Trump/Putin in 2020

 

Fox News is continuing to provide enormous spin for Donald Trump. Earlier this week they twisted the news that Trump was angry an intelligence official briefed Congress on Russia attacking the 2020 election to help get him re-elected, by claiming “Trump Upset Over Kremlin Trying to Re-Elect Him.”

The irony, of course, is our intelligence agencies brought the information to leaders in our government. House Republicans were furious upon hearing the news – furious that they were being told the truth, and wanted to stomp it out. So Rep. Devin Nunes told Trump, who then fired his Director of National Intelligence.

Predictably the Kremlin is laughing off claims they are once again interfering in the 2020 election, saying the very notion is “paranoid.”  “The Kremlin said on Friday that allegations from U.S. intelligence officials that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign and trying to boost Donald Trump’s re-election chances are false and the result of paranoia, ” before adding Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “These are more paranoid announcements which, to our regret, will multiply as we get closer to the (U.S.) election.”

However, in a report for the Daily Beast, Russian media expert Julia Davis explains that, despite Donald Trump’s disavowals, his presidency has been highly beneficial to the Kremlin, they could not be happier and the state-run press has no qualms about boasting about it.

With reports coming out that the Russians are once again interfering in the presidential race, and Trump’s fury that intelligence community has been briefing Democrats about it, Davis claimed that you don’t need an intel briefing to know who they support in 2020 — and why.

Writing that Russian state media has “consistently conveyed the message that Trump’s election has proven exceedingly beneficial for the Kremlin, Davis writes, “Indeed, Trump’s presidency is so valuable for President Vladimir Putin that even ‘tough’ sanctions are minor by comparison. The Chekist( the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations). in the Kremlin is willing to make temporary sacrifices in order to keep such a disruptive figure in charge of the mightiest country in the world, and Russian state media repeatedly make the point that Russia’s gamble will continue to pay off since the Kremlin is holding, as it were, the trump card.”

“Russian experts and pundits on state television frequently express their desire to see Donald Trump re-elected,” she continued. “Appearing on Russia’s popular state television news talk show 60 Minutes last October, political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak gushed: ‘I look at Trump and think: ‘May God grant him good health—and another term.’ This is a great situation for Russia… may he flourish and get re-elected…Trump is a great candidate. I applaud him… For America, this isn’t a very good president.’”

According to her report, Russian officials fully expect to cash in on another four years of Trump, “… from the removal of sanctions imposed after Putin annexed the Crimean Peninsula and backed a separatist war in Ukraine, to restoration of access to diplomatic compounds the U.S. seized after Russia’s effort to murder a defector in Britain.”

“Normally, spymasters seek to shroud in secrecy their relations with those who wittingly or unwittingly serve their interests,” she wrote. “But Russian state media openly gloat about the Kremlin’s influence over Trump, believing that he can endure the exposure without repercussions, and by flaunting the Kremlin’s sway with the White House, Russia further weakens U.S. democracy, which has always been one of its main pursuits.”

“The Kremlin wants to be perceived as a force to be reckoned with, fostering an atmosphere devoid of accountability for Russia’s human rights violations, foreign invasions, land grabs, and assassinations. In the style of ‘fake it till you make it,’ Putin is determined to persuade the world that resistance is futile and the Kremlin is omnipotent,” she warned. “Every denial of Russian election interference coming out of the White House brings Putin one step closer to the fulfillment of his goals. Every election security bill that is blocked by the GOP in the Senate gives an advantage to our foreign adversaries—and they are not sick of winning.”

Raw Story

Lying enabler Attorney General Barr needs to go

 

It took less than a day for Donald Trump to crap on Attorney General Bill Barr’s efforts to clean up the mess he made with his handling of the Roger Stone case. A whiny Barr on Thursday told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about the Department of Justice made his job “impossible” because they made it look like he was taking orders directly from the Trump whenever he made a decision. (and of course, he is)

Today Trump kept insisting that he had the absolute right to meddle in the Department Of Justice affairs in an early morning tweet.

