Some leftovers – of Trump news – this past week

As promised, here are some other news items that came in this past week or so.

In a recent cabinet meeting [among other false claims]:

  • Donald Trump claimed that the governments of Guatemala and Honduras were “forming caravans and sending them [criminals] up.” – Except no evidence of this. Unless guarded all the way would they most likely leave the caravan once in Mexico than take the chance of getting caught at the border?
  • “We catch them and release them. We catch them and say, ‘Come back to court in five years,’ and nobody comes back. Two percent, to be accurate.” – Except 89% of asylum seekers showed up in court to receive a decision on their case in the 2017 fiscal year, according government data; it was 72% for all kinds of migrants.
  • “We’re doing very well but we have no help whatsoever from the Democrats. Just the opposite. They want open borders. They obviously don’t mind crime and drugs and human trafficking…” – Except no Democrat has proposed literally opening the border to unrestricted migration which is ridiculous anyways.
  • “I just left Louisiana, cut a ribbon for a $10 billion LNG plant that’s so incredible people wouldn’t believe it. It was many, many years trying to get permits, they couldn’t get the permits, but we got the permits and we got it very rapidly.” – Except permits for the facility Trump visited were granted by the Obama administration in June 2014.
  • “We got our hostages back (from North Korea). We got the remains back, and they continue to come.” – The US military announced in May that the remains program had been suspended for the rest of the 2019 fiscal year because North Korea had stopped communicating with the US agency responsible for the effort.
  • “We’re building a lot of wall right now.” – Except no new miles of wall were under construction as of last month. Vegetation was cleared for a 13 mile stretch but no wall. Elsewhere, some parts of the wall already there were repaired.
  • “During the Obama administration, $500 billion a year was being lost to China.” – Except the US has never had an annual $500 billion trade deficit with China. The 2018 deficit in goods and services was $381 billion; it was $420 billion when counting goods alone and excluding services.
  • “Remember one thing. An agreement was made with Secretary Kerry at the time and with President Obama. That agreement was a disaster. Spent $150 billion.” – Except the US did not “spen(d)” tens of billions to make the Iran nuclear deal. The deal allowed Iran to access tens of billions in its own assets. Some experts believe the assets totaled between $25 billion and $60 billion.
  • “Our ambassador for hostage negotiation [Robert C. O’Brien] said Trump is the greatest of all time. I only tell you that because you’ll never say it.” – Except nobody has been able to find a record of him saying it unless O’Brien told Trump this in private.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway, Trump’s special advisor asked a reporter after he asked a question about the racist tweets “What’s your ethnicity?” That has what to do with anything? Biased? The reporter is a Caucasian.

In an interview on Fox News [where else!], Eric Trump said “My father is in there, and he’s fighting every single day. And he has to fight against the media. He has to fight against these lunatics. And guys, I’m telling you, 95% of this country is behind him in this message. I mean, people love this nation.” Recent polls say maybe 45% support Trump.

Federal prosecutors in New York have ended their investigation into the Trump Organization’s role in hush money payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump and have been ordered by a judge to release additional information connected to their related probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Seems no charges will be laid.

There had been no contact between the Manhattan US Attorney’s office and officials at the Trump Organization in more than five months. So no surprise that the investigation has ended. Expect Trump to have a victory dance.

A group of 3100 prison inmates have or will be released shortly under a new program that came into law which applies mostly to drug offenders and inmates serving sentences for weapons charges. We will see in the coming months if there will be stories of how many of these former inmates return to prison.

After years of ridiculous defense spending, the Pentagon decided to audit itself last year. It cost [would you believe] $400 million to do the audit! They failed their audit.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report presents “very substantial evidence” that Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” – an impeachable offense. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nadler have so far resisted the pressure to open an inquiry. Behind the scenes, Nadler has lobbied Pelosi to open an inquiry.

The impeachment clause in Article II of the US Constitution outlines the process of removing a president, which begins with a vote in the House of Representatives. Offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery or other “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

There are now 88 Democrats in the house who are calling for impeachment of Trump.

Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas introduced his articles of impeachment against Trump, which will force the House to take up the measure. Green’s resolution is unlikely to lead to an actual vote on impeachment in the House.

In the employment/unemployment section:

  • Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders had only been in the job a month when a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in the agency’s custody. The death sparked a national outcry among lawmakers and immigration advocates. It also deeply resonated with Sanders and shaped his roughly two-month tenure at the top of the agency. He left the post recently.
  • Michelle Moons, Breitbart’s former White House correspondent, is slated to take a job in the office of the National Economic Council, which is run by Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
  • 18 senior roles were unfilled at the Department of Defense. This later grew to 19 when rump administration’s pick to be chief of naval operations, Adm. William Moran, announced his decision to retire after his judgment was questioned over a professional relationship he maintained with a former Navy public affairs official who left the service amid allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

There are now at least 261 key vacancies in the Trump administration. Total current number of vacant key leadership positions (with no current Senate-confirmed appointee) in the Trump administration: 261/713

  • Current number of vacancies in the State Department: 61/202
  • Current number of vacancies in the Defense Department: 12/56
  • Current number of vacancies in the Justice Department: 15/29

It’s been more than 3 years now. More than a dozen women have come forward with a range of accusations against Trump, ranging from sexual harassment and assault to lewd behavior, from before he entered the white House. Trump has vehemently denied all of the allegations and has threatened to sue his accusers, though he has not done so. All threat and nothing else.

In the first quarter of 2019, the United States’ total public- and private-sector debt amounted to nearly $70 trillion – a new record. The economy, about $21 trillion in size, remains healthy. The government could run out of money by early September, before Congress gets back from its summer break. That is why Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested that Congress raise the debt ceiling before the summer recess.

The Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure mega-cloud contract may be put on hold once again, this time because President Trump has ordered a probe into the massive single-vendor deal. The White House has recently taken an interest in the proposed service agreement, and wants more information about its terms, conditions, requirements, and procurement. Microsoft and AWS [owned by Trump nemesis Jeff Bezos] are the 2 finalists. Among those who have most strongly objected to the JEDI process were IBM and Oracle, which went so far as to take the matter to court.

Well, Trump did something nice [or is it?] at his New Jersey golf club: He crashed a wedding reception. But in this case the bride and groom and most of the people in attendance are Trump supporters.