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Messages - velcro

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101
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 11, 2018, 01:11:36 PM »
Not intended to politicize the tragedy, but relevant to today's history:

Trump pledge $10,000 to one of two 9/11 charities.  A thorough examination of the records shows he never paid, at least up until mid 2002.  No anonymous gifts were made either, nor gifts from the Trump Foundation at any time up to 2014.  If he donated personally, it would be on his tax return. :(

link

The Trump Foundation did donate to the 9/11 Museum in April 2016, but Trump personally has not put any money into the Foundation for a long time.

But the Trump Organization did request and receive a $150,000 grant for local businesses hurt by the attack.  The reasons he gave for that grant were contradicted by the documentation of the grant, and by people involved at the time.  Nothing illegal, but he said he was being partially reimbursed for charitable work, when in reality he just took the money to cover losses from the attack.

No real significance to the American public.  Just incredibly slimy.

102
Quote
au·toc·ra·cy
ôˈtäkrəsē/Submit
noun
a system of government by one person with absolute power.

Quote
Definition of autocrat
1 : a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority

Quote
Definition of autocracy
plural autocracies
1 : the authority or rule of an autocrat
2 : government in which one person possesses unlimited power

103
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 11, 2018, 12:39:50 PM »
The last time that happened was 10 years ago, not 100 years ago.  Not really a big deal in my opinion.
It is an indication of positive economic news, in that low unemployment is good, and high GDP growth is good, but it doesn't really have any significance.

The significance is that Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, admitted the mistake on Monday, but as far as I know, Trump has not corrected his tweet, or acknowledged the error.

I have no problem with people making honest mistakes, especially when there is no significant impacts.  I have a problem with people who do not admit mistakes at all.  I'd be interested if anyone has evidence of Trump ever admitting a mistake. 

(The one exception was the Access Hollywood tape, where he apologized. Then said Bill Clinton was worse.  Then said it was just locker room talk.  Then there were reports that he privately challenged the authenticity of the tape, but that was not corroborated.)

104
For what it is worth, I also respectfully ask Seriati for actual evidence of his assertion.   ;D

Here's my opinion on what the motive behind the op-ed was.  The author goes to great lengths to claim that he is not going along with Trump's dangerous actions, but helping reduce the danger from inside.

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working diligently from within to frustrate ... [Trump's] worst inclinations.
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But we believe our first duty is to this country
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That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions
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The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. , they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing
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Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
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But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

I think it is reasonable to infer that when the whole thing comes tumbling down, and he, along with everyone in the Trump administration, is asked why he should not be considered complicit, accessory to the crime, or a member of a conspiracy to commit crimes, he can point to this and say "I was actually fighting against all the bad stuff!  I am the unsung hero!"

Of course, that ignores the reality that he should quit and reveal what he knows. That is undoubtedly the right way to fulfill his duty to the country. But then he doesn't get the goodies that Trump provides.  Which makes the author, well, GUTLESS.  Nobody can say I never agree with Trump.

105
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Obama's lies are much worse than Trump's, obviously, because Trump is more on my side politically than Obama.

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Trump is working to make America better whereas Obama was working to tear it apart

I won't touch either of these.  They are distractions, because you did not address my points which completely negated your argument about Obama's "lie".  If you would like to address those points, I will respond.

106
I agree lots of people accuse Trump of insignificant, ambiguous lies, so you don't need to bring up more, thanks.

Let's move to the documented, dangerous, false and misleading statements that Trump has made.  It's on another thread here.

As far as Obama's claim, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it", taken completely literally, he was in fact wrong.  Not everyone could keep their plan if they liked it.

You couldn't keep your plan if your insurance company went out of business.
You couldn't keep your plan if you changed jobs, were fired, quit, or laid off.
You couldn't keep your plan if your insurance company stopped providing that plan.
You couldn't keep your plan if you stopped paying your premiums.

Did you think that is what Obama was lying about when he said you could keep your plan?  Do you truly, honestly think that he intended people to believe none of these things were permissible if Obamacare passed? 

Here is a reasonable interpretation, for those who are not looking for every opportunity to catch someone in a lie. (What you just finished complaining about)

The law will not require anyone to change plans. If companies or situations change so that the plan changes, the law does not address that, or prevent that.

There is one kernel of truth in the accusation.  Obamacare requires a minimum level of coverage, and a minimum level of premiums that go to patient care.  So if you had a policy that spent 50% of the premiums on administration instead of patient care, and didn't actually cover anything, then no, you would not be able to keep that plan. But you wouldn't really like it, would you?

And best guess is 2-5% of people could not keep their plan. Pretty much all of them got another plan.  Some were more expensive, because they actually covered things.  There are a few anecdotes of people paying more for less, but the plural of anecdote is not data.  And millions of people who did not have insurance before Obamacare have it now.  So overall, a few percent had to change plans (not lose coverage) and many more percent obtained coverage that they did not have before.  Oh, and despite passed legislation to weaken it, and failed attempts to kill it, Obamacare is now favored by 54% of Americans, vs. 42% unfavorable. And maybe Obama's "lie" helped a little to get that done.

If you think that constitutes a lie greater than Trump's statements about North Korea no longer being a nuclear threat, or there being 3 million illegal votes cast in the 2016 election, or that Obama was not born in America, or that the FBI tapped Trump's phones in Trump Tower during the election, or that the tax cut would primarily help the middle class, or that NATO owes us money, then that is your opinion.

Your explanation is that Obama's "lie" was dangerous because it was part of "his effort to destroy our healthcare system to the next logical step after the predictable and engineered failure that was Obamacare would have to be single payer".

