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Mueller Likely to Issue Russia Report After Midterms

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reported to be preparing a report on whether the Trump campaign was involved in Russian interference in the 2016 election after the midterm elections.

The report may not be public. (Will that stop Trump from tweeting out any statements that are favorable to him?)

I don't expect the report to find that Trump personally knew about or conspired with Russian attempts to sway the election. I doubt his aides took him seriously enough at that point to share such information with him.

What about obstruction of justice after the election? What about Don, Jr.?

I still wonder whether Kushner and the campaign's digital marketing director (hired by Kushner)who worked with the Facebook team to learn how to do microtargeting and ad placement on FB got immunity from Mueller.

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DOJ Taps Ex-FBI Director Mueller as Special Counsel for Russia Probe

The Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into "Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible involvement of President Donald Trump's campaign in that effort."

The announcement was made by Deputy AG Ron Rosenstein, who released a statement:

"Based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command," Rosenstein said in a statement. "A special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the Public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly."

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Court Filing: FBI Claims Documents on Trump Statements Are Subject of Russia Investigation

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe would not tell Congress if Trump was under investigation.

In an FOIA case pending in federal court in the District of Columbia, filed by Ryan Shapiro and Jason Leopold, the FBI has been a little more forthcoming.

In August, 2016, Shapiro and Leopold, in separate FOIA requests, asked for:

“disclosure of any and all records, including investigative records, mentioning or referring to Donald J. Trump’s statement on 27 July, 2016 [regarding Secretary Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails], ‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ and ‘I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.’”

The FBI did not timely respond, so they sued. Their cases are consolidated. In its first response, the FBI refused to confirm or deny there were documents that were responsive to the request.[More...]

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Report Says Comey's Testimony Inaccurate

Pro Publica reports James Comey's testimony to Congress this week was inaccurate as to some major details.

FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.

....Abedin forwarded only a handful of Clinton emails to her husband for printing — not the “hundreds and thousands” cited by Comey. It does not appear Abedin made “a regular practice” of doing so .......None of the messages carried classified markings at the time they were sent.

...According to two sources familiar with the matter — including one in law enforcement — Abedin forwarded only a handful of Clinton emails to her husband for printing — not the “hundreds and thousands” cited by Comey. It does not appear Abedin made “a regular practice” of doing so. Other officials said it was likely that most of the emails got onto the computer as a result of backups of her Blackberry.

The Washington Post has more.

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Restaurant in Trump SoHo to Close, Low Patronage Since Election

Koi, the sushi restaurant in the TrumpSoho hotel, is closing. It used to be filled with celebrities. Business has tanked since the election. (Koi's other New York Restaurant in Bryant Park is reportedly doing very well.)

The success of Koi in the Trump Soho is of little interest meanwhile to the president, as he does not actually own the hotel and is instead paid to manage the property, which bears his name.

A similar decline in dining attendance was reported by the Michelin-starred restaurant Sixteen, which is located in Chicago's Trump Tower.

And that's not all. Grub Street says it's collateral damage from the rise of Trump: [More...]

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"Not My President's Day" Protests

This is the first year since 2003 TalkLeft did not have a President's Day Post. Why? I don't have a President. Donald Trump doesn't deserve the title. I have yet to call him "President" and I never will. He's the man who somehow got into the oval office. In my opinion, he's nothing but a source source of embarrassment and shame. And I don't believe a word he or his staffers say.

There were protests all over America today, but the number of people protesting were nowhere near the number the numbers that protested his inauguration.

But that's America, where so many have tuned him out. I no longer watch the news or listen to cable networks in the car. I don't want to hear his name or his voice or see his orange face or absurd hairdo. It was different in London today. [More...]

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Nordstrom Drops Ivanka Trump's Line

Please reward Nordstrom's. They have issued a statement announcing they will no longer carry Ivanka Trump's line. (They say poor sales, but it's big on the Trump boycott list.)

Thank you Nordstrom.

Maybe Ralph Lauren's recently departed CEO should have done the same, instead of sending Melania the powder blue Jackie lookalike outfit. Lauren's stock dropped big following the departure announcement.

I'm not on a computer I can search for the links, just search Google news.

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Trump's Bogus Voting Fraud Claim

The New York Times has the facts on what it calls "Trump Voting Fraud Lie."

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Trump's Shameful Inaugural Speech

Update: This writer from the UAE has a terrific article on the failure of Trump's Inaugural speech.

