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Mueller Reveals Trump’s Efforts to Thwart Russian Inquiry in Highly Anticipated Report
Author: MARK MAZZETTI
The Mueller team ultimately decided not to charge the president, citing numerous legal and factual constraints, but pointedly declined to exonerate him.
Barr’s Defense of Trump Rewards the President With the Attorney General He Wanted
Author: MARK LANDLER
At his news conference before he released the report of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, Mr. Barr gave a forceful defense of the president.
‘Tell Them Who You Tortured’: Gina Haspel Faces a Heckler, and Her Past
Author: MATTHEW ROSENBERG
Ms. Haspel, the C.I.A. director, was confronted during a speech by a man shouting about her role in torturing suspected militants in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Columbian Newspaper

AP FACT CHECK: Barr’s skewed view on airing Mueller report
Author: HOPE YEN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr is distorting the facts when it comes to releasing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in the Russia investigation.

In remarks Thursday at the Justice Department, Barr suggested he was not really supposed to be publicly releasing the two-volume report but, on the other hand, it was “long-standing” practice to share such types of confidential information with the White House.

He’s off-base on both fronts.

BARR: “These reports are not supposed to be made public.”

THE FACTS: He’s not going out on a limb for public disclosure.

Justice Department regulations give Barr wide authority to release a special counsel’s report in situations it “would be in the public interest.” Barr had made clear during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he believed in transparency with the report on Mueller’s two-year investigation into Russian election interference during the 2016 campaign, “consistent with regulations and the law.”

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BARR, saying it was “consistent with long-standing practice” for him to share a copy of the redacted report with the White House and president’s attorneys before its release: “Earlier this week, the president’s personal counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an independent counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication.”

THE FACTS: Actually, Barr’s decision, citing the Ethics in Government Act, is inconsistent with independent counsel Ken Starr’s handling of his report into whether President Bill Clinton obstructed and lied in Starr’s probe.

On Sept. 7, 1998, Clinton’s attorney David Kendall requested that Starr provide him an opportunity to review the report before it was sent to Congress. Starr quickly turned him down.

“As a matter of legal interpretation, I respectfully disagree with your analysis,” Starr wrote to Kendall two days later. Starr called Kendall “mistaken” regarding the rights of the president’s attorneys to “review a ‘report’ before it is transmitted to Congress.”

Starr’s report was governed by the ethics act cited by Barr as his justification for showing the report to the president’s team. It has since expired. Current regulations governing Mueller’s work don’t specify how confidential information should be shared with the White House.

Starr’s report led to the impeachment trial of Clinton in 1999.

Colorado schools reopen as FBI examines teen suspect’s past
Author: KATHLEEN FOODY and COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press

LITTLETON, Colo. — The suicide of a Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the Columbine shooting and may have planned to carry out her own attack will not end an investigation to determine if she had any accomplices, officials said as Denver schools reopened Thursday and preparations to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragedy resumed.

The body of 18-year-old Sol Pais was discovered Wednesday in the mountains outside Denver with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after investigators got a tip from a driver who took her there, the FBI said.

Dozens of schools that closed as a precaution during the daylong manhunt reopened their doors with heightened security measures. Events planned to mark the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine attack will go on as scheduled throughout the week, starting with a church service Thursday night and culminating with a ceremony near the school on Saturday.

Two teenagers attacked Columbine on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher before taking their own lives. They have inspired cult-like admirers, some of whom committed other mass shootings over the decades.

A growing “no notoriety” movement has urged news organizations to avoid naming the perpetrators of mass shootings to deprive them of the notoriety they seek.

The details of Pais’ travel from Florida to Colorado began to emerge Wednesday along with some classmates’ confusion about her involvement. The Miami Beach High School student dressed in black and kept mostly to herself, said Adam Charni, a senior at the school.

He said he was “baffled” to learn Pais was the person authorities in Colorado were seeking. Another classmate, 17-year-old Drew Burnstine, described Pais as quiet and smart.

Dean Phillips, FBI agent in charge in Denver, said Pais had made troubling remarks to others about her “infatuation” with the assault at Columbine and its anniversary. He did not elaborate.

Investigators will try to learn more from Pais’ social media and other online activity, largely to ensure that she had no accessories or accomplices, Phillips said. He confirmed the material being scrutinized includes a blog containing hand-written journal entries that occasionally feature sketches of guns or people holding large firearms.

In Pais’ hometown of Surfside, Police Chief Julio Yero asked that the family be given “privacy and a little time to grieve.” Pais’ parents had reported her missing on Monday night, police said.

“This family contributed greatly to this investigation from the very onset,” Yero said. “They provided valuable information that led us to Colorado and a lot of things that assisted in preventing maybe more loss of life.”

