The Washington Post reported on Thursday that President Donald Trump agreed to pay North Korea $2 million in exchange for the release of American Otto Warmbier.
North Korea demanded the money, claiming they provided Warmbier with hospital care. The 21-year-old college student died shortly after being returned to the United States, after spending 15 months in captivity in North Korea.
It is unclear if North Korea was ever actually paid. But many Americans were still shocked that Trump would agree to such a deal, comparing it to ransom money.
Jeez. I misread. I thought US was charging them. What an idiot. Kissing the asses of dictators just to see if he can keep something alive, that they know ain’t happening. What a dumb ass this guy is. I’d be rich if I ever did business with Trump.# p #4_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Purple Haze (@factsmatter1980) April 25, 2019# p #5_36 # ad skipped = true #
Clear and present extortion and a payment to a terrorist.# p #7_36 # ad skipped = true #
— The Beet (@DavidRitchie09) April 25, 2019# p #8_36 # ad skipped = true #
HOLY HELL. 🤯
Isn’t this considered blackmail. Trump got played. 😠# p #10_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Diane321 (@Diane3214) April 25, 2019# p #11_36 # ad skipped = true #
Imagine the screams from the GOP if Obama paid a ransom to a murderer for the return of his victim and didn’t disclose it. Today? Crickets.# p #13_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Craig Pinedo (@CraigPinedo1) April 25, 2019# p #14_36 # ad skipped = true #
Now I want to know what ransom Trump paid North Korea for the release of our war dead. https://t.co/IWM63eogld# p #16_36 # ad skipped = true #
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@aravosis) April 25, 2019# p #17_36 # ad skipped = true #
From the world of WTF?# p #19_36 # ad skipped = true #
Otto Warmbier case: North Korea presented U.S. with $2 million bill for care of comatose student.# p #20_36 # ad skipped = true #
Well idiot Trump never pays his bills…
https://t.co/0PpI70Lz9R# p #21_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Stone 🥶 (@stonecold2050) April 25, 2019# p #22_36 # ad skipped = true #
I can’t imagine how painful and infuriating this is for his parents. Essentially the Pres. has directed the US to pay for his murder.# p #24_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Mary OZ (@txMary) April 25, 2019# p #25_36 # ad skipped = true #
Other people pointed out that Trump had claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un didn’t know anything about Warmbier’s mistreatment.
Does this not go against everything Trump has told us about Kim not knowing how Warmbier was being treated. There is no way that Kim was allowing that much money to be spent on an American hostage and he didn’t know.# p #28_36 # ad skipped = true #
— Christie McKaig (@ChristieMcKaig1) April 25, 2019# p #29_36 # ad skipped = true #
# p #31_36 # ad skipped = true #
— AJM🌊 (@ajm510) April 25, 2019# p #32_36 # ad skipped = true #
Trump wanted to claim a “win,” so he personally approved a secret $2 million ransom for the comatose body of Otto Warmbier—and then went along with Kim Jong Un’s transparent lies. https://t.co/fifBqp7zvN# p #34_36 # ad skipped = true #
— James Gleick (@JamesGleick) April 25, 2019# p #35_36 # ad skipped = true #
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Comer Threatens ‘Contempt’ Despite Hunter Biden’s Lawyer Quoting Chairman’s Media Appearances
Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer is now threatening Hunter Biden with “contempt” of Congress if he refuses to testify behind closed doors. The President’s son has repeatedly offered to testify in public.
Abbe Lowell, the attorney with “close ties inside the Trump White House” who is now representing Hunter Biden, Wednesday morning again reiterated his demand that any testimony before the House Oversight Committee be in a public hearing, and he used Chairman Comer’s own words to make his point.
But Comer, who is moving toward impeaching President Joe Biden despite having offered no actual proof of any impeachable offense, was quick to tell Politico: “He’s been subpoenaed. We expect him to show up. They don’t get to make the rules.”
“I would expect Congress to hold the president’s son in contempt,” Comer said, if Hunter Biden refuses to testify in a closed-door session.
“As indicated in my November 28, 2023, letter,” Lowell wrote to Chairman Comer earlier on Wednesday, in a letter published by The Washington Examiner, “Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023, date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter stated in your November 8, 2023, letter.”
Lowell made clear his motivation for a public hearing before cameras.
“He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public—a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings.”
But Lowell cited Comer’s own words from a few of his numerous media appearances to demonstrate how the Chairman welcomed an open-door public hearing. The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona noted that Lowell, in his letter, “again cites Comer practically daring Hunter to publicly testify.”
Lowell cited Comer’s remarks on October 31 on “The Benny Show.”
“We’re in the downhill phase of this investigation now because we have so many documents, and we can bring these people in for depositions or committee hearings, whichever they choose , . . . .”
Also, his September 13 statement on Newsmax.
“Hunter Biden is more than welcome to come in front of the committee . . . he’s invited today. We will drop everything.”
