they incurred to complete the program.
  46. On Sunday, WSJ reported Canadians, upset with Trump over tariffs and treatment of their prime minister, are boycotting products made in the U.S. and buying Canadian.
  47. On Monday, South Carolina TV-maker Element Electronics said it will close its Winnsboro plant in response to tariffs imposed by Trump.
  48. On Monday, NBC News reported the limited number of H-2B visas being issued by the Trump regime is leaving companies that depend on foreign seasonal workers, like landscaping and crabbing businesses, struggling to stay afloat.
  49. Small business owners are losing revenue, saying American workers don’t want temporary jobs, leaving them unable to fill positions. The Trump family continues to use H-2B visas for their businesses.
  50. First lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were sworn in as U.S. citizens, obtaining citizenship through a path referred to by Trump as “chain migration,” which Trump is currently trying to eliminate.
  51. The Knavses were eligible for green cards and to apply for citizenship because their daughter Melania is a citizen, the most common way immigrants to the U.S. get green cards and eventually become citizens.
  52. Trump’s paternal grandfather and mother, who migrated from Germany and Scotland, also used chain migration to become citizens, as did Ivana, Trump’s first wife and mother to his three oldest children.
  53. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is working on a plan to limit the number of migrants who obtainlegal status in the U.S. His plan would circumvent Congress.
  54. According to a draft, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have used, or whose households have used, popular public welfare programs like Obamacare or food stamps would be blocked from becoming citizens.
  55. On Tuesday, the ACLU sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others over policies instructing asylum officers that claims based on domestic or gang violence will not establish the basis for asylum or refugee status.
  56. The ACLU claims asylum seekers will be deported to places where they face grave danger. The Trump regime claim the asylum process is exploited by immigrants to pass credible fear screenings and be released into the country.
  57. The Texas Observer reported an ICE transport company van transporting eight Central American mothers separated from their children under “zero-tolerance” crashed in July. ICE denied the incident happened.
  58. When pressed further by the Observer, citing a San Marcos Police Department report on the accident and significant injuries to migrant mothers, ICE changed the story to the incident being a “fender bender.”
  59. On Thursday, Helen Aguirre Ferré, the White House director of media affairs for Latino and African-American news outlets, quietly resigned. The White House did not comment on her reason for leaving or her future.
  60. The Trump regime still does not offer a Spanish version of the White House website, available under the W. Bush and Obama administrations. The Spanish site was supposed to launch in late 2017.
  61. On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington halted a deportation of a woman and her daughter while a hearing appealing their deportations was underway, and threatened to hold Sessions in contempt of court.
  62. The ACLU said government attorneys in another case informed them that the pair was on a flight to El Salvador. When Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington was informed, he ordered the government to “turn the plane around.”
  63. WAPO reported, according to government data, the number of migrant families taken into custody along the border remained nearly unchanged from June to July, suggesting separating families did not deter migrants.
  64. WAPO reported, as of August 9, 559 of the 2,551 children separated from their parents remain separated. Since the July 26 deadline imposed by the court, the Trump regime has made almost no progress in reunificiations.
  65. The latest figures provided by the Trump regime show just 34 migrant parents waived the right to be reunified with their children, compared with the 120 that the government reported a week prior.
  66. On Thursday, NYT reported in a report to Congress, the Puerto Rico government acknowledged that Hurricane Maria killed an estimated 1,427, far more than the official death toll of 64.
  67. The estimate comes from comparing deaths in the last four months of 2017 to previous years. Officials say they await the outcome of the George Washington University study to provide certainty around final numbers.
  68. On Monday, Trump quoted Dan Bongino on “Fox & Friends,” saying “Collusion with Russia was very real,” and repeating his false claims that “Hillary Clinton and her team 100% colluded with the Russians.”
  69. Trump also parroted Bongino’s claim without evidence,“so did Adam Schiff,” saying he tried to collude with Russians “to obtain compromising material on DJT,” and adding “ we should demand a full investigation.”
  70. On Monday, Bloomberg reported the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe is likely to extend beyond the midterms, longer than chairman Richard Burr had hoped, for the panel plans to interview more witnesses for its final report.
  71. On Monday, at the Manafort trial, Rick Gates testified he and and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts which were not disclosed to the federal government. Gates said they also did not submit required forms at Manafort’s direction.
  72. Gates testified he committed crimes alongside and at the direction of Manafort. Gates said Ukraine former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych’s backers moved money from accounts in Cyprus to Manafort.
  73. Gates also testified he cheated Manafort out of “several hundred thousand” dollars by submitting false expense reports. The monies were taken out of some of the undisclosed foreign bank accounts in Cyprus.
  74. On Tuesday, Gates admitted on cross-examination to having an affair, as Manafort’s defense team continued to try to hammer Gates’ credibility. Gates denied using company money for his affair.
  75. Gates testified that Manafort was paid $4 million a year to help Yanukovych govern after he was elected president in 2010. Yanukovych pivoted towards Moscow, which led to protests and his ouster in 2014.
  76. On Wednesday, the forensic accountant showed Manafort controlled or had a stake in 31 bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and the U.K., opened by Manafort, Gates, and Konstantin Kilimnik.
  77. On Wednesday, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said Judge T.S. Ellis has shown “an extraordinary bias” against prosecutors in the Manafort trial, and added, “He’s making too much of the case about him.”
  78. On Thursday, Judge Ellis apologized to jurors after berating prosecutorsfor allowing a witness to watch the proceedings, despite having given his earlier approval, saying, “It appears I may well have been wrong.”
  79. On Thursday, in a court filing, Mueller’s team asked to keep a discussion between trial attorneys and the judge regarding a question to Gates secret,signaling Gates may also be assisting in Mueller’s Russia probe.
  80. On Friday, for the second time in two days, prosecutors asked Judge Ellis to take back a critical remark directed at them in front of the jury, saying it could “sow confusion among the jurors about the merits of that charge.”
  81. On Friday, Dennis Raico, a former senior vice president at Federal Savings Bank, testified CEO Steve Calk “expedited” approval of $16 million in loans for Manafort, adding it “made me very uncomfortable.”
  82. On Friday, there was an unexplained five-hour delay in the Manafort trial. Before the lunch break, Judge Ellis stressed to jurors the importance of not discussing the case and told them to “keep an open mind.”
