Trumps Former Advisor, Flynn Pleads Guilty To Allegation

Donald Trump’s former top advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI over his contacts with Russia, in a dramatic escalation of the probe into possible collusion between the president’s campaign team and Moscow.

The 58-year-old Flynn — a retired three-star Army general — is the most senior figure indicted in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election.

Flynn’s admission that he had secret discussions in December 2016 with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — with direction from top officials in Trump’s presidential transition team — set Washington abuzz with speculation as to who in the Republican leader’s inner circle might next be in Mueller’s sights.

The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed sources, that one of the “very senior” officials advising Flynn to contact the Russian envoy was Trump’s son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner.

Flynn’s guilty plea, on one federal charge of making false statements to investigators, came with a pledge to cooperate with Mueller, whose focus goes beyond possible collusion with Russia to shady business dealings and whether Trump himself tried to thwart the investigation.

The White House rejected the idea that Flynn could implicate “anyone” else, as ABC News reported that Flynn would testify that Trump ordered him to reach out to Moscow — news that sent Wall Street shares tumbling.

“I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong,” Flynn said in a statement after a brief appearance in federal court in the US capital.

“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the special counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

The charge normally carries up to five years in prison, but under the terms of the plea deal, Mueller says he has recommended a lighter sentence of only up to six months in jail, court filings show.

Flynn lied over Russia contacts

Flynn admitted he lied to FBI investigators about his private discussions at the end of December 2016 with Kislyak about US sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of then president Barack Obama.

At the time, Flynn was a campaign and transition advisor with no official US government role, but he was clearly a top candidate to become Trump’s White House national security advisor.

Flynn eventually was given that post, but was forced to resign in February, just weeks after the president took office, due to public concerns over his contacts with Russia.

According to court documents released by prosecutors, on December 28 last year, Flynn asked Kislyak to moderate Russia’s response to new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, announced by Obama in retaliation for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election.

The documents say he took that action based on discussions with “a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team.”

After the December 29 announcement, the Obama administration was openly puzzled by Moscow’s decision not to retaliate, and began investigating possible interference by Flynn and the Trump campaign.

A week earlier, under the instruction of “a very senior member” of the transition team, Flynn also secretly asked Kislyak to defeat or delay a looming UN Security Council resolution to condemn Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory, according to court filings.

While the two interactions do not clearly suggest collusion, they raise questions about the Trump team’s dealings with Moscow before taking office — and whether they actively worked to undermine Obama’s policies.

The White House, which has long denied any wrongdoing in relation to Moscow, said Flynn’s admitted lies about those meetings “mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation.”

“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn,” said White House attorney Ty Cobb.

Trump still denies Russian interference

Since the first allegations of Russian interference last year, and despite reports from top US intelligence officials concluding it happened, Trump has dismissed the notion as “fake news” and an excuse for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s loss at the polls.

“Since the first day I took office, all you hear is the phony Democrat excuse for losing the election, Russia, Russia, Russia,” he tweeted last week.

But Friday’s news made clear that Trump’s inner circle could increasingly come under the microscope.

For Trump, the focus is on whether he has tried to stifle the investigation, including by firing FBI chief James Comey in May, which could draw obstruction of justice charges, the same charges that forced president Richard Nixon from office in 1974.

On social media: Comey posted a biblical verse: “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

“The one individual that still seems to deny that this is a major issue is Donald Trump. And I just kind of wonder why,” Democratic Senator Mark Warner told CNN.

Fourth person charged by Mueller

Three others have been charged in the Mueller probe.

In October, Trump’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were arrested on money laundering and tax-related charges.

George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to investigators in a deal that made clear he was cooperating with investigators.

Donald Trump’s Ironic Move After Hailing Asia Tour

US President Donald Trump hailed a “tremendously successful” five-nation tour of Asia in which he made a lot of friends. Ironically he ended it abruptly on Tuesday by skipping most of a Philippine summit.

The US president, who began his journey in Japan 12 days ago, said his trip had seen progress in his goal of narrowing America’s yawning trade deficits.

“I’ve made a lot of friends at the highest levels,” Trump told reporters shortly before boarding Air Force One in Manila, adding the trip was “tremendously successful”.

“I think the fruits… are going to be incredible,” he said.

“We’ve explained that the United States is open for trade, but reciprocal trade.”

Trump made the comments after briefly gathering with 18 other world leaders ahead of the start of the East Asia Summit, the final set piece of his trip in Asia.

Trump had initially planned to skip the summit, then backtracked after criticism he was turning his back on the region.

But he did not stay for the official start of the summit on Tuesday afternoon, also missing the preceding group photo with his fellow leaders.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat in for him at the summit, which was scheduled to run into the evening.

The summit groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations with Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Russia, as well as the United States.

In a trip that was dominated by the North Korean nuclear crisis, Trump was treated to pomp and pageantry in Japan and South Korea, where he repeatedly blasted the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

In China, where President Xi Jinping rolled out the red carpet for a “state visit plus” — a welcome Trump declared “people really have never seen anything like” — the White House trumpeted more than $250 billion of trade deals.

