The global approval rating for U.S. leadership now stands at 30 percent — lower in President Trump’s first year in office than it was under former President George W. Bush, according to the Gallup World Poll. The image of America’s leadership now trails both Germany and China, Gallup says.
International regard for U.S. leadership fell sharply from the 48 percent approval rating for 2016, former President Barack Obama’s last year in office. The previous low of 34 percent was reached at the end of the Bush administration.
The new survey was conducted between March and November of 2017. Gallup found that approval of U.S. leadership had fallen by double digits in nearly half of the 134 countries and areas it surveyed.
The Gallup report also cites another record: for disapproval. Worldwide, a median 43 percent disapprove of U.S. leadership — more than the median disapproval for Germany (25 percent), China (30 percent) or Russia (36 percent). According to Gallup, that’s a record for any major world power, not just the U.S., in the past decade.
Some of the more dramatic losses came from American allies like Germany and Mexico, while America only gained approval of ten points or more in four countries, Israeli, Liberia, Macedonia, and Belarus.
Yeah they really dig ole Trump in Macedonia.
A loss of respect also means losing the ability to lead, and that leaves a vacuum for other nations to take our place.
1. Trump makes bad business deals and stiffs creditors in the 80s and 90s, loses credit from US investors/banks and can’t get a loan.
2. Trump finds willing lenders in Russia, and Russia finds a future agent in Trump.
3. Russia entices Trump into making huge financial commitments through loans and investments with Russian oligarchs whom Putin controls.
4. In the Russian tradition, kompromat on Trump is accumulated over years of transactions designed to appeal to Trump’s narcissism and grandiosity. He’s an easy mark.
5. Putin, through his contacts, encourages Trump to take a political role on alternate, then mainstream media.
6. Through Russian contacts, Trump makes quid pro quo deals with Russian agents/businessmen, all directly connected to Putin. These are preliminary events that will lead to more substantial “compromises” that Trump must make due to his deep financial ties and obligations to Russian mafia/investment figures.
7. Putin manages a team of Russian agents who work on the periphery of Trump’s inner circle to steer Trump in a direction of national political prominence, using tactics that sew doubt among his followers in US institutions. Putin’s goal is to use Trump to weaken and bring down the US as a major player in world politics.
8. With the aid of Russian money, hundreds of millions, invested in the GOP leadership, Trump’s push for the presidency, television and radio, and social media, the extreme right wing in the US is strengthened through the use of propaganda and election campaigns. “Bringing down the established order” becomes fashionable for the US extreme right wing. Russian figure Alexandre Dugin becomes the philosophical inspiration for race-based nationalism that’s adopted by the hard right wing under Trump’s direction. Trump sees the benefit in showing favor toward white supremacists as extensions of Russia’s cultural and political imperialism.
9. With the money and propaganda emanating from Russia, Trump gets elected president and plans on ending Russian sanctions as part of his end of the deal to get Russian assistance in the 2016 campaign.
10. Trump’s role as RUSSIAN AGENT in the White House, as directed by Putin, is to “dismantle the administrative state” (in Bannon’s terms), and thereby to weaken the internal functioning of the US as a nation. Trump is actively pursuing the weakening of the US as an international leader, partner, and political participant. His intent AS A RUSSIAN AGENT is to remake the US in the likeness of Russia: a strong oligopoly with a diminished and impotent middle class, a severely impoverished working class, a powerful police force for social control, the elimination of worker unions, and the elimination of corporate regulations (freeing criminal enterprises to steal and launder money).
Make no mistake. Trump is a Russian agent. He’s been in Russia’s hip pocket for DECADES. This is not a recent conversion. Russia’s leadership can now pressure Trump to do whatever it wants. Trump is entirely compromised and cannot separate himself from Russia’s influence even if he wanted to. For as long as Trump is president, he’ll continue to destroy the US from within. THAT’S HIS MISSION.
Trump — who spent a couple of years at a “military school” then received five deferments from military service because of “bone spurs” — now claims Democrats are attacking “the troops” because of Trump’s government shutdown.
