The other day, President Trump declared that “President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”
Then the world went nuts.
Former CIA Director James Clapper denied that Trump was wiretapped, saying, "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,“
Yet we know General Flynn was in Trump Tower when his conversation with the Russian diplomat were recorded.
Does that mean Flynn was “wiretapped”?
No. But it might mean the person on the other end was. And we already know he was.
Does it mean Trump Tower was “wiretapped”?
No. But it might mean that the person on the other end was. And we already know he was.
And what does “wiretapping” even mean in a world in which all communications are recorded routinely? if the government records you routinely, and then it decides to look at some of those records, with a court order or without, has any “wiretapping” happened? I don’t think so.
And what does it mean to say “Obama was tapping”? Does it mean he directly ordered it, or does he just have to wonder aloud how awesome it would be if someone did it? We expect presidents to have deniability about the spooky stuff because we watch television shows and that makes us smart.
I don’t have an opinion about what happened, or didn’t happen, with the wiretapping. But this story did make me laugh when I realized we find ourselves in the following fun situation:
1. President Trump is the world’s biggest liar (according to his foes).
2. President Trump now has direct access to more national secrets than any other living human being.
And that means fun.
This wiretapping situation shows us how much fun it will be. Six months ago, if Trump made a hard-to-believe claim about something that is also hard to verify, the country would assume he was lying, incorrect, or negotiating. Now, if he says something hard-to-believe, such as the recent wiretapping claim, you have to wonder if the President knows something you don’t. Because he knows a lot of somethings you don’t.
If history is our guide, this odd situation, in which the most famous “liar” in the world also has access to the world’s best secrets, will be more entertaining than dangerous. We’re seeing that entertainment now. Trump can make any claim about hard-to-verify situations and we’ll all have to wonder if he knows something we don’t.
I feel sorry for the people watching the other movie – the one in which President Trump is essentially Hitler. In my movie, he’s having a bumpy transition ride but generally doing the people’s work. My movie is more of a comedy. And you could not write a better comedy than one in which the biggest “liar” in the world is in charge of the biggest secrets in the world.
About North Korea
In other news, watch President Trump force China to put the clamps on North Korea’s missile program by making it clear we’ll handle it for them if they can’t take care of their own backyard. If the United States has to take care of China’s problem for them, it sure would be embarrassing for China. And persuasive.
I base my North Korea prediction on the assumption that by now President Trump has burrowed so far into the brains of the Chinese leadership that he’s already got functional control, Master Persuader style. They just don’t realize it.
If you are a television news producer, you will probably enjoy using the WhenHub app because it will show your invited guests on a map as they approach their various studios. No more worrying who will be late. Just send the guest one text with a link to ask them to temporarily show up on the map on their way to the studio. The geostreaming ends automatically soon after they reach their destination.
This Wednesday, UK MP Neil Parish raised in parliament the murder of Barry Pring, a UK citizen killed 9 years ago near Kiev, all evidence shows, by his Ukrainian wife, Anna Ziuzina. The Ukrainian investigation has gone nowhere, covered up at every level from police to political, even more aggressively covered up now in post-Euromaidan Ukraine.
And it was a (short) statement, saying they would be doing nothing about it. So, why would the Ukrainian Embassy, always keen to exalt relations between the UK and Ukraine, be doing nothing to assist an investigation clearly going nowhere, of a UK citizen in Ukraine? Why won’t they, as requested by Neil Parish, with the support of Boris Johnson, at least raise the matter with Kiev?
I would like to draw the attention of the British side to the situation with continuous provocative and disgraceful behaviour of the UK citizen Mr. Graham William Phillips, who currently resides in the occupied by the Russian Federation territories of Ukraine.
Mr. Graham Phillips, after his appearance in the eastern part of Ukraine in 2014-2015 on the side of pro-Russian terrorists and after been deported in July 2014 from Ukraine and in March 2016 from Latvia, has settled again in our country – this time in Crimea – another part of Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russian Federation. He continues there his abhorrent behaviour and open public insults towards Ukrainian citizens and military men, who are defending Ukraine.
Recently in front of OSCE representatives, humanitarian organizations and mass media this self-proclaimed journalist tried to disrupt a release from Russian captivity of the Ukrainian citizens. When speaking disgustedly to one of the exchanged Ukrainian prisoners – a civilian non-combatant, badly injured by Russian booby-trap device person, blinded, maimed and imprisoned for more than a year by the pro-Russian terrorists, Mr. Phillips resorted to caddish harassments and insults about the disabilities of that person. Such behaviour is disgraceful and humiliating.
Having moved to Crimea through Russia Mr. Phillips has bluntly violated laws of Ukraine regarding the entry procedures into the occupied territories of Ukraine.
In May 2014 he was detained by security forces of Ukraine on the grounds of providing support to pro-Russian terrorists in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine and, following request from the British side, was released in July 2014 and deported from the territory of Ukraine. He has been forbidden to enter Ukraine for three years on the grounds of a threat to the national security.
