Showing posts with label Trump Sinister. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump Sinister. Show all posts

January 9, 2019

Rod Rosenstein to Resign and Trump Threatens to Withhold FEMA Funds For CA. Fires

Report: Rod Rosenstein expected to resign once new AG confirmed 

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has communicated to the White House and President Trump that he plans to leave office once William Barr is confirmed as attorney general, ABC News, and CNN report. 
The big picture: There is no indication Rosenstein is being forced out by the Trump administration, ABC writes. In September, Rosenstein offered his resignation after reports surfaced that he suggested the 25th Amendment be invoked. 


Trump threatens to end FEMA funds for California wildfires President Trump threatened to cut off FEMA funding for California's wildfire relief in a Wednesday tweet, blaming the state's poor land management. 

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"
Our thought bubble from Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: Climate change is extending wildfire season year-round and increasing the frequency of extreme fires that spread quickly and are harder to contain. Forest management, including "raking" brush, which President Trump has previously advocated, would not reduce the risk, fire experts have told Axios.

November 13, 2018

The Only Uplifting Moment for Donald was Vladimir Otherwise He Seemed Grouchy and Not Happy to be There with The Many

Donald Trump joked about being "drenched" by rain as he gave a speech at an Armistice ceremony just a day after canceling a visit to a cemetery because of poor weather.
Talking at the Suresnes American Cemetery in France, he spoke of the “terrible cost” of the allied forces’ victory in World War One.
Thanking six World War Two veterans in the crowd, he turned to one and said: “You look so comfortable up there, under shelter, as we’re getting drenched. You’re very smart people.”
After that he complimented the group for looking “in very good shape” and said: “I hope I look like that one day.”

President Trump shelters under an umbrella as he walks through the cemetery (EPA)

On Saturday, President Trump faced criticism for canceling a trip to a World War One memorial due to bad weather.
He was due to take part in a wreath-laying event and a minute's silence at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, which is about 55 miles away from Paris.
However, heavy rain stopped him from arriving there via helicopter. 
It is not the first time he has bemoaned bad weather during a speech, having complained about a “bad hair day” when he spoke to reporters in the rain after a fatal shooting in Pittsburgh.

President Trump thanks military personnel and veterans in attendance

After this incident, which claimed 11 lives after a gunman attacked a synagogue, he said: “I was standing under the wing of Air Force One, doing a news conference earlier this morning, a very unfortunate news conference and the wind was blowing and the rain, and I was soaking wet.
“I said maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day.”

President Trump smiles Vladimir Putin arrives at an Armistice Day event in Paris (AFP/Getty Images). Donald falsies look they are about to come out and kiss Vladimir Putin. Have you ever seen a smile like that between two heads of state? That was not all they came making hand signals for the limited time they were both there.

In his memorial speech on Sunday, he thanked a number of military personnel in attendance and a young American boy who had saved up money to attend.
He spoke of the armistice celebrations in 1918, when people took to the streets on hearing the news of war is over, though he said: “Victory had come at a terrible cost.”

Mr. Trump also described it as a “brutal war” as he spoke of those who lost their lives.
Speaking of soldiers who fell in World War One, he said: “It’s our duty to preserve the civilization they protected.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump attended an event at the Arc de Triomphe, for the centenary of the armistice being signed. 
He was one of around 70 world leaders, including Russia's Vladimir Putin and Germany's Angela Merkel, to attend the service hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron.
This began slightly behind schedule and, after traveling separately from the majority of leaders in attendance, Mr. Trump was one of the last to arrive.