Meanwhile, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D, IL), is a combat veteran who lost both legs in Iraq. This is her response to Trump:
“I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft-dodger. And I have a message for cadet bone spurs: If you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger.”
A recent episode of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show detailed exactly how and why former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon claimed in the controversial book Fire and Fury that money laundering may be the real crime that will ultimately bring Trump down.
A troika of metals billionaires including Alexander Mashkevich and his two partners, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov, also supplied Bayrock with cash through their holding company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Plc, (ENRC) which was forced off the European Stock Exchange by England’s Serious Fraud Office due to their rampant corruption. All of this is apparently now part of Mueller’s investigation into money laundering associated with Trump properties.
And all of this fits a pattern by the Trump organization of coincidentally being on the receiving end of questionable funds.
Australian authorities once rejected Donald Trump’s bid for a hotel casino in Queensland, stating such a project would be “dangerous” on account of “Trump Mafia connections,” it has emerged.
Cabinet minutes and a secret police report dated 1987 and published Wednesday as part of an investigation by the News Corporation-owned newspaper The Australiancast a dark shadow over Trump’s business reputation.
The Trump Taj Mahal casino broke anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation in the early 1990s, according to the IRS in a 1998 settlement agreement.
It’s a bit of forgotten history that’s buried in federal records held by an investigative unit of the Treasury Department, records that congressional committees investigating Trump’s ties to Russia have obtained access to, CNN has learned.
The casino repeatedly failed to properly report gamblers who cashed out $10,000 or more in a single day, the government said.
The violations date back to a time when the Taj Mahal was the preferred gambling spot for Russian mobsters living in Brooklyn, according to federal investigators who tracked organized crime in New York City. They also occurred at a time when the Taj Mahal casino was short on cash and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Eventually the Taj Mahal did go bankrupt and his ability to borrow from U.S. banks was cut off, so he turned to other sources such as Deutsche Bank and the habit of accepting cash payments from sketchy foreign shell companies.
In the early 2000s Trump went into business with development firm Bayrock LLC, which was headed by Tevfik Arif. His brother had been the owner of the shell company that received ownership of a chromium mine in Kazahkstan—and whose managing director was former Russia mobster and convict Felix Sater, who had offices located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower in New York. Bayrock’s first joint project together with Trump was building a Trump Tower in Phoenix. They later worked with them on the Trump International in Fort Lauderdale, Trump Camelback in Phoenix, and Trump Soho in New York.
“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”
But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.
The buyers include politically connected businessmen, such as a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities, the founder of a St. Petersburg investment bank and the co-founder of a conglomerate with interests in banking, property and electronics.
People from the second and third tiers of Russian power have invested in the Trump buildings as well. One recently posted a photo of himself with the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang that was sanctioned by the United States for its alleged role in Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
After a few early explorations of business opportunities in Russia dating back to the late 1980s, Trump in 2005 signed a one-year deal with Bayrock Group, the development company where his scandal-plagued business associate Felix Sater was a principal, to transform an old pencil factory into a luxury development.
Trump later blamed the failure of that venture on journalist Tim O’Brien’s book “TrumpNation,” which estimated that the real estate mogul was worth far less than the billions he claimed to possess. Trump said it scared away Russian investors.
In 2008, Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump for $13 million more than the most expensive Palm Beach mansion sale up to that moment. It’s been almost a decade since the sale, but the transaction is newsworthy again as new questions surround contacts between members of Trump’s administration and Russian government officials.
Last week, a Rybolovlev spokesman said his client, who made his fortune in fertilizer potash, purchased the former mansion at 515 N. County Road for his family’s trust.
Whether this was a investment for his family trust or his company, Rybolovlev has since demolished the mansion—so it’s not much of anything anymore.
”A former executive involved in a convoluted legal battle with a real estate developer with ties to Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump pushed back Friday against a call for his latest complaint to be thrown out, saying his allegations against Bayrock Group LLC are “textbook” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.
In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.
