President Trump has tweeted 6 times so far.
Just revealed that the Failing and Desperate New York Times was feeding false stories about me, & those associated with me, to the FBI. This shows the kind of unprecedented hatred I have been putting up with for years with this Crooked newspaper. Is what they have done legal?…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
….”This Russia Collusion Hoax was perpetrated in part by people inside the government, and in part by a compliant (Fake News) media.” Mollie Hemingway. @TuckerCarlson @foxandfriends The facts are starting to pour out. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
On Thursday the Washington Examiner reported that New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt “sent an email on March 24, 2017, to FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan, stating that his colleagues were reporting on the FBI’s Russia investigation and had stumbled onto some information about President Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser.”
Kortan, sent that email to former FBI/DOJ Lawyer Lisa Page, who then sent the information on to former Special Agent Peter Strzok, and FBI counterintelligence officer Jonathan Moffa.
The email from Schmidt:
Mike: Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They’re told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians. My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike.Schmidt Email.
President Trump Tweets in Part
Just revealed that the Failing and Desperate New York Times was feeding false stories about me, & those associated with me, to the FBI…
According to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report, Jared Kushner did exactly what the email suggests he did.
From the report pg. 161-163, PDF pg 169-171.
Kushner’s assistant, Avi Berkowitz, arranged a meeting between Kushner and Sergey Gorkov, the head of the Russian-government-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).
The one-on-one meeting took place the next day, December 13, 2016, at the Colony Capital building in Manhattan, where Kushner had previously scheduled meetings.Mueller Report, pg. 161.
VEB was and is currently subject to U.S. Sanctions.
Kushner said he did not recall any discussions during the meeting that discussed those sanctions. In fact he says he did no prep work prior to the meeting.
Kushner stated in an interview that he did not engage in any preparation for the meeting and that no one on the Transition Team even did a Google search for Gorkov’s name.Mueller Report, pg. 162.
The report goes on to explain that both recall the meeting differently.
Kushner says the meeting was diplomatic in nature, with Gorkov’s expressing disappointment with the former President Obama’s Administration.
Kushner told the Office that the meeting was diplomatic, with Gorkov expressing disappointment with U.S.-Russia relations under President Obama and hopes for improved relations with the incoming Administration. According to Kushner, although Gorkov told Kushner a little bit about his bank and made some statements about the Russian economy, the two did not discuss Kushner’s companies or private business dealings of any kind.Mueller Report, pg. 162.
In a public statement VEB suggested that the meeting between the two was not diplomatic in nature, instead VEB says the meeting with Kushner was in his capacity as CEO of Kushner Companies for the purpose of discussing business and not part of a diplomatic effort.
In contrast, in a 2017 public statement, VEB suggested Gorkov met with Kushner in Kushner’ s capacity as CEO of Kushner Companies for the purpose of discussing business, rather than as part of a diplomatic effort. In particular, VEB characterized Gorkov’s meeting with Kushner as part of a series of “roads how meetings” with “representatives of major US banks and business circles,” which included “negotiations” and discussion of the “most promising business lines and sectors.”Mueller Report, pg. 162.
The Report goes on to state that the investigation couldn’t determine what version of the meeting was accurate, either Kushner’s or Gorkov’s.
In response to President Trump’s tweets Michael Schmidt posted this tweet.
"Mr. Trump’s campaign against journalists should concern every patriotic American. A free, fair and independent press is essential to our country’s strength and vitality and to every freedom that makes it great," A.G. Sulzberger 6.19.2019 in the @WSJ. https://t.co/GC7HcN0two https://t.co/N1SU67Irf3— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) June 21, 2019
For What It’s Worth.
The Washington Post‘s Aaron Blake breaks down the Washington Examiner story, and President Trump’s two tweets, according to him, the story related to the email sent to the Public Affairs office, was published by the New York Times, just three days after the email was sent.
In April of 2017, the New York Times reported that Kushner when applying for top-secret security clearance, failed to disclose, “dozens of contacts with foreign leaders or officials in recent months. They include a December meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, and one with the head of a Russian state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, arranged at Mr. Kislyak’s behest.”
President Obama made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran – Gave them 150 Billion Dollars plus I.8 Billion Dollars in CASH! Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out. Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON. Instead of saying thank you, Iran yelled…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
….Death to America. I terminated deal, which was not even ratified by Congress, and imposed strong sanctions. They are a much weakened nation today than at the beginning of my Presidency, when they were causing major problems throughout the Middle East. Now they are Bust!….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
….On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
….proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
On Thursday The New York Times reported that President Trump had approved military strikes “against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone.”
According to a senior administration official, the operation was underway, with planes in the air, when word came to stand down.
At the time of the report, it was unclear if President Trump, “simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.”
As the News Blender reported on Thursday, Iranian Officials said they shot down the drone after the drone entered Iranian airspace.
The New York Times reported that the dispute of the location of the drone, which CENTCOM said Thursday, was over international waters, has continued through Friday.
According to the article Iran’s government late Thursday, released “video of what it said was the moment its air defense system shot down the drone. The Defense Department countered with images of the drone’s flight path showing that it never entered Iranian airspace, though the images offered little context for an image that appeared to be the drone exploding in midair.”
On Friday the Iranian government released photos, of what they say were, “fragments of the high-altitude surveillance drone, saying that the pieces were retrieved from Iranian territorial waters.”
Reuters is reporting that Iranian Officials told them “Tehran had received a message from Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying that he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.”
For editorial thoughts on Iran @ the News Blender.
On Twitter it seems the burning question regarding the airstrike against Iran, is how come the President wasn’t aware of the possible death toll, sooner rather than only ten minutes prior to airstrike.
Dear @realDonaldTrump: I agree with your decision to not use military force against Iran. In the future, you should ask questions about how many people will die before you order a strike in the first place.#FridayThoughts https://t.co/f1IHpxjdyJ— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 21, 2019
Trump didn’t realize UNTIL TEN MINUTES BEFOREHAND that a planned airstrike would kill over a hundred people and would therefore be grossly disproportionate to the loss of a UAV?— George Conway (@gtconway3d) June 21, 2019
To say this is amateur hour would defame amateurs.
For What It’s Worth.
This is the first time Trump has told a "Sir" Story on Twitter as president: pic.twitter.com/xfih0KeW5X— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 21, 2019
Also worth noting that regardless of one’s feelings about the Iran deal, the money Iran received was Iran’s to begin with, most of it in banks overseas, and the Treasury Dept in 2015 estimated the total was $56 billion. https://t.co/bjoIvfYmMn— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 21, 2019
This post will be updated within reason.
This is an Open Thread.