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Trump’s Hard-Line Take on Trade Plays Into China’s Hands
"Suddenly we’re discussing possible trade wars between the U.S. and some of its most reliable allies. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker adopted some of Trump’s bravado in a talk in Germany on March 2. 'We will now impose tariffs on motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, on blue jeans, Levi’s, on bourbon. We can also do stupid. We also have to be this stupid,' the European Union’s highest-ranking official said."
a:Peter-Coy  p:Bloomberg-Businessweek★★  d:2018.03.08  w:1500  international-trade  Donald-Trump  Europe  China  from twitter
2 days ago by bankbryan
Has Anyone Seen the President?
"Off to see Walter Shaub, at a restaurant across the street from Trump’s Washington hotel. For many years, right up until July of last year, Shaub ran the 75-person Office of Government Ethics. I’d tried to get him to meet me in Trump’s hotel, but he wouldn’t. 'I won’t go into that building,' he wrote back. 'Aside from the remote possibility that I’d be whisked away to Guantanamo, I refuse to contribute even so much as my presence, much less my money, to the dark spiritual energy that place has brought to my city.' The effect of Trump on the 2-million-person enterprise he’s meant to be running deserves even more attention than it has been getting, in my opinion. Shaub is a microcosm of the problem. One day he was a guy just trying to do his job; the next day his job was impossible to do. 'I have real anger,' he says, calmly."
a:Michael-Lewis★★  p:Bloomberg/Bloomberg-View★  d:2018.02.09  w:8500  Donald-Trump  ethics  government  from iphone
7 days ago by bankbryan
Jared Kushner Is China’s Trump Card
"American intelligence officials describe their Chinese counterparts with grudging respect. At the end of the Obama Administration, Russia and China topped the White House’s list of counterintelligence threats, largely because of their proficiency in electronic surveillance—intercepting phone calls and e-mails. The Chinese were not yet on the level of the Russians in the area of 'human intelligence', or spies and informants, a senior Obama Administration official said, 'but they’re certainly improving, and they’ve been quite aggressive in recent years.' Michael Bahar, a former staff director and general counsel for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, said, 'They are a professional service. They do their homework.'"
a:Adam-Entous  a:Evan-Osnos  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:2018.01.29  w:4500  Donald-Trump  China  intelligence-gathering  diplomacy  espionage  Russia  2016-election  from instapaper
8 days ago by bankbryan
“He’s a Coen Brothers Villain”
"How do people there see the Mueller investigation, and does what you just said affect the way you see it?
I think they see it primarily as being incredibly amusing, because finally the U.S. is as obsessed with Russia as the Russians have always fantasized that it was.* Because after spending years and hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to raise Russia’s profile abroad, suddenly they can just kick back, relax, and do nothing while the Western media do their jobs of glorifying Putin as this hypercompetent, brilliant villain for them. They absolutely don’t mind being portrayed as scheming villains, because the only thing that the Russians hate is being accurately portrayed as largely incompetent. As long as we ascribe competence to them, they will be very happy."
a:Isaac-Chotiner  a:Michael-Idov★★  p:Slate★★  d:2018.02.27  w:2500  interview  Russia  2016-election  Donald-Trump  from twitter
8 days ago by bankbryan
Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It
"In September, at a normally soporific meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, Saudi and Qatari diplomats exchanged barbed epithets like 'rabid dog' and heated accusations of treachery and even cruelty to camels. 'When I speak, you shut up!' yelled Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi. 'No, you are the one who should shut up!' his Saudi counterpart shouted back. The highly personalized rancor has the unmistakable air of a family feud. Qataris, Saudis and Emiratis stem from the same nomadic tribes, share the same religion and eat the same food. So their dispute has shades of quarreling cousins, albeit ones armed with billions of dollars and American warplanes."
a:Declan-Walsh  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.01.22  w:6000  Qatar  Saudi-Arabia  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
11 days ago by bankbryan
U.S. Secretly Negotiated With Russians to Buy Stolen NSA Documents — and the Russians Offered Trump-Related Material, Too
"In March 2017, the Russian met with the American intermediary and a U.S. official in Berlin and agreed to provide the stolen NSA data from the Shadow Brokers in exchange for payment. The U.S. government used 'certain messaging techniques' that the Russian accepted as proof that the U.S. government was behind the negotiations and the proposed deal, according to the documents obtained by The Intercept. Officials gave the Russians advance knowledge that on June 20, 2017, at 12:30 p.m., the official NSA Twitter account would tweet: 'Samuel Morse patented the telegraph 177 years ago. Did you know you can still send telegrams? Faster than post & pay only if it’s delivered.' That tweet, in exactly those words, was issued at that time."
a:James-Risen  p:The-Intercept  d:2018.02.09  w:2500  Russia  NSA  Donald-Trump  intelligence-gathering  Twitter  2016-election  from instapaper
13 days ago by bankbryan
Robert Mueller Is Treating Russia Like a Gang, and It's Working
"For Moscow, this is a difficult issue to handle, behind the ritual nod-and-wink denials. There remains a certain bravado, an inverse pride in their trolls and other spooks, on part of Russia’s political elite. Indeed, you could argue that the more Mueller and others talk up Russian capabilities and the impact of their meddling on the world's most powerful democracy, the stronger the Kremlin looks. To be blunt, if you have already made the decision to be—and be seen as—a global meddler and bully, then you might as well be considered good at it."
a:Mark-Galeotti  p:VICE★  d:2018.02.20  w:1500  Russia  hacking  Donald-Trump  2016-election  from instapaper
15 days ago by bankbryan
Donald Trump Shouldn’t Talk to the Feds. And Neither Should You.
"When special counsels or FBI agents ask questions of one of these powerful people, they are not fact-finding. They've already done their homework. They've already gathered facts—almost certainly many more facts than the interviewee knows. They are asking questions the answers to which they can already prove, hoping that the interviewee will tell a provable lie, and thus commit a crime, or at least lock themselves into a feckless story that ties their hands later. The law that makes it a crime to lie to federal investigators does not require the lie to fool the investigators for a nanosecond. A lie must be "material" to be criminal, but that only means that the lie is the kind of statement that could conceivably influence the government, not one that actually did. The FBI can roll up with irrefutable proof of something, ask the target a question hoping for a lie, collect the lie they wanted, and reap a felony conviction."
a:Ken-White★★★  p:Reason  d:2018.02.08  w:1500  law-enforcement  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
29 days ago by bankbryan
What Trump’s Speech Says About His Mental Fitness
"Mr. Trump is unmoved by any sense that to speak as a president is a kind of kabuki or performance art, in which one doesn’t so much talk as signal. He has learned that he can just show up and run his mouth, and he’ll be adored regardless. Some suppose Mr. Trump started talking down deliberately in order to portray folksiness. But this imputes to him a sociological sensitivity, a reflective, outwardly focused theory of mind, that he shows no evidence of otherwise. More likely, Mr. Trump has simply taken the path of least resistance."
a:John-McWhorter★★  p:The-New-York-Times★★  d:2018.02.06  w:1500  analysis  Donald-Trump  mental-illness  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by bankbryan
Lawsplainer: "Fruit of The Poisonous Tree" And The Special Counsel Investigation
"So you're saying 'fruit of the poisonous tree' isn't a thing?"
"It is a thing. But it is not anything like the thing being imagined here."
"Look, I know you're a federal criminal defense lawyer and everything, but the fellow on Twitter seemed quite firm about this."
"I'm sure."
a:Ken-White★★★  p:Popehat★★★  d:2018.02.12  w:1500  explainer  law  Donald-Trump  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by bankbryan

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