Viral Video: Trump Brags Putin ‘Was a Friend of Mine I Got Along Great With Him’ – While He Was President

In the video Trump also appears to imply he lied to the Russian autocrat, telling Putin if he bombed the U.S. he would nuke Russia.

“They’re all saying, ‘Oh, he’s a nuclear power,’ it’s like they’re afraid of him,” Trump says in the video with the camera on Daly.

“You know, he was a friend of mine I got along great with him,” Trump tells Daly, as if it is the job of the leader of the free world to “get along great” with a Russian authoritarian who is now, some are saying, a war criminal and a terrorist.

“I say, ‘Vladimir if you do it we’re hitting Moscow. We’re going to hit Moscow,’ Trump continues, apparently speaking about bombing the U.S. “And he sort of believed me like 5%, 10% that’s all you need,” Trump concludes, implying he was not telling the truth.

“He never did it during my time John, you know. They were all talking about it, ‘Why didn’t he do this during the last four years?’ Because he knew he couldn’t.”

Watch video of Trump and Daly, posted by Golf.com’s Tim Reilly:

Trump discussing Russia with John Daly on speaker phone is something else


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Kimberly Guilfoyle Served With Subpoena After Cutting Out on January 6 Committee Interview

Guilfoyle is a former Fox News personality who served as national finance chair for the Trump campaign and happens to be engaged to Donald Trump, Jr.

“The Select Committee has evidence that Guilfoyle was in direct contact with key individuals, raised funds for the rally immediately preceding the violent attack on the Capitol, and participated in that event,” the Committee announced.

Guilfoyle last week participated in a virtual, voluntary interview but cut it short when she learned Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) would be participating.

The Select Committee has issued a subpoena for Kimberly Guilfoyle.


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‘Longest Streak on Record’: Economists Praise ‘Very Strong’ Jobs Report

“The Labor Department’s report Friday also showed that the unemployment rate dropped from 4% to 3.8%, extending a sharp drop in joblessness as the economy has rebounded from the pandemic recession.”

Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research:

Economist David Rothschild:

Calling it “longest streak on record,” New York Times economics, business, and data reporter Ben Casselman notes: “We’ve added at least 400k jobs every month since May.”

“Strong payrolls growth. Similar strength in the household survey. Broad-based gains. People getting back to work. Robust revisions. And signs that wage growth may not be the constraint some had feared.”

Very very strong payrolls report: +678k jobs in February, with unemployment edging down to 3.8%. Add in solid positive revisions that added a total of +92k to the past two months, and this is a job market that’s really motoring.

CNN Chief Business Correspondent:

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Student Organizer of Statewide Protest Against Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Suspended for Handing Out Pride Flags: Report

Jack Petocz, the student who organized a statewide school walkout and protest against Florida Republicans’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been suspended indefinitely, reportedly for handing out pride flags, which he says school administrators confiscated.

“Petocz was suspended after the protest because he distributed pride flags after being told not to,” FlaglerLive reports.

Petocz is taking on the administration’s actions.

“Although the school administration had initially approved the rally and expressed support for students’ civil liberties, their demeanor and tone drastically shifted as the rally progressed. Administrators began confiscating pride flags and attempted to remove them from campus. As the leader of the rally and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I encouraged my fellow students not to give in to the school’s unconstitutional seizure of our pride flags, but instead to continue demonstrating our pride in a peaceful manner,” Petocz says.

“After the rally, I was informed that I had been indefinitely suspended. School administrators allowed me to collect my things and then escorted me off-campus.”

“I am proud of who I am and I am proud of all of those protesting these regressive bills. We must let our politicians know that no matter how hard they try, they cannot suppress our identities or silence our voices. Gen-Z will not stand idly by as our rights are stripped from us. It is now up to you to decide which side of history you will be on, the side that empowers us or the side that seeks to erase us.”