“This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President Dictator, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” he wrote(lied). “Trump has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”  the lyin’ sycophant said.

What the attorney general Barr is really saying is, ‘I know what Trump wants, I’m going to do exactly what Trump wants, I just wish he wouldn’t tweet about it because it is so embarrassing and humiliating,’.
The attorney general was facing a full-scale revolt within the Department of Justice as a result of the political interference, and over the personal influence by Donald Trump in favor of one of his friends and political cronies, Roger Stone.
The attorney general acknowledged in that interview extraordinarily that he personally had a role in overruling his line prosecutors and he offered no explanation, no justification whatsoever for this kind of interference in the prosecution.”

Barr needs to resign and if he doesn’t, he should be removed from office by Congress.

 

Give even more to the rich and steal more from the middle class and the poor.

Trump has proposed a $4.8 trillion election-year budget that would slash major domestic and safety net programs, setting up a stark contrast with all the Democratic presidential primary candidates.

Trump’s draconian budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.

Trump also takes aim at domestic spending with cuts that are sure to be rejected by Congress, including slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 26.5 percent over the next year and cutting the budget of the Health and Human Services department by 9 percent. HHS includes the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will see a budget cut even as the coronavirus spreads.

It would target the Education Department is for a nearly 8 percent cut, the Interior Department would be cut 13.4 percent, and the Housing and Urban Development Department would be cut 15.2 percent. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development would be cut by 22 percent.

Not all agencies would face cuts, though. Trump proposes to increase spending for the Department of Homeland Security (presumably for his wall) while keeping Pentagon spending mostly flat. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget would increase by 12 percent as Trump has said he wants the agency to prepare for space travel to Mars.

Even with all these draconian spending cuts, the budget would fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next 10 years, missing a longtime GOP fiscal target. Instead, White House officials plan to say their budget proposal would maybe close the deficit by 2035. The caveat being it would only achieve this if the economy grows at an unprecedented, sustained 3 percent clip through 2025, levels that the bungling Trump administration has failed to achieve for even one year so far. The U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent in 2019, a very weak level of growth according to “2016” Trump

During Trump’s first year in office, his advisers bragged that their budget plan would eliminate the deficit by 2028.

This new trend shows what a dismal failure the Trump regime is in dealing with ballooning government debt, something GOP party leaders had made a top goal during the Obama administration. Trump’s first budget projected the deficit in 2021 would be $456 billion. Instead, it is projected to be more than double that amount.

Trump has shown little interest in dealing with the deficit and debt, though some GOP leaders falsely insist it remains a priority. The $4.8 trillion budget for 2021 would represent a $700 billion surge over levels from 2018.

As a presidential candidate, Trump said he would eliminate not just the annual federal deficit but all debt held by the United States after eight years in office. Trump’s new budget proposal expected to show how far he has moved away from some 2016 campaign promises

Trump’s budget aims to cut spending on safety-net programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, cutting food stamp spending by $181 billion over a decade. It proposes to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare over a decade through so-called cost-saving proposals such as supposedly reforming medical liability and modifying payments to hospitals for uncompensated care.

The Trump budget cuts Medicaid spending by about $920 billion over 10 years, a change critics warn would lead to reductions in benefits and the number of people on the health care program. “This is a budget that would cause many millions of people to lose health care coverage. That is unambiguous,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, a former Obama official and vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Democrats such as Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said early reports indicate the budget includes “destructive changes … while extending [Trump’s] tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.”

The budget is expected to request $2 billion in homeland security spending for the southern border wall. The administration has siphoned billions more from the Pentagon budget ever since declaring a national emergency at the border following last winter’s government shutdown.

Note: The federal debt has already grown by about $3 trillion under Trump.

