The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Trump Attacks Facebook on Behalf of Racists and Grifters
  2. DeathHamster Member

    • Like Like x 1
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert | The Washington Post


    More than 450 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he holds.

    The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.

    Mueller had declined to say one way or the other whether Trump should have been charged, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, as well as concerns about the fairness of accusing someone for whom there can be no court proceeding.

    “Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former federal prosecutors wrote.

    Continued at

    Hundreds of former Justice officials assert Trump would be facing felony charges if he were not President | CNN
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mnuchin refuses to turn over Trump taxes to House Democrats | CNN


    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday denied a request from House Democrats for access to six years of President Donald Trump's personal tax returns.

    "I am informing you now that the Department may not lawfully fulfill the Committee's request," Mnuchin wrote in his one-page letter, written in consultation with lawyers from the Department of Justice.

    Mnuchin added that the Department of Justice would issue a formal legal opinion.

    The denial comes after two missed deadlines by the Treasury secretary, who again in his letter said the request by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal under an obscure statute of tax law is "unprecedented," arguing it raises "serious constitutional questions" that could have dire consequences for taxpayer privacy.

    Trump has refused to release his tax information, first as a candidate and now as president, breaking a precedent going back to Watergate.

    The fight over Trump's tax returns is escalating just as the President has made increasingly clear that he expects his administration officials to fight requests from the opposing party. Attorney General William Barr declined a Democratic request to testify last week in the House about special counsel Robert Mueller's report, a day after appearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.

    An administration official familiar with the matter said the Trump administration is not backing down in the fight over the President's tax returns.

    "It appears the Justice Department is prepared to litigate" the matter in the courts if Neal goes that route, the official said.

    Neal said in a statement Monday that he was still determining next steps.

    "Today, Secretary Mnuchin notified me that the IRS will not provide the documents I requested under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code," Neal said. "I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response."

    The committee chairman could issue a subpoena on top of his request, or Democrats could move to hold the Treasury Secretary or IRS Commissioner for whom the original request was addressed to in contempt of Congress.

    Some Democrats made clear Monday that they are eager to escalate, citing the Mueller report as well as the conviction of Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

    "On a day when his former fixer heads to jail and his current fixer heads the Department of Justice, President Trump obstructs both Mueller and his tax returns from speaking for themselves," Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said in a statement. "We need immediate legal action. We cannot allow this bad president to set bad precedent."

    The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, applauded the decision not to turn over Trump's returns.

    "After consulting with the Justice Department the Treasury Department has come to the firm conclusion that we have known since day one: this request from House Democrats to weaponize the tax code for purely political reasons is illegitimate and should be treated as such," Brady said in a statement. "This politically motivated abuse of the law violates our Constitution -- and serves no legislative purpose. Abusing the tax writing Committee's authority to go after a political enemy sets a dangerous precedent, and the Administration is right not to go along with it."

    Democrats initially directed their request to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the only person with the legal authority to turn over the returns, but Mnuchin has interceded twice in the matter, citing his role overseeing the federal tax collector.

    Mnuchin said in April he would deliver a response by May 6.

    The Justice Department has declined to comment on the matter.

    The fight over the request may ultimately to lead to a court fight -- which would be a rare example of Congress suing the executive branch for information. The Trump administration is already stonewalling other Democratic committee chairman on everything from the Mueller report to interviews with former White House counsel Don McGahn.

    Continued at
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    New York Times: Tax documents show Trump lost more than $1 billion in a decade

    By Kate Sullivan, CNN, May 7, 2019


    President Donald Trump's businesses reported losses of $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing information from tax documents from those years.

    It appears Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual US taxpayer year after year, the Times reports, according to the 10 years of tax information the newspaper acquired.

    Trump ran for president branding himself as a self-made billionaire, touting his financial success, but he has been steadfast in his refusal to release his tax returns to the public, despite mounting pressure from Congress. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin formally denied a request from the House Ways and Means Committee for Trump's last six years of tax returns, a period not covered by the documents reported by The Times on Tuesday.

    In 1990 and 1991, Trump's core business losses were more than $250 million each year -- more than double those of the closest taxpayers in those years, the Times reports.

    Trump lost so much money that he avoided paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years, according to the newspaper.

    The Times previously reported that Trump helped "his parents dodge taxes" in the 1990s, including "instances of outright fraud," and that he and his siblings helped his parents hide millions of dollars in gifts in a "sham corporation."

    Trump, starting at the age of 3, received at least $413 million in today's dollars from his father's real estate empire, the Times previously reported.