Pais had purchased three one-way tickets to Denver on three consecutive days. She arrived Monday night and went directly to a gun store, where she bought a shotgun, authorities said.

They said she did not threaten a specific school. Still, Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver locked their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon, and some canceled or moved evening activities inside.

“We’re used to threats, frankly, at Columbine,” John McDonald, security chief for the Jefferson County school system, said when the manhunt was over. “This one felt different. It was different. It certainly had our attention.”

McDonald described Pais’ trip as a “pilgrimage” to Columbine, though she is not believed to have been on the campus.

The threats and response added an emotional burden for many with ties to the Columbine community ahead of the anniversary.

Frank DeAngelis, Columbine’s principal at the time of the shooting, said he was on campus Tuesday when the threat prompted the locking of the doors. He immediately went to check on several staff members who still work there 20 years after the attack.

“The support was so great,” he said. “Everybody came together.”

Denver-area parents faced the difficult job of explaining to their children — without scaring them — why they had the day off school.

“This is definitely a challenge in their generation, and watching my kids learn how to navigate this is really hard. It is really heartbreaking,” said Suzanne Kerns of suburban Arvada, whose children are 8 and 15.

Kerns said she was angry about how easy it was for someone reported missing to come from out of state and buy a gun.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said the sale of the shotgun apparently followed the state’s legal process. Out-of-state residents who are at least 18 can buy shotguns in Colorado. Customers must provide fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

Pais’ body was found off a trail not far from the base of Mount Evans, a recreation area about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Denver, authorities said. She used the weapon she bought, Phillips said.

Full text of Mueller’s questions and Trump’s answers
Author: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Robert Mueller’s 448-page investigative report into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election includes 23 unredacted pages of Mueller’s written questions and Donald Trump’s written responses, the only direct exchange between the special counsel’s office and the president.

Mueller’s team writes that it tried to interview the president for more than a year before Trump submitted written testimony in response to questions on certain Russia-related topics in November 2018.

An introductory note included in the report said the special counsel’s office found the responses indicative of “the inadequacy of the written format,” especially given the office’s inability to ask follow-up questions.

Citing dozens of answers that Mueller’s team considered incomplete, imprecise or unable to be provided because of the president’s lack of recollections — for instance, the president gave no response at all to the final set of questions — the special counsel’s office again sought an in-person interview with Trump that he again declined.

The full exchange between Mueller’s team and Trump:

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I. JUNE 9, 2016 MEETING AT TRUMP TOWER

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

a. When did you first learn that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner was considering participating in a meeting in June 2016 concerning potentially negative information about Hillary Clinton? Describe who you learned the information from and the substance of the discussion.

b. Attached to this document as Exhibit A is a series of emails from June 2016 between, among others, Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone. In addition to the emails reflected in Exhibit A, Donald Trump Jr. had other communications with Rob Goldstone and Emin Agalarov between June 3, 2016, and June 9, 2016.

i. Did Mr. Trump Jr. or anyone else tell you about or show you any of these communications? If yes, describe who discussed the communications with you, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

ii. When did you first see or learn about all or any part of the emails reflected in Exhibit A?

iii. When did you first learn that the proposed meeting involved or was described as being part of Russia and its government’s support for your candidacy?

iv. Did you suggest to or direct anyone not to discuss or release publicly all or any portion of the emails reflected in Exhibit A? If yes, describe who you communicated with, when, the substance of the communication(s), and why you took that action.

c. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner attended a meeting at Trump Tower with several individuals, including a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya (the “June 9 meeting”).

i. Other than as set forth in your answers to I.a and I.b, what, if anything, were you told about the possibility of this meeting taking place, or the scheduling of such a meeting? Describe who you discussed this with, when, and what you were informed about the meeting.

ii. When did you learn that some of the individuals attending the June 9 meeting were Russian or had any affiliation with any part of the Russian government? Describe who you learned this information from and the substance of the discussion(s).

iii. What were you told about what was discussed at the June 9 meeting? Describe each conversation in which you were told about what was discussed at the meeting, who the conversation was with, when it occurred, and the substance of the statements they made about the meeting.

iv. Were you told that the June 9 meeting was about, in whole or in part, adoption and/or the Magnitsky Act? If yes, describe who you had that discussion with, when, and the substance of the discussion.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

Response to Question l, Parts (a) through (c): I have no recollection of learning at the time that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner was considering participating in a meeting in June 2016 concerning potentially negative information about Hillary Clinton. Nor do I recall learning during the campaign that the June 9, 2016 meeting had taken place, that the referenced emails existed, or that Donald J. Trump Jr., had other communications with Emin Agalarov or Robert Goldstone between June 3, 2016 and June 9, 2016.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

d. For the period June 6, 2016 through June 9, 2016, for what portion of each day were you in Trump Tower?

i. Did you speak or meet with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner on June 9, 2016? If yes, did any portion of any of those conversations or meetings include any reference to any aspect of the June 9 meeting? If yes, describe who you spoke with and the substance of the conversation.