I have no response.

107
Two blatant falsehoods here:

Quote
Did it come with federal agents seizing a lawyer's data base in a pre-dawn raid... oops... wrong right that was violated.

There were warrants.  Attorney-client privileges were maintained.  What right was violated?  Sources please.

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So says the man who thinks Trump saved us millions of dollars on Air Force One, just because a known liar said so, and might know better.

No, that was billions, my friend. :)

And to be fair, Seriati only said that we didn't know enough to be 100% sure Trump was wrong. There was evidence aplenty to prove to any unbiased reader that Trump was wrong, but Seriati never actually claimed the opposite, as far as I remember.  But I could be wrong.


108
General Comments / Re: Corey Booker and Kavanaugh Hearing
« on: September 07, 2018, 09:34:03 PM »
Quote
This was a discussion in the six months after September 11th about how to maintain plane security until a race neutral system could be implemented.  How exactly does a US Senator not see a national security basis for exclusion?

Because the email did not discuss any actual security?  It just discussed whether racial profiling should occur.  Kavanaugh strongly implied it should occur in the short term, while saying he would "generally favor" a race-neutral system in the long term.

Absolutely no national security risk in releasing it.
This is clearly something that the American public has a right to know about someone sitting on the Supreme Court for decades. 

Why was this hidden until the day of the hearing?
Why was the hearing not delayed until the documents could be processed?  Republicans were fine being one justice short for what, a year? 

109
I will take this opportunity to admit my mistake.

There were no further distractions or distortions on this thread. ;D

Of course, there was no admission of vehemently denying the truth, or apologies for rude comments, but I no longer expect that sort of common courtesy.  I am pleased that the truth was established clearly.

I did start a new thread here to address Trump's misleading and false statements.


110
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 07, 2018, 09:11:24 PM »
Quote
He doesn't specify which poll, at least from the quote out of context. He probably saw great numbers from a fox news poll scrolling across his covfefe.

Assuming that is serious, here are all the recent polls.  Rasmussen is historically the most favorable to Republicans.  They had it 48% approve, 52% disapprove.  Latest Fox poll was 45/53.

If Trump had an internal poll that contradicted every single internal poll, but didn't clarify, then that would be misleading.

111
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 07, 2018, 08:56:50 PM »
cherry,

Thank you for your opinions on how wonderful and successful Trump is, and how much Trump supporters are winning.  Let's get back to the actual subject here:  Trump's misleading and false statements, documented and substantiated, which your comment did not address in any way.

112
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Is calling them "enemy of the people" a bridge too far?  Isn't this the same country where Republicans are routinely labelled racists without real cause?  Where Republicans wanted to "kill old people" because they don't believe in socialized medicine?

I don't condone labeling all Republicans as racists, or claiming they want to kill old people.
You seem to be implying that if some random guy said this once, it gives the President cover to say anything he wants.

The President should be held to the highest standards, not the lowest.

As far as what I mean by "order", the President ordered the NYT to turn someone over.  He did not sign an executive order, which only applies to the executive branch, not private citizens.  So please do not conflate the two. 

Order: give an authoritative direction or instruction to do something

I think the tweet qualifies.

Thought experiment:
What if Trump tweets "All Mexicans, or people that look Mexican, should be turned over to the government at once!"
or "All Democrats should have their voting registration revoked at once!"

Is that OK, because he doesn't mean it, and won't enforce it?
Might some government worker think it is policy and try to enforce it?  They might be stupid, but would they be wrong in a legal sense, that their boss said it should be done?  If there is even a slim possibility of this, then the tweet is completely irresponsible, and possibly criminal.


113
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The President can say, or type into Twitter, pretty much anything he wants. So long as he doesn't frame it as an outright order to "the appropriate person" or otherwise issue a written order, through the proper forms/channels, then it isn't actually an order and it has no legal standing. Nobody gets in legal trouble for disobeying it, and nobody gets in legal trouble for issuing it--"because it never actually happened."

That is a valid interpretation.  But a competent President, one who tries to preserve the power and respect of the United States of America, would never do such a thing.  It blurs all the lines of command, encourages everyone to avoid accountability, and eliminates transparency.

For a President to say "This illegal thing should be done", then have him (or his supporters) say "I didn't mean it" may be a valid legal excuse.  But when it happens over and over, it is no longer a moral excuse.  And for people who care more for country than party, it is not a political excuse.

114
General Comments / Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« on: September 05, 2018, 09:51:42 PM »
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Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

Let me get this straight.  The President is ordering a newspaper to "turn over" to the government the writer of an Op-Ed.  No investigation, no judge, no warrant.  No plausible national security threat.  The lead law-enforcement officer of the country is ordering this. Publicly, on what is considered official channels.

How is this not a house-on-fire constitutional crisis? How is this not a cut-and-dried violation of the Constitutional oath?

Is it because nobody actually believes he means it, including the entire Congress, and the entire Executive branch?  What does that say about how our country views the Presidency now that Trump is President?  How will we know he really means anything?  How can our country function with that kind of ambiguity?  How impotent and dysfunctional does it make our country look, especially considering that he hired the person he wants turned over?

I apologize for sounding shrill, but this is seriously, seriously, effed up.

115
General Comments / Re: gun free zones, cause and effect
« on: September 05, 2018, 09:22:36 PM »
Quote
Belligerent drinkers kicking the *censored* out of, bashing with various objects or stabbing random people is acceptable.

No, it's not.  But  I would rather have someone bashings and stabbing than shooting.  How many mass bashing or mass stabbings have you read about with a fatality count greater than 1?  How about mass shootings?

