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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Davos (Switzerland)"

Site That Ran Anti-Semitic Remarks Got Passes for Trump Trip

Westlake Legal Group 26trunews-facebookJumbo Site That Ran Anti-Semitic Remarks Got Passes for Trump Trip World Economic Forum White House Correspondents Assn Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald J Jr Trump, Donald J News and News Media Media Jews and Judaism Freedom of the Press Deutch, Ted (1966- ) Davos (Switzerland)

To coordinate coverage of President Trump’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the White House provided press credentials to the usual mix of American news organizations, including Fox News, Reuters and The New York Times.

One media outlet stood out: TruNews, a website aimed at conservative Christians whose founder, a pastor named Rick Wiles, recently described Mr. Trump’s impeachment as “a Jew coup” planned by “a Jewish cabal.”

Five employees of TruNews, which is based in Florida, received formal credentials from the White House to cover the president’s trip, Mr. Wiles said in an interview last week from his hotel room in Switzerland — a room in a ski lodge reserved by the Trump administration for traveling members of the American press. (Like other media organizations, TruNews paid for its flights and lodging.)

White House officials, in this and previous administrations, tend to be flexible in choosing which news organizations receive press credentials: Reporting is a form of free speech and there are no legal restrictions on who can declare themselves a journalist.

But Mr. Wiles’s ability to secure credentials after his anti-Semitic remarks — which prompted a formal rebuke from two members of Congress — has left civil rights groups deeply troubled.

“It’s a validation of their work,” said Kyle Mantyla, a senior fellow at the progressive group People for the American Way, which has tracked Mr. Wiles’s work. TruNews, he said, “sees it as the White House being on their side.”

TruNews was not granted special access to the president in Davos, nor did its members travel on Air Force One. But one of Mr. Wiles’s colleagues, Edward Szall, asked a question of the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump during a news conference.

“We want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here,” Mr. Wiles said in a video from Davos. “We are honored to be here, representing the kingdom of heaven and our king Jesus Christ.”

It was not the first time TruNews has gotten close to Mr. Trump and his family.

The president took a question from Mr. Szall at a 2018 news conference in Midtown Manhattan. In March 2019, a TruNews correspondent filmed an interview with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, after a rally in Michigan. (A spokeswoman for Donald Trump Jr. told The Washington Post that the interview was impromptu and that Mr. Trump was unfamiliar with the site.)

TruNews, which Mr. Wiles founded as an online radio program in 1999 called America’s Hope, has a history of spreading conspiracy theories and proclaiming an imminent apocalypse. It drew more scrutiny in November after Mr. Wiles, in an online video, accused Jews of orchestrating Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

“That’s the way Jews work,” Mr. Wiles said. “They are deceivers. They plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda. This ‘Impeach Trump’ movement is a Jew coup, and the American people better wake up to it really fast.”

Mr. Wiles also warned his listeners that “when Jews take over a country, they kill millions of Christians.”

Afterward, Representatives Ted Deutch of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia, wrote to the White House asking why TruNews had been allowed to attend presidential events. They did not receive a response.

The White House declined to comment for this article. In the past, the administration has faced lawsuits after revoking press credentials from reporters from CNN and Playboy.

On the phone from Switzerland, Mr. Wiles explained how his Davos trip had come about.

“We’re on a list of media organizations at the White House and from time to time they send out notices that there are events taking place,” Mr. Wiles said, adding that his team had also covered Mr. Trump’s visits to NATO summits and Group of 20 gatherings. He said that he received an email from the White House about the Davos trip and that his request to attend was approved.

The team from TruNews — three correspondents and a two-person production crew — stayed at a hotel where the White House had reserved a block of rooms for the use of American journalists. (As with a wedding block, those who used the rooms paid the hotel directly.) Reporters spotted Mr. Wiles at the breakfast buffet at the hotel, the Privà Alpine Lodge.

Asked in the interview if he understood why his “Jew coup” comments prompted charges of anti-Semitism, Mr. Wiles replied: “I coined a phrase. It came out of my mouth: ‘It looks like a Jew coup.’ All I pointed out was many of the people involved were Jewish.”

Pressed if such rhetoric could be reasonably interpreted as anti-Semitic, Mr. Wiles said: “It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I can tell you from my heart there is no ill will toward the Jewish people, with all sincerity.”

His critics disagree. Mr. Deutch, the representative from Florida, learned of TruNews’s presence in Davos while on a congressional trip to Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust.

“I can’t believe the day before I attend an event at Yad Vashem marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, anti-Semites were given WH credentials to broadcast from European soil,” Mr. Deutch wrote on Twitter. (Yad Vashem is the Israeli Holocaust memorial.)

The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Jonathan Karl of ABC News, has asked the Trump administration why TruNews was credentialed for the trip.

“It’s puzzling that a known hate group would get press credentials from the same White House that revoked the credentials of a correspondent for a major television network,” Mr. Karl said on Sunday, referring to Jim Acosta of CNN, whose credentials were revoked — and then restored after a lawsuit — in 2018.

“We have asked why this happened and if the White House intends to issue credentials to this group in the future,” Mr. Karl said. “We have not received an on-the-record response.”

Mr. Wiles, in the interview, said that he had been unfairly attacked by “the self-appointed gods and goddesses of the news media, who do not think we should be permitted to attend any event.” He went on to blame George Soros, the Jewish financier often cited in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, for coordinating a campaign against him.

“I don’t think anybody can find fault with our news coverage at these events,” Mr. Wiles said. “They may not agree with our analysis and conclusions. But our behavior at these events — we’re professional, we’re respectful.”

He added: “And we’re able to get interviews with prominent people.”

