Stories We’re Watching
*Reporter: What do you think about the investigations against the Trump family business?
*Ivanka: “Mueller? I don’t know her.”
A federal court has released a redacted transcript from yesterday’s sealed Manafort hearing. Prosecutors allege that Manafort lied about “an extremely sensitive issue” in order to secure a presidential pardon and about working in Ukraine after his initial indictment. Manafort’s lawyers argue that he didn’t deliberately lie; he just misstated certain facts. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump told reporters that she had ‘zero concern’ about the special counsel’s investigation and that “It’s not like it’s a strange thing […] to have a hotel or a property in Russia.”
- Vox: Mueller’s team discusses pardons and the Trump administration
- The Hill: Manafort met with Ukrainian business partner in 2018: report
- CNN: Transcript of closed-door Manafort hearing official
- ABC News: Ivanka Trump has ‘zero concern’ about special counsel
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Testifies before House Judiciary Committee
Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee earlier today. When pressed, Whitaker told members of Congress that he had not talked to the president about the special counsel’s investigation, and he denied having had any interference with the ongoing investigation. But he would neither confirm nor deny if he spoke with the president about the separate, ongoing Michael Cohen investigation.
- Bloomberg: Whitaker Says He Hasn’t ‘Interfered in Any Way’ in Mueller Probe
- HuffPost: Matthew Whitaker Refuses To Talk About Conversations With Trump
- Washington Post: Whitaker says he won’t detail for Congress his discussions with Trump
MBS Threatened Khashoggi with ‘Bullet’, Erdogan Laments Lack of Saudi Transparency
Current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports have confirmed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told an aide that he would go after Khashoggi with ‘a bullet’ over the journalist’s criticism of the Saudi Royal family, which makes up the government. Since Khashoggi’s murder last October, MBS has faced growing scrutiny over human rights violations. Meanwhile, President Erdogan, the Sultan of Scruples, has lamented Saudi officials’ “complete lack of transparency” on the Khashoggi investigation.
- INSIDER: Apple and Google accused of helping ‘enforce gender apartheid’
- Guardian: Saudi crown prince wanted to go after Jamal Khashoggi ‘with a bullet
- Haaretz: Saudi Arabia’s ‘Complete Lack of Transparency’ on Khashoggi Murder Is Concerning, Turkey Says
UK, Norway, & Iceland Start Plans for a No-deal Brexit
The UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway have formalized an agreement on citizens’ rights in preparation for a no-deal exit. Commons is set to hold a(nother) general debate on Brexit next week. Opposition have called for another referendum to prevent a no-deal exit. Under a no-deal scenario, no one knows what the trade rules will be when the UK exits on March 29.
- Reuters: UK, Norway, Iceland agree on citizens’ rights if no-deal Brexit
- The Guardian: Second referendum necessary if no Brexit agreement
- BBC: Brexit: ‘Very real’ chance of Irish unity poll if no deal
US China Trade War: Markets Down as POTUS Says Meeting with Xi Is ‘Unlikely’
Markets declined following President Trump’s announcement that he had ruled out a meeting with President Xi before the trade deal deadline on March 2. Yesterday, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said that the two sides had a long way to go before reaching a deal. The president alluded to structural changes in the SOTU address, but hasn’t released any specifics on IP, forced technology transfers, or data localization.
- The Guardian: Trade war fears mount as Trump says China meeting ‘unlikely’
- CNBC: Asia markets decline amid fresh concerns over US-China trade
- Financial Times: Donald Trump rules out Xi Jinping meeting before key trade deadline
- South China Morning Post: The garlic case that foreshadowed the US-China trade war
From Deep State Daily
DEEPTECH SPECIAL EDITION QUIZ: HOW MUCH DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES?
You’ve heard of troll farms and how Russia’s Internet Research Agency used memes to interfere with the 2016 US elections, but what else are the international spymasters up to? Find out what they’re actually collecting (and how they do it) in this week’s DeepTech quiz.
NATIONAL SECURITY MAGAZINE: JUST BECAUSE TRUMPWORLD IS BATSHIT CRAZY DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD LOSE SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE
In an in-depth conversation with former National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden Colin Kahl, now of Stanford University, we discuss the unsettling reality of Trump Administration foreign policy for American interests and for those of our allies worldwide. From the intelligence community’s not so subtle indictment of Trump policies in their most recent report on global threats to the State of the Union, from team Trump’s nationalism to a case-by-case breakdown of the unsettling situation in the Middle East, this discussion is a must listen for anyone who wants to get beyond the headlines to understand the bigger trends and threats at play in today’s world. Tune in.