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (d): I have no independent recollection of what portion of these four days in June of 2016 I spent in Trump Tower. This was one of many busy months during a fast-paced campaign, as the primary season was ending and we were preparing for the general election campaign.

I am now aware that my Campaign’s calendar indicates that I was in New York City from June 6-9, 2016. Calendars kept in my Trump Tower office reflect that I had various calls and meetings scheduled for each of these days. While those calls and meetings may or may not actually have taken place, they do indicate that I was in Trump Tower during a portion of each of these working days, and I have no reason to doubt that I was. When I was in New York City, I stayed at my Trump Tower apartment.

My Trump Organization desk calendar also reflects that I was outside Trump Tower during portions of these days. The June 7, 2016 calendar indicates I was scheduled to leave Trump Tower in the early evening for Westchester where I gave remarks after winning the California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, and South Dakota Republican primaries held that day. The June 8, 2016 calendar indicates a scheduled departure in late afternoon to attend a ceremony at my son’s school. The June 9, 2016 calendar indicates I was scheduled to attend midday meetings and a fundraising luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel. At this point, I do not remember on what dales these events occurred, but I do not currently have a reason to doubt that they took place as scheduled on my calendar.

Widely available media reports, including television footage, also shed light on my activities during these days. For example, I am aware that my June 7, 2016 victory remarks at the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York, were recorded and published by the media. I remember winning those primaries and generally recall delivering remarks that evening.

At this point in time, I do not remember whether I spoke or met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner on June 9, 2016. My desk calendar indicates I was scheduled to meet with Paul Manafort on the morning of June 9, but I do not recall if that meeting took place. It was more than two years ago, at a time when I had many calls and interactions daily.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

e. Did you communicate directly or indirectly with any member or representative of the Agalarov family after June 3, 2016? If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, and the substance of the communication.

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (e): I have no independent recollection of any communications I had with the Agalarov family or anyone I understood to be a representative of the Agalarov family after June 3, 2016 and before the end of the campaign. While preparing to respond to these questions, I have become aware of written communications with the Agalarovs during the campaign that were sent, received, and largely authored by my staff and which I understand have already been produced to you.

In general, the documents include congratulatory letters on my campaign victories, emails about a painting Emin and Aras Agalarov arranged to have delivered to Trump Tower as a birthday present, and emails regarding delivery of a book written by Aras Agalarov. The documents reflect that the deliveries were screened by the Secret Service.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

f. Did you learn of any communications between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner and any member or representative of the Agalarov family, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rob Goldstone, or any Russian official or contact that took place after June 9, 2016 and concerned the June 9 meeting or efforts by Russia to assist the campaign? If yes, describe who you learned this information from, when, and the substance of what you learned.

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (f): I do not recall being aware during the campaign of communications between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner and any member or representative of the Agalarov family, Robert Goldstone, Natalia Veselnitskaya (whose name I was not familiar with), or anyone I understood to be a Russian official.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

g. On June 7, 2016, you gave a speech in which you said, in part, “I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.”

i. Why did you make that statement?

ii. What information did you plan to share with respect to the Clintons?

iii. What did you believe the source(s) of that information would be?

iv. Did you expect any of the information to have come from the June 9 meeting?

v. Did anyone help draft the speech that you were referring to? If so, who?

vi. Why did you ultimately not give the speech you referenced on June 7, 2016?

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (g): In remarks I delivered the night I won the California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, and South Dakota Republican primaries, I said, “I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.” In general, l expected to give a speech referencing the publicly available, negative information about the Clintons, including, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s failed policies, the Clintons’ use of the State Department to further their interests and the interests of the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton’s improper use of a private server for State Department business, the destruction of 33,000 emails on that server, and Mrs. Clinton’s temperamental unsuitability for the office of President.

In the course of preparing to respond to your questions, I have become aware that the Campaign documents already produced to you reflect the drafting, evolution, and sources of information for the speech I expected to give “probably” on the Monday following my June 7, 2016 comments. These documents generally show that the text of the speech was initially drafted by Campaign staff with input from various outside advisors and was based on publicly available material, including, in particular, information from the book Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer.

The Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. In light of that tragedy, I gave a speech directed more specifically to national security and terrorism than to the Clintons. That speech was delivered at the Saint Anselm College Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire, and, as reported, opened with the following:

“This was going to be a speech on Hillary Clinton and how bad a President, especially in these times of Radical Islamic Terrorism, she would be. Even her former Secret Service Agent, who has seen her under pressure and in times of stress, has stated that she lacks the temperament and integrity to be president. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss these important issues at a later time, and I will deliver that speech soon. But today there is only one thing to discuss: the growing threat of terrorism inside of our borders.”

I continued to speak about Mrs. Clinton’s failings throughout the campaign, using the information prepared for inclusion in the speech to which I referred on June 7, 2016.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

h. Did any person or entity inform you during the campaign that Vladimir Putin or the Russian government supported your candidacy or opposed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton? If yes, describe the source(s) of the information, when you were informed, and the content of such discussion(s).

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (h): I have no recollection of being told during the campaign that Vladimir Putin or the Russian government “supported” my candidacy or “opposed” the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. However, I was aware of some reports indicating that President Putin had made complimentary statements about me.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

i. Did any person or entity inform you during the campaign that any foreign government or foreign leader, other than Russia or Vladimir Putin, had provided, wished to provide, or offered to provide tangible support to your campaign, including by way of offering to provide negative information on Hillary Clinton? If yes, describe the source(s) of the information, when you were informed, and the content of such discussion(s).

TRUMP:

Response to Question I, Part (i): I have no recollection of being told during the campaign that any foreign government or foreign leader had provided, wished to provide, or offered to provide tangible support to my campaign.

___

II. RUSSIAN HACKING/RUSSIAN EFFORTS USING SOCIAL MEDIA/WIKILEAKS

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

a. On June 14, 2016, it was publicly reported that computer hackers had penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and that Russian intelligence was behind the unauthorized access, or hack. Prior to June 14, 2016, were you provided any information about any potential or actual hacking of the computer systems or email accounts of the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Clinton Campaign, Hillary Clinton, or individuals associated with the Clinton campaign? If yes, describe who provided this information, when, and the substance of the information.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (a): I do not remember the date on which it was publicly reported that the DNC had been hacked, but my best recollection is that I learned of the hacking at or shortly after the time it became the subject of media reporting. I do not recall being provided any information during the campaign about the hacking of any of the named entities or individuals before it became the subject of media reporting.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

b. On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails sent or received by Democratic party officials.

i. Prior to the July 22, 2016 release, were you aware from any source that WikiLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks, or Russians had or potentially had possession of or planned to release emails or information that could help your campaign or hurt the Clinton campaign? If yes, describe who you discussed this issue with, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

ii. After the release of emails by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, were you told that WikiLeaks possessed or might possess additional information that could be released during the campaign? If yes, describe who provided this information, when, and what you were told.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (b): I recall that in the months leading up to the election there was considerable media reporting about the possible hacking and release of campaign-related information and there was a lot of talk about this matter. At the time, I was generally aware of these media reports and may have discussed these issues with my campaign staff or others, but at this point in time — more than two years later — I have no recollection of any particular conversation, when it occurred, or who the participants were.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

c. Are you aware of any communications during the campaign, directly or indirectly, between Roger Stone, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, or Rick Gates and (a) WikiLeaks, (b) Julian Assange, (c) other representatives of WikiLeaks, (d) Guccifer 2.0, (e) representatives of Guccifer 2.0, or (f) representatives of DCLeaks? If yes, describe who provided you with this information, when you learned of the communications, and what you know about those communications.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (c): I do not recall being aware during the campaign of any communications between the individuals named in Question II (c) and anyone I understood to be a representative of WikiLeaks or any of the other individuals or entities referred to in the question.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

d. On July 27, 2016, you stated at a press conference: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

i. Why did you make that request of Russia, as opposed to any other country, entity, or individual?

ii. In advance of making that statement, what discussions, if any, did you have with anyone else about the substance of the statement?

iii. Were you told at any time before or after you made that statement that Russia was attempting to infiltrate or hack computer systems or email accounts of Hillary Clinton or her campaign? If yes, describe who provided this information, when, and what you were told.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (d): I made the statement quoted in Question II (d) in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer. The context of the statement is evident in the full reading or viewing of the July 27, 2016 press conference, and I refer you to the publicly available transcript and video of that press conference. I do not recall having any discussion about the substance of the statement in advance of the press conference. I do not recall being told during the campaign of any efforts by Russia to infiltrate or hack the computer systems or email accounts of Hillary Clinton or her campaign prior to them becoming the subject of media reporting and I have no recollection of any particular conversation in that regard.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

e. On October 7, 2016, emails hacked from the account of John Podesta were released by WikiLeaks.

i. Where were you on October 7, 2016?

ii. Were you told at any time in advance of, or on the day of, the October 7 release that WikiLeaks possessed or might possess emails related to John Podesta? If yes, describe who told you this, when, and what you were told.

