Within less than 12 hours President Donald Trump threatened Iran over its downing of an unmanned, $130 million U.S. Military surveillance drone, backtracked, saying on national television he believed a rogue Iranian military official made a “mistake” in downing the Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk, ordered a retaliatory strike against Iran, and then called it off.
Thursday evening, as late as 7 PM ET, U.S. Military planes and ships were in the beginning stages of an operation to strike against Iran, as The New York Times reports.
There were “intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders.”
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region,” the Times reports.
UPDATE: 12:33 AM ET –
In a disturbing revelation, a CNN Senior National Correspondent focusing on National Security reports what appears to be a White House out of control, and a Commander-in-Chief not in charge.
Sr WH official tells me it's Bolton vs Trump on how to proceed on Iran. Trump does not want conflict. Pompeo, Pence, Esper are “swing votes.” Pompeo is "a triangulator," source tells @MichLKosinski, "the goal is re-establishing deterrence, but that is still very risky.”
— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) June 20, 2019
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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‘Toxic’ Trump Could Lose More Fox Hosts After Mar-a-Lago Search Says Morning Joe: Revelations Are ‘Going to Keep Coming’
Former President Donald Trump appears to be losing one of his top conservative media allies, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Republicans may finally be willing to cut him loose before he sinks their election chances again.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on a recent podcast that Americans are “exhausted” by the former president and may prefer to “turn the page” to another Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and the “Morning Joe” host said they’d be wise to do it sooner rather than later.
“I mean, from my point of view, that would be best for America, but from somebody’s point of view who is interested in the Republican Party defeating Democrats, it would be in the Republican Party’s best interest also if that’s what they did,” Scarborough said. “He has too many negatives. They say it time and again, that guy is not going to ever win back voters he lost in the suburbs of Atlanta or the Philly suburbs or the Detroit suburbs or any of these suburbs. He’s toxic for 55 percent of Americans, and he’s just never going to get those people back, so it does make a lot of sense.”
The former president has been taking on water since the FBI searched his Mar-A-Lago residence as part of an espionage investigation, and Scarborough said his legal problems could sink GOP candidates this fall.
“It makes sense to warn other Republicans, some whom have flocked to Donald Trump over the past week because they wanted to show how loyal they were to him, I mean, they’re having trouble even keeping sort of the defense consistent because he keeps changing his story every three or four hours,” Scarborough said. “One story contradicts another story. You know, we’re just at the beginning of this. The news is going to continue to get worse. This is like the first round of Mike Tyson versus Allen, the boxing club champion of Princeton from 1967. It is not going to get better over the next 14 rounds.”
“You know, it doesn’t make sense for Republicans to embrace this guy, then be shocked by one revelation after another revelation after another revelation,” he added. “They’re going to keep coming.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Former Trump CFO Nearing ‘Unexpectedly Favorable’ Plea Deal With Manhattan DA: NYT
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who worked for the Trump family since 1970, is nearing a plea deal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his case, according to The New York Times. Charges include conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.
Weisselberg, who is 75, could walk away with a minor prison sentence of just five months, the Times reports, calling it “an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.”
The plea deal would not include any cooperation on broader issues related to Donald Trump. Legal experts have said Weisselberg knows nearly everything that the Trump Organization has done.
“His plea deal, if finalized, would bring prosecutors no closer to indicting the former president but would nonetheless brand one of his most trusted lieutenants a felon.”
Earlier this year Manhattan D.A. Bragg came under intense criticism after he seemingly halted his office’s longtime investigation into Donald Trump.
One of the prosecutors who worked 0n the Trump case but quit when Bragg ended it called it a “grave failure of justice,” and said Trump was “guilty of numerous felonies.”
“Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation,” Law & Crime reported. “These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment.”
In 2018 The New Yorker reported “Allen Weisselberg, the firm’s longtime chief financial officer, is the center, the person in the company who knows more than anyone.”
Does Trump Still Have Classified Docs? DOJ May Think So After Asking Judge to Keep Affidavit Sealed Former Fed Says
After the National Archives had to travel to Mar-a-Lago earlier this year to take back 15 cartons of documents and other items from the Trump White House, and even after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home last week, could it possible the Dept. of Justice thinks the former president is still holding onto classified documents?
One former federal prosecutor says that one of two distinct possibilities, after DOJ asked a federal judge on Monday to not unseal the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.
“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” the Dept. of Justice’s filing states, ABC News reports. “In a footnote, department officials write that they ‘carefully considered’ whether they could release the affidavit with redactions, but the redactions necessary to ‘mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.'”
“Interesting tidbit,” writes The New York Times’ Alan Feuer. “Prosecutors acknowledge they’ve been interviewing witnesses and say the release of the warrant application could ‘chill future cooperation by witnesses as ‘investigation progresses.'”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotto says the Dept. of Justice may think Trump still has more classified documents – or there are charges coming in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Mariotto writes: “This suggests DOJ is continuing its investigation, which means one of two things: 1) DOJ *still* isn’t convinced they have all of the classified material Trump took when he left office. 2) They have an ongoing criminal investigation of this matter that could result in charges.”
“That’s potentially very important news,” Mariotto adds. “Many national security pros thought that the main (if not only) purpose of the search warrant was to secure sensitive material, not to build potential criminal charges.”
“The government does not object to unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant whose unsealing would not jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation, subject to minor redactions to protect government personnel.”
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