    The Times did not obtain Trump's tax returns, but someone who had legal access to the returns gave the newspaper information about their contents. The Times then matched the information to figures in the public database of IRS information on top earners, where identifying details are removed. The Times used other public documents to confirm significant findings, and used confidential Trump family tax and financial records the newspaper had previously acquired.

    Continued at

    Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses | The New York Times
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump's emperor-has-no-clothes moment on his wealth is here

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN, May 8, 2019


    President Donald Trump's entire persona is built on a singular idea: He's the brash, break-all-the-rules billionaire. Like him or hate him, you can't help but admire his massive wealth and the smarts that allowed him to accrue it.

    "I'm the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far," he told the Des Moines Register just before announcing his presidential candidacy in June 2015. "Nobody's ever been more successful than me. I'm the most successful person ever to run. Ross Perot isn't successful like me. [Mitt] Romney -- I have a Gucci store that's worth more than Romney."

    It turns out that isn't true.

    A blockbuster report by The New York Times lays out, in excruciating detail, how not true it all is. Here's the key bit:

    The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

    In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 — more than $250 million each year — were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.

    More than $1 billion in losses in a single decade!

    More than double the losses of the nearest other taxpayer in 1990 and 1991!

    The single biggest loser (of money) of all American taxpayers in the period 1985-1994!

    What the Times story does is something simple but profound: It punctures the balloon -- puffed up by years of Trumpian marketing and salesmanship -- that the President of the United States was some sort of business genius. In fact, Trump was one of -- if not the -- biggest failures (in terms of money making and losing) in the country during a decade-long stretch. His ability to maintain his wealth and, eventually, to grow it was born of taking advantage of a system of tax laws and loopholes friendly to big business.

    Trump acknowledged as much in a series of tweets responding to the Times story on Wednesday morning:

    Real estate developers in the 1980's & 1990's, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered 'tax shelter,' you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!

    Here's why this Times story matters so, so much: Trump explicitly ran for president on the idea that his business acumen gave him a unique -- and more valuable -- perspective on how to run the country than anyone else who had ever held the office (and certainly the other Republicans and Democrats running for the White House in 2016.)

    It's all right there in his announcement speech:

    So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it'll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of -- net worth, not assets, not -- a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets -- Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York -- many other places all over the world.

    So the total is $8,737,540,00.

    I'm not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don't have to brag. I don't have to, believe it or not.

    I'm doing that to say that that's the kind of thinking our country needs. We need that thinking. We have the opposite thinking.

    The logic is simple: I am rich. I made all of this money for myself over all these years but now I want to make the country -- and you, individual voter! -- rich too. Trump was pitching a secularized version of the Joel Osteen aspirational gospel; I can teach you to think and act like me, and, in so doing, you can be just like me!

    A huge part of Trump's appeal was encased in the idea that he was the American dream: A super-wealthy guy with a beautiful wife, lots of homes and his own plane with his name on the side. His years as a reality TV star served to codify that idea in peoples' minds; Trump was always getting off a helicopter or riding in a limousine -- in the middle of some major deal that would make him millions.

    Thanks to The New York Times, we know now all of that was pure American myth-making. Trump wasn't -- as he tried to portray himself -- a self-made man at all. As the Times reported in October 2018:

    Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father's real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.

    His wealth was hugely derived from his father. (Trump famously/infamously said his father, Fred, gave him only a "small" $1 million loan as he began his career as a real estate developer.) And now we know that during a critical period of his business life, Trump was losing more than $1 billion in a 10-year span -- a total that made him one of the single largest losers of money in America at the time.

    Put plainly: The story that Donald Trump has been telling himself and the American public for much of his life -- and especially since becoming a presidential candidate in 2015 -- isn't true. And it's more than an exaggeration. It's the opposite of what happened. Trump was gifted huge amounts of money by his father. He lost it at eye-popping rates.

    Will any of this matter to Trump's supporters or, more broadly, to the 2020 electorate? Probably not. Minds have been made up -- on both sides -- about Trump for a very long time. Facts and reality don't seem to puncture those opinions about the President.

    But whether voters vote on this issue next November is, really, beside the point. And the point is this: Donald Trump is not the person he sold himself to be to the American public in 2016. Period.

  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump's strange, startling weekend on Twitter

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN, May 13, 2019


    It was a rainy, damp weekend in Washington. Not good golf weather. But very, very good weather to sit in your house and tweet. Which is exactly what it appears President Donald Trump did.

    Between Saturday morning and Monday morning, Trump sent nearly three dozen original tweets. And that doesn't include the 62 retweets (including multiple retweets of his own tweets from a day or two earlier) Trump made in the space of less than an hour on Saturday morning.

