Trump: Many Immigrants are ‘Animals’ Who ‘Slice and Dice Young, Beautiful Girls’

Donald Trump marked Tuesday with another campaign-style rally in Ohio, using his platform to grab praise from his supporters and return to the glory of his campaign. There were plenty of pro-Trump folks in attendance, with some anti-Trump protestors tossed into the mix, giving the entire event a nostalgic 2016 feel that’s bolstered by Trump once again taking aim at illegal immigrants.

Trump hasn’t resorted to this type of language in a while, but Tuesday night’s rally touted ICE raids that were “doing it rough” and not “in a politically correct fashion,” while referring to those being deported as violent gang members and “animals.” While data has shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes according to The New York Times and ICE Raids aren’t always targeting the worst of the worst, Trump’s comments would have you believe that they’re going block by block as they “liberate” cities from violent foreigners:

One by one, we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals, and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from. [applause]

And once they are gone, we will never let them back in, believe me. [applause]

The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people — these beautiful, beautiful, innocent young people — will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. [applause]

And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife, because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer, folks.

There’s nobody to question this comments at the rally, sites like Shareblue point out that Trump’s rant was less about actually dealing with violent criminals and more about “building up the anger and suspicion” with his supporters. He’s campaigning six months into his presidency and shows no signs of stopping. He’s even gone back to saying he’s more presidential than any president before — setting aside an exception for Lincoln.

Being presidential clearly includes telling a crowd of Boy Scouts about your friend’s sex yacht. This is Trump’s America now.



The Justice Department Just Argued Against Gay Rights in a Major Federal Case

The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case.

The Trump administration’s filing is unusual in part because the Justice Department isn’t a party in the case, and the department doesn’t typically weigh in on private employment lawsuits.

But in an amicus brief filed at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions contend that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans sex discrimination, does not cover sexual orientation.

“The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” says the Justice Department’s brief. “It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”

The Justice Department also contends that Title VII only applies if men and women are treated unequally.

“The essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII is that employees of one sex must be treated worse than similarly situated employees of the other sex, and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect,” the brief says.

The case kicked off in 2010 when Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor, filed suit against his employer in federal court in New York, alleging the company terminated him for his sexual orientation in violation of Title VII.

After a lower court ruled and the case was appealed, the 2nd Circuit invited outside parties to weigh in. Zarda v. Altitude Express is now before before a full panel of judges at the court.

Among Zarda’s boosters is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a largely autonomous federal agency that handles civil rights disputes in the workplace, which supported Zarda last month in its own court filing.

For several years, the EEOC has declared in federal court that Title VII bans anti-gay discrimination, saying it is based on sex stereotyping, and therefore discrimination on the basis of sex.

But the Justice Department argues in its latest brief, “the EEOC is not speaking for the United States and its position about the scope of Title VII is entitled to no deference beyond its power to persuade.”

The scope of Title VII has been disputed for years.

Under President Obama, the government argued Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination also included gender identity — thereby barring discrimination against transgender workers. But the Obama administration never went as far to say the civil rights law also covered sexual orientation. It had in fact opposed the argument, claiming that its hands were tied by prior court precedent. Yet in 2016, the Obama administration arguably dialed back its opposition by not trying to dismiss a case brought on those grounds.

If Zarda’s argument were to prevail — despite his death in a base-jumping accident in 2014 — it would set new precedent in the circuit by overturning two cases from the 2000s.

Further, it would give momentum to the argument as a general matter, given that in April the 7th Circuit ruled in favor of a lesbian who made the same claim.

Under Sessions, the Justice Department has pushed back against the EEOC’s view and that court decision. “The theories advanced by the EEOC and the Seventh Circuit lack merit,” the brief on Wednesday said. “These theories are inconsistent with Congress’s clear ratification of the overwhelming judicial consensus that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.”

Several LGBT activists had worried the Justice Department would unleash a more sweeping claim that gender-identity discrimination isn’t covered under the Title VII as well — but the brief doesn’t explicitly speak to that issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Trump announced he would end all transgender military service.

“On the day that will go down in history as Anti-LGBT Day comes one more gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people’s civil rights,” said a statement from James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project. “The Sessions-led Justice Department and the Trump administration are actively working to expose people to discrimination.”