Annie Karni contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Climate Change Could Blow Up the Economy. Banks Aren’t Ready.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167625216_f9d54ac2-c793-4efe-be3d-4d4683e5610b-facebookJumbo Climate Change Could Blow Up the Economy. Banks Aren’t Ready. World Economic Forum Virtual Currency Villeroy de Galhau, Francois (1959- ) Subprime Mortgage Crisis Lagarde, Christine Inflation (Economics) Global Warming Frankfurt (Germany) Facebook Inc European Central Bank Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Davos (Switzerland) Basel (Switzerland) Banking and Financial Institutions Bank for International Settlements

FRANKFURT — Climate change has already been blamed for deadly bush fires in Australia, dying coral reefs, rising sea levels and ever more cataclysmic storms. Could it also cause the next financial crisis?

A report issued this week by an umbrella organization for the world’s central banks argued that the answer is yes, while warning that central bankers lack tools to deal with what it says could be one of the biggest economic dislocations of all time.

The book-length report, published by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, signals what could be the overriding theme for central banks in the decade to come.

“Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to human societies, and our community of central banks and supervisors cannot consider itself immune to the risks ahead of us,” François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, said in the report.

Central banks spent much of the last 10 years hauling their economies out of a deep financial crisis that began in 2008. They may well spend the next decade coping with the disruptive effects of climate change and technology, the report said.

The European Central Bank, which on Thursday concluded a two-day meeting in Frankfurt focusing on monetary policy, is beginning to grapple with those challenges. The bank did not make any changes in interest rates or its economic stimulus program on Thursday. Instead, other issues are coming to the fore.

Christine Lagarde, the central bank’s president, who took office late last year, has pledged to put climate change on the bank’s agenda, and it was a topic of discussion at the last monetary policy meeting, in December.

Members of the European Central Bank’s governing council argued “that there was a need to step up efforts to understand the economic consequences of climate change,” according to the bank’s official account of the discussion.

Global warming will play a big role in the European Central Bank’s strategic review, a broad reassessment of the way the bank tries to manage inflation. For example, when trying to influence market interest rates, the bank could decide to stop buying bonds of corporations considered big producers of greenhouse gases.

This new awareness of the financial consequences of a hotter earth comes as central banks are contending with another new challenge: technologies that threaten their monopoly on issuing money and their power to combat a financial crisis.

Unofficial digital currencies like Bitcoin or Facebook’s Libra, which is still in the planning stages, bypass central banks and could undermine their control of the monetary system. The obvious solution is for central banks to get into the digital currency business themselves.

On Wednesday, the central banks of Canada, Britain, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland said they were working together with the Bank for International Settlements to figure out what would happen if they did just that.

It’s complicated, though.

Like cash, people can use digital currencies to pay other people directly, without a bank in the middle. Unlike cash, digital currencies allow person-to-person transactions to take place online.

Such a system could be more efficient, but also risky, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, the organization that stages the annual conclave in Davos.

Commercial banks might become superfluous, and fail. Central banks would in effect become giant retail banks. But they have no experience dealing with millions of individual customers and could be overwhelmed. If a central bank collapsed, so would the monetary system.

Climate change also takes central banks into uncharted territory. Think the subprime crisis in 2008 was bad? Imagine a real estate crisis caused by rising sea levels and coastal flooding that renders thousands of square miles of land uninhabitable or useless for farming.

By some estimates, global gross domestic product could plunge by 25 percent because of the effects of climate change. Central banks have enough trouble dealing with mild recessions, and would not be powerful enough to combat an economic downturn of that scale.

“In the worst case scenario, central banks may have to intervene as climate rescuers of last resort or as some sort of collective insurer for climate damages,” according to the report, published by the Bank for International Settlements, a clearinghouse for the world’s major central banks.

It suggested some precautionary measures central banks could take.

Central banks, which often function as bank regulators, could require lenders to hold more capital if they hold assets vulnerable to the economic effects of a shift to renewable energy. An example might be a bank that has lent a lot of money to fossil fuel companies, or to the Saudi government.

The auto industry already illustrates how investors are moving their money away from companies seen as polluters and into companies seen as green, with disruptive effects on economies. Tesla’s value on the stock market is more than $100 billion, second only to Toyota among carmakers.

In this way, Tesla is being rewarded for producing emission-free electric vehicles. But the migration of capital away from the established manufacturers makes it difficult for them to invest in new technology, and threatens massive job losses and social and political upheaval.

Central banks need to coordinate their policies to deal with these new challenges, according to the Bank for International Settlements report. Unfortunately, coordination is not something that central banks are very good at right now.

“Climate change is a global problem that demands a global solution,” the paper said. But it added that “monetary policy seems, currently, to be difficult to coordinate between countries.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Climate Change Could Cause the Next Financial Meltdown

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167625216_f9d54ac2-c793-4efe-be3d-4d4683e5610b-facebookJumbo Climate Change Could Cause the Next Financial Meltdown World Economic Forum Virtual Currency Villeroy de Galhau, Francois (1959- ) Subprime Mortgage Crisis Lagarde, Christine Inflation (Economics) Global Warming Frankfurt (Germany) Facebook Inc European Central Bank Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Davos (Switzerland) Basel (Switzerland) Banking and Financial Institutions Bank for International Settlements

FRANKFURT — Climate change has already been blamed for deadly bush fires in Australia, dying coral reefs, rising sea levels and ever more cataclysmic storms. Could it also cause the next financial crisis?

A report issued this week by an umbrella organization for the world’s central banks argued that the answer is yes, while warning that central bankers lack tools to deal with what it says could be one of the biggest economic dislocations of all time.

The book-length report, published by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, signals what could be the overriding theme for central banks in the decade to come.

“Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to human societies, and our community of central banks and supervisors cannot consider itself immune to the risks ahead of us,” François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, said in the report.