 

This is an edited story from the Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/10/trump-budget-program-cuts/

Russia and Ukraine are all one big treasonous scandal

One of the key lines in the House Democrats’ impeachment report distills the Trump-Ukraine scandal to a simple idea: “[T]he impeachment inquiry has found that Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.”

And in the report’s preface, the Democrats place Trump’s Ukrainian caper within the larger context of foreign intervention in US elections, namely Russia’s covert attack on the 2016 contest, which was mounted in part to help Trump win the White House: “We were struck by the fact that the President’s misconduct was not an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naïve president. Instead, the efforts to involve Ukraine in our 2020 presidential election were undertaken by Trump who himself was elected in 2016 with the benefit of an unprecedented and sweeping campaign of election interference undertaken by Russia in his favor, and which Trump welcomed and utilized.”

The point was clear. Trump muscling Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to produce political dirt that could influence the 2020 election for Trump’s personal advantage was a continuation of Trump’s behavior in 2016. This contextualization brings back into the spotlight Vladimir Putin’s clandestine assault on American democracy—and how Trump encouraged and exploited that attack. So now, as Trump is under scrutiny for pressing Ukraine to influence the 2020 race, it’s a good time to review all the ways that Trump aided and abetted a foreign adversary’s scheme to subvert a US election the last time the nation was choosing a president.

Signaled to Moscow that its intervention in the election was desirable: On June 9, three top Trump advisers—Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort—held a secret meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian emissary whom they were informed would provide them dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr., who arranged this get-together, much later claimed that this Russian lawyer, who had ties to the Kremlin and Russian security service, provided them no useful information. But this meeting had more significance than what was actually discussed. During the preparation for this event, Trump Jr. had received an email from the middle-man who set it up saying the meeting came out of an offer from Russia’s top prosecutor and was “part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump.” This means Trump’s son was informed that Russia was angling to secretly help Trump—and that Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort were fine with that. And by taking the meeting, Trump Jr. and the others were conveying a message to Russia that the Trump campaign didn’t mind—and would welcome—covert assistance from the Russian government. (Trump has claimed that he was unaware of this meeting. But Michael Cohen testified to Congress that he believed Trump was aware of the meeting before it occurred.)

Denied Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee: On June 14, 2016, the Washington Post reported that the DNC had been attacked and penetrated by Russian government hackers who gained access to “all email and chat traffic.” The Kremlin, naturally, denied this. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s top spokesman said, “I completely rule out a possibility that the [Russian] government or the government bodies have been involved in this.” The next day, Trump’s campaign echoed Moscow’s line. It put out a statement declaring, “We believe is was the DNC that did the ‘hacking’ as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader.” That is, there had been no hack; this was all a hoax. The Trump statement accepted and boosted Moscow’s disinformation and its cover-up. Putin and his covert operators must have been pleased.

Denied Russia was attacking Clinton’s campaign: In July, three days before the start of the Democrats’ presidential convention, WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of emails and documents the Russian hackers had stolen from the DNC. This was an attempt to disrupt the Democrats’ gathering. Senior Clinton campaign officials publicly contended that their camp was being targeted by Moscow. Team Trump contended that was hogwash. On CNN, Trump Jr. blasted the Democrats for suggesting Russian involvement: “It just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean they’ll say anything to be able to win this. This is time and time again, lie after lie. It’s disgusting. It’s so phony.” And on the same network Manafort dismissed the Democrats’ claim, saying, “It’s just absurd…it is crazy,” Yet the previous month, they and Kushner had met with the Russian emissary whom they were told was part of a secret Kremlin effort to assist the Trump campaign. Once again, the Trump campaign was reinforcing Putin’s we-didn’t-do-it stance—which, no doubt, was heartening for Moscow.