“Fortunately, courts will decide whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people, not an Attorney General and a White House that are hell-bent on playing politics with people’s lives,” he said.


Trump Rips Sessions on Twitter, While He Attends a White House Meeting

The one-sided feud between President Donald Trump and his attorney general persisted Wednesday, even as a battered Jeff Sessions trudged ahead with his Justice Department duties.

Less than an hour after Sessions was deposited at the White House by a black SUV for routine meetings in the West Wing, Trump proclaimed from another corner of the same building that his displeasure in his attorney general hasn’t waned.

“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives,” he tweeted. “Drain the Swamp!”

The message, which stretched facts, was the latest chapter in a humiliating ordeal for the nation’s top law enforcement official, who has refused to resign even amid the increasingly hostile barbs being issued by his boss. Over the past two days, Trump has deemed his attorney general “beleaguered” and “very weak.” His anger has stemmed from Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from an FBI investigation into Russian election meddling.

Even as Sessions was attending a so-called “principals small group meeting” in the West Wing on Wednesday, Trump — who remained in his private residence — declined to confront his attorney general face-to-face. Some of Trump’s aides have encouraged the President to speak with Sessions directly, rather than angrily lambast him over Twitter, but that advice appeared to go unheeded Wednesday morning.

Speaking on CNN, Trump’s newly installed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci defended the President’s tactics for communicating his ire, saying Sessions was likely among Trump’s Twitter followers and thus a direct recipient of his messages.

“Jeff Sessions is probably one of the 113 million people” who follow Trump online, he said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Sessions, however, doesn’t maintain an active Twitter account, and his campaign account — @JeffSessions — hasn’t posted since 2014. That account doesn’t follow Trump.

The disconnect between the two men has caused deep consternation among some members of Congress, who question Trump’s public needling of Sessions while stopping short of firing him.

“I would fire somebody that I did not believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate him in public, which is a sign of weakness,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, on Wednesday. “I would just go ahead and say, ‘I appreciate your service, you need to be fired.’ ”

Despite Trump’s attacks, Sessions has no plans to resign, sources have told CNN. Instead, he’s forging ahead with his duties as attorney general, including routine meetings with administration officials at the White House.

His vehicles were spotted around 9 a.m. ET at the West Wing, where he regularly meets with fellow officials. He was not expected to meet with Trump. He departed about 90 minutes later, striding stone-faced wearing a dark checked suit to his car, toting a briefing binder in his right hand.

The President, meanwhile, wasn’t officially scheduled to begin his workday until 10:30 a.m. ET, and wasn’t present in the West Wing while Sessions was there.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s press secretary, said later Wednesday that Sessions did not meet with the President while he was at the White House.

“The President’s been very clear about where he is,” Sanders said. “He is obviously disappointed.”

“You can be disappointed in someone but still want them to continue to do their job,” she added.

Trump’s message on Twitter revived a convoluted and largely debunked criticism of Sessions and McCabe, who has served in the acting FBI position since Trump abruptly fired Comey in May. Trump interviewed McCabe for the permanent role, but eventually chose Christopher Wray, whose nomination is pending in the Senate.

McCabe’s wife, who ran for a position in the Virginia legislature in 2015, received a large donation from a political action committee affiliated with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. But there’s no evidence that she received donations from Clinton herself. The donation also predated the point at which McCabe assumed oversight responsibilities for the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. McCabe consulted ethics officers at the FBI before his wife’s run.

Aside from concerned lawmakers and members of his staff, the prolonged standoff between Trump and Sessions, a former US senator who endorsed Trump early in his campaign, has also drawn criticism from some conservative media outlets, who still regard Sessions as an essential right-wing voice within the administration.

Sessions himself sought to highlight those credentials Tuesday, announcing that “sanctuary cities” would be ineligible for key law enforcement grants. And he soon plans to announce a stepped-up effort to go after leakers, a project that Trump himself has pressed.

But those efforts may not be sufficient to overcome Trump’s anger, which has been simmering for months but which he first revealed publicly in a New York Times interview last week.

Publicly, Trump’s aides say Sessions is merely experiencing a regular facet of Trump’s personality — one that values loyalty and isn’t for the weak of heart.

“I’m telling my fellow teammates here in the West Wing and my fellow friends that happen to be Cabinet secretaries that this is his style and nature,” Scaramucci said on CNN. “You’ve got to have a very tough skin to work for and deal with the President.”

