[Discussion] The Individual 1 Administration Thread 2

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits, and the many many indictments.

BadKen wrote:

What are the two primary things a foreign agent looks for when choosing an asset to leverage?

1) Sexual liasons the target does not want revealed

2) Debt and other financial trouble.

They're also two big red flags (among many others) for security clearances.

How is it Kushner has a clearance again?

Officials rejected Jared Kushner for top secret security clearance, but were overruled

WASHINGTON — Jared Kushner's application for a top-secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The official, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017. Kushner's was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top-secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline's arrival.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D.-Md., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in a statement that the NBC News report raised questions he hopes to answer as part of his investigation, announced this week, into how the Trump administration has handled security clearances.

“The system is supposed to be a nonpartisan determination of an individual’s fitness to hold a clearance, not an ad hoc approach that overrules career experts to give the president’s family members access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” he told NBC News.

OG_slinger wrote:
AUs_TBirD wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

A company that would stand to benefit greatly from a Saudi nuclear deal also just signed a 99 year lease for space in 666 5th Ave.

Paid upfront.

Link? All I found were stories from last year about the real estate company purchasing the building on a 99 year lease (which one article stated was a common thing in Manhattan real estate deals). If now this happened and the building belonged to a non-Kushner company, then it shouldn't be an issue.......unless that was the plan all along, then it could/should be a scandal.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

Link

NYT wrote:

The deal, in which Brookfield paid the rent for the entire 99-year term upfront, helps remove the family’s biggest financial headache: a $1.4 billion mortgage on the office portion of the tower that was due in February next year. The Kushners have spent more than two years on an international search for new partners or fresh financing that stretched from the Middle East to China.

...

In the 666 Fifth Avenue deal, Brookfield paid about $1.1 billion in upfront rent, according to an executive who requested anonymity because he had been briefed on the deal but was not authorized to discuss it. Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, who now runs the company, in turn, negotiated with his lenders to pay less than the company owed to satisfy the debts, the executive said.

666 Fifth Street was Jared's deal and it was destroying the family business. Jared paid a record-setting $1.8 billion for the building in 2007 right before the economy hit the skids. The Kushers had to sell the retail space in the building to make the early loan payments and the rest of the loan would have been due this month. The Brookfield deal saved the Kushners' business because they didn't have the money.

Every f*cking time I read about Jared:

Every. Time.

I guess bone spurs didn't get Trump out of a trip to Vietnam this time.

The Great Negotiator argued with Robert Lighthizer, his own head trade negotiator, about whether or not memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were legally binding contracts.

The Great Negotiator said they "don't mean anything" while Lighthizer insisted that they were, in fact, contracts. The Great Negotiator insisted he didn't like them so Lighthizer said that he wouldn't use the term MOU anymore and just call them "trade agreements." The Great Negotiator then said, "Good, good. I like that term much better."

And it all happened in front of the Chinese delegation.

To be fair Trump doesn’t seem to think agreements and contracts mean much either.

OG_slinger wrote:

The Great Negotiator argued with Robert Lighthizer, his own head trade negotiator, about whether or not memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were legally binding contracts.

The Great Negotiator said they "don't mean anything" while Lighthizer insisted that they were, in fact, contracts. The Great Negotiator insisted he didn't like them so Lighthizer said that he wouldn't use the term MOU anymore and just call them "trade agreements." The Great Negotiator then said, "Good, good. I like that term much better."

I'm absolutely not the type to believe that Trump is a 12D chess player, but I've wondered if this insistence on changing the terminology with the Chinese contracts has anything to do with the controversy surrounding the MOU for Trump Tower Moscow. Trump's line on that project has been that there wasn't any actual deal or contract in place. He reinforces that argument, or at least the argument that that was his perception, by poo-pooing MOUs everywhere else.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm absolutely not the type to believe that Trump is a 12D chess player, but I've wondered if this insistence on changing the terminology with the Chinese contracts has anything to do with the controversy surrounding the MOU for Trump Tower Moscow. Trump's line on that project has been that there wasn't any actual deal or contract in place. He reinforces that argument, or at least the argument that that was his perception, by poo-pooing MOUs everywhere else.

I could totally see Trump making America look incompetent in front of the Chinese in an attempt to save his own ass.

The only problem with that potential legal strategy is that I *really* doubt Trump Tower Moscow was the only MOU Trump signed. It's not going to be much of a defense if Mueller can show Trump signed dozens or hundreds of MOUs for various deals over the years.

Oh, totally. It's a sh*tty long-term strategy, but it's the kind of selfish, pig-headed short term strategy I could see him flailing for.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Oh, totally. It's a sh*tty long-term strategy, but it's the kind of selfish, pig-headed short term strategy I could see him flailing for.

and "those contracts don't really count" a la "a treaty is just a piece of paper" is definitely a trump style strategy. It's essentially how he's delt with contractors his entire 'career'

Kind of the Cersei Lannister approach... Someone hands you a piece of paper you don't like, you tear it up.

