FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiSaturday, March 4, 2017
ubochit@hotmail.de
Bonn, Germany

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PRESIDENT TRUMP: RUSSIA MIGHT BE HIS ACHILLES HEEL (3)

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Continued from Part 2

Ask no questions and you'll hear no lies (James Joyce)

The essence of a lie is the intention to deceive (M. Prideaux)

No one is above the law, not even the president. I believe perjury does meet at least the definition of high misdemeanor (Nancy Johnson)

There were contacts with Trump's aides. Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage (Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov)

The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide (Hannah Arendt)

agree with Wellins Calcott that all men must acknowledge lying to be one of the most scandalous sins, that can be committed between man and man; a crime of a deep dye, and of an extensive nature, leading into innumerable sins; for lying is practiced to deceive, to injure, betray, rob, destroy, and the like; lying in this sense is the concealing of all other crimes, the sheep's clothing upon the wolf's back, the Pharisee's prayer, the harlot's blush, the hypocrite's paint, and Judas's kiss; in a word, it is mankind's darling sin, and the Devil's distinguished characteristic.

I knew right from the start that Trump's campaign ties to Russia will be a huge scandal; and what we're hearing right now might be the tip of a colossal iceberg. This issue is not going away so soon, instead, it might snowball into something else, never envisaged or thought of, and where it might all end, I don't know.

President Trump and his cronies or surrogates are covering a lot of things, as far as their ties to Russia is concerning; they're deceiving Americans and the world about it. Almost every day, another member of Trump's administration or associate is found to have contacted Russia at one point or the other, through one form or another. The worst is that Trump and his cronies are lying about their lying, as almost all of them have previously denied having anything to do with Russia, only for them to be contradicted later.

Now, the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, on Thursday, March 2, recused himself from any investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. He held a press conference, the same day, and said: "I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in". AG Jeff Sessions is now under fire over his failure to disclose two meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States during last year's election campaign. The Bloomberg wrote that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the center of Washington's scandal-du-jour. The allegation: Sessions lied to Congress about contacts with Russia, which feeds into worries that the Trump campaign was somehow in bed with Vladimir Putin, and may even have had something to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

The Irony here is that Jeff Sessions has been a thorn in the Clintons' flesh all along, right from the time Bill Clinton was the president. For six times he talked about perjury, access and recusal, when it involved the Clintons (I will probably write more on this in the next part of this article).

Another new revelation is that President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, now a senior White House adviser; and his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, met with Russian Ambassador Sergev Kislyak at Trump Tower in December 2016. It was not clear what was discussed during the meeting between Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak.

This Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergev Kislyak, is now a fountain of trouble for Trump, and who knows where the damage will lead to. He brought down Mike Flynn, and may take down Jeff Sessions. These people did nothing wrong by interacting with the Russian ambassador, as law makers do meet with ambassadors from time to time. Even, it has also been revealed that this Russian ambassador met with seven Democratic senators in 2013, and reportedly was a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. But the problem here now is that Jeff Sessions or Michael Flynn or Jared Kushner all met with the ambassador, but didn't disclose it, even when asked about it.

Jeff session claimed, during his confirmation hearing, that he had no "communications" with Russian officials during his time as a Trump campaign surrogate. And that was a lie, because he met twice with the Russian ambassador. The meetings occurred when Sessions was a senator and senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee, as well as one of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's top foreign policy advisers. Some Jeff Sessions' critics, according to Fox News, portrayed meetings with Kislyak, whose country was accused of meddling in the 2016 campaign, as a rare summit, particularly for a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee like Sessions.

Nearly all of the contacts that have emerged so far were with Kislyak, the affable Russian ambassador in Washington who is known as a consummate networker, according to the Washington Post. It wrote that the Moscow's man in Washington is at the center of the political moment. Kislyak appears to have worked to cultivate a relationship with the Trump campaign, starting his outreach even before Trump was thought likely to win the GOP nomination.

In April 2016, Kislyak popped up at the Mayflower Hotel, where he was seated in the front row at one of Trump's first major foreign policy addresses. During the speech, Trump offered a forceful promise that he would seek better relations with Russia. Trump said there (in the presence of Kislyak): "I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia - from a position of strength only - is possible, absolutely possible".

