Amid Description of Kushner’s Shadow Foreign Policy, Tillerson Counters a Jared Claim to Mueller about Kirill Dmitriev’s Plan

When the FBI interviewed Mike Flynn on January 24, 2017, he offered a lame excuse for why he and other Transition officials (notably including Jared Kushner) were hiding their meetings with foreign leaders.

FLYNN explained that other meetings between the TRUMP team and various foreign countries took place prior to the inauguration, and were sensitive inasmuch as many other countries did not want the then-current administration to know about them.

In reality, the Trump Transition had provided Obama’s team reassurances they would not try to undermine Obama’s policies, but were doing so secretly.

But it wasn’t just the Obama Administration that Kushner was hiding his actions from. In a May interview with the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rex Tillerson revealed this continued to happen. He provided an example where he caught Mexico’s Foreign Minister meeting with Jared “and I don’t remember who else was at the table” without his knowledge.

Q And we’ve had concerning reports lately that Mr. Kushner has traveled to the Middle East with virtually no assistance or input of his ability from the embassy. Was that something that you experienced? You know, obviously you said that there was this exchange about a broader framework that he had worked on to develop and inform the Saudi-U.S. relationship.

Did you ever experience anything of the nature of this trip I just mentioned where diplomatic engagement occurred, whether or not it was related to that framework, but it was outside the scope of your knowledge or didn’t involve preparation by the State Department?

A Yes.

Q Could you say a little more about that?

A In Saudi Arabia particularly?

Q Or other examples that I think are similar in nature.

A Yeah. There were — on occasion the President’s senior adviser would make trips abroad and usually, you know, kind of was in charge of his own agenda.

Sr. Democratic Counsel. And just to clarify, you mean Mr. Kushner?

Mr. Tillerson. Yes. Yeah. Yes. And typically not a lot of coordination with the embassy.

Sr. Democratic Staff. Did you ever raise this phenomenon with Mr. Kushner or —

Mr. Tillerson. I did.

BY SR. DEMOCRATIC COUNSEL: Q What were those conversations like?

A He said he would try to do better.

Q Did he?

A Not much changed.

Q How did that impact your job?

A Well, I think — you know, I alluded earlier to the fact that it’s always challenging if everyone isn’t kind of working from the same playbook. And certainly there — and let me be clear — there are occasions, and it’s certainly the President’s prerogative, to have individuals undertake special assignments in a very compartmentalized way. Not using — I’m trying not to use the word “compartmentalize” relative to —

Q Not a term of art.

A Right. But in a way that, for whatever reasons, they prefer to have it carried out by an individual that way, and it’s the President’s prerogative to do that. But it — yeah, it presents special challenges to everyone if others who are trying to effect foreign policy with a country and move the agenda forward are not fully aware of other conversations that are going on that might be causing your counterparty in that country to take certain actions or behave a certain way and you’re not clear as to why, why did they do that.

Q Did you ever find yourself in one of those situations where Mr. Kushner had had a meeting or had a conversation that you weren’t aware of and it caught you off guard?

A Yes.

Q Could you be specific about that?

A Well, I’ll give you just one example and then maybe we can —

Q Yes, sir.

A — leave it at the one example. But Mexico was a situation that that occurred on a number of occasions. And I mention this one because I think it was — some of the elements of it were reported publicly that the Foreign Secretary of Mexico was engaged with Mr. Kushner on a fairly — unbeknownst to me — a fairly comprehensive plan of action.

And the Foreign Secretary came to town — unbeknownst to me — and I happened to be having a business dinner at a restaurant in town. And the owner of the restaurant, proprietor of the restaurant came around and said: Oh, Mr. Secretary, you might be interested to know the Foreign Secretary of Mexico is seated at a table near the back and in case you want to go by and say hello to him. Very innocent on his part.

And so I did. I walked back. And Mr. Kushner, and I don’t remember who else was at the table, and the Foreign Secretary were at the table having dinner. And I could see the color go out of the face of the Foreign Secretary of Mexico as I very — I smiled big, and I said: Welcome to Washington. And I said: I don’t want to interrupt what y’all are doing. I said: Give me a call next time you’re coming to town. And I left it at that.

As it turned out later, the Foreign Secretary was operating on the assumption that everything he was talking to Mr. Kushner about had been run through the State Department and that I was fully on board with it. And he was rather shocked to find out that when he started telling me all these things that were news to me, I told him this is the first time I’m hearing of it. And I don’t know that any of those things were discussing ultimately happened because there was a change of government in Mexico as well.