Encouraged Russia to hack Clinton: The denials of Russia’s involvement from Trump’s top advisers could well have been read by Moscow’s operators as a green light from the Trump campaign. But Trump made it explicit at a press conference on July 27, while the Democratic convention was still underway in Philadelphia. He repeated his campaign’s denial—”Nobody knows who it is”—and then went further: “I will tell you this—Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand [Clinton] emails that are missing. I think you’ll probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Trump was essentially encouraging another government to hack his political rival. He was openly requesting foreign intervention in the US election. And within five hours of Trump’s statement, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, Russian government hackers did try to break into email accounts associated with Clinton and her personal office. This shows the Russians were paying attention to what Trump was saying.

Made secret contact with the Kremlin: Throughout the summer of 2016, the Trump campaign tried to set up a secret connection with Putin’s government. The campaign did this after cybersecurity experts had identified Russia as the culprit in the DNC hacking and after news reports had noted that US intelligence agencies had reached the same conclusion. A little-noticed portion of the statement of offense in Muller’s case against George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, lays this out. (Papadopoulos’ April 2016 conversation with a suspected Russian asset who said Moscow possessed Clinton’s emails later triggered the FBI’s Russia investigation.) The legal filing notes that Papadopoulos “from mid-June through mid-August 2016…pursued an ‘off the record’ meeting between one or more Campaign representatives and ‘members of president Putin’s office’” and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos’ effort, according to the document, was no rogue action; other campaign officials knew about it, and one even encouraged him to travel to Russia to meet with Russian officials to make this contact “if it is feasible.” (Papadopoulos did not take such a trip.) The Trump campaign was attempting to establish a backdoor channel with Putin, even as Putin was attacking the 2016 election. This overture was probably seen by the Kremlin as yet another sign that the Trump campaign accepted—and welcomed—Moscow’s intervention in the US election. (Also, in early August, Manafort met with a former business associate who was a suspected Russian intelligence asset, and Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with him and discussed a pro-Putin peace plan for Ukraine. This, too, could have been seen by Moscow as a signal that the Trump campaign was willing to play ball with Russia, as Russia was trying to subvert the election.)

Embraced Moscow disinformation: In mid-August, Trump, as the Republican nominee, received a briefing from the US intelligence community that included the intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia was behind the DNC hack. Nevertheless, in the following weeks, Trump repeatedly denied Russia was the perp. During his first debate with Clinton, Trump declared, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC… I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don’t know who broke into DNC.” At the second debate—days after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying that “the Russian Government directed” the hacks of the DNC and other Democratic targets—Trump, referring to Clinton, exclaimed, “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking.” (He added, “I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there.” Trump neglected to mention that earlier in the year he had tried to develop a massive tower project in Moscow and his company had sought help for the project from Putin’s office.) With these remarks, Trump was parroting Putin’s false claims. Such comments likely emboldened Russia. (Looking to stay in sync with Trump and his comments, Republican congressional leaders, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, avoided joining with the Obama administration to forcefully oppose Putin’s intervention in the election.) And after WikiLeaks in October 2016, as part of the Russian scheme to help Trump, began its daily release of emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta by Russian hackers, Trump repeatedly proclaimed he loved WikiLeaks—embracing this foreign intervention in the election.

Again and again, during the 2016 campaign, Trump and his aides denied Russia was intervening in the election, but they also praised this interference and sought to secretly hook up with the foreign adversary that was waging information warfare against the United States. (The recent trial of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone showed that Trump and his advisers sought to use Stone as contact with WikiLeaks.) This part of the Trump-Russia affair has never received the attention it warrants, in part because much of the scandal came to be defined by the question of whether Trump directly colluded with Moscow. But he didn’t have to in order for the Russians to mount the operation that succeeded in helping Trump become president.