Kasowitz, who by then had been the elder Donald Trump’s attorney for a decade, is primarily a civil litigator with little experience in criminal matters. But in 2012, Kasowitz donated $25,000 to the reelection campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.
On May 16, 2012, Kasowitz visited Vance’s office at One Hogan Place in downtown Manhattan — a faded edifice made famous by the television show, “Law & Order.” Dan Alonso, the chief assistant district attorney, and Adam Kaufmann, the chief of the investigative division, were also at the meeting, but no one from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau attended. Kasowitz did not introduce any new arguments or facts during his session. He simply repeated the arguments that the other defense lawyers had been making for months.
Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)
So racketeering, fraud, and corruption charges were evaded this time. However in 2011, the Trump Soho joint venture condo project by TrumpCo and Bayrock was sued for defrauding buyers with their inflated sales claims. The suit was settled with a payout of $3.19 million, and another potential criminal case was avoided.
Between 2011 and 2013 the Bureau had a warrant to spy on a high-level criminal Russian money-laundering ring, which operated in unit 63A of the iconic skyscraper — three floors below Mr Trump’s penthouse.
The investigation led to the indictment of more than 30 people, including alleged mafia boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, according to ABC News.
The suspected mobster – who is accused of moving $50m (£40m) in illegal money to the US – remains at large, even after Interpol issued a red notice for his detention.
While in Moscow Trump also reportedly met with several high-ranking oligarchs including board members from VEB Bank with ties to Putin at the restaurant Nobu, and with billionaire Russian real estate developer Arag Agalarov and his pop star son Emil, who partnered with Trump on the pageant.
While in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant in November 2013, Donald Trump entered into a formal business deal with Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, to construct a Trump Tower in the Russian capital. He later assigned his son, Donald Trump Jr., to oversee the project, according to Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who arranged the controversial 2016 meeting between the younger Trump and a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
Trump has dismissed the idea he had any business deals in Russia, saying at one point last October, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”
But Goldstone’s account, provided in an extensive interview in March in New York, offers new details of the proposed Trump project that appears to have been further along than most previous reports have suggested, and even included a trip by Ivanka Trump to Moscow to identify potential sites.
Accompanying Ivanka on her location scouting trips was Ike Kaveladze, who works for the Agalarov family. But that project was eventually killed when Obama signed the Magnitsky Act since some of the Russian companies supporting it were then sanctioned.
This deal didn’t go forward only because Veselnitskaya didn’t bring the “dirt” documentation with her, but the implication was clear: give us the “dirt” and we’ll cut your sanctions.
So when Trump says he has “no deals” in Russia, it’s not for lack of trying. And although it’s not illegal to do business deals when you may not necessarily know that the money is dirty, there is also the problem of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which doesn’t require that the you know all the details of the potential corruption of your business partner to held accountable anyway—like with the failed Tower Tower Baku (Azerbajain) project.
Alan Garten told me that the Trump Organization had commissioned a risk assessment for the Baku deal, but declined to name the company that had performed it. The Washington Post article on the Baku project reported that, according to Garten, the Trump Organization had undertaken “extensive due diligence” before making the hotel deal and had not discovered “any red flags.”
But the Mammadov family, in addition to its reputation for corruption, has a troubling connection that any proper risk assessment should have unearthed: for years, it has been financially entangled with an Iranian family tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideologically driven military force. In 2008, the year that the tower was announced, Ziya Mammadov, in his role as Transportation Minister, awarded a series of multimillion-dollar contracts to Azarpassillo, an Iranian construction company. Keyumars Darvishi, its chairman, fought in the Iran-Iraq War. After the war, he became the head of Raman, an Iranian construction firm that is controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. The U.S. government has regularly accused the Guard of criminal activity, including drug trafficking, sponsoring terrorism abroad, and money laundering. Reuters recently reported that the Trump Administration was poised to officially condemn the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
No evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump, or any of his employees involved in the Baku deal, actively participated in bribery, money laundering, or other illegal behavior. But the Trump Organization may have broken the law in its work with the Mammadov family. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, passed in 1977, forbade American companies from participating in a scheme to reward a foreign government official in exchange for material benefit or preferential treatment. The law even made it a crime for an American company to unknowingly benefit from a partner’s corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided doing so. This closed what was known as the “head in the sand” loophole.”