iii. Are you aware of anyone associated with you or your campaign, including Roger Stone, reaching out to WikiLeaks, either directly or through an intermediary, on or about October 7, 2016? If yes, identify the person and describe the substance of the conversations or contacts.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (e): I was in Trump Tower in New York City on October 7, 2016. I have no recollection of being told that WikiLeaks possessed or might possess emails related to John Podesta before the release of Mr. Podesta’s emails was reported by the media. Likewise, I have no recollection of being told that Roger Stone, anyone acting as an intermediary for Roger Stone, or anyone associated with my campaign had communicated with WikiLeaks on October 7, 2016.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

f. Were you told of anyone associated with you or your campaign, including Roger Stone, having any discussions, directly or indirectly, with WikiLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, or DCLeaks regarding the content or timing of release of hacked emails? If yes, describe who had such contacts, how you became aware of the contacts, when you became aware of the contacts, and the substance of the contacts.

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (f): I do not recall being told during the campaign that Roger Stone or anyone associated with my campaign had discussions with any of the entities named in the question regarding the content or timing of release of hacked emails.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

g. From June 1, 2016 through the end of the campaign, how frequently did you communicate with Roger Stone? Describe the nature of your communication(s) with Mr. Stone.

i. During that time period, what efforts did Mr. Stone tell you he was making to assist your campaign, and what requests, if any, did you make of Mr. Stone?

ii. Did Mr. Stone ever discuss WikiLeaks with you or, as far as you were aware, with anyone else associated with the campaign? If yes, describe what you were told, from whom, and when.

iii. Did Mr. Stone at any time inform you about contacts he had with WikiLeaks or any intermediary of WikiLeaks, or about forthcoming releases of information? If yes, describe what Stone told you and when.

TRUMP:

Response to Question ll, Part (g): I spoke by telephone with Roger Stone from time to time during the campaign. I have no recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr. Stone between June 1.2016 and November 8, 2016. I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him, nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign, although I was aware that WikiLeaks was the subject of media reporting and campaign-related discussion at the time.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

h. Did you have any discussions prior to January 20, 2017, regarding a potential pardon or other action to benefit Julian Assange? If yes, describe who you had the discussion(s) with, when, and the content of the discussion(s).

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (h): I do not recall having had any discussion during the campaign regarding a pardon or action to benefit Julian Assange.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

i. Were you aware of any efforts by foreign individuals or companies, including those in Russia, to assist your campaign through the use of social media postings or the organization of rallies? If yes, identify who you discussed such assistance with, when, and the content of the discussion(s).

TRUMP:

Response to Question II, Part (i): I do not recall being aware during the campaign of specific efforts by foreign individuals or companies to assist my campaign through the use of social media postings or the organization of rallies.

___

III. THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION MOSCOW PROJECT

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

a. In October 2015, a “Letter of Intent,” a copy of which is attached as Exhibit B, was signed for a proposed Trump Organization project in Moscow (the “Trump Moscow project”).

i. When were you first informed of discussions about the Trump Moscow project? By whom? What were you told about the project?

ii. Did you sign the letter of intent?

b. In a statement provided to Congress, attached as Exhibit C, Michael Cohen stated: “To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Trump was never in contact with anyone about this proposal other than me on three occasions, including signing a non-binding letter of intent in 2015.” Describe all discussions you had with Mr. Cohen, or anyone else associated with the Trump Organization, about the Trump Moscow project, including who you spoke with, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

c. Did you learn of any communications between Michael Cohen or Felix Sater and any Russian government officials, including officials in the office of Dmitry Peskov, regarding the Trump Moscow project? If so, identify who provided this information to you, when, and the substance of what you learned.

d. Did you have any discussions between June 2015 and June 2016 regarding a potential trip to Russia by you and/or Michael Cohen for reasons related to the Trump Moscow project? If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

e. Did you at any time direct or suggest that discussions about the Trump Moscow project should cease, or were you informed at any time that the project had been abandoned? If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, the substance of the discussion(s), and why that decision was made.

f. Did you have any discussions regarding what information would be provided publicly or in response to investigative inquiries about potential or actual investments or business deals the Trump Organization had in Russia, including the Trump Moscow project? If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

g. Aside from the Trump Moscow project, did you or the Trump Organization have any other prospective or actual business interests, investments, or arrangements with Russia or any Russian interest or Russian individual during the campaign? If yes, describe the business interests, investments, or arrangements.

TRUMP:

Response to Question III, Parts (a) through (g): Sometime in 2015, Michael Cohen suggested to me the possibility of a Trump Organization project in Moscow. As I recall, Mr. Cohen described this as a proposed project of a general type we have done in the past in a variety of locations. I signed the non-binding Letter of Intent attached to your questions as Exhibit B which required no equity or expenditure on our end and was consistent with our ongoing efforts to expand into significant markets around the world.