Asked about Sessions’ uncertain fate during a news conference on Tuesday, Trump offered only caprice.

“We will see what happens,” he said in the Rose Garden. “Time will tell. Time will tell.”


Trump Says Transgender People Can’t Serve In Military

President Trump has announced that the government will not allow transgender people to serve in the U.S. military.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, he wrote:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow … Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

Transgender people already serve in the military. It’s not immediately clear how Trump intends to implement the ban, but the Pentagon announced Wednesday that it will defer enlistments by transgender applicants.

“Secretary [James] Mattis today approved a recommendation by the services to defer accessing transgender applicants into the military until Jan. 1, 2018,” Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement. “The services will review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces.”

In June 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender service members.

As NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported then, Carter said the key reason for the change was “that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now — the finest fighting force the world has ever known.”

The move was an acknowledgement of the transgender people already in the military. Carter said RAND researchers estimated that “about 25,000 people out of approximately 825,000 reserve service members are transgender, with the upper end of their range of estimates of around 7,000 in the active component and 4,000 in the reserves.”

Trump’s announcement will likely be seen as running counter to a tweet he posted in 2016, in which Trump thanked the LGBT community. “I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he pledged.

The Human Rights Campaign immediately tweeted its disapproval of Trump’s announcement. “Threatening 15K currently serving troops who put their lives at risk is unpatriotic and dangerous,” the LGBTQ rights organization said.


“As a presidential candidate, President Trump said that he “will do everything” to protect LGBT communities from violence, during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.”

Scaramucci Threatens to ‘Fire Everybody’ to Stop White House Leaks

President Donald Trump’s newly appointed communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, said Tuesday that he is prepared to “fire everybody” in the White House communications shop in order to put an end to embarrassing internal leaks.

The financier and longtime Trump surrogate is eager to shake up the communications shop, which has been dominated by former Republican National Committee staffers loyal to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, a former RNC chairman.

Scaramucci confirmed to POLITICO early Tuesday that he planned to start by dismissing assistant press secretary Michael Short at a morning meeting, but that move was apparently delayed.

Short, who initially said Tuesday that he hadn’t yet been informed of any decision, resigned Tuesday afternoon.

Short’s ouster is Scaramucci’s first warning shot to White House aides who have been perceived as disloyal to the president. In an echo of Trump’s not-so-subtle warning to Jeff Sessions about his status as attorney general, Scaramucci’s vow to “fire everybody” is a warning to staffers perceived as leakers.

“I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” Scaramucci said to reporters outside of the White House on Tuesday. “You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to be fired.”

He claimed to have the full authority of the president to clean out the communications shop and put his own stamp on the team. A source close to Scaramucci said that he’s planning to bring in people from the corporate communications world in addition to conservative broadcast stars.

Scaramucci also told reporters outside the White House that it “upsets” him that Short would find out about any changes to his employment through the media.

“This is the problem with the leaking,” he said. “This is actually a terrible thing. Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic.”

He has pledged to put a stop to the leaks that have flowed out of the White House, especially those that have come from the press operation.

Scaramucci earlier said to POLITICO that Short would be the first dismissal of many, if he’s not able to stop the leaks coming out of the communications and press shop.

“I’m committed to taking the comms shop down to Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] and me, if I can’t get the leaks to stop,” Scaramucci told POLITICO.

During his first day in the White House on Monday, Scaramucci met with current communications staffers and warned about leaks coming from the office. “I offered amnesty in the meeting, but that decision is above my rank,” Scaramucci added.

Short said he had not been involved in any leaks. “Allegations I ever leaked anything are demonstrably false,” Short said.

Short is expected to be the first in a wave of staffers closely aligned with Priebus to be shown the door.

He was closely aligned with press secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned on Friday after Scaramucci was appointed to the communications role. Short was scorned by many of his colleagues for quitting the Trump campaign, only to rejoin as a White House staffer because of Priebus.

In a story often retold by campaign staffers, they arrived at Trump Tower one morning, months before the election, to see Short’s computer left open on his otherwise empty desk.

The next time he was seen by former campaign staffers was in January, on their first day in the White House, where some were stunned to learn that they were going to have to work alongside him or for some of the press assistants subordinate to him.