    The bulk of Trump's tweets were focused either on special counsel Robert Mueller's now-concluded investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election (15 tweets) or the ongoing trade war with China (eight tweets). Trump also sent three tweets blasting the idea that his administration's refusal to cooperate with ongoing oversight investigations by Congress amounted to a constitutional crisis.

    He also repeatedly quote-tweeted Lou Dobbs or guests on the Fox Business personality's show. He suggested that the Boston Red Sox, who visited the White House last week, were on a winning streak because they came to see him. He attacked Minnesota Rep. Rashida Tlaib as possessing a "tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people." He praised the ratings for the overtly pro-Trump "Fox & Friends" and the similarly advocate-y One America News Network. He even suggested that he won the 2016 election because he refused to release his tax returns!

    It was a tour de force -- except not in a good way.

    As anyone who has been paying attention since Trump became a candidate knows, his Twitter feed is rightly understood as a direct window into a) what the President is thinking about and b) what he really cares about at any given moment. The public has never had access to the internal deliberations and machinations of a chief executive like Twitter has provided us with Trump. And it's hard to imagine we will ever have something -- or someone -- like this again.

    All of which is to say that doing a forensic analysis of Trump's tweets is a hugely important -- and enlightening -- activity.

    What this weekend reveals is that, for all of the desire from White House aides and congressional Republicans for Trump to move on from the Russia probe, he remains uniquely focused on it. Trump sent twice as many tweets about the Russia probe -- and the claim that it's actually Democrats who need to be investigated for "spying" on him during the 2016 election. Here's just one example from Sunday:

    "Despite two years and millions of dollars spent, the Democrats are acting like crazed lunatics ever since the results of the Mueller Report were made public. But they knew there was NOTHING even before the Report was started. It is all a big Hoax, the biggest in American history!"

    Trump is simply unable to mentally get himself beyond this story. He is obsessed with the idea that the investigation, which produced 199 criminal charges against 37 people and entities, was a "witch hunt" and a "total hoax." That view, which is simply not backed up by facts, is repeatedly reinforced by the self-reinforcing bubble in which the President lives. He watches shows like "Fox & Friends" and "Lou Dobbs Tonight" because they are unapologetic advocates for him and his policies. If Trump says it, it's right. Period.

    That self-reinforcing cycle is not unique to Trump. Study after study shows we are increasingly siloed in political worlds in which we never run into any differing viewpoints from people we like or know. It's not great for the average person to live in that siloed world; it's disastrous when a President does it. What happens is, well, Trump: A near-singularly focused President who believes that the conspiracy theories he has cooked up are, in fact, legitimate.

    Then there is this purely political calculation: By focusing so intensely on Mueller and the Russia probe, Trump isn't often using his massive Twitter bullhorn (more than 60 million) to tout the strength of the economy. Out of the 35 tweets he sent between Saturday and this morning, a total of one was about the economy. This is it:

    "Bernie Sanders, 'The Economy is doing well, and I'm sure I don't have to give Trump any credit - I'm sure he'll take all the credit that he wants.' Wrong Bernie, the Economy is doing GREAT, and would have CRASHED if my opponent (and yours), Crooked Hillary Clinton, had ever won!"

    A single tweet on what is without question Trump's best argument for a second term: You may not admire or even like me, but you can't argue with my results on the economy. And even that tweet was quoting one of Trump's potential rivals for the White House in 2020!

    Why focus so much on Mueller and so little on the economy? Why tweet as much about the economy as you do about the Red Sox and less than you do about the ratings of two conservative shows? Because there is no grand strategy here. Because Trump isn't playing three-dimensional chess. He is simply saying, doing and tweeting what is on his mind at the moment. No more, no less.

    Go and read Trump's Twitter timeline over the last 48 hours. The peek into his mind it provides is, um, startling.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    One of Donald Trump's favorite Fox news flunkies finally lashes out at him

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, May 19, 2019


    Fox News is giving fairly decent coverage to Democratic 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg, and that makes the baby Donald Trump cry. He lashed out at Fox this evening in response, and by the time it was over, even one of Trump’s favorite Fox News flunkies was lashing out at him in return.

    It all started when Donald Trump posted this childlike tweet: “Hard to believe that Fox News is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems. They got dumped from the Democrats boring debates, and they just want in. They forgot the people who got them there. Chris Wallace said, “I actually think, whether you like his opinions or not, that Mayor Pete has a lot of substance…fascinating biography.” Gee, he never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!”

    The trouble is, even the worst of propagandists at Fox News are well aware that because Chris Wallace generally tries to do his job like a real journalist, it gives the rest of the network some cover to do whatever it wants. So if you attack Wallace, like Trump did, you’re going to see some Fox personalities circle the wagon.

