Trump – Russia Collusion: Waiting for Special Counsel Mueller Report

the Times, the Post, and The Wall Street Journal already have stories, B-roll, interactives, and graphics “in the oven”; news trucks have been camped outside the Justice Department; the home of William Barr, the attorney general; and other places.
According to Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo, the Times, the Post, and The Wall Street Journal already have stories, B-roll, interactives, and graphics “in the oven”; news trucks have been camped outside the Justice Department; the home of William Barr, the attorney general; and other places. Yesterday, photographers snapped pictures of Mueller driving to his office.

The Times, the Post, and The Wall Street Journal already have stories, B-roll, interactives, and graphics “in the oven”; news trucks have been camped outside the Justice Department; the home of William Barr, the attorney general …


By Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review|The Mueller report is coming. Maybe.

Last night, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC were abuzz with speculation that the special counsel has all but wrapped his findings and is getting ready to deliver them to the Justice Department. Across the networks, the words “any time now” did a lotof workOn Anderson Cooper’s show, John Dean—the White House counsel who turned on Nixon during Watergate and has, consequently, seen this all before—said that he doesn’t think Mueller is done yet; the White House, Dean speculated, could have started the rumor that the report is imminent to make the process look drawn out. In the studio, Shimon Prokupecz, CNN’s crime and justice reporter, disagreed. “I don’t think we would be told a report is coming any day now if there were other indictments,” he said. Who was right? Who knows?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard, on several occasions, that the Mueller report was about to drop. In its continued absence, reporters on the Mueller beat have been busy interpreting signs. Andrew Weissman, a top prosecutor for Mueller, is stepping down. What does that mean? Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who was stepping down, is now staying a bit longer. What does that mean? Staff are carrying boxes out of the special counsel’s office. Yesterday’s speculation felt particularly feverish. But it’s hard to tell, at least from the outside, whether that reflects a change in reality or the bored angst of journalists.

Triangulating clues seems necessary because Mueller’s investigation is “hermetically sealed,” as The New YorkTimes put it. His office has been remarkably impervious to leaks; when he communicates, it’s almost always through court documents. In recent weeks, the most useful journalism has stuck to what we know for sure: The Washington Post and the Times, for instance, produced graphics linking important figures to key events. Last month, Chad Day and Eric Tucker of the Associated Press explained that we already know a great deal about Mueller’s findings; his collected court filings, they wrote, are a report hiding in plain sight. Yesterday, Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent at ABC News, struck a similar note, pointing to a “potential road map” in the form of a letter that Rosenstein sent to the Senate last year. “The bottom line,” Karl said, “do not expect a harsh condemnation of President Donald Trump or any of his associates if they have not been charged with crimes.”

Still, major news outlets are ready to move. According to Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo, the Times, the Post, and The Wall Street Journal already have stories, B-roll, interactives, and graphics “in the oven”; news trucks have been camped outside the Justice Department; the home of William Barr, the attorney general; and other places. Yesterday, photographers snapped pictures of Mueller driving to his office.

Whatever happens next, and whenever it happens, the clearest truth we have is that the report will not be the end of the Mueller story. Since 2017—when the investigation was authorized, to determine whether Russia interfered in the election of Donald Trump to the presidency—it’s been talked about in dramatic terms: as an epic mystery leading up to a big final reveal. But that’s never been realistic. As Jeffrey Toobin wrote last month for The New Yorker, Watergate “was like Shakespeare—a drama that built to a satisfying climax,” but Mueller “is more like Beckett—a mystifying tragicomedy that may drift into irresolution.” It’s a compelling analogy. Then again, who knows? A Hollywood ending could come today.

