#Headlines, #Investigation, #TheNewz, #Trump

Giuliani: Mueller could have decision on Trump interview this week

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Rudy Giuliani said Monday that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller will respond to President Donald Trump’s legal team on the terms of a possible presidential interview this week, adding that he does not want the Russia investigation to influence the upcoming midterm elections.

“I think he will give us a decision this week on our counter-proposal,” Giuliani said during an interview Monday on Fox News. “We are coming down to his looking really bad by interfering in the election. I think he has to get it over with by the beginning — or early September.”

Trump’s legal team, which is led by Giuliani, last week replied to special counsel Mueller’s proposal for terms of a possible presidential interview, but would not disclose the details of the counter-offer.

Mueller is charged with investigating whether the Russian government colluded with Trump’s 2016 campaign, as well as related issues including possible obstruction of justice by the president.

While Trump’s legal team declined to outline the specifics of its counteroffer to Mueller’s team, Giuliani did say that their reply to the special counsel’s office included a restatement of their broader interest that Mueller’s investigation conclude “without further delay.”

The president and his allies have frequently denounced Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt” and the special counsel’s office as being staffed by partisan Democrats, even though Mueller himself is a registered Republican.

Giuliani has at times suggested he would advise the president against sitting down with Mueller, warning that such an interview could be a “perjury trap.” The former New York mayor has also previously indicated that Trump would not answer questions related to obstruction of justice, although he told POLITICO last week that questions on obstruction of justice are still on the table, but only if Mueller “can demonstrate to us he’s got a couple questions on obstruction that he doesn’t have the answer to, that he really needs the answer to and he hasn’t made up his mind that Trump is lying.”

Obstruction allegations against the president stem from a conversation former FBI Director James Comey claims to have had with Trump in which Comey said the president asked him to drop an investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has denied the accusations of obstruction.

In his Fox News interview Monday morning, Giuliani outlined the three-pronged defense that the president’s legal team would use against obstruction allegations: that the conversation Comey has claimed never actually occurred — even though Giuliani has previously conceded that it did — but also that the statement Comey claims Trump made would have been a recommendation, not an order, and that even if it was an order, it would not constitute obstruction because it would have been within Trump’s authority as the head of the executive branch.

Giuliani said he believes the Russia investigation should end in September, later adding that Mueller himself said that he may be able to get his report done by September 1.

“Absolutely it should be terminated,” Giuliani said. “He should put out his report, tell the American people what he has and they can evaluate it they are entitled to this information before he shouldn’t hold it try to manipulate the election the way Comey did, I don’t think he wants to do that.”

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/13/rudy-giuliani-trump-mueller-interview-decision-774872

#China, #Headlines, #TheNewz, #Tradewars, #Trump

China says U.S. farmers may never regain market share lost in trade war

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This story is being published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. It originally appeared on scmp.com on Aug. 11, 2018

China can easily find other countries to buy agricultural goods from instead of the U.S., its vice agriculture minister said, warning that American farmers could permanently lose their share of the Chinese market as a result of the trade war.

“Many countries have the willingness and they totally have the capacity to take over the market share the U.S. is enjoying in China. If other countries become reliable suppliers for China, it will be very difficult for the U.S. to regain the market,” Han Jun told official Xinhua news agency in an interview on Friday.

He also warned that American farmers could lose the position in the Chinese market they have spent several decades building up. Han said they may not be able to make up the losses brought by retaliatory tariffs, even with the White House’s planned $12 billion aid package for farmers caught in the dispute.

He said Beijing had imposed duties on 90 percent of the agricultural goods the country imports from the United States since the trade war kicked off at the start of last month, with limited impact on China.

“Levying additional tariffs will cause a great decrease in exports of U.S. agricultural products to China,” Han said. “But the impact on China is very limited, due to the diversified import sources.”

China and the U.S. have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade war since early last month. Beijing unveiled its latest retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion of American goods on Wednesday, matching Washington’s move to slap 25 percent duties on the same value of Chinese imports.

The vice agriculture minister also said Chinese companies had “basically stopped” importing soybeans from U.S. farmers since July 6 and would deal with the impact by finding alternative ingredients for animal feeds.

China is the world’s biggest importer of soybeans, which it uses to make cooking oil, biodiesel and the meal to feed livestock.

Han said the country was expecting soybean imports from the U.S. to drop dramatically this year and that preparations had already been made. “China is totally able to handle the shortfall created by a drop in American soybean imports,” Han told Xinhua.

China has been buying more soybeans from other countries and promoting alternatives to soybeans to feed livestock, as well as pushing farmers to plant more domestic crops. Before the trade war erupted, China was on track to import 300 million tons of soybeans from the United States this year.