November 10, 2018

We Are At The Precipice But Mueller is Got Minions of Prosecutors Out of Reach of Trump

By Richard Ben-Veniste and George Frampton
Mr. Ben-Veniste and Mr. Frampton worked on the Watergate cover-up task force of the special prosecutor’s office~~~The New York Times

In a stunning move on the heels of the midterm election, President Trump has forced the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appointed an outspoken critic of the Mueller investigation — Matthew Whitaker — as acting attorney general, shunting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to the sidelines. This raises the specter of a fearful president attempting to muzzle Special Counsel Robert Mueller or hinder him from revealing whether his 18-month-long grand jury investigation has turned up evidence of criminality implicating Donald Trump or his immediate family.
But a 44-year-old “road map” from the Watergate prosecution shows a potential route for Mr. Mueller to send incriminating evidence directly to Congress. The road map was devised in 1974 by the Watergate special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, with our assistance. We wrote the road map — actually a report — to be conveyed to Congress; it was called “Report and Recommendation” and served as a guide to a collection of grand jury evidence contained in a single document. That evidence included still-secret presidential tape recordings that had been acquired through grand jury subpoena — but which had been withheld from Congress by President Nixon. 
The recent decision by Washington’s Federal District Court chief judge, Beryl Howell, to release the document from the National Archives provides a historic legal precedent that could be a vehicle for Mr. Mueller and the grand jury assisting him to share the fruits of their investigation into possible criminal conduct within the Trump presidential campaign and subsequent administration.
In all the discussion about Mr. Mueller’s options when he concludes his investigation, little attention has been paid to the potential role of the grand jury. Chief Judge Howell’s decision unsealing the Watergate road map brings new focus on the role the grand jury might play in the dynamics of the endgame. Although the grand jury is a powerful tool for federal prosecutors, it has historic and independent power and operates under the supervision of the federal judiciary. Following the Oct. 20, 1973, “Saturday Night Massacre” — in which President Nixon forced the Justice Department to fire the original special prosecutor, Archibald Cox — the Watergate grand jury played a critical role in forcing the president to back down, hand over the subpoenaed tapes and appoint a new special prosecutor.

Although Mr. Cox had been fired, his staff — duly appointed federal prosecutors — had not. The grand jury, as an arm of the judicial branch, could not be fired by the president. Indeed, Judge John Sirica of the United States District Court immediately summoned the grand juries (there were two) to his courtroom and exhorted them to continue to pursue their investigations and assured them that they could rely on the court to safeguard their rights and preserve the integrity of their proceedings. 

In the face of Congress’s inability to obtain evidence that the grand jury well knew incriminated the president, we prepared the grand jury report to Judge Sirica and requested that he use his plenary authority to transmit that evidence to the House Judiciary Committee, which had already commenced a proceeding to consider Mr. Nixon’s impeachment. It was carefully written to avoid any interpretations or conclusions about what the evidence showed or what action the committee should take. The report contained a series of spare factual statements annotated with citations to relevant transcripts of tapes and grand jury testimony. Copies of those tapes and transcripts were included as attachments. 
Judge Sirica was convinced that the materials contained in the report should be made available to the House Judiciary Committee. His decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This evidence formed the gravamen of Article I (obstruction of justice) of the impeachment resolution adopted by the Committee.
Much note has been made of the fact that the Justice Department regulations under which Mr. Mueller was appointed actually require him to submit a report to the attorney general. Importantly, nothing in the department regulations prohibits Mr. Mueller’s Department of Justice superior, now Mr. Whitaker, from refusing to release the report

What if Mr. Mueller concludes that the president has committed a crime? The question of whether a sitting president can be indicted remains a subject of vehement debate among scholars. But assuming that Mr. Mueller follows what many regard as “current Justice Department policy” based on several past internal legal opinions that an indictment is inappropriate, then the appropriate place for consideration of evidence that the president has committed crimes rests definitively and exclusively with Congress.

If Mr. Mueller has obtained such evidence, his responsibility and the correct operation of our system of government compel the conclusion that he and the grand jury can make that evidence available to Congress through a report transmitted by the court. 
With the fox now guarding the henhouse, there is sufficient precedent for the grand jury and Special Counsel Mueller to seek the chief judge’s assistance in transmitting a properly fashioned report to Congress.
Richard Ben-Veniste, an attorney in Washington, was the chief of the Watergate cover-up task force of the special prosecutor’s office and was a member of the 9/11 Commission. George Frampton is the chief executive of the Partnership for Responsible Growth and was an assistant special prosecutor on the cover-up task force.