By violating the existing border regime with the occupied Crimea he brought upon him another qualification of criminal offence under the Ukrainian legislation. It is regrettable to say that if he is found in the territorial jurisdiction of Ukraine he will immediately bear full consequences for his actions as it was in 2014. We will not hesitate to use all available instruments of international cooperation to make him accountable for his words and deeds.
Mr. Philips’s constant and explicit support of the activities of pro-Russian terrorists in the occupied territories of Ukraine and the demonstrated impunity has caused recently a wide resonance in the Ukrainian society and media and resulted in the petition of Ukrainian and British citizens to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to investigate and prosecute Mr. Philips to the full extent of the UK laws for his reported terrorist ties and unlawful activities in Ukraine.
Ukraine has full respect for a risky work of independent war journalists in Ukraine who broadcast truth on the ground, but we will never tolerate any pseudo journalist who undermines our national security, openly declares racial discrimination ideas and hatred, expresses support for terrorist methods and makes provocations with the only aim to spread violence.
In this connection I would like to ask the British side to take all possible measures including with regard to his travel documents to stop Mr. Phillips’s propaganda work for the Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine and for him to leave our country for good. Given that Mr. Philips is proud to identify himself as a UK journalist, his actions are shameful and disgraceful, and make no good for the UK’s image as a strong and consistent supporter of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. By his action Mr. Philips damages high standards of British journalism.
* On September 22, 2016 this Open Letter was sent to the competent British authorities for their further reaction.
Let’s look past all the hysteria in this dispatch, from a clearly emotional ambassador, 38-year-old Natalia Galibarenko (pictured), all the lies, the obsession with Russia, to what it was. A strident attempt to halt the work of an independent journalist. An attempt to have the passport of a UK citizen, myself, taken by his own country.
In January, I returned home, to the UK, and attended an event organised by the Ukrainian Embassy in London, at Westminster, marking 25 years of diplomatic cooperation between the UK and Ukraine. I raised the question as to whether the event would be mentioning Ukraine’s shelling of civilian areas of Donbass, with mass civilian casualties and fatalities.
I was ejected from the event for asking this question. The Ukrainian Embassy then went on to write (another) long letter to the FCO complaining about me:
This came into my possession when journalist, Max Clarke, doing a documentary on me, contacted them. They added a lengthy email to this, and I understand they regularly send out emails to anyone who’ll read them, about myself. As the above letter, they are now rather desperately urging, with their now trademark hysteria, for anyone just to do anything to stop me.
So, we’ve established one core component in the workflow of the Ukrainian Embassy in London – a steady stream of letters to stop the work of a journalist they don’t like. When I recently asked them for an interview, to discuss the murder of Barry Pring, their response came in the form of a threat, suggesting I go for an “interview” at the special services office in Kiev:
But, of course, this isn’t all they do. The Ukrainian Embassy in London send out a constant torrent of tweets about all the bad stuff they allege Russia has done, blaming Russia for all their problems.
And that’s just a selection from the last couple of days, as it really does go on, and on, and on….. Clearly, Ukraine’s Embassy in London, for the UK, are far too engaged in harassing a journalist, and relentlessly trolling Russia, to give dealing with a serious diplomatic issue, such as the Barry Pring case, anything more than a cursory moment.
And by the way, to show you these tweets, I had to log out of my own Twitter account as, that’s right, after their campaign against me, the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK have now indeed blocked me on Twitter.
So, the Ukrainian Embassy in London pumps out endless pro-Ukraine propaganda, attacks any who challenge that, and when all that fails, blocks them. Let’s see how that works out for them.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to make his rounds in Europe, Good Morning Britain managed to catch him for a quick interview while he was visiting Woodberry Down Primary School yesterday. Regarding fake news, which has been an increasingly hot topic since the U.S. Presidential election got into full swing last year, Cook said that "this is one of today's chief problems."
In the wake of growing fake news, companies like Facebook have taken action to bring the quality of an article to their users' attention before they share it with their friends. For Apple, Cook said that the solution to the problem is not a simple one.
"We have to give the consumer tools to help with this. And we've got filter out part of it before it ever gets there without losing the great openness of the internet. And so this is one of today's chief problems, it is not something that has a simple solution."
Cook covered another topic during his stay in London this week, discussing Brexit with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May. According to The Independent, in the talk Cook said that he is "very optimistic" about the UK's future outside of the European Union, and that it will be "just fine," although there will undoubtedly be some "bumps in the road along the way."
In a statement released after the meeting, Apple said: "We are proud that Apple's innovation and growth now supports nearly 300,000 jobs across the UK."
Apple will continue to back the UK in the future, as it currently plans on building a new headquarters at London's Battersea Power Station, expected to be complete by 2021. After its completion, 1,400 employees will be moved from eight locations around London to occupy the company's new UK offices.
Early this morning, Cook also continued documenting his European adventures on Twitter, congratulating the Tate Britain art gallery after he visited its digital artwork exhibit. Yesterday, he stopped in the offices of ustwo games in London to get a sneak peak at the latest mobile game from the company behind Monument Valley.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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