Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Mr 'Know Nothing'

Greg Sargent in The Washington Post suggests that Jared Kushner threw Donald Trump Jr. 'under the bus' with a carefully crafted written statement in which he denied knowing much of anything about a high level Trump campaign involving a Russian lawyer in June 2016. 

Apparently eight people attended this meeting including Trump's campaign manager, his son (Donald Jr) and his senior and son-in law (Jared) which had been arranged with the expectation of receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The whole business stinks to high heaven if you ask me, but read the full article via the following link to The Washington Post and decide for yourself.


Jared Kushner just threw Donald Trump Jr. under the bus. Bigly.

By Greg Sargent - The Washington Post

Kushner says he ‘did not collude with Russia’ during campaign

After meeting privately with Senate investigators on July 24, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, said his “actions were proper” during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning, and what is striking about his extensive opening statement is the degree to which it seeks to insulate Kushner himself from any culpability or responsibility for the problematic known facts about the Russia affair — particularly the known facts that concern Donald Trump Jr.

Kushner’s statement takes exceptional care to separate him, with scalpel-like precision, from the now-notorious meeting that Trump Jr. arranged with a Russian lawyer — a meeting that Trump Jr. had been informed would furnish the Trump campaign with information about Hillary Clinton supplied by the Russian government. Here is what Kushner’s statement says about the meeting (emphasis added):

In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on June 9 at 3:00 p.m. The campaign was headquartered in the same building as his office in Trump Tower, and it was common for each of us to swing by the other’s meetings when requested. He eventually sent me his own email changing the time of the meeting to 4:00 p.m. That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time. As I did with most emails when I was working remotely, I quickly reviewed on my iPhone the relevant message that the meeting would occur at 4:00 PM at his office. Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as “Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner.” No one else was mentioned.

I arrived at the meeting a little late. When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting. Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, in looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote “Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.”

I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently. I did not read or recall this email exchange before it was shown to me by my lawyers when reviewing documents for submission to the committees. No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign, there was no follow up to the meeting that I am aware of, I do not recall how many people were there (or their names), and I have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted. Finally, after seeing the email, I disclosed this meeting prior to it being reported in the press on a supplement to my security clearance form, even if that was not required as meeting the definitions of the form.

It’s not entirely clear that the “long back and forth” that Kushner claims he “did not read at the time” is the email chain that Trump Jr. released, under duress, which demonstrated that the meeting was taken with the express purpose of getting information advertised as coming from the Russian government. But it seems clear that this is what he is referring to. Note that Kushner does not say one way or the other whether he had been sent this email chain before. What we do know, however, is that Kushner says he never read it. And if Kushner is to be believed, he agreed to, and showed up at, this meeting without having any idea why it was being held.

This, even though Trump Jr. was quite excited about what this meeting might yield (“I love it,” Trump Jr. exulted in the email chain), and even though Trump’s then-campaign chair Paul Manafort was also present. This was a meeting attended by Trump’s top brain trust, on the expectation that it would yield greatly damaging information about Trump’s opponent, just as the campaign was shifting into general election mode — but Kushner was unaware of its purpose.

The 'Manuel' Defence (21/03/17)

The BBC carries a remarkable report today on the proceedings at the Neil Lennon bomb trial - which is reproduced below.

I was immediately struck by the 'I know nothing' defence of the accused - which reminded me of the old sketch from Fawlty Towers involving the hotel owner - Basil - and eager to please waiter - Manuel. 

So while the accused - Trevor Muirhead - knew all about parcels and peroxide - at the end of the day he knew 'nothing' - about what was really going on.

Well at least Fawlty Towers was funny and made people laugh - sop here's a clip from You Tube.


"Neil Lennon bomb trial: Accused 'knew about parcels'

A man accused of plotting to kill the Celtic manager told police he knew packages were being made up to send to Neil Lennon, a court has heard.

In a police interview played to the jury, Trevor Muirhead also admitted supplying two bottles of peroxide.

He denied posting or preparing the packages which he said were made up "as a hoax".

Mr Muirhead, 43, and Neil McKenzie, 42, deny plotting to kill Mr Lennon, Trish Godman and the late Paul McBride QC.

In the interview with detectives from Strathclyde Police following his arrest last May, Mr Muirhead was asked about his involvement with the suspect packages.

"Did you post them?", asked Det Con David Thomson. "No," he replied.

"Did you know what was in them?" asked the detective.

"No," said Mr Muirhead, "I knew there was packages getting made up supposed to be as a hoax for Neil Lennon, that was aw I knew aboot it."

Mr Muirhead, from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, went on to admit to supplying two bottles of peroxide to a person who he said was involved in the plot.

"They asked me if I could get peroxide and I got it," he said.

"I supplied two bottles of peroxide."

Republican music

Asked whether the other person involved was his co-accused Neil McKenzie, Mr Muirhead replied: "I would agree wi' you there aye, it's pretty accurate but I'm no' saying it is and I'm no' saying it's no."

"So what did you think of all this with Neil?" asked Det Con Thomson.

"I thought he was just fantasising to be honest wi' you," said Mr Muirhead, adding "I take it it's a hatred for Neil Lennon."

He also told police: "I know the parcel tae Neil Lennon went fae Saltcoats right. I know that much right...I thought they were just putting the stuff in a bag and then sending it."

The court also heard that Mr Muirhead claimed to have been "an avid follower of Glasgow Celtic" in his youth.

He made the comments in an interview at Paisley police station on 12 May 2011, which were played at the High Court in Glasgow.

He also said he had "no opinion" on Mr Lennon, that Celtic were "a good football club" and also that he was a fan of Irish Republican music.

Watched Rangers

He claimed his father - a Catholic - liked watching Celtic and they both took an interest in football until the pair grew apart.

Mr Muirhead was later asked if he was a Rangers fan and told detectives he had been "a few times" to watch the Ibrox club.

He claimed the last occasion he had seen Rangers play in Scotland was two years earlier.

The police also quizzed him on his "personal opinion" of Celtic manager Mr Lennon.

Mr Muirhead replied: "I don't have an opinion. I don't know the man and I don't offer opinions on people that I don't know."

When asked about Celtic, he claimed they were a "good football club."

Det Con Thomson went on: "Do you see Celtic, Neil Lennon or anything to do with the Catholic faith as a threat to you?"

Not religious

Mr Muirhead replied: "No, I worked in a chapel a long time ago...religion is not an important thing to me." 

He also stated he had "not a clue" why Mr Lennon would be a target adding: "I think its stupid, basically idiots...I haven't got a clue why I'm even here."

The accused told police he did not "know a thing" about former MSP Ms Godman and that Mr McBride was a QC who made "comments about the SFA and Mr Lennon's ban".

Mr Muirhead also denied being involved in a campaign to post parcel bombs.

He told police: "I could not spell bomb never mind build one."

During the police interview, the accused was played extracts of police surveillance tapes.

Mr Muirhead told officers a recorded conversation he had with co-accused Mr McKenzie about planting a bomb outside a police station was "hot air".

Email address

He also said: "I'm not interested in planting bombs. I wouldn't take anything to do with planting bombs."

The court also heard that during the police interview Mr Muirhead was asked if he had any extreme views. He replied: "Live and let live - it's the way I was brought up.

"My father's Roman Catholic and my mother is Protestant. So I was brought up to respect everybody's view."

Mr Muirhead told detectives he had an email address featuring the number "1972".

He added this was a reference to the year Rangers won the former Cup Winners Cup in Barcelona.

When asked if he watched Old Firm games, he said: "I don't go - I don't see the point of them. They do not interest me." 

Mr Muirhead and Mr McKenzie are alleged to have planned to "assault and murder" the Celtic manager, the MSP and the prominent lawyer between 1 March and 15 April last year.

The charge claims the pair sent another suspected bomb to the offices of Cairde na hÉireann (Friends of Ireland) in the Gallowgate, Glasgow.

Both men are also accused of having made and possessed Triacetone Triperoxide with the intent to endanger life.

Mr Muirhead and Mr McKenzie deny all charges.

The trial, before Lord Turnbull, continues."