(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
At the beginning of the week Kim Jong-un canceled a meeting with the South Korean president and threatened to cancel his upcoming meeting with Trump. He also made clear that total de-nuclearization is not an option. Apparently the young despot was upset by John Bolton’s statement that the US would pursue the ‘Lybian model,’ which didn’t end too well for Gadaffi. Trying to salvage his photo-op with Kim Trump promised him ‘full protection,’ and it would not be the first time the US protected a bloodthirsty dictator, but Kim would be the first communist enjoying the privilege. In Israel Ivanka Trump, a mid-level White House staffer but America’s princess, opened the new US embassy in Jerusalem, while at the Gaza border the Israeli military killed 58 Palestinians whose protest was condemned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s peace-maker, in remarks that were left out of the official transcript. Meanwhile Trump was suddenly concerned about job losses in China, quite a departure from his campaign promises but understandable because of a $500 million Chinese investment in a Trump project in Indonesia. An upcoming Qatari investment in Kushner’s almost bankrupt 5th Avenue property can also be explained by changes in US foreign policy.
In Washington, DC, the Senate Intelligence Committee published its conclusion that Russia had interfered in the election on behalf of Trump, while the Senate Judiciary Committee released a trove of documents, showing that at the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower Don Jr. was very eager to get dirt from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. According to Rudy Giuliani, still Trump’s unpaid lawyer, this is no problem because ‘everybody does it.’ The quid pro quo didn’t work because the Russians had little to offer in return for the lifting of US sanctions, but Giuliani forgot that an attempt at collusion is also collusion. The documents also show that Don Jr. almost certainly lied about what Trump knew about the meeting, including telling the committee that he didn’t remember his father’s blocked phone number at the time. The Trump defense has now evolved from ‘didn’t do it’ to ‘cannot be indicted,’ an issue that legal scholars disagree on. At the US Treasury two Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding Michael Cohen’s slush fund account disappeared. They may have been removed by Robert Mueller, or by Steve Mnuchin on behalf of Cohen and Trump.
Concern over the disappearance of the SARs caused a whistleblower to make it public, and it turns out that an informant who contacted people in the Trump campaign with Russian contacts started the FBI investigation that got the code name ‘Crossfire Hurricane.’ The Trump camp suggests that an FBI mole spied on the campaign, but the extreme secrecy of this investigation contrasts starkly with the FBI’s revelations about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, which probably cost her the election, and almost suggests that the Deep State was on Trump’s side.
On his recent financial disclosure form Trump reported his reimbursement of the $130K Michael Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels one year too late, while his debt to Cohen, who very actively pursued the building of a Trump Tower in Moscow through the election, should have been reported as a liability one year earlier. These ‘omissions’ are felonies, and Michael Avenatti, Stormy’s lawyer, has already announced that two other women received even more generous settlements via Cohen.
But more than about Avenatti and Stormy Trump should be worried about Summer Zervos, a woman he once assaulted whose civil case will now go into the ‘discovery’ stage, meaning that she can depose Trump as well as videotapes from ‘The Apprentice’ showing more harassment. It may keep Melania in the hospital a bit longer.
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