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To be "allowed" to carry in public is a right.  Unless you're offering free training that is immediately available, I would not agree to condition a right on programs approved by the government.

Imagine if I suggested that the use of language can be hurtful, and imposed a mandatory and expensive set of sensitivity classes on anyone before they could post their opinions online.

It is a right with restrictions, like all rights.  If you could kill someone with words with no real effort, just desire, I would say you should be trained before you use words.

Just curious, are there any gun groups that pay for training for people who can't afford it, so they can get licenses?  When I see that, I will feel a little more sympathy about people defending gun rights.

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The 'gun free zones' that always perplex me the most are the government buildings.
The ones that perplex me the most are the NRA conventions and Trump rallies.  They claim that "the venue" doesn't allow it.  So find a venue that allows it. 

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Live fire situations are where they can be the most help.  The actual facts on this don't even come close to bearing you out.  Armed response, even by the untrained, is the most effective thing in ending an active shooter situation (well unless you want to count, letting them run out of bullets as an ending).

Do you have a source for those "actual facts"?  I feel obligated to say that your comment is pretty much white noise unless you have a source.

116
General Comments / Re: Woodward book
« on: September 05, 2018, 09:03:31 PM »
Just to be clear, he said he would order American soldiers to kill the families of terrorists.  When told this was a war crime, and soldiers would refuse that order, he just said that good leadership means people follow your orders, or something like that.

117
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:51:48 PM »
Quote
The poll numbers are through the roof, our poll numbers are great

Today.

The actual polls have him at 54% disapproval, 40% approval.  For the last 6 months, they have been about the same.

For comparison, peaks for other Presidents have been70-80% approval.

This is harmful because:
If he actually believes it, he is oblivious to reality, which is a very dangerous thing for a President.
If he doesn't believe it, then he is perfectly comfortable with outrageous, easily disproven, bald-faced lying to the American public, which is also a very dangerous thing for a President.

Is it a big deal that he lies about his poll numbers?  Yes.  For better or for worse, our political system relies on polls to get input from the public, and to shape public opinion.  Lying about the results is no better than creating a fake poll.  This also is no minor point.

118
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 05, 2018, 01:25:22 PM »

I'm willing to give this one to Trump since at the time of the tweet I would have considered this a problem as well.

If you read your source carefully,
Quote
The review follows President Donald Trump’s claim that he lost New Hampshire only because “thousands” of people came by bus to vote against him. Trump, who also has alleged repeatedly and without evidence that voter fraud cost him the popular vote, later created an elections integrity commission, of which Gardner was a member.

The check was run in January 2017.  The claim was made in November 2016. 

As far as the 51 to 142 "actual cases of fraud"- you jumped the gun there.
Again from your source,
Quote
In the last 18 months[from May 2018 back], the [Attorney General's] office investigated 28 complaints, only five of which were founded. Those included an older woman who filled out her husband’s absentee ballot four days after he died.

Other fraud included:
Quote
One college student voted in the wrong location on the faulty instruction of an election official.
Two people cast a ballot in Dixville Notch’s famous midnight primary without establishing domicile there.
one person actually voted twice; he was fined $2,500 and threatened with criminal prosecution if he ever did it again.

119
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 05, 2018, 01:05:35 PM »
While I'm here:

Quote
nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters
January 11, 2017

I acknowledge that "nobody" can mean "few people" or "a small percentage of people".

This poll, from January 10, 2017, says 60% of people believe "Trump has responsibility to publicly release his tax returns".  38% of Republicans believed that.

This is harmful because it provides a false excuse for him not to release his returns.  It also demonstrates that he will dismiss the opinion of the majority.

By the way:
Starting in 2011
"I may tie my tax returns, I'd love to give my tax returns, I may tie my tax returns into Obama's birth certificate."(Which has been released"
"If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely. And I would love to do that,"
 "I would release tax returns, and I would also explain to people that as a person that’s looking to make money, you know, I’m in the business of making money until I do this. And if I won, I would make money for our country. […] So the answer is yeah, I would do it. […]"

Will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinize?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, we’re working on that now. I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time, Chuck. Absolutely.

Kind of like North Korea "working towards" denuclearization vs. actually doing it.

120
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 05, 2018, 12:45:14 PM »
The Drake,

Thank you for acknowledging that you hear my view, and that one of the investigations did not start in the Obama era.  There are too many people on this site who would never exhibit that kind of common courtesy and integrity.

Next false or misleading statement:

Quote
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!
Link

No evidence to support this claim has ever been found.

Virginia Commissioner of Elections, New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State ,California Secretary of State, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General, New Hampshire Assistant U.S. Attorney,  president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, and chairman of Trump’s Virginia campaign all say that they have no evidence to support the claim.

This is harmful because it causes people to lose faith in the election process for false reasons.  Mind you, there are plenty of reasons to lose faith, from gerrymandering to easily hackable electronic voting machines to voter suppression.  But by providing false reasons, many people are distracted from doing something about the real reasons.

121
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:15:26 AM »
Quote
I've heard politicians for decades claiming that an opponent is indifferent to crime, only wants tax cuts for the wealthy that clearly include people who are not.

Yup.  All guilty of false or misleading statements, and all, Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc. should be called out.


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So the offence was committed in the Obama era, the investigations was started then.

If you are referring to June 22, 2017, that is not the Obama era.  Trump took office January 2017.

As I mentioned, some of the statements from the site are not well documented or harmful.  But just because some of them are weak does not mean all of them are weak. I am bringing up facts - denigrating the intermediate source does nothing to dispute the actual facts.