    Sure enough, Brit Hume – whose apparent sole job at Fox News is to dishonestly pander to Trump supporters – decided he’d had enough of Trump’s crap. He tweeted this message to Donald Trump: “Say this for Buttigieg. He’s willing to be questioned by Chris Wallace, something you’ve barely done since you’ve been president. Oh, and covering candidates of both parties is part of the job of a news channel.” Trump is angering his allies, at precisely the wrong time.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump goes completely berserk after Deutsche Bank accuses him of being a Russian money launderer

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, May 19, 2019


    Last night, Republican Congressman Justin Amash called for Donald Trump’s impeachment. This morning Trump predictably launched an attack on Amash, calling him a “loser” and a “lightweight” accordingly. But these are Trump’s usual generic insults, and the whole thing almost felt like a paint by numbers response. Then this afternoon Deutsche Bank accused Trump of being a Russian money launderer, and suddenly things changed.

    The New York Times reported this afternoon that watchdogs at Deutsche Bank flagged several of Donald Trump’s financial transactions for money laundering in 2016 and 2017, and that certain higher-ups at the bank then moved to quash it instead of reporting it to regulators. Some of these transactions were with Russia. This means there’s some kind of smoking gun, and considering how close House Democrats are to winning their court battles to get Trump’s financial records from places like Deutsche Bank, it means it’s time for Trump to panic. So naturally, he’s panicking.

    Donald Trump had been spending the afternoon on autopilot, tweeting his usual rhetoric about how great of a job he’s done, and how all the news about his scandals is fake. But after the Deutsche Bank bombshell landed, Trump decided to tweet this: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” That’s right, he’s suddenly threatening to “end” a country – genocide, we think – because he’s desperate to change the narrative.

    We’ll see how the media responds. The story of Russia using Deutsche Bank to launder money through Donald Trump’s businesses in New York city has been surfacing in pieces for the past two years, but most (not all) of the American mainstream media has paid little attention to it. Today’s bombshell is very different in that the bank itself is making the accusation, the financial records to substantiate it will soon be public, and there’s a whistleblower who can be brought in to testify.


    Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts | The New York Times
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump's Republican Party finds a new way to sink to a whole new low

    By James Sullivan, Palmer Report, May 19, 2019


    The Republican Party may be more despised now than at any other time in history – plagued with scandals that could take down any number of their politicians, and adopting an increasingly unpopular and outright offensive platform. Lately, the question isn’t so much about whether their out of touch ideas can still win voters, but how much longer they can still keep up appearances, coming on the heels of a blistering midterm, and an upcoming election that’s shaping up to be competitive for both houses of Congress. How much longer can they still pretend to be the patriotic party of morals and values when they’re nothing of the kind?

    To give an indication of how little they care, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee accepted $400,000 in donations last month from the disgraced casino magnate Steve Wynn. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Wynn used to be the RNC’s finance chair until he was accused of rape and sexual assault. The multiple allegations forced him to resign both his RNC position and from his casino empire. Of course, he considers Donald Trump, who signed the GOP’s tax scam into law, to be a good friend of his.

    When the allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct came to light, Republicans including RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel railed against every Democratic politician he donated any amount of money to – insisting they give up their donations, which they did. When asked about Wynn, who has been accused of assaulting his former employees, McDaniel’s statement to Politico defended the donation and took Wynn’s side, reluctantly saying: “At this point, there is no reason for refusing his support.”

    At least, that sentence in her statement is entirely accurate – the GOP needs all the money it can grab – and its politicians routinely prove themselves indifferent to victims of sexual assault, vulnerable employees, and for that matter, anyone who isn’t a wealthy donor.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    A Would-Be Trump Aide’s Demands: A Jet on Call, a Future Cabinet Post and More
    “Access to a government jet 24 hours a day. An office in the West Wing, plus guaranteed weekends off for family time. And an assurance of being made secretary of homeland security by November.

    Those were among a list of 10 conditions that Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, has given to the White House if he is to become the administration’s “immigration czar,”
  12. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Trump repeatedly interrupted by fainting fans at campaign rally
    “At least five people fainted during the 7 p.m. stop in Montoursville, forcing Trump to stray from his remarks to continually call for medical help.”
  13. PainterofLite Member

    Do you have a link to that quote?
  14. Gnome Chomsky Member

    That's a very modest list of demands indeed, it doesn't give him the appearance of being power hungry either.
  15. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    If you had to place bets on which presidential campaign would do some big ol’ election law violations, though I don’t know why you would have to do that, you would be insane to put your money on anyone other than Trump. According to the conservative Washington Examiner, the Trump campaign has once again potentially stumbled ass-backwards into some sketchy campaign finance shit.