Central banks spent much of the last 10 years hauling their economies out of a deep financial crisis that began in 2008. They may well spend the next decade coping with the disruptive effects of climate change and technology, the report said.

The European Central Bank, which on Thursday concluded a two-day meeting in Frankfurt focusing on monetary policy, is beginning to grapple with those challenges. The bank did not make any changes in interest rates or its economic stimulus program on Thursday. Instead, other issues are coming to the fore.

Christine Lagarde, the central bank’s president, who took office late last year, has pledged to put climate change on the bank’s agenda, and it was a topic of discussion at the last monetary policy meeting, in December.

Members of the European Central Bank’s governing council argued “that there was a need to step up efforts to understand the economic consequences of climate change,” according to the bank’s official account of the discussion.

Global warming will play a big role in the European Central Bank’s strategic review, a broad reassessment of the way the bank tries to manage inflation. For example, when trying to influence market interest rates, the bank could decide to stop buying bonds of corporations considered big producers of greenhouse gases.

This new awareness of the financial consequences of a hotter earth comes as central banks are contending with another new challenge: technologies that threaten their monopoly on issuing money and their power to combat a financial crisis.

Unofficial digital currencies like Bitcoin or Facebook’s Libra, which is still in the planning stages, bypass central banks and could undermine their control of the monetary system. The obvious solution is for central banks to get into the digital currency business themselves.

On Wednesday, the central banks of Canada, Britain, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland said they were working together with the Bank for International Settlements to figure out what would happen if they did just that.

It’s complicated, though.

Like cash, people can use digital currencies to pay other people directly, without a bank in the middle. Unlike cash, digital currencies allow person-to-person transactions to take place online.

Such a system could be more efficient, but also risky, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, the organization that stages the annual conclave in Davos.

Commercial banks might become superfluous, and fail. Central banks would in effect become giant retail banks. But they have no experience dealing with millions of individual customers and could be overwhelmed. If a central bank collapsed, so would the monetary system.

Climate change also takes central banks into uncharted territory. Think the subprime crisis in 2008 was bad? Imagine a real estate crisis caused by rising sea levels and coastal flooding that renders thousands of square miles of land uninhabitable or useless for farming.

By some estimates, global gross domestic product could plunge by 25 percent because of the effects of climate change. Central banks have enough trouble dealing with mild recessions, and would not be powerful enough to combat an economic downturn of that scale.

“In the worst case scenario, central banks may have to intervene as climate rescuers of last resort or as some sort of collective insurer for climate damages,” according to the report, published by the Bank for International Settlements, a clearinghouse for the world’s major central banks.

It suggested some precautionary measures central banks could take.

Central banks, which often function as bank regulators, could require lenders to hold more capital if they hold assets vulnerable to the economic effects of a shift to renewable energy. An example might be a bank that has lent a lot of money to fossil fuel companies, or to the Saudi government.

The auto industry already illustrates how investors are moving their money away from companies seen as polluters and into companies seen as green, with disruptive effects on economies. Tesla’s value on the stock market is more than $100 billion, second only to Toyota among carmakers.

In this way, Tesla is being rewarded for producing emission-free electric vehicles. But the migration of capital away from the established manufacturers makes it difficult for them to invest in new technology, and threatens massive job losses and social and political upheaval.

Central banks need to coordinate their policies to deal with these new challenges, according to the Bank for International Settlements report. Unfortunately, coordination is not something that central banks are very good at right now.

“Climate change is a global problem that demands a global solution,” the paper said. But it added that “monetary policy seems, currently, to be difficult to coordinate between countries.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Climate Change Could Cause the Next Financial Meltdown

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167625216_f9d54ac2-c793-4efe-be3d-4d4683e5610b-facebookJumbo Climate Change Could Cause the Next Financial Meltdown World Economic Forum Virtual Currency Villeroy de Galhau, Francois (1959- ) Subprime Mortgage Crisis Lagarde, Christine Inflation (Economics) Global Warming Frankfurt (Germany) Facebook Inc European Central Bank Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Davos (Switzerland) Basel (Switzerland) Banking and Financial Institutions Bank for International Settlements

FRANKFURT — Climate change has already been blamed for deadly bush fires in Australia, dying coral reefs, rising sea levels and ever more cataclysmic storms. Could it also cause the next financial crisis?

A report issued this week by an umbrella organization for the world’s central banks argued that the answer is yes, while warning that central bankers lack tools to deal with what it says could be one of the biggest economic dislocations of all time.

The book-length report, published by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, signals what could be the overriding theme for central banks in the decade to come.

“Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to human societies, and our community of central banks and supervisors cannot consider itself immune to the risks ahead of us,” François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, said in the report.

Central banks spent much of the last 10 years hauling their economies out of a deep financial crisis that began in 2008. They may well spend the next decade coping with the disruptive effects of climate change and technology, the report said.

The European Central Bank, which on Thursday concluded a two-day meeting in Frankfurt focusing on monetary policy, is beginning to grapple with those challenges. The bank did not make any changes in interest rates or its economic stimulus program on Thursday. Instead, other issues are coming to the fore.

Christine Lagarde, the central bank’s president, who took office late last year, has pledged to put climate change on the bank’s agenda, and it was a topic of discussion at the last monetary policy meeting, in December.

Members of the European Central Bank’s governing council argued “that there was a need to step up efforts to understand the economic consequences of climate change,” according to the bank’s official account of the discussion.

Global warming will play a big role in the European Central Bank’s strategic review, a broad reassessment of the way the bank tries to manage inflation. For example, when trying to influence market interest rates, the bank could decide to stop buying bonds of corporations considered big producers of greenhouse gases.

