Hour-Long Nighttime Meeting Kept From Media
PresidentÂ Donald Trump held a highly-anticipated meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 in HamburgÂ earlier this month. That meeting, scheduled to last 30 minutes, lasted two and a quarter hours.
But as it turns out, there was a second, secret meeting between the U.S. and Russian leaders later at the G-20, and the White House kept it a secret. Why?
American political scientist Ian Bremmer, a U.S. foreign policy expert and president and founder of theÂ Eurasia Group, tells Bloomberg News (video above, apologies â€“Â size not configurable) of the second meeting that was held on the “sidelines” at the G-20.
â€” ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 18, 2017
“The first thing I thought of when I heard it was the fact when [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions was having these meetings with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Kislyak, that weren’t ‘meetings’ because they were in broader meetings, but were ‘pull asides,’ so you don’t really need to talk about it, but it turns out, that’s where they’re conducting business,” Bremmer says. “That’s kind of what this sounds like.”
Bremmer also noted that there was no “clear read out of what was said from either side,” after the first meeting, but “then on top of that, you have an hour that evening, that no one’s even heard of.”
NBC News’ Dafna Linzer confirmed the meeting with the White House:
â€” Dafna Linzer (@DafnaLinzer) July 18, 2017
It turns out that second meeting was between just Putin, Trump, and Putin’s translator. There does not seem to be any record of what was said.
“We clearly know that Trump doesn’t care what the media has to say about his desire to have a close relationshipÂ with the RussianÂ presidentÂ â€“ and what drives it.”
Bremmer says of all the foreign leaders Trump has met,Â “clearly his best personal relationship”Â is with Putin.
“Never in my life as a political scientist have I seen two countries, major countries, with a constellation of national interests that are as dissonant, while the two leaders seem to be doing everything possible to make ‘nice nice’ and be close to each other,” Bremmer told Bloomberg’s Charlie Rose in an interviewed that aired Tuesday.
During his officialÂ meeting with Putin Trump says he twice asked Putin about interfering in the U.S. election, and said Putin denied it. Russia said Trump accepted Putin’s denials.
In his Bloomberg interview, Bremmer also says it “seems clear there were many people around Trump, some high-level, that were compromised by the Russians.”Â
Some responses via Twitter:
Politico cybersecurity reporter offers a sarcastic take:
Trump relying on Putin’s translator is definitely not weird https://t.co/HiXgT60Q9d
â€” Eric Geller (@ericgeller) July 18, 2017
Obama foreign policy advisor:
Obama White House used to read out these types of interactions with Putin at Summits given the public interest. https://t.co/81MGkQ67x4
â€” Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) July 18, 2017
Who tells other people about their six month performance review? https://t.co/Zzvnyfefs3
â€” Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) July 18, 2017
It’s almost like the Russians have something on the Trumps that makes the Trumps not want to reveal meetings they have with Russians.
â€” Bob Mueller’s Glare (@PolPOTUS2017) July 18, 2017
The Trump White House is holding undisclosed meetings with Putin himself. We all knew it would come to this eventually. https://t.co/MMJQKPT4hN
â€” Ned Price (@nedprice) July 18, 2017
NSC spox didn’t say how long Trump/Putin conversation lasted & declined to provide details, citing fact that no staff were present
â€” David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) July 18, 2017
Incredible detail: Trump relied on Putinâ€™s translator, no US note taker. Akin to Jaredâ€™s back channel via Russian facilities https://t.co/NiYAwlUbay
â€” David Frum (@davidfrum) July 18, 2017
UPDATE: 6:00 PM EDT â€“
Bremmer weighs in on Twitter:
Readout from Trump Admin on what was/wasn’t discussed in official meeting w Putin useless when there was 1 hour convo off books that eve.
â€” ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 18, 2017
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Trump’s Fundraising Off Mar-a-Lago Raid Hit $1 Million a Day – and It’s Still Higher Than Usual
When Donald Trump announced that the FBI was raiding Mar-a-Lago his fundraising operation went into high gear, and produced tremendous results: up to $1 million a day, and still trending higher than usual more than a week after federal agents removed 20 cartons including at least 11 sets of classified materials.
“Contributions to Trump’s political action committee topped $1 million on at least two days after the Aug. 8 search of his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, according to two people familiar with the figures,” The Washington Post reports, calling it a “cash bonanza.”
“The daily hauls jumped from a level of $200,000 to $300,000 that had been typical in recent months, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information,” The Post adds, noting more than 100 fundraising emails have been sent. “The donations stayed unusually high for several more days and are still above average, both of these people said, though they have leveled off in recent days. There are more contributors than usual, these people said, and the average donation has climbed.”
Describing the Mar-a-Lago themed fundraising emails as a “firehose,” The Post offered some examples: “THEY BROKE INTO MY HOME,” “They’re coming after YOU,” and “THIS IS INSANE.”
“One message included a poll asking, ‘Do you agree that President Trump is being politically persecuted?’ Another promised ‘an exclusive 1300% MATCH today only!,’ a common tactic used to encourage people to respond immediately.”
The Daily Beast last week reported Trump’s “campaign wants to cash in on his Florida residence being raided by FBI agents. ‘My home, Mar-a-Lago, was raided by the FBI,’ an early Wednesday morning fundraising email stated. ‘These are dark times for our Nation,” the message continued. ‘WITCH HUNT,’ another email sent out by Trump’s Save America PAC declared, while soliciting donations.”
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
‘A Perfect Call!’: Trump Rails Against Georgia Election Probe in Late-Night Truth Social Rant
Former President Donald Trump is posting vintage rants attacking investigators on his Truth Social platform.
In a late-night tirade, the former president lashed out against the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office just hours after Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury that’s probing the Trump campaign’s efforts to illegally remain in power despite losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
“So, let me get this straight!” Trump’s rant began. “In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail. But if you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”
In fact, the grand jury is not probing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, but is rather investigating incidents such as his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pushed for Raffensperger to “find” 12,000 votes and “recalculate” the final vote tally.
In a separate post, the former president attacked the Washington Post for reporting that he was having trouble finding top-notch legal representation, as he is currently relying in part on a lawyer who previously worked as general counsel for a parking garage company.
“The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS,” he wrote. “I already have excellent and experienced lawyers – am very happy with them. This is highly political prosecutorial misconduct, I have not been charged with anything and, most importantly, I did nothing wrong. Thank you!”
Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
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