Wednesday, June 28, 2017

With 40 months to go, Trump holds re-election fundraiser

President Donald Trump was whisked a few blocks from the White House to his hotel on Wednesday night for his first re-election fundraiser. But reporters were barred from hearing his remarks.

Security was tight at the Trump International Hotel, where guests in long gowns and sharp suits started arriving around five.

Some 40 months ahead of his next election, the president holds court at a $35,000-per-plate donor event Wednesday night at his hotel in Washington. About 300 people are expected to attend an event that will pull in about $10 million,
Breaking the tradition of his predecessor, Trump isn't allowing reporters to hear his remarks to the group of donors — despite an announcement earlier in the day that a pool of reporters would be allowed in to hear the president's remarks.

"It's a political event and they've chosen to keep that separate," White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked why the event is closed to the media.

White House takes care to make sure that Trump's political events and travel — including the Wednesday fundraiser — are paid for by the campaign and other political entities.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Power of Intuition

Find out how that guess can be helpful when making a decision in life. Learn to use intuition in your favor - you will be amazed


We think, therefore we exist. Excuse me, reader, to start this text like this, with a cliché already so propagated of philosophy - and with the license to still put it in the plural, go there ... But it is difficult to find a more accurate argument to define human existence That our ability to think, is not it? The truth, however, is that something seems wrong in such logical reasoning. Wrong, no. Maybe incomplete. After all, we only become truly human in that we can combine our thoughts - and then it is worth including what we think about others and the world around us - with other forms of knowledge that we have, such as our feelings, our sensations And our intuitions to perceive the world around us.
Sometimes, even when reason tries to take us away from an idea that seems logically unfounded, we go there, we give the face to beat. We stubbornly and occasionally proved that our own reason was rightly wrong. After all, our world-consciousness does not realize that it is so rational-or of seeking rationality in everything. Therefore, we are able to perceive many things without passing through the sieve of reason. The feelings are there to prove it. Who never fell in love to the point of losing logic?
Another form of knowledge not supported by reason is in intuition, which comes from the Latin intueri and means to consider, see above. Do you know when you are sure of something, but you can not explain why or where it came from? For then, this is a manifestation of our intuition, a capacity for knowledge that you and I have, but which we do not always value, it is true. But it is time to reevaluate our way of being aware of things: foreboding can lead us to make better decisions than rational deliberations. To understand, do not just think. It is necessary to feel and, above all, to intuit.
Is the reason right?
It is not difficult to understand why many people still wring their noses at intuition. Today the model of knowledge we have in the modern Western world is still very much grounded by rational and logical thinking. "It's something we inherited from the Greeks over 2,000 years ago," says psychotherapist and philosopher Ari Rehfeld. A phrase like "I believe it to be like that out of pure intuition" will hardly convince a friend or a boss. Because we know this, we try to internally sabotage our particular signals, not giving them proper attention. What's worse is that we wasted so a powerful tool to make much better decisions.
Intuition is an aptitude that we all have, but it needs to be developed - as well as the ability to think. It is that perception or decision that apparently does not have a logical explanation and that even contradicts common sense, but that in the end makes perfect sense. It functions as an inner guide, which manifests itself through non-linear knowledge. "That's why intuition comes through unexplained sensations, insights, dreams, or an inner voice that seems to say 'yes, that's right' or 'this will not work,'" says American psychiatrist Judith Orloff, author of the book Second Sight ("Another look", in a free translation, still without edition in Brazil). It is difficult to explain intuition because it is like a flash, an immediate response that our neurons build in a situation. "