I had few conversations with Mr. Cohen on this subject. As I recall, they were brief, and they were not memorable. I was not enthused about the proposal, and I do not recall any discussion of travel to Russia in connection with it. I do not remember discussing it with anyone else at the Trump Organization, although it is possible. I do not recall being aware at the time of any communications between Mr. Cohen or Felix Sater and any Russian government official regarding the Letter of Intent. In the course of preparing to respond to your questions, I have become aware that Mr. Cohen sent an email regarding the Letter of Intent to “Mr. Peskov” at a general, public email account, which should show there was no meaningful relationship with people in power in Russia. I understand those documents already have been provided to you.

I vaguely remember press inquiries and media reporting during the campaign about whether the Trump Organization had business dealings in Russia. I may have spoken with campaign staff or Trump Organization employees regarding responses to requests for information, but I have no current recollection of any particular conversation, with whom I may have spoken, when, or the substance of any conversation. As I recall, neither I nor the Trump Organization had any projects or proposed projects in Russia during the campaign other than the Letter of Intent.

___

IV. CONTACTS WITH RUSSIA AND RUSSIA-RELATED ISSUES DURING THE CAMPAIGN

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

a. Prior to mid-August 2016, did you become aware that Paul Manafort had ties to the Ukrainian government? If yes, describe who you learned this information from, when, and the substance of what you were told. Did Mr. Manafort’s connections to the Ukrainian or Russian governments play any role in your decision to have him join your campaign? If yes, describe that role.

b. Were you aware that Paul Manafort offered briefings on the progress of your campaign to Oleg Deripaska? If yes, describe who you learned this information from, when, the substance of what you were told, what you understood the purpose was of sharing such information with Mr. Deripaska, and how you responded to learning this information.

c. Were you aware of whether Paul Manafort or anyone else associated with your campaign sent or directed others to send internal Trump campaign information to any person located in Ukraine or Russia or associated with the Ukrainian or Russian governments? If yes, identify who provided you with this information, when, the substance of the discussion(s), what you understood the purpose was of sharing the internal campaign information, and how you responded to learning this information.

d. Did Paul Manafort communicate to you, directly or indirectly, any posit ions Ukraine or Russia would want the U.S. to support? If yes, describe when he communicated those positions to you and the substance of those communications.

TRUMP:

Response to Question IV, Parts (a) through (d): Mr. Manafort was hired primarily because of his delegate work for prior presidential candidates, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole. I knew that Mr. Manafort had done international consulting work and, at some time before Mr. Manafort left the campaign, I learned that he was somehow involved with individuals concerning Ukraine, but I do not remember the specifics of what I knew at the time.

l had no knowledge of Mr. Manafort offering briefings on the progress of my campaign to an individual named Oleg Deripaska, nor do I remember being aware of Mr. Manafort or anyone else associated with my campaign sending or directing others to send internal Trump Campaign information to anyone I knew to be in Ukraine or Russia at the time or to anyone I understood to be a Ukrainian or Russian government employee or official. I do not remember Mr. Manafort communicating to me any particular positions Ukraine or Russia would want the United States to support.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

e. During the campaign, were you told about efforts by Russian officials to meet with you or senior members of your campaign? If yes, describe who you had conversations with on this topic, when, and what you were told.

TRUMP:

Response to Question IV, Part (e): I do not recall being told during the campaign of efforts by Russian officials to meet with me or with senior members of my campaign. In the process of preparing to respond to these questions, I became aware that on March 17, 2016, my assistant at the Trump Organization, Rhona Graff, received an email from a Sergei Prikhodko, who identified himself as Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Foundation Roscongress, inviting me to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to be held in June 2016. The documents show that Ms. Graff prepared for my signature a brief response declining the invitation. I understand these documents already have been produced to you.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

f. What role, if any, did you have in changing the Republican Party platform regarding arming Ukraine during the Republican National Convention? Prior to the convention, what information did you have about this platform provision? After the platform provision was changed, who told you about the change, when did they tell you, what were you told about why it was changed, and who was involved?

TRUMP:

Response to Question IV, Part (f): I have no recollection of the details of what, when, or from what source I first learned about the change to the platform amendment regarding arming Ukraine, but I generally recall learning of the issue as part of media reporting. I do not recall being involved in changing the language to the amendment.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

g. On July 27, 2016, in response to a question about whether you would recognize Crimea as Russian territory and lift sanctions on Russia, you said: “We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking.” Did you intend to communicate by that statement or at any other time during the campaign a willingness to lift sanctions and/or recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea if you were elected?

i. What consideration did you give to lifting sanctions and/or recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea if you were elected? Describe who you spoke with about this topic, when, the substance of the discussion(s).