    The paper reports that a campaign official boasted about campaign manager Brad Parscale getting a reduced rate for their office space in Rosslyn, VA, just across the river from D.C., by offering to pay as a lump-sum payment for the whole two years:

    “Brad found out about it and went to them and said, ‘Hey, would you do a lump sum payment cash up front for the next two years? They said, ‘Sold!’ We took it off their hands and sublet it from them. And it came with all the furniture,” the official said. “We saved millions of dollars. I think Brad said we got it for about $36 per square foot, which is bargain-basement for well-situated commercial real estate in Northern Virginia.”
    $36 per square foot “would have saved the campaign about $1 million over the original lease terms, which specify roughly $57-$58 per square foot,”” according to the Examiner. Don’t sleep on the “and it came with all the furniture” brag, either; my dude is frickin’ PUMPED about not having to go to IKEA.

    The official added:

    “We would not normally have such sleek office space,” the official told the Examiner as he sat in a boardroom with a view of the Washington Monument. “This was a steal. The president was thrilled. We saved multiple millions of dollars. Brad found it and the deal was struck.”
    My man, congrats! Absolutely sick deal! Except that under campaign finance law, anything that is provided for less than market rate could be considered an in-kind contribution. For example: If I normally sell pizzas for $20 each, but I offer them to the Bernie Sanders campaign for a special rate of $15 each, that can be considered an in-kind contribution of $5 per pizza.

    It’s not totally clear whether or not the Trump campaign’s lower rate constitutes an in-kind donation, in part because it’s subleasing the space. Republican former FEC chair Bradley Smith told the Examiner that campaigns “can’t get a good deal that’s not available to anyone else” without violating the law. But if the leaseholder was just desperate to lease the space that was sitting unused, or any other usual reason that a leaseholder might reduce the rent on a sublease, that wouldn’t necessarily be a violation.

    Regardless, it is funny in that not-very-funny way how blasé the Trump camp is about things like this. It doesn’t do to think about this stuff much, but just this once, as a treat, imagine if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama’s campaign had offhandedly told a paper that they got a “steal” on the rent for their campaign office. It would be a 24/7 story on Fox News; Breitbart reporters would be combing the leaseholders’ Facebook pages for any clue that they supported Democrats at any point in their lives, calling their moms, and so on.

    Ok, stop thinking about that hypocrisy now; there’s no point. Stop it. STOP IT.
  16. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Pelosi: Trump's family and staff should stage 'an intervention' | CNN

    "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that President Trump's behavior was below the office of the president after Trump left a meeting, saying he would not work with Democrats until they end investigations into his presidency."

    Bash: Pelosi is pushing every single one of Trump's buttons | CNN

    "CNN's Dana Bash looked at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's political power play after Pelosi railed President Trump's ability to cooperate with Democrats"

    Trump battles with Democrats as impeachment pressure grows | CNN


    Pelosi: Democrats are not on a path to impeachment — and that's what got to Trump

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is speaking at her weekly news conference and discussing her abrupt meeting with President Trump yesterday. The meeting — which was supposed to be about infrastructure — lasted only five minutes after President Trump said he could not work with Democrats as they weigh investigations against him.

    Pelsoi said the fact that Democrats are not actively pursuing impeachment proceeding "got" to the President.

    "I think what really got to him was that these court cases and the fact that the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment. That’s where he wants us to be," she said.

    Remember: Pelosi has long maintained she doesn't want to begin impeachment proceedings. She has said Trump is "goading" Democrats into starting the process because "he knows that it would be very divisive in the country" and subsequently solidify his base.

    Today, Pelosi also called the Wednesday meeting a "stunt" and a "distraction."

    “He is the master of distraction. We will all agree on that. That’s something he does well, to distract from problems that he has," she said.

    Pelosi: Democratic investigations could lead to Trump's impeachment down the road

    CNN's Manu Raju asked Speaker Pelosi if she could explain why she is opposed to launching an impeachment inquiry, as many of her House Democratic colleagues want to do.

    Pelosi responded:

    "Let me be clear. The President's behavior, in terms of his obstruction of justice, the things he's doing, it's clear. It's in plain sight. It cannot be denied. Ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice. Yes, these could be impeachment offenses."

    She added, however, that she wants to "follow the facts," which could lead to impeachment down the road.

    "I do think that impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country," she said, "and we can get the facts to the American people through our investigation. It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not. But we're not at that place."

    More at
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump falls for Nancy Pelosi's trap

    By Stephen Collinson, CNN, May 24, 2019


    President Donald Trump keeps taking Nancy Pelosi's bait.

    The House speaker has spent the last two days provoking Trump, questioning his self-confidence, condescendingly confiding that she prays for him and suggesting a "family intervention."