October 7, 2018

An Insidious President Gets a Costly Win ~ Like All His Others in Which He Scorches The Land He Wins

"Those too aware of their faults will find some relief in pointing out the faults of others even if they just have to be made up"🦊

WASHINGTON — He promised so much success that everyone would be tired of all the winning. But after 20 months that proved more arduous than President Trump once imagined, this may be the best week of his presidency so far.
The imminent confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will cap a week that also saw the president seal an ambitious and elusive new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, one of his top campaign promises. And the latest jobs report out on Friday put unemployment at its lowest since 1969.

None of this necessarily changes the fundamentals of an often-chaotic presidency that has defied norms and struggled with scandal, but it gives Mr. Trump a fresh narrative to take on the campaign trail just a month before critical midterm elections that will determine control of Congress. With the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, turning quiet during campaign season, Mr. Trump has an opportunity to redirect the conversation onto more favorable territory.

“From his standpoint, it’s been a good week after many bad ones,” said David Axelrod, who was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “For a self-proclaimed perpetual ‘winner,’ he will have had some big wins to tout. The jobs figure, other than wages, and the after-Nafta agreement are positive.” 

Still, in Mr. Trump’s scorched-earth presidency, even victories come at a cost. The relationship with Canada was deeply scarred by his brutal negotiating tactics, while America has been ripped apart by the battle over Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, fraught as it was with gender politics that Mr. Trump seemed eager to encourage and anger on the left and the right.

“The impact of Kavanaugh is more of a mixed bag, further inflaming both sides, which could help him retain or even expand his Senate margin but further imperil the House,” Mr. Axelrod said. 

Mr. Trump is the first president in American history never to have held public office or served in the military, and his inexperience has shown at times. Unfamiliar with the workings of government, legislation or diplomacy, he has often been stymied in his efforts to achieve goals like repealing Mr. Obama’s health care law, toughening immigration regulations, building a wall along the Mexican border or bringing peace to the Middle East.

Until recent days, he proved more effective at blowing up agreements than reaching new ones. He pulled out of an Asian-Pacific trade pact, a global accord on climate change and a nuclear deal with Iran, but has made no progress in negotiating replacements, as he suggested he would. His most significant legislative achievement was last year’s tax-cutting package, which was forged in large part by Republican congressional leaders who had their own reasons for pushing it through.

The past couple of weeks, however, saw Mr. Trump seal a revised trade agreement with South Korea and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which not long ago seemed as though it might be beyond his reach. The continuing fall in unemployment to 3.7 percent was built on the recovery he inherited from Mr. Obama — something he refuses to acknowledge — but the booming economy has become one of his strongest political assets. And with Judge Kavanaugh nearing confirmation on Saturday, he showed he could push through an important nomination that many predicted was likely to fail after allegations of sexual misconduct.

“It’s a wonderful week. We’re thrilled,” Kellyanne Conway, his counselor, said in an interview. “It shows that his perseverance and his tenacity and his adherence to campaign promises and principles are paying dividends.”

Some Republican activists said Mr. Trump had shown that defying conventional wisdom could work.
“President Trump has made a ton of gambles,” said Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, a conservative news site. “Most of them have paid off. Even a bad gambler can get on a hot streak. The measure of a good gambler is what happens when the dice cool down.”

The cause for celebration in the White House, of course, was cause for mourning among his opponents. In the view of his critics, he will be putting a man credibly accused of sexual assault on the nation’s highest court, he blew up friendships with America’s neighbors for a new trade deal whose actual impact has been exaggerated, and he has appropriated credit for the economy from Mr. Obama while ballooning the deficit in a way that conservatives have until now always condemned.

James J. Blanchard, an ambassador to Canada under President Bill Clinton, attended the groundbreaking of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, on Friday and said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada “was upbeat” following the new trade deal. Mr. Trump was right to update the trade agreement, he said, although “it probably could have been done six months ago without the cheap theatrics,” and now “everyone knows we need to repair relations, but no one expects Mr. Trump to do that.”  