  83. NBC News reported Kristin Davis, the “Manhattan Madam” is scheduled to testify this week before Mueller’s grand jury in Washington. Davis said in July she believed it was in regard to her relationship with Roger Stone.
  84. On Thursday, MSNBC host Ari Melber reported Mueller’s office had “indicated” it plans to subpoena Randy Credico, the associate of Stone who was his alleged connection to Wikileaks during the 2016 election.
  85. On Friday, Credico said that he had received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference on September 7, and said he did not plan to fight it.
  86. On Friday, U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell found Andrew Miller, a Stone associate, in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury. Miller’s attorney plans to appeal the decision.
  87. According to a June court transcript, the subpoena of Miller seeks information about Stone and key figures in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and the release of Democrats’ emails by Wikileaks.
  88. On Friday, Stone told the NYT, “the ongoing attempt to interrogate themappears to be an effort to fabricate some other ‘crime’ to pressure me into testifying” against Trump, adding, “It really has the smell of a witch hunt.”
  89. On Friday, BuzzFeed reported FBI agents and congressional investigators are examining a series of transactions which GOP operative Peter W. Smithmade as his effort to procure Clinton’s emails heated up.
  90. A day after he finished a report saying he was working with Trump campaign officials, he transferred $9,500 from an account to fund the email project to his personal account, and withdrew $4,900 in cash.
  91. Responding to an FBI subpoena, Smith’s bank, Northern Trust turned over documents showing 88 suspicious cash withdrawals totaling about $140,000 between January 2016 and April 2017.
  92. On Wednesday, Politico reported, according to a Russian document, Putin presented Trump with a series of requests in Helsinki, including new talks on controlling nuclear arms and prohibiting weapons in space.
  93. Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained about the document being leaked. U.S. officials have yet to be fully briefedby Trump on the contents of his two hour meeting with Putin.
  94. On Wednesday, more than a month past a statutory deadline and after being called out by Republican members of Congress, the Trump regime issued new sanctions against Russia for the U.K. Skripal poisoning.
  95. The U.S. had joined European countries in publicly blaming Moscow within days of the March attack, but the Trump regime had yet to issue the formal determination that triggers automatic sanctions in a 1991 law.
  96. The Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 will impose sanctions in two tranches: the first has little impact, the second, if Russia does not provide “reliable assurances” will be substantial.
  97. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the White House is drafting a sanctions order to punish foreign interference in U.S. elections, in an effort to appear serious about combatting Russian disinformation and hacking.
  98. The draft order is meant to stave off aggressive legislation introduced in the Senate in Week 90, and to answer continuing criticism that Trump has sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence on Russian hacking.
  99. In an effort to make the order palatable to Trump, Russia is not singled out, and reference is made to past attempts by the “Soviet Union” to interfere in U.S. elections. The draft grants Trump discretion on sanctions.
  100. A recent Gallup Poll found 40% of Republicans regard Russia as an ally or at least as a country friendly to the U.S., double the percentage from 2014.
  101. A new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos found 43% of Republicans said that they believed Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Just 36% disagreed.
  102. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted congratulating “Troy Balderson on a great win in Ohio, and took credit for the win. The race remains undecided at the week’s end in a traditionally safe GOP district that Trump won by 11 points.
  103. On Tuesday, after election primary victories, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was poised to become the first Muslim woman in Congress, and Sharice Davids of Kansas the first Native American. Davids is also openly gay.
  104. On Wednesday, Corey Stewart, the neo-Confederate Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia tweeted about Michigan gubernatorial candidateAbdul El-Sayed who lost her primary, calling her an “ISIS commie.”
  105. On Wednesday, in a tape obtained by “The Rachel Maddow Show” of a July GOP fundraiser, Rep. Devin Nunes said impeaching Rosenstein would delay the Senate’s ability to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
  106. In the audio from fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Nunes said “Rosenstein deserves to be impeached,” and added, “if Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones.”
  107. Nunes also suggested the Republicans must keep the House majority to protect Trump from the Mueller probe, saying, “We have to keep all these seats…We have to keep the majority.”
  108. Nunes also said, hypothetically, if a campaign received and released stolen emails from a foreign government — using an example of McMorris Rodgers and the country of Portugal — “Well, if that’s the case, then that’s criminal.”
  109. On Tuesday, Forbes reported on numerous allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from his business days which have sparked lawsuits, reimbursements, and an SEC fine of more than $120 million.
  110. Mother Jones reported ex-Trump campaign aides Jason Osborne and Mike Rubino are lobbying for a Russian-backed Serbian separatist party in Bosnia, whose leader has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department.
  111. The two registered with the Justice Department to lobby for the political party of Milorad Dodik. Party officials have met with Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowski, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
  112. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Michael Cohen is under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible tax fraud, for underreporting income for his taxi-medallion business in federal tax returns.
  113. Prosecutors also are looking into whether any employees at the Sterling National Bank, which provided financing for Cohen’s taxi-medallion business, allowed Cohen to inflate collateral value to obtain loans.
  114. ProPublica reported three of Trump’s Palm Beach cronies — Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, Bruce Moskowitz, and Marc Sherman — have had significant influence in shaping veteran’s policies.
  115. None of the three have any military or government experience. VA insiders refer to them as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd.” Trump has been a powerful ally — speaking on the phone and dining with Perlmutter frequently.
  116. Hundreds of documents obtained under the FOIA reveal the three hovered over public servants without transparency, accountability, or oversight, and have been calling the shots at Veterans Affairs since Trump took office.
  117. An analysis done by NBC News of revenue at Trump Hotel DC based on public filings and social media found substantial spending at the hotel by federal agencies, Trump’s political allies, and foreign governments.
  118. Trump took in more than $40 million in revenues from the hotel in 2017, and Ivanka took in $3.9 million. Trump loyalists and senior aides like Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Larry Kudlow, and Lewandowski frequent the hotel.
  119. PACs and GOP campaigns have spent the most at the hotel. Religious groups and lobbyists for the petroleum and banking industries have held events there, as have foreign governments like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
