Donald Trump Jr. Joins Father in Bashing London Mayor After Terror Attack

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s time would be better spent addressing the terrorism in his own city instead of attacking U.S. President Donald Trump, the president’s son said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning.

“Rather than the mayor of London attacking maybe he should do something about it,” Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Maybe he should do something to fix the problem rather than just sit there and pretend there isn’t one. I think that’s an important message.”

The president first criticized Khan, via a post to Twitter, in the hours after the London terrorist attack, quoting the mayor out of context to suggest that he was downplaying the severity of the incident. A spokesman for Khan responded that the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks.”

The president lobbed another insult across the ocean Monday morning, again via Twitter, criticizing what he called a “pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!”

Nonetheless, Donald Trump Jr. suggested that his father will ultimately be vindicated and that a more proactive approach would ultimately be to London’s benefit.

“Every time he puts something out there he gets criticized by the media all day every day by everyone else and guess what? Two weeks later he’s proven to be right,” the president’s son said. “It happened again and we keep appeasing it and keep saying, ‘okay, it’s going to be great. We’re going to hold fast and we’re going to keep calm and carry on.’ Maybe we have to keep calm and actually do something. And I think that’s what he’s trying to say because he’s been proven right every time.”

[Politico]

Media

BBC News

Trump sons met with GOP officials over political strategy

Family members of President Trump, including his two sons, met for hours Thursday with Republican Party officials to discuss political strategy, ABC News has learned from sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, in addition to Eric’s wife, Lara, attended the meeting at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., sources told ABC News.

The meeting was first reported by the Washington Post, who said the Trump family members were invited by the RNC and that their appearance there bothered at least two prominent Republicans over questions of whether the president’s sons should be involved in high-level party discussions considering they run the Trump real estate business

The Post reported that some other people familiar with the meeting thought it was fine for Trump family members who helped with the president’s election campaign to offer their views ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential race.

[ABC News]

Donald Trump Jr. Criticizes London Mayor Just Hours After Parliament Attack

Before basic information about a terrorist attack in London was known, Donald Trump Jr. took to social media to blast the city’s mayor.

Roughly two hours after at least four people were killed near the UK Parliament, the President’s son reposted an article from last year where Sadiq Khan spoke about the dangers of living in world capitals.

“You have to be kidding me?! Terror attacks are part of living in the big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan,” Trump Jr. said alongside a piece from The Independent.

Khan’s statements last September came after the Chelsea bombing wounded 29 people with homemade explosives.

“Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you’ve got to be prepared for these things, you’ve got to be vigilant, you’ve got to support the police doing an incredibly hard job,” Khan said at the time.

It was not immediately clear what Trump Jr. found so offensive about Khan’s comments that he posted it six months later after an attack in the mayor’s city.

The leader of the Trump Organization was criticized online for his comments in the middle of an incident that resulted in the loss of several lives.

“Is this helpful @DonaldJTrumpJr? Did you even read the article before goading London’s Mayor during a live incident?” British journalist Ciaran Jenkins said.

“Khan is right. These things happen. We fight against them. But we don’t wildly over-react or let them change our way of life,” Londoner Tom Coates said, adding that he had lived through IRA bombings and the 7/7 attacks on the London Underground.

Later Wednesday, Trump Jr. retweeted an account identifying the attacker as Abu Izzadeen, a spokesperson for a terrorist-affiliated group in Britain.

But several news outlets that reported the same name eventually issued retractions and apologies after it was reveiled that Izzadeen has been in prison since 2008. As of early Thursday, Trump Jr. had not retracted his retweet or issued an apology.

London authorities reported that at least four people, including police officer Keith Palmer, were killed and 40 more were wounded when a car hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into a railing at Parliament.

The assailant allegedly got out of the car and fatally stabbed the officer before being shot by police.

Khan said in a statement on Twitter that his “thoughts are with those affected and their families” and expressed thanks to the police and emergency workers who responded.