It's a toddler negotiation tactic.

"NUH UH"

That would be insulting to toddlers...

"Well I don't think MOUs are contracts." != "MOUs aren't legally binding."

Man, I hope I'm around to see him learn that just because he thinks a thing doesn't mean will adjust to his view of that thing.

Trump administration ‘rolling back women’s rights by 50 years’ by changing definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault

Donald Trump’s decision to change definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault has rolled back women’s rights by half a century, campaigners have warned.

The Trump administration quietly changed the definition of both domestic violence and sexual assault back in April but the move has only just surfaced.

The change could have significant repercussions for millions of victims of gender-based violence.

The Trump Justice Department’s definition only considers physical harm that constitutes a felony or misdemeanour to be domestic violence – meaning other forms of domestic violence such as psychological abuse, coercive control and manipulation no longer fall under the department’s definition.

Serial wife abuser and sexual predator rolls back definition of domestic violence and sexual assault. I'm super shocked.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Serial wife abuser and sexual predator rolls back definition of domestic violence and sexual assault. I'm super shocked.

I mean, I'd agree with you if I had the slightest belief that Trump himself had any interest in working at such a detailed level of policy implementation.

I was not shocked but I did notice how this change was made back in April of 18 but the distraction train of new sh*t every day buried it. It makes me wonder what other horrific crap he and republicans have done silently while keeping us focused on other stuff.

White House limits press access at Trump-Kim meeting after reporters asked questions about Michael Cohen

American reporters asked President Trump about Michael Cohen's testimony during a photo opportunity between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.

Trump didn't answer. Less than an hour later, the White House blocked several reporters from attending the next media availability between Trump and Kim.

The dishonest press. It's like they don't even know what a distraction is.

farley3k wrote:

White House limits press access at Trump-Kim meeting after reporters asked questions about Michael Cohen

American reporters asked President Trump about Michael Cohen's testimony during a photo opportunity between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.

Trump didn't answer. Less than an hour later, the White House blocked several reporters from attending the next media availability between Trump and Kim.

I guess North Korea will disseminate all of the photos and the news articles of the great meeting for us to consume over here.

BlackSheep wrote:
farley3k wrote:

White House limits press access at Trump-Kim meeting after reporters asked questions about Michael Cohen

American reporters asked President Trump about Michael Cohen's testimony during a photo opportunity between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.

Trump didn't answer. Less than an hour later, the White House blocked several reporters from attending the next media availability between Trump and Kim.

I guess North Korea will disseminate all of the photos and the news articles of the great meeting for us to consume over here.

I hope at least one photo is of Li'l Kim pointing at Trump.

BlackSheep wrote:
farley3k wrote:

White House limits press access at Trump-Kim meeting after reporters asked questions about Michael Cohen

American reporters asked President Trump about Michael Cohen's testimony during a photo opportunity between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.

Trump didn't answer. Less than an hour later, the White House blocked several reporters from attending the next media availability between Trump and Kim.

I guess North Korea will disseminate all of the photos and the news articles of the great meeting for us to consume over here.

Closer to reality than anything Sarah Huckabee Sanders says.

Looks like Vietnam is turning into a huge success for Trump.

The negotiations were abruptly terminated, an already set up joint luncheon was canceled as was a planned signing ceremony set for later in the day, Trump moved a press conference up two hours, and the engines on AF1 are already spinning up.

Can't wait for the tirade tweeted from somewhere over the Pacific.

I'm excited to see how this is the fault of the Dems and/or the Fake Media.

Aw, and they made such a cute couple.

I'm sure Trump is sitting in his bed on Air Force 1, curled up in a ball, staring at his framed picture of Kim, with Love Hurts playing on repeat.

As much as I hate to admit it, walking out of the talks may be a decent negotiating tactic if there isn't sufficient movement on NKs side. North Korea is not negotiating from a position of strength, but rather like a cornered robber with a loaded gun.

Even if it had been any other president, the talks ending in a bust would not have been a surprise.

Still not ruling out a bust because of incompetence, a tantrum, or NK not agreeing to send 50000 prison laborers to build the wall though.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

As much as I hate to admit it, walking out of the talks may be a decent negotiating tactic if there isn't sufficient movement on NKs side. North Korea is not negotiating from a position of strength, but rather like a cornered robber with a loaded gun.

Even if it had been any other president, the talks ending in a bust would not have been a surprise.

Still not ruling out a bust because of incompetence, a tantrum, or NK not agreeing to send 50000 prison laborers to build the wall though.

That North Korea wasn't willing to give up enough to move forward is no suprise. There's a reason no other modern president has met with North Korea. That President Trump walked away from the deal rather than signing something horrible in a flawed attempt to come home with a "win" so as to bolster his image as a strong man and the best deal maker deal maker, as well as bump Cohen's testimony off the front page, is very much a surprise.

Failure heaped upon failure.

OG_slinger wrote:

an already set up joint luncheon was canceled

So much wasted Wendy's.