HONORING MCCAIN BY CONTINUING HIS WORK: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE THROUGH AUG. 26, 2018

On Dec. 18, 2016, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“We need to get to the bottom of this,” he said, bucking GOP leadership by joining a bipartisan request for a select committee. “We need to find out exactly what was done and what the implications of the attacks were, especially if they had an effect on our election. There’s no doubt they were interfering and no doubt that it was cyberattacks. The question now is how much and what damage and what should the United States of America do? And so far, we have been totally paralyzed.”

Two weeks later, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined McCain on national television with a promise. Graham said, “We should get to the bottom of all things Russian when it came to the 2016 election. Period… Wherever it leads.”

McCain never faltered; Graham became weak-kneed. Rebuffed in his request for a select committee, McCain wanted special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to proceed unimpeded to its conclusion. It remains to be seen whether Trump will let that happen, and whether Trump’s congressional defenders — the same ones who blocked McCain’s pursuit of a select committee — will do anything to stop him if he doesn’t.

In the spirit of honoring McCain’s commitment to protect American democracy, here is a readers’ guide to the latest Trump-Russia Timeline update (two weeks’ worth).

Roy Cohn: Trump Channels a Mentor

On Aug. 20, Trump compared special counsel Robert Mueller to the notorious 1950s “Red Scare” demagogue, Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI). One of Trump’s early mentors was Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s hatchet man. Cohn appears in the first entry of the Trump-Russia Timeline — 1979.

Psychologists have a name for Trump’s McCarthy tweet: projection. For more than a year, he has attacked systematically in Cohn-like fashion every witness likely to testify against him in Mueller’s investigation. Look at the casualty list of individuals who can corroborate James Comey‘s testimony that Trump asked him to go easy on former national security adviser Mike Flynn (“letting Flynn go”):

FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe (fired)

FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki (reassigned, quit under fire)

FBI general counsel James Baker (reassigned, quit under fire)

FBI deputy director chief counsel Lisa Page (reassigned, quit under fire)

FBI executive director national security Carl Ghattas (leaving FBI)

Last man standing: Associate FBI director David Bowdich

Trump’s “Distract and Divert” Strategy Claims More Victims

Trump has tried to spin his involvement in the Mueller investigation as limited to Comey’s firing and potential obstruction of justice. In fact, Trump knows that his exposure goes far beyond that. His broader diversionary attacks on Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation prove it.

In that mission, Trump continues to enjoy the unwavering assistance of complicit Republicans in Congress, especially Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Mark Meadows (R-NC). But there are so many more. In fact, at some point — whether by sins of omission or commission — most GOP members of Congress have aided and abetted Trump. Their attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI have been relentless and the collateral damage is mounting:

Career FBI agent Peter Strok (fired after internal director of personnel matters recommended demotion and 60-day suspension)

Career federal attorney and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr (demoted and whom Trump now threatens with the loss of his national security clearance)

And, of course, the supposedly “Angry Democrats” on Mueller’s team have become a central theme of Trump’s tweets and public comments. Soon, Trump will probably start naming them. The toughest fact against him is also the most enduring: Mueller is a lifelong Republican, as is his immediate supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

How low will the complicit GOP go with Trump? Regrettably far. Immediately, after Trump’s latest attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) gave him the green light to fire Sessions. That would allow Trump to replace him with someone who could and would end Mueller’s investigation.

Jury Tampering in Plain Sight

Meanwhile, Trump opened another front in his scorched earth battle against the rule of law. As the jury in Paul Manafort‘s first criminal case deliberated, Trump praised Manafort as a “good man” and attacked special counsel Mueller.

“Very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort,” Trump said about his former campaign manager.

The Manafort jury was not sequestered. Such remarks from the President of the United States were a breathtaking effort to influence the verdict. And to some extent, they may have worked. But for a single holdout, the jurors would have convicted Manafort on all 18 counts facing him, rather than the eight that will still land him in prison for a long, long time.

Now Trump is dangling before Manafort the possibility of a pardon, provided he doesn’t “flip” and become a “rat” — as Trump asserted John Dean did to President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

Cohen Flips

Within minutes of the Manafort verdict, Michael Cohen appeared in a different federal court to confess that, at Trump’s direction, he violated federal election laws. According to Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, he has more to say that could interest Mueller, and Trump won’t like it.

