The Room Where it Happens
Wayne Brady, Miguel Cervantes, Colby Lewis, Wallace Smith
The Room Where it Happens

My master. Full audio for trade…

Chicago - Private Bank Theatre
March 18, 2017 Matinee

Alexander Hamilton ……………… Miguel Cervantes
Eliza Hamilton …………………. Ari Afsar
Aaron Burr …………………….. Wayne Brady
Angelica Schuyler ………………. Karen Olivo
George Washington ………………. Carl Clemons-Hopkins (u/s)
Marquis de Lafayette/
Thomas Jefferson ……………….. Colby Lewis (s/b)

Hercules Mulligan/James Madison ….. Wallace Smith
John Laurens/Philip Hamilton …….. José Ramos
Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds ……. Samantha Marie Ware
King George ……………………. Alexander Gemignani

Philip Schuyler/
James Reynolds/Doctor …………… Jin Ha
Samuel Seabury …………………. José Amor
Charles Lee ……………………. Robert Walters (t/r)
George Eaker …………………… Remmie Bourgeois

Amber Ardolino, Yossi Chaikin (swing), Holly James, Justice Moore,
Samantha Pollino, Candace Quarrels, Antuan Magic Raimone (swing)

Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel
Erik Prince met with a Russian close to the Kremlin in a meeting brokered by the United Arab Emirates.
By https://www.facebook.com/kevin.sieff

Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff, and Karen DeYoung at Washington Post

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.

Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.

Prince was an avid supporter of Trump. After the Republican convention, he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s campaign, the national party and a pro-Trump super PAC led by GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, records show. He has ties to people in Trump’s circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. And Prince was seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.

U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump. The FBI declined to comment.

The Seychelles encounter, which one official said spanned two days, adds to an expanding web of connections between Russia and Americans with ties to Trump — contacts that the White House has been reluctant to acknowledge or explain until they have been exposed by news organizations.

“We are not aware of any meetings, and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,” said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.

A Prince spokesman said in a statement: “Erik had no role on the transition team. This is a complete fabrication. The meeting had nothing to do with President Trump. Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?”

Prince is best known as the founder of Blackwater, a security firm that became a symbol of U.S. abuses in Iraq after a series of incidents, including one in 2007 in which the company’s guards were accused — and later criminally convicted — of killing civilians in a crowded Iraqi square. Prince sold the firm, which was subsequently re-branded, but has continued building a private paramilitary empire with contracts across the Middle East and Asia. He now heads a Hong Kong-based company known as the Frontier Services Group.

Prince would probably have been seen as too controversial to serve in any official capacity in the Trump transition or administration. But his ties to Trump advisers, experience with clandestine work and relationship with the royal leaders of the Emirates — where he moved in 2010 amid mounting legal problems for his American business — would have positioned him as an ideal go-between.

The Seychelles meeting came after separate private discussions in New York involving high-ranking representatives of Trump with both Moscow and the Emirates.

The White House has acknowledged that Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s original national security adviser, and Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late November or early December in New York.

Flynn and Kushner were joined by Bannon for a separate meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who made an undisclosed visit to New York later in December, according to the U.S., European and Arab officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

In an unusual breach of protocol, the UAE did not notify the Obama administration in advance of the visit, though officials found out because Zayed’s name appeared on a flight manifest.

Officials said Zayed and his brother, the UAE’s national security adviser, coordinated the Seychelles meeting with Russian government officials with the goal of establishing an unofficial back channel between Trump and Putin.

Officials said Zayed wanted to be helpful to both leaders, who had talked about working more closely together, a policy objective long advocated by the crown prince. The UAE, which sees Iran as one of its main enemies, also shared the Trump team’s interest in finding ways to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran.

Zayed met twice with Putin in 2016, according to Western officials, and urged the Russian leader to work more closely with the Emirates and Saudi Arabia — an effort to isolate Iran.

At the time of the Seychelles meeting and for weeks afterward, the UAE believed that Prince had the blessing of the new administration to act as its unofficial representative. The Russian participant was a person whom Zayed knew was close to Putin from his interactions with both men, the officials said.

UPDATE 1-Mnuchin's former bank in $89 mln settlement over reverse mortgages (CIT)

(Adds Mnuchin connection, details, background)

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s former bank agreed to pay $89 million to settle allegations it wrongfully sought payments from a federally insured reverse mortgage program, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Austin, Texas-based Financial Freedom, once a unit of OneWest Bank, obtained insurance payments for interest from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), despite mortgage holders being ineligible for them, according to the settlement agreement.

With reverse mortgage loans, seniors borrow money against the equity they have built in their homes. To protect lenders, HUD provides mortgage insurance through a program administered by the Federal Housing Administration.

The government accused Financial Freedom of seeking to obtain certain insurance payments between 2011 and 2016, although it did not meet deadlines for property appraisals, claims submissions and foreclosure proceedings.

Financial Freedom was a unit of OneWest, a bank formerly known as IndyMac, a failed lender Mnuchin and his investor group acquired in 2009 and rebranded.

The bank foreclosed on more than 36,000 homeowners, leading housing advocates to dub it a “foreclosure machine.”

Financial Freedom was a division that handled loans to seniors. Mnuchin grew OneWest into Southern California’s largest lender and sold it for $3.4 billion to CIT Group Inc in 2015.

At his confirmation hearing, Mnuchin denied that he ran a “foreclosure machine.” He said he was committed to loan modifications intended to stop foreclosures.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department had no immediate comment on the settlement.

CIT, which did not admit liability, said in a filing on Tuesday that it cooperated with the government after receiving subpoenas from HUD’s Inspector General in 2015.

Sandra Jolley, a consumer advocate and whistleblower in the case, will receive $1.6 million for her role in the probe.

Her attorney, David Scher, said the settlement was the tip of the iceberg when it came to wrongdoing by reverse mortgage companies. He said he hoped the investigation would continue.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has probed Financial Freedom over complaints it deliberately targeted seniors with dementia and other memory-loss, Reuters reported in January, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Schneiderman’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the probe.

CIT disclosed it received a subpoena from Schneiderman in the second quarter of 2017, and said it was preparing to respond. A CIT spokeswoman declined to comment on any broader probes of wrongdoing by reverse mortgage companies. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld, additional reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Eric Beech and Andrew Hay)

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