Donald Trump never ceases to disgust me. That's my personal view, which I'm entitled to, and I'm sticking to it. No unity shtick here.

Conservative columnist David Brooks, in the New York Times, gets the first part of his column today right:

“We’ve never had a major national leader as professionally unprepared, intellectually ill informed, morally compromised and temperamentally unfit as the man taking the oath on Friday. So let’s not lessen the shock factor that should reverberate across this extraordinary moment.”

Brooks blows the rest of column with his statement that we have no need to fear "the rise of fascism, a new authoritarian age" with Trump.

From Niall O'Dowd at Irish Central News: Trump's inaugural speech was everything but a Sieg Heil. [More....]

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Critics of Trump Get Blunt and Blunter

I try to avoid name-calling and personal attacks on this site, even when it comes to my opinion of public figures. With Donald Trump, it's hard, because most words that come to mind when I think of him are not words that I would publicly write.

Some critics don't self-restrict. Here's Richard Cohen in the Washington Post -- the first paragraph says it all. The rest is on admittedly unlikely scenarios of how to remove him from office.

But at the end, even Cohen retains some hope that at least part of the Trump disaster will be avoided because a few of his cabinet picks are "good people." [Really? Who?] [More...]

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Feelings on The Last Day of a G-d Awful Year

It's the last day of a horrible year for America. Next year will be even worse.

What feelings should an incoming President invoke in us? My answer would be pride in our country, a sense of security, so that when we go to sleep at night we know the world will be there when we wake up, and feelings of trust that our nation's leader will steer the country along the right path, embracing principles of freedom, tolerance and opportunity for all, and act in ways that confirm to the world that the United States is a beacon of liberty, not authoritarianism.

What feeling does UnPresident Elect Donald Trump evoke? You can answer for yourself in comments.

My answer: The feeling I most associate with Donald Trump is the feeling I'd get when I was a kid the instant I realized I stepped in a pile of dogsh*t. Anytime I hear him or see him or think about him or his inexperienced, privileged children being given jobs as anything but pencil pushers in his Administration, I want to start scraping my shoes or take a shower to rinse them all away. [More...]

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Electoral College Votes Today

The Electoral College is poised to pick Donald Trump today.

Buckle up and hold on tight, it will be a rough ride for the next four years, if he doesn't get impeached or quit before then.

#GrabYourWallet. Don't shop at stores that sell Donald or Ivanka Trump products. Don't stay at Trump Hotels or Resorts. In other words, #BoycottTrump.

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FBI Agrees with CIA: Russia Goal Was to Help Trump

The FBI agrees with the CIA that Russia's goal in interfering with the election was to help Donald Trump win.

James Comey should still resign. His own behavior during the weeks before the election permanently tarnished the FBI's integrity and reputation.

Donald Trump lost the popular vote by a margin greater than any U.S. President in history.

That (2.8 million) deficit is more than five times bigger than the 544,000 by which George W. Bush lost to Al Gore in 2000 - the second biggest popular vote deficit in history for a candidate who has still gone on to become President.

#Boycott Trump. Get the Free App. #GrabYourWallet.

Praise to Hulu, which pulled its ads from running on Breitbart News.

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How to Boycott Trump

There is no chance the Electoral College will show a conscience and some gumption and reject Donald Trump. Hillary now has almost a 3 million vote lead but that ship has sailed.

Rather than spend time discussing what electors could do, since they won't, I'd rather talk about something each of us can do: This holiday season and thereafter, we can reward retailers who don't sell Donald Trump or Ivanka Trump products. We can refuse to buy from those that sell them. Via GrabYourWallet, just say no to: [More...]

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Trump Mistakes Insulting Article as Complimentary

UnPresident-Elect Donald Trump today tweeted out his thanks to Financial Times for naming him person of the year. The article blasted him:

A bigger concern may be a lack of knowledge about the world beyond his business empire. There is always the suspicion that Mr. Trump’s opinions come from the last person he spoke to. “What Trump doesn’t know could fill an ocean — he has literally never read a book, including the U.S. Constitution,” says a longstanding associate. “What Trump does know fills up Trump Tower.”

A Vanity Fair writer blasted Trump Grill as the worst restaurant in America, detailing her horrid meal. Her opinion:

[I]t was slop: as soon as I got home, I brushed my teeth twice and curled up in bed until the nausea passed.

Trump of course blasted Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter in response and the magazine's ranking. [More...]

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