 Whether the string of success for Mr. Trump will translate into support on the campaign trail could be the defining test of the next few weeks. Mr. Trump’s own approval ratings remain mired at just over 40 percent in most polls, a historically low level for a president that usually signals losses for his party this close to an election.

“Independents especially are tired of the chaos and the uncertainty,” said Patti Solis Doyle, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2008. “Yes, the economy is good; yes, Trump got two conservative judges on the court; and, yes, he is doing what he promised on the campaign trail” in terms of trade, tax cuts and tougher immigration enforcement. “But at what cost?” she asked. “Tariff wars, separating children from their mothers, huge deficit. I can go on and on.”

Mr. Trump plans to take his case on the road with a frenetic burst of campaigning in the weeks to come. He heads to Kansas on Saturday and will be on the road six of the next eight days, mainly for boisterous arena rallies where he rouses his conservative base with red-meat speeches.

Midterm elections are about turnout, and Democrats have been more energized for months, intent on stripping Mr. Trump of his party’s control of the House and possibly the Senate. While conservatives had grown more animated over the battle for Judge Kavanaugh, once he is confirmed, Democrats may be more motivated to vote out of anger at the outcome, especially women who are upset that allegations of sexual assault were disregarded.

And it is not at all clear that when it comes to promoting his strongest political points, Mr. Trump can stay on message. Even this week, as he highlighted the new trade agreement, which he is calling the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or U.S.M.C.A., he drifted off to other subjects, as he is wont to do.

One truism of the Trump presidency has been how quickly the story line changes from week to week, or day to day. New tales of palace intrigue or flare-ups of international tension or revelations stemming from various investigations could easily swamp a message of progress by the Nov. 6 election.
As Mr. Axelrod said, it is not clear “how any of this will factor in a month from now, which is an eternity in the Age of Trump.”

September 23, 2018

San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulín Ortiz Sharply Blames Trump For The Astronomical Death Rate From Maria

Puerto Rico's mayor of San Juan has sharpened her attacks against Donald Trump, blaming his administration for "structural negligence" that led to thousands of deaths in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 
Carmen Yulín Cruz said the president was responsible for the federal government’s slow response to the deadly hurricane estimated to have killed nearly 3,000 people, during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on the one-year anniversary of the storm. 
"This is President Trump’s Katrina," the mayor said, referring to the catastrophic hurricane that struck the US in August 2005. "He can spin it all he wants — 3,000 people died on his watch." 
Ms. Cruz has frequently criticised Mr. Trump ever since Hurricane Maria’s impact was felt across the US territory, while the president has said he earned a "10 out of 10" for his government’s disaster recovery efforts. He's also denied the revised death count from the storm of 2,975, claiming the study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government was a conspiracy created by Democrats to make him "look bad". 
Trump in North Carolina brings pizza and food...  But Trump has to be Trump: He Tells the people in the car "have a good time". Sure they will, at least is not paper towels like in San Juan.
The mayor's latest comments arrived shortly after the deadly Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas, Virginia and other parts of the country. Mr. Trump traveled to impacted regions during the week after warning that the storm would be "tremendously big and a tremendously wet" hurricane.
The president was restrained during his visit to North Carolina on Wednesday, serving as consoler-in-chief while touting the storm's damage.  
Ms Cruz added, "Today, 3,000 Puerto Ricans opened their eyes, and because they didn't have insulin, they didn't have appropriate medical care, they didn't have dialysis, and they didn't have access to their medication, they died."
The president has sparred directly with Ms. Cruz, who previously told The Independent that he has personally attacked her "just out of spite".  
In one instance, the mayor was invited to participate in a White House conference call to discuss relief efforts, only to be reportedly be told not to speak. 
He’s also mocked her on Twitter and in multiple speeches, describing Ms. Cruz as the “incompetent mayor of San Juan”

August 28, 2018

Mueller Team is Forced to go Into the Swamps Under NYC Looking for DDT Connections


 A foul-mouthed taxi kingpin with a history of defrauding state government. A salon owner who ran a prostitution ring before running for governor. A comedian who was the voice of H.R. Pufnstuf. 