  120. On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump in February 2016, was charged with insider trading. In Trump‘s early days, Collins served as an informal liaison to Congress.
  121. A video was uncovered of what appears to be Collins calling his son to tell him to sell stock in Australian biotech company Innate while at the White House picnic on June 22, 2017.
  122. On Saturday, Rep. Collins reversed course and suspended his bid for re-election in 2018, saying he had decided it was “in the best interests” of his district, the Republican Party, and Trump’s agenda.
  123. On Wednesday, Reuters reported the Trump regime cut 40 jobs at the Office of Financial Research, a government agency tasked with identifying looming financial risks, created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
  124. On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer called on his opponent Secretary of State Kris Kobach to recuse himself from vote counting after multiple counties reported voting totals on the secretary of state’s website were inaccurate.
  125. Kobach was ahead by just 191 votes on election night, but at least two known errors had cost Colyer roughly 100 votes. Late Thursday, Kobach agreed to recuse himself.
  126. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the former “Apprentice” star who followed Trump to the White House, has secret recordings she made of Trump — the contents of which will be in her upcoming book.
  127. Omarosa said the tapes reveal Trump frequently used the word “nigger” while he was the host of the reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice,” although she did not personally hear him use the word.
  128. On Friday, WAPO reported Omarosa was offered a $15,000-a-month contract by Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide in December 2017.
  129. The West Hollywood city council unanimously approved a proposal to remove Trump’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, citing costs of acts of vandalism and demonstrations.
  130. On Thursday, Tribune Media terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, and sued the owner, alleging it failed to make sufficient efforts to get their $3.9 billion deal approved by regulators.
  131. After over a year of supporting the merger, Trump’s FCC Chair had soured on it in Week 88. The Hollywood Reporter noted Fox News, a competitor to Sinclair, was the big winner of the deal not going through.
  132. On Thursday, NYT reported senior American national security officials pushed to complete the NATO deal before the July 11 summit in Brussels began, to protect from Trump blowing up the deal while at the summit.
  133. National security adviser Bolton communicated through U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison. On July 4, NATO’s secretary general toldambassadors the usual infighting over the agreement had to be dropped.
  134. The new agreement, completed in advance of the summit, gives American national security officials the ability to assure the public and skittish allies, even while Trump continues to publicly bash NATO.
  135. On Wednesday, the 45th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, Giuliani told Fox News host Sean Hannity in contrast to Nixon’s downfall, this time the wrongdoing is on the side of the investigator, not the president.
  136. Giuliani said, “In this case, the investigation was much worse than the no-crime,” and called the Mueller probe “Corrupt investigations through and through,” that is “going to lead to some very big reforms.”
  137. On Thursday, Trump lashed out, tweeting the Mueller probe is “an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt run by people who are totally corrupt and/or conflicted,” and ended his tweet with a foreboding, “Stay tuned!”
  138. On Thursday, the special master appointed after the Cohen raid said she “has concluded her review” of four million items to determine what is subject to attorney-client privilege.
  139. In the last batch of items reviewed, Cohen claimed 4,808 were privileged, while the special master agreed with the designation for about half. The documents have been turned over to federal prosecutors in New York.
  140. The Hill reported House Judiciary Committee chair Bob Goodlatte is preparing to subpoena people connected to the Steele dossier, including DOJ official Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr, and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
  141. Bruce Ohr is under GOP scrutiny for his contacts with Simpson and Steele during the 2016 election, while Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS at that time. The committee will also go subpoena former FBI and DOJ officials.
  142. Sekulow and Nunes are also speaking out. Sekulow told “This Week” on Sunday that Ohr’s ties to Steele and Fusion GPS “concerned” him, and Nunes said Monday on “Hannity” that Ohr’s involvement is troubling.
  143. It is unclear why Ohr has become the focus of attention from Trump allies. Ohr was removed from the Deputy Attorney’s office when his ties to Steele came to public light. Most of the allegations have been public for months.
  144. On Friday, Sekulow and Giuliani hosted Sean Hannity’s afternoon radio show. The lawyers criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation, with Giuliani claiming Mueller’s investigation was “born in corruption.”
  145. WAPO reported although on vacation this week in Bedminster, New Jersey,Trump continued to actively tweet about the Mueller probe, and ancillary subjects such as the FBI and collusion, sending 10 tweets as of Friday.
  146. On Friday, Trump quoted Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on the Mueller probe, tweeting, “No evidence to launch even an investigation into potential collusion…and here we are, a year and a half later.” This is false.
  147. Trump also quoted Jenna Ellis of the Washington Examiner, tweeting, “FBI thought they wouldn’t get caught because they thought that Hillary was going to win. There is overt bias…a double standard that needs to stop.”
  148. On Saturday, Trump attacked the FBI’s handling of Andrew McCabe’s text messages in a pair of tweets, asking “What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people…..”
  149. Trump threatened he may “get involved,” and asked, “Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover… FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!”
  150. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. posted a poll graphic to his Instagram account which doctored Trump’s approval from 40% up to 50%, ahead of Obama’s 45%, backing his father’s claim that he has better approval than Obama.
  151. After the doctored post was reported on, Donald Jr. deleted it on Friday, but not until after tens of thousands of people had seen, shared, or endorsed the false 50% approval rating.
  152. On Thursday, Vice President Pence laid out Trump’s plans for the Space Force, which would become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, equal to the other five. The new branch needs to be approved by Congress.
  153. Shortly after Pence’s speech, Trump tweeted, “Space Force all the way!” and his campaign sent supporters an email asking them to vote on a Space Force logo, and to consider making a campaign donation.
  154. States of emergency were declared for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville at the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally and counter-protests that turned deadly last year.
  155. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” and, reminiscent of his “both sides” remarks, said he condemns, “all types of racism and acts of violence.”
  156. Jason Kessler, a white nationalist leader who is organizing the Unite the Right 2018 rally in Lafayette Square on Sunday, said, “White people should be able to have the same rights as other groups.
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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 89: ‘HELL’SINKI