Logic and conscious modes of thinking monopolized our understanding of the world. But, however, logic is just one of the many useful tools the mind can use. "Even because there are information and perceptions that go straight to the unconscious, without going through the filter of our conscious," completes Rehfeld. Philosophers like Plato have already valued intuition as a starting point for their ideas. The balconies arose intuitively, and then they tried to put them to the test in the light of rationalism. "But today we live in a world where we do not have time to stop and intuit. We are condemned to the rhythm of rational thought," says the psychotherapist.
Less is more
In the age of information, we suffer from the evil of "thinking too much". So much so that, with much reasoning, we overload the whole attention capacity of the brain, compromising the health of the mind. As a result, we end up being depressed and anxious. Thinking too much and knowing too much can become a problem. During a trip to Italy, the musician Abbie Conant was invited to take a test for the Munich Philharmonic. The 33 candidates had to play behind a screen, which made them invisible to the selection committee. Conant concentrated to make a perfect presentation, but missed a note. She thought she would be disqualified. But everyone on the committee was astonished by what they had heard. The director of the Philharmonic was so excited that he dispatched back the candidates who had not yet performed.
But when they called Conant, they were surprised - and disappointed - that she was a woman. Woman and trombone did not fit the director of the Philharmonic. And despite having won all audition rounds, she joined the orchestra against the will of the director who, a year later, downgraded her to the second trombone. Conant was so outraged she took the case to court. As evidence, he did a batch of tests: he blew on special machines and even had his blood examined to prove his ability to absorb oxygen. All results were above average. It was only after eight years, by court order, that she was reinstated to the position of first trombone.
The story is told in the book Blink - The Decision in a Blink of an Eye by American journalist Malcolm Gladwell, and shows that if they had taken into account only the first impression of Conant's hearing, members of the Philharmonic would have a great artist as the first trombone from the start. "But because they thought it might be fragile for such a masculine instrument, they decided to give credit to rational thinking, which indicates that women are less fit for instruments that require more breath, not what they have heard," writes the journalist. This also happens to many of us. The act of thinking objectively in the reasons can lead to decisions that make us less satisfied. Analyzing all sides of the issue may not be a good tactic.
The Intuitive Mind
The point is that even if we try hard we can make all the decisions of our life under the sieve of reason. Our mind works best by relegating to the unconscious a good portion of rational thought - it would not account for everything, if it did not use that artifice. Because of this, evolution itself has given our minds the ability to react even before we think when we are facing a situation of risk - intuition is therefore an evolutionary aptitude. "The instinct that makes us today opt for something we know is the instinct for survival in the wild. We can choose a meal with green eggs, but would not you choose a less exotic option if you could?" Asks Professor of Psychology at the University Of Chicago, Gerd Gigerenzer, in the book The Power of Intuition. "When we choose foods we know,
Antes mesmo que você considere o ovo colorido, sua mente já mandou um recado que é melhor comer o velho ovo com clara branca e gema amarela. A intuição permite à nossa mente colocar alguns comportamentos e decisões em piloto automático. "Pensar toda vez em como se anda de bicicleta ou como se deve sorrir nem sempre é melhor do que fazer ambas as coisas de forma automática. As partes inconscientes da mente são capazes de decidir sem que nós - ou o eu consciente - conheçamos as razões", afirma Gigerenzer.
   We are able to make an entire trip driving down a road with holes and adverse conditions without even rationalizing a part of the journey. But this was only possible after the mind had acquired enough knowledge to be able to relegate to the unconscious the task of leading the direction. So it is with our intuition. After all, we only have intuitions from experiences, information and knowledge that we have obtained, voluntarily or not. "In fact, nature gives the human being a potential, and practice over time becomes a capacity." The intuitive mind adapts and acts with economy using the unconscious, the evolutionary skills and the empirical methods that we develop in the course of our life. They consist of trying to stick to the most relevant information and ignore the rest.