Earlier in the interview, staffers told Tillerson (for the first time!) that Kushner and Steve Bannon got advance notice of the Gulf blockade of Qatar, which pissed Tillerson off.

Q A couple of weeks later on May 20th, 2017, you were in Riyadh with the President in advance of the Middle East summit. And you again gave public remarks with the Saudi Foreign Minister. This is the night before the President’s speech. Did he say anything to you or did anyone else say anything to you on that same topic, regional tensions, something might be changing?

A No.

Q So that same night as we understand it, so on or about May 20th, 2017, there was apparently a private dinner that was hosted between Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and UAE, respectively. Were you aware of that dinner?

A No.

Q We understand that as part of that dinner the leaders of Saudi and UAE did lay out for Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bannon their plans for the blockade. That wasn’t something that you had heard previously?

A No.

Q And to clarify, sir, not prior to when I just said it? A Correct.

Q Okay. What’s your reaction to a meeting of that sort having taken place without your knowledge?

A You mean now?

Q Yes. A Today?

Q Well —

A It makes me angry.

Q Why is that?

A Because I didn’t have a say. The State Department’s views were never expressed.

In any case, the revelation that Jared continued to conduct shadow foreign policy even after his father-in-law took over — and the fact that his so-called “peace” “process” in Palestine has been shown instead to be a hedge fund driven excuse to turn apartheid into a profit center (See these threads on just how bad it is: one, two, three) — I’d like to point to a more subtle detail in Tillerson’s interview. He claims that — contrary to what Jared told Mueller — the President’s son-in-law did not share a plan from Kirill Dmitriev with him.

Either during the transition or early in your tenure as Secretary, did anyone ever pass you a plan or sort of a roadmap regarding policy changes in the US Russia relationship?

A Not that I can recall.

Q And as you’ll note, sir, I believe one of those was mentioned in the Mueller report and it was stated that that had gone from a Mr. Kirill Dmitriev to Mr. Kushner who I believe was said that that was passed to you. Do you have any recollection of that?

A I don’t recall ever receiving any such report as described in the Mueller report or any other.

Q Okay. And no other sort of here’s what we should do on Russia proposals from anyone else?

A No.

Q Nothing from the Trump family, the organization?

A No.

As you’ll recall, Kirill Dmitriev, whom Putin tasked to reach out to the new Administration, got to Jared via one of his hedgie friends, Rick Gerson and via George Nader. Between the three of them, they had a role in setting the agenda for the January 28 phone call between Putin and Trump (Tillerson, who was not confirmed yet, did not sit in on that meeting).  That plan included “win-win investment initiatives.” According to the Mueller Report, Jared claimed he had given that report to Bannon (who was in the meeting) and Tillerson, but neither followed up on it.

Dmitriev told Gerson that he had been tasked by Putin to develop and execute a reconciliation plan between the United States and Russia. He noted in a text message to Gerson that if Russia was “approached with respect and willingness to understand our position, we can have Major Breakthroughs quickly.”1105 Gerson and Dmitriev exchanged ideas in December 2016 about what such a reconciliation plan would include. 1106 Gerson told the Office that the Transition Team had not asked him to engage in these discussions with Dmitriev, and that he did so on his own initiative and as a private citizen.1107


On January 16, 2017, Dmitriev consolidated the ideas for U.S.-Russia reconciliation that he and Gerson had been discussing into a two-page document that listed five main points: (1) jointly fighting terrorism; (2) jointly engaging in anti-weapons of mass destruction efforts; (3) developing “win-win” economic and investment initiatives; (4) maintaining an honest, open, and continual dialogue regarding issues of disagreement; and (5) ensuring proper communication and trust by “key people” from each country. 1111 On January 18, 2017, Gerson gave a copy of the document to Kushner. 1112 Kushner had not heard of Dmitriev at that time. 1113 Gerson explained that Dmitriev was the head of RDIF, and Gerson may have alluded to Dmitriev’s being well connected. 1114 Kushner placed the document in a file and said he would get it to the right people. 1115 Kushner ultimately gave one copy of the document to Bannon and another to Rex Tillerson; according to Kushner, neither of them followed up with Kushner about it. 1116 On January 19, 2017, Dmitriev sent Nader a copy of the two-page document, telling him that this was “a view from our side that I discussed in my meeting on the islands and with you and with our friends. Please share with them – we believe this is a good foundation to start from.” 1117