Week 89: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 21, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-88-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-c4edff1d80a2

This week it was hard to believe what was happening right before our eyes: Trump stood on stage in Helsinki, after a two hour, private meeting with Putin, and sided with our former foreign adversary over the U.S. intelligence community. The free-world looked on in horror, and there was bipartisan outrage back at home — even concern raised that Trump may be compromised — and yet, as the week came to a close, Trump suffered no real consequences. The Republicans even rewarded him by inexplicably backing his partial ban of Chinese telecom company ZTE.

Trump stumbled defiantly through the rest of a shocking week: shifting his positions on backing U.S. intelligence, considering an offer to allow Russian intelligence to question the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve, and threatening his former fixer Michael Cohen who had taped their conversations.

Russian Maria Butina was arrested and indicted on charges of spying — the 26th Russian to be indicted but first Russian to face charges in U.S. court for interfering in the 2016 election. As Butina’s ties to the NRA surfaced, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin took steps to change existing rules and allow dark money donors to remain anonymous. Shockingly, as the week came to a close, Trump has still yet to admit it was Russia who interfered in the 2016 election.

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Los Angeles, CA ~ March 2018
  1. On Sunday, British PM Theresa May told BBC that when she met with Trump, he advised her to sue the European Union, not go into negotiations. May noted this was in contrast to what he said at their new conference, “don’t walk away.”
  2. The White House canceled National Security Adviser John Bolton’s scheduled interview for Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that a CNN reporter had “disrespected @POTUS & PM May.”
  3. On Sunday, NYT reported British investigators believe the nerve agent attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter was likely carried out by GRU, the same Russian military intelligence indicted in the Mueller probe.
  4. On Sunday, in an interview on “CBS Evening News,” when Trump was asked about our biggest global foes ahead of Helsinki, he responded, “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade.”
  5. On Sunday, en route to Helsinki, Trump tweeted he was looking forward to his meeting with Putin, while mocking critics, “I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!” and calling the media “the enemy of the people.”
  6. As Trump and Putin were set to arrive, Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat financed 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit which read, “Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press.”
  7. On Sunday, Daily Mail reported that Morry Matson, a CVS in manager in Ohio and former Trump delegate, called the police on a black woman for trying to use a coupon at his store. Matson was dubbed “Coupon Carl.”
  8. The Toledo Blade reported a woman spray-painted “Hail Trump” and the N-word on a neighbor’s home, just hours before Toledo’s annual African-American Parade. Patricia Edelen, 47, was arrested.
  9. The mayor of Wilmington, Delaware apologized after Muslim children from the the Darul Amaanah Academy summer camp were asked to leave a public pool because of their religious clothing.
  10. Cal Poly rescinded a scholarship for pro-Trump wrestler Bronson Harmonafter video surfaced of him yelling an anti-gay slur and making an obscene gesture during a counter-protest to a Families Belong Together march.
  11. The Tennessean reported on a record number of Tennesseans using Confederate flag license plates: there were 3,273 active plates in June 2018, up 72% from June 2015.
  12. A HuffPost/YouGov survey found 85% of Trump voters believe MS-13, the gang Trump frequently conjures to defend his immigration policy, is a very serious or somewhat serious threat to the entire U.S.
  13. On Sunday, Trump’s Health and Human Services Department submitted revised plans to reunite families, after Judge Dana Sabraw accused the regime using safety concerns as “cover” to avoid meeting his July 26 deadline.
  14. Judge Sabraw said the government “has an absolute 100 percent obligation to meet these deadlines and to do it safely.” The regime will use methods other than DNA testing to verify parentage for older children.
  15. On Sunday, WAPO reported that experts say migrant children being reunited with parents may be deeply traumatized. Some children suffer nightmares, others have trouble trusting their parents again.
  16. A ten-year old described seeing an out-of-control kindergartener get injected with something after he misbehaved in class. She added, “They told us to behave, or we’d be there forever.”
  17. On Thursday, NBC News reported that as the court imposed July 26 deadline nears for the regime to reunify the 2,551 migrant children over 5 years old, in a court filing the regime said they have just unified just 364 so far.
  18. Of 1,607 parents eligible to be reunited, 719 have final orders of deportation, leaving them with the choice of bringing their child back to a violent country or leaving them behind in the care of the U.S. government.
  19. The judge temporarily halted the regime from deporting reunited migrant families, accepting the ACLU argument that many of who plan to seek asylum need time to file claims.
  20. On Friday, the Trump regime told the court that the federal government has reunited 450 children ages 5 to 17 years old. Judge Sabraw said, “I am very impressed with the effort that is being made.”
  21. On Monday, hours before his one-on-one summit with Putin, Trump sent two tweets calling the Mueller probe a “Rigged Witch Hunt” twice, and again blamed Obama for doing nothing.
  22. Trump also tweeted, “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity,” and falsely claimed the probe was headed by Peter Strzok.
  23. The Twitter account for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affair, headed by Sergey Lavrov, tweeted, “We agree.”
  24. On Monday, Germany’s foreign minister said Europe could no longer rely on the U.S. after Trump called the European Union a “foe,” urging Europeans to close ranks and readjust its partnership with the U.S.
  25. Putin arrived late, and the summit at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki started about an hour after schedule. In a short public greeting, Trump declared he expected to have an “extraordinary relationship” with Putin.
  26. Trump and Putin started by speaking alone, with only interpreters, for two hours — longer than the 90 minutes allotted on Trump’s daily schedule. After, the two held a 46 minute news conference.
  27. Unlike his adversarial tone with NATO allies, Trump refused to challenge Putin in any way, including his claim that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election, saying, “I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia.”
  28. Trump made no mention of the Justice Department’s 12 indictments, and when pressed said, “I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” but Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
  29. When asked if he would hold Russia accountable at all, Trump said, “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish,” adding, “the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart.”
  30. Trump declined an invitation by an AP reporter, with the world watching,to warn Putin not to interfere again, instead deferring to Putin who said, Russia “has never interfered and is not going to interfere” in U.S. elections.
  31. Putin suggested what Trump described as an “interesting idea” — Mueller’s investigators could come to Moscow and question the Russian suspects, so long as Russians could come to Washington D.C. to do the same.
  32. Trump insisted his campaign did not collude with Russia, and then rattled off conspiracy theories. When Putin was asked if he had compromising information on Trump, he said, “It’s hard to imagine greater nonsense.”
  33. Former intelligence chiefs condemned Trump. Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted Trump’s performance “exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors,” calling it, “nothing short of treasonous.”
  34. Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Trump “failed America today.” Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Trump “essentially capitulated and seems intimidated” by Putin.
  35. Sen. John McCain and several Democrats spoke out forcefully. McCain called the summit “a tragic mistake,” adding Trump delivered “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.
  36. On Monday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a statement saying U.S. intelligence has been “clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”