As in the case of a job offer where the salary is great, but, according to her friend, the department head is a thick and organizational climate, rather tumultuous. Empirically, the only information you can prove is that the salary offered is three times what you earn. Your friend's personal relationship with the boss and the team may be relative - or a problem alone. It is up to you to trust the information you have or to take into account everything you have heard. Therefore, intuition has to do with hunches, with the risks that we run and that only experience and experience will show us whether we hit or not.
Attention to the signs
People who decide to follow their intuition and get along come to value the warnings and signs that the unconscious gives them. The singer Tiê always went to listen to her foreboding. "If I talk about something that I think might not be legal, I do not do it, and it's very difficult for someone to convince me otherwise," he says. She has already refused to participate in shows simply because she thinks they would not be worth it - at the same time that she agreed to do others in seemingly not-so-cool places but that her intuition said to be the best choice. "And it's funny my hunches always prove." You also use your intuition when it comes to creating and composing. It gives more value to the ideas that arise spontaneously and it is difficult to think and change notes and words later. "Of the five senses, I think that the smell is what I have more accurate, So I often jest that intuition is the smell of the mind because it allows us to sniff things away. You can hardly mistake a smell, right? "
To intuit, in fact, means to use another sense that we have beyond vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It is even like a "sixth sense" placed at our disposal and that helps us to improve our relationship with the world and facilitate our life. And the more that we listen, the better we recognize a noise, the more we use intuition, the better we can seize the foreboding. Intuition improves with experience without us noticing. A great executive is able to predict whether a product will succeed in the marketplace even though the surveys your company has ordered indicate that it is not - and that it can not logically explain its arguments. That's because, in career years, he had enough experience to know the market and store unconscious records.
This is only possible through the knowledge we have - of the world around us and of ourselves. It is self-knowledge, moreover, that allows us to recognize the forebodings that our mind has. Because it is easy to confuse intuition with desire and with fear. If we are in a relationship that makes us bad, for example, it is easy to intuit that we need to seek a new way to be happy. But this concerns an inner desire, which is not always so clear and which, because of this, can be misinterpreted as intuition. "A person who has the odd feeling that his plane might crash needs to consider whether it is not a fear that he himself has to fly. Because the mind of a phobic tends to project all the risks related to a fear," says Psychologist Virgínia Marchini, director of the Center for the Development of Intuitive Potential,
If we are really attentive to the signs of the unconscious, Virginia advocates, we increase our ability to use our intuition and decide rightly. For this to occur, we need to be as quiet as possible - after all, the higher our level of stress and anxiety, the less acuity of our senses. "Nervous and agitated, we are less likely to feel tastes, to differentiate smells and, consequently, perceive forebodings," he says. Intuition depends on a mental state of relaxation. Research indicates that in this state, the intuitive mind takes no more than two seconds to be able to make decisions.
Trust (and act)
Developing intuition means taking a more thoughtful stance and working on self-confidence. Betting on what you perceive and feel. Dedicating time to silence and recollection helps. Record and interpret dreams and impressions, too, because these practices facilitate access to the inner world, as well as reading, knowing, watching, traveling. Other signs appear in our own body, not just in the mind. Physical symptoms such as insomnia and restlessness may indicate discomfort with a situation or decision one is considering to take. "Each of us has the wisdom and knowledge that he needs in his own interior," wrote the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, an advocate of intuition. We need only be open to identifying them, since, after all, we tend to live so much better as we perceive what surrounds us.
To intuit, therefore, is to see better the world by looking within ourselves.That is why we must rely on our own intuitions. It is no use opening a communication with the unconscious if this knowledge does not drive actions. "Intuition is experiential, it must be practiced," says psychologist Virginia. Just as we need to experience relationships to break the face or put our hand on the fire to realize that it burns. And to live is to take risks, to place bets. And for that, it is not always enough to think.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Devourned' by the sea, Titanic may disappear soon