How about this:  I will not use that site as my source.  I will find the exact same things from other sources.  Does that make a difference?

But since I can't resist the example of a stupid accusation:

The NK agreement says they will "work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” They can work all they want and have no obligation to obtain results.  I can promise to work towards being a professional baseball player for next 20 years, but I may never get it.

Trump claimed "that document I signed said there will be a denuclearization."  Nope.  Slightly different words, very different meaning.  Textbook definition of misleading, and actually, false. If North Korea tries for a week to denuclearize, they have "honored" the agreement, as you say. But if you believe Trump, they are required to denuclearize.  This is not a minor point.



122
General Comments / Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: September 04, 2018, 01:23:20 PM »
Just a sort of archive of the most egregious examples.  Please note that these are not "lies", so do not move the goalposts and claim they do not meet that standard.

In order to be lies, they must be false, but we must also know that the person telling them is aware of the false character.  I won't try to guess what Trump actually knows.  This will simply state what he said, and what the facts are.

Also, technically an intentionally misleading statement is not a lie.  But from a moral standpoint, I believe intentionally misleading statements are just as bad as lies.

Finally, if Trump says something like "Democrats are for open borders", please don't claim that to be an opinion, and therefore immune from characterization as false or misleading.  He stated it as fact.  Opinions are "I like ice cream" or "Rugby is better than football", which can't be disproven.

If anyone is curious, I am picking items from here.  Feel free to doubt that site - not all 4713 (as of today) false or misleading statements are particularly harmful, or well documented.  But please do not ignore the facts I present.

Here's one from yesterday.

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SEP 3 2018
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff.”

The investigations were not "Obama era".

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Trump is referring to the recent indictments of Reps. Christopher Collins (R-N.Y.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). He calls them "Obama era" probes but Collins was indicted for insider trading that allegedly took place on June 17, 2017; a video caught him making a call on Trump's White House lawn that was cited in the case. Hunter was cited for campaign spending violations by the Federal Election Commission in 2016 but there was also a House Ethics Committee investigation -- and it did not defer to the Justice Department probe until 2017. Both indictments were approved by a U.S. attorney picked by the Trump

As far as harm, those who think anything from the Obama era is suspect will have more reason to doubt the validity of the investigations, thus further eroding support for law enforcement.  I won't get into Trump's implication that anything from the Obama era is suspect, or that the party affiliation of those being investigated should be relevant in any way.

I will add to this as time permits.  I would ask for others adding to he list, try to make it as bulletproof as possible.  There are plenty of choices to pick from.

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I really don't feel the need to go through 2000 "documented" lies, when four of the first 5 are don't qualify.

I assumed that when you say "four of the first 5 are [sic] don't qualify", that the fifth is somehow different from the four that don't qualify as lies, i.e. it is an actual lie.  Apparently those words mean something else to you, since you now claim that nothing was lies, i.e. five of the first 5 don't qualify.  If that was a typo, just say it and we can move on.

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Are you asking that I check your links more than once, or on different days?

Your rudeness and sarcasm are duly noted.  You quoted my link and said there were 2000 "documented lies".  The link very clearly states in the headline of the page, and the URL, I might add, 4,229 false or misleading claims.  That created doubt that you had the correct link.

But enough distractions and distortions.

Here is the issue:

Seriati made the following claim:

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I could have done without the unsubstantiated digs the author threw in on Trump's truthfulness generally.

The actual quote from the author is

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"Donald Trump is known for his verbose dishonesty"

So if I could only find a source that says Trump is known for his dishonesty, I could prove that Seriati is full of BS when he says the digs were unsubstantiated.  Where oh where could I find such a source, one that Seriati would have to accept?


I already find Trump dishonest, he's a braggart that exaggerates. 


So it is evident to any and all readers, that the digs are 100% substantiated.

Awaiting further distractions and distortions.

124
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I really don't feel the need to go through 2000 "documented" lies, when four of the first 5 are don't qualify.

I absolutely believe you when you say you don't feel the need.

There are actually 4229 items in the link I supplied.  Maybe all of those are accurate.  Do you care to check those?

But let's give you the benefit of the doubt (which you claimed I never do :) ).  Whatever source you used had 2000 documented "lies".  You think only one of 5 were actually lies.  So if we extrapolate, we have documented only 400 lies from Trump in a year and a half.

Substantiated, by your own evaluation.

But, in fact, the link I supplied does not call them all lies.  It says they are "false or misleading claims".

The statement my link substantiates is this:
Quote
Donald Trump is known for his verbose dishonesty

False or misleading claims are dishonest if the speaker knows they are false or misleading.  So Trump is either dishonest or woefully ignorant.  I'll let you pick. But he went to the best schools, and has the best words, so I go with dishonest.

I would say 400 lies, or 4000 "false or misleading claims" substantiates the statement above. 

How many hundreds of false or misleading claims must be documented before you consider someone dishonest?  I'd like to know.

I am happy to address the following in your evaluation of the veracity of Trump's statements:
-logical flaws
-items removed from sources to change the context
-embedded lies that were not addressed
-opinion stated by Trump as fact, then excused because it is opinion

Let me know, and we can start a new thread.

125
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unsubstantiated digs the author threw in on Trump's truthfulness generally.

Substantiated.

126
General Comments / Re: What Deals Has Trump Made as President?
« on: August 30, 2018, 10:02:34 PM »
As far as NAFTA "renegotiation", what Trump announced was a preliminary agreement.  Trump almost definitely needs Congress to approve a withdrawal, and definitely need Congress to approve a deal without Canada.

And the North Korea negotiations have ground to a halt.