Here’s a complete list of the most recent updates to the Trump-Russia Timeline:

MARCH 14, 2016: Kushner Meets Kissinger

SOMETIME BETWEEN JUN. 3 AND JUN. 8, 2016: Don Jr. Reportedly Tells Trump About Russian Offer to Help; Trump Approves (entry deleted)

FEB. 11, 2017: Mifsud Leaves US

JULY 23, 2018: Trump Considers Revoking Security Clearances of Critics; WH Memo Dated Three Days Later Revokes Brennan’s (revision of previous entry)

JUL. 26, 2018; CNN and NBC Report That Trump Knew in Advance About Trump Tower Meeting, But CNN’s Source Later Clarifies Record (revision of previous entry)

AUG. 10, 2018: FBI Agent Strzok Fired

AUG. 12, 2018: Deripaska Agrees to Reduce Rusal Holdings

AUG. 13, 2018: Trump Tweets That Strzok’s Firing Means Mueller’s Investigation Should ‘Be Dropped’: ‘Witch Hunt,’ ‘Hoax’, ‘No Collusion’

AUG. 13, 2018: Another Judge Rejects Challenges to Mueller’s Authority

AUG. 14, 2018: Trump Tweets Attack Strzok, Sessions, Mueller, FBI, Clinton, Ohr, Steele Dossier, ‘No Collusion or Obstruction’, ‘Illegal Rigged Witch Hunt’

AUG. 15, 2018: Trump Tweets About ‘Rigged Russian With Hunt,’ ‘Hoax,’ ‘No Collusion,’ Strzok Firing and FBI

AUG. 15, 2018: White House Announces That Trump Has Revoked Brennan’s Security Clearance

AUG. 15, 2018: Trump to WSJ: Brennan Led ‘Rigged Witch Hunt’

AUG. 15, 2018: Trump Tweets About Brennan

AUG. 15, 2018: Giuliani Says Trump Attorneys Are Prepared to Fight Mueller Subpoena

AUG. 15, 2018: Trump Signs Defense Bill; Objects to Certain Russia Provisions

AUG. 15, 16 and 17, 2018: Trump’s Twelve Tweets: ‘Rigged With Hunt’, Strzok, Ohr, Brennan, Blumenthal

AUG. 16, 2018: Paul Says He Wants Sanctions Lifted for Russian Legislators

AUG. 17, 2018: Trump Lashes Out at Brennan, Mueller, Ohr, FBI

AUG. 17, 2018: Trump Defends Manafort; Judge Discloses Threats

AUG. 18, 2018: NYT: McGahn Cooperating ‘Extensively in Mueller Inquiry’

AUG. 18-19, 2018: Trump Tweets After Reports of McGahn’s Cooperation; Compares Mueller to Sen. Joseph McCarthy

AUG. 19, 2018: Giuliani Says Trump Tower Meeting Originally About Getting Info on Clinton

AUG. 20, 2018: Trump Tweets Attack Mueller

AUG. 20, 2018: Trump Attacks Ohr; Sessions’ ‘Justice’ Department

AUG. 20, 2018: Trump Says He Could Run Mueller Investigation

AUG. 21, 2018: Manafort Convicted; Cohen Pleads Guilty, Implicates Trump, Has More to Say on Russia

AUG. 21, 2018: Trump Calls Manafort a “Good Man”

AUG. 22, 2018: Trump Tweets About Cohen, Manafort, ‘Justice’ Department

AUG. 22, 2018: Cohen’s Attorney: Cohen Has Info on Trump’s Knowledge of Russian Hacking

AUG. 22, 2018: Trump Would Consider Pardoning Manafort

AUG. 22, 2018: Sanders: ‘President Has Done Nothing Wrong; There Are No Charges Against Him’; No Consideration to Pardoning Manafort

AUG. 23, 2018: Trump Considered Pardon for Manafort, But When?

AUG 23, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘NO COLLUSION – RIGGED WITCH HUNT’

AUG. 23, 2018: Trump Blasts Sessions, Again; Sessions Responds

AUG. 24, 2018: Trump Continues to Needle Sessions

AUG. 25, 2018: Trump Tweets About Cohen, Sessions, Clinton Emails

AUG. 26, 2018: Trump Retweets Attacks on Sessions, Threat to ‘Get Involved’

 

 

 

KIDS HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 104

WHERE ARE THE KIDS? 