He also cited Comer’s “November 8, 2023, statement in your cover letter addressed to me: ‘Given your client’s willingness to address this investigation publicly up to this point, we would expect him to be willing to testify before Congress.”
(Emphasis included in Lowell’s letter.)
“We look forward to working out the schedule,” Lowell concluded.
Jim Comer Decimated by NBC Reporter in ‘Under Two Minutes’
Republican House Oversight Committee Chair Jim Comer melted down in an interview with NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Ryan Nobles on Tuesday as he once again appeared unable to prove President Joe Biden engaged in money laundering or other illicit acts.
“So sir, there were the two checks,” Nobles told Comer (video below), “the $40,000 check and the $200,000 check that came from the president’s son and into the President’s bank account. There was also subsequent bank records, which were provided through the [Oversight] Committee, that demonstrate that there were also subsequent pieces of information that went from the President to the president’s son.”
Comer repeatedly denied Nobles account.
“That is not true,” Comer claimed.
“So that you’re saying that that information has been made up then?” Nobles tried to confirm. “Where did that information come from? That came from the Committee.”
“I don’t know,” Comer claimed. “We haven’t seen that information.”
“That is Committee information that is collected from the bank records that your committee has obtained,” Nobles, in something of a “Perry Mason” moment, informed Chairman Comer.
“Just show the check,” Comer insisted.
“Do you have a canceled check for every wire transfer that’s ever come into your account?” Nobles asked.
“Yes,” Comer declared.
“And that’s what has been shown, there is bank records that demonstrate an exact same amount of money,” Nobles explained, as Comer talked over him.
“Are you saying, okay, sir, are you saying those bank records do not exist?” Nobles pressed, “That show the money leaving the President’s account and into his son’s?”
“They were money laundering. You see wires going all over the –” Comer charged.
“Sir, answer this specific question: Is there a bank record that demonstrates the exact amount of money that came from the President’s account into his son’s account that matches the checks that then went back to him? Does that exist? Yes or no?”
“No, no!” Comer blared. “There’s money coming from a law firm.”
“That doesn’t exist? That doesn’t exist, sir?” Nobles asked.
“It does not exist. It’s coming from a law firm. Who put who put the money in the law firm? How do you know the money came from Joe Biden? It could have come from one of Hunter shell companies. You have no idea,” Comer replied.
“Okay. So you are saying that that money that that money exists?” Nobles, making his case, concluded. “That transfer does exist there in the bank records that you and your committee –”
“No!” Comer then declared. “You don’t know what that transfer is.”
Tim Mulvey, the former communications director for the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack responded to the clip, writing: “In my experience, when a chairman goes on tv and can’t answer even the most basic questions about ‘blockbuster’ evidence without utterly unraveling, it might not be the strongest case.”
“In under two minutes,” wrote Adam Cohen of Lawyers for Good Government, “James Comer goes from checks that confirm harmless transactions between Joe and Hunter Biden ‘do not exist’ To ‘they exist, but we claim they might be suspicious.'”
White House spokesman Ian Sams posted the clip on social media late Tuesday night, with a snarky comment.
Watch the video below or at this link.
— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) December 6, 2023
‘What Bible Is He Reading?’: Morning Joe Trashes Mike Johnson for ‘Lie After Lie’ to ‘Keep His Job’
The Louisiana Republican, who led a legal effort among House Republicans to invalidate Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, has ordered the release of security video footage from the U.S. Capitol attack, but with the faces of rioters blurred out to protect them from being “retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ.”
“Lie after lie after lie – I would love to see his Bible,” Scarborough said. “‘Look at my Bible, that’s how I live.’ Lie after lie after lie. He’s lying about transparency. Liz Cheney was saying yesterday, release all the tapes. He’s not going to release all the tapes. He’ll release selected portions of it. As far as the blurring of the faces, the FBI has all of the footage. They’ve got the footage. Who is he lying to? The press is not stupid enough to believe him. Is he insulting Republicans? Like, why would he lie like that? The FBI has all the footage, so the DOJ has all the footage. Who is he lying to? Maybe he’s just lying to himself, I don’t know. Again, it’s an interesting Bible he has there.”
A spokesperson for Johnson later clarified, saying the speaker wanted to protect participants from retaliation from unspecified non-governmental actors, but Washington Post congressional correspondent Jacqueline Alemany said his stance on Jan. 6 was clearly intended to bolster his position with the MAGA base.
“This is Johnson trying to curry favor with a growing pocket of the House GOP conference that, you know, has been campaigning on vying for freedoms for these insurrectionists,” Alemany said. “Johnson is realizing that his honeymoon is coming to an end as hardliners, especially those in the House Freedom Caucus, the same people who have been advocating for the insurrectionists, for what they have said, have claimed without evidence as the mistreatment behind bars, and this is Johnson just trying to show – even though it really, it doesn’t make all that much sense – he is behind them, and he sees them.”
According to the Department of Justice, more than 1,069 defendants have been charged in the Capitol assault, and at least 594 of them have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges. At least 98 have been convicted at trial, while another 24 have pleaded guilty.
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