This new awareness of the financial consequences of a hotter earth comes as central banks are contending with another new challenge: technologies that threaten their monopoly on issuing money and their power to combat a financial crisis.

Unofficial digital currencies like Bitcoin or Facebook’s Libra, which is still in the planning stages, bypass central banks and could undermine their control of the monetary system. The obvious solution is for central banks to get into the digital currency business themselves.

On Wednesday, the central banks of Canada, Britain, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland said they were working together with the Bank for International Settlements to figure out what would happen if they did just that.

It’s complicated, though.

Like cash, people can use digital currencies to pay other people directly, without a bank in the middle. Unlike cash, digital currencies allow person-to-person transactions to take place online.

Such a system could be more efficient, but also risky, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, the organization that stages the annual conclave in Davos.

Commercial banks might become superfluous, and fail. Central banks would in effect become giant retail banks. But they have no experience dealing with millions of individual customers and could be overwhelmed. If a central bank collapsed, so would the monetary system.

Climate change also takes central banks into uncharted territory. Think the subprime crisis in 2008 was bad? Imagine a real estate crisis caused by rising sea levels and coastal flooding that renders thousands of square miles of land uninhabitable or useless for farming.

By some estimates, global gross domestic product could plunge by 25 percent because of the effects of climate change. Central banks have enough trouble dealing with mild recessions, and would not be powerful enough to combat an economic downturn of that scale.

“In the worst case scenario, central banks may have to intervene as climate rescuers of last resort or as some sort of collective insurer for climate damages,” according to the report, published by the Bank for International Settlements, a clearinghouse for the world’s major central banks.

It suggested some precautionary measures central banks could take.

Central banks, which often function as bank regulators, could require lenders to hold more capital if they hold assets vulnerable to the economic effects of a shift to renewable energy. An example might be a bank that has lent a lot of money to fossil fuel companies, or to the Saudi government.

The auto industry already illustrates how investors are moving their money away from companies seen as polluters and into companies seen as green, with disruptive effects on economies. Tesla’s value on the stock market is more than $100 billion, second only to Toyota among carmakers.

In this way, Tesla is being rewarded for producing emission-free electric vehicles. But the migration of capital away from the established manufacturers makes it difficult for them to invest in new technology, and threatens massive job losses and social and political upheaval.

Central banks need to coordinate their policies to deal with these new challenges, according to the Bank for International Settlements report. Unfortunately, coordination is not something that central banks are very good at right now.

“Climate change is a global problem that demands a global solution,” the paper said. But it added that “monetary policy seems, currently, to be difficult to coordinate between countries.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump, in Davos to Talk Trade, Lashes Out at Enemies Back Home

Westlake Legal Group 22prexy-facebookJumbo Trump, in Davos to Talk Trade, Lashes Out at Enemies Back Home World Economic Forum United States Economy Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry News and News Media Davos (Switzerland)

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump said on Wednesday that he would prefer a long impeachment trial with witness testimony before the Senate, but that national security concerns made that impossible, and added that he would like to attend the trial.

Mr. Trump unleashed on Democrats and the news media in a wide-ranging news conference before leaving Davos, where he met with business and government leaders from around the world, to return to Washington, where impeachment overshadows all else.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump managed to stick to a script about a strong United States economy while addressing a global audience at the World Economic Forum, and he largely swatted away any questions about the impeachment proceedings. But before leaving Switzerland, he called a last-minute news conference, during which he vented at length about his political enemies in Washington as some of his top economic advisers stood silently behind him.

Mr. Trump called Representative Jerry Nadler of New York a “sleaze bag” and referred to Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

The president referred to Mr. Schiff and the other House impeachment managers as “major sleaze bags” and said he would love to attend his own trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.” But he acknowledged that his lawyers would most likely advise him against doing so.

Mr. Trump’s comments ran counter to the actions of Senate Republicans, who have turned back Democrats’ attempts to subpoena documents and compel White House officials to testify in the impeachment trial. Mr. Trump claimed that he favored a drawn-out process that would allow witnesses like John Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but said that allowing them to testify would create “a national security problem.”

But Mr. Trump also expressed reservations about the idea of Mr. Bolton, whom he forced out in September, appearing as a witness because “you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.” He said his break with Mr. Bolton was “due to me, not due to him.”

White House officials had hoped that the World Economic Forum would give the president an opportunity to highlight economic successes that they see as being supplanted at home by the impeachment investigations and, now, a trial.

Mr. Trump began the news conference on Wednesday by pointing out economic gains and claiming that “Davos has treated us beautifully.” But after a day of ignoring reporters’ questions, he appeared eager to discuss the impeachment proceedings.

He said that the White House would be right to assert executive privilege to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, even as he claimed he was open to hearing from his former adviser.

“John would certainly fit into that,” he said. “When he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, war and peace and different things, that’s a national security problem.” He said a “national security problem” would also stand in the way of Mr. Pompeo appearing before the Senate.

He cited an October appearance by Mr. Mulvaney on “Fox News Sunday” as the reason his testimony under oath was not necessary. “He’s really expressed himself very well when he did a Chris Wallace interview,” Mr. Trump said. “I think there’s not much to add.”

Mr. Trump appeared eager to defy expectations that he would pick a fight with another high-profile guest at the conference, the 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, whom he has criticized in the past.

“She beat me out on Time magazine,” Mr. Trump said, referring to her being named Time’s person of the year in December.

“I would have loved to have seen her speak,” he said, but he recommended she “start working on those other countries,” because “our water numbers, our numbers on air, are tremendous.”

Mr. Trump also launched a broadside against the news media, even as he congratulated an NBC News television correspondent, Kristen Welker, on a promotion and hinted that he might be willing to appear on her show. “If we could straighten out the press in our country, we would have a place that would be so incredible,” he said.