    The President's wild, improvised response Thursday suggests that so far, the speaker is winning the hugely consequential clash between Washington's top two political forces.

    It's not often that Trump, the man who dismembered the most talented Republican primary field in years in 2016, seems to be struggling for traction in a face-to-face political fight.

    But Pelosi is turning Trump's own arsenal against him, using the politics of mockery and provocation to leave him for once, off balance and forced to respond to a more nimble rival.

    And Trump's increasingly livid reactions are helping Pelosi out of a delicate political spot.

    This week opened with the Beltway narrative that she was under growing pressure from a Democratic caucus impatient with her reluctance to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

    Now, his attacks and several helpful court wins as Democrats seek Trump's financial records are unifying her coalition and even validating her warning Trump wants impeachment to brand her party as extreme and overreaching.

    The President justified his increasingly personal shots at the speaker and her mental acuity on Friday before heading off on a state visit to Japan.

    "When you say a personal attack, did you hear what she said long before I went after her? Did you hear her? She made horrible statements. She knows they're not true. She said terrible things. So, I just responded in kind," Trump told reporters at the White House.

    "Look, you think Nancy's the same as she was? She's not. Maybe we can all say that, but ... I'm only speaking for myself."

    The Trump versus Pelosi show is turning into an intriguing daily political game. But the consequences are hardly trivial: After the 2020 election it's likely that only one of the rivals will be left standing.

    In his second eruption against Pelosi in as many days on Thursday, Trump showed just how much she's got under his skin.

    He called the highest-ranking woman in the history of American politics "a mess" and "crazy." In another wild rant, he questioned whether she was smart enough to read a bill -- even though the speaker has proven herself a fully cogent and keen legislator.

    "I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it," Trump claimed to reporters, in an off-script diversion from a White House event to highlight new measures to help US farmers suffering from his China trade war.

    Also on Thursday, a manipulated video of Pelosi was shared on social media to spread a false claim that she was slurring her words after a meeting with Trump. Later that night, a Fox Business Network show featured another edited clip of Pelosi and panelists went on to speculate about her health. Trump later tweeted the segment from the show.

    Pelosi is operating off a playbook specifically designed for Trump as she hits him where it hurts most, targeting his ego, his courage, his manliness and his sensitivity over his fortune.

    She wondered whether his rejection of an infrastructure deal could be chalked up to "a lack of confidence on his part."

    Pelosi went after Trump's tough guy image, speculating that his obsession with an extremely long border wall was "like a manhood thing for him, as if manhood could ever be associated with him." And she has mocked Trump's inherited wealth: Federal employees can't "just ask their father for more money," she said, during the government shutdown earlier this year.

    The walkout

    The President's counter-attack came a day after he walked out of a meeting with Pelosi and other congressional Democrats, after she accused him or orchestrating a "cover up."

    Trump has now suspended all cooperation with House Democrats until they fold their multiple investigations of his campaign, presidency and financial affairs.

    Aides told CNN that Trump was especially angry at the speaker's comment that he had a "tantrum" and media perceptions that his temper ran out of control in their meeting on Wednesday.

    His anger prompted him to stage a deeply bizarre and unpresidential spectacle in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, demanding testimony from aides on his own temperance.

    "You were very calm," senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said.

    The President, again seeming infuriated that he was not being understood, argued that he had been consistent on many political questions all his life: "I'm an extremely stable genius."

    It didn't take long for Pelosi to jab back.

    "When the 'extremely stable genius' starts acting more presidential, I'll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues," Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

    When the "extremely stable genius" starts acting more presidential, I'll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues.
    — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 23, 2019

    This war of insults between a speaker and a President is hardly dignified. It's possible voters who are already disgusted with Washington will just become even more disillusioned.

    One Republican senator, John Kennedy of Louisiana, on Thursday pleaded with both sides to talk it out rather than acting like "8-year-olds in the back of a mini-van fighting."

    Continued at
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michael Flynn's case could prompt release of some redacted parts of Mueller report

    By Katelyn Polantz, CNN, May 27, 2019


    Sought-after parts of the Mueller investigation may be made public this week, thanks to a federal judge who's taken an unusual approach in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's case.

    Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court in DC set a Friday deadline for the Justice Department to make public unredacted portions of the Mueller report that pertain to Flynn, plus transcripts of Flynn's calls with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and of a voicemail during which someone connected to Trump referenced Flynn's cooperation.

    Taken together, the judge's orders look like a shortcut to transparency in a moment of executive branch stonewalling.

