myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Buy and Sell Services
 
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Trump
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 1331, 1332, 1333, 1334, 1335  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16736
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hysterical, the scammers got scammed.

Quote:
POLITICS 600105714
White tiger and cheetah furs: A mess of Trump gift exchanges
By Michael S. Schmidt New York Times OCTOBER 11, 2021 — 8:04PM

STEPHEN CROWLEY, NEW YORK TIMES
President Donald Trump meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, May 20, 2017. The Trump administration’s problems with gifts date from that trip. Gift exchanges between U.S. and foreign leaders, a highly regulated process, devolved into sometimes risible shambles during the Trump administration.

The Saudi royal family showered Donald Trump and his entourage on his first trip abroad as president with dozens of presents, including three robes made with white tiger and cheetah fur, and a dagger with a handle that appeared to be ivory.

Little that followed went right.

A White House lawyer determined that possession of the furs and dagger most likely violated the Endangered Species Act, but the Trump administration held onto them and failed to disclose them as gifts received from a foreign government.

On the last full day of Trump's presidency, the White House handed them over to the General Services Administration — the wrong agency — rather than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which seized the gifts this summer.

At that point, there was a surprise.

The furs, from an oil-rich family worth billions of dollars, were fake.

"Wildlife inspectors and special agents determined the linings of the robes were dyed to mimic tiger and cheetah patterns and were not comprised of protected species," said Tyler Cherry, a spokesperson for the Interior Department, which oversees the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington declined to comment.

The tale of the furs is but one example of how gift exchanges between the United States and foreign leaders — a highly regulated process intended to shield administrations from questions of impropriety — devolved into sometimes risible shambles during the Trump administration.

The State Department's inspector general is investigating allegations that Trump's political appointees walked off with gift bags worth thousands of dollars that were meant for foreign leaders at the Group of 7 summit planned for Camp David in Maryland in 2020, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The bags contained dozens of items purchased with government funds, including leather portfolios, pewter trays and marble trinket boxes emblazoned with the presidential seal or the signatures of Trump and his wife, Melania.

The inspector general continues to pursue the whereabouts of a $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey given to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — Pompeo said he never received it — and a 22-karat gold coin given to another State Department official.

There is also a question about whether former second lady Karen Pence wrongly took two gold-toned place-card holders from the prime minister of Singapore without paying for them.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition, the Trump administration never disclosed that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, received two swords and a dagger from the Saudis, although he paid $47,920 for them along with three other gifts in February, after he left office.

To be sure, Trump's handling of foreign gifts is not at the top of his critics' list of administration offenses. And there is no evidence that he or Melania took any gifts to which they were not entitled.

But ethics experts said the problems reflected larger issues with the Trump presidency.

"Whether this was indifference, sloppiness or the Great Train Robbery, it shows such a cavalier attitude to the law and the regular process of government," said Stanley Brand, a criminal defense lawyer, ethics expert and former top lawyer for the House of Representatives.

The State Department declined to address the specifics of how the Trump administration handled gifts but said in a statement that it "takes seriously its role in reporting the disposition of certain gifts received by U.S. government employees" and that it was "investigating the whereabouts of gifts that are unaccounted for and the circumstances that led to their disappearance."

ADVERTISEMENT

This article is based on public documents and others produced by the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act, interviews with current and former government officials, and on-the-record responses to questions from several government departments and agencies. The documents include an index of gifts that Trump and his family received in Saudi Arabia in 2017 that the National Archives provided to two Democratic senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

The details about the missing gifts and the other widespread problems with them have not been previously reported. Politico reported in August that the State Department's inspector general was investigating about 20 types of missing gifts.

82 gifts from the Saudis
The nation's founders were so concerned that European nobility could co-opt U.S. officials with lavish gifts that they included in the Constitution a clause making it illegal for an official to take anything of worth from a foreigner.

In 1966, Congress passed a law detailing how a U.S. official could keep a gift of only relatively minimal value, now capped at $415. Subsequent amendments defined gifts as government property and created a standardized process for how officials were to deal with them.

