Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday morning that special counsel Robert Mueller should end his probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government “in the interest of the country.”
But despite prodding from the vice president and others in Trump’s orbit, Mueller’s probe, approaching its one-year anniversary, has shown no signs of winding down amid significant public speculation on whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel’s team.
“You know, our administration has been fully cooperating with the special counsel and we’ll continue to. What I think is that it's been about a year since this investigation began,” the vice president told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “We've fully cooperated in it and in the interest of the country, I think it's time to wrap it up. And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.”
Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified he would advise on Time Warner merger, internal company records show
Three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant AT&T turned to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government — including the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The internal documents reveal for the first time that Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T specified that he would provide advice on the $85 billion merger, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators.
Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, and his administration ultimately opposed the AT&T effort. The Department of Justice filed suit in November to block the deal, and that case is pending.
Cohen’s deals with AT&T and other corporate clients were first revealed this week by an attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, but the new documents obtained by The Post offered greater detail about his arrangement with the telecom company and the type of work he had been hired to perform.
It is unclear what insight Cohen — a longtime real estate attorney and former taxi cab operator — could have provided AT&T on complex telecom matters.
At the same time that he was collecting $50,000 a month from AT&T, Cohen was being paid large sums to advise other companies on a broad variety of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, accounting practices and real estate.
In the wake of Trump’s election, corporate clients paid Cohen at least $2.95 million through a company called Essential Consultants, according to figures confirmed by the companies.
Essential Consultants was the same company Cohen used in October 2016 to route money to Daniels in exchange for her agreement not to disclose an alleged affair with Trump.
The corporate payments he received demonstrate how Cohen was able to turn his ties with the new president into money-making opportunities, despite Trump’s campaign pledges to “drain the swamp.”
AT&T and the pharmaceutical company Novartis, another Cohen client, said this week that they provided information about their dealings with Trump’s lawyer to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last year. Cohen is also under investigation by prosecutors in New York for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
A White House official mocked Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis at an internal meeting on Thursday, a day after the Arizona Republican announced his opposition to President Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel.
Special assistant Kelly Sadler made the derisive comments during a closed-door White House meeting of about two-dozen communications staffers on Thursday morning.
“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said, according to a source familiar with the remarks at the meeting.
The White House did not deny the account of Sadler’s remarks, which came amid a discussion of Haspel’s nomination and McCain’s opposition to it.
In 2016 they were casing the joint, the same as in any heist (or other daring crime) movie. I'm 2018/2020, we might expect zero hour attacks - voter data deleted, altered or corrupted en masse, perhaps in a few strategically selected races and states, creating nationwide chaos. Such attacks will not immediately be attributed to foreign intrusion, and the results, naturally, will favor the GOP, who will shout down all talk of Russian influence.
He appears to have been provided with copies of some of Cohen's emails too. Cohen had been in contact with Stormy Daniel's previous lawyer after the FBI raids and was also trying to get him to stop her seeking alternative representation. Avenatti believes that Stormy's previous lawyer had been working a scam with Cohen as he represented multiple women against Trump and may have been working directly with Cohen in an effort to silence them.
Mueller is looking into Trump inauguration donations with foreign connections:
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee last year, including questions about donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, sources with direct knowledge told ABC News.
Those interviewed included longtime Trump friend and confidant Thomas Barrack, who oversaw the fundraising effort, as well as individuals familiar with the massive inaugural fund, according to sources with direct knowledge.
Barrack, a real estate investor, has long been described as a Trump “whisperer” whose close friendship with the president landed him a prime appearance during the GOP convention the night Trump accepted his party’s nomination.
The billionaire runs a fund with hundreds of millions in real estate and private equity holdings in the Middle East. Barrack oversaw the largest inaugural fundraising effort in U.S. history, bringing in $107 million – more than double what President Barack Obama raised for his first swearing-in festivities.
According to a source who has sat with the Mueller team for interviews in recent weeks, the special counsel is examining donors who have either business or personal connections in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $1 million dollars, according to public records.
Erm, I assume wearing an "I love Obama!" hat would go down just fine in all conservative establishments and especially dive bars and would not elicit any mention at all and everything would be just peachy. Nobody would dare to even notice the hat lest there be an incident and a kerfuffle ensue which would spoil the perfect conservative ambience of calm amid the room full of gun owning and packing good old boys.
jiggles wrote:Nobody with a VR headset is going to be using it regularly this time next year, let alone in 4 years time.