  When the opulent RMS Titanic set off on the road in 1912, no one could have predicted its current state - reduced to a rusty hull at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But at least something remains of the ship, more than a century after its unfortunate transatlantic journey.

Only scientists believe that in a few decades, it may be that nothing else on the ship. All because of a kind of bacterium that is slowly eating its iron hull.
Robert Ballard, an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett, discovered the shipwreck in 1985. What was not known at the time was that the discovery only happened because of Ballard's involvement in a secret British Navy mission to locate the remains of Two American nuclear submarines that sank during the Cold War. The Titanic was only found between the two submarines.
At the time of discovery, the ship was impressively preserved. Being 3.8 km below the surface, subjected to low light and intense pressure, it became uninhabitable for most types of life, which delayed corrosion. After 30 years, however, the hull is rusting because of bacteria that corrode metal. Some researchers now give a 14-year shelf life until the ship disappears forever.
What is known about the microorganisms responsible for this?
The story began in 1991, when scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Canada) collected samples of rust formations in a pendant-like shape from the ship.
But only in 2010 another group of scientists, led by Henrietta Mann, from the same university, decided to identify what kind of life there was.
They isolated one of the species of bacteria and discovered a novelty for science. Mann and his colleagues called it Halomonas titanicae in honor of the ship.
The bacteria can survive in completely uninhabitable conditions for most forms of life on Earth: water that is completely dark and under strong pressure.
But she had another, even more impressive trick. Bacteria Halomonas are often found living in another extreme environment: salt marshes. Here, the salinity of water can vary dramatically because of evaporation, and the Halomonas bacteria have evolved to deal with the problem.
There are not many organisms that can do what the Halomonas bacteria do. Joe Saccai of the Laue-Langevin Institute in Grenoble, France, is part of an international team of scientists who looked at how the bacteria can survive under such extreme and variable conditions. They found that Halomonas use a molecule called ectoine to protect itself from osmosis pressure.
"If a cell survives in a floating salt environment, there must be a way to compensate for this by adjusting the concentration of its internal solution," says Zaccai. Halomonas produces ectoin to counterbalance osmotic pressure from outside. As the concentration of external salt fluctuates, the ectoin concentration response will respond to it."
In other words, the more salty the water, the more ectoin the bacteria produce inside its cells to prevent water from flowing out. However, this adaptation can be highly dangerous for an organism. The more material there is inside a cell, the more it can get accumulated between water molecules, disrupting the unique properties of water.
The reason water is so necessary to life is that the unique bonds with its atoms - known as hydrogen bonds - allow it to act as a solvent. Other chemicals can be dissolved in it and react together.
The reactions of life need to happen in a solution, so all of our cells are in liquid water. In addition, RNA and DNA, the proteins and enzymes responsible for carrying out the daily work of the cell, and the membranes that give them structure, need to be surrounded by a layer of water to function.
This layer of water, known as a "hydration shell," is crucial to maintaining the correct folds of proteins for them to function. If this is interrupted, the proteins can shatter and fall, which can kill the cell.
Because the bacterium is clearly capable of accumulating extremely high concentrations of ectoin within its cells - the study found that Halomonas produces so much ectoine that it corresponds to 20% of the mass of the microbe - the molecule needs to put those important properties of water in place of someway.
To investigate how this happens, scientists led by Zaccai bombarded the bacteria with a beam of neutrons. Looking at the pattern produced by the neutron clash in the atoms in the membranes and proteins of the microbes' cells, scientists have been able to look at the structures at the molecular and atomic level.
There are few places in the world that are equipped for such experiments. The researchers worked at the Laue Langevin Institute, one of the world's largest neutron research centers.
"By observing how neutrons were scattered in different samples, we were able to demonstrate how ectoin acts on proteins and cell membranes and, more importantly, on water," says Zaccai. "Instead of interfering, ectoine actually increases the solvent properties of water that are essential to biology."
