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Ivanka Trump Meets With Some Saudi Women

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner walks with Ivanka Trump at the Royal Court Palace on Saturday in Riyadh. Photo: AP

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner walks with Ivanka Trump at the Royal Court Palace on Saturday in Riyadh. Photo: AP

First Daughter Ivanka Trump brought her message of female empowerment Sunday to the world’s most repressive society for women -- in terms of pure numbers. Saudi women are not allowed to drive -- despite a campaign that AOC has promoted since 2010. Saudi women must cover themselves from head to toe in public and continue to require permission from a “male guardian” to travel outside their homes.

Ivanka Trump’s message did not appear to resonate with at least some Saudi women, writes The Washington Post

“All the women that Ivanka Trump met have a guardian,” said Aziza al-Yousef, a 58-year-old Saudi activist who has campaigned to abolish the guardianship rules. A retired computer science professor at King Saud University, she was recently rebuffed when she tried to deliver to the government a 14,700-signature petition on eliminating the guardian system.

“All these achievements depend on whether you’re lucky to be born in a family where your guardian will be understanding, will help you,” Yousef said. “If Ivanka is interested in women empowerment and human rights, she should see activists, and not just officials.”

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the only man at the gathering of 15 black-wrapped, highly educated women, described Trump and the host Princess Reema bint Bandar as “two incredibly successful entrepreneurs” and praised the development of the International Women’s Empowerment Fund under “Ivanka’s leadership.” He said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have together contributed $100 million and that he expected to announce a total of $41 billion -- a "stunning achievement" -- in the fund for helping female entrepreneurs — at the Group of 20 summit in July.

The German government has been deeply involved in the effort, and the World Bank has increased its involvement after ethics watchdogs in America suggested that any role for Ivanka Trump in soliciting funds would conflict with her White House role.

Friday Bombshells In Trumpworld

Air Force One had just lifted off with everyone of consequence at the White House on-board, when what has come to be known as the 5pm bewitching hour in Trumpworld blew sky high. 

The New York Times dropped the first bombshell that Trump trash-talked former FBI Director James Comey in last week's May 10 meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office. In an astonishingly reckless boast, Trump reportedly promised the Kremlin more flexibility in their relationship now that Comey "the nut job", also referred to as "crazy" Comey was out of the picture. Trump had fired Comey the prior day. 

These statements attributed to the American president were not denied by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, with the Times have knowledge of the official minutes of the White House meeting. 

“I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” Trump promised, then added, "I'm not under investigation."

Trump’s remarks quickly elicited groans, and some harsh words, from senior officials who did speak with The Daily Beast.

“If Donald Trump gets impeached, he will have one person to blame: Donald Trump,” one of those administration officials said.

Russia Probe Targets White House Official Very Close To President

About two minutes after the Times story dropped online, the Washington Post nearly caused a case of cardiac arrest as they announced that the Russian influence investigation was eyeing Trump's inner circle. 

Vanity Fair writer Emily Jane Fox probably wants a new headline for her article 'Prince Jared Prepares For Saudi Arabia. "The president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, is perhaps the only person other than his wife, Ivanka, not insecure about his position as the White House goes mobile," Fox writes, referring to the WH staff being on a nine-day mission with their volatile boss. 

With pundits believing that the person at the center of the White House probe, all eyes will be on Jared Kushner when Team Trump arrives in Riyadh about 3 am New York time. 

Robert Mueller, Former FBI Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation

US Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Wednesday that the Justice Department has appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the former FBI director, to serve as a special counsel to oversee its investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

The appointment of the former FBI Director under both the Bush and Obama administrations, the esteemed Mr. Mueller's arrival dramatically raises the stakes for President Trump in the multiple investigations into his campaign’s ties to the Russians. Recent events have left Americans reeling over the daily upsets coming out of White House, including Mr. Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the FBI director, James B. Comey last week, and Tuesday's disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

“I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.”

While a special counsel would remain ultimately answerable to Mr. Rosenstein — and by extension, the president — the former FBI Director would have greater autonomy to run an investigation than a United States attorney would. Mr. Mueller will be able to choose to what extent to consult with or inform the Justice Department about his investigation as it goes forward. via The New York Times

Related: Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to Washington New York Times

Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him To End Flynn Investigation

The White House is reeling tonight from a Tuesday afternoon bombshell story in the New York Times that President Trump asked FBI director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 

"I hope you can let this go," the president told Mr. Comey, according to one of a trail of memos documenting all his transactions with Trump that was read to the Times over the phone and corroborated by multiple Comey colleagues. That memo, and all other Comey memos regarding the president were demanded tonight by Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and chairman of the House Oversight Committee. 

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Honored at a dinner tonight, Arizona Senator John McCain said that the level of scandals in the Trump administration are reaching "Watergate size and scale."

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