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Trump Campaign Aide Tied to Manafort Requested Foreign Proposal for Social Media Manipulation: NY Times

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Rick Gates, a longtime business associate of Paul Manafort and served as the now-convicted felon’s deputy for the Trump 2016 campaign, requested proposals for social media manipulation from an Israeli firm, The New York Times reports Monday afternoon. The proposal requests included the creation of fake online identities and gathering intelligence to help Donald Trump defeat his Republican opponents and ultimately Hillary Clinton.

One proposal request included using “bogus personas to target and sway 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention by attacking Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Mr. Trump’s main opponent at the time,” the Times reports.

The Israeli company, Psy-Group, “is staffed by former Israeli intelligence operatives,” The Times says. Its owner, Joel Zamel, met with Donald Trump Jr. in August of 2016.

That meeting, revealed in May by The Times, was also attended by George Nader, an emissary from the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and by Erik Prince, a Republican donor and the founder of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater.

Prince is also the brother of Betsy DeVos, who went on to become Trump’s controversial Education Secretary.

The Times describes to work as “a broad effort to sow disinformation among Republican delegates and general election voters.”

The proposal to gather information about Mrs. Clinton and her aides has elements of traditional opposition research, but it also contains cryptic language that suggests using clandestine means to build “intelligence dossiers.”

The Time adds there is “no evidence that the Trump campaign acted on the proposals. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has obtained copies of them.

Image via Wikimedia

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‘Shaping Policies’: Trump Official in Charge of Personnel at HHS Has Been a College Senior – Report

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The Trump administration put a college senior in charge of personnel at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Catherine Granito. She appears to have graduated this spring.

A Politico report Monday afternoon, “Trump administration shakes up HHS personnel office after tumultuous hires,” revealed the stunning placement – including that she has been “playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

HHS has an annual budget of $1.286 trillion. As of 2015 it had 79,540 employees.

“White House Liaison Emily Newman and her deputy Catherine Granito will be shifting full-time to the Voice of America’s parent organization, the United States Agency for Global Media, HHS chief of staff Brian Harrison told senior staff on Monday,” the Politico article states.

It adds that “Granito — an undergraduate at the University of Michigan as recently as this spring — had been in charge of the health department’s personnel while playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

Granito’s LinkedIn page says she attended the University of Michigan until May as a student athlete playing lacrosse and notes she majored in English language and literature. A Google search shows that page listed her as an “advisor” at HHS.

Her Facebook page says she “Works at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

The recent Michael Caputo scandal appears to have involved Granito.

“Granito, who was in the class of 2020 at the University of Michigan, was involved in political appointees’ recent scrutiny of CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, a career civil servant. Caputo and his team raised concerns about Schuchat this spring after she publicly acknowledged missed opportunities in the nation’s response to the coronavirus.”

 

Image: Official White House Photo of HHS Sec. Alex Azar and President Donald Trump by Tia Dufour via Flickr

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Kayleigh McEnany Says Trump ‘Very Likely’ Will Nominate New Supreme Court Justice Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg is Buried

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, mostly likely by Tuesday. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. The date of her funeral, which will be a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, has not even been announced yet.

Asked if the nomination would be announced “before Wednesday,” she replied, “I think that’s very likely.”

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Monday morning also hinted the announcement would come Tuesday.

 

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Trump Says He Will Make SCOTUS Nomination Next Week – Appears He Will Use Seat to Strengthen Where He Is Weak in Polls

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President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “next week.”

He made clear his primary deciding factors will be to help him in the polls.

Trump told reporters Saturday afternoon “most likely” he will choose a woman.

CNN reports he is leaning towards choosing a woman mostly because he is doing poorly in the polls with women.

Trump spoke about two women judges. He talked about Barbara Lagoa, noting she is Hispanic and from Florida. He is struggling in the polls with Hispanics and in Florida.

Reporters also asked about Amy Coney Barrett, a far right wing anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ extremist. Trump spoke positively about her as well. Reports say she is the current frontrunner.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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