Gerson informed Dmitriev that he had given the document to Kushner soon after delivering it. 1118 On January 26, 2017, Dmitriev wrote to Gerson that his “boss”-an apparent reference to Putin-was asking if there had been any feedback on the proposal. 1119 Dmitriev said, ” [w]e do not want to rush things and move at a comfortable speed. At the same time, my boss asked me to try to have the key US meetings in the next two weeks if possible.”1120 He informed Gerson that Putin and President Trump would speak by phone that Saturday, and noted that that information was “very confidential.”1121

The same day, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that he had seen his “boss” again yesterday who had “emphasized that this is a great priority for us and that we need to build this communication channel to avoid bureaucracy.” 1122 On January 28, 2017, Dmitriev texted Nader that he wanted “to see if I can confirm to my boss that your friends may use some of the ideas from the 2 pager I sent you in the telephone call that will happen at 12 EST,”1123 an apparent reference to the call scheduled between President Trump and Putin. Nader replied, “Definitely paper was so submitted to Team by Rick and me. They took it seriously!”1124 After the call between President Trump and Putin occurred, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that “the call went very well. My boss wants me to continue making some public statements that us [sic] Russia cooperation is good and important.” 1125 Gerson also wrote to Dmitriev to say that the call had gone well, and Dmitriev replied that the document they had drafted together “played an important role.” 1126

1116 Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 32.

The claim that Kushner handed over the document is sourced solely to him (Steve Bannon did testify after Kushner made this claim; it’s not clear if Tillerson ever did).

It may or may not be a big deal that Tillerson doesn’t agree with Kushner’s claim. Tillerson claims to have forgotten a lot about what happened while he was at State, so it’s possible he just forgot. But given that Kushner repeatedly kept Tillerson out of the loop, it’s certainly possible that he did so with this plan, as well.

Which would raise interesting questions if he actually made up his claim that he had kept Tillerson in the loop on this plan.

67 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump hid his transition team’s meetings with foreign government representatives because “those foreign governments” did not want the current American government to know they were taking place.

    So Trump knew what he was doing was wrong, possibly unlawful, and almost certainly for personal gain. But he thought he was being smart. That would describe Trump’s whole career.

  2. AitchD says:

    Trump picked Tillerson because he wanted Tillerson to get him into Augusta National as a member. Maybe I’m mistaken.

    • P J Evans says:

      He may also have thought that Tillerson would leverage his business contacts with Russia for Tr*mp’s benefit.

      • MattyG says:

        Regardless of Tillerson’s motivations or second thoughts about DT, Tillerson was awarded Russia’s “Order Of Friendship” medal so he’s no naif. Any way you cut it DTs regime was and is still swimming in Russians and Russian connected figures. Unprecedented and completely unreal until and unless you accept the the premise of a basic Putin/DT working relationship. And that’s even more unreal.

        • Americana says:

          Erik Prince’s Seychelles Islands meetings are key to several aspects of Donald Trump’s global plans for American diplomacy. But the secretive nature of DT’s plans is terrifying in their ramifications especially given Trump’s ramping up of his statements about Russian-American reconciliation and cooperation and his attempts to achieve same @ Helsinki. It’s very clear Trump expects to personally gain if he’s able to achieve certain things for Putin viz the United States.

  3. CD54 says:

    re: As you’ll recall, Kirill Dmitriev, whom Putin tasked to reach out to the new Administration, “got to Jared via one of his hedgie friends, Rick Gerson and via George Nader.”

    I guess FARA is just for you peasants.

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    This makes it obvious that the “family” did not consider Tillerson a “stand-up guy”.

    • Vicks says:

      And perhaps a little more insight into why Jarrod couldn’t get a security clearance without an intervention by DJT

      • klynn says:

        Would like to know more about his failed security clearance. His paternal grandparents, born in Poland, lived at least 5 years in the USSR before coming to the US. Wonder if there are still friends there?

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Everything about Kushner’s “foreign policy” screams patsy. Also desperate, guilty, and self-serving.

    Like Trump, it’s an exercise in getting rich off the people’s dime and avoiding criminal liability while doing it. Pretty much the way they run their property empires.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Chuck the Todd is convinced that the Dems are already “too far left.” That’s without a real frontrunner – there won’t be one for several months – or a policy platform. Which means he’s making shit up.