They’re all longstanding New York fringe characters, and they’ve all been pulled into Robert Mueller’s web, giving the wide-ranging investigation that has Washington on edge a distinctly New York tinge.  

“They’re kinda exactly the trio you would expect at the New York politics version of the Star Wars bar,” said Neal Kwatra, a Democratic political consultant, referring to the Mos Eisley Cantina on the fictional planet of Tatooine. “Weird, wild and par for our current course.” 

Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is forcing the special counsel and his colleagues to wade into a New York tabloid swamp, a habitat where outlandish behavior flourishes, particularly if it’s accompanied by amb

Medallion "MAVERICK"

Evgeny Freidma

Freidman, a self-described “ short, little, insecure, chubby, Jewish guy from Jackson Heights,” rose to local fame and fortune through his ownership and management of taxi medallions. In May, he pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud for failing to pay some $5 million in state taxes. He reportedlycooperated with the federal investigation into his former business associate, Michael Cohen. 

Freidman made his money on taxi medallions — a business interest he shares with Cohen. Before Uber wreaked havoc on yellow taxis, Freidman parlayed that wealth into political power and low-level prestige. He bundled money for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and considered him a friendPage Six wrote up his daughter’sbabynaming ceremony and a barbecue at his French Riviera estate.
He had “manic energy,” recalled David Yassky, who was New York City’s taxi commissioner when Freidman was still riding high on the hog. The man was ”charming,” he said, “but could turn on a dime to aggressive, verging on nasty and bullying.” Were it not for his force of personality, “he would just look like an oddball.”
“U talking about me or POTUS?” Freidman emailed, when asked about Yassky’s comments and the thrust of this article. 
In a subsequent email, Freidman called Yassky an unprintable profanity, and said he “turns tricks on the corner and brings daddy the money! There is no respect and honor in that!” (Yassky responded with a “Ha Ha” bitmoji.)
Like Freidman, Kristin Davis has a penchant for self-promotion. Earlier this month, she reportedly met with Mueller’s team and testified before a grand jury. She leveraged the news into TV appearances on CNN and Fox.


Kristen Davis

In the aftermath of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s fall from grace, Davis earned the “Manhattan Madam” sobriquet by insinuating (without apparent proof) that she provided him with prostitutes. It was a move straight out of the playbook of Roger Stone, the godfather to her son who advised her subsequent gubernatorial bid (she lost). She recently leveraged her appearance before a Mueller-related grand jury D.C. into a national TV tour. “I tried to make my appearance in Washington with as little fanfare as possible and to avoid a media circus,” she says. “I do feel I was treated badly and bullied by the special counsel and said so in a limited number of interviews because it needed to be said.”

In the early aughts, she claimed she’d provided former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer with prostitutes through her call-girl company, Wicked Models, although no law enforcement sources verified her claim. She ran novelty campaigns for governor and New York City comptroller on a platform of legalizing drugs and sex work and was arrested in 2013 for dealing Adderall and Xanax to an undercover FBI agent. Her child’s godfather is Roger Stone, the Trump adviser with the Nixon tattoo who a New Yorker writer called “the sinister Forrest Gump of American politics.”
“As Cindy Adams would say ‘only in New York,’” said Davis in an email.
Finally there’s Randy Credico, another Stone satellite and a fixture around New York’s capitol who once smoked a joint inside of the Albany Times-Union’s capitol bureau, interrupted a state ethics board meeting wearing a rubber mask and claiming he was a long-dead Greek philosopher (Diogenes) and is infamous in certain circles for his impressions of New York political figures. He does an entirely unconvincing Al Sharpton and tested out his Rudy Giuliani on a reporter in a follow-up interview for this story.