TRUMP:

Response to Question IV, Part (g): My statement did not communicate any position.

___

V. CONTACTS WITH RUSSIA AND RUSSIA-RELATED ISSUES DURING THE TRANSITION

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

a. Were you asked to attend the World Chess Championship gala on November 10, 2016? If yes, who asked you to attend, when were you asked, and what were you told about why your presence was requested?

i. Did you attend any part of the event? If yes, describe any interactions you had with any Russians or representatives of the Russian government at the event.

TRUMP:

Response to Question V, Part (a): I do not remember having been asked to attend the World Chess Championship gala, and I did not attend the event. During the course of preparing to respond to these questions, I have become aware of documents indicating that in March of 2016, the president of the World Chess Federation invited the Trump Organization to host, at Trump Tower, the 2016 World Chess Championship Match to be held in New York in November 2016. I have also become aware that in November 2016 , there were press inquiries to my staff regarding whether I had plans to attend the tournament , which was not being held at Trump Tower. I understand these documents have already been provided to you.

SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE:

b. Following the Obama Administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia in December 2016 (“Russia sanctions”), did you discuss with Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, or anyone else associated with the transition what should be communicated to the Russian government regarding the sanctions? If yes, describe who you spoke with about this issue, when, and the substance of the discussion(s).

c. On December 29 and December 31, 2016, LTG Flynn had conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the Russia sanctions and Russia’s response to the Russia sanctions.

i. Did you direct or suggest that LTG Flynn have discussions with anyone from the Russian government about the Russia sanctions?

ii. Were you told in advance of LTG Flynn’s December 29, 2016 conversation that he was going to be speaking with Ambassador Kislyak? If yes, describe who told you this information, when, and what you were told. If no, when and from whom did you learn of LTG Flynn’s December 29, 2016 conversation with Ambassador Kislyak?

iii. When did you learn of LTG Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak’s call on December 31, 2016? Who told you and what were you told?

iv. When did you learn that sanctions were discussed in the December 29 and December 31, 2016 calls between LTG Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak? Who told you and what were you told?

d. At any time between December 31, 2016, and January 20, 2017, did anyone tell you or suggest to you that Russia’s decision not to impose reciprocal sanctions was attributable in any way to LTG Flynn’s communications with Ambassador Kislyak? If yes, identify who provided you with this information, when, and the substance of what you were told.

e. On January 12, 2017, the Washington Post published a column that stated that LTG Flynn phoned Ambassador Kislyak several times on December 29, 2016. After learning of the column, did you direct or suggest to anyone that LTG Flynn should deny that he discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak? If yes, who did you make this suggestion or direction to, when, what did you say, and why did you take this step?

i. After learning of the column, did you have any conversations with LTG Flynn about his conversations with Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016? If yes, describe when those discussions occurred and the content of the discussions.

f. Were you told about a meeting between Jared Kushner and Sergei Gorkov that took place in December 2016?

i. If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, the substance of the discussion(s), and what you understood was the purpose of the meeting.

g. Were you told about a meeting or meetings between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev or any other representative from the Russian government that took place in January 2017?

i. If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, the substance of the discussion(s), and what you understood was the purpose of the meeting(s).

h. Prior to January 20, 2017, did you talk to Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, or any other individual associated with the transition regarding establishing an unofficial line of communication with Russia? If yes, describe who you spoke with, when, the substance of the discussion(s), and what you understood was the purpose of such an unofficial line of communication.

TRUMP:

(No answer provided.)

IPO mania: Zoom, Pinterest surge in market debuts
Author: Associated Press

NEW YORK — Investors are giving unicorn technology companies Zoom and Pinterest a rousing reception in their debuts on the stock market.

Zoom Video Communications, which makes video conferencing technology, soared 81% when it opened for trading after pricing its initial public offering at $36. Pinterest, which lets users share images of crafts and other projects, jumped 25% after pricing its IPO at $19.

The high-flying market debuts come less than a month after ride-hailing service Lyft began trading. In what might be a cautionary tale for other anticipated tech IPOs, Lyft shares surged on their first day but have since plunged back below their original offering price.

Other high-profile companies such as Twitter and Snap had strong initial trading days but then saw their stock prices fall substantially in the subsequent months. Then again, there are companies like payment processor Square, which public at $9 per share, rose 45% on the first day of trading and now sell for around $70.

San Francisco-based Pinterest is on track to raise more than $1.4 billion on its first day of trading. The company has more than 250 million monthly users. Revenue, mainly through advertising, reached $736 million last year and the company posted a loss of $63 million.

