Trump Denies Knowledge Of 2016 Russian Lawyer Meeting

Trump Thanks North Korea For 'Gracious' Pledge To Destroy Nuclear Site
US President Donald Trump                                                                                    NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

President Donald Trump denied Friday that he knew in advance about a meeting during the 2016 election campaign at which Russians promised to share dirt on his rival Hillary Clinton — shooting back at an explosive allegation by his longtime lawyer.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, son Donald Jr, and top campaign official Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower in New York on June 9, 2016 with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had said she was offering information from the Russian government aimed at helping Trump to victory.

The US president has repeatedly denied all knowledge of the encounter, but according to television networks CNN and NBC, his former lawyer Michael Cohen says Donald Jr told his father about the Russian offer and that Trump approved.

“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr,” the president countered in a tweet early Friday.

“Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam,” Trump said.

The assertion from Cohen, who is under federal investigation in New York, is potentially important. If substantiated, it could be a key step toward proving collusion between the Trump campaign and a Russian effort to help Trump win the presidency — a central focus of a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.

CNN and NBC News reported that Cohen was willing to attest what he knows to Mueller, but CNN said the long-time Trump fixer does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim.

Trump’s new personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, told CNN that Cohen had “been lying for years” and rubbished his credibility.

 ‘Love it’ 

The president, his son, his lawyers and other administration officials have repeatedly said Trump did not know about the meeting.

Coming days after Cohen’s lawyer leaked a taped conversation between his client and Trump, there is growing speculation that Cohen may be keen to cooperate with prosecutors, and how much damage he can inflict on his former boss.

The Trump Tower meeting was arranged by British music promoter, Rob Goldstone, who told Trump Jr that he had “information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Trump Jr responded “I love it” when first offered the “dirt” on Clinton, the Democratic nominee. News of the meeting broke in July 2017.

The president’s son has said since that no “meaningful information” was offered and that the meeting focused mostly on adoptions of Russian children.

Mueller has already indicted more than 30 people, including 12 Russian intelligence agents earlier this month for allegedly hacking Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

The New York Times has reported that Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI director James Comey constitute an attempt to obstruct justice.

Manafort has been the first former Trump campaign aide jailed. A US federal judge last month revoked his bail over claims he was tampering with witnesses, as he awaits trial on money laundering, tax and bank fraud charges.

Trump, who is accused at home of being too pliant toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, insists no president has been as “tough” on Russia and denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

Three more women 

The White House said Friday that Trump was “open” to visiting Moscow after Putin said in South Africa that he had invited the US leader to the Russian capital and was ready to meet him also in Washington.

Later Friday, Trump is to gather his National Security Council for a meeting on election security, as US intelligence chiefs warn Russia will seek to meddle again in the November midterm polls.

Earlier this week, Cohen’s lawyer leaked to CNN a taped conversation between the former lawyer and Trump, and told ABC News that his client had “more tapes.”

On the leaked recording, Trump and Cohen discuss buying the rights to a story that Playboy model Karen McDougal had an affair with Trump in 2006.

The conversation was taped two months before the election, despite Trump’s campaign subsequently denying any knowledge of the deal.

The payment would have essentially reimbursed the parent company of the National Enquirer which bought the rights to her story for $150,000. No evidence has yet emerged publicly that the Trump-Cohen payment was made.

Cohen is under investigation for his business dealings and reportedly whether a $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, just days before the election, violated campaign finance laws.

On Friday, Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he was representing three additional women who also allegedly made payments to conceal affairs with Trump.

“All paid hush money through various means,” he tweeted. He told reporters on Thursday that all three women were paid before the 2016 election.

AFP

Recession Ends With 2016- Obiano Encourages Anambra Indigenes

Recession Ends With 2016 - Obiano Encourages Anambra IndigenesThe Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano, has assured state indigenes that the 2016 recession will never spill into the New Year as various mechanisms have been set in motion to completely reduce its impact on the people.

Obiano made the declaration in his New Year message to people of Anambra state, where he also stated that 2017 will be filled with prosperity in all sectors of the economy especially agriculture as his administration was poised to making the difference economically.

He maintained that as soon as the 2017 budget was passed, the 181 communities in the state would benefit in the second round of the 20 million Naira per community choose your project initiative.

Furthermore, he assured them of more infrastructural development and influx of investors, as the state is ranked number one in security with a strong enabling environment for business and trade to thrive.