(h/t New York Daily News)

Trump Jr. Likely Paid $50K for Event Hosted by Russian Allies

President Trump’s eldest son may have profited off an appearance at an event last fall hosted by a couple aligned with the Russian government on Syria, according to new reporting.

Trump’s private talks with the pro-Russia figures on Oct. 11 in Paris were reported in November, though new details about the meeting have since emerged.

Donald Trump Jr. was likely paid $50,000 for addressing the dinner at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Trump was a guest of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, whose president Fabien Baussart and Syrian-born wife Randa Kassis have cooperated with Russia on ending the Syrian civil war, U.S., Arab and European officials told the newspaper.

Trump, 39, serves as executive vice president of the Trump Organization and was a top official in his father’s 2016 presidential campaign before the October event.

All American Speakers, a talent booking agency that represents Trump, lists his booking fee range as “$50,000 and above” on its website. The Journal noted it confirmed with people who had participated in past Center events that it often pays speakers 20-30 percent above their going rate.

The Trump Organization did not dispute Thursday whether Trump received at least $50,000 for his remarks in France.

“Donald Trump Jr. has been participating in business-related speaking engagements for over a decade — discussing a range of topics including sharing his entrepreneurial experiences and offering career specific advice,” said Amanda Miller, the company’s vice president for marketing, according to the Journal.

Kassis heads a political party, the Movement for a Pluralistic Society, which is part of a faction endorsed by Russia in global negotiations aimed at ending the Syrian conflict.

She regularly visits Moscow to coordinate policy with Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Arab and European officials told the Journal, and she is often featured at Russian state media.

Baussart told the newspaper he and his wife are focused on finding a solution to Syria’s six-year civil war involving cooperation between Russia and the U.S. Kassis said she explained the need for harmony between the two nations to Donald Trump Jr. in October, adding she had passed on his views on the conflict to Russian diplomats in Moscow.

Baussart formally nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize in December for his role in ending the Syrian civil war.

“I believe that President Putin deserved it,” he told Ria Novosti then while discussing the award. “He is the only one who is truly fighting terrorism.”

The Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials and allies have come under increasing scrutiny following reports last month that top campaign aides and allies were in regular contact with Russian intelligence officials last year.

U.S. intelligence officials have concluded Russia launched an extensive hacking and influence campaign during the 2016 race.

(h/t The Hill)

Donald Trump Brings His “Blind Trust” to Meeting with Tech Executives

Every day is “take your kids to work day” when you’re Donald Trump — at least it’s starting to seem that way. The president-elect met Wednesday with top technology executives in Trump Tower in New York City, and it turned out that his adult children Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump had come along for the ride:

Also in the room were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Larry Page and Eric E. Schmidt of Google parent Alphabet, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, along with several other tech leaders.

Notably, Trump has vowed to put his business in a “blind trust” run by Donald Jr. and Eric. Already the “blindness” of such a trust is suspect as a true blind trust is run by an independent trustee — and typically, not trustees that accompany the U.S. president to major conversations about the tech industry.

 

Trump Team Seeks Top-Secret Security Clearances for Trump’s Children

President-elect Donald Trump is potentially seeking top secret security clearances for his children, sources tell CBS News.

The Trump team has asked the White House to explore the possibility of getting his children the top secret security clearances. Logistically, the children would need to be designated by the current White House as national security advisers to their father to receive top secret clearances. However, once Mr. Trump becomes president, he would be able to put in the request himself.

His children would need to fill out the security questionnaire (SF-86) and go through the requisite background checks.

While nepotism rules prevent the president-elect from hiring his kids to work in the White House, they do not need to be government officials to receive top secret security clearances.

The issue raises another layer of questions about the unique role his children are playing and conflicts of interest with their running his network of businesses.

Mr. Trump’s children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr., as well as son-in-law Jared Kushner, were named to the president-elect’s transition team late last week. Though they were an integral part of his campaign team, Mr. Trump’s children have all stated that they will not hold formal roles in the government.

“No,” Ivanka told CBS News’ Lesley Stahl when asked during a “60 Minutes” interview if she would join the administration. “I’m going to be a daughter. But I’ve– I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them.”

