Tuesday Reads: Trump Visits the Queen and Other NewsPosted: June 4, 2019
As I write this, Trump and PM May are giving a joint press conference in London. One of the questions Trump was asked about was the massive protests against his visit. Trump claimed that he didn’t see any protests and that there were thousands of people in the streets cheering for him. Reports of protests are “fake news.” He reiterated his attacked on London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, praised May on Brexit said it would be good for the UK. He also ranted about immigration. Of D-Day, Trump said it was “a liberation like few people have seen before.” I doubt if Trump knows anything about D-Day or World War II.
The Washington Post reported on the “fake news” protests early this morning: Baby Trump and the Trump robot headline London protests against U.S. president’s visit.
After a day of pomp and pageantry with the British royals, Tuesday was shaping up to be a day of politics and protests. Trump is scheduled to have meetings at Downing Street and protesters are hoping that they can be close enough — and loud enough — to be heard.
But in nearby Trafalgar Square, one of the main gathering places in central London, the so-called “Carnival of Resistance” was in full swing.
One of the main features was a talking Trump robot who as sitting on a toilet and saying, “You’re fake news! I’m a very stable genius!”
What an embarrassment Trump is! Any why on earth did all his children–even Tiffany–go with him on the trip? Why were they at the state dinner yesterday?
The great British tradition of creating witty — and sometimes rude — placards was on full display. One protester held aloft a sign that read: “British Humour: the gift of a book to an illiterate man — well played Your Majesty.”
Another man was pushing a shopping cart filled with toilet paper featuring Trump’s face on it. “Come on down to Trafalgar and get your Donald Trump toilet paper,” he said.
The protests come a day after a lavish state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Here’s what happened when Ivanka Trump and then her father emerged from the PM’s residence.
Why was Ivanka there? Even more to the point, why were Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and Tiffany there? I heard someone on TV say it looked like a Trump family visit to Disneyland.
At a grand banquet table in a red-carpeted Buckingham Palace ballroom, the Queen, a couple of princes, dukes and duchesses, and lords and ladies were intermixed with the Trump family: a President, a first lady, four of his five children, and two of their spouses.
Queen Elizabeth II formally invited just President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to travel to London for an official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. But the event became more of an extended family affair, with Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara, and Tiffany Trump all joining the exclusive party.
The President’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, was already set to attend in her capacity as a formal adviser to the President, and a senior member of his administration. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also part of the United States delegation attending the ceremonial events.
For the President, bringing his adult children, in his view, is akin to showcasing his version of royalty. In an interview ahead of the trip with the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Trump said he wanted Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany to hold a “next generation” meeting with the Prince William and his wife, Kate, and Prince Harry.
“I think my children will be meeting them,” said Trump. “It would be nice.”
Though they mingled at the State Banquet, there were no plans for a sit-down meeting, a royal source told CNN International correspondent Max Foster.
“Next generation?” These people actually think Trump will pass on the presidency to his offspring?
Buzzfeed has a report on what everyone wore at last night’s state dinner: Here Are All The Looks That Were Served At Queen Elizabeth’s State Banquet For The Trumps. Why were Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Sanders there? Trump is such an embarrassment.
Back in the USA,
Yesterday George Nader, who was interviewed for the Russia investigation, was arrest on child pornography charges.
The Washington Post: Figure linked to Trump transition charged with transporting child pornography.
A key witness in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian election interference has been charged with transporting child pornography last year, according to court documents.
George Nader, who has a previous conviction on such charges, was charged in federal court in Virginia and is expected to make an initial court appearance in New York.
Nader played an unusual role as a kind of liaison between Trump supporters, Middle East leaders and Russians interested in making contact with the incoming administration in early 2017.
Officials said Nader, 60, was charged by criminal complaint over material he was traveling with when he arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on Jan. 17, 2018, from Dubai. At the time, he was carrying a cellphone containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, officials said. The charges were unsealed after his arrest Monday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
The charges carry a penalty of 15-40 years in prison.
Nader was known to Trump associates as someone with political connections in the Middle East who could help them navigate the diplomacy of the region.
He helped arrange a meeting in the Seychelles in January 2017 between Erik Prince, a Trump supporter who founded the private security firm Blackwater, and a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The purpose of the meeting was of particular interest to Mueller’s investigators, and some questions about it remain unanswered, even after Mueller issued a 448-page report on his findings.
The New York Times: Paul Manafort to Be Sent to Rikers, Where He Faces Solitary Confinement.
Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, is expected to be transferred as early as this week to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, where he will most likely be held in solitary confinement while facing state fraud charges, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Mr. Manafort was convicted last year on federal bank fraud, tax and conspiracy charges in two related cases and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence in Pennsylvania. The Manhattan district attorney obtained an indictment of Mr. Manafort on state mortgage fraud charges in an effort to ensure he would still face prison if Mr. Trump pardoned him for his federal crimes.
Mr. Manafort, 70, will most likely be arraigned on the new charges in State Supreme Court in Manhattan later this month and held at Rikers, though his lawyers could seek to have him held at a federal jail in New York, the people with knowledge said….
A law-enforcement official familiar with the correction department’s practices, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security measures, said Mr. Manafort would most likely be housed in a former prison hospital on the island. That is where most high-profile detainees are held, including police officers, those accused of killing police officers, politicians and celebrities.
And Trump can’t pardon Manafort for those state charges.
The Washington Post reports: GOP lawmakers discuss vote to block Trump’s new tariffs on Mexico, in what would be a dramatic act of defiance.
Congressional Republicans have begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump’s planned new tariffs on Mexico, potentially igniting a second standoff this year over Trump’s use of executive powers to circumvent Congress, people familiar with the talks said.
The vote, which would be the GOP’s most dramatic act of defiance since Trump took office, could also have the effect of blocking billions of dollars in border wall funding that the president had announced in February when he declared a national emergency at the southern border, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.
Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on Mexico — with which the United States has a free-trade agreement — rely on the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. But the law gives Congress the right to override the national emergency determination by passing a resolution of disapproval.
Congress passed such a resolution in March after Trump reallocated the border wall funds, but he vetoed it. Now, as frustration on Capitol Hill grows over Trump’s latest tariff threat, a second vote could potentially command a veto-proof majority to nullify the national emergency, which in turn could undercut both the border-wall effort and the new tariffs.
We’ll see if they have the guts to do it.
What else is happening? What stories have you been following?