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Whatever the truth is about Sessions and Russia, repercussions are coming from Trump

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At the end of a very strange week for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the biggest potential blow of them all to his future in the administration hit the news feed on Friday. The timing was strange; Fridays are normally associated with news you want to throw away before the weekend, not the “bombshell” report that Washington Post put out.

Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

There was a time before the craziness of 2016 when I liked Sessions. I’ve always questioned a chunk of his stances, particularly with the overreach he seems to favor for law enforcement such as civil asset forfeiture, but generally speaking he was conservative among a sea of pastel-colored moderates in the GOP Senate. After endorsing Trump, some of his luster faded. Lately, his true authoritarian colors have been coming out.

Regardless of how I feel about his policies, this WaPo report offers extremely damaging allegations. If Sessions spoke about foreign policy with a Russian Ambassador during the campaign, it means that he broke the rules and lied about it. Hugh Hewitt seems to think this could be the end for Sessions, but as SooperMexican points out, there are still enough questions to make us wonder about the validity of the report:

Hugh says IF the WaPo story is true, AND the intercepts were lawfully obtained, AND they exist, then it’s over for Jeff Sessions. This is likely true, but it’s interesting how quickly people are jumping out to condemn the guy, when there are so many caveats here.

It’s important to note what WaPo buried at the end of their report. Tyler Durden noticed:

However, WaPo waited until the end of the story to disclose one key detail about Kislyak’s reports to his superiors concerning his meetings with Sessions. According to Kislyak, Sessions didn’t discuss anything that could’ve influenced the election – i.e. nothing here fits in with the Don Jr. collusion narrative. And, more importantly, there’s no way to corroborate Kislyak’s characterization of the meeting. Apparently, Kislyak isn’t a meticulous notetaker, unlike former FBI Director James Comey.

What does all of this mean for Sessions? In short, he’s in big trouble. Even if the report is partially or wholly false, he’s already on President Trump’s naughty list. While the President is quick to defend himself and those in his administration who are not on his naughty list when the press attacks, he fails to come to the defense of those the media hits when they’re on the outs with him. Sessions falls into the latter category.

Sessions can expect kind words from Trump… after he’s out. As Michael Flynn and Sean Spicer learned, the President is very loving to his former allies once they’re no longer employed by him.

Between Sessions recusing himself, the entry of Robert Mueller as a thorn in Trump’s side, and the latest allegations of Sessions lying about Russian contact, it’s very likely he won’t be Attorney General for the full Presidential term. Is it too late for him to run for his old Senate seat?

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

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Entertainment and Sports

Trump takes on fictional celebrity, LaVar Ball

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Donald Trump LaVar Ball

Three UCLA basketball players got themselves in trouble in China for shoplifting. Their stupid actions embarrassed themselves, UCLA, and to some extent America. Many celebrities have come out to scold these basketball players including Whoopi Goldberg. While Donald Trump hasn’t championed this move as much as the right wing, he apparently had the basic expectation of a thank you from LaVar Ball, father of the thieving LiAngelo Ball. Trump did not receive a thank you as LaVar Ball would rather channel his Trump-hatred than acknowledge that the President did what he didn’t have to do for his son. Trump’s used to that but still he fired back letting the world know he didn’t have to pull strings while on his trip to China.

Perspectives

LaVar Ball dismisses idea of Donald Trump helping his son

https://nypost.com/2017/11/18/lavar-ball-dismisses-idea-of-donald-trump-helping-his-son/amp/LaVar Ball didn’t have much time for the idea that the President of the United States helped his son, LiAngelo, out of a potentially crippling situation for his basketball career.

“Who?” Ball told ESPN. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hall were all caught shoplifting during UCLA’s trip to China to play a game against Georgia Tech. All three players returned to the States this week and are indefinitely suspended by the program.

“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing.“Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That’s not me. I handle what’s going on and then we go from there.”

Donald Trump’s retort guarantees LaVar Ball exactly what he wants: More attention

https://sports.yahoo.com/donald-trumps-retort-guarantees-lavar-ball-exactly-wants-attention-182243192.htmlMost world leaders would surely have ignored LaVar’s graceless barbs or resisted the temptation to respond to basketball’s biggest loudmouth dad. Trump, of course, played right into LaVar’s hands by doing exactly the opposite. For better or worse, Trump is never one to let an insult roll off his back. The result is the most 2017 feud imaginable, one nobody wanted but perhaps everybody deserved. It pits two polarizing figures and shameless attention seekers who have risen in stature and prominence in similar ways over the past couple years.Some of LaVar’s marketing strategy seems like a pick and roll out of the Trump playbook. He floods the airwaves with outrageous comments sure to generate strong opinions in order to guarantee that he remains at the forefront of the news cycle.