    If Todd’s point of comparison is the Republican Party, he should recalibrate. The GOP is farther to the right than any of its GOP predecessors. It is farther to the right than the fringe parties in Europe that once defined “too far right.”

    The Dems, in fact, are in the middle of the American stream. They are advocating the policies that it needs and wants. It is the GOP and the MSM that are far right.

    • P J Evans says:

      The media “centrists” are out proclaiming their version of who won the debates, and you have to wonder what debates they were watching. (Plus the trolls pushing Gabbard.)
      sample from SFGate: “Marianne Williamson barely spoke during debate but ruled…”

      • AitchD says:

        I was very impressed with Gabbard’s snark when she invoked Groucho and sideways told her debater on her left, “The Taliban has been [in Afghanistan] long before we got there, and they’ll be there long before we leave”.

        (Kamala said ‘flout’ about Trump’s bragging when she means ‘flaunt’; understandable from a prosecutor who’s said ‘flout’ a thousand times. Klobuchar said ‘Eye-ran’ for Iran; so what?

      • Eureka says:

        Related to your last point, I _am_ enjoying the recent uptick in calling “woo” by its name. The “woo” label, when dusted into conversation like a gentle ‘shazam,’ has a reciprocal, mysterious power to spur at least some parents to follow CDC guidelines instead of gurus.

        And lots of the MSNBC chyrons and other framings were trash this evening, even during Melber. Had to change over to baseball anyway before someone stir-fries that bamboo plant that’s bolstering the Phils (sports being the most appropriate place for a layer of woo here and there).

        As to trolls, Caroline Orr caught this concerted effort against Harris with screenshots (nothing to do with her record, but re her ‘real’ blackness a la IRA ops):

        • P J Evans says:

          I guess they’ve never read anything on Caribbean history. Or even any of the fiction that involves it. All those blacks in Haiti and Jamaica? Their ancestors were slaves from Africa, as well as the few surviving natives on those islands. Most of the other islands, too. It’s also possible some of their ancestors were slaves in North America.

          • Eureka says:

            Troll-influence ops never let a burr like truth get in the way of anything. And that’s even if one wanted to accept their BS frame, since people get treated by their appearances (as opposed to spot-genealogical investigations).

            Also it gets worse, as in the interim I saw a bunch of tweets at the intersection of RU-domestic ops, whereby ‘identified as black’ tweeter claimed that _Williamson_ (conveniently) had the only agenda that addressed them (via reparations) (about those facts…). This is going to be a very long election season.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Pretty much. Brazilian mines and Caribbean plantations were the destination of the vast majority of Africans shipped over as slaves to the “New World.” Only a small fraction of them were sent to North America.

        • harpie says:

          DJTrumpJr retweeted, then deleted the original smear tweet…screenshot of it here:

          8:27 PM – 28 Jun 2019

          This racist troll smear was retweeted by @DonaldJTrumpJr before he decided to delete it without acknowledgement.

          BuzzFeed has a story about this, linked here:

          Just as Obama’s U.S. citizenship became a conspiracy theory, Kamala Harris has also been targeted with disinformation questioning her race and legitimacy as a U.S. citizen — falsehoods long simmering in fringe conspiracy and neo-Nazi circles. [BuzzFeed]

          • Eureka says:

            Thanks, harpie– these are essential parts of the story of Ratfuck 2020.

            Adding both a minor and major big-picture detail (to general convo in thread): I also saw a *top*-dollar troll engaging on this (stupid ‘arguments:’ upon having to acknowledge facts such as those PJ had pointed out, ‘she’ went on to explain how specifically American suffering was *different,* blah blah (all the while giving signs which belied ‘her’ American-ness, as trolls do). We’ll see how this evolves.

            But more importantly, it seems like MSNBC is mimicking in their coverage what is ‘popular’ on social media, at least in terms of the people they feature. For example, they today at 346pm teased a segment, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” re the debates, with pix of Harris, Biden, and Williamson. The segment mostly featured those three; did include a couple of others. Had a disproportionate bunch on Williamson, including positive coverage and something on her officiating Liz Taylor/Larry Fortensky wedding.

            It’s like they are letting social media drive their coverage, which would be a fatal-to-our-democracy mistake. Even if the topical content isn’t the same as on SM, *they are amplifying this triangulation by recapitulating it.*

            Get a grip, MSM– this ain’t the first rodeo.

