Daily Beast: “Lawyers representing the United States at Julian Assange’s extradition trial in Britain have accepted the claim that the WikiLeaks founder was offered a presidential pardon by a Congressman on the condition that he would help cover up Russia’s involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee.”
“The Brexit omnishambles threatens to become a full-blown constitutional crisis, now that Boris Johnson’s government has declared its intention to violate international law by breaking the very withdrawal treaty that Johnson negotiated, signed, declared a triumph, and ran on as the basis of his party’s reelection,” Axios reports.
“Five former prime ministers have come out against Johnson’s Internal Market Bill, which has already caused a slew of resignations from the government. The bill would allow the U.K. to unilaterally override the EU in a manner that explicitly violates Britain’s treaty obligations.”
President Trump told Fox & Friend that he discussed assassinating Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
Said Trump: “I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it.”
He then called Mattis “highly-overrated.”
As CNN noted in 2018, Bob Woodward made this allegation in his book, Fear, and Trump denied it: “Not at all. The book is fiction. I heard somewhere where they said the assassination of President Assad by the United States. Never even discussed. It was never even contemplated.”
“The U.S. on Tuesday issued a sweeping new advisory warning against travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the risk of ‘arbitrary detention’ and ‘arbitrary enforcement of local laws,'” the AP reports.
Politico: “Kremlin-backed operatives are flooding social media with fake accounts and stoking racial divisions around topics like Black Lives Matter. Articles in state-owned Russian media with millions of U.S. readers online seek to dampen Joe Biden’s appeal among progressives and echo President Trump’s unsupported claims about voting fraud.”
“At the same time, Russian state-backed hackers are waging cyberattacks … [S]ecurity researchers, former intelligence officials and lawmakers now worry that the Russians may still have a hand they haven’t played. … And the biggest threat this year may be Americans themselves. Many have embraced a deluge of fringe ideas and misinformation to a degree that may dwarf those foreign efforts.”
In a new clip from an interview with Bob Woodward, President Trump said that his relationships with world leaders are better “the tougher and meaner they are,” naming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an example, Axios reports.
Said Trump: “I get along very well with Erdogan, even though you’re not supposed to because everyone says, ‘What a horrible guy.’ But, you know, for me it works out good.”
He added: “It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You’ll explain that to me someday, ok? But maybe it’s not a bad thing. The easy ones I maybe don’t like as much or don’t get along with as much.”
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the star witness in President Trump’s impeachment trial, told The Atlantic he considered the president to be a “useful idiot” for Vladimir Putin.
Said Vindman: “President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin.”
He added: “They may or may not have dirt on him, but they don’t have to use it… They have more effective and less risky ways to employ him. He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin.”
“Terry Branstad is stepping down as U.S. ambassador to China, ending a more than three-year tenure at the forefront of Washington’s increasingly strained relationship with Beijing,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The Iranian government is considering assassinating the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say,” Politico reports.
“News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Trump’s decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back — possibly in the middle of a tense election season.”
New York Times: “Next week, Mr. Trump will host a signing ceremony for Israel’s twin détentes with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presided over the start of intra-Afghan peace talks in Afghanistan that offer the best promise yet of ending that country’s 19-year war. And last week, the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia visited the White House to announce normalized economic relations that could help end decades-old hostilities. At the same time, Mr. Trump is withdrawing more American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.”
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“Israel is passing milestones no other nation wants to reach, after repeated missteps by Binyamin Netanyahu’s government,” the Times of London reports.
“Blighted by one of the highest levels of coronavirus infection, with more than 4,000 new cases daily, it is about to become the first country to go back into national lockdown.”
A new Trump campaign Facebook ad touting his recent nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize actually misspells Nobel as “Noble.”
The ad was confirmed as authentic by the Daily Beast, which also reported Trump himself misspelled it in April in a tweet attacking journalists covering his Russia investigation.
“The Russian military intelligence unit that attacked the Democratic National Committee four years ago is back with a series of new, more stealthy hacks aimed at campaign staff, consultants and think tanks associated with both Democrats and Republicans,” the New York Times reports.
“That warning was issued on Thursday by the Microsoft Corporation, in an assessment that is far more detailed than any yet made public by American intelligence agencies.”
President Trump bragged to Bob Woodward that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the assassination and dismembering of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Business Insider reports.
Said Trump: “I saved his ass. I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”
The president also told Woodward he doesn’t believe MBS ordered Khashoggi’s murder, despite the fact that the US and other foreign intelligence services concluded he personally ordered the attack.
President Trump bragged to Bob Woodward that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “tells me everything,” including a graphic account of Kim having his uncle killed, the Washington Post reports.
The House Intelligence Committee received a whistleblower complaint from a former senior Department of Homeland Security official who alleges he was instructed to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States” because it “made the president look bad,” the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “Brian Murphy, the former head of the intelligence branch of the Homeland Security Department, said in a whistle-blower complaint filed on Tuesday that he was directed by Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the department, to stop producing assessments on Russian interference.”
“The department’s second highest ranked official, Kenneth Cuccinelli, also ordered him to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy ‘appear less severe’ and include information on violent ‘left-wing’ groups.”
Former director of national intelligence Dan Coats could not shake his “deep suspicions” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “had something” on President Trump, seeing “no other explanation” for the president’s behavior, according to Bob Woodward’s new book Rage, which was obtained by CNN.
Coats and his staff examined the intelligence regarding Trump’s ties to Russia “as carefully as possible” and that he “still questions the relationship” between Trump and Putin despite the apparent absence of intelligence proof.
- Hardcover Book
- Woodward, Bob (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 480 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)