  37. On Monday, Trump played down his earlier comments, tweeting, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,” adding, “to build a brighter future,” the two largest nuclear powers, “must get along!”
  38. On Monday, other Republicans reacted, but mainly in muted ways, defending the U.S. intelligence community and their assessment, but offering muted criticism of Trump and his behavior.
  39. Reuters reported Russian establishment viewed the summit as a win for Putin, noting the symbolism of a U.S. leader sitting down with Putin after four years of international isolation triggered by the annexation of Crimea.
  40. Russia state TV reported “Trump is ours,” and joked the U.S. lawmakers came to Russia “to make deals with our hackers” for midterms. They report Putin will run circles around “political neophyte” Trump.
  41. After the summit, in an interview with Sean Hannity that aired Monday night, Trump praised Putin: “I thought President Putin was very, very strong,” adding, “I think we’re doing really well with Russia as of today.”
  42. Late Monday, Trump returned from Helsinki to face protests at the White House. Protestors chanted, “Putin’s puppet” and “traitor” and carried giant letters that spelled out “liar.”
  43. On Tuesday, Motherboard reported Election Systems and Software, the top voting machine maker, admitted in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden that it installed remote-access software on election-management systems.
  44. The company says it provided remote connection software “to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” contradicting earlier statements, and raising concern about the security of their systems.
  45. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported Trump was surprised by the outrage about his summit. By time he landed back in Washington D.C., Trump “was enraged there was a lack of people out there defending him,”
  46. Reportedly, chief of staff John Kelly was irate about Trump’s comments at the summit, and called around to Republicans on Capitol Hill, giving them the go-ahead to speak out against Trump.
  47. On Tuesday, amid widespread criticism and condemnations, Trump tweeted, “While I had a great meeting with NATO…I had an even better meeting” with Putin, blaming “the Fake News” for misreporting.
  48. On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said he is concerned Trump got “taken advantage of” in his private session with Putin, saying, “We sure as heck need a briefing.”
  49. On Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan said the House may consider new sanctions on Russia. Ryan also said there is “no question” Russia interfered in 2016 election and “is not our ally.”
  50. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before Bob Corker’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 25. Although the hearing was scheduled on North Korea, he is expected to be grilled on Trump’s meeting with Putin.
  51. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP leaders used their weekly press conference to support U.S. intelligence findings on Russian interference, and to reassure Europe about America’s commitment to its allies.
  52. McConnell said the Senate might move forward with new sanctions against Russia in the wake of Trump’s remarks, mentioning the bipartisan bill from Sens. Marco Rubio and Chris Van Hollen, which would impose new penalties.
  53. Facing pressure, reading from a prepared statement, Trump said he misspoke in Helsinki, saying, “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”
  54. Trump claimed as he read the written statement, “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative,” in explaining his shifting position.
  55. Trump then ad-libbed and contradicted himself, “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there,” and added, “There was no collusion at all.” This jibes with Trump’s unwillingness to call out Russia.
  56. Photos of the note Trump was reading surfaced. At the top was an addition in black marker which read, “THERE WAS NO COLUSION,” and Trump crossed out the words, “Anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”
  57. A few hours later, Trump seemed to reverse course again, tweeting, “The meeting between President Putin and myself was a great success,” and blamed the media, “except in the Fake News Media!”
  58. A CBS poll found just 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the Helsinki summit, including 68% of Republicans. Seven in ten believe the U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the elections.
  59. On Monday, the Justice Department disclosed that Maria Butina was arrested Sunday and appeared Monday in court.
  60. Butina is accused of trying to cultivate relationships with American politicians over a two-year period. Butina twice tried to set up secret meetings between Trump and Putin during the 2016 campaign.
  61. In June 2015, as Trump announced his campaign, Butina wrote a column in a conservative U.S. magazine, suggesting that only by electing a Republican could the U.S. and Russia hope to improve relations.
  62. In July 2015, at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, she asked Trump about his foreign politics relating to Russia at a public event. He answered, “I know Putin and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin.”
  63. According to charges, at the behest of Alexander Torshin, a Russian government official, Butina made connections through the National Rifle Association and religious organizations to steer the GOP towards pro-Russia positions.
  64. Butina is the 26th Russian to face charges in the Russia investigation, and the first to be arrested. Charges were filed by the DOJ, which already had an investigation underway, and worked parallel to the Mueller probe.
  65. In May 2016, Torshin and Butina proposed a meeting between Trump and Putin during the annual NRA convention in Kentucky. Kushner shot the idea down, and instead Donald Jr. met the two at the NRA dinner.
  66. The charges also say an American operative met with Butina in Moscow and helped identify political, news media, and business officials to target — the most explicit evidence yet of an American aiding Russian efforts.
  67. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury approved a criminal indictment of Butina with two charges, conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent. Her lawyer denied she was an “agent of the Russian Federation.”
  68. On Monday, Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. Treasury would no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the NRA, to report dark money donors.
  69. Butina, who once posed with guns in Russian GQ magazine, pleaded not guilty to acting as a covert Russian agent working with Torshin in a plan that “was calculated, patient, and directed by the Russian Official.”
  70. Authorities said Butina used a student visa to attend American University, and through a pro-gun organization set up in Russia, got in contact with GOP operative Paul Erickson and other top NRA officials as early as 2013.
  71. Authorities also alleged Erickson had “involvement” in Butina’s efforts to establish a “back channel” line of communication between the Kremlin and the Republican Party through the NRA.
  72. On Tuesday, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee tweeted Democrats wanted to interview Butina, but “GOP members of HPSCI refused our request to bring her and others in.”
  73. On Tuesday, in a court filing, Mueller asked the judge to grant immunity from prosecution for five potential witnesses whose testimony Mueller may want to compel in the upcoming Paul Manafort trial.
  74. Mueller said the potential witnesses have not been identified publicly in connection with the case, and asked the judge to seal from public view the court motions detailing the witnesses’ identities.
  75. On Tuesday, CNN reported the MP leading a British investigation into online disinformation said data collected by Professor Aleksandr Kogan on behalf of Cambridge Analytica had been accessed from Russia and other countries.
  76. On Wednesday, CNN reported prosecutors from Mueller’s team met with attorneys representing Andrew Miller, a former Roger Stone associate, and spent almost 90 minutes in a sealed court proceeding before Chief Judge Beryl Howell.
  77. The meeting signals Stone is still under investigation by Mueller team. Howell oversees matters related to the federal grand jury that has indicted in Week 87, led to the indictments of 12 Russians.
  78. On Wednesday, Mueller’s team published nearly 500 pieces of evidence for the Manafort trial, which begins next week. Exhibits include Manafort’s homes, cars, a $21,000 watch, and high-end clothing.
  79. There will also be photographs of the putting green at his home in the Hamptons, as well as email communication between Manafort and Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant, who worked for Ukrainian President Yanukovych.