Here’s the latest report on what Trump and the complicit GOP mean when they say, “Make America Great Again”:

— Total number of children that the government separated from their families at the border: 2,654

— Children no longer in government custody because they were reunited with parents: 1,616

How about the remaining 1,038?

— Discharged “under other appropriate circumstances” (including kids who helped the government’s statistical count by turning 18 and dropping out of the reunification program): 473

— Still in government custody: 565

Of the 565:

— “Adult presently outside the US” (i.e., US government deported them without their kids): 366

— “Parent indicated a desire against reunification” (includes a “significant number of parents the outside US”): 154

In that final group — “parent indicated a desire against reunification” — the government attempts to bury a multitude of sins. According to the ACLU, the distribution of paperwork to migrant parents in a “coercive and misleading manner” created a chaotic reunification process. In some cases, parents who could not speak or understand English signed documents thinking they were facilitating reunification when, in fact, they were waiving those rights.

And those in the penultimate group — 366 kids with parents “presently outside the US” — are a problem the country, too. According to a recent ACLU filing, some of those parents were misled or coerced into waiving their international human rights to seek asylum in return for assurances that reunification would proceed more quickly. The government then deported them without their kids

The enduring stain remains: The United States of America captured families at the border, took the kids, and deported the parents. We’re 104 days into that hostage crisis.

World history has few parallels to such action by a supposedly civilized nation. They’re not pretty.

THE “SOMETHING IS COMING AND TRUMP KNOWS IT” EDITION: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE THROUGH AUG. 12, 2018

Reminder: Where are the kids? It’s Kids Held Hostage Day 98.

When it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump has never behaved as an innocent man would. He’s getting worse. Even on vacation, he couldn’t shed his unrelenting fear that the Trump-Russia probe is leading to an unhappy ending (for him).

August 6:

August 9:

 

August 10:

August 11:

August 12:

Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but last week special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing interest in Roger Stone became even clearer. Several of Stone’s associates have received subpoenas from Mueller’s grand jury. Go to the Trump-Russia Timeline and click on Roger Stone’s name to discover why he’s in jeopardy. For Trump, he could be a harbinger of bad things to come.

By the way, the Maria Butina storyline remains intriguing. On Aug. 6, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) went to Moscow (with a letter from Trump for delivery to Putin). He met with Russian leaders who wanted to talk about Butina’s release. For a 29-year-old student who just finished her Master’s degree program at American University, she sure is attracting a lot of attention from her fellow Russians in high places.

Here’s a complete list of this week’s entries in the update to the Trump-Russia Timeline:

MAY 11, 2016: Scavino Tweets About Clinton E-mails

JULY 30, 2018: Nunes Says Majority GOP in Congress Must Protect Trump; Impeaching Rosenstein Is a Matter of Timing

AUG. 6, 2018: Trump Tweets About Clinton ‘Collusion’

AUG. 6, 2018: Rand Paul in Moscow with Letter from Trump to Putin; Russians Want Butina Released

AUG. 6, 2018: Rand Paul in Moscow with Letter from Trump to Putin; Russians Want Butina Released

AUG. 8, 2018: Trump Belatedly Imposes Sanctions

AUG. 9, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Clinton & the Democrats Colluded’, ‘Rigged Witch Hunt’, ‘FBI Thought They Wouldn’t Get Caught’

AUG. 9, 2018: Mueller Subpoenas Credico

AUG. 10, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘No Evidence to Launch’ Collusion Investigation

AUG. 10, 2018: Former ‘Manhattan Madam’ Appears Before Mueller’s Grand Jury

AUG. 10, 2018: Stone Associate Found in Contempt

AUG. 10, 2018: Giuliani and Sekulow Guest Host for Hannity

AUG. 11, 2018: Trump Tweets About McCabe, Comey, Strzok, Lisa Page, Sessions, Steele, Ohr, DOJ; Threatens To Get Involved with FBI

AUG. 12, 2018: Trump Attacks Mueller, DOJ, and FBI

 

KIDS HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 97

On Nov. 4, 1979, a group of Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took 90 hostages — including 66 Americans. Four days later, ABC News launched “America Held Hostage: The Iran Crisis” — a breaking news program competing with the first half-hour of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on NBC and The CBS Late Movie. The program also launched host Ted Koppel’s career to a new level. As the crisis continued, the program opened with a running total of the passing days:

“America held hostage: Day —”

On Day 444, the crisis ended with the release of the last American hostages shortly after President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.