127
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 29, 2018, 09:52:41 PM »
Quote
And in my view, Velcro's only real "doubt" about the numbers comes from his belief that everything Trump says is a lie. 

Are you certain of my belief?  Or is it your opinion that I believe that?  Should you really be speculating on what I believe?

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For goodness sakes, he's written more directly nasty things to me than I have ever have to him.
Feel free to detail them.  Let the readers decide if it was directly nasty, or if I left it up to each readers' judgment. I have quoted what you said to me and others.  Nobody has to take my word on what you said.  We won't take your word on what you claim I said, so please provide quotes.

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According to Trump, it started at $4.2B. 
Lots of words from Seriati, but no sources, and no actual rebuttal of what Trump actually said. Because it is in a Twitter quote that I provided.

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It is now documented fixed price at $3.9B.
Lots of words, no sources, no actual rebuttal. "Some skepticism", no sources. The White House statement Seriati quoted supports this.

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Trump said he saved over $1B.
This a paraphrase of a quote from Trump. A statement directly from Trump on his Twitter account that is recognized as an official channel.  Seriati calls this "a quote" sort of. Again, the White House statement Seriati quoted supports this.  Note that Seriati is distracting by saying we don't know if we saved $1B here.  I am saying simply that Trump claimed it.

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The Air Force does not know where the $1B number came from. 
The official Air Force spokesman said he does not know where it came from, but according to Seriati, that is ambiguous.

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The White House website says millions, not $1B in savings.

That's what it said when this started.  A new statement was added last week that directly contradicts Trump's Tweet.  Who is lying?  The original cost did not change in the last year.  All available documentation agrees that the original cost was about $4B.

No actual substance on my alleged "faulty math", but he brought it up again.

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He has no substantive proof of the actual current cost estimate before the negotiation, and that is a necessary fact to determine the veracity of Trump's claim on cost savings (hence it can not be proven FALSE or true on the record we have).

I don't need proof of the actual cost estimate before negotiation.  I need proof of what Trump thought it was before, and what he thought it was after.  I have provided that proof.

Trump tweeted that he thought it was $4.2B.  Fact.  Doesn't matter what it was, who knew what it was, or if anyone knew what it was. That is what Trump used as a starting number.
Trump tweeted that he saved over $1B.  Fact.
All available documentation says that it now costs $3.9B.

Now that people have called him on it, the White House Press Secretary released a statement that the original cost was $5.3B.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody anywhere has provided evidence for that number.  It contradicts Trump's tweets.

The sum total of your sources is a two paragraph statement from the Press Secretary.

According to Sean Spicer:
“Look, your job as press secretary is to represent the president's voice,” Spicer replied, “and to make sure that you are articulating what he believes, [what] his vision is on policy, on issues and on other areas that he wants to articulate. Whether or not you agree or not isn't your job.”

So if Donald Trump says it was $5.3B, the Press Secretary will release a statement that the original cost was $5.3B.  If it really was $5.3B, there should be some documentation.  There isn't.  If there is, I will gladly concede the point.

But a source is a source.  Still waiting for the second source on it being a cost-plus contract.  And the first source about your "guarantee" that Trump saw cost estimates before saying it was $4.2B.

And still waiting to find out what my faulty math was.

Does Seriati's post satisfy anyone that Trump didn't make up the $5.3B?

128
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 27, 2018, 01:26:46 PM »
Anyone else interested in seeing sources?
Please chime in.

And my offer still stands, open to anyone.

Ask me to back up any fact I ever stated, on any thread.  I will back it up or retract it.

I'll be offline for a few days, but will check back here soon.





129
Quote
Almost no one works 6-7 days a week

Challenge.

Not to speak for Greg, but here goes:

The original statement was:
Quote
Almost no one works 6-7 days a week, because the labor movement had enough power to make changes that we all enjoy to this day.

Replace that with "the hours worked per week dropped from 60 to 40 because the labor movement had enough power to make changes that we all enjoy to this day"

Does anyone deny that? If so, read the link.

130
Quote
If somebody doesn't sign up, then management should be free to pay them less, give them fewer benefits, etc.

First of all, with public sector unions, it is against the law to do that.  If a union negotiates a better salary, the non-union workers must get the same salary.  Which makes the recent Supreme Court ruling that prevents unions from charging non-members anything for that benefit even more ridiculous.

This may have been mentioned already, but management has an incentive to pay all workers the same anyway.  It weakens the incentive for workers to be in the union.  Why pay for something you could get for free?

Your suggestion of workers banding together informally for negotiation is sort of a multi-dimensional prisoners dilemma.  A union like that is very unstable.

Some unions use force.  Some hurl obscenities.  Some do not.
Some companies use force.  Some hurl obscenities.  Some do not.
Actually, it is individuals using force and hurling epithets.  Companies and unions have no arms or vocal cords.

Quote
There's nothing a Union can accomplish that enlightened self interest cannot.
That's true of companies too.  Or government.  Or religions.  Or any organization.
The question is how likely is it to happen.  Pure enlightened self-interest is somewhat unicornish.  Add just a pinch of human nature, e.g. one of the seven deadly sins, and that goes out the window.  Reality requires rules and compulsion to some extent.  Not neccessary in an ideal world, but necessary in this one.  The key it to minimize it and make it equal.

131
Ah yes, the not a true socialist country, argument...

Link

132
As Greg said, unions, like corporations and any other organization, do good things and bad things. There are some unions with stupid rules.  There are some corporations with stupid policies.  There are some unions and corporations with good policies.  Anyone who denies this is an idealogue.