Mr. Trump also insisted that his side of the story was the easy one to explain, and that he was simply a target because of his own success. “I’m honest,” he said. “I make great deals.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump, in Davos to Talk Trade, Lashes Out at Enemies Back Home

Westlake Legal Group 22prexy-facebookJumbo Trump, in Davos to Talk Trade, Lashes Out at Enemies Back Home World Economic Forum United States Economy Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry News and News Media Davos (Switzerland)

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump said on Wednesday that he would prefer a long impeachment trial with witness testimony before the Senate, but that national security concerns made that impossible, and added that he would like to attend the trial.

Mr. Trump unleashed on Democrats and the news media in a wide-ranging news conference before leaving Davos, where he met with business and government leaders from around the world, to return to Washington, where impeachment overshadows all else.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump managed to stick to a script about a strong United States economy while addressing a global audience at the World Economic Forum, and he largely swatted away any questions about the impeachment proceedings. But before leaving Switzerland, he called a last-minute news conference, during which he vented at length about his political enemies in Washington as some of his top economic advisers stood silently behind him.

Mr. Trump called Representative Jerry Nadler of New York a “sleaze bag” and referred to Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

The president referred to Mr. Schiff and the other House impeachment managers as “major sleaze bags” and said he would love to attend his own trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.” But he acknowledged that his lawyers would most likely advise him against doing so.

Mr. Trump’s comments ran counter to the actions of Senate Republicans, who have turned back Democrats’ attempts to subpoena documents and compel White House officials to testify in the impeachment trial. Mr. Trump claimed that he favored a drawn-out process that would allow witnesses like John Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but said that allowing them to testify would create “a national security problem.”

But Mr. Trump also expressed reservations about the idea of Mr. Bolton, whom he forced out in September, appearing as a witness because “you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.” He said his break with Mr. Bolton was “due to me, not due to him.”

White House officials had hoped that the World Economic Forum would give the president an opportunity to highlight economic successes that they see as being supplanted at home by the impeachment investigations and, now, a trial.

Mr. Trump began the news conference on Wednesday by pointing out economic gains and claiming that “Davos has treated us beautifully.” But after a day of ignoring reporters’ questions, he appeared eager to discuss the impeachment proceedings.

He said that the White House would be right to assert executive privilege to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, even as he claimed he was open to hearing from his former adviser.

“John would certainly fit into that,” he said. “When he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, war and peace and different things, that’s a national security problem.” He said a “national security problem” would also stand in the way of Mr. Pompeo appearing before the Senate.

He cited an October appearance by Mr. Mulvaney on “Fox News Sunday” as the reason his testimony under oath was not necessary. “He’s really expressed himself very well when he did a Chris Wallace interview,” Mr. Trump said. “I think there’s not much to add.”

Mr. Trump appeared eager to defy expectations that he would pick a fight with another high-profile guest at the conference, the 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, whom he has criticized in the past.

“She beat me out on Time magazine,” Mr. Trump said, referring to her being named Time’s person of the year in December.

“I would have loved to have seen her speak,” he said, but he recommended she “start working on those other countries,” because “our water numbers, our numbers on air, are tremendous.”

Mr. Trump also launched a broadside against the news media, even as he congratulated an NBC News television correspondent, Kristen Welker, on a promotion and hinted that he might be willing to appear on her show. “If we could straighten out the press in our country, we would have a place that would be so incredible,” he said.

Mr. Trump also insisted that his side of the story was the easy one to explain, and that he was simply a target because of his own success. “I’m honest,” he said. “I make great deals.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Focuses on Economy at Davos, Seeking a Counter to Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 21prexy-davos1sub-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Focuses on Economy at Davos, Seeking a Counter to Impeachment United States Politics and Government United States Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Switzerland High Net Worth Individuals Global Warming Ethics and Official Misconduct Davos (Switzerland)

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump swept into this glitzy Alpine village on Tuesday, full of flattery as he schmoozed with global business leaders, as if there were no talk of removing him from office and no impeachment trial unfolding 4,000 miles away in Washington.

Mr. Trump appeared to relish the escape offered by the World Economic Forum and the friendly — to his face, at least — crowd of elites in the snow-covered Alps. He was in a jovial mood, according to people who spoke with him, engaging in animated conversations with chief executives like Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet and Marc Benioff of Salesforce.

He congratulated them on their companies’ stock performances and joked that he should have bought shares but that he had been forced to sell his holdings when he took office. As Mr. Trump and his family members darted between meetings in makeshift pavilions, they studiously avoided questions about the drama back home, where the Senate was expected to begin a fierce partisan squabble over the rules for putting the president on trial.

Mr. Trump’s trip to Davos was his first appearance on the international stage since Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Before he arrived in the Swiss town, the open question, as always with Mr. Trump, was how much he would stray from his script and vent his grievances about his legal and political predicament.

But Mr. Trump stuck to his prepared remarks, making inflated claims about his role in a global economic recovery and touting a message of America’s supremacy. When reporters asked him about the impeachment trial, he swatted it away as “just a hoax.”

“America’s economy was in a rather dismal state,” Mr. Trump said during his 30-minute speech. “Before my presidency began, the outlook for many economies was bleak.”

Although the economy’s recovery after its plummet was central to President Barack Obama’s legacy, Mr. Trump said that his administration had created a “roaring geyser of opportunity” and proclaimed that “the American dream is back bigger, better and stronger than ever before.”

Addressing a global audience, Mr. Trump delivered what amounted to a version of his campaign speech, speaking little of international alliances and touting America’s supremacy in the world.

