Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I don't believe in coincidence.

March 14, 2017
By John Pacenti

West Palm Beach, Fla - The coincidences are piling up. (click here)

After disavowing any contact with President Donald Trump last week, Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev's state-of-the-art yacht Anna sat anchored in the British Virgin Islands on Friday night when another equally resplendent luxury liner, the Sea Owl, sidled up, according to a website that tracks the movement of yachts.

The owner of the dark-hulled yacht? President Donald Trump's biggest financial supporter and Breitbart News moneyman, Robert Mercer.

Rybolovlev has repeatedly said he has never met Trump or had any dealings with anyone in his campaign. The oligarch did purchase a Palm Beach mansion from the developer in 2008 through a family trust, Rybolovlev's spokespeople say.

Within days of the election last year, Trump's and Rybolovlev's jets were parked on the airport apron in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 3. Trump had a campaign rally that day in Concord, N.C. Rybolovlev said he was there for business.

The two planes were also in Las Vegas at the same time in October....

March 14, 2017
By Charles V. Bagli and Michael Forsythe

A New York real estate company (click here) owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law is negotiating to sell a $400 million stake in its Fifth Avenue flagship skyscraper to a Chinese insurance company with ties to leading families of the Communist Party.

The Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, would pay to get a high-profile piece of Manhattan real estate and would commit to spending billions more to completely transform the 60-year-old tower into a chic condominium and retail citadel.

If signed, the potential agreement would create a financial marriage of two politically powerful families in the world's two biggest economies, but it would also present the possibility of glaring conflicts of interest. The Kushner family, owners of the tower, would reap a financial windfall courtesy of a Chinese company, even as Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump as well as his son-in-law, helps oversee U.S. foreign policy.

News of the negotiations surfaced as Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, were preparing for their first meeting, to be held next month.

Kushner has emerged as a moderating voice in China policy among Trump's inner circle, and he has been heavily involved in planning for the visit.

Asked about a deal at a news conference Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, referred questions back to the Kushner Companies. "Jared went through extraordinary lengths" to comply with conflict-of-interest rules, he said....

March 14, 2017
By Mengqi Sun

...Ivanka Trump made headlines (click here) last November when her namesake company promoted the $10,800 bracelet she wore to an interview with “60 Minutes,” raising concerns about a conflict of interest. The spokeswoman for the fashion company later apologized. 

To avoid further potentially problematic entanglements for the company, Ivanka Trump removed herself from the leadership role. Yet, her involvement in the White House has come under more scrutiny as she continues to hold her financial stake in the company.

The decision also came amid reports that online sales of the brand surged last month, despite decisions by major department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to drop the line in January. According to British e-commerce website Lyst, sales of Ivanka Trump brand items jumped 346 percent from January to February this year, as The Christian Science Monitor reported on Saturday.

“Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Klem said. “For several different retailers Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the [brand’s] best performance ever.”

March 14, 2017
By Jamie Feldman

Whether you’re a devoted member (click here) of the Grab Your Wallet boycott or you’re enthusiastically buying Ivanka Trump, chances are you already know that many of the Trump family’s products are made overseas.

But did you know that even as President Donald Trump promised to create jobs by following “two simple rules: Buy American and hire American” in his January inauguration speech, huge shipments of his daughter’s line were reportedly on the way to the U.S. from China?

More than 53.5 metric tons of Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, bags, and clothes were sailing to American ports in eight shipments “even as he spoke,” according to customs receipts obtained by French news organization Agence France-Presse. 

President Trump promised to bring more factory jobs to this country and accused China of stealing manufacturing work. But at least one shipment per business day of Ivanka Trump’s shoes and other offerings continues to be sent from China, according to the AFP investigation, and the Global Times reported last month that a Chinese factory has already received an order for 10,000 Ivanka Trump shoes for next season....