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'I gave the Prime Minister my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn't listen': Trump taunts Theresa May over Brexit just hours before crucial Commons vote - and says he's 'surprised to see how badly it's all gone'

US President Donald Trump says Brexit is ‘tearing a country apart’

Mr Trump waded into the Brexit debate to attack Theresa May's handling of the UK's departure from the EU as he met with Irish premier Leo Varadkar at the White House today
Mr Trump waded into the Brexit debate to attack Theresa May’s handling of the UK’s departure from the EU as he met with Irish premier Leo Varadkar at the White House today

‘I gave the Prime Minister my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen’: Trump taunts Theresa May over Brexit just hours before crucial Commons vote – and says he’s ‘surprised to see how badly it’s all gone’

AIWA! NO!Donald Trump says he is against a second Brexit referendum, but he’s surprised at how difficult delivering Brexit has been.

US President Donald Trump has delivered his verdict on the way Brexit is going.

He opposed a second Brexit referendum – saying it would “unfair”.

He said Brexit was a “complex” issue, but said he was “surprised” by how bad Brexit negotiations have gone.

“I’m surprised at how badly it has all gone from a standpoint of negotiations but I gave the Prime Minister (Theresa May) my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen to that and that’s fine but it could have been negotiated in a different manner.

President Donald Trump

And the US President suggested that the UK might have been better off taking his advice, as he said Prime Minister Theresa May “did not listen” to his suggestions on how to negotiate Brexit.

Mr Trump was speaking in the Oval Office after greeting Irish premier Leo Varadkar.

He said: “It’s a very complex thing right now, it’s tearing a country apart, it’s actually tearing a lot of countries apart and it’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane.”

“The EU has been very tough to deal with and frankly it’s been very one-sided for many years so we are changing that around.”

Asked if he thinks the Brexit deadline should be extended, Mr Trump said: “I think they are probably going to have to do something because right now they are in the midst of a very short period of time, at the end of the month and they are not going to be able to do that.

“We can do a very big trade deal with the UK. we are also re-negotiating our trade deal with the European groups and literally individual nations.” 

On Sunday, Axios reported that Trump had tried to save face by telling Republican donors that he’d actually quickly said “Tim Cook Apple,” but that his soft “Cook” got lost in the audio—a thing that totally happens. “Even Trump’s own donors, who had to donate at least six figures to get into this event where he told this lie, knew the story was nuts,” Colbert said. “One of these donors told reporters, ‘I just thought, why would you lie about that. . . . It doesn’t even matter!’”

Stephen Colbert Takes a Ruthless Bite Out of Trump’s “F—ing Insane” Apple Gaffe

“Yes,” Colbert added, mocking a rich donor’s voice. “I was there at the donor event and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘This man will lie about literally anything; hand me my chequebook Trump 2020!’” – VANITY FAIR

Donald Trump has been on another P.R. tear this week, following a certain gaffe involving Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook. During a White House event, Trump mistakenly referred to Cook as “Tim Apple”—a simple slip of the tongue, the type of mistake all of us make sometimes. Of course, rather than admitting to that, the president has fabricated multiple stories to explain the mistake away—claims including that he actually said “Tim Cook Apple,” and that he deliberately omitted “Cook” in order to save time. But as Stephen Colbert put it during Monday’s Late Show, “Mr. President, words don’t just disappear from the middle of sentences. Unless it’s CBS bleeping me when I say, ‘Excuses like this are fucking insane.’”

On Sunday, Axios reported that Trump had tried to save face by telling Republican donors that he’d actually quickly said “Tim Cook Apple,” but that his soft “Cook” got lost in the audio—a thing that totally happens. “Even Trump’s own donors, who had to donate at least six figures to get into this event where he told this lie, knew the story was nuts,” Colbert said. “One of these donors told reporters, ‘I just thought, why would you lie about that. . . . It doesn’t even matter!’”

“Yes,” Colbert added, mocking a rich donor’s voice. “I was there at the donor event and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘This man will lie about literally anything; hand me my chequebook. Trump 2020!’”

And as for Trump’s second story? On Monday, the president tweeted, “At a recent round table meeting of business executives, & long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words. The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!”

“You know, on their deathbed, I think everyone says the same thing,” Colbert quipped. “I have only one regret—that I wasted so much of my life on saying last names instead of occupations. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, little Johnny Paper Route!”