At a conference that has dedicated itself this year to the issue of global warming, Mr. Trump also took a swipe at those demanding action. He announced that the United States would join an initiative to plant a trillion trees that was launched at the event, but he also declared that “we must reject the perennial prophets of doom” and that it was “not a time for pessimism.”

Former Vice President Al Gore, who was seen leaving Mr. Trump’s speech, declined to comment on the president’s remarks.

Mr. Trump arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday morning, taking a ride in Marine One over the Alps, from Zurich to Davos. The altitude increased the sense that the bitter partisan fight that would take place in the Capitol was a world away.

As his motorcade made its way through twisty, snow-covered streets to the Davos Congress Centre, a group of nine Swiss tenors entertained the crowd with a version of “Ranz des vaches,” a mellifluous song for calling home cows.

It was a more peaceful serenade than the songs that typically precede Mr. Trump’s entrance onstage, like “Macho Man” by the Village People and “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones.

Mr. Trump was also a more mellow version of himself.

He highlighted the first phase of his trade deal with China and another with Mexico and Canada. And the audience appeared receptive, having warmed to him over the past two years as they have benefited from his policies.

“Lev Parnas is not a topic of conversation at Davos,” said Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political research and consulting firm.

Mr. Parnas, an associate of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has been on a media tour over the past week, asserting that the president was fully aware of the campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals. Democrats have not ruled out trying to call Mr. Parnas as a witness in the impeachment trial.

In Davos, however, television screens were filled with the face of a different Trump antagonist: the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was the other star speaker of the day. In a speech there, she warned that “our house is still on fire” and that “inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.”

Mr. Trump did not mention Ms. Thunberg by name in his speech. But when he talked about the importance of clean water and clean air, he added that “fear and doubt is not a good thought process.”

His speech also included inflated or false claims that seemed, at times, disconnected from the concerns of an international audience.

“I saved HBCUs. We saved them,” Mr. Trump claimed, referring to historically black colleges and universities. “They were going out and we saved them.” While the administration has increased investment in the schools 14.3 percent, and although a number of them have struggled financially, there is no evidence that they were on the verge of extinction. In the past six years, one has closed and about 100 remain.

Hanging over the conference was also the question of whether Mr. Trump would try to stage a surprise meeting there with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, even though officials said the optics of such a meeting would be unhelpful to Mr. Trump.

In Davos, however, Mr. Trump may have found the right audience for support to counter the impeachment trial that is dominating the news at home. There was less anxiety about him rippling through the 1 percent set on Tuesday than when he arrived at the annual forum two years ago, fresh off an “America First” campaign filled with promises to rip up international agreements and alliances.

This time, there was more concern about some of the progressive Democrats running to replace him. Through regulatory rollbacks, tax cuts and the success of the global economy, the president who ran as a populist has benefited many of the chief executives gathered at the event, even those who have taken public positions against some of his policies.

“There are lot of masters of the universe who think he may not be their cup of tea, but he’s been a godsend,” said Mr. Bremmer, of Eurasia Group. “It’s interesting to hear Mike Bloomberg saying he would fund Bernie Sanders’s campaign if he won the nomination. Very few people here would say that.”

Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who is running for president, has said he is open to spending $1 billion to defeat Mr. Trump, whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee.

During Mr. Trump’s career in New York real estate, entertainment and business, he never cracked the Davos set, whose Fortune 500 chief executives dismissed him as something of a gaudy sideshow.

But the balance of power has shifted. And with progressives like Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts emerging as top-tier candidates in the Democratic primary, a crowd that once rejected Mr. Trump is now more willing to consider him one of its own.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump happily embraced them back. After his speech, he met with the International Business Council, where he greeted every chief executive personally, according to attendees.

The meeting was less about substance and more about socializing, one attendee said, as Mr. Trump grilled corporate leaders about whether they liked his speech. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also worked the room.

There were however, still points of contention during the conference for Mr. Trump, who planned to spend almost two days there in bilateral meetings with leaders of Iraq, Pakistan and the Kurdish regional government, as well as sitdowns with corporate chieftains. (The forum is also Mr. Trump’s first trip abroad since the drone attack that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important military official.)

And topping the conference’s agenda was climate change, an issue where Mr. Trump’s agenda is far out of line with the rest of the attendees. He was preceded onstage by Klaus Schwab, a founder of the Forum, who proclaimed that “the world is in a state of emergency,” and Simonetta Sommaruga, the president of the Swiss Federation, who said that “the world is on fire.”

Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, and his administration has expanded the use of coal, played down concerns about climate change and rolled back environmental protections.

The president mocked Ms. Thunberg after she was chosen last month as Time magazine’s Person of the Year. “So ridiculous,” he tweeted. “Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

In 2018, Mr. Trump was the first sitting president to attend the forum since President Bill Clinton did so in 2000. Last year, he abruptly canceled his plans to attend, citing a partial government shutdown.

This year, the administration delegation includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as well as Robert Lighthizer, the trade representative. Other members of the administration who were expected to attend were Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary; Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary; and Eugene Scalia, the labor secretary. Mr. Trump was also accompanied by Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, and Stephen Miller, his policy adviser and speechwriter.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting.

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The Davos Plutocrats Warm Up to Trump

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DAVOS, Switzerland — The last time President Trump arrived at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, his trip was treated with deep skepticism, if not disdain, by the business and political leaders who gather once a year in this ski town in the Swiss Alps. It was 2018 and even with his newly enacted tax cuts, his populist, antiglobalist rhetoric and Twitter outbursts were more than enough to make the event’s collection of plutocrats uneasy.

This time is likely to be different.

With the stock market at record highs, two trade deals announced and the possibility that Mr. Trump may be in office for another four years, there is an increasing sense that he will be accepted, if not embraced (although some attendees may roll their eyes behind his back) when he arrives on Tuesday, even as he faces an impeachment trial.