Short said he had been on a part-time assignment from the RNC and decided to return to Washington “to do my real job.” He added: “I never ceased working on behalf of the ticket.”

Scaramucci said in remarks to reporters Friday that he couldn’t guarantee who will remain in the press shop, aside from social media director Dan Scavino and communications strategist Hope Hicks, both longtime aides to Trump. He also named Sanders to succeed Spicer as press secretary.

Spicer was in the White House on Monday but spent most of the day alone in his office, according to people who were in the building.


Trump Sides With Putin on Election Hacking, Repeating His Claims

Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Trump that Russian hackers wouldn’t have gotten caught if they did hack Democratic groups because they’re too skilled at spying, The New York Times reported Monday.

Trump has since repeated the claim, according to White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that someone told him that if Moscow hacked the Democratic National Committee, “you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they’re super-confident in their deception skills and hacking.”

Pressed by host Jake Tapper on who told him that, Scaramucci said it was Trump himself.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded last year that Russia hacked the DNC and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton‘s campaign chairman as part of an effort to help Trump win the presidential election.

The Justice Department, FBI and House and Senate Intelligence committees are investigating Russian interference as well as links between Trump’s team and the Kremlin, which Trump has denied.

“As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!” Trump tweeted Sunday.

Trump met with Putin multiple times at the Group of 20 summit in Germany earlier this month, with each of the meetings lasting more than an hour.

The first was a planned, formal talk while the other was an informal meeting that was not immediately reported. The second meeting was not confirmed until last week, when it was announced that they talked for more than an hour at a dinner for heads of state.

[The Hill]

Trump Rolls Eyes at Sessions Question, Tells Female Reporter to Be Quiet

President Trump rolled his eyes and made a face Monday after a reporter hurled a question to him about Attorney General Jeff Sessions as the president was posing for a photo with dozens of White House interns.

Trump made a face, provoking laughter from the interns, after the question about whether he thought Sessions should resign, which he did not answer.

A reporter than asked another question about whether he had a message about healthcare, to which Trump said “Quiet.”

Trump then turned to the interns standing on a podium behind him, telling them that the reporters are not supposed to ask questions at the photo opportunity.

“They’re not supposed to do that. But they do it, but they’re not supposed to,” he said.

The exchange comes just days after Anthony Scaramucci was named White House Communication Director.

Scaramucci said on Sunday he would like to reset White House relations with the media, creating “positive mojo” between the White House and the Fourth Estate.

“It’s a fresh start for everybody. I certainly want to engage the mainstream media. I expect that they’re going to want to hold me and the White House accountable, but we’re going to want to sort of hold them accountable, too,” Scaramucci told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I’m hoping to create an era of a new good feeling with the media. Give everybody a fresh start. Let’s see if we can reset this and create a more positive mojo among everybody,” he added.

[The Hill]


Scaramucci Praises Breitbart in First Interview Since Communications Appointment

Newly-named White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Saturday praised conservative news site Breitbart News and its political editor Matt Boyle during his first interview since being tapped to join the Trump administration.

“One of the things Breitbart has done is you’ve captured the spirit of what’s actually going on in the country,” Scaramucci told Boyle during an interview on “Breitbart News Saturday” on SiriusXM.

Scaramucci further joked with Boyle that he was surprised the editor had not sent in his resume for West Wing consideration yet.

Scaramucci said he is aiming to get Trump’s unfiltered message through to his supporters via the president’s Twitter feed, bypassing mainstream outlets that Trump often calls “fake news” while hoping to de-escalate what Scaramucci sees as unfairness and bias in the media.

“We have enough outlets, whether it’s Breitbart, the president’s social media feed, all of the different apparatus that we have, where people will allow us to deliver our message to the American people unfiltered,” Scaramucci said. “We’re having a rough time with the mainstream media, but last time I checked during the campaign we were having a rough time with the mainstream media and the people see through it.”

Trump has boasted that his 140-character missives allow him to eschew more traditional forums like White House press conferences for getting his message out. But some Republicans in Congress have become increasingly agitated with those statements, especially when they veer far from the Hill’s efforts to pass GOP and Trump legislative initiatives.

Founded by the late Andrew Breitbart, the conservative news site garnered a reputation for boosting the “alt-right” movement under the leadership of former leader Steve Bannon, who left Breitbart to join Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and now serves as Trump’s chief strategist.