To add transparency, provisions require administrations to annually disclose the gifts given to U.S. officials by foreigners and their appraised value. The laws have no criminal penalties, although legal experts said that anyone caught taking government property could be prosecuted for theft.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Trump administration's gift problems date from the president's trip in May 2017 to Saudi Arabia, whose leaders were jubilant that Trump had chosen the kingdom for his first visit abroad and was embracing them after years of tensions with the Obama administration. The Saudis have a history of giving lavish gifts to American presidents, and Trump and his aides appeared to receive a generous bounty.

The State Department disclosed a list of 82 gifts from the Saudis to Trump administration officials on the May 2017 trip in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed shortly after Trump returned home. The gifts ranged from ordinary ones such as sandals and scarves to expensive ones such as furs and daggers.

Nine of the most expensive presents — the three furs, three swords and three daggers — were sent to the White House gifts unit to be assessed and appraised but never appeared on any of the Trump State Department's legally required annual filings for foreign gifts, according to a review of government documents.

It was not until last Jan. 19 that the White House sent the nine gifts to the General Services Administration, according to a statement from the agency.

After the New York Times this past summer inquired about why the agency was in possession of items in violation of the Endangered Species Act, the General Services Administration alerted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which in July sent an agent to collect the furs at a government warehouse in Springfield, Virginia. The agent also took the dagger, which a visiting Qatari official had given to the Trump White House in Saudi Arabia.

nspectors examined the items, discovering more problems as they determined that the furs had been dyed and were fake. The dagger's handle "appears to possibly contain tooth or bone of some variety" — the materials of elephant tusk — "although additional laboratory analysis would be required to identify the species," the Interior Department said.

It is unclear if the Saudis knew about the fake furs or were deceived by a supplier, but Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on Saudi-U. S. relations, called the gifts highly embarrassing.

"The two most important things for them is to look like they're aboveboard world actors, and are rich and show their wealth," he said.

A spokesperson for Trump did not return several messages seeking comment.

Disappearing gift bags
As Trump political appointees in the State Department's protocol office packed up their belongings in January, career officers saw their departing colleagues leave with the gift bags meant for foreign leaders at the G-7 summit the previous year, the inspector general has learned. The bags had been in storage in a large room at the State Department known as the vault.

Once the Biden administration took over, career officials began to examine the accounting of foreign gifts without Trump officials looking over their shoulders.

At that point, career officials discovered that many of the gift bags were missing, as were more than a dozen additional presents given to Trump officials. The number was unusual: Government documents from the Obama and George W. Bush administrations show no unaccounted gifts given to White House officials, Cabinet members or members of the first families.

In the months that followed, the Times located many of the gifts, including a bottle of perfume and a Persian silk carpet that the Qataris had given to Steven Mnuchin, the former Treasury secretary. (His gifts were supposed to have been sent to the General Services Administration for disposal, but they were sitting in storage at the Treasury Department.)

The bottle of whiskey for Pompeo remains unaccounted for, as does the 22-karat gold coin and a porcelain bowl from Vietnam for John Bolton, Trump's third national security adviser, who sent the Times an e-mail exchange with the Trump White House showing that he never took it and did not want it.

One mystery has been solved: When the Times reached out to Karen Pence, a lawyer for the family said that she had taken the gold-toned place-card holders after a White House ethics lawyer told her she could keep them because they had been appraised at less than the minimal threshold, which was $390 at the time.

ADVERTISEMENT

But according to the information provided to the State Department by the Trump White House, she should have paid for the place-card holders. Under federal guidelines, if a U.S. official is given multiple gifts in a meeting with a foreign official, the American must pay for them if the total exceeds the minimal threshold. The State Department said the Trump White House reported that Karen Pence had received the card holders along with a framed print and a clutch purse, which totaled $1,200.

Richard Cullen, the lawyer for the Pence family, said the State Department was wrong — that the gifts had been given at different meetings, and Karen Pence had declined to keep the print and clutch. In response to Cullen's explanation, a State Department spokesperson said it stood by its characterization of Karen Pence's gifts.