On Late Night, Seth Meyers agreed that this whole ordeal has to be “one of the dumbest things Trump has ever lied about.”

“A normal person would have just let it go, written it off as a slip of the tongue, and moved on,” Meyers said. “But Donald Trump is not a normal person.”

And Meyers has some issues of his own with Trump’s shifting excuses. For one thing, the comedian noted, “Tim Cook Apple” doesn’t actually make more sense than “Tim Apple.” As Meyers put it, “Tim Cook Apple sounds like how Tarzan would describe someone making a pie.” If you’re going to lie, Meyers suggested, at least make sure the lie improves everyone’s perception of the situation. Trump’s maneuver, Meyers said, was basically the equivalent of telling a cop, “‘Officer, I have not been drinking, because I was doing too much cocaine!’”

At the end of the day, “Trump lies for the same reason Forrest Gump runs: he just does,” Meyers said. “Only Trump could claim that he was trying to save time and words by writing a long tweet that takes up time and words. You know, if you really want to save time and words, you could just not talk at all; do all your campaign rallies with duct tape over your mouth.”

'A city of shadows': fear as Venezuela's crippling blackout enters day four

Washington: Military moves against Maduro in Venezuela

Wall Street Journal
Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, waving to supporters in Caracas
Wall Street JournalVenezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, waving to supporters in Caracas

US pulls all staff from Venezuela as Maduro blames blackout on ‘demonic’ Trump plot

SANAA, (AIWA! NO!) – The White House national security adviser John Bolton said in a television interview yesterday night that Venezuelan military soldiers are communicating with members of parliament on how to support the opposition.

“There is a lot of talk going on between members of the Venezuelan parliament and military elements in Venezuela about what can happen and how they can move to support the opposition,” Bolton said in an interview with ABC television.

Bolton’s announcement follows the rally of thousands of Brazilians in Caracas in demonstrations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and a major power cut that has plunged Caracas and most of the country’s cities into darkness for four days.

Meanwhile, supporters of Maduro took part in demonstrations in support of the president, who accused “imperialism” of causing his country’s crises.

Maduro had said the power failure was caused by an “electronic attack” on the electronic monitoring system at Gori Electric Station, which supplies Venezuela with 80 percent of electricity.

Venezuela crisis: Putin's new Cold War on America's doorstep?

Venezuela opposition leader says Maduro government is threatening Germany

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido talks to the media after a session of Venezuela's National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela March 6, 2019.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido talks to the media after a session of Venezuela’s National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela March 6, 2019. (Reuters)

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview that the expulsion of the German ambassador by Caracas was a threat against Germany, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called on Europe to intensify financial sanctions against the government, a day after Caracas expelled the German ambassador for ‘interference’ – AIWA! NO!

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview that the expulsion of the German ambassador by Caracas was a threat against Germany, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

“This action represents a threat against Germany,” Guaido was quoted as saying on Thursday.

German ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home Guaido at Caracas airport.

Wednesday, March 6

US to revoke more visas of Venezuelans

Vice President Mike Pence said the US will revoke more visas from prominent Venezuelans as it seeks to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to give up power.

Pence told the Latino Coalition that the US will revoke 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or their relatives.

He said, “The time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba.”

Venezuela expels German ambassador for meddling, detains American journalist

Venezuela’s government expelled the German ambassador while press advocacy groups said an American journalist had been detained.

Ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Caracas airport. 

The government declared Kriener persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country, accusing him of meddling in internal affairs, although it did not give specific details.

Addressing the National Assembly, Guaido said Maduro’s government is the “persona non grata” in Venezuela.

Separately, Venezuela’s National Press Workers Union said on Twitter that American journalist Cody Weddle was arrested at his home on Wednesday by military counterintelligence agents. Espacio Publico, a free speech group, said he had been accused of treachery and that the agents took his computer and equipment.