(h/t CBS News)

Update

USA Today reports that, “it wasn’t something [Trump] was expecting right now.”

Reality

The fact that his children, who will now be running his business, may have security clearance, as well as a direct line of communication with the President of the United States, makes the concept of a blind trust completely useless. The Trump family will be able to alter government policy to better fit their business ventures or be aware of information months before the rest of the public is notified, allowing an unfair advantage to raise their profits among their competitors.

As Glenn Greenwald put it, “This is not a blind trust in any manner, no matter who calls it that. Stop using this term. It’s false.”

Trump Kids to Run Business While on Transition Team

The Trump Organization said on Friday it was vetting new business structures aimed at transferring management control to three of President-elect Donald Trump’s children and a team of executives.

The Trump Organization said in a statement it was planning to transfer control of the portfolio of businesses to Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and other executives.

Earlier on Friday, the three Trump children – the oldest of Trump’s five children – were also named as members of Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.

“This is a top priority at the organization and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in a statement.

Federal conflict-of-interest law does not apply to the president, but most White House occupants in the last few decades have voluntarily placed their assets in a blind trust to avoid any suggestion of impropriety.

Experts in government ethics said that giving over control to Trump’s children would do virtually nothing to prevent potential conflicts of interest, since there’s usually no daylight between one’s personal interest and the interest of one’s immediate family members.

“It doesn’t meet any of the standards of a blind trust if the kids are running the company,” said Kenneth Gross, a Washington lawyer who specializes in advising political clients on compliance and ethics.

Gross noted that the official transition team roles that Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump now have would appear to complicate matters further.

“If they’re going to be involved in government functions – and they’re starting down that road – and running the business, that’s going to make it very difficult to separate the government and business functions and deal with the conflicts of interest,” Gross said.

All three children already have roles in the Trump Organization, according to the company’s website. Ivanka Trump is executive vice president of development and acquisitions, charged with domestic and global expansion of the company’s real estate interests.

Donald Trump Jr is an executive vice president, and works to expand the company’s real estate, retail, commercial, hotel and golf interests nationally and internationally. Eric Trump is executive vice president of development and acquisitions, responsible for new project acquisition, development and construction globally.

Typically, a blind trust involves turning over assets to an independent financial manager with no prior relationship to the owner. In addition, a blind trust derives its name from the idea that the owner would no longer know what assets are sold or bought. For instance, someone with extensive stock holdings would have no way of knowing which companies’ shares he or she still owned in a blind trust.

Trump’s portfolio includes interests in hundreds of limited liability companies, many overseas, as well as numerous real estate properties both domestic and foreign.

Short of selling the entire Trump empire, experts said, he will find it difficult to create a trust sufficiently “blind” to avoid the possibility of any conflicts.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Reality

This is already showing signs of a conflict of interest with Trump family using their position to help enrich their organization with insider information. This is the type of corruption Trump ran against, but only took a few days after being elected to engage in.

Donald Trump Jr: Women Who Can’t ‘Handle’ Harassment ‘Don’t Belong In The Workforce’

Donald Trump Jr. offered some unsolicited career advice for women concerned about sexual harassment in the workplace: Just quit, already.

“If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce,” Donald Trump’s son told The Opie and Anthony Show in a 2013 interview that BuzzFeed just unearthed.

“You should go maybe teach kindergarten,” he said, apparently suggesting that teachers aren’t part of the workforce. “You can’t be negotiating billion-dollar deals if you can’t handle, like, you know.”

Gender-based harassment, both sexual and not, is against the law in the U.S. “It is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general,” according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

So if the GOP presidential nominee’s son can’t handle not being able to make offensive comments about women, maybe he’s the one unfit for the workforce.

Trump Jr. later joked that saying he’d been harassed would be “my get rich quick scheme. I’m now suing you guys because I feel uncomfortable.”

Listen to the full interview here, courtesy of BuzzFeed:

Trump’s father has been hit with a slew of allegations of sexual assault and harassment in recent days ― though it’s far from the first time he’s been accused of such behavior.