Kids Held Hostage: Day 97

All of the American hostages in Iran were adults. For months now, Trump’s zero tolerance policy has been victimizing children. Beginning in late April 2018, the US government took more than 2,500 children from their parents. It still holds more than 550 of them — almost 10 times the number of Americans held hostage in Iran four decades ago.

Where’s the outrage? Where’s the sense of urgency?

If a foreign government had done to American children what our country has done to the kids whom the US government has separated from their parents at the southwest border, the media would be screaming the accumulating days of captivity. The count wouldn’t stop until all of the children had been released and reunited with their families.

Using May 7, 2018 — the date Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s new zero tolerance policy without any plan to protect the innocent children it affected — today is “Kids Held Hostage: Day 97″ for some of the victims.

Violating Court Order: Day 17

Another family separation benchmark is July 26, 2018. That was the Court-ordered deadline for reunification of the immigrants’ kids with their families. Today is Day 17 of the government’s ongoing violation of that order.

The Kids

Every day brings a new revelation that worsens the family separation story. Last week, the ACLU said that it believes US Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) deliberately withheld — for more than a month — 400-plus phone numbers of parents who were separated from their kids. That contact information could have helped to reunite many of the families. Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the government’s latest status report on the kids and its proposed plan for dealing with them:

— 559 remain in government custody

— Parents of 386 kids have been deported

— Government wants ACLU to determine if parents want their kids back

— Government proposes reunification only in the parents’ home country

The Tip of an Ugly Trump Iceberg

The last item in the government’s plan — reunification only in the parents’ home country — was a tell. Last week, it became clear that Trump is expanding his attack on immigrants to include their international human right to seek asylum.

On Aug. 7, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 immigrants — eight women, one man, and three children — challenging the Justice Department’s June 2018 policy changes aimed at limiting those asylum rights and expediting deportations. Two of the children and their mothers in the suit had already been deported.

Attorneys for the ACLU and the Justice Department had agreed to delay removal proceedings for the remaining mother and her child so they could argue the matter before US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on Aug. 9. While participating in that hearing by phone from her office in California, the lead ACLU attorney received an email saying that the mother and daughter were being deported. During a brief recess, she told her colleagues that the pair had been taken from a family detention center in Dilley, TX to the airport in San Antonio for a morning flight back to El Salvador.

The judge was not pleased.

After being informed of the situation, he granted the ACLU’s request to delay deportations for the mother and daughter, as well as the other plaintiffs in the suit. And he ordered the government to “turn the plane around” to bring the mother and her child back to the US. He also threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if it didn’t.

“This is pretty outrageous,” Judge Sullivan said. “That someone seeking justice in US court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?”

“I’m not happy about this at all,” the judge continued. “This is not acceptable.”

Outrageous and unacceptable.

Where are the kids? Through Election Day and beyond, every citizen should keep asking that question because it goes to the core of America’s character. The “Kids Held Hostage” clock is running, and it won’t stop until the last of more than 2,500 children whom Trump separated from their families is released. Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress bear the responsibility for a stain on America that will endure for a long, long time.

Kids Held Hostage: Day 97

THE “TRUMP ADMISSION” and “UBIQUITOUS MARIA BUTINA” EDITION: TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATES THROUGH AUG. 5, 2018

WHERE ARE THE KIDS?

Still asking.

Never forget the children whom Trump separated from their families at the border. They won’t forget the experience. And some of them will never see their parents again.

***

DON’T BURY THE LEDE

This week’s key update in the Trump-Russia Timeline is Trump’s tweet on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018:

That’s a multi-purpose admission. Let’s count the ways:

— Trump and his enablers have said repeatedly that the primary purpose of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting was to discuss Russian adoptions. Those were lies.

— “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent” from Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election. That’s a crime.

— In July 2017, when confronted with reporters from The New York Times preparing to run the first story about the June 9 meeting, Trump dictated a statement for his son to use as a response. It was a lie.

— Trump’s enablers — notably his attorney Jay Sekulow — repeated the lies on national television. So did Mike Pence, Don Jr., Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, and others in a long list of Trump enablers.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Aug. 5, 2018, Sekulow tried to explain away his misstatements of a year earlier as the result of “bad information.” Who gave Sekulow that “bad information”? All lying roads lead to Trump.