  80. On Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced he has serious concerns about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would put the deal through a lengthy administrative process, likely dooming it.
  81. AP reported Trump will be the first sitting president to skip the All-Star Game in Washington D.C., citing his preference for friendly crowds.
  82. NYT reported Trump has yet to award the National Arts Medals, an award created by Congress in 1985 to recognize the country’s greatest artists, which typically goes to about a dozen artists each year.
  83. On Tuesday, the Scotsman reported U.S. government spending records show Trump’s Turnberry firm was paid £52,477 to cover the accommodation bill for his weekend stay at his resort.
  84. In an op-ed Beck Dorey-Stein, a White House stenographer from 2012 to 2017, a staffer position that stays through changing administrations, saidTrump uniquely refused to be recorded and have a record of his words.
  85. In an interview, Dorey-Stein said “I quit because I couldn’t be proud of where I worked anymore,” adding, “I felt like President Trump was lying to the American people.”
  86. On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo opened the door to a possible criminal case against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, saying the state will provide a criminal referral if Attorney General Barbara Underwood asks for it.
  87. CNN reported on a 2016 panel in which Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, when asked what one decision should be overturned,said he would “put the nail” in the ruling which upholds independent counsels.
  88. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump loyalists at the Department of Veteran Affairs are taking aggressive steps to purge or reassign staff members disloyal to Trump ahead of Robert Wilkie’s likely confirmation.
  89. On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Trump’s 23rd circuit court judge, breaking a record set by George H.W. Bush who got 22 confirmed.
  90. On Wednesday, anti-Trump protestors, joined by lawmakers, held a candlelight vigil in front of the White House to protest Trump’s refusal to denounce Russian interference, and to show support for Mueller.
  91. Protestors chanted, “Hell naw Kavanaugh,” and “Trump is not above the law!” According to organizers, similar protests took place in 200 cities around the country.
  92. On Wednesday, Politico reported the Interior Department’s internal watchdog opened a full investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Secretary Ryan Zinke and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar.
  93. Under the arrangement, Lesar would be building a parking lot to benefit a major redevelopment project that could raise the land value of Zinke’s nearby properties. Zinke has oversight over issues impacting Halliburton.
  94. On Thursday, the Trump regime’s Interior and Commerce departments announced a joint proposal which would strip the Endangered Species Act of key provisions, weakening a law enacted 45 years ago.
  95. If approved, protections for threatened plants and animals would be made on a case-by-case basis. The proposal would also strike the phrase “without reference to possible economic or other impacts” from the Act’s language.
  96. Conservationists decried much of the proposal, including the removal of a requirement compelling federal agencies to consult with scientists and wildlife agencies before approving permits for ventures such as drilling.
  97. Daily Beast reported Michael Barry, the senior National Security Council director for intelligence programs, is leaving the White House to rejoin the CIA, creating another in the growing list of vacancies in Bolton’s NSC.
  98. On Wednesday, James Comey, a Republican, urged votes for Democrats in the midterms, tweeting, “This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that “Ambition must..counteract ambition.”
  99. On Tuesday, in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Trump said he’s bothered by Article 5 provisions of NATO that require the U.S. to come to the defense of other member countries.
  100. Carlson mentioned the small country of Montenegro, to which Trump responded, “They’re very strong people, they’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive and, congratulations, you’re in World War Three.”
  101. Russia has made clear they view the region as part of their sphere of influence, and said the country would “regret” joining NATO in 2017. Article 5 has only been invoked once, after the U.S. was attacked on 9–11.
  102. On Wednesday, Trump continued to defend his Helsinki performance in a series of tweets, saying, “So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki.”
  103. Trump added, “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting,” saying even compared to the NATO summit, his meeting with Russia “may prove to be, in the long run, an even greater success.”
  104. Trump also said, “Some people HATE” that he gets along well with Putin,” adding, “They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
  105. On Wednesday, when asked by a reporter whether Russia is still interfering in U.S. elections, Trump answered, “no,” contradicting Coats, and his declaration Tuesday that he believes U.S. intelligence on Russia.
  106. On Wednesday, at the Aspen Security Forum, FBI director Christopher Wray said he has threatened to resign. Wray reaffirmed that “Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and…continues to engage in malign influence.”
  107. On Wednesday, press secretary Sanders held a White House daily briefing for the first time in over two weeks.
  108. Sanders covered for Trump’s “no” answer, claiming it was in response to taking further questions from the press, saying the regime is “working very hard to make sure that Russia is unable to meddle in our elections.”
  109. Sanders refused to rule out the Kremlin’s request to question Americans, saying Trump is open to the idea of having former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul questioned by Russia, and Trump is “going to meet with his team” to discuss the offer.
  110. That Trump was considering turning over Americans drew astonishment and outrage from current and former U.S. officials. The proposition is unheard of. McFaul served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012–2014.
  111. On Thursday, the Senate planned a resolution introduced by Democrats to block Trump from allowing Americans, such as McFaul, from being questioned by Russian intelligence.
  112. Shortly after, press secretary Sanders announced Trump disagreed with Putin’s proposal, which she said had been “made in sincerity.” Trump initially had described the idea as an “incredible offer.”
  113. The Senate’s resolution passed 98–0. WAPO reported Trump did not understand the massive diplomatic and security implications of turning Americans over to an autocratic regime that jails and kills dissidents.
  114. On Thursday, WAPO reported as Russian officials describe “important verbal agreements” in Helsinki, at the most senior levels across the U.S. military, officials are scrambling to determine what Trump agreed to.
  115. Press officers at the Pentagon are unable to answer media questions. As Moscow suggests a new arrangement regarding Syria, the U.S. General in the region was scheduled to brief media and did not yet know details.
  116. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did not attend Trump’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and has not appeared in public this week, or been available for comment.
  117. While Trump continued to tweet about the “big results” from the summit,State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the regime was “assessing . . . three takeaways,” which she characterized as “modest.”
  118. On Thursday, Trump-ally Devin Nunes blocked Rep. Schiff’s motion to subpoena the interpreter at Trump’s Helsinki summit with Putin to testify in closed session before the House Intelligence committee.
  119. On Thursday, in a speech on the House floor, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called on Republicans to bring up an amendment providing additional funding for election security, as House Democrats chanted “USA.”
  120. On Thursday, Trump criticized the European Union again, using the excuse of an EU fine on Google, tweeting, “I told you so!…They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!”
  121. Trump blamed the media for outrage over his Putin summit, which he said was “a great success,” and again said referred to the media as “the real enemy of the people,” and “the Fake News Media.”
  122. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News Media is going Crazy,” and accused the media of lying, saying, “Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction.”
  123. Trump accused the “Fake News Media” of wanting “so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war,” tweeting they hate “that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”