    • BobCon says:

      Chris Christie of all people was raging against Todd on Stephen Colbert’s show, calling him a pretentious ass.

      Colbert also struck at Todd, suggesting that a good response to his stupid call for a one word answer was “‘Bite me, Chuck’ Oh … that’s three.”

      NBC execs have a problem with Todd, but I’m sure they lack the insight to realize it. He’s a deeply shallow man. He’d probably be fine as a guy with an ear piece relaying questions from the broadcast booth, but NBC lacks anyone in the booth to know what is happening in the world at large to talk into Todd’s ear. They’re still stuck thinking about the world and the media like it’s 1988.

        • Reader21 says:

          It should rightly be dubbed “Chucksiderism”—wherein even the mildest criticism of any republican swiftly gets banned into a whataboutism Dem-slam.

    • Tom S. says:

      earlofhuntingdon says: at 6:05 pm:
      Okay, nothing has changed in 100 years, why would it, if the goal and game remain the same,
      maxinmize profit, protect profit as “profit” socialize the losses, especially the substantial losses.
      A report on Boeing claims they coded auto flight control software with $9 per hour “engineers”.
      If a false report, the known facts support the observation Boeing treated its bread and butter product predictably, attempting to maximize profit at the expense of all else.
      Freeport-McMoran high altitude mega copper mines in Indonesia have devastated land, water, and coastal sea water and marine life with 60 year support of corrupt Indonesian officials and the indifference (greed) of Freeport stock owners. Crony capitalism saws off the
      limb it stands on…it is what it does.
      CNN at one point yesterday morning, presented two panel hosts and three guests, a Dem
      and “reformed” Max Boot and a second conservative, on the debate aftermath discussion. All five worried in unison, not about real world challenges like 33 million owning 31 percent of all US assets, 132 million owning 68 percent, and 165 million owning only the remainiing One percent, or the elephant the journalists have failed to cover…. The Trump corporate tax cut of Dec., 2017, handsomely rewarded the 33 million who own 80 percent of the stock shares of the public corporations with sudden, unprcedented tax relief. I doubt the top 33 million own less than 80 percent of the privately held US based corps. ….The methods by which the “Empire of Business” maintains its control over journalism are four: First, ownership of the papers; second, ownership of the owners; third, advertising subsidies; and fourth, direct bribery. By these methods there exists in America a control of news and of current comment more absolute than any monopoly in any other industry.

  7. e.a.f. says:

    sleaze bucks, Kushner, and trump, makes you wonder what deals they were cooking up. They wanted to cut Tillerson out of the loop with Mexico………could it have been some slightly “illegal/unethical” dealings…….one can only wonder.

  8. Eureka says:

    A VIP Independence (sic) Event, or further updates on Trump’s soul-sucking, joy-killing ways:

    Trump plans ticketed-access area for VIPs, friends and family at July 4 celebration

    Plans by President Trump to reshape Washington’s Independence Day celebration now include an area in front of the Lincoln Memorial reserved for dignitaries, family and friends that will be accessible only through tickets distributed by the White House.

    The VIP section will stretch roughly from the steps of the memorial to the midpoint of the reflecting pool, according to the U.S. Secret Service. It is the area in front of where Trump plans to address the nation as part of his rebranding of the traditional July 4 event into his own “Salute to America,” which includes moving the fireworks from the reflecting pool to two different sites, including West Potomac Park.

    Many folks who have long-standing practices for how they get downtown or where they position their boats for the best vantage points and ease of access, will need to adjust their traditions. Even travelers passing through the region’s skies will be affected.

    The ongoing shifts to what had been established security and crowd-control protocols have left officials in the District and some federal agencies confused about logistics as basic as what Metro stops and roads might be open or closed, and for what period, and how many fireworks displays will launch.

    • klynn says:

      After living in DC, this act will be a slap in the face to locals. The 4th was the one time we would utilize our city savvy to secure good fireworks viewing and take on all the tourists.

      • Eureka says:

        Exactly. Never lived in DC, but in an area dependent on public transit, fucking up locals’ circumnavigation is what really triggered me here. Not only the available stops and roads being unknown, but the _destination._ *Soul-sucking Joy-killer*

        • P J Evans says:

          I got ticked at a local church that blocked a block of a major street for its annual carnival – no notice to people who lived outside the immediate area (which was everyone else). And I get ticked at people who set off their pyrotechnics after 10pm, even on Friday or Saturday (because they tend to use cherry bombs/M80s), and at the local HS which has fireworks for homecoming and graduation, audible more than half a mile away (no notice to anyone outside their immediate area, either, and I wish some of the planners lived in this area to have to hear it).