Bannon, along with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, is reportedly furious with the president for naming Scaramucci to such a high-ranking role.

Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary when it was announced that Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, would be joining the administration.

President Trump was reportedly sold on Scaramucci for the New Yorker’s repeated cable TV appearances where he defended the president and his policies.

The president, who just this morning re-upped his disdain for “fake news,” is particularly pleased with Scaramucci’s ability to extract a correction from CNN for a since-retracted story about the financier and alleged Russian connections. Three CNN staffers resigned following the publication and subsequent retraction of the story.


Trump Accuses Ex-FBI Director Comey of ‘Crimes’ and Calls for Him to Be Investigated By a ‘Special Council’

President Donald Trump continued a Twitter flurry Saturday morning by accusing former FBI Director James Comey of “crimes” and demanding to know why Attorney General Jeff Sessions or a “special council” have not investigated him.

Starting bright and early Saturday morning, Trump has furiously tweeted — ten times in 2 hours — on a variety of subjects from Hillary Clinton to Obamacare.

“So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council [sic] looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?” Trump tweeted before defending his son, Donald Trump Jr. over his emails, writing: “My son Donald openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!”

You can see those tweets and quite a few more below:

[Raw Story]


Donald Trump demanding investigations of his political rivals and those in law enforcement who investigated him screams that he is completely innocent.

Let’s step through each claim:

Donald Trump Jr. openly gave emails

Trump’s eldest son released the emails just minutes before The New York Times published a report detailing the contents of the emails, which show that Trump Jr. was told before the meeting that the information about Clinton was part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s presidential campaign.

Democrats are obstructionists

No, one of the parties has an idea for healthcare for this country, Democrats, and they passed it and it is called the Affordable Care Act. Republicans only want to take it away.

And just the previous week, ten Democrats put forth a plan to mend the ACA that did not involve removing 22 million Americans from healthcare coverage.

Republicans, on the other hand, made obstructionism their party identity for 8 years during the Obama Administration.

Hillary Clinton sold Russia Uranium

Clinton did not sell a uranium mine to Russia, she was Secretary of the State Department when they and, this is important, 9 total agencies signed-off on a sale of an energy company to a Canadian-based Russian subsidiary. Again, very important, she didn’t have the power to approve or reject the deal.

Hillary Clinton acid washed 33,000 emails

You can’t “acid wash” emails, that’s not a thing.

Trump Twitter-Rages About Pardons and At Media

President Donald Trump was up bright and early Saturday morning, attacking the media for reporting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussed Trump campaign issues with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the 2016 election.

The report was based on intelligence sources, which upset the president who called it a “INTELLIGENCE LEAK,” while attacking the “Amazon Washington Post.”

No content with that, Trump then accused the New York Times of aiding “the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi” — but without providing any details.

“The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist,Al-Baghdadi.Their sick agenda over National Security,” Trump tweeted.

Trump later tweeted that he has “complete power” to issue pardons, writing, “While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS.”

[Raw Story]


Let’s take every one of Trump’s claims and review each one and review the outright lies and falsehoods.

Comey illegally leaked classified information

Trump is repeating a false claim made by Fox News, that Comey gave classified memos to his friend to leak to the press. This was so untrue that Fox News issued a rare correction stating they were wrong. Trump is simply repeating this already debunked assertion.

New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill Al-Baghdadi

CBS thinks they were able to figure out what this was about. While Mr. Trump did not provide any evidence for his accusation, the tweet came about 20 minutes after a segment about leaks aired on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” At one point, the chyron read “NYT FOILS U.S. ATTEMPT TO TAKE OUT AL-BAGHDADI.”

So Trump was just again parroting what he saw on Fox News.

A President has complete power to pardon

Amidst the Russia investigation, Donald Trump is looking to see if he can legally pardon his family and even pardon himself.

This excellent podcast from The Brookings Institution discusses the political legitimacy and risks associated with a President going full authoritarian on his powers to pardon.

In short, a president can pardon himself except during an impeachment, has pardoned their own family in the past, and a pardon has never been overturned by the courts.

However, looking into pardoning yourself and doing things like investigating Robert Mueller, who is investigating you, gives an immediate impression that you’re guilty as hell.

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