All of these actions detailed above—which may not have been criminal—deserved full congressional investigation and could be part of an impeachment case against Trump (as could the report that Trump, once elected, told Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting that he didn’t care about Russia’s attack on the election). But the House Democrats have not followed through on their promise to revive the Trump-Russia investigation. Instead, they relied on Mueller’s report—which was limited—and generally concluded after Mueller’s lackluster appearance on Capitol Hill that the Russia scandal was kaput. They then trained their impeachment sights on the narrow Ukraine caper. Still, Democrats have recently been noting that there is a strong tie between the two scandals—”All roads lead to Putin,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this week—and that Trump’s conduct in the Ukraine episode follows his pattern of accepting, welcoming, and requesting foreign intervention during the last presidential election. Trump did escape accountability for what he did in 2016, but the Ukraine scandal shows that he has been on a spree. He was elected because of foreign interference he encouraged. As president, he sought additional intervention from overseas to boost his reelection prospects. It’s a straight line, and his critics are right to wonder what Trump—if (or when) he survives impeachment—might try to pull next to hold on to the presidency.

David Corn Mother Jones

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/12/trumps-sordid-history-of-accepting-requesting-and-encouraging-foreign-interference-in-us-elections/

 

American consumers are paying for Trump’s stupid “Trade War”

Xi laughing at Trump’s trade stupidity

According to a new study from the New York Federal Reserve, Chinese businesses have not lowered prices in a significant way when it comes to exports in response to President Trump’s trade wars, leaving Americans to absorb additional import taxes levied by the Trump administration, to the tune of around $40 billion per year.

“The continued stability of import prices for goods from China means US firms and consumers have to pay the tariff tax,” study authors Matthew Higgins, Thomas Klitgaard, and Michael Nattinger, wrote.

As Business Insider points out, the study’s findings contradict a claim made by Trump that foreign exporters are shouldering up to 25 percent of the costs — a claim the White House has continued to disseminate even after other studies have reached the same conclusion.

 “China is paying us tremendous — and they’re paying for it,” The ignorant Trump said last week. “Those tariffs are not paid by us. Those tariffs are paid because they’re devaluing their currency and pouring cash into their economy.” (Ya right “stable genius”!)

According to the New York Fed, Chinese firms have “accepted the loss in competitiveness in the US market and have used the weaker currency to pad profits on each unit of sales.”

 

And this crazy M-F’er is still in office?

Crime boss Trump called into the dim wits at “Fox & Friends” to rant against the impeachment inquiry and spread more Russia-backed conspiracy theories.

The idiot came completely unglued during an off the rails interview on the sycophant Fox network in which he lashed out at his own former officials, spouted Russian-backed conspiracy theories, and even cast aspersions on one of his most trusted advisers.

Below are the five crazy moments in Trump’s interview.

1.) Trump repeats the insane Crowdstrike conspiracy theory that has been pushed by Russia.

One day after former National Security Council official Fiona Hill testified that Republican lawmakers needed to stop spreading misinformation about Ukraine designed to help Russia, the president did just that by spouting off the debunked conspiracy theory about the Democratic National Committee’s server being located in Ukraine.

“They have the server from the DNC!” Trump fumed. “Who has the server?” asked co-host Brian Kilmeade. “They gave the server to Crowdstrike, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian,” Trump insisted. At this point, even co-host Steve Doocy tried to get Trump to walk back the conspiratorial chatter. “Are you sure they did that?” he asked. “Well, that’s what the word is,” Trump replied.
(There was no physical DNC server so it couldn’t be given to anybody. Crowdstrike is not Ukrainian and the Republicans (NRCC) orginally hired Crowdstrike!) (Fiona Hill literally just testified that this is a conspiracy theory pushed by Russian intelligence)

2.) The narcissist Trump condemned former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for purportedly refusing to hang up his picture in her office.

Trump the misogynist bully took particular glee in attacking Yovanovitch, the former ambassador who was ousted after a concerted smear campaign run by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

“This ambassador that everyone says is so wonderful, she wouldn’t hang my picture in the embassy,” the president said. “This was not an angel, this woman, okay? And there were a lot of things that she did that I didn’t like.”

Trump was pissed that Republicans didn’t attack her enough during impeachment hearings and said they only refused to do so because of her gender.

3.) Trump blames White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for her husband’s criticisms of him.

