Not A Denial

Special counsel disputes report Trump directed Cohen to lie under oath: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.” (CNN)

Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

Trail Mix Host

28 thoughts on “Not A Denial”

  1. buzzfeed most likely got their info from SDNY ofc since they’re the ones who oversaw the seizure of document trove.  can see leaks coming more from that group than Mueller’s.

    see last line in this excerpt from wapo:
    Following the special counsel’s denial, BuzzFeed insisted its story was correct. In a statement, the website’s top editor, Ben Smith, said, “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”
    The story had claimed Cohen had acknowledged to Mueller’s prosecutors that the president directed him to deceive Congress about key facts linking the president to the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. BuzzFeed also said Mueller learned about the directive to lie from “interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

  2. Something similar happened to Woodward and Bernstein during their investigations.  What they learned turned out to be materially correct but not the exact source and methods.  

  3. another day, another book
    the guardian:
    Former White House chief of staff John Kelly introduced himself to staff members with a speech that was “potentially hostile” to Donald Trump, according to a new memoir by a former Trump communications aide.
    The aide, Cliff Sims, described being shocked by a speech Kelly made to staff at the Eisenhower executive office building shortly after Kelly replaced outgoing chief of staff Reince Priebus.
    Sims writes in his book Team of Vipers, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, that Kelly’s speech “hammered” on the theme of service to country coming first, and service to the president second.
    “Kelly seemed to be saying that… it might be necessary to subvert the president’s wishes in service of some amorphous higher calling,” Sims writes.
    Sims’ book makes much of infighting among White House staff. “The whole thing felt like Game of Thrones, but with the characters from Veep,” writes Sims, an Alabaman who joined the Trump campaign as co-host of a Facebook live program run by the campaign.
    The memoir is the latest entry in the impressively stocked subgenre of tell-all books by former Trump aides and insiders, with previous contributors including Sean Spicer, Scaramucci, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. The bookshelf has been generously padded by entries from journalists including Bob Woodward and Michael Wolff.
    If Kelly had reservations about some of Trump’s policy views, the pair shared many views including, crucially, a hardline posture on immigration.
    “We’re on the same page,” Sims quotes Bannon as saying when Kelly comes aboard. “He knows the border is f–ed. He dealt with it [in his previous role as secretary of homeland security]. “It’s going to be good.”
    Whatever was good about it soon soured, however. In September, Kelly found himself denying an accusation, reported by Woodward, that he had called Trump an “idiot”.
    “The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true,” Kelly said.
    Sims does not report such a comment, but he writes that when the retired general smiled, he appeared to be in pain, concluding: “He didn’t seem like the most pleasant guy to be around.”

  4. In the move from WA to CA my address book on X-finity has disappeared due to shifting around accounts between me, son and grandson.  From now on please write to jessied44 at   Please send contact info so I can put it all together again.  Thank you.  

  5. nytimes:  House Democrats Add $1 Billion in Border-Related Spending to Measures to Reopen Government
    WASHINGTON — House Democrats have added more than $1 billion in border-related spending to a package of funding bills that would reopen most of the government, even as President Trump said he would have a “major announcement” on Saturday about the border and the shutdown stalemate.
    Both sides’ actions were the first indications of possible movement over the shutdown after a week of inertia and harsh words between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Trump….
    The proposal to include more spending on border measures is scheduled for a vote next week, according to two senior Democratic officials. The plan reflects a shift in strategy by congressional Democrats, who have maintained that they would not give the president a counterproposal until he drops his insistence on a wall and signs legislation to reopen the government. It is an attempt to rebut Mr. Trump’s repeated portrayal of Democrats as opponents of border security and their denunciation of his wall as an embrace of open borders.
    About half the money, $524 million, would be for additional infrastructure at ports of entry on the border, one Democrat said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the plans have not been formally announced, while $563 million more would be inserted to fund 75 immigration judges, who adjudicate the claims of migrants who make asylum claims at the border.
    The funds were incorporated into a package of six spending bills that House and Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed to last year, and which cover funding for all the closed portions of the federal government except for the Department of Homeland Security.
    Democrats are also considering a new funding bill for the department, which has $1.3 billion allocated for border security. The proposal would include additional border protection measures they have endorsed, such as more personnel and scanning technology to intercept illicit drugs.
    It is far from clear whether the strategy will lead anywhere given Mr. Trump’s demand that any such measure must include money for his wall. Over the past two weeks, the House has passed an array of bills to reopen the government, including several Republican-drafted measures, only to be blocked by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, who says he will not bring up any bill the president will not sign.
    But the ideas amount to a tacit acknowledgment by Democrats that, even as they criticize Mr. Trump’s tactics and demands in the shutdown fight, they have largely allowed him to define the terms of the debate on border security, and that they must be more effective in articulating their own position on the issue.
    “People want to make sure that it’s clear that the Democrats do stand for border security, and not allow the president to determine how we talk about it,” said Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California. “We can’t cave to his vision for a wall, because of everything that it represents, but we also want to show that we’re for something.”
    The issue came up in a meeting of the Democratic caucus this week…