Zoom, also based in San Francisco, is poised to raise more than $456 million through the sale of shares and a private placement. The company had $330 million in revenue last year and profit of $7.6 million, making it one of the few profitable technology companies going public this year.

Washington set to be 1st state with long-term care benefit
Author: RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington is poised to become the first state to establish an employee-paid program creating an insurance benefit to help offset the costs of long-term care, a step advocates say will help an aging population that is likely not prepared for the increasing costs needed for daily assistance.

The measure creates a benefit for those who pay into the program, with a lifetime maximum of $36,500 per person, indexed to inflation, paid for by an employee payroll premium. It has cleared both the House and the Senate, but because the Senate made several changes before passing it earlier this week, the measure now heads back to the House for a final vote.

According to AARP of Washington, 70% of residents 65 and older will require some type of assistance to live independently.

Only an estimated 7 million to 8 million Americans have private long-term care insurance, which is costly and generally requires applicants to pass a health screening. Many assume that Medicare covers long-term care, but that’s not the case except for limited care for skilled nursing care or rehabilitation. Qualifying for public coverage under Medicaid, which covers low-income people, involves spending down lifetime savings.

“This is a way to try and give people a benefit that they’ve paid into that will be able to keep them out of poverty and accessing a broad array of services they may need,” said Democratic Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma, the bill’s sponsor.

Opponents call it an unnecessary intrusion by government and an additional tax on employees who haven’t had a say on whether they want such a program. Proposed referendum amendments to require voters to weigh in were rejected by lawmakers.

“I do believe people need long-term care insurance,” said Republican Sen. Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla. “But to have a state-run government program instead of just incentivizing people who are already doing this work in the private sector, this is crazy.”

Under the proposal, premiums of 0.58 % of wages would start being collected from employees on Jan. 1, 2022, meaning an employee who makes $50,000 a year would pay about $24 a month. Employers would not be required to pay into the program. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, people who need assistance with at least three “activities of daily living” such as bathing, dressing or administration of medication, could tap into the fund to pay for things like in-home care, home modifications like a wheelchair ramp and rides to the doctor. The benefit also covers home-delivered meals, and reimbursement to unpaid family caregivers.

To be eligible, workers will have had to have paid the premium working at least 500 hours per year for three of the previous six years in which they’re seeking the benefit or for a total of 10 years, with at least five of those paid without interruption. The Senate boosted that requirement from the original House version. The Senate proposal exempts workers who show they already have long-term care insurance.

“We know both in our state and nationally we have a tidal wave of folks who are going to be in a position to need support later in life,” said Gov. Jay Inslee, who supports the measure.

Washington isn’t the only state that has contemplated long-term care, but it has moved the fastest on creating a defined insurance policy.

While Maine voters last year rejected a referendum that would have provided home care to all seniors and disabled people regardless of income, other states have explored various options.

Hawaii has adopted a public cash benefit for caregivers of the elderly, California is considering a ballot initiative on a public long-term care financing program, Michigan and Illinois are beginning to study public programs for those not on Medicaid, and Minnesota’s human services department has proposed two alternative private financing options, according to Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank.

“There’s a lot of discussion around the country, but Washington state is far ahead in at least getting close to the goal line,” Gleckman said.

About two-thirds of adults favor a long-term care program similar to Medicare, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year. That includes 76 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans.

The Medicare for All bills introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. expand coverage for long-term care, emphasizing home and community based services.

Advocates say that while any federal plan could compliment state efforts, legislators should not wait on Congress.

“What they’re proposing right now could take years to actually be realized,” said AARP Washington Advocacy Director Cathy MacCaul, who noted that the median retirement savings for people over 65 is just $148,000, while the lifetime cost of care can average as high $266,000. “The challenge exists now.”

AP reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed from Washington, D.C.

Archaeology site looted at Lewis and Clark Historical Park
Author: Associated Press

ASTORIA, Ore. — The National Park Service is investigating the looting of an archaeological site at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

The Daily Astorian reported Thursday that artifacts were unearthed near the Netul River Trail on the south end of the park sometime in late March.

Superintendent Jon Burpee declined to provide details about what might have been taken but told the newspaper the items may be up to a century old. The looting has made the agency concerned that other sites could also be targeted.

The looters disturbed around 1 1/2 dump trucks’ worth of soil and appear to have used metal detectors to locate artifacts.

The looting is the most serious crime at the park since a bronze statue of Sacagawea and her baby was stolen in 2008.

Portland Business News

Bright.md eyes bright future in helping clinicians avoid 'scut work'
Author: Elizabeth Hayes
The Portland company's virtual care platform enables patients to receive care faster and for less money.

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