As I’ve said previously, the Trump-Russia scandal and subsequent efforts to cover it up are putting Trump’s lawyers in need of their own attorneys. Prediction: As in Watergate, some Trump enablers with law degrees will go to jail.

Monumentally toxic clients have that gift. It keeps on giving.

Use the Timeline for Context

Trump’s Aug. 5, 2018 admission provides an opportunity to explore another feature of the Trump-Russia Timeline. The name filter sorts entries relevant to a particular person (or persons — you can click on multiple names at the same time). That’s one helpful feature. But additionally, for events such as the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting and the July 2017 cover-up, the Timeline provides crucial context for new developments. One of those developments is Trump’s Aug. 5, 2018 admission.

CONTEXT: June 9, 2016 Meeting

Start with this entry: “JUNE 3, 2016: Don Jr. Receives Russian Offer of Info to ‘Incriminate’ Clinton.” Then proceed chronologically, reviewing each Timeline entry up to and including this one: JUNE TO NOVEMBER 2016 “Translator Project” in Full Swing”

CONTEXT: July 2017 Cover-up

Start with this entry: DURING THE WEEK OF JUNE 19, 2017Trump Lawyers Reportedly Learn About Emails Relating to June 9, 2016, Meeting.” Then proceed chronologically, reviewing each Timeline entry up to and including this one: SEPT. 7, 2017: Don Jr. Talks to Senate Judiciary Committee, Denies Telling Trump About Meeting in Advance”

Facts and context are Trump’s mortal enemies and American democracy’s greatest allies.

***

MEANWHILE, THE MARIA BUTINA THREAD UNRAVELS ANOTHER SWEATER…

As with the last update, some of the most intriguing entries in the latest update to the Trump-Russia Timeline relate to Maria Butina.

In 2011, at age 23, Butina was furniture store manager in Siberia. Living in a country with strict gun control laws, she started a gun rights organization. Before long, she connected somehow with Alexander Torshin, a close Putin ally in the upper house of the Russian parliament and deputy governor of Russia’s central bank. From 2012 to 2014, a Russian oligarch helped to fund her efforts. In 2015, Butina was hobnobbing with top leaders of the National Rifle Association when they visited Moscow. One of them, Paul Erickson, became her paramour.

By September 2016, Butina was attending dinners at the Swiss embassy where she met J. D. Gordon, who had been a national security adviser for Trump and was anticipating a spot on Trump’s transition team. He invited her to attend a concert in mid-October 2018; she agreed. That month, he invited her to his birthday party; she attended.

Go to the Timeline and click on J. D. Gordon’s name. Although underreported, he has always been an important player in the Trump-Russia Timeline. The entire world is discovering just how important.

AND THEN THERE”S THESE…

Trump’s tweet-admission and the Maria Butina story will continue to have legs. But so will these highlights from the latest update:

— Russians are continuing to attack US elections, according to the heads of US intelligence agencies. But Trump continues to ridicule assertions that Putin attacked the 2016 election — which he did — as a “hoax.” Last August, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who faces a tough re-election campaign in a state that Trump won by almost 20 points, had a personal encounter with Russia’s deadly serious cyberattacks aimed at American democracy.

Paul Manafort‘s first trial is underway. Although his shady dealings are not likely to shape the overall Trump-Russia narrative, a few interesting nuggets are emerging. One is the magnitude of Manafort’s financial distress at the time he offered to join the Trump campaign — and work full-time without pay. And keep an eye on Rick Gates, whose future testimony relating to the larger Trump-Russia scandal could be far more damning than anything he tells the jury in Manafort’s case.

Rudy Giuliani continues to perform his role: chief custodian of shiny objects that he and Trump deploy to attract attention and distract from Trump’s burgeoning legal problems. Giuliani has become a poster child for attorney incompetence that simultaneously undermines the rule of law. Someday, maybe the media will stop booking his TV appearances and quoting his remarks in otherwise reputable news publications.

Last but not least, Trump’s attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation have intensified in number, duration, and tone. It’s not the behavior of an innocent man. Nor are Trump’s actions consistent with a belief that he will get away with whatever he has done wrong. Trump acts as if Vladimir Putin has something on him. Ironically, even Trump himself may not know for sure what it is.