  6. back to thread topic, this excerpt from the new Yorker:  The High Stakes of BuzzFeed’s Story on Trump Tower Moscow
    The Mueller report, whenever it comes out, is likely to contain a lengthy section on whether Trump has obstructed justice. […] The key issue will be whether Trump went beyond his executive powers and acted “corruptly.” But asking someone lie to Congress to save your skin is a much more straightforward offense, for which there is no conceivable justification in the Constitution. If Mueller were to provide convincing evidence that Trump committed this crime, it would be historic and crushing.
    That raises again the credibility of the BuzzFeed News story, which the White House is so desperate to impugn. The two reporters who wrote the piece—Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold—have been covering the Trump Tower Moscow saga for a long time. In May, they published a groundbreaking article about how Cohen and Felix Sater, another Trump associate, pursued the Moscow project during and after the 2016 campaign. That story revealed many details that were subsequently supported by Cohen’s guilty plea in November, 2018, including how the project continued well into 2016 and how Cohen planned a trip to St. Petersburg, where he hoped to meet with senior Russian officials. (Ultimately, the trip was cancelled.)
    In their latest story, Cormier and Leopold attribute the damning allegations to “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” When CNN interviewed Cormier on Friday, he said that the two sources had been investigating the Trump Tower Moscow deal before Mueller was even appointed. “It is our understanding that this is rock-solid information developed over the course of a long period of time, and that Michael was used . . . to confirm it,” Cormier said.

  7. Dear Chuck and Nancy,  
    You’ve probably noticed that there have been quite a few distractions in the past couple of weeks. SFB addressed the nation about “border security.”  It was stupid and flat. Nancy, you told Trump to hold the state of the union off until after the shutdown is over. Think that was a good idea. Then in retaliation our dear leader canceled your trip to visit troops in Afghanistan and leaked your travel plans on a commercial flight.  Petty retaliation. And last Buzzfeed puts out a smoking gun article that Mueller  says is not accurate. Please keep this in mind – none of this has anything at all to do with Trump’s stupid request for 5.6 or whatever billion dollars to build a stupid wall. If you give him money to build a wall, please give me money to build a catapult.
    Pogo (Dem base voter)

  8. where’s a goddam daisy when you need it…   he did it…  he did not… he did it…
    On another note…  Rick and I went to a matinee yesterday to see Green Book….  great movie, really liked it…

  9. Pogo
    It is not “Chuck n Nancy” It is just Nancy, as Speaker, she is the decider. Chuck is just a colorful side kick, Think Gabby Hays to Roy Rodgers

  10. I think this country needs a break from New York politicians.  Trump, Giuliani, Cuomo, Schumer, Clinton(?)-just “ugh”.

  11. Well, after a long search and climbing up the learning curve we found really nice assisted living for Dad, moving in Feb. 1. And they take Medicaid, which many don’t, and wow that makes a massive difference in cost. Give away your assets to trusted loved ones folks! Getting on Medicaid for this is the way to go. But you have to do it five years before you apply.

    Now on to prepping house for sale.

  12. Glad to hear you got your dad situated. It’s a process that just sucks. 
    Any bets on what SFB will propose?  I’m guessing that he goes back to the DACA for dollars offer. 

  13. Craig, I’m pleased that you were able to find an acceptable place. Understand that your responsibility isn’t over. It is vital for dad’s sake that you make unscheduled visits at random hours checking on the institution’s performance. Leadership at the ALF should be happy to see you, an involved family member. If they aren’t, then that should sound a cautionary note. Good luck!