We should not demonize all unions, or all corporations.  However, just as we all agree that monopolies are bad, the same reasons apply to having a balance between labor and capital, i.e. between unions and corporations.  Too much power on one side causes problems.

On another topic:

Quote
Why do you hate the poor and the middle class so much that you'd rather endorse terrible economic policies than admit they were failures?

Proverbs 26:4

133
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 25, 2018, 05:30:43 PM »
Quote
If you can find one of the hundreds of times Trump said working with the best people, please present it.

If you make a claim, and someone asks you to back it up, and you ignore it, people just stop trusting you. Especially when it happens over and over and over.  Then this is just people throwing opinions around with no basis for actual discussion, because everything can just be made up.

134
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 25, 2018, 05:25:58 PM »
Velcro, there is no chance you are going to admit you are wrong on points, no matter the quality of the source.   You can't even admit when you're logic is flawed.   I've already demonstrated that you can't do basic math, that you're calling opinions fact, and that your conclusions don't follow from your statement.  I really only respond to trolls when I feel like it.

I will admit when I am wrong on points, when you provide sources instead of unsubstantiated opinion.  To claim I will not is an insult to my integrity.
Prove my logic is flawed. 
I asked you to prove my basic math is wrong, instead of just saying it is wrong. Twice.  You declined.  You have no standing to continue that claim until you back it up.

I am not trolling.  I am asking you to address, hard cold facts. You decline to do so.
I am not trolling.  I am asking you to provide sources for facts that you say are "guaranteed", or have "multiple credible sources". You decline to do so.

Ask me to back up any fact I ever stated, on any thread.  I will back it up or retract it.

Are you afraid to make the same claim? Because in the last few days, I have called you on it three times.  You have not provided the sources.

You have called me a liar, you have claimed I wouldn't admit it if you proved me wrong, you have questioned my intellectual capabilities.  On other threads, you have called people paranoid.  All distractions from the facts that you have declined to address.

If you don't present the sources, it will be very, very clear to everyone on this forum, that you are not to be trusted.  This is not a threat - I have no power here.  It is just an incentive for you to provide sources, or to think carefully before making unverifiable claims in the future. As I said, I'd like to have a rational discussion.

Should I take your last post as an admission that you will not be providing sources, or providing details on where my math was wrong? I am just asking because I want your response to be very, very, clear.

Here are facts. It doesn't matter where they came from, what you think of my integrity, or my mathematical abilities, or my reasoning.

Please address these facts:
According to Trump, it started at $4.2B. 
It is now documented fixed price at $3.9B.
Trump said he saved over $1B.
The Air Force does not know where the $1B number came from
The White House website says millions, not $1B in savings




135
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 25, 2018, 01:08:13 PM »
Seriati,

My original statement is that Trump made up the figure of $5.4 B.
My follow-up statement is that Trump didn't know the actual cost.

You then accuse me of lying.  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Quote
I guarantee the government has seen up to date expenditures and projections for cost to completion.  That would include Trump.
Since you guarantee it, please prove that Trump has seen up to date expenditures

Quote
Don't know if he made it up or not, but the fact that it's been cited as a "cost plus" contract appears in multiple credible sources
Please provide two sources. As already requested

Quote
How can you fail basic logic and math?
Please point out my specific math failures.  With real numbers. As already requested

With all your accusations and distractions, you have not attempted to deny these three facts

According to Trump, it started at $4.2B. 
It is now documented fixed price at $3.9B. 
Trump said he saved over $1B.


Can you disprove them? Because if you don't then Trump lied about the $1B, or he can't do basic math.

And you don't address why the White House website said that he saved millions, not over $1B.

I'd like to have a rational discussion with you, but when you accuse me of lying, and neglect to provide sources for things you guarantee or that have "multiple credible sources", you make me doubt your credibility, or your willingness to argue in good faith.

If you need some time to dig up your sources, just let me know.  I will say this, if you don't present the sources, it will be very, very clear to everyone on this forum, that you are not to be trusted.  This is not a threat - I have no power here.  It is just an incentive for you to provide sources, or to think carefully before making unverifiable claims in the future. As I said, I'd like to have a rational discussion.

Of course, if you can come up with credible sources, I will be the first to admit I am wrong on those points.  I promise.

136
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 25, 2018, 08:07:43 AM »
Kind of off topic, but is accusing other posters of having mental illness considered appropriate behavior on Ornery these days?

Quote
I've heard some version of him claiming to only work with the best people hundreds of times.
Yes, the version where he has hired the best people. If you can find one of the hundreds of times he said working with the best people, please present it.

Trump met with Putin.
Trump did not mention any deals. If he were going to mention them, he would have done so quickly.
If there were deals, they were secret, to the extent that nobody but Trump knew about them, and he was not making them public in a timely manner.  If he decided to tell us in 2020 about the deals, they would be secret until then.
Russia mentioned the deals.  They were secret, now they are not.

You can argue about the exact meaning of "secret".  You can argue about the exact meaning of "deals".  But someone can say there were secret deals without being paranoid.


137
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 25, 2018, 07:56:04 AM »
One more little tidbit.

I said Trump didn't know the cost.  Seriati said

Quote
I guarantee the government has seen up to date expenditures and projections for cost to completion.  That would include Trump.  Your conclusion is not necessitated from your assumptions, ergo its erroneous and not logical.

So my logic is faulty because I ignored that fact that as long as "the government" has seen something, Trump has knowledge of it.  Every last IRS return.  Serial numbers of all armed service members.  Social Security numbers, birth dates, and middle names of every citizen.  If "the government" has seen it, Trump has it at his fingertips, and undoubtedly references it before every Tweet.

