Trump’s new FBI director has ties to Russian mob

Trump has indicated he will appoint unknown lawyer Chris Wray of New Jersey to be the new FBI director.

Hmmm — let’s see:

  • Friend of Trump
  • New Jersey lawyer
  • Defended Chris Christie

The most troubling issue that Wray may face is the fact that his law firm — King & Spalding — represents Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia’s largest state-controlled oil companies.

Rosneft was prominently mentioned in the now infamous 35-page dossier prepared by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele. The dossier claims that the CEO of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, offered candidate Donald Trump, through Trump’s campaign manager Carter Page, a 19% stake in the company in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia. The dossier claims that the offer was made in July while Page was in Moscow.

Read more:

Trump knows what he’s doing. Wray won’t mess with Russia because he makes money off Russian oil.

Why don’t we cut out the middleman and let Putin pick the next FBI Director?

Thanks to Trump, Saudi Arabia now owns America’s biggest oil refinery — in Texas

If the time traveler would have done his job and saved humanity from Trump, and this deal went through under a President Hillary, I’m quite sure this would be the scandal of the year. (Beats the email thing hands down.) Port Arthur would roll off your tongue like “Benghazi” as the GOP—and thus the media—would be raising hell.

Yet, with Trump in office, hardly anyone even realized this happened. I’d apologize for being late with this story, which happened in May, but I was a little distracted with the … you know … treason. Between the secret communication lines, the Comey firing, the Russian investigation, the interference of said investigation, the top secret info spilling with the Russian ambassador in the freaking White House, I missed that Saudi Arabia now has taken full control of a rather vital facility to our energy infrastructure:

America’s largest oil refinery is now fully owned by Saudi Arabia.

Port Arthur is considered the crown jewel of the US refinery system. The Gulf Coast facility can process 600,000 barrels of oil per day, making it the largest refinery in North America.

What just happened? Trump supporters were assured that he was going to take a tough line with the Saudis. Besides his continuous rantings over how Saudi Arabia “blew up the WTC” and liked to kill people, Trump also swore that the oil-rich Arab kingdom would provide the United States with free oil for a decade. Yes, he actually promised that. That would have occurred right after Mexico sent us a check for the wall.

And before you say that Trump couldn’t have stopped the deal, not only could he have, but his “top energy advisor” and first pick for Energy Secretary, oil billionaire Harold Hamm, stated that Trump wouldn’t stand for foreign ownership of oil refineries:

Mr. Hamm also said that bids by foreign companies to own refineries should be examined by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an intradepartmental body that analyzes whether a transaction could affect or harm national security.

He said the panel, known as CFIUS, was designed to prevent foreign entities from owning “strategic facilities”.

“How much more strategic can you get than a U.S. refinery??” Mr. Hamm said.

Yeah, well, the Saudis’ didn’t sweat any of it.

All they had to do was stroke his ego, which they did in spades at a White House meeting last January. They actually called the meeting an “historic turning point” and even gave their blessing to his stupid Muslim ban. (They didn’t care because they were “exempt”.) It didn’t hurt that the Saudis dropped over a quarter million at Trump’s hotel.

Trump ate it up. He made Saudi Arabia his first foreign visit, where the oil king would blatantly shower him with medals and trinkets, and donate millions to his daughter’s charity. And that was that.

Eric Trump: Clueless, always lived inside the Trump bubble — his opinions are worthless

(CNN)    The nation is in a crisis that may soon exceed Watergate, at least in the estimation of James Clapper, former director of national intelligence. Having interfered with America’s election, Russia is disrupting governments around the world. China is racing to fill the gap created as world leaders conclude they cannot expect leadership from the United States. Top intelligence and law enforcement officials are testifying about a White House that crosses ethical lines. And Eric Trump wants us to know that he takes it all very personally.