Analysts say the headline figure hides a paucity of deliverables, with lots of the agreements being non-binding memorandums of understanding.

Many will take years to yield results and some will never materialise.

At a regional summit in Vietnam, Trump returned to the topic of North Korea in what aides said was part of a strategy of forging a global front to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its weapons programme.

But the issue of alleged Russian interference in his 2016 election reared its head again when Trump appeared to endorse President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that there had been no plot by Moscow.

In the Philippines, Trump sparked headlines with his pally relationship with President Rodrigo Duterte, a man who has boasted of personally killing people and whose drug war has claimed thousands of lives.

 

The Comparison Between Trump And Obama Continues

President of the United States, Donald Trump is currently on a tour in Asia where he met with the Japanese emperor, Akikihito.

 

Obama ignited a firestorm of controversy when he bowed deferentially to the Royal with many criticizing the move.

 

Trump on the other hand offered a plain diplomatic handshake and a slight nod.

 

 

In Silence, Barack Obama Wins Donald Trump

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama took an historic decision during his tenure to allow openly transgender troops to serve in the military. This decision was meant to be effective in July this year, until President Donald Trump shocked Pentagon leaders by announcing on Twitter a ban on Transgender people serving in the armed forces. The tweet read;

 

 

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump tweeted.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

 

 

This lead to a lawsuit against the president’s order was filed by five transgender service members in August, citing the uncertainty that surrounded their future careers. Estimates of the number of transgender people serving in the US military vary from 1,320 up to 15,000, out of 1.5 million active-duty troops.

 

 

Osun Defender has learnt that a federal judge temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender personnel from serving in the US military on Monday. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the government to “revert to the status quo” that was in effect before Trump ordered the contentious ban. Although she allowed for a block on military funding for sex reassignment surgery for members of the armed forces, In her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly took issue with Trump’s claims.

 

 

“The Department of Defense Working Group, made up of senior uniformed officers and senior civilian officers from each military department, unanimously concluded that there were no barriers that should prevent transgender individuals from serving in the military,” the judge said.

“In short, the military concerns purportedly underlying the president’s decision had been studied and rejected by the military itself.”

 

The rule against President Trump’s ban is said to be a victory for Obama who has remained silent until very recently on actions of his successor that focuses on bringing down his policies. An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is battling the ban, predicted that Trump’s moves would face further legal opposition.

 

 

“This is the first decision striking down President Trump’s ban, but it won’t be the last,” ACLU senior staff attorney Joshua Block said in a statement.

 

“The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional,” Block said.

 

“We will continue to work to ensure that transgender service members are treated with the equal treatment they deserve.”

 

 

The ACLU has filed a separate lawsuit arguing that Trump’s ban violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by authorizing discriminatory treatment. Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group, welcomed the judge’s ruling, which is expected to be appealed by the Trump administration.

 

 

“Today’s preliminary injunction is an important step in the ongoing efforts to protect transgender service members from the dangerous and discriminatory policies of Donald Trump,” HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement.

 

“Donald Trump’s erratic tweets and half-baked orders disrespect the bravery of the countless transgender people who have fought, and in many cases died, for their country,” Warbelow said.

 

“We are grateful that a federal judge has blocked this administration from discharging any qualified individuals because of their gender identity while these cases continue to make their way through the courts.”

 

Hillary Clinton Marks Painful Date with Twitter Quip

Hillary Clinton got a reminder that exactly one year ago, then FBI director James Comey said he was re-opening a probe into her emails.

“Oh is that today?” the former Democratic presidential candidate quipped on Twitter late Saturday, in response to a post by election forecaster Nate Silver who noted the anniversary of Comey’s move and said it was “probably decisive” in last year’s White House race.

Comey shocked the country when he informed Congress on October 28, 2016 that he was reopening an FBI investigation into Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server as secretary of state, months after declaring the probe found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

The about-turn just days before the election followed the discovery of missing Clinton emails with classified material on the laptop of a former congressman.

Clinton has called Comey’s move a major factor in her loss to Donald Trump, saying: “If the election had been on October 27, I’d be your president.”

But Comey has said it was the right choice and he would do it again if he had to.

Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million over Trump, but lost the indirect by all-important state-by-state electoral college count.

AFP

Trump, Abe Agreed To Increase Pressure On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister  agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump and spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election on Sunday.

Nishimura told reporters that Abe and Trump were planning to play golf together on Nov. 5, when Trump makes his first visit to Japan.

 

My Tweets Won Me White House – Trump

In an interview airing on Sunday on “Fox Business Network, U.S. President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, saying that his tweets won him the White House and that with it,he could bypass “unfair media coverage” and speak directly.

“Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he said, according to a transcript released by the network. “I doubt I would be here if weren’t for social media, to be honest with you.”

“When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never have got the word out,” he said.

Trump admitted that he had been told several times, by even friends and family to slow down on his use of social media which sometimes contain factual inaccuracies and personal attacks.