One of LaVar’s most effective tactics has been to increase his own stature by trying to pick a ridiculous fight with someone more famous. He did it by insisting that the Warriors would be better off with his son, Lonzo, at point guard than Stephen Curry. He did it by saying he’d have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one in his heyday. And he did it by saying his three sons were better set up for basketball success than LeBron James’ because the four-time NBA MVP’s pedigree will tougher to live up to.

Trump may have landed a blow with his tweet Sunday morning, but LaVar is winning this fight.

Reactions

Final Thoughts

Trump’s frustration, though immature, is understandable. We are all human. Therefore when we do something that helps someone else out, we have a certain expectation for gratitude. These athlete-students could have spent a long time in a Chinese jail missing out on March Madness and possibly a quality education. All for what, being too arrogant to pay for something? Trump pulled some strings and got them freed. Lavar Ball should be grateful he got his son back when he otherwise could have ended up like Otto Warmbier or as some sort of  political piece in a geopolitical Chinese checkers match. This is a rare moment where we can’t blame Trump for his tweets seeing as he’s simply lamenting his frustration.

But I’m disagreeing with the perspective above, Trump has won this fight and argument. As far as fathers go, Trump has managed to expose his children to wealth and fame without them becoming delinquents. In downplaying the seriousness of the situation, LaVar Ball sees little issue in shoplifting, and comes off as having a boys will be boys mentality with the situation. Stealing is wrong. We need to instill in our children a respect for people and their property. And we also should say thank you when someone bails our children out of a mess they created. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we should acknowledge those who helped us and not belittle their role.

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Entertainment and Sports

Trump regrets letting UCLA basketball players go

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LiAngelo Ball

He should have regrets, or at least say that he does.  The father of one of these players is not grateful for what President Trump did for his son.  Now, Whoopi Goldberg is no supporter of Trump, but she gave him credit when he deserved it.  Could this father do the same thing?  The answer is no.

Would Hillary do the same thing for these punks that Trump did?  If she did the same thing, would the father be grateful?  We shall never know, but if he did; it shows the hard work we need to do in pushing back against this cult called the Democratic Party (and the do-nothing good-ole Republican party).

Trump: I should have left UCLA basketball players in jail

http://thehill.com/homenews/361110-trump-i-should-have-left-ucla-basketball-players-in-jailLaVar Ball’s son LiAngelo Ball and two other players were arrested and accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store while the UCLA basketball team was on a trip to China for its season-opening game.

The players faced potential jail sentences for the charge, but Trump reportedly spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about resolving the situation. The players were released, and landed in the United States last week.

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Entertainment and Sports

LaVar Ball, Donald Trump spar over credit for getting students released in China

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LaVar Ball Donald Trump spar over credit for getting students released in China

Last week, President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help out as three UCLA players were arrested for shoplifting. One of those boys was son of LaVar Ball who doesn’t believe the President influenced the outcome of his son’s arrest.

Ball also defended his son’s actions as “making a big deal out of nothing.”

LaVar Ball downplays U.S. President Donald Trump’s role in LiAngelo Ball’s release from China

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21452594/lavar-ball-downplays-us-president-donald-trump-role-liangelo-ball-release-china“Who?” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the matter. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Multiple sources told ESPN that UCLA officials are debating how long to sideline the three suspended freshmen players who admitted to shoplifting during the basketball team’s trip to China last week.

The President, as expected, took offense to Ball’s remarks. He “took the bait” and replied on Twitter.

My Take

This was a crystal clear opportunity for the President to take the high road and allow Ball to continue to make a fool of himself and his family. Instead, Trump replied in a way that brought him just as low as Ball. This seems to be the unspoken strategy for liberals: go when hitting Trump knowing he’s foolish enough to take himself down to their depths.

Further Reading

President Trump to LaVar Ball: I Should Have Left Your Kid in Jail

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2017/11/19/trump-on-three-college-basketball-players-i-should-have-left-them-in-jail-n2411599“The three freshmen players, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, had been detained for a week in their hotel rooms in Hangzhou after they were accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton boutique. UCLA was in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. The three did not play.”

After hearing reports of the situation, President Trump told members of the press that he would intercede on the three Americans behalf.

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