That's your attack on my argument, proving my argument is "erroneous and not logical"

Do you stand by that?

138
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 24, 2018, 12:54:34 PM »
Quote
Don't know if he made it up or not, but the fact that it's been cited as a "cost plus" contract appears in multiple credible sources

Huh.  Could you provide two of those multiple credible sources?

But I'm betting you can't.

Here's a document describing the contract.
Go here and download VC-25B_J&A_Update_Redacted.pdf

Section II, "firm fixed price contract"
Section III, "the estimated...funding requirement is $3,900M"

So lets get back to the facts.

Trump said in February 2017 “They were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One,”

That is the baseline.  That was the cost that was too much.  It doesn't matter if it is cost plus, fixed cost, variable cost, random cost.  That is his starting point that was too much. And please note, that cost is not to have a new Air Force One.  It is to develop and construct two aircraft.  Trump is ignorant on the basic facts.

Trump then said “we got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project."

According to Trump, it started at $4.2B.  It is now documented fixed price at $3.9B.  Trump said he saved over $1B.

Seriati, since according to you I fail basic logic and math, could you please help me out with this?*  Is the math right?

Here's another fun fact from that link - the Air Force can't explain the $1B:

Quote
The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One.

“To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information,” Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters Wednesday when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House,” Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.

And particularly appropriate is this:

"Secretary of Defense [Jim] Mattis has ordered a cost-cutting review of Boeing's next-generation Air Force One fleet, after President Trump was able to cap the cost at millions below that which was agreed to by the Obama administration," the [White House] website stated.

Of course, there were some capabilities that were eliminated as part of that cost savings.  And the airframes are leftovers from a Russian airline that went bankrupt. (Nothing risky there, I am sure).  But he saved millions.  That's millions with an M, not a B.  Oh, and in case you are still looking for those multiple sources, "cap the cost" means it is not cost plus.

But my favorite quote from that link is this.

Quote
There’s no specifics available for where the program savings might stem, and with no budget documentation about the total cost [ none as of April 2017, but there is now, referenced above in the pdf], the president can "pick a number" and take credit for bringing costs down, said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at the Teal Group.

"The whole thing is kind of embarrassing. I think the most embarrassing thing is that I’m sure there are people still out there that believe this stuff," Aboulafia said. "I’d love to see any documentation or supporting evidence that goes along with this."

Trump’s commentary about  Air Force One began before inauguration, when he tweeted that the program, worth $4 billion, should be cancelled because of cost. Analysts immediately debated the veracity of that figure, as the Air Force has not released their total estimated acquisition cost for development, testing and procuring two new presidential transport aircraft. [They have now.  $3.9B]

Since then, Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, who personally promised the president that costs would go down. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in January then ordered a review of the program that would provide options for downsizing requirements in areas like survivability, communications and autonomy.

So on the one hand, Trump claims he saved $1B?  On the other hand, we have documentation, several experts, and the White House website.  To believe Trump, we have to believe that Boeing gave up $1B after talking to Trump for an hour.  We also have to believe him after seeing that he lied about how many floors were in his building, how much money he has, and literally hundreds of other items.

Are you still unconvinced that Trump is wrong?

*Please tell me where my previous failures in basic logic and math were, so I do not repeat my mistakes.  Please be as specific as possible in the math mistakes. If you can't be specific, I will just assume you made it up.

139
Quote
the proven fact that free markets (with reasonable regulation) generate massive wealth for everyone involved in the economy, and that socialist and redistributive policies just generate misery, dependence and lack of opportunity

Please provide an example of a free market with "reasonable regulation".  If I can find someone in that market with a job that is not massively wealthy, then your "proven fact" is a falsehood.  Unless of course, by "proven fact" you mean "my opinion", and by "everyone involved in the economy" you mean only those with massive wealth.  Then you are all set.

And please explain how the "happiest countries" are usually socialist and redistributive.  Unless you define misery as happiness.  They you are all set.


140
General Comments / Re: Germany Is Totally Controlled by Russia
« on: July 23, 2018, 01:06:40 PM »
Obama kicked the Russians out of their compounds.  Trump wanted to let them back in.
Obama started sanctions.  Trump negotiated before he was President to loosen them, through Flynn.
Obama said Russians meddled in the election, and tried to get Republicans to agree to make that public.  Trump denies it even today.

141
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 23, 2018, 01:01:19 PM »
Quote
While the 2nd part of your argument holds, this seems to ignore the possibility that Trump has more info than the rest of us.

I was basing the argument on Seriati's claims, that we can't know the cost until it is done.  Trump may have more information, but he can't see the future.

On a different tack, why would Trump not provide a source that would confirm or deny his number?  If the number itself is classified, Trump is a leaker, in spirit if not the letter of the law.  If the number is not classified, Boeing or the DoD should be able to confirm.  AFAIK, they both say the number is $3.9B.

142
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:56:04 PM »
Quote
I do agree with Lloyd that it seems like that objection here seems to be that Trump in particular shouldn't be allowed to,

I apologize if I gave that impression.  Any president who is unprepared, ignorant, and reckless should not negotiate in private.  I believe Trump is all of those.

The minute Trump exhibited preparation, knowledge and some desire for accurately recording and transmitting what went on in the meeting, I would remove my objections.

143
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:52:32 PM »
Quote
You assert your opinions about his preparation as fact and use that to justify your argument about the national security.

Not "my opinions" about Trump's preparation.
Quote
President Trump on Thursday said he does not have to prepare “very much” for his high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because he believes “it’s about attitude.”

