Posts Tagged ‘ Trump ’

Tainting the process to favor his family

Mar 6th, 2019 8:57 am | By

It’s not just Prince Jared, it’s also Princess Ivanka. Well of course it is.

President Donald Trump pressured his then-chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump a security clearance against their recommendations, three people familiar with the matter told CNN.

The President’s crusade to grant clearances to his daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, rankled West Wing officials.

While Trump has the legal authority to grant clearances, most instances are left up to the White House personnel security office, which determines whether a staffer should be granted one after the FBI has conducted a background check. But after concerns were raised by the personnel office, Trump

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A terrible example for Donnie Junior

Mar 5th, 2019 11:06 am | By

These days Trump is all about the “No YOU are!”

This week, however, the current president seems to have taken his fondness for projection to a new level.

Friday, March 1: Facing allegations that he’s committed a variety of crimes, Trump insisted “real crimes were committed” by Democrats. He echoed the argument two days later.

Sunday, March 3: After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) raised the prospect of Trump running afoul of the law, Trump tweeted that Schiff may have run afoul of the law.

Tuesday, March 5: Accused of obstructing justice, Trump said via Twitter that Democrats “are obstructing justice.”

You know how it is – he hears an exciting new … Read the rest


Mar 4th, 2019 4:41 pm | By

In another “you have got to be kidding” moment, Trump announces on Twitter that he’s giving special treatment to Alabama.

Many observers are asking, with some heat, why he is “telling FEMA directly” to give Alabama “the A plus treatment” when he didn’t do so in the case of Puerto Rico or of California. Shouldn’t “the A plus treatment” be … Read the rest

A flurry of document demands

Mar 4th, 2019 11:13 am | By

Meanwhile…the House is swinging into action.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee delivered a flurry of document demands to the executive branch and the broader Trump world on Monday that detailed the breadth of the Democrats’ investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power by President Trump and his administration.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, made clear on Monday that the new majority intends to train its attention on actions at the heart of Mr. Trump’s norm-bending presidency — actions that could conceivably form the basis of a future impeachment proceeding.

It will be interesting if the hearings clearly establish that Trump has committed multiple crimes, and he … Read the rest

As the witness broke omertà

Mar 4th, 2019 10:53 am | By

There were historical echoes in that hearing room last week.

Any onetime Mafia investigator who listened to the Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen testify Wednesday would have immediately recognized the congressional hearing’s historical analogue — what America witnessed on Capitol Hill wasn’t so much John Dean turning on President Richard Nixon, circa 1973; it was the mobster Joseph Valachi turning on the Cosa Nostra, circa 1963.

Also perhaps any consumer of popular movies and tv shows would recognize the broad plot outline, even if Joseph Valachi didn’t come to mind.

And it’s had that overtone all along – the story is packed to the rafters with prosecutors, serving and former; packed with feds, packed with rats and stool pigeons, packed with … Read the rest

Trust but verify

Mar 3rd, 2019 5:32 pm | By

Tick tick tick tick

Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said that as far as he’s concerned there’s “direct evidence” of collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Specifically, Schiff says that the 2016 offer from a Russian lawyer for information on Hillary Clinton to members of Trump’s campaign is the smoking gun. “I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump,” Schiff said on CBS’ Face the Nation, when he was asked if he had “direct evidence of collusion with Russia.”

“They offer

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Basking in adulation

Mar 2nd, 2019 11:16 am | By

Trump has been talking at the right-wing shindig CPAC for nearly two hours now.

That ^ was 15 minutes ago and new tweets are still coming in.

The Guardian is watching.

Basking in adulation at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the president said: “You know I’m totally off script right now and this is how I got elected, by being off script. And if we don’t go off script, our country’s in big trouble, folks, because we have to get it back.”

“Off script” … Read the rest

Beholden again

Mar 1st, 2019 5:21 pm | By

Oh good.

Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort must pay the Scottish government’s legal costs following a court battle over a major North Sea wind power development.

Mr Trump battled unsuccessfully in the courts to halt the project before he became US president.


Mr Trump had argued the development would spoil the view from his golf course at Menie.

Goodness, that takes a lot of nerve. You buy a golf course in a foreign country and then you expect to be able to veto anything that country wants to build within sight of your golf course? Like, you own everything as far as the eye can see?

Good that it didn’t work. Even better that he has to pay … Read the rest

Keep the grades a secret

Feb 28th, 2019 1:21 pm | By

Also threatened were

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump directed his personal attorney at the time to threaten legal action against the colleges and high school he attended if they publicly released his grades or standardized test scores, the attorney, Michael Cohen, told Congress on Wednesday.

“When I say conman, I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores,” he said.

Somehow I always kind of suspected the “brilliant” part was shaky.

In support of his testimony, Cohen provided a May 2015 letter he penned to the president of Fordham University, the New

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No idea, he had no idea

Feb 28th, 2019 12:53 pm | By

Trump explains why he takes Kim’s word for it that he had no idea anyone was being harsh to Otto Warmbier.