The country imported about $24.1 billion of agricultural products from the United States last year, accounting for 19 percent of its total farm imports worth some $125.86 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Han said that starting from July 6, Beijing had imposed 25 percent tariffs on 517 types of American agricultural products — including nuts, soybeans, cotton, fruit and meat. Their combined value last year was about $21 billion, he said.

He also warned that additional duties on American agricultural goods were in the pipeline.

Beijing has said it is ready to impose tariffs on $60 billion of American products if President Donald Trump — who has accused China of amassing a huge trade surplus through unfair trade practices — goes ahead with plans to slap extra duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The next list will include 387 types of agricultural products – including coffee, vegetables and vegetable oils – which last year had a total value of around $2.9 billion.

As a result, almost all agricultural products China buys from the U.S. will face additional tariffs once Beijing’s latest countermeasures take effect, Han said.

The European Union would not be able to make up the losses for U.S. soybean producers, who will be left with a huge surplus without China buying the grain from them, according to Han. He said although the EU had agreed to import more soybeans from America, it would only buy 13 million to 14 million tons of soybeans a year over the next decade, according to estimates — compared with the more than 30 million tons of the grain China bought from the U.S. last year.

But Han admitted that Washington’s tariffs would impact China’s fruit, vegetable and seafood producers because it would not be easy for them to find alternative export destinations in the short term. He said Beijing would help exporters find other countries to sell their products to and try to boost domestic consumption instead, to minimize the impact of the tariffs.

The United States was the third largest market for Chinese fruit and fifth largest for vegetables last year, with the exports valued at a combined $1.84 billion.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/11/farmers-china-soy-bean-market-share-734773

#Headlines, #IdiotsAndAssholes, #IndieBrew, #politics, #ScienceTech, #TheNewz, #Trump

Trump Jr. shares a fake Photoshop of his daddy’s approval rating

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Donald Trump Jr. was caught red-handed for a terrible Photoshop job, but this time it wasn’t because he airbrushed his pores into oblivion

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Don Jr. shared a CNN report comparing Trump’s approval ratings with statistics from Obama’s presidency. 

“Amazing,” Trump Jr. captioned it. “I guess there is a magic wand to make things happen and @realdonaldtrump seems to have it.”

Except, @realdonaldtrump doesn’t seem to “have it” because the screenshot is a poorly edited graphic that makes the current president’s approval say 50 percent instead of the actual 40 percent. In other words, Trump Jr. has (ironically) participated in spreading fake news. Read more…

More about Twitter Reactions, Donald Trump Jr., Trump Administration, Culture, and Web Culture

Source: https://mashable.com/2018/08/10/donald-trump-jr-badly-photoshops-approval-rating/

#Headlines, #politics, #TheNewz, #Trump

Poll: Trump’s overseas ‘chaos’ gives Democrats an edge in midterms

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President Donald Trump’s political stumbles on Russia, his protracted trade war and his overall “impulsive” behavior have deeply rattled potential voters, according to a new poll by a left-leaning group.

A majority of respondents to the survey, commissioned by the nonprofit group National Security Action and first provided to POLITICO, believe the president has diminished America’s standing in the world and that he’s made the country less safe. Party strategists say the findings point to a new opening on national security and foreign policy for Democrats in the midterms. Those have traditionally been areas of strength for the GOP.

Conducted by Hart Research from July 17-23, the survey showed that nearly two-thirds of those polled — including Democrats, Republicans and swing voters — believe Trump “acts impulsively and recklessly” on national security issues, while three-in-five respondents said Trump doesn’t treat Russia seriously enough as a threat and that he had gone too far in trying to please President Vladimir Putin. Just two in five respondents believed Trump did a good job of representing America’s interests when the president met with Putin last month in Helsinki.

However, a majority of those polled — 56 percent — approved of Trump’s overall handling of America’s national security.

“In a broader sense, one of the things that’s troubling for people about the Trump presidency is that it feels like it is the chaos presidency,” said Hart Research president Geoff Garin, a longtime Democratic strategist. The survey asked more than 1,000 people who voted in the 2016 presidential election for their views on Trump’s handling of various foreign policy and national security issues, from Russia and his recent meeting with Putin, to immigration to the impact of his trade war.

“This is important for Democrats in terms of their messaging,” Garin said. “The more we are connecting Trump’s very significant character liabilities to these policy issues, the more credible Democrats will be and the more likely it is that their criticisms will resonate with voters.”

Trump was roundly condemned for contradicting U.S. intelligence agencies after he declared during a news conference with Putin: “I don’t see any reason why it would” be Russia that interfered in the U.S. election. The president later backtracked, saying he misspoke:
“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative,” Trump said.

Saul Anuzis, a Republican strategist and former Michigan Republican Party chairman, questioned whether international policy would have much of an effect in November, arguing there’s strong base support for Trump’s discussions with foreign leaders. Domestic and local issues will drive turnout, he said.