So technically in all of these cases where there is a foreign government official involved, the Trump companies may have violated the law simply by taking the money and not asking any questions.
Perhaps—regardless of what Russia did during the election— this is Mueller’s endgame.
Wilbur Ross has lost his step. Actually, he’s probably lost a lot of steps.
— President Trump, shaking his head in resignation, to one of our sources
One problem: Ross’s efforts to wheel and deal with the Chinese have left the president unimpressed. Another problem: He keeps falling asleep in meetings. Early in Trump’s presidency, Ross was his go-to negotiator, helming the administration’s trade talks with the Chinese. After a few months, though, Trump concluded he was doing a terrible job.
In a series of Oval Office meetings about six months into his presidency, Trump eviscerated Ross, telling him he’d screwed up, and badly. “These trade deals, they’re terrible,” Trump said, according to a source in the room for one of the meetings. “Your understanding of trade is terrible. Your deals are no good. No good.”
Trump told Ross he didn’t trust him to negotiate anymore. Ross had tried in the early months of the administration, before Robert Lighthizer was confirmed as the U.S. Trade Representative, to take the lead on several crucial trade conversations. Once Lighthizer arrived there was a tussle for control over several issues. But after Ross botched — in Trump’s eyes — his dealings with China, he decided Lighthizer would be the lead negotiator on all trade issues.
During this period, Trump humiliated Ross in front of his colleagues, per three sources, and questioned his intelligence and competence.
Ross’s propensity to doze off in meetings — which senior Capitol Hill aides have noticed — hasn’t helped. “Wilbur is good until about 11 a.m.”
Trump wants to jump into the fray, aides want him to STFD and STFU
President Donald Trump has kept a low profile since the government shutdown began late Friday night, prompting some pundits to question when the president’s purported skills as a bargainer would come into play.
White House advisers told the Post that Trump has been counseled to keep his head down so as not to get branded as the face of the shutdown — although polls show that he and the Republicans are taking the brunt of blame from the public.
White House chief of staff John Kelly, director of legislative affairs Marc Short, budget director Mick Mulvaney and others have cautioned Trump against appearing too ready to make a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“Privately, some of his closest advisers admit the president is an erratic dealmaker who can unexpectedly overturn negotiations like a flimsy coffee table,” the Post said.
Lindsey Graham wants Trump’s Nazi adviser, Stephen Miller, to get out of the way
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday warned that President Donald Trump’s hard-right policy adviser Stephen Miller was preventing legislation that could end the current government shutdown.
On day two of President Trump’s first government shutdown, Graham told reporters that he was hopeful for a Sunday “breakthrough” that could re-open the government.
But he also cautioned that Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller could kill any immigration deal. Graham suspects Miller is responsible for scuttling an earlier deal on so-called Dreamers after Trump had agreed to it.
“Every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating on immigration, we are going nowhere,” Graham reportedly said.
Trump holed up in White House, avoiding shutdown debate, watching old videos of himself
On Saturday, New York Times political analyst Jeremy Peters said that President Trump is allowing himself and his office to be “diminished” in importance as the president spends the government shutdown crisis “holed up in the White House.”
Peters said that the necessary parties are “not communicating” with each other and need to stop “shouting at each other from the Senate floor.”
“Oddly, the president seems somewhat diminished throughout this entire process,” said Peters. “He’s somebody that holds himself up as a master negotiator, but he’s been largely invisible. He hasn’t made a statement, he hasn’t appeared in public.”
“He’s been holed up in the White House as all of this unfolds on Capitol Hill,” Peters said.
The New York Times said Sunday that Trump spent most of Saturday ignoring the crisis and watching old videos of himself trashing then-President Barack Obama during the 2013 shutdown.