    Each of the documents, once made public, could bring revelations about Mueller's work. The transcripts alone could answer lingering questions about what exactly Flynn said to the Russians that caused so much concern among US intelligence and how a message that factored into the obstruction of justice probe into President Donald Trump played out.

    So far, the Justice Department hasn't pushed back on the judge's demands. But it could before the May 31 deadline.

    Outside of the Flynn case, the Justice Department is fighting on several fronts to hold back the redacted portions of the Mueller report from the public.

    It's not clear at this time how many redactions in the Mueller report that aren't protected by grand jury secrecy relate to Flynn's case. It appears to be very few based on how Mueller structured the report.

    Continued at
  21. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    So yes, yes, the military hid the USS McCain from Trump’s sight. Snowflake.
  22. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  23. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  24. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    ‘Trump: If President Xi does not attend G-20, more China tariffs will go into effect immediately’
    “Trump's Mexico tariff deal is fake news. Mexico has been enforcing U.S. immigration policy for years.‘

    Trump is threatening about things that are going to happen anyway

  25. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  26. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  27. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  28. The Wrong Guy Member

  29. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  30. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

    By David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times, June 15, 2019


    The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

    In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

    Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

    But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.

    The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military’s offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

    But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price.’”

    Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years.

    Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid.

    But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

    The commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, has been outspoken about the need to “defend forward” deep in an adversary’s networks to demonstrate that the United States will respond to the barrage of online attacks aimed at it.

    “They don’t fear us,” he told the Senate a year ago during his confirmation hearings.

    But finding ways to calibrate those responses so that they deter attacks without inciting a dangerous escalation has been the source of constant debate.

    Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

    But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of “clandestine military activity” in cyberspace, to “deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States.”

    Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval.

    “It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year,” one senior intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity but declining to discuss any specific classified programs. “We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago.”

    The critical question — impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation — is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military — a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated.

    Both General Nakasone and Mr. Bolton, through spokesmen, declined to answer questions about the incursions into Russia’s grid. Officials at the National Security Council also declined to comment but said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times’s reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians.

    Speaking on Tuesday at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolton said: “We thought the response in cyberspace against electoral meddling was the highest priority last year, and so that’s what we focused on. But we’re now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we’re prepared to act in.”

    He added, referring to nations targeted by American digital operations, “We will impose costs on you until you get the point.”

    Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place “implants” — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid.

    Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

    Continued at

    Donald Trump just flat out admitted he's a Russian asset

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, June 16, 2019


    Last night the New York Times did its job by reporting that the United States is doing its job by finding new ways to push back against Russia’s cyber attacks. It seemed pretty straightforward. The only controversial part was the revelation that the Pentagon and the U.S. intel community hesitated to tell Trump about the tactics, due to his notorious personal allegiance to Vladimir Putin over the United States. Suffice it to say that when Donald Trump learned about the New York Times story, he didn’t exactly respond well.

    Trump posted this deranged tweet in response: “Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country. ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

    Wow. Where do we even start? Why would the New York Times be committing treason by reporting a true story? How could Trump know it’s supposedly false? Why would the word “treason” even be involved in a story about the United States taking active measures against a foreign government? Trump is literally claiming that if the United States is being disloyal to Russia, then it’s treason.

    It’s more obvious than ever that Donald Trump views himself as a subject of the Russian government, and not a subject of the United States government. His tweet alone tonight should be enough to disqualify him from office, as he flat out admitted he’s a Russian asset. That’s before getting to the stunning reality that the U.S. military and the U.S. intel community are having to hide things from Trump because they know he’s a Russian asset.

    • Like Like x 1
  32. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Impeachment: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

    "With a national conversation underway about the possibility of impeachment, John Oliver discusses whether the benefits outweigh the potential risks."
  34. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  35. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Scott Pruitt, who ultimately lost his job as EPA Administrator because of serial ethical abuses and clubbiness with lobbyists, had a section in his vetting form titled "allegations of coziness with big energy companies."
    Tom Price, who ultimately resigned as Health and Human Services Secretary after Trump lost confidence in him in part for stories about his use of chartered flights, had sections in his dossier flagging "criticisms of management ability" and "Dysfunction And Division Has Haunted Price's Leadership Of The House Budget Committee."
    Mick Mulvaney, who became Trump's Budget Director and is now his acting chief of staff, has a striking assortment of "red flags," including his assessment that Trump "is not a very good person."
    The Trump transition team was so worried about Rudy Giuliani, in line for Secretary of State, that they created a separate 25-page document titled "Rudy Giuliani Business Ties Research Dossier" with copious accounting of his "foreign entanglements."
    One red flag for Gen. David Petraeus, who was under consideration for Secretary of State and National Security Adviser: "Petraeus Is Opposed to Torture."
  36. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Also Barrett Brown was banned from Twitter today
  37. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Trump supporters are banned from a knitting site.
    ‘Ravelry, The Knitting Website, Bans Trump Talk And Patterns’
  38. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    This is another Trump poser. His protocol adviser is removed from the job because of “work place problems”
    He carried a whip at work.
  39. DeathHamster Member

    • Like Like x 1
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jeffrey Epstein Arrested for Sex Trafficking of Minors

    Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday and will appear in New York court on Monday to be charged with sex trafficking, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

    By Pervaiz Shallwani, Kate Briquelet, and Harry Siegel, The Daily Beast, July 6, 2019


    Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. The arrest, by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force, comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida.