The governor concluded that in Agriculture, Anambra state would break new bounds even with the size of its budget multiplying and the Central Bank of Nigeria increasing its support to Anambra farmers from 1.5 billion to three billion Naira.

He then urged all to remain confident and proud of the state as both the government and the people were all doing well.

“The first is to thank God for making us see the end of 2016.

“2016 was a difficult year but we were able to prove that when the going gets tough, the tough will keep going.

“That is exactly what we did in 2016. I want to reassure the people of Anambra state that the recession will disappear in 2017 in Anambra state because of so many things we have done.

Disclosing some of the special packages set to take effect, he said: “We have removed taxes for the less privileged.

“We have energized each of the 181 communities with the sum of twenty million Naira for whatever thing they want to do. Again that is a way of fighting recession, pushing in a lot of resources into the system.

“In 2017 as soon as my budget is approved and during my third year in office anniversary speech, I will also give additional twenty million Naira to each of the communities and again, that will be pumping liquidity into the system and that will energize what we are doing.

“In the budget that the House is about to approve in Anambra state, we multiplied five times what we did in agriculture in budget size that we are going to do in 2017.”

Stressing the resultant effect on the sector, Obiano said: “That means farmers in Anambra in 2017 are in for a bumper period because we are going to mobilize them with improved seedlings like we have done for two years plus now, including improved cassava cuttings.

The governor explained that because Anambra is the smallest state, “What is important to me in Agriculture is the yield per hectare, not what one is growing and we are doing very well in yield per hectare in rice, cassava, maize and what have you.

“I’m happy that many Anambra people are heeding the call to come back home and invest and they are investing in agriculture.

“So I want the people of Anambra state to be rest assured that the word ‘recession’ is a forgone story in Anambra state 2017.

“We are going to grow from strength to strength and we are doing well. 2017 will be one of the best years for the people of Anambra state by the grace of God and we will continue in giant strides in what we are doing in infrastructure, in agriculture, in trade and commerce, and in Oil and Gas.

“We are already doing very well in my enablers, the twelve enablers in education, in health, in environment, in youth’s empowerment and entrepreneurship.

While expressing delighted over being the silver jubilee governor, he urged the citizens to be proud and walk tall because of the state’s achievements.

Argentina End 2016 As Best Playing Nation

Argentina FlagArgentine will end the year on top of the world, leading the way in the final World Ranking of 2016 from neighbours, Brazil in second.

The Argentines therefore take the ‘Team of the Year’ title from Belgium, who they overtook at the summit in April 2016, and where they have stayed for the subsequent eight editions of the ranking.

In all, La Albiceleste, won 10 of their 15 games in 2016, losing three and drawing twice.

All other playing nations retained their spots in the top ten.

APC Says Wike’s Leaked Audio Confirms Party’s Fears

APC Says Wike’s Leaked Audio Confirms Party’s Fears The All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the leaked audio recording where the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, admitted to bribing some electoral officials, has confirmed the party’s fears.

This was revealed in a statement by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

According to them, Wike had threatened to kill the electoral officials if his instructions were not followed in the lead up to the recently conducted December 10, 2016, legislative re-run elections in the state.

“Going by the revelations from the leaked audio recordings, it is obvious that Governor Wike may have engaged in unwholesome conducts that might have compromised the integrity of the electoral process and undermined his office as the Chief Security Officer of the State.

“The only logical conclusion from this therefore is that the electoral victories of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may have been achieved through underhand dealings and intimidation of officials.

“Recall that on December 6, 2016, the APC alerted security agencies on reports of a massive arms build-up and other sinister plots that Wike and the PDP planned to execute on the day of the legislative rerun elections in rivers state”.

Furthermore, the party added that: “Nigerians have watched with grave concern how the process of the just concluded legislative rerun election has led to the death of ordinary citizens in the state including security officers.

“The statement that Governor Wike appeared to have made on record has now pointed directly at where responsibility should be placed for the violence that attended the election.

“It is also evident that the allegations by the Rivers state government and the PDP of an assassination threat on Wike and the allegation by him that APC governors funded violence in the state during the election might have been deliberately contrived to cover-up the role that the governor had played in the violence that attended the election.

“The APC condemns any form of violence as it relates to elections or any other matter. In this instance, we urge security agencies to do the needful and ensure that sponsors and perpetrators of violence, no matter how highly placed, are brought to justice,” the statement read.

The governor on the other hand, denied the audio recording, calling it a technological contraption.