As anathema as it may be to some participants, Mr. Trump may be the new Davos Man.

The Davos forum, marking its 50th year, has always sought to foster a sense of multilateral unity. But Mr. Trump, along with his counterpart in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seemingly moving the world into a tariff based, decoupled universe, based on bilateral negotiations and diplomacy by tweet.

To the surprise of many Davos regulars, the economic results have yet to prove as disastrous as they expected — and, at least in the short term, have seemingly proven to be quite positive. (The long-term effects, of course, are still unknown.)

Even Mr. Trump’s most ardent detractors acknowledge that an acceptance of the president is settling in among the Davos crowd.

“We are all adjusting to his abnormal behavior,” said the investor Anthony Scaramucci, Mr. Trump’s onetime spokesman turned enemy who has been a Davos regular for over a decade and hosts a wine tasting party that has become a hot ticket for the boldfaced names. “The economic strength helps their cognitive dissonance,” he said.

Just last week, a lineup of some executives who will attend the Davos forum were in the audience at the White House when Mr. Trump signed the initial China trade deal. They more than politely applauded.

“Will you say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President’ at least? Huh?” Mr. Trump asked Mary Erdoes, the chief executive of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division and a Davos regular, along with Jamie Dimon, the bank’s C.E.O. “They just announced earnings, and they were incredible,” Mr. Trump said about JPMorgan. “They were very substantial. I made a lot of bankers look very good. But you’re doing a great job. Say hello to Jamie.”

Stephen Schwarzman, the co-founder of Blackstone, who often gets calls from global C.E.O.s seeking advice on how to manage relations with Mr. Trump because of his close relationship with him, said there has been a shift among the C-suite crowd.

“The attitude of the business community toward the Trump Administration appears quite positive,” said Mr. Schwarzman, who runs one of the world’s biggest investment funds. Among the reasons for the warm feelings, he said, are the strength of the economy, trade deals with China, Mexico and Canada, the tax bill and the elimination of regulations.

Still, if there is one topic expected to dominate the week here besides Mr. Trump himself, it will be an issue that he and the Davos community vehemently disagree about: climate change

Just last week, Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft — and a Davos participant — announced the company would be carbon negative by 2030, and by 2050 it would seek to remove all of the carbon it has ever emitted since its founding in 1975. The World Economic Forum itself announced the meeting would be carbon neutral after it bought carbon credits to offset carbon emission from the event.

Of course, Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change and pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement to the horror of most of the executives and attendees of Davos.

He is likely to hear criticism from activists like Greta Thunberg, the high school phenom who has become a global icon for the climate. And he may get some nudging from C.E.O.s, but, unlike the activists, they will be unlikely to confront him publicly out of fear that he might turn on them or their companies.

“The Davos crowd are well respected followers of fashion and love whomever is in power,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and an expert on corporate leadership. “They celebrate when the people are rich and powerful.”

Mr. Sonnenfeld pointed out that, despite the stock market run-up, only “12 percent anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up from just 4 percent in the third quarter,” according to the Conference Board’s most recent survey of chief executives.

While the business community has come to accept Mr. Trump — one executive described the view by saying “life is relative” — Mr. Sonnenfeld noted that a poll he conducted three weeks ago found that 56 percent of C.E.O.s favored the president’s impeachment and removal from office.

Mr. Trump may find himself flattered by the Davos audience. Whether it is genuine flattery or something else remains an open question. Whatever the answer, Mr. Scaramucci is convinced it is all self-interested: “The unspeakable truth is that C.E.O.s and their staff are horrified.”

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In Its 50th Year, Davos Is Searching for Its Soul

It was just weeks before the World Economic Forum would host its 50th anniversary gathering in Davos, Switzerland, and Klaus Schwab, the event’s patrician founder, was pensive. In an interview at his organization’s midtown Manhattan offices, Mr. Schwab lamented the apparent retreat of ideals he has championed for a half-century.

Open borders, liberal democracy and free markets are under threat around the world. Instead, the moment is being shaped by rising nationalism, authoritarianism and a Chinese economic system to rival Western capitalism.

Couple this with a surge of anti-elitist sentiment, and the forum, which hosts world leaders and chief executives in mountaintop chalets under tight security, has for some become a symbol of all that is wrong with the world.

Attendees fret about inequality while hotel rooms in Davos — if you can get one — cost $500 or more a night. Many express concern about climate change, but arrive at the event in private jets. Describing the concentration of executives and heads of state there, the “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said, “Basically, it’s what Lex Luthor would point his space laser at.” Once a beacon of international cooperation, Davos has become a punch line.

“It pains me,” Mr. Schwab said.

But it hasn’t slowed him down. At 81, Mr. Schwab remains the animating force behind W.E.F., as it is colloquially known. He will preside over the meeting in Davos, greeting dignitaries, opining from the main stage of the Congress Center and dropping in on exclusive dinner parties. A German academic who charted an unlikely path to the summit of international thought leadership, Mr. Schwab has the power to frame the debate among the world’s most influential actors, even as much of what he stands for comes under assault.

“Klaus has been so successful in bringing together these decision makers,” said David Gergen, the former White House adviser and a Davos regular. “And yet in so many ways, we’ve been going backward in terms of climate, nationalism and the health of our democracies.”

Despite the hand-wringing, everyone is still showing up to the party.

The event began in January 1971.Credit…World Economic Forum A farewell lunch at last year’s forum, which is held in the Alpine town of Davos, Switzerland.Credit…Pascal Bitz/World Economic Forum

The forum has once again charged corporations a small fortune for the privilege to send their executives tramping around Davos in snow boots and suits. Companies like Microsoft and Ikea have once again spent lavishly to transform ski town gift shops into glorified exhibition booths. World leaders, including President Trump, are expected to attend.