  124. Trump also tweeted, “The Democrats have a death wish, in more ways than one,” saying Democrats want to abolish ICE.
  125. On Thursday, Putin warned there are certain political “forces” in the U.S. — a reference to what he views as an anti-Russian cabal within U.S. national security — trying to undermine his successful summit with Trump.
  126. Putin again invoked this deep state notion, saying consider the efforts of a “quite powerful” group in Washington that seeks to undermine good relations between the U.S. and Russia.
  127. On Thursday, Sanders tweeted Trump had asked national security adviser John Bolton to issue an invitation to Putin to come to “Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”
  128. Sander’s tweet was sent hours after Trump had tweeted that he was looking forward to “our second meeting” with Putin, and defended his Helsinki summit performance.
  129. On Thursday, in an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, DNI Coats told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he still does not know what happened in Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Putin.
  130. Coats said he hopes to learn more about the meeting, adding of the summit, “If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted I would have suggested a different way, but that’s not my role, that’s not my job.”
  131. Coats also warned of a “cyber-9/11,” saying there are threats, “every day, against our institutions, against our military, against our financial services, against our critical infrastructure.”
  132. Coats said he felt the need to “correct the record” when he issued a statement Monday reaffirming that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered, after Trump’s statement at the summit.
  133. Coats also said he was not made aware of until it was made public that Sergey Kislyak and Lavrov met with Trump in the Oval office in May 2017. Coats noted with a long sigh that it was probably not the best thing to do.
  134. During the interview, Mitchell read Coats the tweet by Sanders on a second summit with Putin in Washington. Coats said, “Say that again?” and then added, “Okaayyy, that’s gonna be special.”
  135. Coats was also asked if he is considering resigning, to which he responded, “That’s a place I don’t really go to publicly.”
  136. Earlier at the Aspen Security Forum, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security and trust, said the same Russians who hacked the DNC have targeted at least three 2018 Congressional campaigns.
  137. Burt declined to name the candidates or their party, citing privacy concerns, but said they are notable candidates running for reelection. Trump’s DHS has said they’ve seen no sustained campaign against election systems.
  138. Also at Aspen, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said the DOJ will inform American companies, private organizations, and individuals if they are being covertly attacked in order to affect elections or the political process.
  139. Rosenstein said focusing on a single election misses the point, adding Russian threats are “pervasive,” and “meant to undermine America’s democracy on a daily basis,” whether it is election time or not.
  140. Also at Aspen, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen refused to say whether Russian interference in 2016 helped Trump, saying she had not seen “any evidence” interference was to “favor a particular political party.”
  141. When asked about Trump’s comment that there were “fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, Nielsen also blamed both sides, responding, “It’s not that one side was right and one side was wrong.”
  142. On Thursday, Republicans in the House voted down a Democratic effort to increase election security spending.
  143. Politico reported based on a survey of all 50 states, most states’ election offices have failed to fix their most glaring security weaknesses, and few have plans for how to use their share of election security funding.
  144. On Thursday, breaking long-standing practice, Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for raising rates, telling CNBC, “I am not happy…all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”
  145. On Friday, Trump ratcheted up criticism of the Fed, tweeting, “China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower… taking away our big competitive edge.”
  146. Trump also tweeted the U.S. “should not be penalized because we are doing so well,” saying the U.S. should be able to “recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals.”
  147. On Friday, Trump tweeted a 2010 video of Hillary Clinton in an interview with Russia state television, calling for a strong and stable Russia. Trump added, “Will the Dems and Fake News ever learn? This is classic!”
  148. On Friday, NYT reported Michael Cohen secretly taped a conversation with Trump two months before the election discussing payments to Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump. The FBI seized the recording in their raid.
  149. The recording undercuts the Trump campaign’s denial of any knowledge of payments to McDougal. Days before the 2016 election, Hope Hicks called McDougal’s claim of an affair “totally untrue.”
  150. Rudy Giuliani told the Times that Trump had discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen in person on the recording, and said Trump did not know in advance about the payment American Media Inc. made to silence McDougal.
  151. CNN reported Cohen had other recordings of Trump in his records that were seized by the FBI. Giuliani dismissed the other recording as mundane. A source told CNN that is not true.
  152. In the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to that contract from AMI. CNN reported when informed about the recording, Trump said, “I can’t believe Michael would do this to me.”
  153. WAPO reported in the recording, Cohen advised Trump to consider buying the rights to McDougal’s claims to better “control” the story, reportedly saying, “I think we need to bring this in-house.”
  154. On Saturday, Trump suggested there could be consequences for Cohen secretly recording him, tweeting, “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client — totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
  155. On Saturday, Cohen attorney Davis responded, tweeting, “The strategy of @realdonaldtrump @potus @RudyGiuliani is flawed; just as is #Trump’s false #Twitter statement made against @michaelcohen212 this morning.”
  156. On Friday, in an op-ed, GOP Rep. Will Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, said Trump is being manipulated by Putin, writing that Trump, “standing idle” while Putin “spouted lies” should “concern all Americans.”
  157. On Friday, Reuters reported Mnuchin is open to lifting sanctions from Russian aluminum giant Rusal, owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Mueller is investigating financial ties between Deripaska and Manafort.
  158. On Friday, Republicans agreed to water down legislation in reconciling bills designed to punish Chinese telecom company ZTE, delivering a victory to Trump. The Senate version would had restored a full ban.
  159. On Friday, Trump again complained about being criticized by the “Fake News Media,” tweeting, “In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough.”
  160. On Friday, Trump also tweeted “The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again — can’t believe it.” On Thursday, the NFL halted enforcement of anthem rules while working out a solution with players.
  161. Trump tweeted, “Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?” It is not. He also called on the Commissioner, “First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
  162. On Saturday, WSJ reported at the end of a turbulent week, Trump is taking an increasingly defiant approach, tired of being told he can’t do things like criticize the Fed or the intelligence community.
  163. Trump’s comments on the Fed ricocheted through currency and bond markets, leaving the White House to clarify his comments and say Trump respects the Fed’s independence.
  164. Reportedly before the summit, Trump had authorized the Justice Department to release the indictments against 12 Russians, agreeing it would strengthen his hand with Putin in bringing up election interference.
  165. Trump’s plan, formulated with his aides, was for him to “shove it in Putin’s face and look strong doing it.” Trump did the exact opposite, siding with Putin and saying he saw no reason why Russia would have interfered.
  166. Russian associated social media accounts urged the U.S. to free Butina. On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a call to action on its Twitter account to mobilize a digital “flash mob,” including changing profile photos.
  167. On Saturday, TASS reported Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told Secretary of State Pompeo that U.S. actions against Russian citizen Butina were inadmissible, and said she should be released as soon as possible.