Here’s a complete list of the latest updates to the Trump-Russia Timeline:

2011: Butina Launches Gun Rights Group in Russia

APR. 15, 2012: Torshin Promotes Butina’s Gun Rights Group; Gets Support from Oligarch

BETWEEN 2012 to 2014: Russian Oligarch Supports Butina

DECEMBER 11, 2015: NRA Leaders Meet with Wife of Butina’s Financial Backer

MARCH 10-11, 2016: Butina Works With ‘US Person 1’; Thanks ‘US Person 2’ for Helping US-Russia Relations (revision of previous entry)

MARCH 29, 2016: Trump Hires Manafort, Who Is Broke But Agrees to Work for Nothing (revision of previous entry)

SPRING 2016: Russian Attackers Infiltrate US Utilities

SEPT. 16, 2016: Butina Tries to Schedule ‘Friendship and Dialogue’ Dinner (revision of previous entry)

SEPT. 29, 2016: Butina Meets J. D. Gordon; Contacts Continue Through October

NOV. 30, 2016: Butina Writes About Establishing US-Russia ‘Back Channel’ (revision of previous entry)

AUG. 30, 2017: Trump Attacks McCaskill in Missouri; Meanwhile, Russia Attempts to Hack Her Campaign

JULY 23, 2018: Manafort Trial Delayed to July 31

JULY 23, 2018: Trump Considers Revoking Security Clearances of Critics

JULY 24, 2018: Trump Tweets: Russia ‘Will Be Pushing Very Hard For the Democrats’ in Midterm Elections

JULY 24, 2018: Burr: ‘Sound Reasons’ for Judges to Approve FISA Warrant

JULY 24, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Witch Hunt’ in Promoting New ‘Russia Hoax’ Book

JULY 25, 2018: Trump Tweets About Cohen Tapes

JULY 25, 2018: Bolton Blames ‘Witch Hunt’ for Delaying Putin’s White House Visit

JULY 25, 2018: Eleven GOP Members of Congress Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Rosenstein

JULY 26, 2018: Mnuchin in “Productive Discussions” to Lift Sanctions Against Rusal

JULY 26, 2018: White House Corrects Helsinki Transcript

JULY 26, 2018: Trump Organization CFO Called Before Cohen Grand Jury

JULY 26, 2018: Trump Tweets ‘Witch Hunt’

JULY 27, 2018: Trump Open to Putin Invitation to Moscow

JULY 29, 2018: Trump Tweets Attack Mueller

JULY 30, 2018: Giuliani Appears to Concede Pre-Meeting ‘Strategy’ Session Before June 9, 2016 Trump Tower Meeting, Then Walks It Back

JULY 31, 2018: Manafort’s First Trial Begins

JULY 31, 2018: Trump Tweets: ‘Collusion is Not a Crime,’ But There Wasn’t Any (By Trump)

JULY 31, 2018: Deripaska’s Firm Gets Deadline Extension on Sanctions

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Tweets That Sessions Should Terminate Mueller Investigation; Slams Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page; Sanders Doubles Down

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Distances Himself From Manafort, But Says Feds Treat Manafort Worse Than Al Capone

AUG. 1, 2018: Trump Tweets About Book on ‘Russia Hoax’

AUG. 2, 2018: US Intel Chiefs Warn About Ongoing Russian Election Interference; Trump Then Decries ‘Russia Hoax’

AUG. 2, 2018: Bipartisan Group Proposes Tougher Russian Sanctions

AUG. 4, 2018: Hicks Travels with Trump

AUG. 5, 2018: Trump Worries and Tweets About Don Jr.

AUG. 5, 2018: Sekulow Backtracks

WHERE ARE THE KIDS? STILL MISSING THEIR PARENTS

Where are the kids?

Keep asking the question until Trump’s government provides answers.

Then ask how and why this could happen in America.

Then vote in November to make sure it never happens again.

Meanwhile, the story worsens by the week. Chutzpah doesn’t quite capture the latest Trump move.

— The federal court’s July 26, 2018 deadline for reuniting children that the government separated from their parents at the border came and went.

— As of Aug. 3, 572 kids still remained in government custody, separated from their families.

—  The government admitted that the parents of 410 of those children reside “outside the United States,” meaning that they had likely been deported.

— The Trump administration proposed a Trumpian solution: Shift responsibility to others. Government lawyers asked the court to require that the ACLU “take the lead” in finding the “missing parents.”

Appropriately, the judge scoffed at the absurdity of that suggestion: “Many of these parents were removed from the country without their child. All of this is the result of the government’s separation and then inability and failure to track and reunite. And the reality is that for every parent who is not located there will be a permanently orphaned child. And that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.”