In March for example, Trump asserted without evidence President Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower in New York wiretapped – something Obama denied. In September, the FBI and the Justice Department said in a court filing ”they have no records related to wiretaps as described” by tweets from Trump.

He recently excoriated NFL players for taking a knee during the National Anthem.

He also criticized Senator Bob Corker in a series of tweets prompting Corker to respond: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Barack Obama Returns To Politics

56 year old former president of the United States, Barack Obama is returning to the political arena for the first time in months after keeping a low profile and avoiding direct confrontation with his White House successor Donald Trump who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton and stormed into the White House on a wave of anti-establishment fury.

 

Obama is scheduled to attend campaign rallies in New Jersey and Virginia on Thursday to support Democratic party candidates for governor.Voters in both states will decide the gubernatorial contests on November 7. The races are a potential indicator of voter sentiment ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, which will be a major test for Trump and his Republican party.

 

“There are only two big elections this year, for governor in NJ and VA,” political science professor Larry Sabato told AFP.

“What’s at stake is bragging rights headed into the 2018 midterm elections,” Sabato said.

 

It is unclear what Obama’s message will be as he has remained largely detached from the political debate since leaving office on January 20, in keeping with presidential tradition. Trump has meanwhile used his first nine months in the White House to methodically demolish key Obama administration policies. After three months of vacation Obama began writing his memoirs. He has said little in public and granted almost no interviews.

 

The few times Obama broke his silence was to comment on issues of national importance, such as immigration, health care and climate change. But the 44th president may be tempted on Thursday to take aim at Trump, who has frequently and publicly excoriated his predecessor.

 

Fake News Writer Who Claimed Responsibility For President Trump’s Victory Found Dead

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Casey announced Tuesday that Paul Horner, 38, the fake news writer who claimed responsibility for President Trump’s win was found dead in his Laveen, Ariz, home in his bed on Sept. 18, and an autopsy found no signs of foul play.

He said the 38-year-old American writer and comedian had a history of prescription drug abuse, and “evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose”.

Horner, who was known for disseminating controversial news that often went viral on Facebook, claimed former President Barack Obama was gay and a radical Muslim. He also alleged that protesters were being paid thousands of dollars to demonstrate at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies.

Paul made a major headline during the presidential election when false stories were widely shared on social media during the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with The Washington Postin 2016, Horner said, “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.”

According to him, he didn’t believe it was possible for Trump to win, but was shocked that his own stories took off and blamed the president’s supporters for failing to fact-check his claims.

In a tribute to his brother on Facebook, he wrote, ” He will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace brother. I love you so much, I know you’re out there somewhere.”

Trump Approach To N’Korea Crisis Not Best Way – France

Frane’s foreign Minister has pointed out and said to President Donald Trump on the way to handle the nuclear crisis and urged the U.S. to focus attention on raising diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

Bellicose statements by Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un in recent weeks have created fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications, particularly since Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.

“Trump’s method is perhaps not the best, but at the same time we shouldn’t mix up the responsibilities,’’ Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM TV. “The country that is breaking with nuclear international agreements is North Korea. “President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a

“The country that is breaking with nuclear international agreements is North Korea. “President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a

“President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a doubt, there is a way to act in a different way by putting pressure and sanctions.”

North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Ho, on Monday accused Trump of declaring war on North Korea and threatened that Pyongyang would shoot down U.S. warplanes flying near the Korean Peninsula after American bombers flew close to it last Saturday.

The North Korean minister was reacting to Trump’s Twitter comments that Kim and Ri “won’t be around much longer” if they acted on their threats toward the U.S. Drian repeated that a maximum amount of pressure needed to be placed on Pyongyang to get it back to the negotiating table, but warned there was a risk of an accidental military escalation.

“The world is living in a dangerous period,” he said. “At the moment we’re at a verbal clash, but there could be an incident. We need to avoid incidents.”

 

Trump Says “No Deal” DACA, To Protect Dreamer Children

Donald Trump has denied making a “deal” on immigration with senior Democrats.

“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to a vote,” the President tweeted.

Democratic leaders had announced an agreement to pursue a legislative solution to protect young, undocumented migrants who had been brought to the US as children.

DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—is an Obama-era policy that has allowed 690,000 so-called “dreamers” to work and go to school without fear of deportation.

Mr Trump has moved to dismantle the program, and said he expected Congress to pursue a permanent plan to protect its beneficiaries. He offered a six-month delay until dreamers’ two-year work permits begin to expire in March.

Mr Trump met with liberal higher-ups Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. The Democrats later announced: “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump had held a bipartisan meeting with a group of House members after which several Democrats involved said the President had made clear he did not expect border wall funding to be included in a legislative deal on the dreamers.

But on Thursday his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted: “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

Mr Trump also moved to dispel rumors he had agreed to forgo building the now-infamous wall on the US-Mexico border he had promised during his campaign.

In a second tweet, he said: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.”

Mr Trump continued: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

“…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age.”