Kislyak was also in attendance at the Republican National Convention, where he briefly met Sessions after a July 18 Heritage Foundation event attended by dozens of diplomats. Two days later, Kislyak met with Trump advisers, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, after a convention-related Global Partners in Diplomacy event at Case Western Reserve University.

Take a look at the so far revealed ties between Trump associates and Russia. Apart from Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Jared Kushner; Michael Flynn; Paul Manafort (Trump's former campaign chairman who resigned in August after his firm's covert lobbying efforts on behalf of the former pro-Russian ruling political party in the Ukraine was disclosed); Donald Trump Jr.; Rex Tillerson, secretary of state; Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce; Roger Stone, Trump's longtime adviser; Carter Page, Trump's former adviser; J.D. Gordon, Trump's former adviser; etc

The Trump Organization also has ties to Russia, as the AP tells us that the former NSA, Michael Flynn, received a Ukrainian peace plan involving the Russian Crimea dispute, right before he resigned. That plan was cobbled together by pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker, Andrii Artemenko, and two men with ties to Trump's namesake company - longtime Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, and former Trump Organization business adviser, Felix Sater, who confirmed the arrangement to The Associated Press. Sater, a Russian-born former Mafia informant, was named by Trump, as an adviser to the Trump Organization as recently as 2010, even though Sater had been convicted in a major stock-fraud scheme.

President Trump still denies having anything to do with Russia, but he might not be saying the truth. The AP wrote that Trump has been trailed for months by questions about potential ties to Russia. He has vigorously denied being aware of any contacts his associates had with Russia during the campaign, and has also insisted he has no financial ties to Russia. I hope he will not end up as Jeff Sessions or his other surrogates, who denied having anything to do with Russia, only to be contradicted later with overwhelming evidence to that effect. Trump said during the election he did not have any deals in Russia, but he held the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. Trump has been contradictory when describing his personal relationship with President Vladimir Putin, insisting during the campaign he had "no relationship with" the Russian leader and no recollection of ever meeting him. But several times in prior years, he has said the opposite. Trump has had conversations with Putin since the election, speaking to Putin shortly after he won the presidency, and again eight days after he took office.

Instead of condemning Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, he attacks the intelligence community for revealing his campaign ties to Russia. On this point, the WP wrote that during the campaign, rather than condemning the possible intervention in the election by a foreign power, Trump playfully called on the Russians to hack Clinton's private server and locate emails she had deleted. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he announced at a July 27 news conference".

Now, it has also been revealed that Trump's first son, Donald Trump Jr., must have mingled with Russian allies on Syria. Before taking on this point, remember that Trump Jr., in 2008, told a real estate conference that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets" and that "we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia". To the latest on this young man: The Wall Street Journal, on March 2, wrote that President Donald Trump's eldest son, who serves as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, a real-estate company founded by his father, and was a top official in his father's campaign, was likely paid at least $50,000 for an appearance, late last year, before a French think tank, whose founder and his wife are allies of the Russian government, in efforts to end the war in Syria. Donald Trump Jr. addressed the dinner on Oct. 11 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, hosted by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs. Its president, Fabien Baussart, and his Syrian-born wife, Randa Kassis, have cooperated with Russia in its drive to end the Syrian civil war, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

In December 2016, this Mr. Baussart, who met with Trump's son, formally nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mrs. Kassis is a leader of a political faction endorsed by Russia in negotiations to end the war in Syria. The meeting in October represents one in a string of contacts over the past year between members of the president's inner circle and individuals connected to Moscow and to Russian interests.

The existence of a financial connection between the younger Trump and an entity associated with the Kremlin would likely add to questions involving Mr. Trump's administration and Russia, following a campaign in which he was loath to criticize Russia's leader and repeatedly called for better ties to Moscow.

The younger Mr. Trump's appearance and his work as a paid public speaker also are likely to raise questions about possible efforts by outside parties to gain influence with the Trump family. Former Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, drew criticism for speakers fees and contributions involving her family's charitable foundation, a practice President Donald Trump criticized during his campaign as a "pay to play" scheme. Now that it has been revealed that his own son engaged in it also, what will he say about it?

To be continued!

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd6YWKB6Wio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m82jbnR0Vg8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p18GMAw5RMQ

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

Continued from Part 2

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