Quote
But privately, a State Department official and a source familiar with preparations says [Russia]summit planning was so rushed that the No. 2s at the major departments -- like State, Defense and Treasury -- did not convene specifically on this summit through the National Security Council.
Link

But feel free to provide any evidence that he did substantial preparation.  Keep in mind that past summits of this nature have involved months of planning.

You did not address the fact that Trump has no knowledge of many of the topics that would have been discussed.

Quote
Then you speculate about what was discussed
I took a quick look and did not see any speculation on my part.  If you point it out, we can discuss it.  If you can't point it out, well, then I guess you made it up.

Quote
I think the president of the united states is in a much better position to decide what is appropriate to discuss than you are.
In all seriousness, why?

Quote
I really doubt that if Obama or Hillary did the same thing you would even bat an eye.

With all due respect, you have absolutely no idea what I would do.  I request you do not pretend you have any knowledge whatsoever on that topic.


144
Quote
In all seriousness, it sounds like morals and convictions are completely optional for you.  Just curious - do you have them

I don't get that sense at all.

You left out the original quote that I was referring to.
Quote
Nothing wrong with having morals and convictions.

Read with its standard interpretation, it means you think something is good, but not essential.  "Nothing wrong with free pizza on Fridays."  But if you think morals and convictions are fundamental to your personal integrity, it is generally not something you would say.  It's subject to interpretation, which is why I asked. 

145
General Comments / Re: Air Force One Kerfuffle
« on: July 22, 2018, 10:01:48 PM »
Don't know if he made it up or not, but the fact that it's been cited as a "cost plus" contract appears in multiple credible sources, which means the final cost under the initial contract can't be calculated until the final costs are known, it also means the "initial" cost is still increasing as new costs are incurred.  It easily could be over $5billion depending on how much cost has been incurred.

According to you, we don't know the cost.
Trump claimed it was $5.4 billion dollars.
Therefore, Trump made it up.

According to you, it could easily end up over $5B,  even if the initial cost is $3.9B.
Trump claimed he saved $1.4B to get it down to $3.9B.
Therefore, if it ends up at $5B, Trump took credit for savings that will never happen.

You are clearly a very intelligent person.  Why do you waste your time attempting to defend obvious stupidity?


146
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 22, 2018, 09:53:26 PM »
I think my answer is quite clear in my previous posts.  But to be concise, I am arguing that it is detrimental to our national security for the executive to conduct international diplomacy without preparation, knowledge of the issues at hand, or any sort of record of what is discussed.

Do you deny that is what Trump did?  Do you think it is good for the country?

When you accuse me of hysteria, please point out any facts that I got wrong, or reasoning that does not ring true.  Otherwise it just sounds like name-calling or distraction.

147
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 22, 2018, 09:04:09 AM »
If I may, I will expand the danger to include the fact that nobody else was present, for all intents and purposes.

Donald Trump may have committed our country to something that we know nothing about.  That commitment may not have any legal power, but it may.

Russia may claim that Trump promised many things, but we have no way to disprove it, since there were no witnesses or written recordings.

Donald Trump does not have a good memory, so he may be assuming things were said that were not said, and vice versa.

Donald Trump does not have a good record of getting facts straight, so what he tells us happened may not have happened.

We are dealing with a hostile nuclear power.  There are dozens of reasons to plan carefully, to record every nuance, to make absolutely sure that every point is crystal clear to both sides.  It is critical to have experts in the particular subject matter being discussed. There is not a single legitimate reason to do what Trump did - allow nobody else in, and not share the results.

If this were a "getting to know you" meeting intended to form personal bonds, I might be convinced otherwise.  But, at least according to the Russians, substantive policies were discussed.  Policies that Trump has limited (or no) understanding of.

It is dangerous to have someone negotiating on our behalf when they don't know what they are talking about, won't let anyone who does know what they are talking about be involved in the negotiations, and won't tell anyone what they negotiated.

If you need evidence that Trump doesn't know what he is talking about, you haven't been paying attention.  But I will be happy to provide that if you request.

148
General Comments / Re: Germany Is Totally Controlled by Russia
« on: July 21, 2018, 05:51:36 PM »
Crunch,

Kowtowing: act in an excessively subservient manner.

Please explain how Obama kowtowed to Russia.

Please explain what Trump is saying that is the same as the previous administration.  In particular, you might want to look at the part where Trump believed Putin over the American intelligence community.

149
Quote
Obama's tax cuts were entirely aimed at buying votes.  Nothing more or less.  Nothing he did was designed as anything but buying votes.

Greg:
Proverbs 26:4.  It will save you a lot of wasted energy.  Thinking, honest people know total BS when they see it.   Intelligent people who argue in bad faith will not admit when arguments and facts prove them wrong.

Make the case, and point out the distractions and distortions.  But once the case is made, you don't have to re-prove it just because someone makes false, misleading, or just made up arguments against it.

I don't always follow that advice, but I should.

150
General Comments / Re: Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 21, 2018, 05:16:40 PM »
So there were "verbal agreements" between Trump and Putin.  But critical people in the Trump administration and Congress have not been informed.

Quote
Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, expressed hope Thursday that "the verbal agreements between Putin and Trump will be fulfilled" — though the substance of any such understandings remain murky, not least because the main business was conducted in the two hours of discussions between the two leaders with only translators joining them.

Quote
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says he has “no idea” what Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov meant when he said Wednesday that Trump and Putin had entered into “important verbal agreements.”
Link

Dan Coats, Trump's Director of National Intelligence said "I don't know what happened in that meeting."

This is detrimental to the security of our country.

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