Chris Cillizza has doubts:

Trump said this of Warmbier and North Korea: “He tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.” Trump added that Kim “felt badly about it. He felt very badly.”

Trump is, apparently, taking the word of a brutal dictator who had his half-brother murdered with nerve gas at an airport and who continues to live a posh lifestyle while his country suffers the effects of staggering economic sanctions? The guy who North Korean media says began driving a car at age 3, helped cure Ebola and

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Let’s all believe

Feb 28th, 2019 7:39 am | By

Another Elinor Lipman gem:

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Sometimes you have to walk

Feb 28th, 2019 7:05 am | By

Oops. Duck’s off, sorry.

After all that Look At Me Solve North Korea, Trump failed ignominiously because it turns out – who could possibly have guessed? – that Kim isn’t going to roll over just because Trump tells him to.

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, abruptly ended their second summit meeting on Thursday after talks collapsed with the two leaders failing to agree on any steps toward nuclear disarmament or measures to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Mr. Trump said at an afternoon news conference in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

He said Mr. Kim had offered to dismantle the North’s most important nuclear facility if the United States lifted the

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Topped list

Feb 27th, 2019 5:28 pm | By

The story of the portrait is a high point (of lowness) for me. Fake bidder. Hiked up price. Paid for by foundation. Twitter boast. It’s got it all.

Michael Cohen claims that President Donald Trump had him find a fake bidder to buy a portrait of him at a 2013 charity auction in the Hamptons so it would sell higher than everything else, and then paid the buyer back with Trump Foundation funds.

As one does, you know.

“The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon,” Cohen said.

So that people would think he’s a hot item.

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Sarah Sanders says it’s all lies

Feb 26th, 2019 8:15 am | By

Thieves fall out.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, is planning on portraying his onetime client in starkly negative terms when he testifies Wednesday before a House committee, and on describing what he says was Mr. Trump’s use of racist language, lies about his wealth[,] and possible criminal conduct.

[The Times really needs to ditch its stupid rule against the Oxford comma. I’m pretty sure that list at the end of the sentence is three items, not two, but the lack of the comma makes it distractingly annoyingly disruptively ambiguous.]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement.

“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements,” she said.

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Hold the date, mofo

Feb 24th, 2019 10:03 am | By

Trump thinks he invented the 4th of July as a National Event. Is being told otherwise with varying degrees of sarcasm.

People are finding “HOLD THE DATE!” particularly hilarious since it’s a federal holiday and has been ever since none of us are old enough to remember when.

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To form such a committee smells of confirmation bias

Feb 22nd, 2019 5:33 pm | By

Trump and co are setting up a panel to “discover” that climate change is no problem.

According to a document obtained by The Washington Post, the Trump administration intends to use an executive order to create a panel tasked with assessing the potential harm of climate change.

Citing a memo dated February 14, The New York Times reported the committee, called the  the Presidential Committee on Climate Security, will consist of 12 individuals, including William Happer, who is slated to head the team. Appointed to the National Security Council as the senior director for emerging technologies, the Princeton physicist is a known climate change denier, who once compared the “demonization of carbon dioxide” to the “demonization of poor

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These legal requirements could not be circumvented

Feb 21st, 2019 10:32 am | By

There’s a report from the House Oversight Committee. Paul Waldman at the Post boils it down for us:

We begin with a company called IP3 International, described as “a private company that has assembled a consortium of U.S. companies to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.” IP3, which has an all-star team of former generals and federal officials on its staff and board, was pushing hard on the Trump administration to approve its plan to build these reactors despite the lengthy process required to transfer nuclear technology abroad.

Not to mention the fact that it’s Saudi Arabia. Remember the twin towers? That Saudi Arabia. Remember Jamal Khashoggi? That Saudi Arabia again.

A key proponent of this nuclear effort was

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Sorry, doesn’t count

Feb 19th, 2019 4:15 pm | By

Huh. Word is, Shinzo Abe did indeed nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Because the US asked him to.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the U.S. government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report follows Trump’s claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea.

Trump didn’t say anything about asking him to. He just said Abe nominated him – he said it smugly, as if it were an exciting unsolicited honor, as opposed to a favor done on request from a heavily-armed acquaintance. … Read the rest

Can ya fix it?

Feb 19th, 2019 11:34 am | By

The Times (the other one, the New York one) has another one of those big articles, this one on Trump’s moves to obstruct justice. It starts with a bang.

As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.

Ho yus, perfectly normal, a president asking an attorney general if … Read the rest

The nopes come in

Feb 16th, 2019 10:54 am | By

Was Trump really telling a whopper when he said Obama told him he (Obama) was on the edge of war with North Korea? Peter Baker at the Times has collected some “Nope”s from people who worked in Obama’s administration.

President Trump has been telling audiences lately that his predecessor was on the precipice of an all-out confrontation with the nuclear-armed maverick state. The way Mr. Trump tells the story, the jets were practically scrambling in the hangars.

“I believe he would have gone to war with North Korea,” Mr. Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. “I think he was ready to go to war. In fact, he told me he was so close to starting

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