100 percent.

Bad News for the Non-Orphans, Too

Even for those kids who make their way back to their families, the damage from Trump’s family separation policy will be permanent, as a recent article in The Atlantic explains:

“This kind of trauma can permanently affect the brains of these children, and potentially their long-term development, explained Colleen Kraft, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics….

“In April, Kraft and some colleagues were permitted to visit a shelter for migrant children run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She described seeing a room full of toddlers that was ‘eerily silent.’ That is, except for one little girl, who was ‘sobbing and wailing and beating her fists on the mat.’ A staff worker tried to comfort her with books and toys, but she wasn’t allowed to pick her up or touch her, Kraft said.

“‘This girl would stop crying if her mother was there, but we couldn’t bring her mother to her,’” Kraft said. ‘We could feel the trauma that was going on there.’

“This trauma, she explained, can permanently affect these children’s brains, especially if it occurs early in childhood. Separation from a parent induces stress hormones, which course quickly through kids’ small bodies. Parents can normally help children work through their stress—but not if they aren’t there.

“Studies show that high levels of cortisol, one of these stress hormones, can suppress the immune system and change the architecture of a developing brain, according to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Another stress chemical, corticotropin-releasing hormone, can damage the hippocampus, which plays a major role in learning and memory.

“The brain develops rapidly before the age of 3, with some connections strengthening and some being pruned away. In healthy, normal kids, synaptic connections related to learning, playing, and social skills are being formed during the toddler years. But, as Kraft explained, in children who have unrelenting stress, the strongest connections in the brain are those related to fear, aggression, and anxiety.

“As the kids grow, the brain starts pruning some of the weaker synaptic connections while keeping the stronger ones. Healthy kids’ brains will keep the connections related to learning or resilience, while perhaps wiping away the small hiccups of childhood. But in kids who have suffered toxic stress, the enduring connections will be the ones related to fear and anxiety, Kraft explained, while those related to learning or relating socially might fade.

“Many kids like this, she said, ‘don’t develop speech, they don’t develop the social and emotional bonds, don’t develop gross motor function [normally]. It leads to very significant developmental delay.’”

Never Forget

Behind the numbers are individual tragedies that create a stark picture of what “making America great again” means to Trump and his enablers. Starting in November, voters will have an opportunity to say whether America has endured enough of Trump-branded greatness. His name isn’t on any ballot, but his dark shadow hovers over every Republican congressional candidate.

TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE UPDATE “EXTRA” FOR JULY 27, 2018: COHEN BOMBSHELL

Where are the kids?

The court deadline for the US government to reunite children that Trump separated from their families at the border has come and gone. Hundreds of kids remain separated, stories about their treatment become worse, and the government uses creative word games to sell its excuses.

“Where are the kids?” Trump and his enablers have no answer. Keep posing the question and Republicans in Congress will feel the consequences in November.

Meanwhile…

Breaking news prompts a special Trump-Russia Timeline update.

The developments on July 26, 2018, prompt three new entries (and one revision to an earlier entry) in the Trump-Russia Timeline. Specifically, Michael Cohen reportedly is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew about — and approved beforehand — the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Russians promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

To grasp the significance of this development, go to the Timeline’s name filter and click on Donald Trump Jr.‘s name.

If Cohen is telling the truth — that he “and others” were present when Don Jr. told Trump about the Russians’ offer to help Trump win the election — then Don Jr. and his dad are in big trouble.

Then again, they already were. For those who have been following the evolution of the Timeline, the Cohen news corroborates what has been known for a while. Plenty of evidence was already pointing in the direction that Cohen has now pointed everyone: Trump conspired against the United States to win a presidential election.

Here’s are the three new entries (and one revision that adds Don Jr.’s answers to key questions from Senate interviewers in September 2017) in the Trump-Russia Timeline:

SOMETIME BETWEEN JUNE 3 and JUNE 8, 2016: Don Jr. Reportedly Tells Trump About Russian Offer to Help; Trump Approves

SEPT. 7, 2017: Don Jr. Talks to Senate Judiciary Committee, Denies Telling Trump About Meeting in Advance (revision of previous entry)

JULY 26, 2018: CNN and NBC Report That Trump Knew in Advance About Trump Tower Meeting

JULY 27, 2018: After Bombshell Report About Cohen, Trump Tweets

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