  14. Hamblen was supposedly out on a hunting expedition when he and his fellow hunter, actor John Wayne, came across a hut in the mountains. Inside was the body of a man, and the man’s dog was still there, guarding the building. This inspired Hamblen to write “This Ole House”. The lyric picks up a standard Gospel theme of the “old house” – the mortal body – being left behind when the believer goes to “meet the saints”.Stuart Hamblen – This Old House lyrics ♪♫This old house once knew my children, This old house once knew my wife.This old house was home and shelter as we fought the storms of life.This old house once rang with laughter, This old house heard many shouts.Now she trembles in the darkness when the lightnin’ walks about.Ain’t gonna need this house no longer, Ain’t gonna need this house no more.Ain’t got time to fix the shingles, Ain’t got time to fix the floor.Ain’t got time to oil the hinges, Nor to mend the window pane.Ain’t gonna need this house no longer, I’m getting ready to meet the saints.This old house is getting shaky, This old house is getting old.This old house lets in the rain and This old house lets in the cold.On my knees I’m getting chilly, But I feel no fear or pain.Cause I see an angel peeking through, A broken window pane.Now my old hound dog lies asleeping, He don’t know I’m gonna leave.Else he’d wake up by the fireplace, And he’d sit there, howl and grieveBut my hunting days are overI aint gonna hunt the ‘coon no moreGabriel done brought in chariotWhen the wind blew down the door

  15. Craig – good to hear progress is there.  Southern Command is going to feel different.
    Weather – bah humbug.  Trying to figure out the best way to stay warm, that does not include joining Craig for a few days.

  16. the guardian:
    In a statement issued before Trump’s address, Pelosi said that was not good enough, partly because the offer was not for permanent action.
    “Democrats were hopeful that the president was finally willing to reopen government and proceed with a much-need discussion to protect the border,” she said.
    “Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.”

  17. At 92 with a bunch of health issues and legally blind Bink he needs constant in-house medical supervision I can’t manage anymore. And he has no interest in Washington’s winter weather anyway. After his prostate surgery and lengthy, tricky recovery VA doctors and nurses have been urging me to do this. This place is under contract with VA to provide medications, physical therapy he gets from VA, another plus the private-pay places don’t have.

    Good advice, Flatus. Our church is very involved in this place, so that’ll also be a resource for eyes and ears. We got a 1-bedroom with a living are for a pull-out couch. So I’ll just live there when I come down.

  18. A Murphy Bed? Haven’t seen one of those in half a century–at my grandfather’s sister’s apartment. Aunt Florence was very proud of it.

  19. The best assisted living places I have seen are associated with the Episcopal church.
    Assisted living is not a nursing home.  People live largely independent lives with oversight to help them live as full and healthy a life as possible.   Usually there are meals and organized social events but most people usually continue the same social life as they had when they lived completely independently.   
    For many people it frees them up to enjoy whatever without the problems of caring for a home, meal preparation and even an opportunity for social events.

  20. So SFB was standing outside of the White House today shouting answers to the press with a chopper warming up or down in the background. Headed out of town perhaps or coming back?  Fucking hypocrite. 

  21. Once again Pelosi rained on Trump’s parade. There was no deal to be had here and Trump knew it. He doesn’t want a deal he just wants to be seen as doing something because with each passing day he and his republican enablers are losing the shutdown war. Trumps dream of a wall is far less likely today than it was a month ago.

  22. In honor of Buzzfeed getting a non-denial from Mueller, sounded more like a “don’t get over your skiis” message, I am watching All The President’s Men.   Although not intentional, I did miss this day’s SFB racist talk and lies today. 
    On Twitter there is something about a “wall” around San Antonio which the simpleton believes in.  Of course there is no wall around San Antoni0, Texas, but in the brown sky universe of his alternate reality there is a big BIG wall around all those Mexicans to keep them from getting loose in his version of Texas.

  23. Blue, San Antonio did have a wall but the Mexicans of the day had no problem climbing it.
    “Remember the Alamo”
    Was down in San Antonio a couple of years ago, toured the Alamo.  Came away with this impression, those who chose to defend the Alamo were idiots.

  24. Craig, glad you are getting things situated. One piece of advise from our experience be planning for the next phase it will come faster than you realize.  It seems like with my Father in law we were always behind the curve.
    Also I agree with Flatus surprise checks and keep an eye on them.

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