In a protest, Wike then led supporters and leaders of the PDP, as well as some members of the State Executive Council to the Police Headquarters in Rivers State.

The protesters demanded the redeployment of two officers, who they claim masterminded the violence and electoral malpractice that took place at the polls.

Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12

Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12
Edo State Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo state 2016 governorship election tribunal sitting in Benin City, the state capital has again adjourned till December 12, to commence pre-trial.

The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his party, challenged the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Mr Ize-Iyamu had rejected the results declared by the electoral umpire, as he alleged that voters were induced and that the state government collaborated with INEC to doctor the results in favour of the APC.

Meanwhile, the tribunal had ordered the petitioners to file their application and serve the respondents by December 3, while the respondents were also expected to respond by December 5.

Before adjourning the case however, the tribunal insisted that its earlier order regarding the inspection of materials used for the election must be obeyed.

Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), had announced Godwin Obaseki as winner of the Edo state governorship election.

The APC supporters took to the major streets of Benin City, to celebrate their party’s victory, after what they described as free, fair and credible polls.

 

Governor’s South-West Badminton Championship Lights Up Lagos

Governor's South-West Badminton Championship Lights Up LagosThe inaugural edition of the Governor’s South-West Badminton Championship, which kicked off on December 7, 2016, continues Thursday, at the indoor hall of the Rowe Park sport centre, Yaba, Lagos state.

The four day badminton championship which is expected to be contested by a massive eighty eight (88) players from a number of categories, is being attended by free spirited fans and badminton lovers alike set to revel in the frenzy.

It would also include the country’s top 16 ranked players and two officials each from every participating state.

Completing the cast of participating players are: four male and female players from each of the south-western states for the senior category and two players (male and female) from the U15 level, as the competition also moves to improve grass-root badminton.

The competition’s sponsors, the Lagos state government, would also provide feeding and accommodation for all the invited players including the twelve coaches and twenty five technical officials on ground for the three-day badminton fiesta.

The prize money for the maiden edition of the championship would also follow similar ground breaking trend, as it takes a bold move to foster gender equality.

The singles event for both male and female categories would have winners cash away an incredible 150,000 Naira each, for the 1st position, while the 2nd and 3rd positions would be rewarded with 100,000 and 75,000 Naira respectively.

Also, the doubles category without doubt would be as well contested as the singles category with the 1st position, going with 150,000.00, 2nd with 100,000.00 and 3rd, 25,000 x 4.

The junior U15 classification will have plenty to cheer for when the four day championship ends as they would be heading home with badminton rackets, racket bags and plenty of the games materials to aid their progress and development.

With the Lagos State Badminton association grooming a young team of passionate badminton players, the 1st governor’s south-west championship provides yet the best test of their mettle on the court.

Perhaps for a few, it is Lagos versus the myriad of top-notch players which the country has to offer, while for others, it might be just another invaluable moment to enjoy the beautiful game of badminton at its best.

Olamide Releases ‘Omo Wobe Anthem’ Featuring Burna Boy

Olamide Releases 'Omo Wobe Anthem' Ft Burna BoyAhead of the release of his 6th studio album titled ‘The Glory’, YBNL front-liner, Olamide, has teamed up with Burna boy on a new single, ‘Omo Wobe Anthem’.

The track was produced by pheelz and for now, is only available on iTunes.

Olamide had announced that he would be launching ‘The Glory’, on December 26, 2016.

The artist hinted that “It’ll be a hip-hop album this time, no experimenting – just rap. I’m doing this for the culture and hardcore fans”.

Abducted Benue Journalist Regains Freedom

Abducted Benue Journalist Regains FreedomThe female journalist, Mrs Jill Iyuadoo Tor-Agbidye, who was abducted from her residence in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, on December 2, 2016, has been released.

Explaining her plight, she told Channels Television that she ran away from her abductors after spending three days with them.

According to her, the kidnappers had demanded for hundreds of millions of Naira, and threatened to kill her and her husband if they were not able to pay the ransom.

The news editor who works with Radio Benue, was forcefully taken away by five unidentified gunmen who reportedly broke into her room through the window while she was asleep, and drove away in the family’s car.

The police command in Benue state had said that it suspected an insider job in the incident, saying that preliminary investigations indicated that someone with foreknowledge of the family, may have planned the kidnap.

While the state police claimed knowledge of Mrs Tor-Agbidye’s freedom, they are yet to make a formal announcement on the matter, and the circumstances of her release have not been made known.