It turns out that, no matter how much dissolved ectoin exists inside the cell, the water shell surrounding proteins and cell membranes remains 100% water, which allows the metabolism to continue normal. This is because, when ectoine forms hydrogen bonds with water, it forms large clusters that will not fit on the surfaces of membranes and proteins, but only pure water can be maintained.
Initial investigations of H. titanicae have shown that it can grow in water with a weight / volume ratio between 0.5% and 25%, although it works best with a salt concentration between 2% and 8%.
However, it is unclear how, or if, this salt tolerance helped the bacteria colonize the shipwreck.
The H. titanicae is not the only bacteria that inhabit loves ships. Various types of microbes colonize ship debris immediately after shipwrecks. They quickly form sticky films over the entire available surface, called "biofilms." These biofilms are like a haven for corals, sponges and mollusks, which in turn attract larger animals.
Quickly the sunken ship becomes a type of reef with plenty of life.
Ancient remains have seen food from microbes that feed on wood, while more modern steel ships attract bacteria like H. titanicae , which love to eat iron. While H.titanicae may eventually destroy the Titanic, many of these bacteria can actually protect ships from corrosion, one reason why there are still shipwrecks dating back to the 14th century.
In 2014, a team of scientists from the American Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted what may be considered the most thorough study to date of microbial life on ships. They observed eight remains of ships in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Among the shipwrecks, there were 19th century wooden and steel ships, one from the 17th century and three steel vessels from World War II, one of which was sunk by a German submarine.
They found that the material of the ship was the crucial factor that determines the type of microbe that will be attracted. Wooden ships are full of bacteria that feed on cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin found in wood. Steel ships, on the other hand, are full of bacteria that feed on iron.
Strangely, even though the bacteria feed on the ship, they also protect it from corrosion.
Basically what happens is that any sinking vessel, be it a 19th century wooden ship or a Second World War steel ship, is vulnerable to microbes that quickly cover its entire surface," says marine archaeologist Melanie Damour, BOEM in New Orleans, one of the scientists who led the expedition.
"At first, the ship will begin to be corroded in contact with the sea water, but as the microbes begin to colonize the boat, they form a biofilm, which is a protective layer between the ship and the sea water," Says Damour.
This means that any type of mechanical impact, such as an anchor being dragged by the wreck, will break this protective surface and expose the metal to seawater once again, accelerating corrosion.
It is not just the mechanical impact that has this effect. The Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010 knocked millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and much of it hit the depths of the ocean. In laboratory experiments, the team discovered that exposure to oil can accelerate corrosion of the ship's material.
This suggests that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill may be accelerating the corrosion of bottom-sea vessels, but researchers have yet to confirm this hypothesis.
Each bacterium, fungus and microbe has a specific function that is the result of millions of years of evolution," says Damour.
"Iron sulfate reduction bacteria are attracted to ships' steel, but others love the hydrocarbons that make up the oil, so they multiplied after the 2010 spill. However, we found that not all microbes can cope with exposure to Oil and chemical dispersants and some consider them extremely toxic.Even four years later, oil was still present in the environment and the destructive effect it had on bacteria and biofilms implies that the ships were exposed to seawater and corroded much more fast".
The finding is alarming. There are more than 2,000 ships wrecked at the bottom of the Gulf, from 16th century vessels to the remains of two German submarines from World War II. These ships are important historic monuments that give a unique view of the past. They are also home to deep sea life.
But eventually, all ships - including the Titanic in the Atlantic - will be completely devoured, either by bacteria that feed on metal or corrosion of seawater. The iron of the 47,000-ton vessel will end up in the ocean. At some point, part of it will be incorporated into the bodies of marine animals and plants. The Titanic will then have been recycled.

