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Tag: donald trump

Trump: I Would Not Have Appointed Sessions If I Knew He’d Recuse Himself

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a stunning admission, President Trump said he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump complained to the New York Times that Sessions’ decision to recuse himself led to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate alleged collusion between the Republican’s campaign team and Russia. 

 “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.

The president didn’t stop there, criticizing former FBI Director James Comey, the deputy attorney general and special counsel Robert Mueller III.

Trump painted a picture that he was the victim of a malicious campaign to derail his presidency in a wide-ranging, revealing interview.

Still, Trump insisted, he’s not the focus of an investigation.

“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Trump Reinvents History by Saying FBI Director Should Report Directly to President

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Showing a disdain or ignorance of the FBI’s independence, President Trump suggested the bureau’s next director should report directly to him during a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times

Trump cited some alternative history by suggesting that the FBI director began reporting to the Justice Department while Richard Nixon was president.

“The FBI person really reports to the president of the United States,” Trump said in what clearly is an untrue statement.

The FBI’s website states, “Within the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is responsible to the attorney general, and it reports its findings to U.S. Attorneys across the country. The FBI’s intelligence activities are overseen by the Director of National Intelligence.”

Trump suggested “there was nothing official, there was nothing from Congress” that requires the director to report to the Justice Department.

“There was nothing — anything. But the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting. You know, which is interesting. And I think we’re going to have a great new FBI director.”

Trump’s comments raise questions about his expectation of his nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray.

Trump Says Special Counsel Should Not Delve into His Personal Finances

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump said it would be “a violation” for the Justice Department’s special counsel to delve into his personal finances.

When asked by the New York Times if Robert Mueller would cross a “red line” by investigating the president’s personal finances, Trump said the special counsel would, before seeming to dare Mueller to try it. 

“I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia,” Trump said.

He added: ”I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievable successful company.”

Trump declined to say whether he’d try to get Mueller fired if the investigation included the president’s finances.

Trump also told the Times that a special counsel “should never have been appointed.”

Ultimately, Trump said, he doesn’t believe Mueller will delve into his personal tax filings and other financial documents.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he told the Times.

Eighth Person to Meet Trump Jr. Identified As Employee of Russian Company

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The eighth person to take part in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr. was a senior vice president of a Russian real estate company run by an oligarch.

Ike Kaveladze, a senior vice president at Crocus Group, which is operated by Azerbaijani-Russian oligarchs and father-and-son Russian developers Aras and Emin Agalarov, the Washington Post reports

The Agalarovs hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

Special counsel Robert Mueller requested an interview with Kaveladze, who has agreed to cooperate, his attorney confirmed.

The Post wrote:

The request is the first public indication that Mueller’s team is investigating the meeting.

The presence of Kaveladze at the Trump Tower meeting introduces a new and intriguing figure into the increasingly complex Trump-Russia drama. A native of the Soviet republic of Georgia who came to the United States in 1991, Kaveladze was the subject nearly two decades ago of a congressional inquiry into Russian money laundering in U.S. banks, although he was never charged with a crime and Balber said there was never any sign of wrongdoing by Kaveladze.

Trump, Putin Met for Undisclosed, Private Discussion During G20 Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump secretly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a one-on-one discussion over dinner during the Group of 20 summit meeting earlier this month, the New York Times reports

The White House, which didn’t disclose the meeting until confronted by the secret discussion Tuesday, said there was nothing unusual about the meet-up.

Trump slammed media reports about the secret meeting as “sick,” saying the “Press knew!” about the dinner since world leaders and their spouses had been invited by Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Times wrote:

While the leaders-and-spouses dinner was on Mr. Trump’s public schedule, the news media was not allowed to witness any part of it, nor were reporters provided with an account of what transpired. Mr. Trump’s traveling press contingent did note, however, that his motorcade left the dinner four minutes after Mr. Putin’s did.

The dinner at which the private conversation took place stretched for more than three hours after a concert for the leaders and their spouses at the Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall on the banks of the Elbe River.

In the earlier, formal meeting, Mr. Trump said later, he asked the Russian president twice about his role in the American vote. Mr. Putin denied involvement, and the two men agreed to move beyond the dispute in the interest of finding common ground on other matters, including a limited cease-fire in Syria.

There is no official United States government record of the intimate dinner conversation, because no American official other than the president was involved.

Border Patrol Union: Significant Decline in Illegal Crossings ‘Nothing Short of Miraculous’

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The significant decline in illegal border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico is “nothing short of miraculous,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said on C-SPAN Monday.

“As far as the Trump administration’s efforts on immigration, this is something they campaigned heavily on,” he said. “At six months, where we are on meeting those promises, we are seeing nothing short of miraculous. If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it has caused a number of illegal border crossings to go down. We have never seen such a drop that we currently have.”

CBP reported a 53% decline in southwest border apprehension since last year, the Washington Examiner reports. The drop in apprehension is believed to be an indicator that fewer people are trying to illegally cross the border. 

Judd attributed the decline to two executive orders that allowed Border Patrol agents to fully enforce the law.

The Border Patrol union endorsed Trump for president.

Fact-Checking Trump Jr.’s Shifting Statements on Meeting with Russian Lawyer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CNN’s Jake Tapper and FactCheck.org released a fact-checking video in which they examined Donald Trump Jr.’s changing statements about a June 2o16 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

President Trump’s eldest son originally said the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was a “short introductory meeting” where “we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government.” 

But the New York Times reported that Trump Jr. met with the attorney after being “promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.”

A day later, Trump Jr. acknowledged that the lawyer said she had “information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

But, he said, she provided no “supporting information” and that “her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.”

Other Stories of Interest

Secret Service Fires Back at Trump Lawyer’s Claim about Russia Meeting

secret-servic-via-secret-serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service called out one of President Trump’s lawyers for suggesting Sunday that the agency should have stopped Russians from meeting last year with Donald Trump Jr.

“I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” attorney Jay Sekulow said on ABC News’ “This Week” of the meeting Trump’s eldest son had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign. “The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”

The Secret Service fired back in a statement to ABC News.

“Donald Trump Jr. was not under Secret Service protection in June 2016,” according to the statement. “Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time.”

Although the president had Secret Service protection, the agency is not responsible for vetting people who meet with members of the campaign staff.

Other Stories of Interest