Francis Wilkinson (for Info only, not official)

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Francis Wilkinson

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    ...Reuters New York: Former FBI director James Comey isn’t leaving much in doubt. In his testimony prepared for his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Comey states that Trump considered the FBI probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia agents a “cloud” hobbling his presidency. He wanted Comey’s help to “lift” it. Oh, and one more thing. The president who routinely calls the allegations of collusion a “hoax,” wondered out loud to Comey if perhaps some of Trump’s “satellite” associates might, indeed, have done something untoward with the Russians. According to a Washington Post report, which the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, declined to dispute in testimony Wednesday, we already know that Trump asked Coats to intervene with Comey on the FBI Russia probe. These reports, and others, don’t exist in a vacuum. ...

    Live Mint on June 8, 2017, 10:24 a.m.

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    ...The culprit was democracy. Even if you defend democracy on the grounds that Trump lost the popular vote, it’s still a lame argument. After all, what kind of sensible political system generates 63 million votes for a thuggish incompetent to become its supreme leader? Democracy was rarely an exercise in smooth sailing. Now, this. “The choice of Mr. Trump, a man so signally lacking in the virtues, abilities, knowledge and experience to be expected of a President, has further damaged the attractions of the democratic system,” wrote an exceedingly glum Martin Wolf in the Financial Times this week. “The soft power of democracy is not what it was. It has produced Mr. Trump as leader of the world’s most important country. It is not an advertisement.” Wolf isn’t wrong, of course. If General Electric Co. had gone bonkers and installed Trump as CEO, the smart money would’ve deserted the company, fearing for its future. Yet what’s to stop Trump from doing far more damage as president? ...

    Live Mint on June 3, 2017, 3:59 p.m.

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    ...That’s the gist of some right-wing reaction to the president’s comments in an interview with the Associated Press last week. The sticking point is Trump’s position on Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, and who were shielded from deportation by executive actions signed by president Barack Obama. Trump had expressed sympathy toward Dreamers before. But last week he explicitly said he would protect them. “And that’s going to be the policy of your administration,” the AP asked Trump, “to allow the Dreamers to stay?” Trump’s reply was unequivocal: “Yes. Yes. That’s our policy.” Because even the most unequivocal statements from Trump can be entirely unreliable, the reporter gave Trump the option to repeat his vow or wriggle away. “AP: A lot of the Dreamers have been hoping to hear something from you. I don’t want to give them the wrong message with this. Trump: Here is what they can hear: The Dreamers should rest easy. OK? I’ll give you that. ...

    Live Mint on May 1, 2017, 8:41 a.m.

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    ...To recap: After signing an executive order this week that directed (but did not fund) the construction of a wall across the southern border, Trump reiterated his demand that Mexico pay for the construction. That, in turn, led Mexican President Pena Nieto to cancel a scheduled meeting with Trump. Mexican politician Margarita Zavala, wife of former President Felipe Calderon, called Trump’s provocation a “humiliation,” and, in a tweet, included a hashtag with an implied, and wholly unsurprising, threat of future hostilities: #MexicoFirst. ...

    Live Mint on Jan. 27, 2017, 7:59 p.m.