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CORRUPTION

Big Banks ‘Directly’ Lobbied Ivanka Trump for Interest Rate Hike on New Government-Backed Coronavirus SBA Loans: Report

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President Donald Trump has all but publicly threatened to fire Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, demanding he lower interest rates – a move that would personally save Trump and his business millions of dollars.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit he finally got his wish. Powell moved interest rates to zero.

(Trump, by the way, attacked Powell nearly two dozen times on Twitter over just the past almost 9 months.)

So when the Big Banks wanted to score a big cash grab under the new federal government-backed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus program in response to the pandemic, they didn’t call President Trump. They called Ivanka Trump.

Reporting on “direct calls” from top bank executives, Bloomberg News reveals they “personally appealed to Ivanka Trump this week as they sought additional guidance and higher interest rates.”

“The lobbying campaign appeared to be at least partially effective. Ivanka Trump relayed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials requests to increase the interest rates on the forgivable, government-backed loans,” Bloomberg reports. “On Thursday, Mnuchin announced that the government would increase interest rates to 1% from 0.5% on the emergency loans.”

Perhaps that explains why the administration of the Small Business Administration thanked Ivanka Trump on Thursday:

And why the First Daughter posted this to Instagram thanking the SBA:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Checking in to thank the @sbagov team who have been working round-the-clock to get relief to our Nation’s small businesses! Applications start tomorrow!

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Read the entire report here.

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CORRUPTION

Leaked Kremlin Documents Reveal Putin Holds Blackmail Leverage Over Trump – and That’s Why Russia Backed Him

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A leaked document appears to confirm rumors that the Kremlin holds blackmail leverage over former president Donald Trump.

Russian president Vladimir Putin personally authorized a secret spy agency back “mentally unstable” Trump for U.S. president during a Jan. 22, 2016, closed session of that country’s national security council, according to what appears to be leaked Kremlin documents obtained by The Guardian.

“It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump’s] election to the post of U.S. president,” the paper says.

The documents include a brief psychological assessment of Trump as “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex,” and also refer to “certain events” that happened during his previous trips to Moscow.

More details about those events are listed in an appendix to that document, but that portion of the papers remains undisclosed.

Those present agreed that Trump in the White House would help Russia create “social turmoil” in the U.S. and weaken the American presidency, two of Moscow’s top strategic objectives.

A decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature authorized Russia’s three spy agencies to work toward getting Trump elected, as the former reality TV star and celebrity businessman was emerging as the Republican Party’s presidential frontrunner.

 

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CORRUPTION

Watch: Trump Says He Will Be Judged ‘Because of What We Did’

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Donald Trump, the former president, gave a lengthy interview to Bill O’Reilly, telling the former Fox News host, “I think in the end I will be judged not necessarily for controversy but because of what we did.”

O’Reilly had asked Trump, “How does it feel to be the most controversial president in history?”

Trump bristled at the question, refusing to agree to the accusation.

“I don’t think I’m the most controversial,” he insisted, unable to offer a name for which president was more controversial than he.

“I don’t know, but I don’t think I’m – look I did a good job. I did, I think a great job,” he claimed, despite leaving office with a 34% approval rating, 400,000 Americans on January 20 dead from a pandemic he refused to control, and unemployment far higher than when he took office.

Instead, Trump touted his “biggest tax cuts in history,” which is a false.

“If I didn’t come up with a vaccine,” Trump claimed, taking total credit for the coronavirus vaccine (there are 3 currently approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization), despite one of the three having been developed without any government assistance.

“Somebody said the other day,” Trump claimed they were a historian, “they don’t know of any president that’s done more,” he claimed, not naming the historian or saying what he did was constructive or destructive.

“I think in the end I will be judged not necessarily for controversy but because of what we did.”

“They’ll know what you did,” O’Reilly said.

Trump’s family business and its CFO are currently facing a  “15-count indictment alleging criminal tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records,” which he denounces, along with the Manhattan DA prosecuting the case, earlier in the clip.

Watch (relevant segment starts at 3:13):

 

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CORRUPTION

Recording Between Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine Official Reveals Outright ‘Quid Pro Quo’

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CNN has revealed the recording of the call between Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aide where the former president’s lawyer pressured the country to investigate the conspiracy theories created around now-President Joe Biden.

The call from 2019 took place between U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker and Zelensky’s aid Andriy Yermak and happened ahead of then-President Donald Trump’s infamous “quid pro quo” where he demanded a “favor” for aid allocated to Ukraine.

“During the roughly 40-minute call, Giuliani repeatedly told Yermak that Zelensky should publicly announce investigations into possible corruption by Biden in Ukraine, and into claims that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to hurt Trump,” said the report, noting “these separate claims are both untrue.”

“All we need from the President [Zelensky] is to say, I’m gonna put an honest prosecutor in charge, he’s gonna investigate and dig up the evidence, that presently exists and is there any other evidence about involvement of the 2016 election, and then the Biden thing has to be run out,” Giuliani said on the call, according to the audio. “… Somebody in Ukraine’s gotta take that seriously.”

“I got information from a reliable investigator, international investigator, that there was a certain amount of activity in Ukraine during the 2016 election,” Giuliani told Yermak at one point, using another false claim that the U.S. embassy attempted to “produce dirt on then-candidate Trump and Paul Manafort.”

“Another one was involved with (George) Soros … Soros apparently is behind a lot of this,” Giuliani claimed of the liberal billionaire that the right-wing loves to create conspiracies about.

Giuliani then brought up the conspiracy theory that Biden wouldn’t give money to Ukraine if they didn’t fire a top prosecutor in the state that the international community believed was corrupt.

“To me, as a lawyer, it sounds like a bribe,” Giuliani said. “A bribe is offering something of value in exchange for official action. So, he offered Poroshenko a $1.2 billion loan guarantee, critical to Poroshenko’s success as president, in exchange for getting rid of a prosecutor general.”

CNN reported that Guiliani repeated over and over again how necessary the investigation was, even claiming the diplomatic relations would improve between the U.S. and Ukraine if the probe was launched, another example of a quid pro quo.

Giuliani and Volker both told the Ukraine official that such a public announcement would certainly ensure an approved visit to the U.S. for Zelensky, a third bribe.

“That would clear the air really well,” Giuliani said, in the recording. “And I think it would make it possible for me to come and make it possible, I think, for me to talk to the President (Trump) to see what I can do about making sure that whatever misunderstandings are put aside … I kinda think that this could be a good thing for having a much better relationship.”

Read the full report at CNN.com and hear a segment of the audio below:

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