Though he brushed off comments he made in 2005 about groping and forcing himself on women as “locker room talk,” his critics aren’t buying it.

“What I found astounding is that he would so publicly—no matter who he was talking to ― that he would acknowledge that he engaged in the textbook definition of sexual assault,” Vice President Joe Biden said.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Donald Trump Jr: My Dad’s Boasts About Forcing Himself on Women are ‘Normal’ and ‘Human’

The Trump brothers have come to their father’s defense this week over the disturbing sexual assault allegations that have surfaced.

Eric Trump, defending his dad’s conversation with Billy Bush on Monday, chalked it up to his “alpha” personality. On Thursday, Donald Jr. dismissed Trump’s conversation as something that, “makes him a human,” adding “I think it makes him a normal person not a political robot,” CNN reports.

On Wednesday night, the New York Times published a report about two women who alleged that Donald Trump had groped them.

Donald Jr. responded to the Times report on Thursday’s segment of Charlotte Morning News on WBT radio and said, “Come on guys, it’s so ridiculous, I’ve never heard anything dumber in my life. All of sudden, two, three weeks before election, someone comes out — it’s not like he hasn’t been in the public eye for 30 years.”

Trump surrogates doing damage control this week have all brought up similar questions about timing — specifically that election day is nearing and these women must have come forward now because of that.

However, it is more likely than not that women are coming forward about being assaulted by Trump at this moment because of his denial of the claims.

During the second presidential debate on October 9, CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper asked, “You described kissing women without consent, grabbing the genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

Trump responded that it was just words, that it was untrue, and that he never engaged in such sexual misconduct. These women are likely coming forward now to hold him accountable for his continued denial of abusing women, not because the election is nearing.

Donald Jr. said in his interview, “[The New York Times] keep libeling and doing these kind of things I imagine that would be the intention. It’s one thing to report the news, it’s another to try to smear someone’s name time and time again for political motives and political gain.”

He added, “I’ve had conversations like that with plenty of people where people use language off color. They’re talking, two guys, amongst themselves.”

(h/t Raw Story)

Trump Jr. Compares Syrian Refugees to Poisoned Skittles

Donald Trump’s eldest son has caused uproar on social media by comparing Syrian refugees to the fruit-flavoured sweets Skittles.

Trying to suggest the US should not accept any refugees, Donald Trump Jr posted an image that asked:

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”

“That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

He added: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”

The food analogy has been used before to imply that, if a few people in a group are bad, it would be dangerous to take a single one in.

The language in Donald Jr’s tweet was used in a post by conservative radio host Joe Walsh in August. Joe Walsh was a former single-term Congressman most remembered for being kicked off the air for using racial epitaphs to describe African Americans and for trying to incite violence against President Barack Obama.

But following the tweet by the Republican presidential candidate’s son, the company that owns Skittles, Wrigley, stepped in.

“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” said Denise Young, vice-president of corporate affairs for Wrigley America.

“We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy,” she added. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Meanwhile the photographer who took the picture of the Skittles said the picture was used without his permission and revealed that he was himself a former refugee.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

In the US, each year, you are far more likely to die due to choking on candy than due to a terrorist attack by a refugee. According to the US National Safety Council and Cato Institute you have a:

  • 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food
  • 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack

The fact is, the refugee resettlement program is the single most difficult way to enter the United States. So refusing refugees was truly about preventing some “Trojan horse” terrorist, it is such a highly ineffective policy that should put into question the very qualifications of this candidate.

Instead this follows a pattern of white supremacist from Donald Trump Jr. and his father and keeping brown people with different beliefs from them out of the country. Some examples include:

  • On March 3rd, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on a radio show and took questions from a known white supremacist.
  • On July 5th, Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet by one of the worst and most active member of the “alt-right” neo-Nazi movement on Twitter.
  • On August, 29th, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a post from known white supremacist Kevin MacDonald.
  • On September, 10th, Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme with him next to a white nationalist symbol.
  • On September, 15th, Donald Trump Jr. casually made a holocaust joke on a radio show.
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