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

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.”

Iași , Romania : Lost Lyrics

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Residential building with commercial shop below.
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Cow herder in a field.
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1+1=1 behind bars. Ache77. https://www.instagram.com/ache77stencilartist/
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Lost lyrics: “sunflower fields forever.”

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Built into the wall
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Church in a field. 
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Trolley
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Movie theater

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The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (Romanian: Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza”; acronym: UAIC) is a public university. Founded one year after the establishment of the Romanian state, by an 1860 decree of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, under whom the former Academia Mihăileană was converted to a university, the University of Iași, as it was named at first, is the oldest university of Romania, and one of its advanced research and education institutions. (wiki)

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View from above

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23/24jun2018. Iași, Romania.

IAŞI , ROMANIA 🇷🇴 GRAFFITI : “JUGGLIN’ MOLOTOVS”

Artist HarceaPacea https://www.instagram.com/harceapacea and the elephant 🐘 featured later in this post…

Artist: ACHE77 https://www.instagram.com/ache77stencilartist and the 1+1=1 and Cat Mai Rezisti pieces featured later in this post…

24jun18 Iaşi , Romania 🇷🇴

Iași , Romania : 1+1=1

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Union Square. Landmark of the city. It is the intersection of three major streets: “Ștefan cel Mare” Boulevard (the former Big Street), Alexandru Lăpușneanu Street (the former Serbian Street) and Cuza Vodă Street (the former Golia Street). The square has a special meaning to Romanians because in front of Petre Bacalu’s Inn (situated in the past on the parking space in front of Victoria Cinema), “Hora Unirii” was danced for the first time in 1857, and then, after the announcement of the Union of Romanian Principalities on the 24th of January 1859, which was made through the double election of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. http://iasi.travel/en/stories/the-union-square/
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Pigeon Feeding Frenzy
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Mănăstirea Trei Ierarhi (Monastery of the Three Hierarchs). Completed in 1639.
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Tip of the Hat
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Saint Nicholas Princely Church (Romanian: Biserica Sfântul Nicolae Domnesc) is a Romanian Orthodox church located at 65 Anastasie Panu Street in Iași, Romania. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Origins as early as 1491. Established by Stephen the Great. 
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Only 98 Luftballons now…
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The Palace of Culture (Romanian: Palatul Culture) . Construction started 1906.

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Casa Dosoftei , also called the Arcade House , built in the 18th century . Located in the city center, on Anastasie Panu Street no. 69, near the old Royal Court, between the Palace of Culture and the Church “St. Do not Destroy Domnesc . “ She currently hosts the old literature section of the Museum of Romanian Literature in Iasi, established in 1970. 

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1+1=1.“When you feel the ONEness of everything, naturally you don’t want to harm anything.” Artist : Ache77 https://www.instagram.com/ache77stencilartist/

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BUST. https://www.instagram.com/acabust_md/

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Artist: HarceaPacea https://www.instagram.com/harceapacea/

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23/24 Jun2018. Iasi, Romania.

Iaşi , Romania 🇷🇴: “Sa primesti ce ai dat”

The Border crossing from Moldova 🇲🇩 .

The road to Iaşi .

Passing through villages on the way…there are still horse drawn carriages serving as practical modes of transportation .

Mănăstirea Trei Ierarhi (Monastery of the Three Hierarchs). Completed in 1639.

Artist : HarceaPacea https://www.instagram.com/harceapacea

sa primesti ce ai dat . Rough translation: “To get what you gave.”

“I also want to be an artist.”

Grand Hôtel Traian. Designed by Gustave Eiffel. 1887.

23/24jun18 . Iaşi , Romania 🇷🇴

Chișinău , Moldova : “Chișinău , You Intoxicate Me”

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Superheroes. Artist unknown. Located in the park behind the American Embassy.
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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.
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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)

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“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

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Chișinău , you intoxicate me.
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Abandoned building near the city center.

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And, she did…

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Driving politics 

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“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that SELF may prove to be.” ― May Sarton
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Church in the woods
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Valea Morilor

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Decay is inevitable, but beauty can remain

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jun2018. Chisinau , Moldova