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FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray is sworn-in at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)


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LAS VEGAS — The most talked about word in the U.S. these days is “honesty.”

In the history of America, one of the most guarded values is honesty.

But, since the Trumps ascended Washington, D.C., dishonesty, lies, fake news, alternative facts, obstruction, and collusion became popular subjects of discourse.

Obstruction of justice and collusion are even objects of an ongoing investigation by a Department of Justice special counsel and by Congress.

No one knows the would-be results of the investigations.

But they could pave the way to impeachment proceedings against President Trump and possibly sending to jail of certain persons close to the President.

Thanks to the legitimate media (as opposed to purveyors of fake news and propagandas).

They have been doing tremendous job in exposing actions and activities by certain sectors that undermine America’s democratic way of life.

Sadly, the authentic media, as we know it, have been the object of pillories by President Donald J. Trump.

Especially, those that criticize the President.

Last Tuesday, The New York Times came out with an editorial titled “Donald Trump, Jr. and a Culture of Dishonesty.”

The NYT editorial was triggered by a headline story the day before about a meeting on June 9, 2016 between the Trump big campaign operatives and a Russian Government lawyer who could had been an agent.

The story negated all the Trump earlier denials that his camp never met with the Russians during the course of the last election campaign.


The New York Times editorial


The NYT editorial in part: “At a critical juncture in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year, his son Donald Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who promised to share political dirt on Hillary Clinton. Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, and Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a key strategist, also attended.

“The June 9, 2016 meeting is of obvious interest to Robert Mueller III, the Justice Department special counsel investigating the Trump team’s potential involvement in Russia’s effort to influence the presidential election.

“In two clumsy statements over the weekend, the younger Mr. Trump on Saturday said the meeting was related to Russia’s freezing of an adoption program popular with Americans.

“When confronted a day later with a Times story citing authoritative sources that Ms. Veselnitskaya had promised damaging material on Mrs. Clinton, he said that the information she supplied was essentially meaningless and merely a ‘pretext’ for discussing the adoption issue.

“On the face of it, this seemed a clear though perhaps unintended admission by Donald Trump Jr. that he had gone into the meeting expecting damaging information, and the episode is clearly grist for Mr. Mueller’s mill. As is a report Monday night by The Times that the President’s son had received an e-mail saying Ms. Veselnitskaya’s information came from Moscow.

“But his shifty statements are also further evidence of how freely his father and the people around the President contort the truth. Only six months in, President Trump has compiled a record of dishonesty — ranging from casual misstatements to flat-out lies — without precedent in the modern presidency. Equally disheartening is his team’s willingness to share in his mendacity.

“On Sunday, before Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that there was a Clinton-related aspect to the meeting, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, was on Fox News suggesting that the Veselnitskaya episode was ‘a big nothingburger’ for the Trump campaign.

“If a culture of dishonesty takes root in an administration, how can Americans believe anything its officials say...

“On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. hired a lawyer, while maintaining on Twitter that he’d been forthright in answering questions about the meeting last year. Meanwhile, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy press secretary, blew more smoke: The ‘only thing I see inappropriate’ about the meeting, she said, is that it was leaked to the media.”


***


Encouraging sign


In light of all the above, Christopher Wray, the next FBI Director, has shown redeeming signs during his Senate confirmation hearings.

He told the members of the Senate committee the following:

•His loyalty is to Constitution and Rule of Law.

•FBI will observe “strict independence.”

•If he is asked by the White House to end an investigation, he will resign.

•He will observe a clear process in the FBI procedures.

•Any interference from a foreign nation of U.S. elections should be reported to the FBI.

•He doesn’t believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch-hunt.


***


Personal.


Happy Birthday to Alexander Duque of Jersey City, N.J.

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