US to punish foreign entities funding Maduro

The United States will impose sanctions on foreign institutions helping to finance President Maduro, the White House said on Wednesday.

The measure was announced by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton.

“The United States is putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network,” Bolton said in a statement.

Venezuela crisis worsened by sanctions, UN says
Sanctions have worsened Venezuela’s crippling economic and political crisis, the UN human rights chief said.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said sanctions had exacerbated the crisis but also slammed Maduro’s “violations of civil and political rights” in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Venezuela clearly illustrates the way violations of civil and political rights – including failure to uphold fundamental freedoms, and the independence of key institutions – can accentuate a decline of economic and social rights,” said former Chile president Bachelet. 

Tuesday, March 5

Maduro says he will defeat opposition

Maduro said he would defeat a “crazed minority” determined to destabilise the country in his first public comments since opposition leader Guaido defied him by returning home on Monday.

Maduro, during a ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Hugo Chavez, called on supporters to attend “anti-imperialist” demonstrations on March 9, coinciding with an opposition march announced by Guaido.

Guaido vows to paralyse public sector to squeeze Maduro

Guaido held talks with Venezuela’s public sector unions on Tuesday about staging strikes to help bring down the government.

The strikes would ratchet up pressure on a weakened Maduro by giving several million state employees, a traditional bastion of government support, a chance to demonstrate their frustration with an administration that has overseen Venezuela’s deepest ever economic crisis.

The opposition is also seeking to capitalise on momentum spurred by Guaido’s triumphant return to Venezuela on Monday to press for an end to Maduro’s rule.

Monday, March 4

Guaido returns home, calls for fresh protests

Guaido defied the threat of arrest to return home on Monday, arriving at Caracas international airport where he was met by cheering supporters, television footage showed.

Flag-waving Venezuelans turned out to await the return of opposition leader who embarks on a renewed push against embattled President Maduro.

“We know the risks we face, that’s never stopped us. The regime, the dictatorship must understand,” Guaido told a delirious crowd.

“We’re stronger than ever, let’s carry on in the streets, mobilised,” he said.

Guaido called on people to flood the streets of cities across the country on Saturday [March 9] to protest Maduro’s hold on power.

The Intel Doge@IntelDoge

Video from the moment Guaidó arrives in Venezuela, crowd cheering him along. 464:36 PM – Mar 4, 201935 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Earlier, in a video shared on social networks, Guaido warned that if Maduro’s government “tries to kidnap us … it will be one of the last mistakes it makes.”

The self-declared acting president added on Twitter that should he be detained, he has left “clear instructions to our international allies and parliamentary brothers.”

Also on Monday, US warned of “swift response” to any “threats” against Guaido.

Sunday, March 3

‘Mobilise all over the country’ – Guaido

Venezuela’s opposition leader called for mass protests across the country on Monday as he announced his return to the country after a week touring Latin American allies.

“I’m announcing my return to the country. I am calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilise all over the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (1500 GMT),” Guaido said on Twitter.

Guaido, who has been recognised by more than 50 countries as interim president, gave no details of when or how he would return, however.

Russia vows to prevent US military intervention 

Russia will do all possible to prevent a US military intervention in Venezuela, the TASS news agency quoted the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament as saying on Sunday.

“We are very much concerned that the USA could carry out any provocations to shed blood, to find a cause and reasons for an intervention in Venezuela,” Valentina Matvienko told Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow. 

“But we will do all in order not to allow this,” said Matvienko, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

Saturday, March 2

Guaido to return home after Ecuador visit

Guaido said he would return to Venezuela from Ecuador, where he was meeting with President Lenin Moreno during a tour of Latin American nations to muster support. 

Guaido told reporters that he was calling for new protests on Monday and Tuesday in Venezuela. He did not say when or how he planned to return.

Venezuela’s education system crumbles

Venezuela’s economic crisis has impacted the entire economy, particularly health and education. 

Many schools across the country don’t have food or running water. And with low salaries, it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep teachers employed.