Florida’s first LGBTQ Latino state lawmaker weighed in:

In a disturbing revelation school board attorney Kristry Gavin reportedly told FlaglerLive, “I’m sorry he believes … he should be permitted to have the gay pride flag, the rainbow flag or whatever, but when it carries a connotation of political a statement, it’s no longer [permissible.]”

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‘Iron Firewall’: Russians Can Now Be Jailed for Calling War ‘War’ as Putin Cancels Facebook in Fascist Blow to Free Speech

“Announcements that the law was coming had already pushed Russian independent media outlets to shut down in recent days, and more followed on Friday,” The Times notes.

Reports from credible sources say Twitter is also now blocked inside Russia:


Meanwhile, the Times adds: Putin has “blocked access inside Russia to the websites of major Russian-language outlets that are based outside the country,” and “Russia’s last major independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, said on Twitter that it was deleting its war content.”

Some technology analysts say Putin won’t stop at Facebook:

With Putin willing to block Facebook and Twitter, he will go after YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other apps. He will cut off Russians from being able to see the truth and completely control the flow of information online.


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‘We Say Gay’: Thousands of Students Across Florida Walk Out to Protest DeSantis-Backed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Thousands of students across Florida on Thursday walked out of classes to protest Republicans’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, hoping to quash the fast-tracked and likely unconstitutional legislation that is supported by GOP Governor Ron DeSantis.

In the state capital of Tallahassee, students waved hand-made signs that read “Protect LGBTQ+ kids,” “My existence will not be taboo,” “Abolish the Don’t Say Gay Bill Now,” “Don’t Say Gay – Scream It!” and simply, “Say Gay,” to show support for their LGBTQ classmates while repeatedly chanting “We say gay.”

Those students marched to the Capitol building and met with Democratic state Rep. Carlos G. Smith.

Wharton High School in Tampa:

Orlando’s Freedom High School:

St. Petersburg’s Gibbs High School:

Riverview High School, Riverview Florida:

Activist David Hogg showed his support:





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DeSantis: I Wasn’t Bullying Kids I Told to Take Off Their Masks – Just Worried People Would Think I Told Them to Wear Them

But the Sunshine state’s Republican governor apparently was very concerned that Americans would think he ordered high school students – minors he was using as a backdrop to promote a new education initiative – to wear face masks.

He says he only did, so no one would think he ordered them to wear them.

“I didn’t want it to be thinking that like they were told to do this by me,” DeSantis told Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson Thursday evening.

“Well, Tucker, none of the adults were wearing masks,” explained DeSantis, apparently very concerned about the blowback he’s receiving for bullying and berating the children.

“It seemed to me that someone told those kids they had to do it,” he added, correctly.  At least one of the students was ordered by his mother to wear a mask for his protection and hers.

“So I just wanted to make it very clear. They do not need to be doing it. Obviously in Florida, it’s a free state, you can do it. But I think it’s also important to point out that there’s no reason to do it,” he added, falsely, “for young and healthy kids, especially in the state of Florida, we never had a mask mandate, of course, but our guidance from our health department is not to wear these cloth masks.”

The CDC has disagreed, and currently, based on its new guidance, still says the county DeSantis was visiting is high risk and masks are therefore recommended.

“And so I was I didn’t want it to be thinking that like they were told to do this by me, because I certainly wouldn’t do that. And you know, they talk about oh, by letting someone have a choice to take off their mask and welcoming that choice, that that’s somehow bullying.”

Ordering a student you don’t know to remove his or her mask, which DeSantis did, is bullying. It’s also potentially endangering their health and the health of their family, as one student’s mother told a local news station.

“Tucker, bullying is locking kids at a school, which they did. Bullying is forcing kids to wear masks for eight hours a day, which they did for two years and are only stopping now because the polling’s changed. Bullying is kicking people out of work because of vaccine mandates. We fought all of those policies in Florida, we lifted people up and we liberated them from local school boards and governments that imposed them.”