Randy Credico

“A lot of people describe me as a ‘character,’” Randy Credico told POLITICO. He describes himself in other terms. “I’m a showbiz person,” he says. He’s also a political provacateur, a gadfly, a New York political fixture, and, since 2002, an associate of Roger Stone (they met during Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano’s failed campaign for governor of New York State, Credico says). He’ll testify before a grand jury in the Mueller probe in September. In the meantime, he’s writing a book. “I am co-writing a book about this whole experience,” he says, “and that will explain a lot more about the relationship with Stone.”

When Credico received a subpoena last fall to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 election, he appeared astounded by his sudden elevation to the realm of the nationally relevant.
“I’m in the middle of this quagmire that features people like Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, ‘Papa-lop-o-lous’ or however you pronounce his name, and others,” Credico told the NY1 cable news channel.“So my name is now out there with those names.” He also insisted he wouldn’t travel to Washington to testify without his therapy dog, Bianca.
What people know about Credico’s background is largely threaded together from apocryphal stories and a 2003 documentary — he is a comedian who flirted with success before his career stalled.m More recently, Credico has fashioned himself a radio journalist. He managed to score an interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Stone, in turn, has said Credico was his backchannel to Assange, and Credico has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in the Mueller probe on Sept. 7.
When POLITICO reached Credico for an interview, he described his current predicament as “Kafkaesque” and said he is growing a beard so fewer people will recognize him. He very much considers himself a made-in-New York product.
“Thirty-seven, 38 years here have certainly turned me into the type of person that only this state or this city could possibly come up with, you know?” he said. “Same as a guy who does 38 years in prison becomes either very good at prison art or breaking and entering.”
Freidman and Davis rejected the idea that they fall under some sort of archetypal New York “character” rubric.
“Sorry will not indulge in u stereotyping people and boxing them in My parents brought me here to the USA from Russia so we can avoid having ‘Jew’ or ‘Chechen’ or ‘tarter’ etc stamped in our passports!” Freidman emailed.
“Please don’t put me in a category with Randy Credico!!!” emailed Davis.
But they do share a certain commonality, argued Steven Cohen, a former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who now serves as general counsel at Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes.
“They’re all people who wannabe, and are brash and want to push their way in, and have managed one way or another — with enough money or relationships to get closer to the flame — but never close enough,” Cohen said, in an interview. 
Until recently, that description could have applied to Trump, too. In New York, he was never the towering real estate titan he subsequently made himself out to be. The New York real estate titans preferred to build buildings, not brand them. They metered their interactions with the press. They manipulated the levers of power behind closed doors, not on TV.
“We always thought he was kind of a nice guy but a joke, light, a dilettante,” said Darren Dopp, who attended fundraisers that Trump hosted for his then-boss, Eliot Spitzer. “You couldn’t not have that feeling, because you’d walk into his home, and he’s got a picture of himself on his own wall. We’d look at each other and say who the hell has a picture of himself on his own wall?”
Now he is president of the United States of America — and Freidman, Davis and Credico have been drawn into a federal investigation that is likely to the country’s future.
Dopp said he wonders: “What do the decent people of St. Louis think when they see (these folks) saying and doing things that really don’t comport to any notion of fair play or common decency?”
POLITICO illustration/Getty and iStock photos.
ition and greed. It’s all very New York — “the irresistible destination of all those who insist on being where things are happening” that Tom Wolfe wrote about in `The Bonfire of the Vanities’ and Donald Trump helped popularize. 

That habitat is populated by those who have been nationally prominent for months now — Michael Cohen and Roger Stone, two of Trump’s closest confidants — as well as more local celebrities like one-time taxi overlord Evgeny Freidman, former flesh-peddler Kristin Davis and comedian Randy Credico. In recent months, they’ve gotten a taste of national fame too. 

Freidman, for one, reportedly cooperated with the federal investigation into the business dealings of his former colleague Michael Cohen.  

Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty this week to eight felony counts and implicated the president in helping to orchestrate hush money payments to two women who alleged they’d had affairs with Trump. 

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