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Manafort offered to give private campaign briefings to Russian billionaire

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Paul Manafort Ukraine Lobbyist

This isn’t the smoking gun, but something’s smoldering in Paul Manafort’s history. Leaks today revealed that the former Trump campaign chair offered “private briefings” about the 2016 presidential election campaign to a Russian billionaire.

We’ll leave the details for the pieces below. WaPo did it’s standard leftists spin but they really didn’t need to. The facts are damaging enough. If true, it’s easy to see why this man has been under FBI investigation for a long time. It’s also very apparent why candidate Trump got rid of him so quickly. What’s less apparent is how the President, who has always boasted about only hiring the best people, was willing to allow such a corrupting force into his campaign in the first place. His history as a Ukrainian lobbyist was publicly known and should have given the President an unambiguous reason to run away.

“Ukrainian lobbyist.” Those two words go against “America First” and “Drain the Swamp” without having to put an ounce of thought into it.

Here’s the full details:

Perspectives

Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign | Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Adam Entous, The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manafort-offered-to-give-russian-billionaire-private-briefings-on-2016-campaign/2017/09/20/399bba1a-9d48-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.f0dd26180ec2Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Report: Manafort offered campaign briefings to Kremlin-linked billionaire – Axios

https://www.axios.com/report-manafort-offered-briefings-to-kremlin-linked-billionaire-2487680949.htmlThe key paragraph: “The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller.”

Paul Manafort offered ‘private briefings’ on Trump campaign to Russian billionaire | Diana Stancy Correll, Washington Examiner

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/paul-manafort-offered-private-briefings-on-trump-campaign-to-russian-billionaire/article/2635097Deripaska is a aluminum magnate and had conducted business previously with Manafort, according to the Washington Post.”If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016 in an email read to the Washington Post.A report on Monday said that Manafort, who has been entangled in an FBI investigation, had been wiretapped by the U.S.

Manafort offered election briefings to Russian oligarch: report | Christopher Brennan, NY Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/manafort-offered-election-briefings-russian-oligarch-report-article-1.3509674Mueller’s investigation into Manafort is believed to touch on the adviser’s work in Ukraine, which ultimately led to his departure from the Trump campaign last August after reports he had received money under the table.

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Guns and Crime

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

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France shooting 2 dead several wounded in Strasbourg

PARIS (AP) — A shooting in the French city of Strasbourg killed two people and wounded up to eight others, officials said, sparking a major security operation around a world-famous Christmas market on Tuesday. Authorities said the shooter remains at large.

The motive for the shooting is unclear. It wasn’t immediately clear if the market was the target of the attack or if there was any link to terrorism.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters that the gunman has been identified, and had a police record for common crimes. He several of the wounded were in critical condition and that he was heading to Strasbourg.

The French Interior Ministry called on the public to remain indoors.

“Our security and rescue services are mobilized,” Castaner said.

Local authorities tweeted for the public to “avoid the area of the police station,” which is close to the city’s Christmas market. Strasbourg’s well-known market is set up around the city’s cathedral during the Christmas period and becomes a major gathering place.

Images from the scene show police officers, police vehicles and barricades surrounding the sparkling lights of the market.

The European Parliament, which is based in Strasbourg, was on lockdown. Spokesman Jaume Duch said that “the European Parliament has been closed and no one can leave until further notice.” It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were inside.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that “my thoughts are with the victims of the shooting …. Strasbourg is like no other a city which is a symbol of peace and European democracy.”

France has been hit by several extremist attacks, including the 2015 Paris shootings, which killed 130 people and wounded hundreds, and a truck attack in Nice that killed dozens in 2016.

Some Strasbourg residents have reported on social media that they heard gunfire in some parts of the city center.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe tweeted that “the situation is still underway, priority is given to security forces and rescuers.”

President Emmanuel Macron has adjourned a meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday night to be able to monitor the events, his office said.

Strasbourg, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Paris, is on the border with Germany.

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Guns and Crime

President Trump’s best defense against Michael Cohen is… Michael Cohen

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President Trumps best defense against Michael Cohen is Michael Cohen

Democrats and mainstream media have honed in on the President’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, as being the key to the “smoking gun” of campaign finance violations. Their knight in shining armor has accused the President of participating directly in hush money paid to two women with whom the President had affairs in the past.

Porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy bunny Karen McDougal were paid through deals worked out by Cohen to purchase and quash their stories from making it into the press. It worked until after the election when both went public. Now, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is trying to prove the President violated campaign finance laws by paying the women off to benefit his presidential campaign.

While Cohen may be revered by some as the person who can take down the President, there are three reasons why Cohen is now the President’s best defense. The first two are obvious. First, he’s a known liar. He has admitted as much and Mueller’s team have acknowledged it. Second, his relationship with the President has become adversarial, casting serious doubts on the validity of his flip-flopping testimony.

The third reason is the one that few seem to be recognizing. While Cohen has been known as the President’s former lawyer, his actual role was essentially that of “fixer.” He had the power and responsibility to both protect and insulate Trump for years. Well before there was a presidential campaign, Cohen was the guy who would take care of problems on behalf of Trump.

Had he been hired for the campaign itself, this would be a moot point. But he has years of history taking care of business on behalf of Trump. It is, at the very least, feasible Cohen would have handled the situations with Daniels and McDougal without first getting direction from the President. This would be even more likely if it can be shown Cohen or someone else in Trump’s orbit had paid off women in the past.

The President has a sure-fire way to disprove campaign finance violations, but he won’t like it

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/09/president-sure-fire-way-disprove-campaign-finance-violations-wont-like/By showing past payoffs to women, the President can go with the story that he didn’t want to damage his marriage or business dealings. This play might hurt his reputation, but it would likely quash attempts to indict him.

This is all assuming there were past payoffs. If there weren’t, then it would be difficult for his defense to claim the two payoffs in question were not politically motivated.

Whether Cohen or anyone else had operated on Trump’s behalf in the past to pay hush money to someone is currently unknown but very likely. That’s what Cohen did for Trump. He was the fixer.

If someone needed to be paid off, Cohen would work out the details. If someone needed to be threatened, Cohen would make the call. Listening to recorded conversations of him making such threats reveals that he’s a scumbag. But he was Trump’s scumbag, and part of being a rich man’s scumbag is doing the dirty work without getting the boss involved.

Unless there are better recordings than the ones Cohen has already produced that show then-candidate Trump ordering the hush money, it’s very unlikely the Mueller investigation will yield an indictment. It’s the President’s word against his scumbag fixer’s. Indicting anyone solely on the self-serving word of Michael Cohen would be ludicrous.

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Guns and Crime

Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

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Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 32 people at a demonstration Monday that was organized by a Quaker group on the border with Mexico, authorities said. Demonstrators were calling for an end to detaining and deporting immigrants and showing support for migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum seekers.

A photographer for The Associated Press saw about a dozen people being handcuffed after they were told by agents to back away from a wall that the Border Patrol calls “an enforcement zone.” The American Friends Service Committee, which organized the demonstration, said 30 people were stopped by agents in riot gear and taken into custody while they tried to move forward to offer a ceremonial blessing near the wall.

Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said 31 people were arrested for trespassing and one was arrested for assaulting an officer.

More than 300 people, many the leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, participated in the demonstration at San Diego’s Border Field State Park, which borders Tijuana, Mexico.

The rally held on a beach divided by the border wall was the second confrontation for Border Patrol agents since a caravan of more than 6,000 migrants, predominantly Hondurans, reached Tijuana last month. A confrontation with rock-throwers from Mexico led to U.S. agents firing tear gas into Mexico on Nov. 25 and a five-hour closure of the nation’s busiest border crossing.

Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after undertaking a grueling journey from Central America to the U.S. border. Many face waiting weeks or months in Mexico while they apply for asylum. The U.S. is processing up to about 100 claims a day at the San Diego crossing, which is creating a backlog.

The demonstration Monday was meant to launch a national week of action called “Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice,” which falls between Human Rights Day on Monday, and International Migrants’ Day on Dec. 18, the group said.

“Showing up to welcome and bless children, mothers and fathers seeking asylum from very difficult and dehumanizing circumstances is the right and humane thing to do,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano, from the San Francisco Area United Methodist Church. “How we act in these moments determines who we will become as a nation.”

The group also is calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

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