To date, Florida has the third-highest coronavirus case count and death rate, with more than 70,000 Floridians dead from COVID.


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‘Putin’s Nightmare’: Russian Soldiers Are Revolting in Ukraine and Security Forces ‘Overwhelmed’ at Home Says US Diplomat

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Way Too Early,” foreign relations expert Richard Haass noted reports coming out of Ukraine that Russian soldiers are sabotaging their own vehicles because they don’t want to take part in the invasion is a bad omen for Vladimir Putin.

Speaking with host Jonathan Lemire, Haass — the president of the Council on Foreign Relations — admitted that Russia’s invasion may be unstoppable but in the long-term may turn into a nightmare for the Russian strongman.

“If you believe Vladimir Putin, his invasion of Ukraine is going according to plan,” host Lemire began before adding, “That’s a dubious assessment, but still what he said during a virtual meeting of his security council yesterday. Putin continued to push false claims that Nazis are in control of the Ukrainian government.”

“The speech was intended to push back against reports of logistical problems slowing down the Russian army as well as intelligence from the Pentagon that some Russian troops are surrendering or sabotaging their own vehicles rather than fighting,” Lemire stated before asking Haass for comment.

“I don’t think there’s any way, Jonathan, he can get his original plan back on track because that ship has sailed,” Haass explained, “He was counting on very little resistance from Ukraine, he had no respect for Zelenskyy, he thought the United States after Afghanistan had no stomach.”

“Europe he also had contempt for, particularly Germany,” he continued. “So he underestimated his opposition, overestimated the capability of his own forces. So now we are clearly on Plan B. Now he is basically turning to quantity, if you will, more than quality to essentially level big parts of Ukraine. But because he is who he is, because he is an autocrat, he has to be infallible. He can never admit that he made a mistake, so that’s what you had yesterday. I don’t know what the word is in Russian, but it must be something like spinsky.”

Reacting to reports that Russian soldiers are sabotaging their own mission, Hass, explained, “Clearly they have more troubles. The Russians aren’t used to fighting this kind of war. This isn’t what they did in Syria — it is at a scale they’re not used to. The equipment looks old, the troops don’t look well-trained, they’re not motivated, they don’t seem to understand what it is they’re doing and why, so I think this is of a larger piece. The idea that there might be some troops sabotaging is really interesting. It doesn’t seem to be happening at scale, but this has got to be Putin’s nightmare because essentially he depends upon his security forces, not just the soldiers but obviously inside the country. That’s any autocrat’s nightmare, that as protests begin to mount that the security forces either get overwhelmed or show sympathy with the protesters.”

Watch below:


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Ukrainian Dispatches 2: The border

The situation looks much worse than the day before

Cats in a car. Photo by Abel Polese, used with permission.

This is the second of a three-part series by Abel Polese about his escape from Kyiv to Romania with his children, two cats, his ex-wife and her husband after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Polese is a researcher, trainer and development worker and is currently leading several research projects on shadow economies in Ukraine. He flew to Kyiv on the night of February 23, only to have to leave the city at dawn the day after.

Country roads and more country roads. Everyone is feverishly on their phone to get updates from the fronts. The belief, by many, that western Ukraine will remain a safe space crumbles. They are attacking almost everywhere. All around is silence. Few cars, beautiful landscapes, winter trees, mountains, frozen rivers. F can’t help praising how beautiful all this is. She does not say anything, but you know that your ex-wife’s heart is bleeding, having to abandon all this beauty.

It’s so quiet that you wonder if Russians will ever be able to come here. But then you start meeting concrete blocks to slow down circulation, checking points and soldiers even on minor roads. You wonder how on earth the Russians would be able to get from there to here but you prefer your question to remain unanswered. After all, even Ivano-Frankivsk, one of the farthest provinces, was hit, so the only place is out of the country.