          • Eureka says:

            Those M80-type things, which are the dumbest ‘fireworks’ ever, exist solely to aurally harass the innocent. Esp. parents of dogs and babies. I think a major ‘offender’ in our neighborhood grew up and moved away, but there are still smatterings.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This is not about security. It’s Trump-on-Display, like his gold faucets and escalators, his mirrored bedroom ceilings and his faux gold hair, his red carpet-long ties and his startling vacuity. The P.T. Barnum for would be billionaires. Back-stage-pass-only-access is Trump-the-Marketeer in another crude act of privatization.

      Public Washington was built on free access for the public – who pay for all of it via their taxes. It is meant to be common ground and a common experience for a divided nation. Trump is doing what he does to everything: turning it into a way to make money and display His Greatness.

    • P J Evans says:

      The 4th is THURSDAY. This is all stuff that should have been done at least two months ago, and preferable four months ago, so the funding and logistics could have been taken care of in time.

      (I was on a convention committee once, as a minor member of one of the subcommittees. Planning for it started *three years* before, and we weren’t sure we’d break even until *four months* before. Break-even was 6000 people, with a budget of $900K. That was in 1984.)

    • P J Evans says:

      “Okay, that’s all set for Saturday, July 4th, 2020. Cash payment due 30 days in advance – that would be June 4th or by close of the preceding business day. No, you missed the deadline for this year: that was 6 months ago. But we’re happy to have a year’s notice.”

      • Eureka says:

        Haha- make it 2021 and we have a deal. (Which will promptly be cancelled by our sensible President Dem.)

    • Americana says:

      If this July 4th fireworks speech/event turns out as I expect it will, I’m thinking we’ll need a federal law forbidding incumbents from capitalizing on national holidays by holding such campaign events in support of their own candidacy. (Trump was also plugging for a vast military parade in D.C. because of the inherent propaganda value that could be used in Trump advertising for the next election cycle as well as perhaps for seduction of the troops.) I’m curious if Trump is going to try to maximize what his toady felon Dinesh D’Souza (whom he pardoned so he could do the Trump-Lincoln flick) has already brought to his reelection bid by using the Lincoln Memorial as the setting for his speech.

  9. Rapier says:

    Jared’s main goal is not to help some hedge funds to harvest a few bucks from the stateless territories. The main task is to open the endless supply of Saudi and UAE money into Kushner/Trump investments. A stupendous supply of investment money. No dealing with stinking banks and bothersome jr partners.

    The 666 deal already in itself has liquified Kushner Co

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    TrumpWorld Day will be held on the 4th of July at the LincolnTrump Memorial, from the steps to midway along the Reflecting Pool.

    For TrumpWorld Day, it will be cordoned off for VIP ticket holders only. The ticket is in the shape of a standard gold Aureus, minted with Trump’s head on one side and TrumpHouse on the other.

    The images will be on display, surrounding the Memorial and the Reflecting Pool. Replicas will be available for purchase at TrumpShoppes in every TrumpWorld property. Or you can call the TrumpHotline at 555-666-6666.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wonder how many VIPs will show up. KSA, Russia, UAE, Philippines…anyone else want to be seen insulting the birthday of the country?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As EW said on twtr, any number of photojournalists could stake out the Reflecting Pool and Memorial and snap pics of the VIP attendees, generating months of follow-up work.

      Predictably, the secretive Trump will have marquees and what not to keep his Greatness and other attendees hidden. But that’s not always an effective strategy.

  11. OmAli says:

    I bet they will be hawking photos to the VIPs of their own august selves standing beside Caesar Disgustus. Or reclining. Reclining works, also. Too.

  12. Eureka says:

    Marcy has a great, substantive thread on The Chuck Todd Problem:

    “After the first debates it’d be REALLY nice if the press (I’m looking at you, @chucktodd) reflected on the damage already done by soundbite horse race coverage rather than a coverage of policy.”

    “Add in the fact that climate crisis was treated as a mere issue rather than an existential threat more urgent, at this point, than other NatSec ones, and Toddler journalism has already hurt America’s ability to conduct responsible democracy.”