Even though Kellyanne Conway has been one of Trump’s most loyal defenders, the president couldn’t help taking a dig at her over her husband George Conway, who has been a leading conservative voice in the call for impeachment. “She must have done a number on him,” Trump said, referring to the Conways. “She must’ve done some bad things to him because that man’s crazy.”

4.) Trump takes sole credit for China not turning Hong Kong into a nuclear wasteland.

Although the president has taken criticism for not speaking out more forcefully on the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong, he insisted on “Fox & Friends” that he was the only thing stopping Chinese President Xi Jinping from massacring the entire city.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would’ve been obliterated in 14 minutes,” the Trumptard claimed, before adding, “We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi.”

5.) Trump bungles his own defense by making it sound like he encourages corrupt behavior.

Trump’s biggest admission or Freudian slip came after co-host Steve Doocy said that European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that there was a quid-pro-quo arrangement in which the president would only agree to a face-to-face meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if he agreed to launch investigations into purported “corruption” that just happened to involve his political opponents.

While insisting that he’s sincerely working to fight corruption at home and abroad, Trump said, “I do want, always, corruption — I say that to anybody!”

 

from Raw Story

 

Stone takes the fall for his Crime Boss

Roger Stone was convicted Friday on multiple counts on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. The longtime associate flunky of American crime boss Donald Trump was convicted on all seven counts. He was charged with lying to Congress, obstruction of Congress, witness tampering and other crimes.

Stone is openly taking a fall for Trump in the hopes that he will be pardoned of all of his crimes that he committed on behalf of Donald J. Trump. This case has shed new light on Donald Trump’s anticipation of the release of stolen Democratic emails in 2016 by WikiLeaks.

The verdict marks a stunning conclusion to one of the highest-profile prosecutions to emerge from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation — a case that began with one of Trump’s most vocal supporters arrested during a pre-dawn raid as the special counsel’s investigation wound down, and that since then has gradually revealed new information about the Trump campaign’s positive reception to foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Prosecutors asked the judge to take Stone into custody immediately. They alleged he violated his gag order and communicated with a member of the press last night. Judge Amy Berman Jackson declined, saying she” will release him on his current conditions pending the sentencing date.”

According to prosecutors, Stone failed to turn over documents to Congress in 2017, showing he had sought to reach WikiLeaks the previous year, and lied about five facts, obscuring his attempt to use intermediaries to get information that could help then-candidate Trump in the election against Hillary Clinton.

Stone’s trial at a federal courthouse in Washington revealed the extent to which the longtime Trump friend was directly in touch with Trump and other campaign officials about Wikileaks’ 2016 release of hacked Democratic emails.

Prosecutors argued that witness testimony, along with Stone’s texts, emails, and phone records, showed Stone’s interest in reaching WikiLeaks about the hacked documents it had, and speaking to the Trump campaign and even Trump himself about it. Prosecutors said Stone lied to Congress out of a desire to protect Trump.

“It would look really bad for his longtime associate Donald Trump” if the truth had come out,” Prosecutor Jonathan Kravis said in his closing argument on Wednesday.

Trump came to Stone’s defense on Friday after the verdict was released, calling it “a double standard like never seen before in the history of our country.”

In recent months, Trump has weighed pardoning Stone if he was convicted, multiple people familiar with his thinking say.

Several of Stone’s allies have lobbied Trump to do so, but there are also multiple people who have advised the President that doing so would be a terrible idea politically and have cautioned against it, people familiar with the situation have told CNN.

In his written answers to Mueller, Trump said he didn’t recall his conversations with Stone, nor discussions about WikiLeaks and the Democratic hack.

Prosecutors argued that Stone’s alleged failure to tell Congress about the attempts to reach WikiLeaks left the House Intelligence Committee with a blind spot in their investigation–causing the committee’s final report on Russian interference in the election to be inaccurate.

From Raw Story and CNN