Friday, June 9, 2017

 Brazil’s Temer gets big victory in electoral court ruling

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s top electoral court gave embattled President Michel Temer a big victory late Friday, voting to reject allegations of campaign finance violations that could have removed him from office.

After four days of deliberations, judges voted 4-3 in a case that many viewed as a measure of whether Temer could remain in office amid a ballooning corruption scandal and single-digit popularity.

Last month, a recording emerged that apparently captured Temer endorsing hush money to ex-House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, a former Temer ally serving 15 years in prison for corruption and money laundering. Soon after that, details of another bombshell came out: that Temer was being investigated for allegedly receiving bribes.

Temer has denied wrongdoing and vowed to stay in office.

“The facts are very serious, unbearable,” said Judge Luiz Fux, who voted to remove Temer, adding the campaign finance case was about “very serious crimes.”

Judge Gilmar Mendes, who has called Temer “a friend of many years,” cast the decisive vote to keep Temer in office. Mendes, also a justice on the Supreme Federal Tribunal, the country’s highest court, argued that electoral laws needed reform, suggesting that politicians should not pay the price for a broken system.

“The system needs stability. It is very easy to talk about morality, fighting against corruption.

 I want that too,” said Mendes, who in the past has come to the aid of other politicians facing legal trouble.

 “A president can’t just be replaced at any time, even if the desire is there.”

The campaign finance case was filed shortly after the 2014 presidential election by one of the losing parties. It alleged that the ticket of President Dilma Rousseff and running mate Temer, then the vice presidential candidate, gained an unfair advantage through illegal campaign contributions.

 Temer took over the presidency last year after Rousseff was impeached and removed for illegally managing the federal budget.

The campaign finance allegations were bolstered in recent months by stunning testimony from plea bargains signed by current and former executives at the construction giant Odebrecht, a company at the center of a colossal investigation into billions of dollars in inflated contracts and kickbacks to politicians.

 The executives provided shocking details of tens of millions of dollars in bribes and illegal campaign contributions, including to the Rousseff-Temer ticket.

In their deliberations, the judges argued about whether those plea bargains should be considered in their decision. They also clashed over the strength of the original evidence and whether punishments should be doled out when illegal campaign finance was widespread.
A guilty verdict would have annulled the 2014 victory, thus stripping Temer of the rest of his mandate. It could also have stripped both Rousseff and Temer of political rights for eight years.
While Temer had vowed to appeal a conviction, it would have weakened his hand in a climate of several corruption scandals and a public furious about it.

“Temer will stay in office and probably face many demonstrations in the streets,” said Alexandre Barros, a political risk consultant with the Brasilia-based firm Early Warning. “I don’t think anybody is in the mood to decide something unexpected at this point.”

The political turmoil in Brazil — that began with the push last year to remove Rousseff from power for violating budget laws — has reached a fever pitch. There are near weekly protests calling for Temer’s ouster, frequent shouting matches in Congress, and a simmering debate in the media over whether Temer will manage to finish out his term.

That atmosphere was reflected in the courtroom, where there were several tense moments.

Among the most dramatic came during the opening of the afternoon session Friday, when a prosecutor requested the disqualification of one of the judges who had once been a lawyer for Rousseff and one justice decried articles in the press that linked him to a corruption investigation.

 As the tension in the chamber rose, the court’s president called a brief break.

While Temer has survived another day, the future will be difficult. His already very low popularity has plunged further amid the corruption allegations.

 A Temer ally and former congressman, captured on video by federal police carrying a suitcase full of bribe money, was recently jailed — and any testimony he provides could further implicate Temer.

The main parties in Temer’s coalition have stuck with him so far, but several reports have reflected worry that being associated with his could be detrimental to re-election campaigns next year.

Ironically, Temer’s strongest argument to stay in power is that he can deliver major reforms to labor laws and the country’s pension system. While deeply unpopular among Brazilians, many economists have argued they are necessary to help pull Latin America’s largest nation from recession and many members of Congress want them passed, if anything to be able to point at something besides widespread corruption.

“Temer will argue, ’I’m the guy who is going to give the country the bitter remedy that will cure it,” said Carlos Manhanelli, political marketing specialist and chairman of the Brazilian Association of Political Consultants.


Trump breaks his silence: 'Total and complete vindication'

The president also appears to accuse Comey of lying under oath and carrying out an unauthorized leak.

