Trump's Worrisome Woes •Beleaguered At Home •Grapples With Angry Allies And China •Bola Ahmed Tinubu Connection

By cattnews on August 20, 2018

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If President Donald Trump of United State’s last June historic meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is ‘pardonable’, definitely the bug he contracted from the meeting – an impromptu ‘Military Parade’ is not.

In recent times, military parades are exclusive to China and its sidekick, North Korea – the occasion is the two’s ‘Bling Bling Tradition’, a means of telling the world that they have arrived or that they are no pushovers. The United States is mostly given to military drills with allies but with Trump in charge, anything goes!

Thankfully, sanity prevailed and the most popular of the narratives in circulation suggested that the Washington Mayor, Muriel Bowser claimed she “got thru” to Trump about costs for the parade, which at one point was calculated to run about $12 million but more recent estimates said could run as high as $92 million by the time Trump canceled the event.

But then for a president who has very little clues on how to solve his country’s bad economy which is likely to worsen as time goes by, other diversions are welcome. 

[Note that finding a lasting solution to the economic crisis plaguing the United States is nowhere in sight presently. And the reason is simple; the polarized nature of the country’s polity which is currently at an all time high toxic level gives little room for any president to achieve anything tangible.

Should it even abate a bit since it is often difficult for either side of the divide to shift ground even if some certain elements of either side expressed such desire little is ever achieved and this singular albatross is likely to plague any future president that emerges.]

The problem in the case of Trump is that his diversions both at home and abroad are quite unwholesome.

At the home front his privacy was rudely shaken when Omarosa Manigault-Newman made the astonishing claim that President Donald Trump might deport First Lady Melania if she tried to leave him while he holds office.

It is the latest Trump-bashing claim to emerge from the new memoir, Unhinged, by Manigault-Newman, who was fired from the White House in December for alleged “integrity violations”.

“If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave him while he's in office, he would find a way to punish her,” Manigault-Newman wrote in the book, according to the Mercury News.

Manigault-Newman implied that Trump played some nefarious role in Melania's immigration to the US from Slovenia in 1996 - even though the couple is believed to have first met two years later, in 1998, reports Daily Mail.

“This is a man who has said he could pardon himself from the Mueller investigation. Why not pardon himself over an alleged visa payoff?” wrote Manigault-Newman.

Questions have been raised in the past about how Melania, who worked as a fashion model, obtained a so-called "Einstein" EB-1 visa for people in the tops of their fields - though immigration lawyers say there is nothing particularly unusual about a top model being granted the visa.

Melania became a US citizen in 2006, one year after her marriage to Trump.

In recent months, the Trump administration has made moves to strip citizenship from those who lied or otherwise cheated in the naturalization process. Manigault-Newman implies that Trump may have had personal motivations for the policy move, intending to hold the threat of deportation over his wife's head.

“He is a vindictive man, and I would not put anything past him.”

But before the Omarosa debacle, the scepter of his election dealings is ever haunting him most especially his suspected close link with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. This has led to the Robert S. Mueller III investigation which has invited White House counsel Don McGahn for questioning. McGahn was the general counsel for the Trump transition team and he had three interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, McGahn and was said not to have provide information that would be incriminating to the President.

As Mueller’s investigation progresses, so also is the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort is at the center of the Trump-Russia investigation.

On March 22, the Associated Press reported that Manafort was paid $10 million between 2006 and 2009 to lobby on behalf of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally, using a strategic “model” that would “greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success.”

AP reporter Jeff Horwitz told Fox News that Manafort was “a gun for hire” who was willing to work explicitly “on behalf of Russian interests.”

Manafort's name had been connected to Deripaska's before the AP reported on their lucrative contract. The two were involved in a partnership that went south, and wound up with Deripaska accusing Manafort of "disappearing" with nearly $19 million intended for investments. Deripaska filed a lawsuit against Manafort in the Cayman Islands in 2014, and was still trying to get his money back in August 2015, according to documents obtained by Politico.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied on March 22 that Trump had been aware that Manafort had lobbied on behalf of Deripaska.

On top of this, a Ukrainian member of parliament has accused Manafort of accepting nearly $1 million from Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions, and then laundering it through a company that claims to sell computers. Ukrainian lawyers also want to question Manafort about what role he played, if any, in the 2014 police killings of protesters in Kiev.

In another bizarre twist, late last month, hackers broke into Manafort's daughter's iPhone and published four years' worth of purported text messages — roughly 300,000 messages — on the dark web.

In a series of texts reviewed by Business Insider that appear to have been sent by Andrea to her sister, Jessica, in March 2015, Andrea said their father had “no moral or legal compass.”

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea wrote to her sister, according to the texts. “That money we have is blood money.”

A bizarre twist to the trial came when Judge T.S. Ellis, the man presiding over the criminal trial of Manafort, said that he has received threats about the case and now travels with protection from U.S. marshals.

Ellis, speaking at a hearing outside of jurors' presence, also said he has no plan to release the names of those 12 people now deliberating Manafort's fate because he is worried about their safety if their identities become publicly known.

Manafort is being prosecuted by members of the team of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller is investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump in the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by members of Trump's campaign with that Kremlin-backed effort.

Finally on the home front is the imbroglio that has pitted Trump against ex- chiefs of the country’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Trouble started when Trump revoked the ‘Security Clearance’ of former CIA Director, John Brennan on grounds suspected to be political rather than treason. And to worsen the matter, Trump said that he is considering revoking the security clearances of several others besides Brennan, including Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, and Bruce Ohr, a current Justice Department official.

Brennan and several other former intelligence chiefs have been outspoken in their criticism of the President. In July, Brennan called Trump's actions alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in a news conference after their summit in Helsinki, Finland, “nothing short of treasonous.”

Following his one-on-one meeting with Putin, Trump declined to endorse the US intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election over Putin's denial, saying the Russian President was “extremely strong and powerful” in his denial.

On the global scene, Trump has on his list countries like Myanmar, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Mexico and of course China.

Of all China remains the most worrisome.

An annual public report to Congress echoes public warnings from top Pentagon officials that China remains the U.S. military's biggest long-term challenge.

The Pentagon warned in a startling new report that China is likely training for bombing strikes against U.S. targets, while developing its nuclear capabilities. 

The revelations come in the Pentagon’s 2018 report to Congress on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” which focuses on developments in 2017.

Overall, the report found that China wants to leverage its economic, diplomatic and strategic strength to “establish regional preeminence and expand the  country’s international influence.”

Militarily, the report said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been developing capabilities in “overwater bomber operating areas” and is “gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets.” 

China, responding, frowned at what it called an “irresponsible” Pentagon report claiming Beijing's bombers are likely training for strikes against US and allied targets in the Pacific.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the report was “presumptuous and irresponsible”, stating it was “in total disregard of facts” in a statement.

Beijing's military development was defensive in nature and intended to safeguard its territorial integrity, he added.

“We urge the US side to abandon the outdated cold-war and zero-sum mentality... (and) stop issuing such irresponsible reports year after year,” he said.

Back in Nigeria, Trump’s association with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinibu also calls for much concern.

Tinubu – a political liability with a self-incriminating portfolio – is well known for his penchant of running after world leaders –leveraging on his criminal political ascendance – just to obtain cheap attention and curry silly favours.

Unfortunately, he has a long list of them and his ongoing romance with Trump would definitely not augur well for this country in view of the fact that the two have loads of secret between them.


Source cattnews

Posted 20/08/2018 5:23:12 PM

 

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