    “Particularly on issue of covering undocumented workers, not criminalizing border crossers, and having real govt support for health insurance, from a policy perspective there is ZERO question what’s right. But Chuck Todd made those correct policy decisions into sound bites.”

    “The Democratic field has a slew of really smart candidates with real policy differences, willing to argue for or against those differences. Maybe Chuck Todd isn’t smart enough to engage candidates that smart? If so, NBC needs to find people who are.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Toddler slams what he calls “the left” and dumbs down discourse to the point of no utility. He must be a frustrated Faux Noise producer. He does a disservice to his viewers every day. Not the guy his employer should be using in the run-up to 2020.

  13. Eureka says:

    French-British competition lives on: #BroochWarfare, meet “video… released by French Presidential palace.”

    Marcy retweeted this gem:
    Parham Ghobadi: “Ivanka Trump appears to be trying to get involved in a talk among Macron, May, Trudeau and Lagarde (IMF head). The video is released by French Presidential palace. [and is embedded here for all to enjoy]”

  14. Eureka says:

    Wow, just learned that the editorial cartoonist Michael de Adder got fired for this cartoon (context, earlier this week: )

    Jason Chatfield: “Cartoonist Michael DeAdder was just fired from the newspaper for this cartoon. [image]”

    It captures *so much* it’s gestaltic of our times. As Mark Hamill says in replies, it’s truly “Pulitzer Prize-worthy.”

    A golfing Trump is captioned, looking towards the drowned dad and daughter: “Do you mind if I play through?”

    • Gnome de Plume says:

      THAT cartoon? It was perfect. It will go down in history like a few other political cartoons that we study today. Humor can carry truth sharper and deeper, much more quickly. Pithy and efficient teaching tool.

    • Americana says:

      Michael de Adder can be syndicated for late night news opinion shows. Same gig, different presentation format. There’s no reason this cartoonist shouldn’t still reach the audience he needs to reach.

  15. harpie says:

    O/T…sorry, but…
    6:21 AM – 30 Jun 2019

    […] So, to summarize, MVM has a contract with DHS to provide unarmed guards for the migrant operations center at #GITMO. [link]
    […several “dots”…]
    If we’re waiting for the Trump administration to provide prior, written notice of where they plan on hiding these children, we’re going to be waiting a while.

    Connecting the dots above should raise a lot of red flags that need to be addressed.

    • Eureka says:

      Well that’s harrowing. Esp. one of the later tweets in the thread which makes the contract sound like an NDA (which I’m sure is boilerplate, but still find remarkable in terms of some human rights issues, speed to notify esp. re medical problems*…).

      I’m talking about the text screenshot pointed to here:

      “MVM already has several contracts with DHS to transport unaccompanied migrant children (ex. [url, removed] ) & the RFP for one of those contracts specifies that the contractor has the discretion to determine what information is shared before children are moved. Plus [finger pointing down to screenshot]”

      *Example that immediately came to mind: child with history fever/other signs illness (perhaps given symptom-masking antipyretics/etc.**) prior to meeting with attorney. Atty doesn’t know history/potential seriousness of illness, staff caring for child doesn’t disclose, and ERO may not even have such ‘minutiae’ available for atty.

      It’s a reminder that the child’s guardians’, custodians’ (and caregivers’ !) rights are set up to be not only distinct from but even antagonistic to the child’s rights and well-being. The interest is not in caring for children but in firewalling or protecting the guardian from the children’s advocates (assuming any advocate could locate a given child in the first place).

      **compatible with recent reports of improved treatment prior to atty visits to e.g. CBP facilities

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s about > this < far from the most notorious previous bad example. Or those more recent but marginally less horrendous examples set by his best buddies Putin, Kim, Duterte, and MBS.

      • Eureka says:

        *meant to distinguish that the custodians’ *roles* seem set up in contradistinction to the children’s *rights* (per contractual text at tweets, e.g.) and what caregivers of children would might normally do.

        *roles* vs *rights* (and dignities and well-being)

  16. Stephen says:

    So if I have this right (please correct any inferential errors here!), this testimony indicates that we are looking not only at (1) Logan Act violations by the Trump transition team AND (2) likely violations of the emoluments clause (vis a vis the “peace process,” assuming presidential awareness, and incidentally much more serious than any hotel bill), BUT ALSO (3) perjury committed by the son-in-law-in-chief?

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