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Seth Abramson
(THREAD) This thread catalogs all key content in the 83-minute video Fruman secretly made—and Parnas transmitted to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence—of an intimate April 2018 dinner at a Trump hotel in which Trump discusses Ukraine. I hope you'll RETWEET this.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
NOTE: NBC News now has the video, as does ABC News—the first to get it, actually—as does (by now) basically *everyone*. I'm using the PBS link below, for those who want to follow along. I will try to give time signatures for the key content as I detail it.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
1:00 / The first minute reveals a beautifully outfitted table with 14 place settings in a room with a hallway running off it. Looking down the hallway, we see Trump and what looks to be his son Don posing with people for photos. At the table, Trump is to be seated next to Don Jr.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
1:00 / Trump isn't in the room yet, but the guests are discussing where they're from—including one from Palm Beach (FL) and one from Columbus (OH). A person says they own a country club. Parnas films the table; someone says to him, "Some people may not want their pictures taken."
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
1:00 / To clarify, I hear Parnas' voice, but it may be Igor's phone that is filming. Parnas speaks English, as we all know; so does Igor, but not nearly as well.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
2:30 / Trump comes in and gets applause. Everyone is apparently standing behind their assigned seats. We get a very good look at a man next to Trump, but I don't recognize him yet. I'll mention his name when/as I figure it out. It's *not* Igor, Lev, Don Jr., or Johnny DeStefano.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
2:30 / Don is sitting to Trump's left, and the man we get a good look at is to his right. Again, I'll offer an ID once I have it, or if you want to go to this part of the video and help with an ID, please do. I assume this is someone connected to the "America First Action" group.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
3:00 / Here (top) is the man to Trump's right, then ("below" him in this rotated picture) is the man sitting to the right of that man. All of these people are federal witnesses now and should in some fashion be interviewed or deposed.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
3:00 / Here's the man sitting two people to Trump's right.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
3:00 / So yes, Igor appears to be filming, as at 2:00 in the video he is standing behind his assigned chair as everyone else is doing the same.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
3:00 / At 2:45, Trump compliments someone on their "Jack Nickalaus genes," and the Washington Post confirms that one of the attendees is Jack Nickalaus III.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
3:00 / This appears to be the man sitting to Don Jr.'s left. I believe it's Johnny DeStefano—a Trump political adviser who we know is at the table (and the faces match). So we have a majority of the people at the table shown now—three people plus Lev, Igor, Trump, Don, DeStefano.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
4:00 / A *ton* of golf talk. Jesus... {*yawn*}
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
4:00 / I'd been assuming Giuliani was there, but no one was reporting it (and Parnas and Fruman weren't—we're told—"officially" working for Giuliani as part of Trump's legal team yet). But—breaking news!—a White House spokesperson says Giuliani was there.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
4:00 / Note that Giuliani says he wasn't there, and we don't have confirmation he was. It'd make sense for him to be—even though Lev and Igor weren't yet working for him as part of Trump's legal team—but a reader says Lev's attorney (Bondy) denies Rudy was there, so we'll see.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
4:30 / Trump is simultaneously bragging about his polls and complaining about his media coverage, which I assume is one of the few things he does as often as talk about golf. {*yawn*}
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
5:00 / They actually *applaud* Trump for having been elected, as Trump reminisces about Election Day. This is in April 2018... over *15 months* post-election.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
5:30 / Trump is talking about North Korea and China. We know some of what he's telling these donors about U.S. foreign policy is non-public info, as he prefaces his comments by saying "this is off the record." (They're not journalists.) Great national security consciousness here.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
7:00 / Trump is engaging and sounds relaxed. Someone who works for or runs the "largest steel consumer in the country" is in the room, and tries to talk a bit, but Trump cuts him off to try to get him to say his policies are helping the country. You can smell Trump's impatience.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
8:00 / Amazing how much these donors talk, given that they *must* realize Trump only wants to hear himself talk and is barely listening to them.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
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8:30 / Trump is saying he can't believe America fought the Korean War or was involved on the Korean peninsula at all.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
9:00 / Much hilarity and laughing about how stupid it was to fight the Korean War. U.S. death toll in the Korean War: 33,686. *Hilarious*.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
10:00 / Trump says the Korean War was a pointless effort to deal with "these two places" (North/South Korea). Note that he ties his trade talk to his foreign policy—his foreign policy is *always* about money, not lives. Trump is asking for the donors' advice on his Korea policy.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
11:00 / These donors clearly feel they've bought access not just to Trump but his policy-making. This one "purchaser of steel" sounds like he's directly telling Trump what he should do to make him—the purchaser—happy, which you better believe has little to do with anyone but him.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
11:30 / Trump occasionally asks questions, but they're all designed to get people to react to his decisions as president—he's soliciting praise and confirmation of his existing choices/biases. Then he returns to filibustering the room. A donor is trying to get a word in edgewise.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
13:00 / Hard to explain exactly what I'm listening to here. These folks may be eating, but this is a *hardcore lobbying session* in which the attendees—certainly this one steel purchaser—are trying to sway the president to take actions that benefit them/their business personally.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
14:00 / Trump is noncommittal—it's not clear he's listening to anyone. He just wants to expound his opinions as they seek to say something that will land with him. A woman has just begun speaking—which means a new person at the table not previously registered (they were all men).
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
14:30 / The woman is trying to find out what Trump will do next on China and the WTO, which I'm *sure* would never be used by her or *anyone at this table* for any sort of insider trading. *Totally sure*. Trump is criticizing Clinton on China/the WTO and Bush on the Middle East.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
15:30 / Trump's way of talking foreign policy is...insane? On the Middle East, he begins by saying, "We're into the Middle East right now for $7 trillion...that's over 18 years." I mean, I get it—*money*—but you've no sense this man has ever seen anything any way but financially.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
16:30 / Did you doubt Trump wants the European Union *destroyed*—just like Putin does? Don't. Because he calls the EU "a weapon to hurt the United States, to allow people to enrich themselves....it's a group of countries that got together to screw the United States." Scary stuff.
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Seth Abramson Jan 26
Replying to @SethAbramson
17:00 / "It's really bad. The European Union doesn't *sound* like it [i.e. bad]...I mean, we're all sort of from there." Uh...what? Is this his understanding of America? Everyone's from Europe? The woman tries to defend the EU; Trump says they're "worse than China with barriers."
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