A bridge, a hydroelectric power station. Traffic stops. They are checking every car. You’re so naive to think, “Why are they doing that so far from the conflict?”Long wait, your turn finally comes and you go out to translate for F, who is opening the trunk upon their request.

– Do you have any explosives?

– We are fleeing Kyiv, we took some clothes, the cats and hit the road, of course not.

– Well, just asking; you could have your personal supplies, just asking (maybe he hoped we have and could share with them?)

– No, we have nothing; can we go now?

The road is still long but a friend finds out you’re passing near the village of some relatives. A bit hesitant you cancel your reservation and re-route the car warning the passengers: get ready to eat borshch!

Faraway from Kyiv felt like a different world. Photo by Abel Polese, used with permission.

The road to the border is not what you expected. Actually, there is no straight way to get there so you have to take detours through non-asphalted roads. Yet, even on these small roads, you see trucks dropping soil to slow down cars. You ask yourself where will all this stop, is there really nowhere safe in the country? What is worse is that the crossing point you’ve chosen is closed. You were keen to avoid the main one because this is where most people will go but it turns out all minor borders with Romania have been closed. Your friends call but nobody picks up the phone. This is not the time when you’d take a chance. You need to go to the main border.

You start calling your Romanian friends and settle everything hoping you can make it by the night or early morning, but when you arrive at the border you understand that things might not turn out how you hoped. There is a line of cars that makes you stop even before the illumination poles that introduce the border post. You wonder how long the line is and there’s only one way to find out. You start walking to the border. 

After 30 minutes you have not yet reached the post. It’s hot, excessively hot for February, but you are glad that it’s not classic February weather. How many people would collapse if waiting under a snowstorm? The line of cars becomes two, then three, then two again. The police are trying to bring order but for the number of people (usually in SUV or expensive cars) overtaking everyone in the hope to get faster through the border. It’s war out there and it’s war down here to find a way out of the country. You shiver thinking what could happen if more and more people start pushing from behind in the hope to leave the country in case of rumours that Russians are arriving. It would simply be manslaughter. 

Walking to the post you ask people how long they’ve been waiting. The longest is 24 hours. You regret your late departure or even not having reached the border the day before, no matter at what time. But you are also glad that you got a good night's sleep, could take a shower and you ate some warm food, something that, you reckon, you won’t be able to do for a few days. 

Cars at the border. Photo by Abel Polese, used with permission.

You ask the guards and they say yes, they will let you past, you just need to wait, so you devise a strategy to leave the car in Ukraine and walk through the border but you still need to convince the rest of the company. But you learn that the other car, with grandpa and grandma, her mother and the dog is on its way and will reach you by the evening. Evening becomes night because of a roadblock and that they will only arrive next day in the afternoon. But it makes sense to wait and help them cross.

By the time you are back to the car your phone reads, “Congratulations, you’ve reached your 10.000 step target for today.” Sure, you walked almost 14 km to and from the border, now have blisters on both feet and no other shoes than those you’re wearing. For the first time, you feel hunger. The Portuguese biscuits you carried all the way become the best meal ever, with a sip of fruit juice. 

But you can’t stop worrying. The shelves are getting emptier and the point-of-sale terminal stopped working. With little cash in your pocket, you wonder how long you and everyone else will be able to hold out since the number of people camping is increasing and water and supplies go the opposite way. 

Night falls, warmth becomes cold and you curl up in your clothes to keep warm. The line is slowly advancing but at irregular times. Sometimes the car remains still for an hour, sometimes you can advance a few meters. You start fearing you will run out of petrol by advancing like this and know you have to take turns at the wheel since, if you fall asleep, you will be overtaken by other cars. 

Border traffic jams by night. Photo by Abel Polese.