    For more than a decade, Epstein’s alleged abuse of minors has been the subject of lawsuits brought by victims, investigations by local and federal authorities, and exposés in the press. But despite the attention cast on his alleged sex crimes, the hedge-funder has managed to avoid any meaningful jail time, let alone federal charges.

    The new indictment—which, according to two sources, will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court—will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for "massages" and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors—which could put him away for a maximum of 45 years. The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district's human-trafficking officials and the FBI.

    Several of the billionaire's employees and associates allegedly recruited the girls for Epstein's abuse, and some victims eventually became recruiters themselves, according to law enforcement. The girls were as young as 14, and Epstein knew they were underage, according to details of the arrest and indictment shared by two officials.

    Epstein's attorney Martin Weinberg declined to comment when reached by The Daily Beast on Saturday night. The SDNY also declined to comment.

    “It’s been a long time coming—it’s been too long coming,” said attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome. “It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise.

    “We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible," he told The Daily Beast.

    In an era where #MeToo has toppled powerful men, Epstein’s name was largely absent from the national conversation, until the Miami Herald published a three-part series on how his wealth, power and influence shielded him from federal prosecution. For years, The Daily Beast has reported on Epstein’s alleged abuse, and his easy jail sentence and soft treatment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which ultimately scrapped a 53-page indictment against Epstein. An earlier version of Epstein’s plea deal included a 10-year federal sentence—before his star-studded lawyers threatened to go to trial in a case prosecutors feared was unwinnable, in part because Epstein’s team dredged up dirt on the victims, including social media posts indicating drug use.

    Meanwhile, the financier flitted among his homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and the Virgin Islands, as well as his secluded Zorro Ranch in Stanley, New Mexico, transporting young women on his private jet to facilitate the sexual abuse that’s gone unchecked by authorities, his alleged victims say.

    In an announcement planned for Monday the FBI is expected to provide a number for other victims to contact the SDNY.

    As early as 2003, Vicky Ward’s Vanity Fair profile cracked into Epstein’s enigmatic facade and, as Ward noted, revealed “he was definitely not what he claimed to be.” Back then, allegations of sexual abuse leveled by one accuser, Maria Farmer, and her family were excised from Ward’s piece after Epstein pressured the magazine.

    Epstein’s bust comes mere months after a federal judge ruled his 2007 non-prosecution agreement—secretly inked under former U.S. Attorney and current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta—violated federal law by keeping Epstein’s victims in the dark. Under the sweetheart deal, Epstein dodged federal charges that might have sent him to prison for life. He instead pleaded guilty to minor state charges in Palm Beach, and served 13 months in a private wing of a county jail, mostly on work release.

    The alleged victims, who sued the government for violating the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, asked the court to rescind Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement and called for the feds to hold him criminally liable. The NPA also granted immunity to Epstein’s co-conspirators, identified in the document as “including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova.”

    But in June, prosecutors for the government advised the judge to uphold the plea deal, saying that voiding it would “cause unintended harm to many of” the victims and jeopardize monetary settlements that more than a dozen of them received.

    "If today’s report is true, it only proves that Epstein should have been charged by federal prosecutors 12 years ago in Florida. With his money, Epstein was able to buy more than a decade of delay in facing justice—but fortunately he wasn’t able to postpone justice forever," said attorney Paul Cassell, who represents multiple victims of Epstein in their lawsuit against the federal government.

    "While New York prosecutors are apparently seeking to hold Epstein accountable, the fight will continue to force federal prosecutors in Florida to do the same thing," Cassell added in a statement. "While Epstein was at the head of the international sex trafficking organization, that conspiracy could not have functioned without many others playing their part. Jane Doe 1 and 2 will continue to fight for all of Epstein’s co-conspirators to be held accountable in New York, Florida, and anywhere else they committed crimes."

    Epstein reportedly supplied valuable intel to federal investigators in exchange for his lenient plea deal; it’s been speculated this information may have been related to Bear Stearns executives’ alleged crimes in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

    Continued at

Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins