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Posts tagged ‘Jared Kushner’

Columbia Law Professor Explains why Donald Trump Jr. did Nothing Wrong


Reported By Onan Coca | July 14, 2017

MSNBC had an interesting conversation this morning with Columbia University Law Professor Richard Briffault who told the hosts and their viewers that basically everything that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner have been accused of is wrong. Legally, technically, wrong.

As Briffault expertly, and concisely, explains neither man is guilty of “treason,” “perjury,” giving “false statements,” or “colluding” with Russia. Based on all of the “evidence” gathered, the worst that can be said is that Jared Kushner might have lied or he might just be forgetful and Donald Trump Jr. showed bad judgment.

The MSNBC hosts were visibly saddened.

RICHARD BRIFFAULT, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Treason is a little extreme for this, I mean it is not clear — [Russia] may not be our friend, but it is not clear they are our enemy. We are not at war. It is not clear this violates — it is against the U.S. government. So I am not up to treason yet.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: So take ‘T’ off the table. What about the ‘P’? Perjury definition: ‘A person under oath states any material which he does not believe to be true.’ Would be constituted as perjury. 

BRIEFAULT: Well, with the possible exception of Jared Kushner and the forms he filled out to get his security clearance, I’m not sure any of this has been under oath yet. On those, maybe it is not perjury, but there is a crime of lying to the U.S. government, but you would have to prove he was knowingly and maliciously misleading, and his claim is to say he just forgot. So we’re in a gray area there. 

STEPHANIE RUHLE: So can we add in? The TIME Magazine [cover story this week] currently has Don Jr. on the cover, but in their piece they say that in the email chain between Don Jr. and the Russian intermediary, they say ‘Kushner maintains he did not read to the bottom of the email invitation to the meeting, so he didn’t understand the Russian promise it contained, that was on the fourth page. And yet, the subject line says ‘Russia, Clinton Private and Confidential.’ Does that argument that he didn’t scroll down hold any water? 

BRIFFAULT: Is is irrelevant. The thing was that he was at the meeting and he didn’t report having been at the meeting –as I understand it– in his intial filing to get the security clearance.

So, at the very least, he has corrected that, but there is some question about how knowing that was. So, perjury no, lying to the government maybe.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC: We have another one: False statements. This is about a person knowingly and willfully making any materially false statement or representation within any of the three branches of government. This is obviously a lower standard, but does this apply here? 

BRIFFAULT: This relates to the filing for the security clearance. It is a simlar kind of question. It was a false statement. Did he know it was false, or did he just forget? And it has been corrected. It may still affect whether he should have a security clearance. But it is not quite up to the level of a crime.

OK. Did you get all of that? Basically Donald Trump Jr. did nothing that was “actionably” wrong. Ali Velshi tries one more time and asks Professor Briffault about collusion, and Briffault crushes Velshi’s liberal dreams…

BRIFFAULT: Collusion isn’t really a crime, I think we are getting at things like ‘conspiracy to commit a crime,’ or coordination of campaign finance stuff. Collusion is more of a political term than a legal term.

Trump Wins Over 3 Tech CEOs in Private Meeting


URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/amazon-google-apple-ceos/

The CEOs of Apple, Google and Amazon offered praise for Donald Trump after a meeting with the president at the White House on Monday, Breitbart reported. According to The Hill, the meeting was a brainstorming session for Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation, which seeks in part to modernize the federal government through technology.

The session was attended by a number of tech industry CEOs — including Google’s Eric Schmidt, Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — as well as roughly two dozen business experts. In the aftermath of the meeting, the three CEOs came out with praise for the president.

“I’m absolutely convinced that during your administration there is going to be a huge explosion of new opportunities because of the platforms that are getting built in our industry,” Google’s Schmidt told the president.

Schmidt said that “huge” growth due to entrepreneurship, immigration and skilled workers was “going to happen soon during your leadership.” Schmidt was far from the only one predicting growth. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos praised the administration’s emphasis on information technology for improving government and saving taxpayers money, saying that Trump’s presidency could be the “innovation administration.”

“I think you guys are already headed that way,” Bezos said. However, he said there needed to be more emphasis on artificial intelligence.

“I think it would be impossible to overstate this, is that the United States needs to — in every way at every level — be working on machine learning and artificial intelligence,” he said. “That can be used in every part of government to improve the services that government provides to citizens.”

Apple’s Tim Cook also offered support for the administration’s efforts to streamline government.

“The U.S. should have the most modern government in the world, and today it doesn’t,” Cook said. He advocated a citizen-centric focus for how the federal government works.

“The government should be focused on its citizens, and the services of the government should be measured on how pleased the citizens are with receiving its services,” Cook said.

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He added that learning how to code for computers should be “a requirement” in America’s public schools: “We have a huge deficit in the skills that we need today, vs. the skills that are there,” he said.

It’s worth pointing out that none of these individuals are on the Trump train. According to Newsweek, Bezos and Cook both openly opposed the president’s travel ban and Google filed an amicus brief in the case. Google also opposed President Trump’s reversal on the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender bathroom policy for public schools.

An administration official said that Monday’s meeting was just the start of the administration’s technology initiative.

“This is just the beginning of a multiyear process,” the official said.

“The problems we are looking at in the Office of American Innovation are not quick fixes,” they added. “These are things that are going to require years to really make significant progress on. Our systems are in some cases 10 to 20 years out of date, so we’re not going to fix that in one day. But we have to start now. And this day we believe will be a significant one in terms of generating ideas and potential solutions to some of the problems.”

Needless to say, the left wasn’t happy about the meeting. A liberal group called Tech Solidarity urged employees to force CEOs to boycott the meeting.

“This meeting doesn’t have to happen. Tech employees have the power to stop it,” the group said in a statement. “We’ve learned in the last six months that there is no clean way to do business with the Trump Administration. The President does not respect boundaries or institutions. You are either for him, or against him. That decision doesn’t belong to our CEOs; it belongs to us as an industry.”

That clearly doesn’t seem to have worked.

Trump son-in-law: a calming power in the new presidency


waving flagAuthored by AFP / 10 Jan 2017

But while Trump’s penchant for publicity, rows and controversy are legendary, Kushner is a stark contrast in social media silence, appearing only in smiling family photographs posted by his wife, who converted to Judaism before their lavish society wedding. But behind the scenes, his influence is almost second to none.

He was reportedly instrumental in personnel decisions, such as demoting scandal-dogged Chris Christie — the former prosecutor who jailed his father for tax evasion — and Trump’s selection of a fervent advocate of Jewish settlements as US ambassador to Israel.

Trump said last year that Kushner, whose family foundation has reportedly donated to Israeli settlements, was so talented that he could help “do peace in the Middle East.” Such is his influence that the New York Times reported that the outgoing White House was told that foreign policy matters that need to be brought to Trump’s attention should be relayed through Kushner. 

He has also been a bridge to tech leaders, has won the friendship and support of legions of influential New York and global players, many of them significantly older than him, such as Rupert Murdoch. Even liberals welcomed his appointment as a potentially moderating influence.

I respect him a lot,” New York’s left-leaning Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Monday, saying that he had known Kushner “for years” and considered him “a very reasonable person.”

The eldest son of developer Charles Kushner, he attended a private Jewish high school before going to Harvard, singled out as an example of the wealthy getting preferential admittance to Ivy League schools, before going onto New York University to get an MBA. Kushner was still a student when Christie jailed his father for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.

His son picked up the pieces, reportedly flying down to visit his father most weekends, and took up the reins of the family business, proving himself astonishingly successful.

– Ran campaign –

Like Trump, he shifted the focus of the family real estate business to Manhattan. Today Forbes estimates that together with his parents and brother Kushner is worth $1.8 billion. Under his leadership, Kushner Companies says it has completed more than $14 billion in transactions and $7 billion in acquisitions.

Kushner’s lawyer said he would resign as CEO of Kushner Companies and “divest substantial assets in accordance with federal guidelines.”

Ten years ago he also added The New York Observer lifestyle newspaper to his portfolio and revived its fortunes by taking it online.

During the campaign he went from writing speeches to masterminding a data-driven campaign that focused on message tailoring and harnessing social media to an unprecedented extent. “Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources,” Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, told Forbes.

After the inauguration he is expected to work closely with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. The Times reported that he plans to work on issues involving the Middle East and Israel; try to forge government partnerships with the private sector and collaborate on free trade issues.

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