The car before you does not move, the driver might be asleep or have gone somewhere. F does something he promised not to do and overtakes. One, two, many cars, but when he tries to get back into the line people stop you and urge you to go away. What to do? You cannot go back now, your place is no longer there. The only way is forward. You tell him to drive on since you’ve seen that lines make no sense here. There will be two, then three and people will get angry, anyway. So the car stops a few meters from a truck, from what seems to be the truck line from which you have to move since you won’t be allowed to cross as a truck. 

In the first 16 hours you’ve advanced some 800 metres. You’ve seen some evacuation buses with Indian students and are amazed at how fast this was organised. More people are coming and the situation is getting tense. Some young men try to organise a group of people stopping the cars that do not respect the line. A middle-aged man starts yelling and swearing at a woman who complains he’s trying to pass. You agree with your new friends to go and check the crossing point again. This time, your youngest son also comes. He has too much energy and needs to do something to spend it so a walk is a good option. 

The situation looks much worse than the day before. You see some cars turning around and leaving, their occupants maybe in despair, the insurance company has exhausted the forms (Ukrainian-number cars need international insurance to enter the EU and all online services have been blocked so only hard copies of the insurance policy are acceptable). Even the line to walk through the border is thicker and no longer a line, just a crowd of people spread around the entry gate with guards admitting them at snail's speed. 

On the way back, your friend tries to grab a coffee somewhere. The first place is too crowded, the second also. Then the third one says, “We have coffee but we have no cups. If you have your own cup we can make you one.” Increasingly worried, you notice that the shelves are getting even emptier. Sparkling-water bottles are the last ones, regular water has all been sold out.


Diving tragedy plunges Trinidad & Tobago into mourning and prompts calls for accountability

‘Leadership, poor. Empathy, absent. Communication, terribly wrong.’

Cops break up the protests related to the divers.

Yet, all ok with the maskless carnival madness.

When Paria defended its position, one Twitter user quipped:

Those divers were treated as though they were tools that simply fell into a pipe. No urgency to retrieve them. Human life clearly viewed as replaceable. Extremely sad. Poor emergency response from whichever companies/organizations are involved. Come on Trinidad and Tobago.

Leadership, poor. Empathy, absent. Communication, terribly wrong.
At the core it’s about people and human connection.

More than 24 hours after tragedy struck, there was no formal response about the fatalities which occurred under your watch. […]

It is shameful that yet another state company has been caught with no communications crisis plan and a newspaper editorial is inspired to comment on the apparent absence of protocols and plans for handling a crisis.

I wonder if there will be any accountability for this tragedy. I wonder if the CEO will be held accountable and what plan will be engaged to prevent a recurrence. I wonder if there will even be a report released about what happened and what plans are now in place to prevent it from happening again.

Now we all calling for procedures and when Paria executed them they are being vilified. If Paria allowed [the volunteer rescue divers] to continue the rescue attempts and they also got vacuumed in, who would be held liable? We’d be singing a different tune.

Nevertheless, several Twitter users had little faith that those responsible would face consequences:

Absolutely disgusting the way the situation with those divers was handled. We'd expect resignations and firings, but this is Trinidad, so we know that's not going to happen.

Let’s be real, unfortunately those families aren’t gonna get actual justice for those divers cuz Trinidad ain’t real. They gonna get all expenses paid funerals, some money with counseling and that angers me.

Another felt that the public outcry was overinflated:

I don’t like how ppl blame Trinidad for things that happen everywhere. It’s an extremely unfortunate situation but divers have accidents and die all the time all over the world. It’s not a Trinidad thing

ZMG, however, thought the crux of the matter lay not in the event itself, but in the response:

Those divers were treated as though they were tools that simply fell into a pipe. No urgency to retrieve them. Human life clearly viewed as replaceable. Extremely sad. Poor emergency response from whichever companies/organizations are involved. Come on Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago is facing a crisis of leadership at all levels and we have tainted every process with our politics. Unless there is a fundamental redesign of our systems, processes and procedures, tragedy will continue to befall us. We have the talent but we seem to lack the political will to do what is right every time.


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