Fayose Blames INEC For PDP’s Loss In Ondo Election

INEC Rigged Ondo Election In Advance For APC - Fayose
Mr Ayo Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has lamented the outcome of the Ondo State Governorship election won by Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He believes the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its collaborators in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election before it was conducted.

He said; “Just as I would have loved to congratulate the winner, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), because in every contest, there must be a winner and a loser, the role of INEC in awarding victory to him in the election left much to be desired”.

The Governor, who reacted in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said INEC gave the APC victory in the election “by deliberately replacing the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate, thereby creating legal logjam that lasted till three days to the election”.

He said that the PDP went to the election with its hands tied to the back because of the uncharitable actions of INEC, “which has no doubt become an arm of the APC”.

He maintained that apart from the APC, political parties in Nigeria are now contesting elections against INEC.

“The whole process was a deliberate sabotage by INEC, which has totally bastardised the electoral process.

“Obviously, all these shenanigans are geared towards turning Nigeria to a one part state by weakening all opposition parties ahead of the 2019 general elections but I can assure Nigerians that this will not last because the people will always be defeat tyranny,” he said.

All Hands Must Be On Deck To Prevent HIV/AIDS – NACA

hiv virusAll hands must be on deck to scale up the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, especially government intervention and support to persons living with the disease.

This was the challenge from the acting Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Mr Kayode Ogungbemi, as Nigeria prepares to mark the annual World AIDS Day.

Mr Ogungbemi explained that out of the one million persons targeted yearly for intervention and treatment, the federal government is only able to handle 100,000 cases, with 90% dependent on donor countries and agencies.

He said this during a special church service at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja, which was held for the management and staff of the NACA.

The event coincided with the 27th anniversary of the church and was the first of series of events lined up to mark the AIDS day, coming up on Thursday, December 1, 2016.

With the theme, “Hands Up For HIV Prevention”, the focus of this year would be to explore strategies for HIV prevention, known to be cheaper and safer than cure.

The Director General stressed that despite the successes recorded in the treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS, there is still much to be done to scale up prevention.

Bishop of the Anglican Primate Of Nigeria, Reverend Nicholas Okoh, also advocated faith for persons living with the disease, saying that their fate could change for the better.

Alongside intensified research, other areas that the agency seeks to pay more attention to include HIV testing and counseling, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother to child transmission, use of condoms, treatment, zero discrimination, among others.

Dogara Congratulates Akeredolu on Ondo Gov’ship Election Win

Dogara Congratulates Akeredolu on Ondo Gov’ship Election WinIn a statement issued on Sunday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara maintained that the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election is a proof that the party is still loved by Nigerians.

“I would like to congratulate my learned colleague on his victory at the poll, and also commend our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for a thorough and successful campaign”, the statement read.

The Speaker urged all stakeholders to come together and ensure that the incoming APC government in Ondo delivers on the mandate given by the people in line with the party’s manifesto.

“As a party, we must take our victory in Ondo seriously since the people have placed enormous trust in us.  We must, therefore, deliver on policies that will improve their standard of living.”

While commending the people of Ondo state for keeping the election process peaceful and coming out to perform their civic duty, Dogara also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies for ensuring a hitch-free exercise.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, declared the APC candidate, winner of the 2016 Ondo state governorship election.

Akeredolu  polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 150, 380 votes. Mr Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) follows with 126, 889 votes.

Okorocha Congratulates Akeredolu On Ondo Election Victory

APC Governors, Progressive Governors, APCThe Imo State Governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Mr Rochas Okorocha, has described the victory of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu in the just concluded Ondo State governorship election as a confirmation of the popularity of the All progressives Congress (APC) in the South-West.

He said that it also demonstrates the love of the people of the region for President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Governor Okorocha said that the margin with which the APC candidate defeated the candidates of other political parties showed that Nigerians understood the circumstances that gave rise to the current economic recession in the nation.

He added that those who thought that the current economic recession would affect the electoral fortunes of APC were wrong.

The Imo State Governor thanked the people of Ondo State for voting wisely and explained that the way they had voted only indicated how highly intelligent they were in interpreting political development and how richly they are endowed with wisdom.

He congratulated the people of Ondo State for what he believes is patriotism and also congratulated Akeredolu on his “resounding victory”.

He urged other candidates in the election to congratulate the winner without further delay.