“Trump’s actions with North Korea, Iran, Russia and ISIS demonstrate he has a smart and effective team in place that handles foreign policy. His leadership at NATO and the EU have proven to be effective,” said Anuzis. “The mainstream media’s constant attacks influence polling. But when the policy is explained, Trump’s approval ratings are rising and comparably high compared to other presidents. House races tend to be local. They come home on weekends and are normally community based.”

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/08/trump-midterms-foreign-policy-poll-766757

#Elections, #Headlines, #MeToo, #politics, #TheNewz, #Trump

Governor’s race could pit Trump surrogate vs. #MeToo supporter, poll shows

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Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Gwen Graham have solid leads in their party’s respective primaries for governor, according to a new poll that foreshadows a general election pitting the candidate of President Donald Trump against the candidate of women’s issues.

DeSantis, a two-term member of Congress, has had a meteoric rise in the GOP primary, pulling to a 41-29 percent lead over Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, thanks in large part to Trump’s support, the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey showed. Trump will campaign for DeSantis on Tuesday in Tampa, the center of the state’s largest media market.

Graham, a former member of Congress, has 27 percent support in her primary against four men and leads the second-place Democrat, former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, by 9 percentage points, according to the survey. Saying that the race consists of “Gwen and the men,” Graham has made abortion rights and support of the #MeToo movement central to her campaign.

“If this is the way the general turns out, this will be a race that’s all about the national dynamic for Democrats to motivate the women’s vote against Trump because of his positions and what he has said,” Brad Coker, Mason-Dixon pollster, told POLITICO.

“Having a woman candidate face off against Trump’s guy is the beating heart of the type of campaigns that Democrats are counting on,” Coker said.

While there’s still time for anything to happen ahead of the Aug. 28 primary, the Republican race has been more stable than the Democratic contest. DeSantis has steadily picked up support that finally reached a tipping point when Trump endorsed him last month. For the primary match-ups, Coker surveyed 500 Democrats and 500 Republicans. The poll has an error margin of 4.5 percentage points.

Because the races still are fluid and have so many candidates, Coker didn’t survey general election head-to-head match-ups. Instead, he polled each candidate’s favorability ratings.

And right now Graham looks like a stronger contender heading into a general election, Coker said.

She is the best-known and best-liked candidate in the race, with 35 percent having a favorable impression of her while only 5 percent have a negative view of her, making her net favorable rating 30 percent.

DeSantis’ net favorable rating is 11 percent, with 32 percent viewing him favorably but 21 percent unfavorably. Putnam’s net favorable rating is 10 percent, a sign that the $20 million ad campaign run on his behalf and the additional $4.8 million in outside spending trained on DeSantis have had little effect.

The numbers stand out even more because Putnam has been elected statewide twice and has continually held various elected offices in the state for 21 years. DeSantis’ camp has spent $9.7 million on TV, less than half of what Putnam’s team has spent on air, plus an additional $399,000 attacking Putnam.

The spending has been far bigger on the Democratic side because of the presence of Levine, a multimillionaire, and Jeff Greene, a billionaire who quickly climbed to third place with 12 percent on the strength of a $10.2 million TV ad campaign in about five weeks. Levine has spent about $15 million in eight months, and Graham about $4.7 million in about two months.

“Levine had been running about even with Graham until Greene jumped in. Both men have extremely similar profiles — politically experienced, successful business owners who are white, male, Jewish and from South Florida,” Coker said in a polling memo. “They each have tremendous personal wealth that gives them the ability to put a considerable amount of their own money into their campaigns. With this overlapping appeal, the two are drawing a combined 30% of voters — slightly more than Graham.”

Rounding out the Democratic primary, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the only non-millionaire and African-American in the race, polled at 10 percent. He just started an undefined “six-figure” TV ad buy. And Orlando businessman Chris King is at 7 percent and has spent $4.1 million on TV.

Coker said that Graham is “benefiting as the only female candidate, receiving the support of 30 percent of Democratic women” and that she also has highest name recognition —79 percent — and the highest favorable rating, 45 percent, among Democrats.

Unlike any of the Democrats in the race, Graham also can take a political punch. A so-called “dark money” group fueled with secret donations spent as much as $1.1 million attacking her as a phony progressive, and it made almost no difference, Coker said.

“Graham’s numbers have only gone up. She’s finally got her act together,” Coker said. “If she gets passed the primary and gets to the general election, she’ll be tough. She has the highest favorable and the lowest negatives. She is set up pretty well in the general.”

Read the poll’s details here.

Source: https://subscriber.politicopro.com/states/florida/story/2018/07/27/governors-race-could-pit-trump-surrogate-vs-metoo-supporter-poll-shows-531234