All grift, no talent. What are we to think of 2/3 of the current Republicans who want to re-nominate this crooked loser?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 2104

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dumb?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16736
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story is actually hysterical. It may well be that they just ignored the laws that forbid accepting such gifts, they fired all the attorneys that would have warned them, or they realized that there was no criminal penalties so they could just grift. But it was all fake--like a Trump hotel. What a poor person might think a rich person's hotel should look like.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wsurfer



Joined: 17 Aug 2000
Posts: 1460

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loser 45 continues to show his true colors!

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/19/politics/donald-trump-colin-powell-death/index.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10157

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One wonders how Donald Trump supporters feel about Trump's "utterly classless" swipe at Colin Powell. I cringe to think that they are in the background cheering him along.

Hate and disdain so easily swells out of Trump's being, and he just doesn't understand that there are times when expressing it is totally inappropriate.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8731
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations America...The Biden Bull hit an all -time high today. In fact the S & P 500 is up over 30% since he was declared the winner. GDP cooking along at 4% , and the job market drum tight. Congratulations America.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2439
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greeting Boggsman, I seem to recall you make your living dealing in
the market. I don't, but I do manage my retirement fund , and as I tell people
where I work when asked "I'm one bad meeting away from retirement".

So naturally I'm pretty pleased right now. When Trump was chest thumping
about his roll in the economic upturn, I kinda figured it was typical Trump
BS (mostly because I'm not sure a sitting president can have that
much influence on the US economy). Do you really think the current Bull
is attributable to the current president?

I have noticed that historically, the US economy is better with a sitting
president who is a Democrat, but that might just be economic inertia
from the previous admin (if it has any effect at all).

Anyway, I am interested in the opinion of someone with skin in the game.

-Craig

p.s. I'm going back to "He who shall not be named" since I want no part
in being an advertising opportunity for "He who shall not be named"

boggsman1 wrote:
Congratulations America...The Biden Bull hit an all -time high today. In fact the S & P 500 is up over 30% since he was declared the winner. GDP cooking along at 4% , and the job market drum tight. Congratulations America.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20356

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cgoudie1 wrote:
I do manage my retirement fund


Smart man. We did, too, until Fidelity convinced us they could do much better for us. BIG mistake. We're preparing to fire them, bite the short-term tax bullet (they churned us to death), and take matters back into our own hands. That will matter ever more as markets calm down to the point that even the slightest fees gobble up ROI.

SURE that's off topic, but it's a CERTAINTY even without reading it that this thread is 99% BS, so who gives a crap?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8731
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cgoudie1 wrote:
Greeting Boggsman, I seem to recall you make your living dealing in
the market. I don't, but I do manage my retirement fund , and as I tell people
where I work when asked "I'm one bad meeting away from retirement".

So naturally I'm pretty pleased right now. When Trump was chest thumping
about his roll in the economic upturn, I kinda figured it was typical Trump
BS (mostly because I'm not sure a sitting president can have that
much influence on the US economy). Do you really think the current Bull
is attributable to the current president?

I have noticed that historically, the US economy is better with a sitting
president who is a Democrat, but that might just be economic inertia
from the previous admin (if it has any effect at all).

Anyway, I am interested in the opinion of someone with skin in the game.

-Craig

p.s. I'm going back to "He who shall not be named" since I want no part
in being an advertising opportunity for "He who shall not be named"

boggsman1 wrote:
Congratulations America...The Biden Bull hit an all -time high today. In fact the S & P 500 is up over 30% since he was declared the winner. GDP cooking along at 4% , and the job market drum tight. Congratulations America.


I say it with a degree of sarcasm, as I firmly believe monetary policy is more of a factor. That said, the US has been the place to be since the GFC. Our tech companies, our younger work force, and our policies are better than that of Europe, China, and Japan. I'll also note that the market has gone straight up since November, so naturally I'll note that's when Joe won.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2439
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also the month that 3 vaccine developers/manufacturers reported excellent
immunity results against Covid-19.

Just say'n

-Craig

boggsman1 wrote:

I say it with a degree of sarcasm, as I firmly believe monetary policy is more of a factor. That said, the US has been the place to be since the GFC. Our tech companies, our younger work force, and our policies are better than that of Europe, China, and Japan. I'll also note that the market has gone straight up since November, so naturally I'll note that's when Joe won.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 1331, 1332, 1333, 1334, 1335  Next
Page 1332 of 1335

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group