President Donald Trump broke his silence Friday on former FBI Director James Comey’s blockbuster testimony before Congress a day earlier, claiming “total and complete vindication” while appearing to accuse Comey of lying and labeling him a “leaker.”
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication ... and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump wrote on Twitter just after 6 a.m. on Friday.
The accusation — essentially alleging that Comey committed perjury in his congressional testimony — is just the latest broadside Trump has launched against his former FBI director, but it is not expected to be the last.
The tweet also raised eyebrows in the West Wing, with at least two senior White House aides expressing surprise Friday morning at the president's missive slamming Comey.
However, the tweet is just one part of the counteroffensive against Comey. A person close to Trump’s outside legal team confirmed on Friday that it will aim to file a complaint next week with the Department of Justice inspector general about the so-called leak, in which Comey handed off memos describing his conversations with Trump to a friend who in turn passed them onto The New York Times.
Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, was immediately criticized for the move, which followed a bellicose statement on Thursday in which Kasowitz, too, accused Comey of lying under oath and inappropriately disclosing the contents of his conversations with Trump.
“This is an abuse of process & we will be filing a defense of Comey. @marckasowitz beware: there r serious consequences for abuse of process,” former Obama ethics adviser Norm Eisen wrote on Twitter Friday.
Trump, however, has a long history of threatening legal action but failing to follow through.
The president on Thursday managed to stay quiet on Twitter throughout Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which the former director himself accused the president of lying and told lawmakers that it was “the nature of the person” he was dealing with that compelled him to take copious, contemporaneous notes to protect against the possibility that Trump might later “lie about the nature of our meeting.”
And while Comey did verify Trump’s past statement that he assured the president he was not personally under investigation, what Comey provided Trump was far from “complete vindication.”
Comey, while declining to directly say whether he thought Trump tried to obstruct justice, nevertheless testified that he believed Trump directed him to shut down a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and fired him with the intent of changing the course of the larger Russia investigation.
Trump’s team has been quick to push back, and a main thrust of their strategy is to discredit Comey, painting him as disgruntled and untrustworthy. The process began with an RNC-coordinated counter-messaging effort, and was followed by Kasowitz’s prepared statement at the National Press Club, near the White House.
The president upped the ante on Friday morning with his tweet.
But the defense of Trump has been inconsistent. While Trump and Kasowitz have directly refuted the substance of Comey’s accounts, many of Trump’s fellow Republicans sought to frame it as a misinterpretation by Comey rather than a total fabrication.
“The president’s new at this. He’s new at government,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday. "He’s not steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a staunch Trump ally, defended Trump by saying the Flynn discussion was “normal New York City conversation.”
Trump’s allies are also eager to shift the conversation to Comey’s conduct. While White House officials were largely absent from the morning TV news circuit, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski made the president’s case in three separate appearances on ABC, NBC and Fox News. Lewandowski worked to thread a difficult needle, emphasizing Comey’s statement that Trump had never been under investigation while at the same time calling into question the FBI director’s credibility to dispute other portions of his testimony.
Lewandowski criticized Comey for relaying his notes from meetings with the president to the media through an intermediary, suggesting that the former director should be prosecuted if such a move was part of a regular pattern of behavior. Lewandowski also mocked Comey, telling NBC’s “Today” show that the former director had used a go-between to share his memos “because he wasn't man enough to give the notes directly to the media when he wanted them out to the media.”
And while Trump has suggested that he might be in possession of recordings of his meetings with Comey — recordings that the former director said Thursday he would like the president to release if they exist — Lewandowski said he did not know if such tapes exist because he does not work in the White House. Regardless, he said on NBC, “I think Jim Comey's credibility is at about zero right now.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said the president’s behavior with Comey was “certainly inappropriate” and “an abuse of power” but she stopped short of discussing impeachment, a topic she said she has urged her Democratic colleagues to approach carefully and only if they have the facts behind them.
“In terms of obstruction of justice, I think there’s reason to believe and Mueller should look into this,” she said. “It’s certainly, in the court of public opinion, very incriminating.”
Trump is also expected to address the controversy further when he holds a joint news conference with the president of Romania on Friday afternoon in the Rose Garden.

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