The president’s 33-year-old son was asked Tuesday by Fox News host Sean Hannity, “Don’t you wish you went to Washington so you could be dealing with this every second of every day?”
Eric Trump replied, “I’ve never seen hatred like this. And to me, they’re not even people. It’s so, so sad. I mean, morality’s just gone. Morals have flown out the window. We deserve so much better than this as a country.” But the real pain, he wants us to know, is being felt by his family because, “They try and obstruct a great man, they try and obstruct his family, they come after us viciously, and it’s truly, truly horrible.”
 Coming within hours of a report in Forbes that the Trump organization profited from events held to benefit Eric Trump’s cancer charity, young Trump’s complaints match his father’s record of audacity under fire. (A spokesperson for Eric Trump took issue with the Forbes story and called it “truly disgusting,” saying, “Contrary to recent reports, at no time did the Trump Organization profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities” and pointing out the charity has raised more than $16.3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.)
The President has long practiced the art of throwing stones from glass skyscrapers and it’s obvious the son has learned the lesson well. He also possesses a host of tendencies — to exaggerate, to personalize and to complain — that appear to have been direct inheritances.
With roughly 150 words, the youngest son of President Trump and his first wife, Ivana, provided compelling evidence he is as self-impressed and clueless as his father. Eric Trump has never lived outside the cosseted comfort provided by his billionaire father, and never worked outside the family enterprise. This background is not enough for anyone to consider that his personal experience matters much at all. Eric asking us to give weight to what he has seen reminds one of a 5-year-old who complains he’s never been given the keys to the car and therefore life is terribly unfair.
Even if we generously credit Eric for his life experience, we run immediately into his declaration that his father’s critics aren’t really people and that morality has been evicted from the public arena. Nothing in these words, or his expression, suggested that Eric recognized anything ironic about dehumanizing substantial numbers of people in one breath and complaining about the moral climate in another. And then there’s the question of just who might be responsible for the moral decay that bothers young Trump so much.
Were he to consult the record of the recent presidential campaign, his father’s business practices, or his own childhood, Eric Trump could find ample evidence that someone he knows quite well helped lower the standards for the moral example set by public figures. When Eric was still in grammar school his father helped fuel a sex scandal that ended his marriage to Ivana Trump by leaking tidbits to reporters, who made the tawdry details of an affair public.
It was his own father who fanned the flames of racial tensions during the Central Park Five case, indulged in name-calling to publicly denigrate women, and spoke suggestively about his daughter (Eric’s sister) on the Howard Stern radio show.
Donald Trump’s moral compass directed him to exploit unsuspecting consumers with his Trump University and it led him to utter the gross words about molesting women captured by “Access Hollywood.” In politics Donald Trump’s morality moved him to encourage violence at his rallies, mock a disabled reporter, and call for his opponent to be imprisoned. And let’s not forget the cute names he used to describe his opponents.
Candidate Trump was such an exemplar of moral rectitude that parents were forced to teach their children that he was not a man to be imitated. One would hope that Eric had been taught better, but on Fox he chose to call the head of the Democratic National Committee “a whack job.”
In his name-calling, his emotion, his sense of entitlement, and his lack of self-awareness, Eric Trump showed he is every bit his father’s son. Were Donald Trump a noble figure, the prospect of a younger generation devoted to his presidency would be encouraging. However, Trump is proving to be so unfit — temperamentally, intellectually, and yes, morally — that the traits that bind the family together are more frightening than reassuring.
In the time I spent, while preparing to write a Donald Trump biography, with Eric, his sister Ivanka and his brother Donald Jr. I discovered they all suffered from a lack of experience outside the custom-made universe that revolved around their father. Like him they had always lived inside the precincts of wealth and power, where it was hard to imagine a problem their father couldn’t fix or a mistake he couldn’t repair.
Donald Jr. had worked for about a year in a bar and then joined the family firm. Ivanka had served a similar term in a real estate company headquartered in the same market as the Trump Organization. Eric had gone straight from college into the family enterprise, but sought to distinguish himself as the charitable one, by talking often about his work on behalf of kids with cancer.
As the youngest of the Donald/Ivana kids, Eric expressed the greatest devotion to his father and seemed most committed to the practice of denial that allowed him to tell me, with a straight face, that his father was on a par with Winston Churchill and President Theodore Roosevelt. (This was back when Trump had yet to even say he was entering the 2016 race.)
The older siblings were a bit less effusive, and Donald Jr. even confessed that his father rubs many people the wrong way. (Donald Jr. also stressed the idea that his family could best be understood as a product of breeding, as if the key traits were a matter of blood.) Not surprisingly, as they sat in their glowing offices, where they commanded their portions of the family empire, nary a word of dissent was ever uttered.
The loyalty expressed by Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr. has placed them among the President’s most trusted advisers, and it should qualify them to give him a perspective that might help him stop the self-destructive cycle that has paralyzed his administration. But as the world has prayed for the young Trumps, especially Ivanka, to intervene, they have proven to be inadequate to the task. Eric’s diatribe is yet another proof that the qualities that may bring ruin to the Trump presidency reside in some of his children as well.

Trump DHS not interested in investigating white supremacist groups . . . because these groups are Trump’s base

Buried in a Raleigh, NC News & Observer article today (in the Education section, no less):

In January, the Department of Homeland Security announced 31 winners in a controversial grant program to fight violent extremism. A team led by UNC-Chapel Hill researchers won the largest – nearly $900,000 to develop information campaigns to counter jihadist and white supremacist recruiting.