At a practical level, the sheer concentration of movers and shakers makes Davos an irresistible draw for other movers and shakers. Business and political leaders dice up their schedules into 30-minute increments, cramming in more than a dozen meetings a day with customers, partners, regulators and journalists.

In the evenings, masters of the universe will hop from, say, a dinner hosted by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist, to a wine party sponsored by Anthony Scaramucci, the financier and former Trump administration official. JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, is hosting a cocktail reception at a museum. Marc Benioff, the Salesforce co-founder and co-chief executive, will buy out a nightclub and fly in a pop star.

“Six days of work at Davos is easily six months of work in other places for these people,” said Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group, who has worked with the forum over the years. “That intensity is valuable.”

As usual, the agenda will touch upon the litany of threats to the dominant world order, including the climate crisis, rising tensions in the Middle East and income inequality. In the months before each year’s gathering, Mr. Schwab flies around the globe on an international listening tour, asking executives and world leaders what’s on their mind.

After this year’s travels, Mr. Schwab said that the top concerns included rising debt, China’s rise, Brexit and climate change. In short, the elite are worried about the demise of the very ideology long espoused by Mr. Schwab: globalism — the notion that the open exchange of people, products, ideas and services across borders will benefit all.

“That was an ideology that felt completely dominant when the Soviet Union collapsed, but today not so much,” Mr. Bremmer said. “A lot of people inside those democracies feel like that globalism has failed them.

Over the years, Davos has become the target of scrutiny. Critics have said that it allows companies to gloss over their sins with high-minded pledges to do better, and that it is insufficiently diverse. (It remains an overwhelmingly male affair, with just 22 percent of attendees women this year, a record high.) And recently, the debate about Davos has begun playing out in real time.

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Limousines and other cars at last year’s forum.Credit…Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Last year, one of the most talked-about exchanges at the event was about Davos itself.

On a panel discussion featuring, among others, the conservationist Jane Goodall and Edward Felsenthal, the editor of Time magazine, Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, spoke about what he saw as the rampant hypocrisy on display in the Alps.

“Fifteen hundred private jets have flown in here to hear Sir David Attenborough speak about how, you know, we’re wrecking the planet,” Mr. Bregman said, eliciting nervous chuckles from the crowd. “I hear people talk in the language of participation and justice and equality and transparency, but then, I mean, almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right? And of the rich just not paying their fair share. I mean, it feels like I’m at a firefighters conference, and no one is allowed to speak about water.”

The clip went viral and seemed to confirm people’s suspicions that for all the talk of world-changing agendas in Davos, not much really happened there. Moreover, his comments echoed a broader line of criticism that the global elite are uninterested in solutions to intractable problems if those solutions threaten their dominance.

“They’d rather listen to a Buddhist monk talk about meditation or hear about power poses, but they don’t like to talk about the source of tax evasion,” Mr. Bregman said in an interview, noting that he had not been invited back to Davos this year. “They want to hear about how individuals can change their lives, rather than how structural reform can affect inequality or climate change.”

Mr. Schwab defended the substance of the event.

Other dissenting voices will be in attendance this year, including the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who will attend for a second time. And Mr. Schwab was an early proponent of socially responsible business, helping define the “stakeholder theory,” which holds that corporations should answer not just to shareholders, but to employees, customers and the environment.

That may not sound particularly controversial today, but Mr. Schwab was ahead of his time in the early 1970s. “Back then you had to fight against Milton Friedman, who gave a moral justification to profit maximization,” Mr. Schwab said, referring to the economist who wrote that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

Much has changed since then.

Last year, the Business Roundtable, an influential group of American chief executives, redefined its mission statement to more closely align with what Mr. Schwab first said a half-century ago. BlackRock, the world’s largest institutional investor, recently said it would make climate change a focus of its investment strategy.

It’s hard to imagine where the world of business responsibility would be without Davos,” Mr. Gergen said.

And even as globalism comes under attack from all sides, Mr. Schwab argues that, on balance, it has been a force for good. In the 50 years since the World Economic Forum began, life has improved for most people, he said. Even as the human population has doubled, the likelihood of child mortality, illiteracy and deaths by disease are all at record lows. And he said he believed that while, yes, governments and corporations had fallen short — and maybe even contributed to the problems — they were an integral part of whatever solutions might be possible.

“Elites have always existed,” he said. “We bring together people of influence, and we hope that they use their influence in a positive way.”

In recent years, Mr. Schwab has tried to address the criticism that Davos is out of touch. Aware of the bad optics of all those private jets, he has asked all forum members to commit to be carbon-free by 2050. He recently expressed his support for reining in executive pay. Yet he is unlikely to upset BP or Google with calls for a steep carbon tax or stricter antitrust regulation. After all, those are among the companies that pay lavishly for access to the most elite party on earth.

“Klaus is much more comfortable being an activist in the world of ideas than one in the world of action,” Mr. Gergen said.

“He doesn’t see himself as someone who needs to be in front of a parade, changing one law or another.”

To skeptics like Mr. Bregman, this is the very problem.

While Mr. Schwab fashions himself as the conscience of global capitalism, he is constrained in just how far he can go. The genial host of Davos, he must be careful not to upset his guests. If the debate about how to fix the world’s problems is unfailingly polite, it is unlikely that the hard questions will get asked. If access to the forum is restricted to those who can afford the price of admission or score a sponsored invite, the voices at the table risk an ideological homogeneity.

“Some people believe that the global elite go to Davos and plan for world domination, but it’s much scarier than that,” Mr. Bregman said.

“You go there and you find out that all those people are pretty nice. But friendliness can stand in the way of justice.”

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