But the award was announced during the last week of the Obama administration, and so far the Trump administration has refused to release the money.


A Reuters report shortly after Trump took office said that Homeland Security officials were thinking about retooling the program so that it focused solely on Islamic extremism, not white supremacist groups.

Because of course they are.

Why did Comey start keeping notes on his conversations with Trump?

And it needs to be asked about by Democrats in tomorrow’s hearing.  Comey’s direct testimony can be found here.  It obviously has been carefully crafted and edited.  Re-reading it, I realize that it very strongly suggests that Comey’s initial alarm and distrust about Trump — the instance that originally sparked him to write down their conversations — concerns a different, as yet undisclosed matter.  But it is right there and upfront, begging to be asked about during Comey’s testimony.

Read Comey’s testimony and it begins with a meeting with President-Elect Trump on January 6th, which required, in part, Comey to advise Trump about the infamous Russian dossier.  After the meeting, Comey abruptly and somewhat alarmingly reveals his urgency and need to document what he just heard from Trump:

I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past.

For all of us steeped in this Russian-obstruction of justice saga, it is natural to read this as involving the same thing and, in particular, as involving the Russian investigation detailed in Comey’s subsequent testimony and Trump conversation memos.  But . . . go back and read this section of his testimony.  There is no suggestion that this memo was inspired by anything to do with the Russian investigation that we are discussing now.

Instead, Comey does not identify at all what is the specific problem encountered during this meeting.  He describes the “January 6 Briefing” as called for by the FBI and the Inteligence Community.  Comey attends with other high level intelligence officers, the FBI decides that Comey should also meet separately and alone with Trump, there is no description of Trump saying, doing or asking anything that is objectionable, Comey is described as anticipating Trump’s questions and having prepared an official response for them, and Comey admits to volunteering information about Trump’s role in the Russian investigation without Trump asking the question.  In short, there is no disclosed or identified criticism — implied or otherwise — concerning Trump’s conduct at this meeting.

Indeed, unlike the rest of his testimony, Comey does not detail any statements by Trump on any matter, and only refers briefly to “President-Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing” (again, alone with Comey).  Then, out of the blue, Comey writes this in his testimony:

I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting.

There simply is no explanation in the preceding paragraphs as to why Comey is running out of the Trump Tower to type down his conversation with Trump in the backseat of an FBI car — and, specifically,  there is no suggestion that Trump said or did anything relevant in this meeting to the current inquiry regarding the Russian/Trump campaign investigation.  Instead, the episode appears to be included to explain why Comey started writing memos after every meeting with Trump without disclosing what it is that Trump said.

This curious omission, obviously, could be hugely important.  I hope that the Democratic members are aware of this glaring question that demands to be asked:  “Mr. Comey, what did Mr. Trump say or do at your January 6 Briefing that so greatly alarmed you and made you begin to memorialize every conversation with President Trump since then?” 

Russian mobsters, associated with Trump arrested, charged

More than 30 members and associates of a New York City-based Russian organized crime group are named in federal court papers charging them with racketeering, murder for hire and other crimes, including trafficking tens of thousands of pounds of stolen chocolate, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell NBC 4 New York.

The FBIs Joint Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force arrested more than two dozen members of the group, called the Shulaya Enterprise, in the NYC area and elsewhere early Wednesday, law enforcement sources said. The seven other suspects remain at large.
The group is accused of trafficking stolen goods — including large quantities of cigarettes and 10,000 pounds of chocolate confections, court papers say.

The suspects also face charges of extortion, gambling, narcotics trafficking, wire fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft, according to law enforcement sources. Some of the charges carry a maximum penalty of decades in prison.

. . .

Among a long list of crimes, the complaint says the enterprise tried to operate an illegal poker business in Brighton Beach, defraud casinos in Atlantic City, and steal shipments from cargo ships.

Remember when??

Remember when the POTUS used to tweet about new and positive things? Birthdays or congratulations?  Remember when that same POTUS paused in speech because he was thinking of the best word to use and not a personal put down to throw at someone?

Remember when the POTUS could tell a joke that was funny instead of a racist dog whistle? And if the joke was lame, he had the humility to call it out?

Remember when the POTUS homebrewed and played basketball with staffers instead of running them under the bus?

Remember when all of Europe looked at our leader and told each other that his nation was one to emulate?

Less than six stinkin’ months it took for the present BLOTUS to ride us into the gutter.

Trump is a stalking creepy bully with emotional issues that border on insanity. No one likes him except for the very stupid and the very politically needy.